New Guns !!! Springfield XD9 Sub Compact

WARNING!!!  This is not an in depth review, this is an “I just got a new toy” review.  I’ll cover it in more technical detail after I’ve spent some range time with it.

Although I am a shooter and enjoy shooting and can hold my own, I do not consider myself an expert. I’m an average guy who knows his way around firearms. I went through a large and quite lengthy list of firearms to replace my ageing (And quite large) full sized duty pistol (Ruger P85 Mark II) that’s been my constant companion for the last 2 ½ years. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that Ruger, it’s a part of me. But it is a lot of gun to carry and conceal. My wife recently got on board with self-defense and after the training courses and plenty of range time; we went out and found her a gun. (Unfortunately we don’t have any rental ranges near us so we can’t shoot many guns unless we do the old “Buy and Try” method). She held dozens of guns and turned her nose up at every one of them. None felt “Right” in her hand, until she picked up a Springfield -XD Sub Compact. She immediately liked the weight, the feel and the ergonomics. She even went “Wow, I like this”. We bought this gun for her.

I have a friend who is what I consider the foremost expert I know on weapons. It’s what he does for a living. I respect his opinion on firearms more than anyone else I know personally. He helped me answer some questions and talked me through some parts of the selection process. I owe that man a lot of beer by now.

Now the -XD was on my long list, but it wasn’t on my short list (Glock, M&P, and a couple of carry 45’s). But after purchasing this weapon for my wife and having it at the range, I was quite smitten myself. I decided after that first range trip that I was also going to get an -XD, but I was considering the 4 inch or even the 5.25 inch Competition version. (Still about the same size but lighter than my Ruger). Since I’d carried a full size duty pistol for so long, the larger gun would not be a problem.

The night before I ordered my -XD, I had decided on the 4 inch duty version, but kept thinking about my wife’s sub compact and how well it shot, how accurate it was and how nice the small size for carry would be. I was actually driving to the gun shop, ready to order the 4” when I changed my mind. This was going to be a carry gun first and foremost; I may shoot some competition eventually, but decided that I still wanted the smaller carry size. But that is what really made the -XD my choice for carry gun. The subcompact comes with a 13 round standard magazine (Making this a 2 finger gun for me but a 3 finger gun for my wife) as well as a 16 round magazine with a grip extension. This gives the gun a full size grip for range or fun shooting. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. For a 3” barrel, it’s plenty accurate. At 20 feet my wife’s first 3 shots out of it were touching, 3 inch down and 3 inch left of center. (She always seems to out shoot me the first time she shoots something; I wouldn’t mess with that woman if I knew what was best for me).

I was really impressed with the grip extension. There was no play in it (I’ve seen similar extensions and heard the stories about pinching). This is a great gun to shoot, even with the standard magazine. As a two finger gun, it’s eminently more controllable than the other 2 finger guns I’ve used. With the 16 round mag, it feels and shoots like a full sized gun. Simple to keep rounds on target. My wife even says it doesn’t “Kick” as much as my Ruger.

The dual spring does make charging the weapon a little stiffer. It would be difficult to do a one handed charge on my pants pocket like I do with the Ruger, but this is a brand new gun with only 60 rounds through it, so it’s still going through the break in period. Sites are good, but I want to drop some night sights on it. It comes with a decent kit, Reloading tool, Dual magazine pouch, OWB holster, 13 round and 16 round magazines. Both the holster and the dual mag pouch have a rail on them that holds the reloading tool. This is GREAT for range shooting.

One of the features I really liked was the grip safety. This moves the firing pin block off the trigger and onto the grip safety, which cleans the trigger up over some of the other trigger safety pistols out there. The trigger is a medium double action style pull, not as long as some full DA only triggers, but breaks clean and is not distracting in any way. Trigger reset is good and follow up shots are easy and accurate.
My only complaint (And this may have been made worse by the sub freezing weather we were shooting in) but the mag springs are STRONG. The reloading tool is a MUST. I’ve shot a lot of guns over the years and I’ve hand loaded countless magazines and have never seen a spring this strong. This is probably a good thing that ensures proper feeding. (The -XD’s are flawless performers). But it does take some getting used to.
All in all, I love her gun. Mine should arrive Monday and I can’t wait to get it out on the range. It was also a good excuse to get the MTAC holster I’ve been looking at.

I am going to order 1 of the tiny pierce pinky extension but plates for the two 13 round mags. That will make it a three finger gun for me without adding the full length to the butt.

At $460 to $500 for this gun, you CANNOT go wrong. You can spend more on Glocks or M&P’s or any of a number of Kimber or other manufactures high end guns, but it’s not necessary. (I do shoot Glocks now, I never liked them but they have grown on me. Still don’t like the grip angle but it only takes a few rounds to get used to it). You don’t have to have a $1000 Kimber when you can have an -XD for half that price. (Or heck, buy two). This is a gun you can trust your life too and you will not be disappointed in.

By the way, this is just a cursory review after one range trip.  I’ll redo this review a bit more in depth after I get some more range time with my own.  Including breakdown (it’s easy) and all the other features.

My wife made the comment we now have “his and hers” -XD’s.
Did I mention how much I love shooting with my wife?

Hope you get to the range and have some fun.


About Docwatmo

Just an average guy reviewing equipment for the average guy (or gal). View all posts by Docwatmo

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