5 Great Reasons to Own the XD-S Mod.2 9mm

By Clay Martin
Posted in #Guns
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5 Great Reasons to Own the XD-S Mod.2 9mm

April 9th, 2019

5 minute read

I finally got my hands on the new XD-S Mod.2 in 9mm, and I could not be happier with this addition to the lineup. I have been a huge fan of the XD-S family since the original release, and it has been my carry gun of choice since 2013.

Editor’s note: Since this article was written, Springfield Armory upgraded the pistol to allow for the installation of a red dot sight. Check out Paul Carlson’s review of the Springfield XD-S Mod.2 OSP.

Between us, I actually had a tingling of fear at the idea of a Mod.2 version. Like truck guys know, when body styles or engines change, it isn’t always for the better. I looked at the original XD-S as the perfect carry gun, and have long recommended it as such. I was concerned that an attempt to update my weapon of choice would turn into a Mustang II.

In this photograph, we see an <span class='nowrap'>XD-S</span> with three magazine sizes.

Fear Not

Fortunately, my fears were entirely unfounded. Every change to the Mod.2 is both an improvement and something I don’t want to live without. After you shoot it, the improvements over the original model are obvious. It’s a thing you can’t “un-see.”

Thing 1 – The Frame

Here, the author is showing us the grip texture on the semi-automatic pistol.

The most obvious changes are in the frame, both ergonomics and texture. The Mod.2 frame has been rounded, and I can best describe it as the original grip, with a melt finish. It isn’t much, but it is enough to make the gun more comfortable in the hand. Also gone is the grenade checkering, the signature look of the first generation. From pictures, this was the feature that worried me the most. I was a fan of the old grenade checkering, and I felt it gave an incredible amount of purchase when firing the weapon, especially in .45 ACP, the caliber of my existing XD-S.

The new Mod.2 texture is much more subtle, with a very shallow basket-weave style pattern. When I first saw the new look, I assumed there was zero chance it would be as good as the old style. But like a Miracle on 34th Street, there must’ve been some magic in the polymer molds. Or more likely, Springfield Armory has some serious big brains over in the engineering department. The Mod.2 texture is nowhere near as aggressive as the original, but it actually provides a firmer grip when you grab it. I was able to check that caliber for caliber months ago against the Mod.2 .45 ACP, and it works even better in the 9mm.

Thing 2 – Bore Axis

In this photograph, the author demonstrates the bore axis when the 9mm pistol is held in his hands.

A less-noticeable but just as important change to the Mod.2 is the bore axis. With the re-engineering of the frame undercuts, your hand now sits higher in relation to the barrel. This reduces muzzle flip, important for keeping the sights on target for follow-up shots. The beavertail safety has also been slightly enlarged on the Mod.2, ensuring even more reliable engagement with any grip size.

In this image we see the grip safety on the Springfield Armory, Inc. <span class='nowrap'>XD-S</span>. It is similar to the grip safety on the M1911 pistol.

Thing 3 – Sighting System

Also changed for the XD-S Mod.2 are the sighting options. With the front sight, you have the choice of either fiber optic or Pro-Glo Tritium. New for the Mod.2 is a laser sight from the factory, which Rob Leatham waxed eloquent on in his article. I opted for the tritium, which I feel has a number of benefits.

In this photo, we see the front sight on the <span class='nowrap'>XD-S</span> handgun.

Tritium does work in the dark, obviously. While scenarios involving a need-to-shoot-at-any-kind-of-distance-in-total-darkness are few, it is nice to have a tool that will work if needed. I actually like them for a different reason. As a younger man, I kept a pistol on my nightstand, always in the same spot. And you couldn’t walk through my house without tripping over a loaded gun. Now that I have children, that isn’t an option. Oftentimes, everything is locked up, except for my CCW gun, and maybe my XD-M (unloaded) on my belt kit in the garage. And when I go to bed at night, my XD-S is now filling the home defense role as well. The last thing I do before I turn out the lights is stick it in the top of my closet. Seeing the green glowing dot assures me that I have put it out of reach of small hands. And if I need to investigate a bump in the night, it is like a homing beacon in the dark. No fumbling around for a weapon with a half-awake brain.

[Ed. note: Springfield Armory now offers the U-Dot combat sights on many of its pistols including the Hellcat, Hellcat Pro and Echelon. The U-Dot is an amazing choice, and arguably the very best offered on any factory handgun.]

The Pro-Glo sights also feature an extremely bright fluorescent green ring around the tritium, as good in daylight as fiber optics in my opinion. When you stretch the gun out, the front sight is as hard to miss as jean shorts at a black tie dinner. They stick out.

This photo shows us the rear sight on the author's pistol.

For either sighting option, the rear sight is the same, with a new built-in racking shelf. This is a flat spot on the rear, for one-handed racking of the slide on equipment or furniture. Having carried an XD-S for a long time, I can’t anticipate needing that feature. But it is nice to know it is there.

Thing 4 – Internal Workings

The author shows us the captive recoil spring assembly in the Springfield Armory, Inc. semi-auto pistol.

The last big changes are in the internals of the gun. The Mod.2 uses a dual recoil spring system, which does a fantastic job of reducing felt recoil. If you shoot it side by side with the first generation, you will notice the difference. 

The trigger has also been improved, which is a high bar. As concealed carry guns go, you won’t find a better trigger anywhere short of a mini 1911.

Thing 5 – 9mm

Being normally a .45 ACP guy, I can still very much appreciate the 9mm version of the XD-S:

  • 9mm is the most popular cartridge of the day. 
  • For many people, 9mm is a better choice. 
  • 9mm is easier to shoot fast, which is only magnified if you don’t have beastly hand strength. 
  • 9mm has a higher capacity, which is a factor in any concealed carry system, especially since people of smaller stature tend to be more comfortable with this chambering. 
  • A gun you are comfortable with you are more likely to train with, and be confident using if the time comes. The 454 Casull offers incredible terminal performance, but I don’t carry (or train with) one of those. 

The XD-S Mod.2 lineup is my first choice for concealed carry, and I think it should be for you too. I couldn’t be happier that I can now recommend this excellent firearm to the 9mm fans.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Clay Martin

Clay Martin

Clay Martin is a former USMC Infantryman, Reconnaissance Marine, and Scout/Sniper. Cross decking to the US Army in 2003, he retired as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant from 3rd SFG (A). Clay has been a competitive shooter in USPSA, 3 Gun, and PRS disciplines, as well as a contract instructor for marksmanship and Close Quarters Battle. Aside from being a gunslinger, Clay is the author of Last Son of the War God, and the soon to be published Sword of the Caliphate series. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, sons, and pack of feral dogs.

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