Over the years, my progression through the many types of handguns available goes something like this: 1911s in .45 ACP, 2011s in .40 S&W, polymer guns in .40 S&W, polymer guns in .45 ACP and polymer guns in 9mm.
[Editor’s Note: This pistol was replaced in the Springfield Armory lineup with an optics-ready version. Read Paul Carlson’s review of the XD-S Mod.2 OSP .45 ACP.]
Don’t get me wrong, I still have them all as I rarely sell a gun. But today? Now, I am pretty much a 9mm handgun guy. That’s why I was intrigued to have a chance to test out the XD-S Mod.2 in .45 ACP from Springfield Armory. I’d been using 9mms for so long now, I thought it might be interesting to try out a big bore compact pistol again. Who isn’t interested in something different? Small, polymer, modern and in .45. Yeah, I’m in to give it a shot.
The 3.3″-barreled gun ships with two mags. The pistol has a capacity of 5+1 with the flush fitting mag and 6+1 with the included extended magazine. It weighs in at right around 23 oz. with an empty mag, and the XD-S Mod.2 is 6.5″ long and 4.66″ tall with the flush magazine.
The “S” in XD-S stands for “single-stack,” and this is where this .45 shines with a mere width of .975″. The XD-S Mod 2 guns are polymer framed with a forged steel slide. Its barrel is hammer forged and both the barrel and slide have a Melonite finish.
Of course, being an XD-S, the pistol is fitted with a grip safety that engages naturally when gripping the gun. You can pick up an XD-S Mod 2 in 9mm, .40 or 45 ACP.
What’s the Mod.2?
This gun is a second go round for the XD-S line of pistols. That is why it is a Mod.2. I think the most significant change comes from the effort to bring the bore axis closer to the top of the hand. When you are shooting guns, physics is a thing, and lowering the barrel reduces the lever arm acting on your hand. The result is reduced muzzle flip and a lower felt recoil. When shooting a small polymer gun, this matters. When that gun is a .45, it matters more.
The slide serrations are improved with a more aggressive, yet finger-friendly profile, and the trigger is refined. The grip texture is also improved in the XD-S Mod.2. I found it to be very positive and helpful in controlling the recoil of the .45. At the same time, it was easy on my clothing and I experienced no snags like I do with many other polymer-framed guns.
When I pressed the trigger on the XD-S Mod.2 .45, I expected more recoil than there was. I shot 210-, 220- and 230-gr. loads and expected the heavier slugs to push back as they exited the barrel. Of course, there was recoil, but not what I expected.
The impulse was reasonable and a bit less snappy than typical 9mm rounds. The push from the .45 was exactly that — more of a push than a sharp recoil. I did feel like muzzle flip was more than the typical 9mm, and that likely would lead to longer follow-ups with the .45 compared to 9mm.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how shootable the XD-S Mod.2 was — even in .45 ACP.
If you are currently carrying a full-size .45 and need a slim gun for special occasions, the XD-S Mod.2 might be just the thing. What if you are all about 9mm or .40? Well, there is an XD-S Mod 2 just for you as well.
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