A Micro Big-Bore? The XD-S Mod.2 .45

By Paul Carlson
Posted in #Guns
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A Micro Big-Bore? The XD-S Mod.2 .45

July 24th, 2020

6:50 runtime

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.]

If you’re looking for a slim and compact pistol that still packs .45 ACP firepower, the XD-S Mod.2 is a serious contender.

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.

Paul tested the pistol out with a selection of .45 ACP Federal ammunition.

The Specs

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 Posi-Wedge rear serrations of the XD-S Mod.2 are aggressive and provide a solid purchase when manipulating the slide.

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.

Springfield’s Tactical Rack rear sight allows for the slide to be racked when you only have one hand available for manipulations.

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.

Shooting the compact .45 wasn’t as recoil intensive as Paul expected, even with defensive ammunition.

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 XD-S Mod.2 ships with a flush-fitting five-round magazine and an extended six-round magazine.

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.

Live-Fire Impressions

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 recoil of the XD-S Mod.2 in .45 ACP was a solid push that included some muzzle flip, but was very manageable.

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.

The texturing on the grip of the Mod.2 guns is positive to hold, but not so aggressive that it snags on clothing.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how shootable the XD-S Mod.2 was — even in .45 ACP.

Final Thoughts

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.

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!

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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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Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson is the owner of Safety Solutions Academy, LLC, a professional defensive shooting instructor, content creator in the firearms industry, and most importantly a husband and a father. Through Safety Solutions Academy, Paul teaches a variety of critical defensive skill courses in more than a dozen states annually. When Paul’s not traveling to teach and work in the firearms industry, you can find him with his family, either on the range or in the mountains.

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