Is This the Best 9mm Ever?
December 28th, 2019
4 minute read
As a self-proclaimed “decent shot,” I have always gravitated towards some of the “more-challenging” perceived handgun configurations (e.g. iron sights, limited capacity, larger calibers). Basically, I gravitate to the guns that many people (including myself) struggle with the most. Call me a glutton for punishment. So when picking up Springfield Armory’s XD-M OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) for the first time, I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect. I have shot many XD-M family guns before, and I have shot competition-oriented handguns with red dots before, but this combination was something new.
At a glance, you can see why the OSP makes sense. The full-sized frame means easy-to-control shooting, with a generous 19-round magazine capacity so you never run short. The red dot optic on the slide means intuitive aiming that even novices will understand. The extra-tall iron sights allow you to aim through the red dot sight, serving as backup alignment in case you forget to bring extra batteries. The extra-tall sights also allow you to see over the top of a suppressor as well.
Enough of the specs, so what’s it like to shoot? On my first trip to the range, I started out by loading up some mags to run through the OSP — just to help me get a feel for the optic and make sure I was on-target. Unsurprisingly, the gun functioned flawlessly right out of the box, and the dot was on point. If you have had the pleasure to shoot any of the XD-Ms in 9mm before, you know how awesome they feel and how easy they are to just pick up and shoot.
Cool side note for those of us that usually shoot with irons only: the tall sights on the OSP double as a reference point. When you are bringing the gun up to shoot, they help you initially align everything, just right. Many people have experienced that “hunting for the dot” moment when shooting pistols with red dot sights, when you can’t find the actual dot in the scope’s glass.
Well, that wasn’t a problem with the OSP. I grabbed the gun and started lining things up like I’ve done hundreds of times before. As soon as that red shiny dot came into view, I picked up on it. No thinking or mental transitioning required, just natural movement. I quickly became more confident at acquiring targets, and after just a few magazines, I was getting that dot in the center of those steel plates like I’d been doing it for years!
Few things in life make me feel cooler than pulling off some tough shots on a stage or drill, and the OSP made me feel (and shoot) like a champ.
So in its out-of-the-box form, the OSP is easy to shoot, intuitive to manipulate, and really just a total blast!
But wait, there’s more! The OSP comes standard with both a threaded barrel and a non-threaded barrel. This allowed me to easily swap the barrel and screw on a pistol caliber suppressor to try it out.
As a disclaimer, I think suppressors are totally rad, and despite the process to get one can be a pain in the neck, anyone that can get a suppressor should get a suppressor. Again, I’m not qualified to go into why they are awesome for tactical or home defense situations. I think they’re great because suppressors both make firearms more approachable to new and inexperienced shooters, and help keep your ears safer. They help new shooters, who are unaccustomed to the noise or who don’t like the noise, feel more comfortable and confident behind the trigger. Suppressors also help keep your ears from developing that nice ringing sound that never seems to go away.
Shooting the OSP with a suppressor is a total trip and a ton of fun due to the benefit of the reduction in noise levels. We all know shooting with a suppressor isn’t like what you see in the movies, but it definitely takes the harsher edges out of the sounds you are hearing. Again, I wasn’t surprised that the OSP chewed through all the rounds I threw at it without issue. The versatility of screwing on the suppressor makes the OSP that much more likely to be one of my go-to choices for a range trip. The only drawback is that it’s so much fun to shoot, I’m going to have to increase my ammo buying fund!
Not knowing really what to expect from the XD-M OSP, I have to say that I’m rethinking some of my earlier preferences in handgun configurations. Every pull of the trigger brought a metaphorical smile to my face (I really have a permanent grimace on my face when shooting — can’t control it), and having all those features packed into one gun really is handy. At the end of the day, and despite other reasons, my end-goal for every range trip is to have fun. Shooting the Springfield Armory XD-M OSP checks that box so hard it would snap the pencil in half. Plus, it makes me feel like an action hero.