Review: Special Edition Springfield Magpul OD Green XD-M Elite 10mm
February 1st, 2023
6 minute read
To me, pistols are tools. Like any mechanic worth his salt, I am aware there is a range of quality available in the tools you choose. The same variations exist in the defensive firearms world. When I evaluate a handgun, it is most often from this perspective: will it be a reliable self-defense tool?
The Springfield XD-M Elite line is a series of pistols for those who demand the performance and reliability from their tools. The handguns speak directly to the soul of shooters, evoking a sense of strength and determination. They are formidable tools that exude confidence and capability.
In short, the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite line of handguns demands respect and commands attention. The weapon system delivers incredible performance. Today I will review the Sportsman’s Warehouse exclusive version of the 10mm XD-M Elite. While this tool proves to be the equal to its standard brothers, it has a variation that makes it feel more like a custom gun for about the cost of an additional Andrew Jackson.
Special thanks to Nosler for providing ammunition for this review. The company generously sent me some of its premium defensive loads for testing. More on those in a minute.
The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite is a high-performance, striker-fired pistol that is well-suited for both competition and self-defense. This one, an XD-M Elite 4.5” OSP (optical sight pistol), is chambered for the 10mm cartridge and is an exclusive edition available through Sportsman’s Warehouse. With the power of the 10mm, the gun is also a credible outdoor pistol — both for bear defense and hunting.
The distinguishing feature of the gun is the Cerakote finish on its slide and backstrap. Sportsman’s Warehouse selected the Magpul OD Green color for these parts. Frankly, I think they look great, and I doubt you could find anyone who would apply a Cerakote finish for the $23 premium this gun requires. I consider this a heck of a deal.
I’m a sucker for practical guns with a twist. I like to have something that is a bit different, yet remains completely practical. This is one of the reasons I like the Sportsman’s Warehouse-exclusive XD-M Elite. The Magpul OD Green is a subtle difference that gives the gun a custom look, while the gun remains a full-blown workhorse.
As mentioned above, the gun is chambered for 10mm. This cartridge is respected for its power and versatility. Because of this, it can fill several roles. With defensive ammunition, the gun is perfect for home defense and personal protection. Further, deer hunting with 10mm is a perfectly reasonable outdoor pursuit with this pistol.
For me, I see this as an excellent defensive tool on the trail. Deep-penetrating 10mm loads are readily available and should provide adequate bear defense if you put your shots on target.
Coupled with that power is an impressive magazine capacity. Standard mags hold 16 rounds. While that might be overkill for deer hunting, make sure you are carrying full magazines when the gun is carried for bear defense. Likewise, 16+1 before a reload gives you a serious edge when defending your family from a home invasion at 2 a.m.
A match-grade barrel is one of the key features of the XD-M Elite. The 4.5” barrels, made of forged steel, are precision-machined to provide exceptional accuracy and consistency. Each has a Melonite treatment to ensure a long life.
Grip and Controls
Another standout feature of the XD-M Elite is its ergonomic grip design, which includes interchangeable backstraps to accommodate different hand sizes and a textured surface that provides a secure grip, even in wet or slippery conditions.
As with other pistols in the XD-M line, the pistol has a grip safety that ensures the gun will not fire unless it is being held securely. The lower part of the grip safety has a substantial bump to ensure you can engage it even without a perfect grip.
The pistol also features an ambidextrous magazine release and slide stop, making it easy to operate for both right- and left-handed shooters.
Springfield Armory uses excellent sights on all of its defensive pistols. This pattern continues with the Sportman’s Warehouse exclusive XD-M Elite handgun. Out front, Springfield uses a red fiber optic sight. In the rear, a U-notch rear sight rides on the slide.
This gun is an OSP model. That means it comes from the factory with a slide that is already cut for the installation of an optic with available adapter plates. A protective plate is included if you decide to use the factory sights. However, the installation of a red dot sight is simple, and anyone who can turn a screwdriver should be able to manage.
|Barrel||4.5” Hammer Forged Steel with Melonite Finish|
|Slide||Forged Steel with Magpul OD Green Creakote Finish|
|Sights||Fiber Optic Front, Tactical Rack U-Dot Rear|
|Magazines||(2) 16-Round Magazines Included|
Right out of the box, the pistol felt comfortable and well-balanced in my hand. This wasn’t a surprise as I’ve enjoyed shooting all the pistols in this line. As described above, the ergonomic grip has interchangeable backstraps. This allowed me to customize the grip to fit my hand size.
Popular opinion suggests the 10mm cartridge provides a significant increase in recoil compared to many other calibers. I’ve found that well-designed 10mm pistols aren’t difficult to shoot, and the XD-M Elite handled the recoil well. Even with heavier 200-gr. loads, the pistol was comfortable to shoot. Ditto with the lighter, zippier rounds.
One of the things that stood out to me about the XD-M Elite was its accuracy. The match-grade barrel and factory sights made it easy to hit targets at typical handgun distances. I found the front sight was bright in all lighting conditions. I was able to consistently shoot tight groups at 15 yards unsupported.
Nosler provided ample quantities of its 180-gr. JHP ASP load and its 200-gr. JHP Defense load. This allowed me to confirm the pistol’s reliability with hollowpoint ammunition. Both the ammo and the gun performed exceptionally well.
Nosler’s reputation for manufacturing excellent ammunition components is well-known. That reputation appears completely deserved with these loads. The company puts each round through a multitude of checks to ensure maximum reliability and precision. I thank them for sending me the ammunition for this review.
|Ammunition||Velocity||Energy||Best 3-Shot Group|
|Blazer Brass 180-grain||1,181 fps||557 ft-lbs||2.49”|
|Nosler 180-grain JHP ASP||1,127 fps||508 ft-lbs||2.01”|
|Nosler 200-grain JHP Defense||998 fps||442 ft-lbs||1.88”|
This is my favorite XD-M Elite. The size, two-tone color, features and chambering all blend into an amazing Springfield Armory pistol. Overall, this exclusive edition Springfield Armory XD-M Elite performed exceptionally well. Its accuracy, ergonomics, and versatility made it enjoyable to shoot.
For the outdoors, I think it is an excellent defensive weapon and useable for hunting any game the 10mm can humanely harvest. Likewise, if you’re a competitive shooter or in need of a reliable self-defense weapon, the XD-M Elite is definitely worth considering.
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!