Springfield Armory XD .40 Service Model Review

By Richard Johnson
Posted in #Guns
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Springfield Armory XD .40 Service Model Review

December 10th, 2021

5 minute read

There’s been a lot of noise about the demise of the .40-caliber cartridge in recent years. Numerous police departments have transitioned away from the cartridge to the 9mm, with many armed citizens following suit.

But, does that mean the .40 caliber pistol is no longer effective? Of course not. The cartridge continues to offer the same benefits it always has. And I bet there are still a lot of fans of the round out there, despite the seemingly unstoppable ascendance of the 9mm.

Springfield XD-40 right side view
The .40 is alive in well in the proven XD design. It offers a balance of power, precision and affordability.

And just as many shooters remain loyal to the cartridge, so does the Springfield Armory XD line. In today’s review, I take a look at the Service Model XD chambered for the .40 cartridge.


One of the original polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols from Springfield Armory, the Service Model XD is a full-sized pistol suitable for home defense and uniformed carry. With a quality holster and belt, the gun can also be used for concealed carry.

Left side of the Springfield Armory XD-40 pistol
With the classic styling of the original XD line, the Service Model has excellent ergonomics and feels good in the hand.

The XD in .40 has a 4” barrel typical to guns in this size class. A 4” barrel allows defensive ammunition to reach optimal velocity for handgun performance, while still being very maneuverable in tight quarters.

Currently, Springfield Armory offers the XD-40 with two 10-round magazines. The company calls this its “Low Capacity” model due to the fact it can be sold to citizens living in states like California and Massachusetts.

Standard capacity magazines hold 12 rounds, and they can be picked up from most retailers including the Springfield Armory online store. Fortunately, Springfield Armory doesn’t gouge people on the price of these mags, so you can pick up several without taking a second mortgage.

Even with the low-cap magazines, 11 rounds of .40 SW before a reload is ample power to have on tap.

Benefits of the .40

When comparing the .40 cartridge to the 9mm, the current conversation often revolves around modern bullet design. In other words, one of the main arguments for the 9mm instead of the .40 boils down to, “technology makes the 9mm almost or as effective as the .40.”

Accessory rail on XD-40
The full-size XD-40 features a non-proprietary accessory rail for the easy addition of a weaponlight or laser.

While I believe the 9mm is an excellent self-defense cartridge, it does not negate the excellent performance of the .40-caliber cartridge over the past three decades since its launch. In general, the .40 launches a larger projectile with more energy and momentum than the 9mm. While those things do not translate directly into the elusive concept of stopping power, they are factors that can play a role.

Man shooting an XD-40 pistol
Some people overstate the recoil generated by the .40 cartridge. While greater than the typical 9mm round, the .40 is very manageable.

Consider, if you will, the common internal combustion engine. A four-cylinder engine can be upgraded through technology to produce similar horsepower and torque specifications as can be achieved in an eight-cylinder motor. Yet, the increased displacement of the eight-cylinder engine can achieve the same performance levels – often with less effort.

I have personally seen the performance capabilities of the aging Speer Gold Dot .40 round in “real world” shootings. It is effective, and I have no hesitations in carrying it to protect myself.

XD-40 Specifications

Here are the specifications on the Springfield Armory XD 4” Service Model .40:

Barrel Length4″
Overall Length7.3″
Weight (unloaded)30 oz.
Grip Width1.2″
Sights3-dot, steel
Magazines Included with PurchaseTwo 10-round magazines

Range Testing

I’ve shot more than a dozen different XD pistols including the 9mm version of the Service Model. As a result, I had high expectations when I headed off to the range with this gun in tow. I’m happy to report the gun easily met those expectations.

Springfield XD-40 trigger
The XD trigger is one of the best-feeling bang switches of the striker-fired pistols on the market.

I ran 500+ rounds through the pistol, including a mix of practice and self-defense loads. Regardless of the bullet type or how hot the load was, the gun shot and cycled without any issues.

Recoil was manageable. While a little sharper than the 9mm variant, I felt only a moderate level of snap when shooting this gun. Without naming names, I felt less recoil with this gun than I have with a competing brand that has a block-like grip. I suspect the superior ergonomics of the XD helped to mitigate the recoil impulse and muzzle rise.

Rear sight of the Springfield XD in .40 S&W
Here, you can see the standard rear sight on the XD. Below is an indicator to let you know the striker is cocked.

And let me talk for just a moment on the ergonomics of the XD-40. As I’ve said in other reviews of other XD guns, the grip feels very good in my hand. Not only is the angle near-perfect, the inward sculpting of the backstrap under the slide gives me the exact trigger reach I want. The pad of my finger falls perfectly in the center of the trigger for an even press.

Another thing I like about the XD line is the use of metal magazines. The smooth finish on the steel magazine body slips easily into the polymer magazine well for super-fast reloads.

Groups were well within my expectations for a defensive pistol. Frankly, I’m not a fan of three-dot sights. I much prefer the U-Dot sights found on the Hellcat pistol. Nevertheless, they functioned as intended and helped me achieve good groups at all ranges.


Blazer Brass 180-gr. FMJ962 fps370 ft-lbs
Hornady Critical Duty 175-gr. FTX1,022 fps406 ft-lbs
Speer Gold Dot 180-gr. JHP997 fps397 ft-lbs

One of the things I appreciate about the original XD line is the trigger. While many striker-fired pistols have crunchy, mechanical triggers, the XD-40 has a slick feel that is light and consistent. There is a moderate amount of take-up with a short pull and quick reset. At this price point, I don’t know if you will find a better trigger.

Springfield Armory XD-40 grip
A grenade-like pattern is used on the front and rear of the pistol’s grip. It provides good purchase, even in sweaty hands.

Final Thoughts

This is a solid pistol for self-defense. It is reliable with a track record of success that stretches back many years. As it is chambered in .40 SW, the gun offers a good balance of capacity to power – especially for people living in capacity-restricted states.

If you find yourself in the market for a .40-caliber pistol, but you don’t want to overpay, consider the XD Service Model. I think you’ll like it.

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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Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Having made many odd choices in his youth, Richard was left with two career choices: aerospace engineer or cop. After failing his second year of chemistry, Richard pursued a law enforcement career where understanding covalent bonds was not a requirement for success. Along the way, Richard discovered a passion for writing. Consequently, he hung up his uniform and now publishes GunsHolstersAndGear.com where he reviews firearms and other shooting gear to feed his frequently annoyed family.

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