Firearms are multi-purpose tools. They can be used for sport, hunting and an excuse to spend the afternoon with friends and family. For me, the primary purpose of a firearm is self-defense.
When Springfield Armory announced the Mod.2 version of its near-ideal XD-S 9mm pistol, I was intrigued. How would the update compare to the original?
Very well. Very well indeed.
Original XD-S vs. Mod.2
In a personal protection firearm, I want a weapon that is reliable, chambered in a serious caliber and is easily concealed for discreet carry. The one handgun that fits the bill was the original Springfield XD-S.
Not only did this pistol meet my minimum criteria for a defensive weapon, it also offered excellent accuracy and is affordably priced.
I needed to know the new version was just as accurate, reliable and rugged as the original.
If you’ve wondered what the difference between XD-S and XD-S Mod.2 is, you’re in the right place. The XD-S Mod.2 received a number of design refreshes. These included a refined look with a new grip texture, an updated grip safety and more.
Getting Good Grip….
The original XD-S guns had a grenade-type grip pattern. It worked very well at securing the pistol in a sweaty hand. However, some people I knew found it uncomfortable to shoot for long periods of time.
With the Mod.2 update, the XD-S has a new grip texture that looks sleeker but retains a surface perfect for a solid grip. For those that disliked the grenade pattern, the new texture is likely to please you. It is comfortable after shooting hundreds of rounds.
Updated Grip Safety
Like the larger Springfield XD pistol, the XD-S line uses a grip safety. In layman’s terms that means there is a floating lever on the back grip of the gun. When the gun is grasped, the lever moves inward and deactivates an internal safety, allowing the gun to fire.
If you are not holding the gun, the lever remains in the “safe” position to prevent the gun from accidentally discharging if it were dropped or otherwise mishandled. The grip safety is small and unobtrusive, allowing you to use it without ever thinking about it.
Some people expressed concern about the original XD-S lever being small enough that someone properly holding the gun might not deactivate the safety. I could not replicate that concern, but Springfield Armory took the concern to heart and introduced an updated grip safety on the Mod.2.
Engineers designed a lever that increased the size of the “bump out” on the Mod.2 safety. This improvement ensures proper deactivation when the hand takes a firing grip. For anyone who expressed concerns about the gun firing if you did not achieve a perfect hold, I recommend trying one of these on the range. Like the original gun, I experienced no problems with it.
The real crux in any head-to-head comparison is performance. In the battle of Mod.2 vs original XD-S, which Springfield Armory pistol comes out on top?
At the range, both guns proved to be extremely accurate. Sub-1” groups with five shots within 7 yards were possible when I did my job pulling the trigger.
Additionally, both the original and updated models were completely reliable. I encountered no problems with either gun. So, for me, the real winner was determined by look and feel.
I like the original XD-S pistol. It makes for a superb concealed carry handgun that I have toted for personal protection. Nevertheless, the XD-S Mod.2 improved the grip texture making it more comfortable to shoot for long periods of time. Increased comfort can lead to more practice, which in turn leads to increased proficiency with your life saving tool.
In my book that makes the XD-S Mod.2 the winner.
Now the only question I have is should I get the new XD-S Mod.2 OSP that is set up for a red dot optic? Oh well, I might be adding another XD-S to my collection!
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