Springfield XD-S vs. XD-S Mod.2: Overview of the Updates

By Richard Johnson
Posted in #Guns
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Springfield XD-S vs. XD-S Mod.2: Overview of the Updates

December 21st, 2020

4:06 runtime

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.

XD-S and XD-S Mod.2 9mm
The original XD-S (left) was a great pistol. How does the Mod.2 update to it (right) fare against the original?

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.

Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm and Federal Ammunition
The XD-S Mod.2 9mm is an exceptional pistol. Slim, powerful and easy to carry.

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.

XD-S 9mm at the range
While small and light, the 9mm XD-S is still controllable and manageable under recoil.

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.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm at the range
The XD-S Mod.2 is overall very similar to the original, but possesses numerous enhancements.

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.

XD-S Mod.2 grouping with Hornady 9mm
The XD-S Mod.2 shot very well for Richard, as shown here by this group with Hornady Critical Defense ammo.

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.

Trigger Time

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.

Richard Johnson shoots an XD-S Mod.2
Richard is shown here putting the XD-S Mod.2 9mm through its paces.

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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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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