And, I say this is preliminary, because I just bought the gun yesterday!
Plus, keep in mind if you're thinking about any new Springfield Armory pistol, they have a promotion going now until June 30 where they will send you four magazines, a holster, and a dual mag belt pouch. Check their website for that info.
Anyway, no technical or spec info listed here, since that is readily available on the 'net. Other than to say this one is the sub-compact model with the 3.3 inch barrel in .45 cal. (The 9 mm and .40 SW have 3.0 inch barrel per the SA website).
When I bought this, I was actually looking for a full size XD to use as a night stand gun. I typically carry a compact/officer's 1911, but have been wanting something with more capacity for use strictly as a night stand pistol. The full size XD holds 13+1 in .45. I couldn't find one locally, so I was about to order one off the 'net. But I happened to be at Academy, and they made me a deal that I could not pass up on this compact. Plus, with the extended magazine, it also holds 13+1, like the full size. And since my EDC 1911 has a 3.3 inch barrel, I wasn't concerned about this XD having a 3.3 inch barrel (as opposed to the 4 inch on the full size).
So, in the nice little plastic foam lined box was the pistol, a 9 round magazine, an extended 13 round magazine, a bore brush and the typical cable lock. (And I've already ordered the extra stuff from the SA promo going right now.)
Some random thoughts and observations:
- Very square/block looking, but looks good (to me)
- I like the red fiber optic front sight. Very bright in bright light (don't know about low light yet).
- I do wish the notch in the rear sight was a little wider, in order to be able to tell better when the front blade was centered (but then again, if you're accustomed to fiber optic sights, you'll probably like this one as-is)
- Manually operating the slide seemed easy enough. Probably not quite as stiff as on my compact 1911
- It does have the little "tilting lever" on top of the slide for a chamber loaded indicator, and it has a little pin/button that sticks out the rear of the slide when the striker is cocked. I personally like both those features because you can see (or feel, in the dark) to confirm you are ready to go without having to do a press check
- Speaking of, there are no serrations on the front of the slide for the guys who like to do press checks
- I really like the serrations on the rear of the slide. They are just the right angle, and just the right width and depth for me. Plus, overall they are slightly recessed, so at the back end of the serration area, the slide is raised ever so slightly, giving you an even better grip
- The mag release button was pretty firm - you're certainly not going to accidentally release the mag - but that will probably get a little easier with use
- There is a mag release button on both sides (ambidextrous). That felt a little weird to me because when I press the button with my left thumb, I can feel it pressing out against my finger on the other side. That might be a problem if your finger and thumb were both putting pressure on the mag release button on both sides of the gun at the same time
- The mag release is fairly tall and has serrations on the surface so your thumb (or finger) doesn't slide off
- The mag release button actually rotates slightly as you press in on it. It does make it a little easier to press the button if you actually rotate your thumb as you press the button. Doesn't require a lot of rotation, but it does make it easier
- This being a double-stack .45, it does have a pretty fat grip. I'm accustomed to my single stack 1911, so this one is noticeably fatter, but is not objectionable. Length from the grip to the trigger was good for my hand - good fit. Actually the fat grip worked well and felt very comfortable to me, except for...
- If I take a standard two-hand grip, since my little finger can't wrap all the way around the grip, the nail on my little finger tends to press into the palm of my off hand. Wasn't bad (for me), it just sort of felt out of place
- Also, being a double-stack 45, there's no way my thumb will reach the mag release button without either rotating my grip, or using my off hand to press the button
- If you look at some of the SA literature, they seem to make a big deal of the texturing on their grip for some reason. Not sure what the big deal was, but it was good for me. Not overly aggressive such that it would rip up your hand in a full day of shooting, but enough texture to get a good grip (but admittedly, my hands weren't covered in sweat or blood!)
- I normally do not like finger grooves in a grip (like on a Glock). This one does have very slight grooves with the "bumps" on the front of the grip, but they were very slight and not objectionable at all. If you like the typical Glock grip, this one might be enough for you, but if you don't like that, it probably won't be objectionable to you
- With it being a sub-compact, in addition to the grip being fat, it's also pretty short. With the "flush" mount 9 round magazine, my pinky finger juuuuust catches the bottom edge of the magazine base plate, and the base of the palm of my hand hangs off the bottom. With the extended 13 round mag, you do get a good, full grip.
- But, one problem with that (for me) was that for the extended mag, I had to modify my grip a lot in order to allow the magazine to drop free. I had to pretty much lift the entire palm of my hand off the grip in order to be off the grip portion of the extended mag. An alternate method is to actually reach up with your off hand and pull the mag out, but I would prefer not to have to do that if possible. That's one thing that I'll have to work on
- I discovered that the grip portion on the extended mag is just a slip on sleeve that goes over the mag and is just held on by friction. I completely removed that spacer/grip sleeve and I then didn't have to modify my grip in order for the mag to drop free. I'm going to reinstall that extended mag grip sleeve, but look at modifying it so that my palm doesn't hit it so much so it will drop free without me having to drastically reposition my hand or use my off hand to pull the mag out
- The springs in both mags were very stiff. I used an upLuLa to load the mags. There's no way I could have loaded them to full capacity without that. The springs may limber up a little with usage. But whether they do or don't, not a big deal for me either way
- The trigger. Well, it ain't no 1911 trigger (which I knew it wouldn't be), but it's probably not bad. I don't have a scale, but it didn't feel like a whole lot more pull weight than my 1911
- The trigger weight wasn't bad, but it was definitely a long pull. But again, probably typical for this type. I got used to it pretty quick. Now I'll have to be careful that I don't hurt myself when I first go back to my short 1911 trigger!
- When pulled slowly, the trigger has four definite stages, or zones, I'll call them. First zone is taking up the slack in the internal trigger safety - the blade in the middle of the trigger. That's obviously pretty short and quick. Next zone is a considerably longer, but still easy pull of the trigger plus the trigger blade safety. Then it comes to a noticeably harder pull (I assume as the striker is being cocked back?), then finally a hard but crisp break when everything releases. I haven't shot a lot of striker guns, but this trigger is the best of those that I have shot. And of course, this is not a target pistol. When you pull the trigger as you normally would, it feels smooth and consistent (to me)
- Shooting it was pretty much a non-event (although I didn't have a chance to shoot it a lot yet). I ran 100 rounds of typical 230 grain ball ammo (Blazer Brass) without any issues at all. The spent brass was coming out in a consistent direction (not flying all over the place like I've seen on some guns!)
- Muzzle flip due to the short barrel wasn't bad to me - no different than on my short little 1911. But keep in mind, that's what I normally shoot, so I'm used to it. Some other folks might find the amount of muzzle flip more objectionable than I did.
- A fully loaded mag had to be slapped in pretty good to get it to lock in place with the slide forward. It inserted very easily with the slide back. That was obviously due to the mag spring being very stiff, making it difficult to compress the spring a little bit more when the bullet stack is compressed due to hitting the bottom of the slide. Again, it may get better as the mag spring relaxes over time. Not an issue to me, just be aware. I did find it interesting that the manual says insert the mag with the slide back. It says you can also do it with the slide forward, but calls that an "alternate method"
- For accuracy, the gun shoots just as good as I do! From seven yards, standing two-handed shooting, shooting fairly slow and carefully, I was making groups generally about the size of my hand. I figure that's pretty good for me! Shooting was to point of aim. Front and rear sights are dovetailed in. Windage adjustable, no elevation adjustment
- Field stripping was easy, and no tools required. Lock the slide back, flip the take down lever, ease the slide forward, pull the trigger, and slide, barrel, and recoil spring assy come out together. Reassembly is just put the assembled slide back on the frame, slide it back and lock it back, flip the take down lever back down, and that's it. No problems there.
That's about it for now. Overall, I'm happy with it so far. Next step will be to make sure a few different brands of hollow points will run problem free, then try my little mod to see if I can work around my palm pressing on the extended mag to be able to get it to drop free without having to pull it out with my off hand. Once I've done that, then run another few hundred rounds through it without issue, then I'll be ready to put it to work - sitting on my night stand!