The Springfield Armory XD: Reinventing the Wheel?
“Don’t reinvent the wheel” is an old expression used to signify the futility of changing something that is already considered perfect. This must be what engineers had in mind when they created the Springfield XD pistol, because you certainly will not find anything new or revolutionary on this handgun. What you will find is a compilation of the greatest design features in the history of modern handguns, all rolled into one package.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Springfield XD is John Browning’s 1911 style grip safety. The significance of this feature is the natural and instinctive deactivation. In deadly encounters, fractions of a second can make the difference between life and death. Rather than wasting precious time having to mentally process having to take your gun off safety, the XD’s safety automatically disengages by nature of picking the gun up and gripping the frame. Instantly, your self- defense handgun is ready to fire.
The frame itself is a lightweight, high density, textured polymer that can trace its origins back more than 40- years to Heckler & Koch’s pioneering VP70 pistol. The natural feel and grip geometry of the Springfield XD pistol are strikingly similar to that of the legendary CZ-75. Advanced grip ergonomics transform the XD into one of the most comfortable feeling double stack pistols on the market, while also making it one of the most natural to draw from a holster.
Another thing you’ll notice about the XD’s is the slide and barrel closely resemble Sig Sauer’s original P- series pistol, which is renowned for its flawless function and reliability. Disassembly is also similar to the Sig, with a rotating frame mounted takedown lever that releases the XD’s slide for easy cleaning. The Springfield XD is a striker driven design with a cocked striker indicator located on the back of the slide. While fans of the single action 1911 may never come to fully appreciate the XD’s somewhat longer pull, users of traditional double action pistols often praise the XD for its “lightweight, consistent” trigger. The trigger itself contains a safety mechanism called “USA” (Ultra- Safe Assurance) and is similar in appearance and function to the Glock “Safe Action” design. Like Glock, Springfield’s USA trigger system has a pivoting lever that deactivates when the trigger moves rearward. Similar to the grip safety, the XD’s trigger safety disengages by directly squeezing the trigger. The trigger pull is rated at 5-6lbs and is classified as “double action only”.
Accuracy on the Springfield XD pistol is outstanding. But then again, most quality handguns shoot equally well. What really separates it from almost every other handgun on the market is the XD’s remarkable durability, which makes it one of the toughest and most reliable handguns available today. Here at Champion Firearms, we are both gun store and indoor range. We have over 100- different rentals and when we purchase handguns for use on our range, we factor both popularity and durability. This puts us in a unique position to analyze handguns in ways that most gun manufacturers, TV programs, gun magazines or gun writers could never imagine.
Averaging well over 100,000 rounds through our popular models every year, I can unequivocally state that the Springfield XD is one tough handgun. In fact, it’s only closest rival on the market is HK. This statement is based on the repeated repair and servicing other handguns receive that are rarely (if ever) required on either Springfield or HK pistols. An important footnote to consider is that the average gun owner will likely never put this many rounds through their handgun in ten lifetimes, but it’s nevertheless reassuring to know that the XD pistol is dependable under the most extreme circumstances.
The Springfield XD is offered in an almost endless variety of different models, calibers and packages. The Springfield XD slide is available in either stainless or the durable nitrocarburized “Black Melonite” finish. Finally, the Springfield is modestly priced and will make an excellent handgun for duty, self- defense, hunting or target shooting.