Home / Gear Reviews / Springfield XDs 9mm Review – First Impressions

Springfield XDs 9mm Review – First Impressions

I just picked up a Springfield XDs 9mm from my favorite local gun shop (Carolina Gunrunners in North Raleigh). I’ve been waiting patiently for what seems like an eternity for this particular pistol to arrive, and finally today was the day!

 photo xds_zpsc7559054.jpg

First Impressions:

As you may know, Springfield ships their pistols in really nice plastic boxes, much nicer than those used by Glock and S&W. The inside of the box contained the following:

  • The XDs 9mm
  • 2 Magazines
  • Larger backstrap
  • Cable Lock (Required by law)
  • Bore Brush
  • Extra fiber optic rod for the front sight in both green and red (I havent measured it yet, but it appears to be about the same size that I use for my S&W M&P Pro front sight)
  • XD Gear holster
  • XD Gear magazine pouch

Springfield XDs 9mm Review:

Lets cut right to the chase, and talk about the pistol itself. Keep in mind, at the time of me writing this I’ve had the pistol for about 1.5 hours, and I have not had the opportunity to shoot it yet. (I shot 2 matches this weekend, and I literally have less than a box of 9mm in the house…)

If you have been reading the blog for any length of time, you know two things: I’m not a fan of the XD line of pistols, and I have been searching for a small 9mm pistol for concealed carry that has a decent trigger, no external safety, no magazine disconnect, and no internal lock. These criteria in one way or another eliminate just about every small 9mm on the market with the exception of the XDs 9mm, and the Walther PPS. I chose the XDs over the Walther because the XDs uses a standard magazine release, where the Walther uses the goofy European release.

You are probably saying “But Luke, the XDs has an external safety!”, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, the external safety on the XDs is a grip safety, and it is very well done. When gripping the pistol, I don’t even know it’s there, so I didn’t have a problem buying a pistol with this feature.

I’ve been pocket carrying a Kel-Tec PF-9 for a number of years, and while it’s been pretty reliable, it’s a piece of junk in the quality department. When picking up the XDs 9mm, you can feel an obvious difference in quality when held side by side with the PF-9. There’s a rather large price difference between the two pistols as well, with the XDs costing almost double what I paid for the PF-9, so I won’t beat the Kel-Tec up too bad. These pistols are roughly the same size, with the XDs coming in just a hair longer and taller.


The XDs 9mm comes with decent sights, the rear being a serrated square notch with two white dots, and the front as mentioned above, being a red fiber optic dot. The sight picture is a little tight for my liking, but they will do until I’m able to find some night sights for the pistol.

The Trigger:

The trigger is a little heavier than the XDs .45’s that I have fired in the past, but that is probably because this pistol is brand new and the others I’ve played with had been shot extensively. If you are a Glock shooter, the trigger pull will be very familiar. There is a short takeup, a breaking point, and a little overtravel, but not too much. The reset is short, and without having actually tested the trigger on a scale, I’d say it breaks somewhere around the 5-6lb mark. I like the trigger as it is, and I don’t think I’ll monkey around with it other than shooting the crap out of it.


As mentioned, the pistol arrived with two magazines. Both of them appear to be very high quality, and hold 7 rounds. One thing that I did notice, was when pushing the magazine release on the pistol, the magazines rocket out of the magazine well with authority, which is awesome because I plan to start shooting my actual concealed carry gear in IDPA, so quick magazine changes are a must.

XD Gear Holster and Magazine Pouch:

If you are drawn to the XD line of pistols because they come with a holster and magazine pouch, please re-think that. The holster that arrived with the XDs is basically garbage. It’s a cheap piece of molded plastic, but it is so small, that it doesn’t even cover the entire length of the slide of the tiny XDs, leaving the front fiber optic sight exposed, and vulnerable to breakage. The belt clip (or paddle I guess?) Is shaped in such a way that it impedes me from getting my middle finger into the right spot when drawing the pistol, meaning that I have to re-adjust my grip after the pistol is removed from the holster.

The magazine pouch is also garbage. It’s actually so tight that I have to push the magazines into it, and remove them with both hands.

This is all OK though, because I’ve never intended to use the holster or magazine pouch with this pistol. They are probably good enough for people who don’t carry often, or just use a holster on the range now and then, but for the person serious about concealed carry, they will live out the rest of their usefulness in the pistol box.

Final Thoughts:

All in all, I’m very excited about this pistol. I have a Crossbreed Supertuck on the way for it, and I’m looking for a kydex appendix holster for it as well. As I mentioned in the beginning, I haven’t shot it yet, but hopefully I will find some ammo and shoot it soon. I’ll be sure to update the blog when I have run some rounds through it!

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About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. Woo Hoo! Happy for you! If you decide to sell it and I haven’t picked up one yet, I’ll take it off your hands… though I’m guessing you will be happy with the purchase. Thanks for the heads up that they are shipping and have become available. The gun shop I frequent says they can’t even order it so I’ll be checking out “your” gun store in the near future.

  2. And because I forgot to click the “notify me of follow up comments” box — and I’m very interested in other opinions, posting again…

  3. Luke, thanks for sending me to Carolina Gunrunners. I picked up my XDS last night. I agree that dealing with Carolina Gunrunners was a pleasure!

    I got a call from the owner of 9Foward in Oxford on Wednesday to let me know they are receiving shipments of the XDS in 9mm also so that’s also on option now for local purchases.

    My experience: http://girlgoesbang.com/buying-the-springfield-xds-in-9mm/
    You posted a link to Carolina Gunrunners, so I’ll add a link to 9Forward here: http://www.9forward.com/

  4. Why don’t you even mention the Kahrs?

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