I’ve been pretty outspoken against the grip safeties on the standard XD and XDm pistols in the not-so-distant past. I owned a XD fullsize for a time, and I felt that the grip safety was a hindrance, and made gripping the pistol uncomfortable. On the XD and XDm pistols the grip safety keeps the slide from being retracted without the safety being depressed. For some reason, I don’t like this, although I’m not really sure why.
Fast forward to the Springfield XDs, which like the rest of the XD line, sports a grip safety. I think Springfield did a good job making the XDs grip safety very unobtrusive, and it blends in with the grip nicely when depressed.
Being that the XDs is so small though, there’s practically no way to grip the pistol without engaging the grip safety. We all know that pistols don’t just go off when sitting still, but rather when being handled, and if you are handling the XDs, chances are the grip safety is probably engaged.
So if the pistol doesn’t just go off on it’s own, and gripping the pistol in just about any fashion engages the safety, whats the point of it? The answer is, I’m not sure. If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s just marketing. Certainly many people buy the pistol because it has a safety, but I’d be willing to bet just as many people don’t buy the pistol because of the grip safety.
I can’t think of a situation where the grip safety would keep me from firing the pistol (unless a foreign object on the inside kept it from being depressed, which seems very unlikely). It’s not like a 1911 grip safety that will not engage if you grip too high, because the grip safety on the XDs isn’t part of the beavertail, it’s below it. If you are gripping the XDs, you will engage the safety. Period.
Would I like the XDs better if it didn’t have the grip safety? Sure would. I feel like it’s unnecessary, and adds parts to the gun that have to make it cost more. The pistol already has a striker block, and a trigger safety, which is enough in my opinion.
Do I really care about the grip safety? No. It’s there, but it doesn’t get in the way, so whatever.
Do I think the grip safety makes the XDs any safer? Nope.