XDS / 9mm Initial Assessment

Saturday morning I booked time at PDHSC and shot the XDS. I was VERY pleased with the gun!

Perfect fit! The XDS and my small hands.

Perfect fit! The XDS and my small hands.

I decided to buy this gun because

  • I was impressed with the reliability of my XD,
  • I needed something with a smaller grip,
  • I wanted a smaller gun to use as a carry gun so it would be easier to conceal, and
  • I’m committed to shooting only 9mm in a defensive weapon for now for budgetary reasons (lower cost of ammunition and I only need to stock up on one caliber).

I was concerned that the smaller gun would result in recoil I wouldn’t handle well. I shot the same gun in .45 a few months ago and had a real problem with limp wristing. If I had that problem with the 9mm version I was determined to overcome the problem – but it didn’t happen.

I alternated between the XD and the XDS and was pleasantly surprised to find I had better control of the XDS because I can get more of my hands around the grip. All my fingers fit on the grip with no need for the extended mag. The single stack design allows me to get a tight clamshell around the grip. The XD is wider. It forces my hands open and makes it much tougher to get a good clamping action.

In fact, the XD “jumps” in my hand just enough that I constantly need to readjust my grip between shots. Like the 1911, the slimmer grip on the XDS gives me more control and no need for readjustment.

I am used to loading via the slide lock release instead of racking the slide and I was concerned this would be much stiffer than my 1911. Once it was loaded and had a full magazine in the gun, it only required a light touch to release the slide.

The magazine release button is tight. I did struggle with that but I think with some use or a break in period it will be easier to work.

The sites are different than any of my other guns. It has the option of red or green optic front sights with white dot back sights. I’ll need to spend some time shooting with these to determine how I like (or dislike them).

Based on how I shot the gun and the ease of recoil control I’m very excited about this gun. I see a BUG match and experiments with carry holsters in the near future.






Buying the Springfield XDS (in 9mm)

Brand new Springfield XDS in 9mm -- still in the "box"

Brand new Springfield XDS in 9mm — still in the “box”

The evolution of buying a gun:

  • I saw this post Tuesday morning,
  • exchanged a few emails with Luke in which he said “a little bird told him they would have another XDS in 9mm on Thursday,
  • called Carolina Gunrunners Tuesday afternoon and asked about availability,
  • drove over after work and paid for the gun with a credit card (note that they do not take credit cards over the phone for liability reasons but they charge the same price for cash or credit)
  • got a call Thursday morning to let me know the gun was in and would be ready for pick up at my convenience, and
  • drove back to Carolina Gunrunners last night after work, filled out the paperwork and brought home my purchase.

Luke at Triangle Tactical has also written a review of his first experience shooting the gun. Read that here.

I’m excited about this purchase and will have much more to say about it. I have plans to shoot it tomorrow. But for now this odd tidbit: it’s the smallest gun I’ve purchased to date and it came in the biggest box. I like that it’s rugged but it’s going to take up lots of space to store it.

In the photo above, you’ll see the gun comes with: a paddle holster, a smaller backstrap, a double mag pouch, a gun lock, the XDS, two 7 round magazines, and replacement red dot and green dot site rods.

The red dot/green dot rods are completely new to me so I asked about them. The fellow at Carolina Gunrunners told me that if the existing red dot site broke, I could slide a replacement rod into the site, cut it then take a cigarette lighter and melt the ends. This gun will clearly jump start me into learning new things.

If you want to purchase the XDS in 9mm, Carolina Gunrunners in north Raleigh will have more being shipped to the store. I found them very easy to work with and would not hesitate to do business with them again in the future.

I also got a call from Rachel at 9Forward on Wednesday. She remembered that I had asked about the XDS when I was in the store for their opening and she called to let me know they had started receiving shipments. So if you are closer to Oxford and Raleigh is a long drive for you, this is another place locally that you can buy this gun now.