Polymer handguns have been dominating the market ever since Glock started churning them out for good reason. They are lighter, have increased magazine capacities, and have now reached a level of reliability that they are on par with the near legendary reliability of revolvers.
While there is a healthy following for Glocks, rivals have sprung up. One of the top runners is the Springfield XD.
The XD is a direct competitor to Glock and a pretty good one. Borrowing from the Model 1911’s ergonomics, the XD has the same grip angle as well as the same grip safety of the 1911, a plus for all the 1911 fans out there that want to transition to a lighter handgun.
In terms of the round count, the XD chambered for .40 caliber has a 12 + 1 round capacity (12 in the magazine and one in the chamber). Unloaded, it weighs in at a stout 29 ounces, a couple more ounces heavier than the comparable Glock model; so unless you’re going backpacking or carrying it with a kit where every ounce counts, it would be hard to tell the difference.
The extra couple ounces actually helps out in the recoil department as the XD’s extra couple ounces softens the felt recoil just enough to be able to be controlled in rapid fire.
In terms of accuracy, it is spot on. Being able to hit a man sized target at 15 yards is one thing but a skilled marksman can reach out and hit clay pigeon sized targets at close to 30 yards. A feature that really helps the accuracy is the near match grade trigger on the XD. Pulling in at about 5-6 pounds and having a very smooth and short pull, the XD’s trigger allows it to outperform other handguns in its class.
One of the best features of the XD over its competitors is its takedown/field strip. While other handguns require some dexterity in its field strip, the XD can be field stripped by even the most inexperienced shooter. Locking the slide back is probably the most physically demanding part of the field strip. Everything else pretty much involves flicking a switch, releasing the trigger, sliding it out, pulling the spring and barrel out, and voila! It is field stripped.
Overall, the XD is an amazing handgun. Value-wise, it beats out almost every other handgun out there. For about $470, you get the handgun, a holster, a magazine holder, a speed loader, and two magazines. If you’re out on the market for a handgun and a Glock just doesn’t feel right in your hands, try out a Springfield XD and you’ll more than likely want one for yourself.