Springfield Armory has been an innovator for years, pushing the envelope in the design of smaller, more efficient 1911s and its own XD series of polymer-framed pistols. Springfield achieved the benchmark in 2012 with the smallest .45 ACP semi-auto in history, the XD-S .45 ACP. So why start making it bigger? The rationale, after striving to make the XD-S smaller, is to increase accuracy by having a longer barrel without compromising the shorter grip frame that’s better suited to concealed-carry use.
The new 9mm XD-S 4.0 achieves this goal by combining the XD-S’ subcompact grip frame with the longer barrel and slide from the XD Service Model, giving the XD-S 4.0 a barrel that is 0.7 inches longer and a slide length of 6.75 inches to increase sight radius. The extra inch of length ahead of the triggerguard also allows more room for a tactical light or a light/laser combination. The XD-S 4.0 is also 2 ounces heavier, with the added weight out front to help reduce muzzle lift. Without compromising the depth or width of the XD-S subcompact frame, the 4.0 is all about increasing accuracy while maintaining the pistol’s overall ease of carry and standard 7+1 capacity.
With the longer barrel and slide, the XD-S 4.0 becomes a little easier to handle (not that the 3.3 is a chore, but the extra length has its advantages), particularly with heavy-hitting personal defense and law enforcement ammunition. While still a subcompact, the new longer-barreled models give Springfield another tactical advantage with an already proven design. As with all XD-S versions, the 4.0 uses a striker-fired system fine tuned to reduce trigger take-up and provide a short reset. All XD-S models have a clean, uncluttered profile with a progressively beveled takedown lever and slide release. Neither has an edge likely to catch on clothing, impede draw or re-holstering.
Watch the video as COMBAT HANDGUNS’ Dennis Adler reviews the latest Springfield Armory XD-S model and exhibits the pistol’s standard features, ease of handling and carry potential.