Springfield Armory has had a string of successes with its subcompact XD-S pistols. Both the original .45 ACP and later 9mm subcompact models have become a standard for larger-caliber concealed carry and backup use. All that was missing was a .40 S&W model, which has now joined the XD-S series in 2016.
As with previous XD-S semi-autos, the new .40-caliber version shares the same dual external safety mechanisms: Springfield’s blade-style Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) trigger and a secondary grip safety. Both must be engaged in order for the XD-S to discharge, thus this is a very secure sidearm to handle in the field. Another advantage is that the Springfield’s ambidextrous magazine release does not employ a disconnector, allowing the XD-S to discharge a chambered round with the magazine removed.
While the .45 ACP XD-S maintains a reasonable 5+1 standard capacity, the new .40-caliber XD-S ups the count to 6+1 with its flat-floorplate magazine and 7+1 with the extended magazine (the gun comes with one of each). The seven-round magazine also increases grip length by 0.78 inches, allowing a full-hand grip for most shooters.
Like the .45 ACP and 9mm models, the .40 variant has excellent weight and balance in the hand, and it offers reduced felt recoil thanks to Springfield’s specialized recoil spring and plunger design. The use of combat-style white-dot rear sights and red fiber-optic front sights also makes this gun very quick to point under a wider variety of lighting situations.
The XD-S is a striker-fired design that Springfield has fine-tuned to reduce the trigger take-up and provide a short reset. Including engaging the blade trigger safety, there is about 0.5 inches of travel, and the trigger pull remains crisp and consistent at an average of 8.5 pounds. Essentially, the XD-S trigger is smooth with negligible stacking and zero overtravel. Overall, this is the same proven XD-S in one of the most popular law enforcement chamberings in use today. Whether in use as a backup or a full-sized service pistol, one would be hard pressed to do better than the XD-S in .40.
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