Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP
This compact pistol brings great power down to pocket size.
Life is full of trade-offs. My wife’s vehicle is a Dodge Caravan; after three hip surgeries within a couple months (one didn’t take the first time) the Caravan is easy for her to get in and out of. My vehicle is an extended cab 4×4 pickup which is definitely not easy for her to get in and out of. However, with the 4×4 it is easy to get in and out of places we dare not take the Caravan. A small steel running board step has been installed on both sides of the 4×4 to aid in entry. The Caravan has become our running-around-town car while the 4×4 is the vehicle chosen for shooting, hunting or just plain exploring. We know and understand the trade-offs and accept them. There are certainly many trade-offs when it comes to firearms also.
More than 30 years ago, although I would have definitely preferred the .44 or .45, I was forced by circumstances to go with the much smaller .38. Today, thanks to Springfield Armory, we can literally, if you will pardon the cliché, have our cake and eat it too. There are many excellent .45s out there both on the 1911 platform and also those with polymer frames and double action or “safety” triggers. Many manufacturers have worked at shrinking the size of both types of pistols with some successfully working and some not. What Springfield Armory has done is shrink the size of their very popular XD series .45 ACP to where it will actually fit in the top of my boot should I feel compelled to carry that way while also being totally reliable even with its very small size.
I knew it was very small simply by handling it and definitely by shooting it. This is not a semi-automatic to be shot for a long pleasurable afternoon but rather a serious self-defense semi-automatic. Firing any .45 ACP loads certainly gets my attention. I did all my testing before I compared it to my full-sized XD .45 and was really quite surprised at just how small it actually is. After more than a century of .45 semi-automatics it is not difficult to make a totally reliable pistol nor is it all that difficult to make a small pistol. The rub comes with the attempt to make a small reliable pistol and that is exactly what Springfield Armory has managed to accomplish. Comparing it side-by-side with the full-sized XD reveals just how much engineering went into this downsizing project.
By John Taffin
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