Springfield Armory held an extremely secretive new product launch a few weeks ago at the Clark County range complex outside Las Vegas, NV, to showcase a gun that I can honestly say none of the attendees saw coming: The XD-E. It's a subcompact single-stack, in the same size category as the Glock G43, Smith & Wesson Shield, or Springfield's own XD-S, only with a difference.
Unlike those striker-fired guns, the XD-E is a traditional double-action/single-action hammer-fired pistol with ambidextrous thumb safeties that also function as decocking levers. Shipping with both flush-fit 8-round and extended 9-round magazines, the slim pistol gives the shooter a choice of carrying in cocked-and-locked single-action mode like a 1911-pattern pistol, or dropping the hammer before holstering and firing the first shot double-action. With the rise in popularity of AIWB carry, a slim single stack with a hammer that can be controlled with the thumb while holstering has a ready market niche.
At the launch, we had time to put rounds downrange, and no malfunctions were observed all weekend. The single-action trigger pull is good and breaks right at 5 pounds on the test gun we received, with a reasonable takeup. Double-action is heavy, at approximately 12 pounds, starting with a smooth, even takeup, but a pretty distinct "wall" right before the break.
MSRP is $519 and holsters are ready to ship from Crossbreed, Alien Gear, and several other manufacturers.