Range Review: Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 in 9 mm

posted on August 1, 2018

There’s an old cliché in the gunwriter world that “a .22 on you beats a .45 in your truck,” and like most clichés, it has a ring of truth to it. Having a gun on you when you need it the most is far, far more preferable than trying to call a “time out” in the middle of a armed violent encounter, so having a gun, ANY gun puts you way ahead of the game when it matters the most. This is big reason why single-stack 9 mm pistols like the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 have recently become so popular: Because they so lightweight, slim and easy to conceal compared to a full-sized, full-capacity service pistol, they are a much lighter burden to carry compared to a bigger gun. Yes, there is a tradeoff in capacity and a slight tradeoff in accuracy, but with practice, these can be managed, and a single stack 9 mm becomes a viable choice for a self-defense gun.

Springfield Armory saw the benefits of single stack 9 mm early on, and for some time now, the company's XD-S pistol has been a great choice for someone looking to buy a small, easy-to-carry 9 mm pistol. But even great choices can get better, and Springfield Armory has recently announced the 9 mm XD-S Mod.2, with a number of significant improvements.

The frame for the XD-S MOD2 is reshaped and re-textured from the original XD-S. The stippling on the frame is no longer rows of raised dots, but rather more like the grip tape used by some competition shooters to give them a better hold on their guns. The shape of the grip itself is changed, allowing for a higher grip on the gun, which allows for better recoil control (a handy little feature in a gun this size). The trigger guard is also undercut to allow for a higher grip, and overall, I found the XD-S to be noticeably easier to shoot than its predecessor.

The XD-S Mod.2 ships with one seven-round magazine with a extension for your little finger to rest on, and a nine-round extended magazine. I found the seven-round magazine to be a bit too short to get a full firing grip on the pistol, and the nine-round magazine was a bit too long to carry in the gun without it showing up as I carried it concealed. However, Springfield Armory also shipped out an additional eight-round magazine with my test gun and that magazine was a nice balance between concealability and ammo capacity. Unfortunately, Springfield does not include the eight-round magazine with the gun when it ships from the factory. You'll have to buy it separately.

The rear of the slide on the XD-S Mod.2 has serrations that are cut deeper and longer than the original XD-S, and I found them to be easy to grip and use to get the pistol into action. The sights on the model I tested featured a tritium luminescent front sight and a serrated rear sight, which I found to be easy to use and helped get me on target quickly and accurately.

On the range, the XD-S Mod.2 was easy to shoot and pointed naturally in my hand. I’m a big fan of the single-stack 9mm as a day-in, day-out carry gun, and the XD-S Mod.2 shoots as well as any other subcompact 9 mm I’ve shot. The controls of the gun are logically placed and easy to access quickly, and the gun was comfortable in my hands, even after a 200-round practice session.

The trigger on the XD-S Mod.2 has noticeable take-up and some stacking, and breaks at just over 7 pounds, after which there is about a half-inch of reset travel and a very distinct reset. While that’s not match-trigger performance, it’s quite adequate for a concealed-carry gun, and the trigger had no noticeable effect on my accuracy with the pistol. Trigger pull weight, measured with a Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, averaged 6.86 pounds.

Overall, the XD-S Mod.2 is real contender in the single-stack 9 mm game. With its slim frame, excellent sights and comfortable ergonomics, it makes a great little pistol for concealed carry, especially when using either the seven-round or eight-round magazine. If home defense is your concern, the nine-round extended length magazine gives you added firepower, and frame accessory rail lets you add a wide variety of lights, lasers and other accessories that will help you make the shot when it counts the most. The suggested MSRP on the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9 mm starts at $524.



50 years of Streamlight
50 years of Streamlight

Streamlight Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

What began with one flashlight now covers a wide range of products.

First Look: EAA MC 14 T Pistol by Girsan

A .380 ACP pistol that's easy to load and easy to shoot.

The Classics: The Heckler & Koch P7

During a recent browsing of some online gun auction sites, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a $500 pistol I had purchased some years ago, a Heckler & Koch (H&K) P7, was now bringing prices that ranged from $2,500 to $6,000.

First Look: Brownell’s BRN 180 SH AR Upper Receiver

A short barreled 300 BLK upper that's ideal to run with a suppressor.

What Is The Best Defensive Technique?

There are many paths to mastery. Only one of them is yours.

2023 Golden Bullseye Awards

Every year, we examine umpteen new products designed for personal security. Among those, only a select few stand out and are worthy of the coveted Golden Bullseye Award.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.