One of the more-difficult parts to conceal on a CCW handgun is the length of the grip frame. Thus, guns with a shorter grip frame and longer slides are becoming more-popular with concealed-carry holders, since the longer slide and barrel allows for a greater sight radius and improved ballistic performance, while shorter grip frames enable the guns to remain concealable. The new Springfield Armory XD-E 3.8 takes full advantage of this concept, coming equipped with a 4.5-inch barrel while preserving the short grip frame found on earlier 3.3 models.
Springfield Armory, in tandem with the new XD-E 3.8, also introduced a longer 4.5-inch barrel model that features the same short grip frame as both the 3.8 and 3.3 models. However, for certain carry positions, having a longer 4.5-inch barrel can made comfortable and well-concealed carry difficult. Therefore, Springfield Armory split the difference and introduced the 3.8-inch barrel as a compromise position for consumers looking to have something a bit more than the 3.3 without stepping up to the longer 4.5-inch barrel.
When first introduced, the Springfield Armory XD-E brought back an older concept to a re-invigorated CCW market. Rather than relying on the striker-fired mechanisms and mushy triggers of many of today's concealed-carry guns, Springfield re-introduced the double-action/single-action, hammer-fired handgun in a package that could be easily carried and concealed. The DA/SA setup of the XD-E allows users to have a long, deliberate pull for the first shot, while subsequent shots are single-action-only, allowing users to bring a bit more precision and speed to the table.
Also found in the Springfield Armory XD-E 3.8 is the company's unique Low-Effort Slide design. Through company measurements, this feature allows the handgun's slide to be racked with 27 percent less effort than comparable designs, enabling those with weaker hand strength to have more control over charging their firearm safely. The guns are also equipped with a manual safety, so owners also have the versatility of being able to choose between multiple carry modes, whether cocked-and-locked, hammer down, safety on, safety off or any combination.
Though these Springfield Armory XD-E 3.8 handguns are equipped with a lengthened slide and barrel, the entire height of the pistol only measures 5 inches with a flush floor plate, allowing the guns to be concealed with nearly the same level of ease as earlier, short-barrel models. Springfield also includes its Magazine X-Tension, which increases magazine capacity from eight to nine rounds while only adding 1/4 inch to the overall height of the pistol.
The suggested retail price on the new Springfield Armory XD-E 3.8 is $542.