The Springfield Armory booths were packed with new offerings at SHOT Show 2016. One of the completely new firearms was the XDs chambered in .40 S&W, finishing out the XDs family that now offers single stack, concealed carry pistols in .45 ACP, 9mm, and now .40 S&W. The BlueSheepDog crew has previously reported on both the Springfield XDs .45 ACP and Springfield XDs 9mm versions, and we were excited to see how the .40 S&W version compared to the previous XDs pistols.
One of the greatest parts of SHOT Show is the ability of BlueSheepDog to see and report on the newest additions to the firearms and law enforcement markets. Perhaps the most entertaining part of SHOT Show comes on Monday before the show. Now known as Industry Day at the Range, many of the major firearm manufacturers bring out their latest and greatest for invited guests to touch, photograph, and … SHOOT!
Springfield XDs .40 S&W
This year the BlueSheepDog crew were able to shoot the Springfield XDs .40 S&W, and we were glad we did. The XDs .40 has the same features as the previous XDs family members, and feels just the same as well. The great benefit of this XDs caliber change is that all previous accessories and holsters will already fit the new XDS .40 S&W, making this new pistol fully ready to be a concealed carry or back-up pistol.
The Springfield XDs .40 S&W was very accurate. From 15-yards I was able to swing the head popper without any problem. The grip was secure, and the sight alignment was fast as sure. Recoil was a little snappier than the 9mm or even .45 ACP versions of the XDs, but was not so harsh that my grip slipped. Most of the recoil was absorbed into the web of my hand, making follow-up shots quick and accurate. I shoot .40 S&W professionally and regularly, so my familiarity with its recoil may influence my experience and expectations.
Like other XDs models, the new .40 S&W comes with a fiber optic front sight and a white 2-dot notch rear sight. The fiber optic front sight really stands out and makes target acquisition faster, in my opinion. Some do not like fiber optic sights, fearing they are not strong enough for rugged use. The color difference between front and rear sights is very important for fast acquisition, so for that reason Springfield’s selection is a good one.
In the video below professional shooting champion and Springfield spokesman, Rob Leatham, gives a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reporter a run-down of the new XDs .40 S&W features and performance.
The XDs .40 S&W has a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide, providing both a visual and tactile reference when the pistol is loaded. The loaded chamber indicator rises just enough to be seen or felt (in low light situations), but does not rise so much to interfere with the sight picture.
Some feel this feature is unnecessary, however during low light conditions it is very important to “know” your pistol is loaded and ready and this feature allows just that. Even in lighted conditions, I would rather quickly glance to an indicator (while being able to stay on target), rather than do some kind of weapon manipulation to verify status.
The Springfield “Enhanced Grip” texture is more aggressive than their new Mod. 2 grips, but I think the more textured grip is better suited for the sub-compact XDs pistols. The grip texture was really only noticeable when I first picked up the pistol. Once the shooting began, I didn’t notice it at all and was able to shoot the snappier .40 S&W with no problems.
The XDs pistols come with a standard grip safety, and a trigger bar safety. There are no other external safeties, however I prefer a pistol that is ready to go as soon as I draw. In critical incidents, that often unfold very rapidly and unexpectedly, not having to fumble with external safety levers is incredibly valuable. The Springfield grip safety disengages with a proper grip on the pistol, and the trigger bar safety (like Glock) disengages with the conscious decision to pull the trigger. These same safeties keep the XDs safe from firing from jarring or dropping. That’s all I need.
Springfield provides (2) steel magazines with each XDs. One magazine is flush with the XDs frame and provides 6+1 capacity. There is also an extended magazine with Mag X-Tension grip extension providing 7+1 or 8+1 capacity.
Springfield Armory XDs .40 S&W Specifications
- Action: Striker fired, DAO only
- Caliber: .40 S&W
- Capacity: 6+1 (with flush magazine); 7+1 or 8+1 (with X-Tension magazine)
- Twist Rate: 1:10
- Overall Length: 6.3 inches
- Barrel Length: 3.3 inches
- Width: 0.9 inches (grip)
- Weight: 22 ounces (with empty magazine)
- Height: 4.4 inches (with compact magazine); 5.0″ with mid-mag X-Tension
- MSRP: $549.00.
Springfiled Armory XDs .40 S&W Features
- Slide Material: Forged steel, Melonite finish
- Frame Material: Black polymer
- Front Sight: Fiber optic (green or red)
- Rear Sight: Dovetail notch
- Safeties: 1911-style grip; trigger bar
- Chamber loaded indicator
- Enhanced grip texture
- Options: All black; Two-tone with stainless slide.
There has been a huge push to return to 9mm in the last year or so. Though the 9mm cartridge has seen some amazing improvements in recent years, and has definitely earned its right in the self-defense arena. However, there are still those who prefer a little more punch the .40 S&W can offer. We were glad Springfield Armory chose to finish out the XDs family with the three most popular pistol calibers today.
The Springfield Armory XDs series of pistols have all been very popular, despite a voluntary recall Springfield issued several years ago to upgrade some internal parts to prevent accidental discharge during loading or double fire after a single trigger pull. With that upgrade XDs shooters have been back to praising this slim concealed carry series.
While our shooting experiences with the XDs pistols has been limited, we have not experienced any problems. Fit and function were very good, and accuracy was also very good in all three available calibers. For those who prefer .4o S&W, but still want a slim back-up or concealed carry pistol, the new Springfield Armory XDs .40 S&W is a worthy option.