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Springfield XDM Review at Cabela's

Springfield XDM Review

Author: Dan Carlson

Springfield Armory has been constantly tweaking the XD design with features such as an added thumb safety like that on the venerable Model 1911, additional chamberings in .357 Sig and .45 GAP and greater magazine capacities. Now, the company has introduced a makeover of the handgun in the form of the XDM.

The original roots of the Springfield XD pistol can be traced to Croatia where the grandfather of the XD line, the HS2000 was adopted for use by Croatian military and law enforcement in 2000. Impressed by the features and design, Springfield Armory secured licensing rights for the United States in 2002 and the first XD (Extreme Duty), the XD-9 chambered for the 9x19 mm cartridge, was soon on the shelves of American gun shops. Demand for the reliable and accurate XD-9 became so high that Springfield Armory started offering additional chamberings, sizes and features, and by 2006 the XD line was among America's best-selling handguns. I purchased my first Springfield XD in 2004, the XD-40, and you can read my review of that handgun here: The Springfield XD.
XDM close-up
Springfield Armory has been constantly tweaking the XD design with features such as an added thumb safety like that on the venerable Model 1911, additional chamberings in .357 Sig and .45 GAP and greater magazine capacities. Now, the company has introduced a makeover of the handgun in the form of the XDM. What does the "M" stand for? A lot more features than just one letter would convey. In fact I was so impressed by when I held an XDM in my hand at a Cabela's gun counter recently and saw all that it offered I bought one. And after a weekend of testing the XDM in .40 S&W, I am most pleased that I did. Here's a rundown of the M features that modify the original XD design.

While the ergonomics of the XD have always been excellent, a new Model-Contour Frame makes the XDM one of the most comfortable handguns I've ever held. The gun comes with three removable handle backstraps sized for small-, medium- and large-handed shooters. Together with the frame, these enable shooters to customize their XDM to a fit that facilitates instinctive pointing and rapid target acquisition.

Shell flying
Mega-Lock Texturing of the handle is reminiscent of the tread on off-road tires, but Springfield claims the cool-looking-in-a-hideous-way bumps and grooves are precisely engineered to optimize control on all planes during firing. I was skeptical until I shot my XDM, and Springfield is right. Even with stout 180-grain loads the gun was delightful to shoot and exceptionally easy to control with minimal up-down, right-left or torsional movement.

Major-Grasp Slide Serrations are simply more deeply cut grooves in the rear slide to make bringing rounds into battery easier when the gun is operated in wet conditions or when a shooter is wearing gloves.

XDM package
The ambidextrous Maximum-Reach Magazine Release modification moves the release button to a position where it can be operated by either the thumb or index finger on either side of the firearm without having to turn the gun sideways. In addition to convenience, this also improves safety by keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction when releasing the magazine. Every time I used the release it dropped the spent magazine free and clear.

Minimal-Error Disassembly eliminates a step or two, including having to pull the trigger, from the process used in the older XD models. The XDM is easier to take apart, clean and put back together.

Finally, there's the Mega-Magazine Capacity. The .40 S&W holds 16 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber. The 9mm version holds 19+1. This gives XDM shooters and incredible amount of firepower in a compact package.

But the advantages of the XDM don't stop with the letter M. Each comes in a hard case that contains two high-capacity magazines, a polymer belt holster, a belt holder for both magazines, a loading-assist tool that will really save your thumb as you put those last four or five rounds in the magazine, a gun lock, cleaning brush and comprehensive manual. All of this for a price less than just the firearm and a couple of magazines offered by some competitors.

How does the XDM shoot? I test handguns differently than many reviewers based on the firearm's intended application. For defense and combat pistols I don't see much sense in shooting off bags or from a rest at a target 25-yards away because bad guys won't stop and pose while you find a rest. Also, if the firearm ever needs to be used for defense, investigators of the incident are likely to question shooting at alleged assailants that far away. So I just bring the gun up on a Birchwood Casey target 15 paces away and shoot. The picture shows the results of 16 rounds of 180-grain Remington JPH ammo shot into the target in that manner from that range.

XDM over the shoulder
As you can see, though the low-profile three-dot sights as set from the factory hit slightly left of point-of-aim, accuracy was more than acceptable for defense and law-enforcement applications.

The trigger also resets with minimal over-travel to make for faster double-tap shots.

Measuring 8" long and weighing in at 32-oz. the XDM-40 is on the large size for discrete concealed carry, but with the proper clothing its slimmed down profile certainly makes carry an option where legal by those permitted to do so. But if concealment is not an issue, as would be the case in home defense and security/law enforcement applications, the XDM is one of the finest handguns I've tested to date.

The Springfield XDM is available at Cabela's retail stores.