Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 Sub-Compact 9mm: A Review

Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 Sub-Compact 9mm: A Review
Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 Sub-Compact 9mm: A Review
Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 Sub-Compact 9mm: A Review
Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 Sub-Compact 9mm: A Review

One of the most important of the eight fundamentals of shooting is proper handgun grip. Shooters know you should grasp high on the backstrap, be able to secure and firmly grasp the gun so it does not slip out of your hand and so that you can control recoil and muzzleflip. Certain areas of the gun should fit snuggly around your fingers and other places should be a little more relaxed. A comfortable and adhesive grip with just the right amount of texture stippling that does not irritate the hand is usually desired. Well, Springfield Armory recognizes this and has introduced an integrative grip concept that seeks to emphasize it. The sub-compact XD is a striker-fired, semi-auto pistol that comes in 9 mm and .40 S&W versions. The Mod. 2 version of it has some grip redesigns, among other features. The Mod.2’s redesign goal is to place the shooter’s hand up higher in the grip for better control during shooting and with a grip texture that is softer and more comfortable to hold.

XD Mod.2 Specifications

  • Action: SA Striker-Fired Semi-Auto
  • Caliber: 9x19mm, .40 S&W
  • Capacity: 13+1rds, 16+1rds with X-Tension
  • Grip Width: 1.19”
  • Weight: 26 oz. with Empty Mag
  • Length: 6.25”
  • Height: 4.75”, 5.5” with X-Tension
  • Barrel: 3” Hammer Forged
  • Slide: Forged Steel Melonite Finish
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Sights: Fiber Optic (Green & Red Rods) Front & Low Profile Combat Rear
  • MSRP: $565 (Black); $599 (Bi-tone)

Special Features

  • Grip Zone
  • High-Hand Grip Relief and Beavertail- help reduce felt recoil
  • Red (and green rod) Fiber Optic Front Sight & Combat Rear Sight- faster target acquisition
  • Slimmed Slide- for concealability & comfort
  • Ultra Slim, Contoured Frame
  • Slim & Contoured Disassembly Lever
  • No-Snag Trigger Guard
  • Posi-Wedge Slide Serrations- more pronounced Rear Serration for easier Slide Racking

The Grip Zone

XDs (left) and XD Mod.2 (right) Grips
XDs (left) and XD Mod.2 (right) Grips

The new XD-9 Mod. 2 is designed to improve the shooter’s grip experience with the “Grip Zone.” This is certainly understandable, but wonder why they wrote and had the obvious term “Grip Zone” molded into the grip? Springfield defines the “Grip Zone” as every surface on the frame that makes contact with your hand. There are three different textures of grip material which are molded into specific parts of the grip (3 Zones) where slip-resistance and various degrees of friction contact are most critical. So shooters could tend to have more traction that varies by the location of the frame’s grip surfaces. You decide if this is just a gimmick or not. The idea of the ergonomic grip improvements at 3 locations is to give shooters more traction on the different grip surfaces, while applying less force on the frame. You can also notice that the Mod.2 has a deeper curve at the top of the grip, so you naturally place your hand higher onto the grip for improved control when shooting. The re-contoured grip allows this and could result in less hand fatigue. The softer texture of the Grip Zone versus the XD, combined with the less aggressive stippling and finger grooves on the Mod.2’s grip, make the new XD a little more comfortable for me. What about for you?

Grip Zone Textures
Grip Zone Textures

In addition to the Grip Zone texture treatments, Springfield has also re-contoured the grip and reduced the frame’s circumference. Overall, its 1.19 inch grip width measures one tenth of an inch thinner than the original XD Sub-Compact. Other changes to the frame include a rounded trigger guard and a slim-contoured disassembly lever. While many dimensional changes were applied to the new design, the XD Mod. 2 Sub-Compact maintains compatibility with original XD magazines and holsters.

Safety Features

The Safeties of the XD Mod. 2 are like the original XD version and include a grip safety and trigger safety, along with a striker-status indicator and loaded chamber indicator.

Range Test

At the range, I shot about 150 rounds of various FMJ and HP ammo of 115 and 124 grain weights at close-up distances of 5, 7, and 10 yards. You should know that Springfield is not paying me for my review or opinions nor for my ammo, so I am not on their payroll for any reason. One caveat we all recognize is that ANY gun should be “broken-in” with about 300-400 rounds or so fired for a better evaluation of its performance. So recognize that I did not shoot that many rounds. Remember, the gold standard is for you to actually shoot and handle the gun and learn your accuracy with it and things about it, like I did. Let me say up front that for me for ANY gun, ACCURACY and RELIABILITY are most important. Closely related to that is the handgun’s trigger, so I focused on it and its characteristics and control. I used my Lyman Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge and averaged readings to measure the press. See results below. Additional factors considered were fit and comfort to my hand and fingers, gun weight, felt recoil, gun width and height for easy concealability, caliber, capacity, safety features, and appearance. Overall length was not a major criteria, except for its relationship to sight radius and reduction of felt recoil. Cost was not a factor.

Here’s what I discovered after shooting and handling the XD-9 Mod. 2.

1. The accuracy and reliability were very good for me at close distances of 5, 7, and 10 yards. My rapid-fire groups were all 4.0 inches or less for the first time I ever fired the gun “out of the box” drawing from the holster it came with in the hard case. I used a Modified-Isosceles Standing Stance, a two-handed grip, and shot 115 grain FMJ and 124 grain HP. Not great marksmanship, but acceptable to me. I had no malfunctions nor stoppages.

XD-9 Mod. 2 in Holster (included in case)
XD-9 Mod. 2 in Holster (included in case)

2. The trigger press out of the box averaged 6.5 pounds without modification, within Springfield’s range of 5.5 to 7.7 and over 10 readings with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. For comparison out-of-the-box, my Sig 938 has a 7.1 pound press; the Springfield XDs has a 7.2; my Ruger SR9C, Glock 19, and M&P 9C all have about a 6.0 press; my Springfield EMP a 5.8; my Ruger LC9s has a 5.2 press; and my Colt XSE Commander (.45), Kimber (.45), Sig (.45), S&W Pro 1911 (9mm) and Taurus (9mm) 1911s have about a 4- 4.5 pound press each. Although my brain is my best safety, I do not want a too light trigger for concealed carry, nor do I want a heavier one either. All of these are close to my desired range.

3. The trigger was smooth, crisp and very good. It had a short travel distance and short, identifiable reset, so I could get off quick follow-up shots easily and keep on target easier. The reset was identifiable.

4. The striker-fired trigger made for consistent and reliable shooting with pretty much the same press each time. It was a harder press that I am accustomed to, since I mostly shoot 1911s and single actions.

5. My “Older-than-Dirt” eyes really like the fiber optic front sights, especially in green because of my color-blindness. It came with both green and red fiber optic rods.

6. The weight of the gun was almost exactly 26 ounces without a magazine in place and this is manageable for concealed carry. I like a slightly heavier gun for better recoil control, comfort, and accuracy.

7. The 9mm was just the right caliber for me for carry and I strongly prefer it, as you probably know from the reasons in my other articles. So the XD-9 Mod.2 met this requirement. I believe that a shooter should:

Choose the highest caliber handgun that they can comfortably shoot AND make fast, ACCURATE followup shots with. This applies for concealed carry, self defense, home defense, and even competition. Of course, you want a gun that you like, can control, and WILL carry and not leave at home, if carrying concealed. A very personal and individualistic choice!

8. The width of the XD-9 Mod. 2 measured 1.19 inches and I wanted less width, given my medium-sized hands. The grip angle was fine, better than my Glock 19 for me. The Glock 19 has a 1.18 inch width.

9. The capacity of the XD-9 sub-compact is 13+1 with the standard flush fit mag or 16+1 with the X-Tension mag. For carry, I would use the 13 rounder. It has an ambidextrous mag release.

10. The height of the XD-9 sub-compact with standard flush mag measured 4.75 inches, compared to my M&P-9C at 4.3 inches, my SR9C at 4.6 inches, my EMP at 4.8 inches, my Glock 19 at 5.0, my HK P30 at 5.4, and the M&P Shield at 4.6 inches. All are acceptable for concealed carry, with the smaller numbers, of course, being more advantageous.

11. It comes with a nice hard plastic case which includes a holster, 2 magazines (13 round and extended 16 round), a double mag pouch, loader, red and green fiber optic replacement rods, a lock, bore flag, and manual.

XD-9 Mod.2 Case
XD-9 Mod.2 Case

There are a lot of attributes to consider and you make your own tradeoffs accoring to your priorities and defined needs and use.

I RECOMMEND this Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod.2 9mm pistol, based on the above criteria and information.

I hope this review has given you some information you did not have about the new Springfield-Armory XD-9 Mod. 2 9mm striker-fired, sub-compact pistol. It is a very nice striker-fired pistol, but decide for yourself based on your desired features, the gun’s attributes, tradeoffs, and your use and needs, but TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY, like any possible handgun purchase.

Continued success!

Further information is available at: www.Springfield-Armory.com

Photos by Author and Some Courtesy of Springfield-Armory.

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.

© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.

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"Col Ben" is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services Special Ops duty and training, and is Air Force qualified as "Expert" in small arms. He is a Vietnam-era Veteran. Ben is an experienced NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and FL Concealed Carry License Instructor. Ben recently wrote the book "Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection" (second printing) with 57 comprehensive Chapters about concealed carry and handgun principles, techniques, and tips for both experienced and new shooters. His reference book is endorsed by several organizations and is available on his website at FloridaHandgunsTraining.com. Contact him at ColBFF@gmail.com.
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I’ll stick with my Taurus Millennium G2 for under $400.00 Looks like Springfield copied Taurus’s stipple design on the grip too. The Taurus weighs less than the Springfield too.


I’ll stick w/ my XD9 sub and you can stick w/ your Taurus G2. I’ve shot both before and decided to buy the subcompact XD9, now I look forward to buying the MOD.2!!!


I think it’s stupid to have “grip zone” imprinted on the grip, and they just made it even uglier with the front of the gun – why couldn’t they make it look more like the XD(s)?? That actually had decent aesthetics. I think the 1st gen even looks better….smh.


So what. Another variation of the same old pistol. How about something REALLY novel, like a single-stack 9 round, true carry version, to compete with the S&W Shield?


Try the millennium G2 by Taurus. You will love it.

Col Ben

Hi Aoengus,
Good idea. Different strokes for different folks. I like single stack, thinner-grip 9s. Hope you read some of my other reviews. I also like the new Ruger LC9s, the striker fired, consistent-press 9, with a 5.2 excellent press and narrow width. Of course, I have medium-sized hands. I really like its trigger. Also, the XDs4 in 9mm; single stack; .9 width. There are 12 excellent carry guns out there now and I just finished an article about them, including specs comparison, my criteria, etc. Hopefully, it will be published soon here. Thanks again for your ideas. Continued success!


They did, it was the xds.

Chad Kent

I love it. I’ve had an original XD .40 sub compact and it’s been excellent so i look forward to picking one of these newly refined ones up!


There charging $900.00 for a XD…Talk about over charging…boycott
it and watch the price drop….


Uh, who’s charging $900? My local gun shop has it for $509…

Francesco Scinico

I have this XD9 Sub and the Glock 19 (gen. 3). I like the grip safety of the XD9, but overall I prefer the Glock: same height, more comfortable grip, lighter (20 oz vs 26), smoother (can release partially loaded magazine much more easily in case of tactical reloading), less ugly (the proportions of the XD9 are all wrong), and cheaper. The XD9 is a good gun, just not as smooth as the G19.


You think the Glock is LESS UGLY than the Springfield?! I guess to each their own…

Francesco Scinico

The Glock is ugly, but to me the XD9 is even more so; it looks like a double-decker bus; trigger guard is too big for the size of the gun; it’s heavy for the size.


I just got my XD9 Sub Mod2. 565 (list). Went in and picked it up same day. Shoots nice, but seem noisy compared to my XD9 Full Sized. Used 2 clips with no problems. I really like the fact it’s easy to take apart and clean. No hunting springs that go BONG.


The Springfield XD9 line of pistols do not use “clips” to load ammo, they use detachable magazines. IIRC the only modern pistol that used “clips” to feed ammo into a fixed magazine was the Mauser Broom-handle.


SO, Who Cares. You know what I intended. Go play Speak and Spell elsewhere.


Lighten up my friend, I merely stated the fact that “The Springfield XD9 line of pistols do not use “clips” to load ammo, they use detachable magazines.” You don’t need to get ill over that.


If you’re going to talk guns, use the proper language like anything else. M-1 Garands used clips, pistols use magazines or mags. It’s just as bad as someone calling bullets “tips”


Yup, Got one.


I hope this is the one. My wife broke her left wrist in 8 places and has trouble chambering a round. None of the manufactures publish the pound pull needed to do this as they publish the trigger pound press. I have gotten her a revolver an even with a reduced strength spring she cannot pull the double action trigger and hold the gun steady. I got a sig p238 because she could chamber a round but I do not want her to have to remember to take the safety off. I like the safety on this gun and will find one somewhere to see if she can chamber a round. It would be nice if the manufactures would publish the strength needed to chamber a round.


I found racking the XD9 mod2 slide to be about the same as my M&P 9 Shield and my Ruger sr40c. Likely she will have trouble with it. Is your concern when she conceal carries, or just at the range? If you were to chamber a round for her when she conceal carries, it shouldn’t be an issue. It has a good round count even with the shorter mag.


Purchased the 9mm for 450 (tax not included and ended up being 487 in TX after sales tax) at the local hardware store. Beats the 530-560 (tax not included) from some of the chain stores I looked into.

Scott Carman

Suck glock off all u want. I also have a g19 gen 3 and a xd subcompact 9mm . Give a rats ass about your scale buy a new one. My xd trigger ALOT WAY better then the glock trigger.Personality a better gun IMO .