FIRST LOOK: Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm Review

Back in 2012, Springfield Armory launched their XD-S Single Stack Series of pistols. Since then, the XD-S line has become their most popular pistol produced. With the release of the XD-S Mod.2 .45ACP version earlier this year, everyone has been wondering when they would be releasing the XD-S Mod.2 9mm. Well, it is August 1, 2018, and I bring to you the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm.

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Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm Review

I have the previous version of this pistol, the XD-S 9mm, but never really found a place for it in my EDC until recently. I used to carry a Springfield Armory Mod.2 Sub-Compact 9mm in an IWB holster at about 4 o’clock. And when I needed to be a bit more discreet, I would carry a Ruger LCP II in my pocket. The single-stack was too big for my pockets, and at the time, if I was going to carry something on my hip, I might as well carry my XD Mod.2.

While attending a weekend firearms training course earlier this year, another student mentioned how he carries his Glock 19 with a red dot and weapon mounted light appendix carry. I was never interested in trying appendix carry as I’ve always carried at 4 o’clock and I felt that there was no need for me to try anything else. But the idea of being able to conceal a larger pistol along with a red dot and a WML piqued my interest.

We exchanged some messages a few times after this and I figured I would give this appendix carry method a try. I’ll go into more details about how that has worked out in another article.

But that brings me back to the XD-S. I live in Louisiana, and the summer heat is in full force. I decided to give the XD-S a try at appendix carry since it was thinner and lighter than my XD Mod.2 and I was looking for something a little smaller than the Glock 19 I’ve been carrying. Before that, the XD-S was primarily my wife’s gun. She doesn’t carry concealed (yet), but that was the gun she was most comfortable shooting once I got her to start going to the range with me…after ten years.

So when Springfield Armory contacted me to let me know about the upcoming release of the XD-S Mod.2 9mm, I was very interested in getting my hands on it since I had already carried the XD Mod.2 9mm for so long. Unfortunately, I found out the gun had been sitting at my FFL for nearly a month without my knowledge. So instead of having a month to spent time with the gun before getting this review out, I’ve had only a couple of days.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm
Here is the box that the XD-S Mod.2 9 comes in. Missing from the picture is the bag containing the gun lock and flush magazine plate.

After getting home with the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm, there were three things I noticed when I opened the box of which I’ll be going into more detail on later. The first was the new grip texture. Secondly, it had different sights than my XD-S, Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight instead of the fiber-optic front sight. Lastly, it came with three magazines a 7-round magazine with a Mag X-Tension (pinky extension), and 8-round magazine and a 9-round magazine.

 

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture

 

 

XD-S Mod.2 9mm VS. XD-S 9mm
XD-S Mod.2 9mm VS. XD-S 9mm (Left Side)
XD-S Mod.2 9mm VS. XD-S 9mm
XD-S Mod.2 9mm VS. XD-S 9mm (Right Side)

The New Grip on the XD-S Mod.2 9mm

The first noticeable difference between the XD-S and the XD-S Mod.2 is the grip texture which is more like a grip tape style texturing versus the more aggressive checkering the previous version had. One thing a lot of people will be happy with is the fact that it doesn’t have GRIP ZONE written in the middle of the grip. There is absolutely room for them to have added it. So, Springfield Armory heard you all loud and clear and decided to leave it off of the XD-S Mod.2 line of pistols.

The new version also has finger grooves molded into the front of the grip instead of having a straight grip like the older version. After going back and forth with each pistol, I like how the new version feels.

The first day I took the XD-S Mod.2 9mm to the range was a hot one, as usual. I was very close to heading over to an indoor range to do my testing but decided to hit a closer outdoor range and put the “sweaty hands” to a test. I can honestly say, the newer grip and grip texture felt much more secure in my hands when they were dry and when they were wet. And trust me, I got my hands pretty wet as I was sweating buckets by the time I got to the firing line from my truck.

Will you like the new grip texture compared to the old version? That will have to be something that you decide. Grip textures are a very personal preference so I would head to a gun store so you can feel the difference and make the decision yourself.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture VS. XD-S 9mm Grip Texture
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture (Left) VS. XD-S 9mm Grip Texture (Right)

The grip texture on the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm seems precisely the same as the grip texture on the XD Mod.2 9mm.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture VS. XD Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture (Right) VS. XD Mod.2 9mm Grip Texture (Left)
Various Springfield Armory Grip Textures
Various Springfield Armory Grip Textures (Top Left: XD-S 9mm, Top Right: XD-S Mod.2 9mm, Bottom Left: XDM-9 4.5in 9mm, Bottom Right: XD Mod.2 9mm)

Magazine Options for the XD-S Mod.2 9mm

My XD-S Mod.2 9mm came with three different magazines, a 7-round magazine with a Mag X-Tension (pinky extension), and 8-round magazine and a 9-round magazine. But after reading some of the information they sent me, it seems that it will be shipping with the 7-round magazine with the pinky extension as well as a flush plate and also a 9-round magazine.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Magazine Options
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Magazine Options

Personally, my hands seem to be slightly too big for the pinky extension on the 7-round mag. My pinky ends up being halfway on and halfway off the extension. They included an extra flush plate so you can swap out the pinky extension plate. Once installed, the pistol felt much more stable in my hand even though my pinky wraps under the flush plate magazine. I’m probably used to this since I’ve shot the XD-S a lot already and it didn’t have a pinky extension.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Pinky Extension
My Pinky didn’t fit with the pinky extension on the 7-round magazine.

That being said, I let me wife hold the XD-S Mod.2 9mm with the pinky extension to get her opinion. She had no problem fitting all of her fingers on the grip including her pinky, given that her hands a smaller. She also seemed to like the new grip texture versus the old texture.

So whether or not you will use the pinky extension will depend on how big your hands are, and since they ship with a flush plate to swap it out with, you shouldn’t have any issues.

One note I wanted to add about the magazines was that the 7-round flush magazine from the older XD-S 9mm worked fine in the new XD-S Mod.2. But the older 8-round and 9-round mags would not seat in the new XD-S Mod.2. It seems like the angle of the cutout in the magazine is different, so it won’t allow the magazine to go all the way in to catch the magazine release. But, the 8-round and 9-round magazines from the new XD-S Mod.2 worked fine in the older XD-S 9mm.

XD-S 9mm Magazines Not Seating in XD-S Mod.2 9mm
XD-S 9mm Magazines Not Seating in XD-S Mod.2 9mm

Sight Options for the New XD-S Mod.2 9mm

There are three different version of the XD-S Mod.2 9mm:

  • Fiber Optic Front Sight and Tactical Rack Serrated White Dot Rear Sight (Steel)
  • Fiber Optic Front Sight and Tactical Rack Serrated White Dot Rear Sight (Steel) w/ Viridian Red Laser
  • Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight and Tactical Rack Serrated Rear Sight (Steel)

The XD-S Mod.2 9mm I received came with the Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight and Tactical Rack Serrated Front Sight. When I was at the range, I initially liked the fiber optic front sight better since it really stands out in the daylight compared to the Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight. You can see the difference in the pictures below. The red fiber optic pops. But after shooting the new XD-S for a while, I became used to it and had no problem picking up the sights and getting on target.

XD-S 9mm Fiber Optic Front Sights in Daylight
XD-S 9mm Fiber Optic Front Sights in Daylight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight in Daylight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight in Daylight

Another plus for the Pro-Flo Tritium/Luminescent Front Sight is that they glow in the dark. Part of me wishes the rear sights were also Pro-Flo Tritium, but that’s just me.

Which sights are right for you? You’ll have to make the decision on which one would work better for you and how you plan on using and carrying the XD-S.

Springfield Armory has also upgraded the rear sight to a Tactical Rack Serrated Rear Sight. I did some testing on random surfaces and my belt and racking the slide using the rear sight seems to work great. Trying a tactical rack using the rear sight on the old version is nearly impossible since the rear sight is tampered down.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Rear Sight vs. XD-S 9mm Rear Sight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Rear Sight vs. XD-S 9mm Rear Sight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Rear Sight vs. XD-S 9mm Rear Sight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Rear Sight vs. XD-S 9mm Rear Sight

Other Differences Between the XD-S Mod.2 9mm and the XD-S 9mm

They also adjusted the rear slide serrations to be wider which make it easier to grab and operate. The new slide serrations are about the width of my thumb versus the old version’s slide serrations which are about the width of my index finger. It isn’t really that much wider but it does seem to make a difference when racking the slide.

In their press release, they mentioned that they redesigned the grip safety. While I can tell that it looks different, I can’t really see how it works any different. Not that this is a bad thing, I just can’t tell the difference. Just like the previous version, you can’t pull the trigger all the way back causing the gun to fire unless the grip safety is pressed. There’s also an additional drop safety in the striker block, in conjunction with the grip safety, prevents the gun from firing if dropped.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Safety vs. XD-S 9mm Grip Safety
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Grip Safety and Slide Serrations vs. XD-S 9mm Grip Safety and Slide Serrations

The part of the frame where your thumb rests is slightly different. While it doesn’t have a dimple where thumb’s knuckle would sit in, it does seem to help to get your thumb higher on the side. It also has a High Hand Extended Beavertail which helps you naturally get a higher grip on the gun. This helps with better recoil control and accuracy.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Thumb Notch
XD-S Mod.2 9mm Thumb Notch
XD-S 9mm Thumb Notch
XD-S 9mm Thumb Notch

The trigger on the XD-S Mod.2 9mm looks identical to the trigger no the XD-S 9mm, but Springfield Armory mentioned that it now has an enhanced short reset trigger which makes for fast, controllable follow up shots. The take-up portion of the trigger press seems to be about the same, possibly a little smoother and lighter than the old version. But you can definitely tell the difference with the shorter reset which is a very nice addition. The day I got the pistol in I went to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class directly from the gun store. The owner is a firearms instructor whose opinion I highly respect. He also said that it was had a really nice feeling trigger and that it was the most “Glockish” trigger that’s he’s felt from Springfield Armory.

How Did the XD-S Mod.2 Hold Up During Testing?

Even though I only had a few days with the gun, I was able to shoot somewhere around 500 rounds through it. I did not get one single malfunction. So while there isn’t much more to say about that, I’d say that’s a good thing. Springfield Armory added that they put the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm through a 25,000 round torture test and had no failures. Accuracy is what you would expect from a Springfield Armory pistol Again, I had no issues there.

I shot three different types of ammo through it during my testing:

  • CCI Blazer Brass Handgun Ammunition 9mm Luger 115 gr FMJ 1145 fps
  • Hornady 9mm Luger 115 gr FTX Critical Defense
  • Federal Premium Hydra-Shok, 9mm Luger, HSJHP, 124 Grain

I should also note some other features that the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm which it younger brother also had. The loaded chamber indicator seems identical to the previous version although it is a nice feature to have. It has an accessory rail that allows you to attach lights and lasers. And it also has an ambidextrous magazine release.

Holsters for the XD-S Mod.2 9mm

Since this review was written before the actual launch of the pistol, I haven’t found any holsters made specifically for the XD-S Mod.2 9mm. But I have three holsters that it seems to work fine with. The first is my G-Code Incog IWB holster. Although this holster was made for the previous XD-S, I do get an audible click when I insert the pistol like it does with the previous version and the retention seems just as good. I also tried it out with my Alien Gear ShapeShift holster and it seems to work just as well. Lastly, which is not a surprise, it fits perfectly in the Sticky Holster that I used to use for my XD-S before getting the G-Code Incog.

 

XD-S Mod.2 9mm in a G-Code Incog IWB Holster
XD-S Mod.2 9mm in a G-Code Incog IWB Holster
XD-S Mod.2 9mm in a G-Code Incog IWB Holster
XD-S Mod.2 9mm in a G-Code Incog IWB Holster

So will all of the holsters made for an XD-S 9mm work with the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm? I can’t answer that but it is possible. You’ll have to try it out for yourself.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Comparisons

I wanted to compare the XD-S Mod.2 9mm to a few other single stack pistols that I own so you will see those listed in the comparison stats below. Unfortunately, I don’t own a Glock 43 and couldn’t get my hands on one in time for this review, so the stats you’ll see for the Glock 43 below are from Glock, not my measurements. Hopefully, I can get my hands on a Glock 43 soon so I can update this review with some picture and stat comparisons since the Glock 43 is probably the most popular single stack pistol that people want to compare to the XD-S Mod.2 9mm.

So this first comparison chart is merely comparing the weight of the original XD-S 9mm to the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm with the different magazines, empty and loaded.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Weight vs. XD-S 9mm Weight

All weights were done on my own scale. All loaded weights were weighed using Hornady 9mm Luger 115 gr FTX® Critical Defense® with a round in the chamber.
 XD-S Mod.2 9mmXD-S 9mm
7-Round Magazine with Flush Plate Empty21.5 oz.22.5 oz.
7-Round Magazine with Flush Plate Loaded24.7 oz.25.7 oz.
7-Round Magazine with Pinkie Extension Empty21.5 ozN/A
7-Round Magazine with Pinkie Extension Loaded24.8 oz.N/A
8-Round Magazine Empty22 oz.23.1 oz
8-Round Magazine Loaded25.7 oz.26.8 oz.
9-Round Magazine Empty22.4 oz.23.6 oz.
9-Round Magazine Loaded26.5 oz.27.7 oz.

This second comparison chart shows the weight of the XD-S Mod.2 9mm up against some of the other popular single-stack pistols as well as the XD Mod.2 9mm Sub-Compact, Ruger LCP II and Glock 19 with a Trijicon RMR and Streamlight TLR-1 HR. I added the non-single stack pistols just as a reference.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Weight vs. Others

All weights were done on my own scale. All loaded weights were weighed using Hornady 9mm Luger 115 gr FTX® Critical Defense® with a round in the chamber except for the Ruger LCP II which was weight using Winchester FMJ 380 Auto 95 Grain. The XD Mod.2, Glock 19 and Ruger LCP II were added as a reference to a larger and smaller pistol.
 Magazine TypeMagazine EmptyMagazine Loaded
XD-S Mod.2 9mm7-Round Flush Plate21.4 oz24.7 oz.
XD-S 9mm7-Round Flush Plate22.5 oz.25.7 oz
Glock 436-Round Flush Plate17.99 oz.20.64 oz.
S&W M&P9 Shield7-Round Flush Plate20.5 oz.23.8 oz.
Beretta Nano6-Round Flush Plate19.9 oz.22.8 oz.
Ruger LCR II6-Round w/ Pinkie Extension10.7 oz.13.1 oz.
XD Mod.2 9mm13-Round Flush Plate25.2 oz.31.5 oz.
Glock 19 w/ Trijicon RMR & Streamlight TLR-1 HL15-Round Flush Plate28.7 oz.35.2 oz.

This third comparison chart is showing all of the same pistols as the previous chart but with all of their dimensions: Length, height, slide width, frame width and grip width.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Dimension Comparisons

All measurements were taken on my own caliber except for the Glock 43 in which we used the manufacturer's specs. The XD Mod.2, Glock 19 and Ruger LCP II were added as a reference to a larger and smaller pistol.
 LengthHeightSlide WidthFrame WidthGrip Width
XD-S Mod.2 9mm6.31 in.4.3 in..91 in..98 in..97 in.
XD-S 9mm6.2 in.4.46 in..91 in..99 in..95 in.
Glock 436.26 in.4.25 in..87 in.N/AN/A
S&W M&P9 Shield6.13 in.4.60 in..91 in..96 in..98 in
Beretta Nano5.67 in.4.31 in..95 in..95 in..92 in.
Ruger LCR II5.17 in.3.98 in..75 in..80 in..88 in.
XD Mod.2 9mm6.2 in.4.8 in1.09 in.1.18 in.1.19 in.
Glock 19 w/ Trijicon RMR & Streamlight TLR-1 HL8.22 in.5.84 in.1.03 in.1.16 in.1.19 in.

And lastly, we have a comparison chart showing the trigger pull weight of all the previously selected pistols. Each measurement was taken me using a Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge and is showing the average of 20 readings. I should also mention that the XD Mod.2 9mm has many rounds through it, so it is extremely broken in compared to the other pistols. When taking the readings on the XD-S Mod.2 9mm, I only had roughly 200 rounds through it so I would expect it to get better over time.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Trigger Weight Comparisons

All measurements were taken on my own Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge and are showing the average of 20 readings except for the Glock 43. The XD Mod.2, Glock 19 and Ruger LCP II were added as a reference to a larger and smaller pistol.
PistolTrigger Pull Weight
XD-S Mod.2 9mm6 lbs. 14.5 oz.
XD-S 9mm6 lbs. 9.5 oz.
Glock 437 lbs 8 oz.*
S&W M&P9 Shield6 lbs. 3.5 oz.
Beretta Nano6 lbs. 5.0 oz.
Ruger LCR II5 lbs. 7.0 oz.
XD Mod.2 9mm4 lbs. 9.1 oz.
Glock 19 w/ Trijicon RMR & Streamlight TLR-1 HL5 lbs. 4.0 oz.

XD-S Mod.2 9mm Review Conclusion

So what do I think of the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm? Personally, I really like it and am planning on switching to this versus the older version. My wife may want to keep the older version. If not then I’ll be selling it. The main reason I like this new version is the new grip texture. This could be because I was used to it from the XD Mod.2 that I carried and shot so much.

Is it worth the upgrade if you already have the XD-S 9mm? Possibly. That really just depends on you. I would say go to a range to at least feel it and if possible shoot it.

But if you don’t have the XD-S and are currently in the hunt for a single-stack 9mm, I would highly recommend you check the new XD-S Mod.2 9mm out.