The Springfield XD Mod. 2 4-inch Service Model offers improved ergonomics in a mid-size pistol perfect for any shooter.
When we find an exception to a rule, the first thing we tend to do as humans is to exploit that exception for a personal benefit or a competitive advantage. Examples are all around us, from diet and exercise to schoolwork, politics and, of course, firearms. With one of its latest pistols, Springfield Armory has created an exception to the old cliché, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Springfield’s venerable XD Compact polymer pistol received a major facelift in 2015 after more than a decade of faithful service. But why change a reliable pistol that has earned widespread trust among thousands of different shooters? It’s simple: The folks at Springfield Armory knew they could successfully innovate the pistol while maintaining the dependable performance we’re used to.
The result is the new Springfield XD Mod. 2 Service Model, with updated ergonomics and styling that’s already proving why it’s an exception to the rule.
Get in the Zone
With its 4-inch barrel and a grip length that can accommodate large hands, the dimensions of this 27.5-ounce pistol meet a modest middle ground that will fit nearly any shooter. However, its size is only one factor that gives this 9mm striker-fired polymer pistol a wide range of capabilities.
Anyone from casual weekend target shooters to the more experienced tactical shooters will enjoy handling its ergonomic grip, distinctly labeled with the “Grip Zone” billboard on each side of the grip, which will certainly be a turn off for some. On the bright side, you can’t see the grip while you’re shooting it.
Springfield Armory engineered this grip to provide three different textures (zones) in each area of the grip where friction occurs during firing. During testing, the grip was comfortable after 500 rounds. No callused hands or awkward pressure points to report. The grip felt like a brand new baseball glove that was already broken in and ready to play ball.
The Illinois-based manufacturer makes it easy to take the Springfield XD Mod. 2 4-inch right out of the box and put it to work. It comes equipped with features we’ve come to expect from more expensive pistols: a fiber optic front sight, an ambidextrous magazine release, an accessory rail and a loaded chamber indicator. Additionally, the sample used during testing came with a holster, double mag pouch, two 16-round magazines and a magazine loader, all of which were neatly nestled in custom-cut foam inside a hard-sided carrying case.
As tested, the 5.6-pound trigger pull had a reliable break and a crisp reset. The take-up was consistent but felt gritty at first. After 500 rounds through the gun, the gritty pull seemed to get smoother, and we expect it would continue to improve after additional range sessions and cleanings.
Springfield is offering two versions of this pistol, one in all-black finish and the other in bi-tone. The pistol tested here was the all-black version with Melonite finish. The finish seemed to hold up well to scratches and scuffs, even in the field during photography work and range usage.
When it’s time to bust out rubber ducky and give the pistol a bath, takedown is familiar to that of all previous XD variants: Remove the magazine, lock the slide rearward, rotate the disassembly lever 90 degrees clockwise, release the slide, pull the trigger (unloaded) and remove the slide.
Everyday Carry: The 5 “Cs” of CCW
Any time I evaluate a handgun for an everyday carry application I consider the following five factors — what I call the 5 “Cs” of Concealed Carry — to assess important areas of the handgun’s performance.
Concealability/Comfort: The Mod. 2 4-inch provides an ideal middle ground between full-size performance and subcompact concealment. During testing, this firearm was easily concealed inside the waistband with dress clothes.
Confidence: During a 500-round function test, the only problem I noticed was my hand sometimes would not fully engage the palm grip safety, which is common for me with these types of safety mechanisms. Aside from this issue, I would be confident trusting my life with this pistol.
Control: The Mod. 2 handles like a dream with its grip texturing. Combine ergonomics with a 6¼-inch sight radius, and you have the makings of an all-purpose duty gun.
Capacity: A generous magazine capacity of 16+1 provides plenty of firepower, specifically, one more round than a Glock 19. Also important to note: The Mod. 2 4-inch will accept all magazines from 4-inch or 5-inch first-generation XD9 pistols.
Caliber: 9x19mm ammunition is more than adequate for most purposes. Make sure to use quality 9mm self-defense ammunition for everyday carry purposes, and you’ll be set for virtually any two-legged threat.
Lyte ‘Em Up
The Springfield XD Mod. 2 4-inch in 9mm comes with an accessory rail for attaching lights, lasers, bayonets or whatever else you can think of adding. During testing, we tried LaserLyte’s new Lyte Ryder Universal Rail Mount laser sight. Installation was simple, as the laser sight came with all necessary mounting tools and hardware. We slid the sight on the rail and secured it in place with a single crossbar screw.
The laser features ambidextrous activation that’s easily engaged when the trigger finger is indexed down the frame of the pistol. With simple windage and elevation adjustments, we were able to get dialed in for precise POI/POA and found that the laser made target acquisition faster, especially in low light. The Lyte Ryder laser also closely matched the look and feel of the Springfield XD Mod. 2, giving it a custom appearance and an effective advantage.
Springfield Armory made its flagship XD9 more comfortable and easier to shoot for a wider range of shooters with the next generation Mod 2. Very slight variations from the original design result in enhanced performance, especially during high round counts. While the “Grip Zone” billboard will be a turn-off for some, the improved grip texturing and re-shaping was very well engineered.
The Springfield XD Mod. 2 4-inch in 9mm gets high marks all around, with the capability to perform a variety of functions right out of the box. It’s clear that Springfield improved its old XD9 workhorse with the Mod. 2, and we expect to see this lineup continue to expand into more sizes and caliber options. In terms of accuracy, the Mod. 2 performed well with a variety of different ammunition and posted average groups between 1.3 and 2.5 inches at 7 yards.
Whether you’re a casual weekend target shooter or carrying the pistol everyday, the XD9 Mod. 2 4-inch Service Model is a pistol that nearly anyone can pick up and shoot well. When you see one at your local gun store, give it a try and feel for yourself how Springfield Armory found an exception to that old rule, “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Springfield XD Mod. 2 4-inch Service Model
Barrel: 4 in., hammer forged, 1:10 twist, Melonite finish
Overall Length: 7.3 in.
Height: 5.5 in.
Grip Width: 1.20 in.
Weight: 27.5 oz. (with empty magazine)
Frame: Black polymer
Slide: Forged steel, black Melonite finish
Trigger: 5.6 lbs.
Sights:Fiber optic front, low profile combat rear
Manufacturer: Springfield Armory
Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the Concealed Carry 2016 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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