Springfield has upped the ante with its XD-E, releasing the hammer pistol in the hard-hitting .45 ACP.
What to know about this new Springfield XD-E model:
- Springfield has expanded the XD-E line, adding a .45 ACP option along with 9mm.
- The pistol is among the most compact and lightest .45 ACPs the company offers.
- The double-action/single-action trigger and hammer offers shooters a level of safety.
- And the XD-E's trigger also gives shooters the ability to carry in a variety of ways.
Springfield Armory has certainly proven its chops when it comes striker-fired and 1911 pistols. Over the years, the Illinois company has churned out a healthy selection of the popular styles of handguns in its XD and 1911 lines, arming shooters with pistols perfect nearly every situation — from concealed carry to competition.
But this year, Springfield took a much different turn, expanding one of its most popular lines with a type of pistol most certainly not associated with the brand. The XD-E might be the first example of a company evolving a striker-fired pistol into a double-action/single-action hammer-fired pistol. And while some might cry foul this is more of a regression from the line’s current trajectory, there is a certain method to Springfield’s madness.
There’s a case for DA/SA semi-autos versatility and safety — not to mention second-strike capabilities. And for those curious if it fits their style of carry, Springfield has made it easy to get behind the trigger of this style of handgun, with the XD-E’s MSRP well below the $600 mark.
They’ve also gone one better recently, especially for those who tend toward a big-bore for their self-defense gun with the addition of the XD-E in .45 ACP. Presently, the new release gives shooters two calibers of the pistol to choose from, with the XD-E initially released in 9mm. Time will tell if ‘Mama Bear’ .40 S&W is on the horizon, but it would make sense, given a majority of the XD series’ models are offered in the three popular self-defense calibers.
The new XD-E is a whisker larger than a couple existing XD models in .45 ACP (MOD.2 Sub-Compact, XD-S), but the single-stack still comes in among the most demure pistols Springfield offers in that chambering. The 3.3-inch barreled semi-auto has a 5-inch height with its flush-fit magazine (5.25 with its grip-extension mag) and weighs in at a manageable 23 ounces unloaded. Given the tale of the tape, the XD-E .45 should prove extremely manageable for any carry style, even if concealment boarders on skimpy.
The barrel length and weight of the 6+1 capacity pistol (7+1 with grip extension) does bring up the issue of controllability in .45 ACP, something potentially compounded with the transitioning trigger pulls. But like so many challenges in the shooting world, dedicated practice to master the firearm mitigates many of the control issues.
Like much of the XD series, the XD-E is purpose-built for concealed carry and Springfield has configured it thus. The polymer-framed pistol comes with low-profile combat rear sights, designed to facilitate a clean draw stroke. The front fiber-optic sight creates a lightning fast and clear sight picture. And, the grip is aggressively textured like the XD MOD.2, which makes it ready for any environmental conditions, as well as adding a level of controllability to the pistol.
The double-action/single-action trigger gives shooters the best of both worlds — a manageable, yet long first shot, trailed by quick and snappy pulls on follow-ups. This adds a level of safety to a self-defense pistol, making it more forgiving of a sympathetic reaction that might result in a negligent discharge. If that was perhaps not enough, Springfield has added a manual ambidextrous thumb safety/decocker — though there could be an entire debate about whether that is a help or a hindrance.
In addition to safety, the XD-E also offers flexibility in carry method. Armed citizens can holster the pistol from cocked-and-locked all the way down to Israeli (hammer down, unchambered).
While still competitive in regard to the rest of the concealed-carry pistol market, the XD-E .45 ACP does run a bit more than the 9mm version. But with a MSRP of $568, it definitely is in range for anyone out for a concealable DA/SA pistol or those curious if this option fits their profile.
XD-E .45 ACP
Height: 5-inches flush-fit mag; 5.25-inches magazine extension
Weight: 23 ounces
Length: 6. 75 inches
Grip Width: 1 inch
Recoil System: Dual Spring with full-length guide rod
Slide: Forged steel, Melonite finish
Frame: Black polymer
Sights: Fiber optic front; low-profile combat rear
Barrel: 3.3-inch, hammer forged steel, Melonite finish
Capacity: 6+1 flush-fit magazine; 7+1 magazine extension