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GUNS Magazine April 2013 Digital Edition - Page 30
OuT OF THe BOX™ SPringfieLd armory xd-S .45 acP this compact pistol brinGs Great power down to pocket size. ife is full of trade-offs. My wife’s vehicle is a Dodge Caravan; after three hip surgeries within a couple months (one didn’t take the first time) the Caravan is easy for her to get in and out of. My vehicle is an extended cab 4x4 pickup which is definitely not easy for her to get in and out of. However, with the 4x4 it is easy to get in and out of places we dare not take the Caravan. A small steel running board step has been installed on both sides of the 4x4 to aid in entry. The Caravan has become our running-aroundtown car while the 4x4 is the vehicle chosen for shooting, hunting or just plain exploring. We know and understand the trade-offs and accept them. There are certainly many trade-offs when it comes to firearms also. More than 30 years ago, although I would have definitely preferred the .44 or .45, I was forced by circumstances to go with the much smaller .38. Today, thanks to Springfield Armory, we can literally, if you will pardon the cliché, have our cake and eat it too. There are many excellent .45s out there both on the 1911 platform and also those with polymer frames and double action or “safety” triggers. Many manufacturers have worked at shrinking the size of both types of pistols with some successfully working and some not. What Springfield Armory has done is shrink the size of their very popular XD series .45 ACP to where it will actually fit in the top of my boot should I feel compelled to carry that Targets shot at 7 yards with the Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP show it capable of fine defensive accuracy. JOHN TAFFIN L The XD-S .45 is not your everyday outdoor pistol and if ever needed seriously chances are very good it may be indoors. way while also being totally reliable even with its very small size. I knew it was very small simply by handling it and definitely by shooting it. This is not a semi-automatic to be shot for a long pleasurable afternoon but rather a serious self-defense semiautomatic. Firing any .45 ACP loads certainly gets my attention. I did all my testing before I compared it to my full-sized XD .45 and was really quite surprised at just how small it actually is. After more than a century of .45 semiautomatics it is not difficult to make a totally reliable pistol nor is it all that difficult to make a small pistol. The rub comes with the attempt to make a small reliable pistol and that is exactly what Springfield Armory has managed to accomplish. Comparing it side-by-side with the full-sized XD reveals just how much engineering went into this downsizing project. A look at a few figures will show just how much work the shrink scientists put into this exceptional little pistol. At 4.4 inches in height the XD-S is 80 percent of the size of the original XD. Lengthwise at 6.3 inches the XD-S comes in at 76 percent of the original while the weight of 21.5 ounces is just barely over 2/3 that of the XD or 67 percent. Not much can be accomplished in front to back measurement of the grip and still stay with a .45 ACP cartridge, however at 0.949 inch in width the XD-S has been shrunk to 78 percent of the original. Those are significant downsizing figures. Of course, there are still tradeoffs when comparing the XD-S with the XD. The larger pistol is certainly much easier and much more comfortable to shoot; capacity is 13+1 compared to the 5+1 of the XD-S. The latter can also be used with a 7-round magazine. If my situation was such where a fullsized .45 ACP could be used carried in 30 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 1 3