Springfield’s XD(M) 3.8 Compact .40 offers outstanding performance at a reasonable priceÂ
Story and Photos by Dave Spaulding
As with people, good genes typically make for good guns. I’ll explain.
The first XD pistol I handled was called the HS2000, and it was manufactured in Croatia by HS Produkt. Its design can be traced back to a service pistol known as the PHP, which was first produced by an industrial parts firm named I. M. Metal in 1991. The PHP was well thought of as a solid design, but early versions were plagued by quality-control issues, due mostly to the difficulties of manufacturing during the Croatian Civil War. Work continued on the pistol design over the next decade, leading to the release of the HS95 in 1995 and the HS2000 in 1999. The HS2000 was eventually adopted by the Croatian military and law enforcement as its standard issue sidearm and continues to fill that role to this day.
Initially exported to the U.S. by Intrac and distributed by HS America in 2002, Springfield Armory negotiated licensing rights and changed the name to the XD (X-Treme Duty). The folks at Springfield Armory have since expanded the line to include numerous models in three different calibers, barrel lengths, finishes and frame configurations. The industry press awarded the XD-45 the title of “Handgun of the Year” from both American Rifleman magazine and The Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence while the XD(M) series of pistols won “Handgun of the Year” again in 2009.
The XD is a striker-fired, delay blowback centerfire handgun with a safety lever in the face of the trigger, a drop safety and a grip safety. A few years back, Springfield upgraded the XD line, and while keeping the original product line, the company created a more updated configuration with a new grip. The slide was contoured to be narrower at the top than along the slide rail area, and an interchangeable backstrap was added to what was already a very comfortable grip that pointed quite well.
What Springfield calls the Modern XD—the XD(M)—came with greater ammo capacity, with the 9mm version holding 19 rounds in the double stack magazine. The pistol is long—top to bottom—to accommodate the additional capacity.
Recently, Springfield cut the barrel and slide and gave it the name XD(M) 3.8, with this number indicating the length in inches of the new barrel. The frame size was also reduced and the magazine was shortened with less capacity: 13 rounds instead of 19, to be precise.
These changes take the XD Series to a whole new level by making it easy to transform into a full-size, high-capacity XD(M) from a small compact pistol. That is, from a 13-round, concealed carry companion to a 19-round match-grade pistol with just a simple magazine change. In essence, Springfield’s goal was to offer a gun “package,” and perhaps the only handgun you’ll ever need, so to speak.
To read this article in its entirety, pick up a copy of Gun World’s January issue, available on newsstands now.