January 15, 2020
By J. Scott Rupp
Springfield’s XD has become an iconic striker-fired semiautomatic, and for good reason. It’s accurate, handles well and is infallibly reliable. It has been Springfield’s mainstay for many years, and now the company is taking it to the next level with the XD-M Elite. There are four models: 3.8 ($559), 4.5 ($559), Tactical OSP ($709) and Precision ($653)
All of the XD-M Elite share a number of common features. One big change is the new trigger, which the company is calling the Matched Enhanced Trigger Assembly or META. It’s a bladed style, and it features a flat face and an overtravel stop. The slide serrations have been enlarged for better purchase, and the pistols also incorporate an ambidextrous slide stop.
The XD-M Elite now boasts a removable flared mag well, which is a pretty cool feature. Flared magazine wells improve reload speed and reduce fumbling, and since they’re removable, if you want to improve concealment you can take them off. There’s a standard length and a short length.
All Elites come with interchangeable backstraps, and the frames feature accessory rails for lights and lasers. At the rear of the slide you’ll find a striker-status indicator, and there’s a loaded-chamber indicator at the top of the slide, just behind the ejection port.
Want ammo? This new line delivers 22+1 or 20+1 capacities, depending on model. All are 9mms and come with hammer-forged barrels with a 1:16 twist. The forged-steel slides and barrels are treated to a Melonite finish for superior corrosion resistance.
I think it makes sense to start with what I believe will prove the most popular model, the 3.8, since it will serve nicely as a concealed-carry and home defense gun. As the name suggests, it features a 3.8-inch barrel, and overall length is 7.2 inches. Grip width is 1.44 inches, and weight is 28 ounces.
The gun sports a U-Dot tactical rack rear sight—designed to allow the slide to be manipulated one-handed by placing the slide on a belt or flat surface—paired with a red fiber-optic front sight. The pistol comes with the short removable mag well, and two 20-round mags ship with the gun.
The XD-M Elite 4.5 should prove a great all-around pistol. Its 4.5-inch barrel boosts overall length to just over eight inches and weight to 29.3 ounces. It has the same sight setup as the 3.8, and like the 3.8 it also comes with the short mag well and two 20-round magazines.
The Tactical OSP is a red-dot ready gun with a 5.28-inch barrel. It’s threaded .578x28, and with the supplied thread protector in place the barrel is 5.34 inches long. Weight is 30.4 ounces, and grip width is 1.2 inches.
The top of the slide features Springfield’s OSP cover plate, and it comes with several adapters for common red dot sights. Sights are suppressor height, and they also should co-witness with a red dot.
Slide and frame on this gun are flat dark earth, and the OSP features the extended mag well and comes with two 22-round magazines.
My own XD is the five-inch Tactical version, and it’s one of my favorite pistols. The new XD-M Precision has a similar length barrel but is a big jump up from the Tactical. The Precision should prove an excellent home defense gun, range gun as well as terrific option for shooting Production division in competition.
Here the rear sight is adjustable—an advantage not only for competition but also for the ability to get your defense loads shooting where you want them. The front is a red fiber optic.
The barrel is 5.25 inches long, and the top of the slide has a lightening cut to reduce reciprocating mass and tame muzzle jump. Weight is 30 ounces, and like the OSP, the grip width is 1.2 inches. It comes with the extended removable mag well and two 22-round magazines.
Like many handgunners out there, I’ve long been a fan of the XD series. The new XD-M Elite lineup should prove to be even more popular, thanks to all the great new features Springfield has added.