Springfield Armory XDM .40 | Extreme Duty Handgun Review

Revolutionary pistol boasts enhanced (M) factor — more of what you need!

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The first time that I did business with Springfield Armory it became evident that the company chooses to espouse the ideal of “Get it right the first time and folks will keep coming back.” It’s unarguably a fact that Springfield Armory has put their best foot forward with their line of XD (Extreme Duty) pistols. However, the sign of being a great company means that you never stop learning and improving. The release of the XDM pistol line into production has thrust Springfield Armory once again into the forefront for good reason.

springfield2.gifThe much anticipated XDM is proving that you can upgrade on perfection. The XDM represents an entirely new level of functionality, ergonomics and value. Springfield Armory refers to this as the (M) Factor. The (M) means more: More of what, you may ask? That definition is difficult to list in a sentence. Among many of the (M) Factor definitions are Main focus sights,Minimal reset trigger, Multi-use carrying case, Mega-lock texture, Mold-tru backstraps, Model contour frame, Maximum reach magazine release and Mega-capacity magazines. Upon laying eyes on my test model XDM .40, I was pleased by the presentation and level of detail of the total package. In fact, my FFL (federal firearms license) dealer said that he “didn’t want to pick it up for fear of falling in love and wanting to buy one.” It truly is that impressive.

The XDM case in and of itself is the first step in the (M) Factor. It’s much more than your run-of-the-mill “throwaway” pistol box. It serves as not only a weapons case (duh), it also serves as a rugged laptop and electronic equipment case, or for any number of other uses. As you pull the XDM out of its foam-ensconced slot your hands start catching on all the subtle angles and edges molded and machined into its control surfaces. This is not to say that this weapon is one big Velcro-like pain in the butt that’ll snag and bind on everything. It’s that the XDM was designed to naturally “adhere” to the human hand. It’s hard to explain, you really need to hold an XDM to appreciate it, but it’s very “grabbable.” Now there’s a word for you.

During testing it was 97 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the XDM was coated in sweat and oil; however I was able to keep a positive grip on the weapon at all times. The new angles molded into the grip surfaces are about staying power; however they inadvertently add a unique appearance to the pistol. When you look at an XDM for the first time it looks strange only because it doesn’t mimic the industry standards for pistol design. Curiously it’s this unorthodox style of engineering that attracts those of us that see it for what it is, revolutionary. Every angle on the XDM has been designed and re-thought for one thing alone, control. Now that’s what I call grabbability.

The sights on my test model were of the standard steel, non-tritium type but that’s not to say that they’re pedestrian in any way. They are what Springfield calls Main focus sights and are also part of the (M) Factor. They’re quick on-target acquisition and are also beveled so as to be gentle on your holster lining.

The XDM .40 caliber magazines are capable of holding 16 rounds without expanding the gun’s size out of the grasp of your average-sized shooter. It’s a bit of a thumb-splitter to get those last two rounds in, but the loading tool does this task for you beautifully. With the 16 + 1 capacity of the XDM, one would think that the gun would have to be large to accomplish this feat and yet it’s the opposite.

The magazine release is also strategically placed to allow the shooter to ambidextrously drop a magazine without repositioning the XDM in the hand. This is a plus when you’re working with new shooters that feel at odds with their nerves. If they’re comfortable with their weapon the learning curve is much smoother.

Range Time
For testing I asked my brother Frank to tag along to the range; I had ulterior motives. The reason that I invited him along was to conduct a test of the (M) Factor. I was most intrigued by the opportunity to put the XDM into his hands to see what a first-time shooter could do with this pistol.

After a brief safety lesson I pointed him towards a row of steel plates at 7 yards and watched as he slowly but accurately downed one after the other with a steady “pop…ping!” He started blowing through the magazines and got better at dropping targets very quickly. It came as no surprise when he wanted to keep going after several rounds in the brutal Tennessee heat of July. On the other hand, I had had my fill of the heat, the shooting lesson ended with, “Yeah, you like it? Well then go buy one!”

I asked him several days afterwards for his assessment of the pistol. These are his words: “I found the XDM to be much lighter than I would have thought. It was very smooth shooting once I figured out how much pressure I needed to press the trigger. The grip was very comfortable in my hand and the gun stayed put. It didn’t feel like I would lose it after any of the shots.

“I like the fact that it comes with a full load of accessories, I don’t know if that’s standard for everybody, but I like that Springfield does that.” By George, I think he’s a fan, don’t you?

Upon taking my turn with the XDM I was pleased by its natural grip angle and ease of target acquisition. The interchangeable palm swells were a nice feature and after a few magazine swaps and clearance drills I swapped out the medium insert for the large one. Seeing as how I have very large hands I found the XDM a bit small even with the largest insert in place, but my brother who is a better comparator for your average-sized shooter (i.e., less gorilla-like) said that he found the grip to be very comfortable and easy to shoot.

The initial magazine swap brought with it a, “Whoa, check that out!” from me. The slide on the XDM is actually machined with an A-frame angle. The original XD design, of which I own two in .45, is squared off and is very comfortable to rack the slide on. However, I must say that the XDM slide is indeed easier to grasp.

Trigger time on the XDM started at the 7-yard line and progressed to the 15, 25 and then out to the 50. At 50 yards I was concerned that I might “lay an egg” in front of my brother and inadvertently shoot my target stands. Instead, what I found was that the XDM was able to hammer round after round into the center mass of a steel target with a satisfying “pong.”

This was accomplished in part by two factors. The first is that Springfield Armory committed to a match grade barrel in its XDM line. This is huge in the firearms industry. It adds a level of detail and precision that Springfield felt would distinguish the XDM above its competitors—and it has.

The second factor in long-range accuracy is, of course, the ammo. The manufacturer of choice for me is, as always, Hornady; you just can’t do any better than Hornady’s TAP (Tactical Applications Police) line of duty ammo. For this particular XDM test model it was .40 caliber 155- and 180-grain TAP CQ. Both loads produced exceptional groupings from the Match Grade XDM barrel and cycled every time. Muzzle velocity from the 155-grain is 1180 fps (feet per second) and 950 fps from the 180-grain.

Accessories

The XDM gun case, like its predecessors, comes loaded with all the extras: holster, dual-magazine holder, magazine loading tool, gun lock, cleaning brush and two magazines. While there are those that have grumbled about the holsters that come with XD pistols (me included) it bears saying that yes, they’re not top of the line holsters in any way. However they are good starter holsters.

For the casual home-defense shooter they are a great asset on the range. For instructors they’re a big help in teaching the basics of safe weapon handling to beginners. If you really want to kick it up into the professional level, one can opt for the high quality line of holsters from Safariland. I chose to go with a Safariland #5188 Paddle Holster for this test. It’s my off-duty carry holster and is one rugged piece of gear.

It’s hard to damage the thing and even though it’s an open top rig it holds the pistol securely in place until it’s needed. This particular model offers the option of carrying an XD and/or XDM with a tactical light attached.

That’s a big plus because it means that you don’t constantly have to do the old “on and off routine” with your tactical light between your duty and off-duty rigs.

Tactical lights are a great addition to any pistol and there is no end to the choices one can make in this department. I chose the TLR-1 from Streamlight. It’s the light of choice for my duty XD .45 and the one that I always suggest to officers to look to first. They’re priced within reasonable financial reach at about $90 and are waterproof to boot. Tactical lights are also the easiest way to get rounds on target in a CQB (close quarter battle) environment.

For example, when the fight enters a darkened structure you need to control the light. The tactical light also acts as an aiming aid that is easier to center than a laser. Basically, center the beam of light on the bad guy and squeeze off a hail of rounds and you can’t miss. I demonstrated this to my wife and she now sleeps with an XD .45 Tactical at her side with a TLR-1 tactical light attached. I work third watch and if I happen to come home early I make sure to call ahead, know what I mean?

Final Notes
In weapons testing one has to be brutal to be totally honest. I have only two gripes. The first is that it’s a tad small for those of us guys with big hands. Currently, the second gripe is that the XDM only comes in .40 (now available in 9mm). I’m sure that Springfield will be rectifying this shortcoming soon. A pistol not chambered in .45ACP is just un-American.

Despite my grumbles, every aspect of the XDM is a pleasure to work with. It’s a finely finished and solidly engineered weapon that is equally at home in law enforcement, home defense and shooting competition. So far I’ve shared this weapon with approximately 14 different officers and civilians. And I haven’t heard a single negative word. In fact I keep hearing, “It’s lighter than I thought it would be.” Polymer pistols have come a long way haven’t they?

Would I still recommend XDM? Hell yeah! Springfield has really embarked on something great with the XDM line. I look forward to more offerings in this pistol in the years to come. Until then remember, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so practice!”



 

  • harold price

    Ihave2springfields in 40 cal one is a xd and the other one is a xdm I love both of them they are the best pistols I have owned I also have 2 glocks in 45 and 357 sig there are no way they can compare to my xds thank you Springfield for a great pistol Keep up the good work . Sorry glock Its time to make some changes or fall even further behind .

  • Abner Miranda

    Harold, Springfield Armory certainly knows how to make an outstanding weapon don’t they? Now all we have to do is talk them into making an “XDm Carbine.” Oh dare to dream.

  • http://tactical-life.com P.A.

    Hey i just wanted to thank you for the review on the XDM .40.I have been doing as much research as possible and this has been an amazing help!I will go get this gun!

  • http://daddycop3@yahoo.com Abner Miranda

    P.A. You will not be disappointed with that decision. The XDm is truly a superb firearm and I have no qualms about stepping into harms way with one in my hand. In fact I go into harms way every day in uniform with its predecessor the XD in .45 cal. I trust my life on Springfield Armory quality, and have no reservations with suggesting them to folks. I hope you enjoy your new XDm.

  • Randel C

    I own and XDM 40 bi tone olive and stainless. I was so pleased with this gun, that I sold my Glock 23 and rely solely on my XDM. The accuracy is outstanding, and I have not had one malfunction. I have fired 2000+ rounds through it and it is still like brand new.

  • Abner Miranda

    Randel,

    I tell folks when they’re looking for a gun to buy new except when looking for an XD or XDm. It’s so hard to mess these guns up that you can safely buy them used. But let’s face it there’s nothing like opening up that box on a new gun. It really is worth it to buy them new if you can swing it. Wait till you see what’s coming up soon. Springfield is custom building me an XD .45 Tactical suppressed for a high risk concealed carry class. It should prove to be interesting.

  • John RIchards

    Fantastic article, I’ve been doing extensive online research for a great home defense pistol and I really appreciate your detailed review.

  • t. s.

    I have been looking to purchase my first hand gun and have even gone as far as going to my local gun shop.I came across the xd 9mm and fell in love with it.I told a buddy of mine about my find and he said he had just purchase a the xdm 40cal. so now im doing research on it and finding that it is a great gun. I plan on going back to the gun shop and checking that out. Thanks for the review.

  • Abner Miranda

    John & T.S.

    First let me say thank you for reading my review, we put a lot of effort into publishing these magazines and it’s great to get feedback from our readers. Like you, I also make my choices from reading such publications and then testing the weapons at a rental range if possible before buying.

    The Springfield Armory, XD/XDm line of pistols are the ones that actually got me seriously looking at something other than Glocks. For years I had tried everything out there and the two things that constantly pushed me away from other pistols was corrosion resistance and ergonomics. Nothing could touch a Glock in those two areas until the Springfield Armory, XD/XDm pistols came on line. Now it’s evident that Springfield Armory is gaining ground on Glock in a fierce way. I carry an XD .45 on and off duty 24/7 and I have yet to find corrosion on the thing. I also routinely test ammo through it by opening the back door of my house and hitting steel targets on my range that are at least 70 yards from my house. The ergonomics of these pistols really is that good. I hope you guys are able to get your hands on an XDm you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

  • Ron Collins

    Thanks for a level headed review. Most reviews I read are done by red-necked pistol crazy gun nuts who talk about how often they carry, how they will take care of a “bad guy” with their power of gun ownership. This is all smoke as 99.9% of us will never need or face a “bad guy” where a gun is needed. I think many of us like to own pistols as they give us a sense of power (needlessly)which comes from movies and cowboy activities.

    We must realize that the closest we (average citizen) will ever get to a bad guy is at the range and shooting targets of some sort. That is what I enjoy and what we all strive for– to be able to have fun, meet great people and shoot to relax and become proficient in hitting our target with tight groups. Rarely will we need to defend ourselves by killing or wounding someone with few exceptions.

    What I enjoyed about your review was you stuck mainly to the facts and didn’t go into detail as to how the gun can be used to put down a bad guy, penetration of human flesh, stopping him before he gets to you etc. Your review was how to buy a good pistol and how to have fun with it–either plinking or at the range.

    Can you imagine how much info an anti gun group can harvest that is detrimental to us law abiding owners from reading the” hyper kill zone “stuff that some of the stupid gun nuts talk about in these review threads. It is their unreasonable and inaccurate additions to reviews that will eventually restrict our rights even more. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around these cowboys when shooting or even when they are carrying with an attitude of God like power.

  • Abner Miranda

    Ron,

    My thoughts exactly! As you’ve obviously noticed the world is full of “Lords of Darkness” who love to tell you “how to get it done.” I carry a gun every day, everywhere I go. It get’s old in a hurry when you HAVE to carry a gun. This fact has made me more pragmatic about guns in general and tends to pattern what I write. I try to give more info and less hype. I’m glad you enjoyed the article Ron.

  • Matt

    I have been looking at the XDm 40 for quite some time, waiting until I can scrape up the funds to purchase it. I was talking with a friend and he proposed an interesting scenario. It is regarding the grip safety and it’s hinderence in firing the gun if you are in a fight with a bad guy for your gun and can’t fully depress the grip safety. I understand that the best thing to do is to not get in a situation like this, but you can’t know what’s going to happen all the time. Any thoughts?

  • Abner Miranda

    Matt, As a cop that is a question that preoccupies my mind often. And yet, I can tell you that when you receive even a basic level of weapons retention training you quickly learn that that concern over the grip safety is pleasantly minuscule. If you’re in a scrap for your life, it’s a no holds barred, grappling contest. And what you find when you train for these scenarios is that the instant that you get your hands onto a gun it is something like 98% probable that you’re going to have a shooting grip on the thing anyways so don’t fret over that grip safety. I love it! I carry an XD everyday which as you know has the same basic set up as an XDm. It becomes so second nature to you that you often times forget that the grip safety is even there. So my advice to you is two fold: first, sell whatever you have to sell to get one of these guns…yes they’re that GOOD! And two, look up TDIOhio.com and get yourself into one of their pistol classes. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed in either choice. Train hard buddy!

  • CAL

    I just bought an xdm 40 and am so excited to shoot it. I shot it at a range before I bought it and instantly fell in love. It is the only handgun that fit my hand so perfectly. I am new to shooting handguns and have been doing tons of research on this gun and others. All of my findings have uncovered no negative feedback on this gun. This article is excellent. It has everything I was looking for. Thanks.

  • Lawrence Berish

    Thanks for the great article and review of the XDm 40. I purchased mine in December of 2009 and have put 700 rounds through it without a single hiccup. I’ve used the cheap UMC 165′s and 180′s, the federal 180′s, and the winchester 180 grain white box ammo from wal-mart. You cannot compare this pistol to a glock because the only thing they have in common is the polymer frame. The XDm does have a steel rail for the slide which I feel is stronger than the glock design. The guide rod is also steel on the XDm versus the polymer one in the Glock. The accuracy and controllability of this pistol make it an excellent choice for women and first time owners/shooters.I hate to sound like a glock basher,but it’s hard to compare the two until you can actually shoot both side by side and I’ve had the pleasure of doing this. The glock in 40 recoiled more and it was harder to control than the XDm. I also did a side by side comparrison with another glock in 357 sig. You just cannot compare them, it’s like apples to oranges IMHO.As a last note, I am 6′ with rather big hands and the XDm is very comfortable. Thanks again for the excellent review. LLB

  • Chuck Miles

    I have the XDm .40 silver and black, I have put well over 4500 rounds through mine and it is still like new!! I am anxiously awaiting the release date on the XDm in .45. I just saw the ad in a magazine. Is there a release date yet? Thanks for the quality weapon.

  • Jimmy Jam

    Finally made my decision. After months of research and range time I narrowed my choice between Glock 27 and the xd 40. My biggest problem was grip area with my bigger hands. Either way I was looking at extended mags to accommodate my bigger hands. The XD felt less square in my hand. So I was going with the XD40 SC when along comes the XDm 3.8 40. Put it in my hands and it was over…Put a fork in me. Ran 200 rounds thru one at the range and I was SOLD..literally I picked it up today. Finally made a purchase and I’m very satisfied. Oh Ya I had to get the Bi-Tone SS 3.8 40.

  • jeff alber

    i have a springfield armory xdm 3.8 i am having a hard time finding a concealed holster for this weapon. do you have any ideas. please let me know. i am looking for inside pants small of back holster with 1 or 2 clips.

  • http://combathandguns bob jennings

    does anyone know where i can find night sights for the xdm

  • ed

    is that true if you have a xdm40 you can canvert it into a 9mm

  • John Mazzo

    I would love to purchase an XDM 3.8 in 40 cal. but Springfield does not make a mag.that is NY compliant (10 round) phone call to Springfield verifies they do not supply a 10 round mag and have no immediate plans to do so.It appears that their new XDM in 45 cal.does have a 10 round mag.makes no sense to me. Come on Springfield give us NY staters a break. you build a great gun. Making a 10 round mag. should not be a problem for you

  • BILLIE

    QUOTE jeff alber Says:
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    i have a springfield armory xdm 3.8 i am having a hard time finding a concealed holster for this weapon. do you have any ideas. please let me know. i am looking for inside pants small of back holster with 1 or 2 clips.

    K & D Holsters out of FL makes an excellent line of leather holsters for the XD and XDM. There is a wait to get them but they are second to none and well worth the wait!

  • Tx-XDm

    I have always liked the Springfield 1911-A1.
    I bought a XDM-40 in the 3.8 like a few others that posted and I’m very happy with my CCW.
    At 7″ long and 28 oz., it’s perfect for concealment.
    You can’t beat the Match Grade barrel either it’s accurate out of the box.
    Thanks for the review it helped make up my mind about which 40 to carry.

  • http://michigancplclass.com Jake

    BILLIE contact the guys at http://www.michigancplclass.com They make customized holsters. I have an inside the belt Kydex holster from them for my 3.8 XDM.

  • http://michigancplclass.com Jay

    BILLIE,
    We can make you a the custom holster you are looking for. Check out our website or email us for more info.

    Jay

  • SGT, USA

    I also want to thank you for the outstanding review. I am a Sergeant in the US Army and a Police Officer civilian side and have had the pleasure of handling and firing just about every US and Foreign weapon out there. The XD(M) is by far the most comfortable weapon I have laid hands on. My hands wrapped around the grip and didn’t want to put it down. I was exceptionally pleased at the natural grip angle of the weapon. It is absolutely a pistol you can point and shoot and feel confident you will hit your target which is of course vital in a firefight and will save your life. I recommend this weapon to shooters of every skill level. But use caution, if you look at it in the store, you WILL buy one! ** Springfield is giving you an additional 2 magazines and double mag holder for all XD(M) purchases before 31 DEC, 2010. DON’T WAIT! **

  • Harold Fisher

    I have Just got the Springfield XDM 40 4.5 and didnt get a chance to shoot it before I took my CCW. Out the box I shoot a 349 out of 360. This gun is awsome and can’t wait to replace my XD 40 sub-compact with the XDM 40 3.8. Springfield great gun.

  • Greg from Cincy

    -I have shot quite a few pistols over the years. I am glad I waited to get the XD/M 40. I am currently looking into the 3.8 in 9mm for my left handed wife. One serious go to pistol done right.

  • SG

    I’m an XDM .40 owner… and REALLY love it. Any thoughts on guide rod lasers? I’ve got a light/green laser pod on the rail, but I can’t find a good concealed carry holster that will accommodate that light/laser.

    I’ve got one holster, but the front sight on the XDM has ripped the interior of the holster apart… inside 20 draws. As a military/combat Vet, I insist on maximizing the opportunity for a one shot event solution, and therefore insist on supplemental optics.

    Ideally, I’d like to see Blackhawk develop their current secure holster line to accommodate rail loaded optics, but until then…..

    Thoughts?

  • BraveStarr05

    I recently purchase a black XDM 40 sw about 2 months ago. I was amaze how light and smooth the trigger was. It felt more comfortable then my sig P226 in a 9mm. Since then i put about over 300 rounds and not a single jam!! I like it so much, i had to get the od green in 40 sw also!! People ask me why did i buy 2 of the same gun!!?? I tell them “One is None, and Two is One”!!

  • http://www.yahoo.com Francisco Dela Cruz

    where i buy the lazer light for my xdm 40 here in the philippines

  • http://igoogle Eric B

    some great aticles guys and girls,and definetly the weapon of choice for home protection,carry,or the range… Every XDm is sweet to shoot!!!!! I have every caliber in XD and XDm,just waiting for my 45cal in XDm…. XD/XDm fanatic!!!!!

  • Ryan

    I just purchased the xdm 9mm and I love it. There is no doubt that a pistol chooses you, and trust me when you put this gun in your hand you’ll understand what I mean. Extremely smooth action, (thank you match) easy to load,clean, and shoot. Just an overall great piece. Get one!

  • XDM top gun ever!

    I bought the Springfield XDM 9mm when they first came out and now it is primary duty weapon. I can honestly say that I have fired well over 4000 rounds through this gun and I have never had a misfire, a jam, or any problems for that matter. I can’t say anything about the 40. The 45. But if they are anything like my XDM it is a gun that if you keep clean and take of it you could pass it in to your kids or grandkids. I give this gun 13 of out 10 and sorry to all those clock lovers but ya’ll been beat, like Oklahoma vs. OSU beat. If you’re looking take this out for a test drive try each on, but for knock down power go the xdm 45acp and its 13 round.

  • Kyle Turley

    I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions about what flash light fits the springfield xd holder…or why does springfield not produce one?

  • raphael

    how can we buy springfield guns here in the philippines? do you have dealer for thi8s gun?

  • Jenette Johnson

    My hubby just bought me a new springfield 3.8 XDm .40. I have been trying to release the magazine and can’t figure out how to use it?? I am new to guns….I haven’t even been able to shoot it yet. Just been shooting .22′s at the gun range. He bought me this because he has a springfield .40. What exactly do I have to do to release the magazine? My hubby works 2nd shift in the Air Force so he’s barely around for me to ask this question. Thankyou guys!!

  • aboyle55

    Jenette , press the button behind the trigger. Button is on either side.

  • Jenette Johnson

    Got it!!! Thanks! I remember doing it one other time but for some reason I was pushing both buttons and it wasn’t releasing…..now I know why! Thanks for your help!!! I’ll get to know my gun here soon.

  • http://tactical-Life.com Jack Bauer

    I have a XDM 5.25…First time out with it,and doing everything right. Using the point of aim sight picture shown in the users manual; i hit 18″ low at 25 yards. using Winchester 165 grain FMJ target loads. To avoid more go nowhere practice. Which way do I crank the rear sight…up or down..About how many clicks..I tried a different palm insert,and got the same results..Thanks Jack

  • http://egg-crates.com/ Joseph Curtis

    This is a really great summary and review which you have here. I like the personal accounts and the detailed analysis of the range time feature of the gun. I only wished I had come across this earlier – I would have bought the Springfield so much sooner.

  • Harry Contrys

    WHEN YOUR HOT YOUR HOT, when your not you go XDM COMPACT/ YOUR CHOICE OF CAL.