A .45 ACP for Everyday Carry?

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Springfield Armory’s new XD-S Mod.2 puts the .45 ACP back on the CCW map.

by the ShootingDaily staff; promoted by Springfield Armory

The great carry concealed cartridge debate has been going on for many years, with the wind shifting from here to there and back again as new handgun designs and advances in cartridge technology set new performance parameters. All this debating, once you peel away the layers, usually comes down to this: most CCW practitioners would prefer the hard-hitting .45 ACP, but they make rationalized (and often legitimate) arguments in favor of the .9mm Luger or the .40 S&W based on capacities, printing profile, weight, and, most importantly, ergonomics and the relative accuracy associated with a good-fitting, well-handling firearm.

In this light, the .45 ACP compacts and sub-compacts have had to fight to stay in the game. That’s because there are always trade-offs. The .45 ACP has the punch we all desire in a defensive round, yet the ergonomics, weight, and profiles of the handgun platforms have been the traditional sticking point.

Well, Springfield Armory has just “re-made” the case for the .45 ACP as an “all-day, every-day” handgun. We’re talking about the new XD-S Mod.2—the next stage along the popular XD-S evolutionary chain. This is a single-stack, 3.3-inch barrel semi-auto debuting in .45 ACP in three trim levels.


The “S” in XD-S nomenclature refers to the handgun’s slim, single-stack frame. When Springfield Armory introduced the original XD-S model in 2012, the tight polymer-framed semi-auto gave serious carry concealed practitioners pause. Here was a handgun that delivered the hard hit while maintaining a low, easy carry profile and the well-thought-out ergonomics gave shooters plenty of point-of-impact confidence. Now, six years later, the XD-S Mod.2 is even more refined in both form and function.


If you’re familiar with the first-gen XD-S, the changes between it and the new Mod.2 are evident. Most obvious is the polymer frame—specifically, the texturing in the grip. Springfield calls these stippled panels “Enhanced Grip Texture,” but if you’ve held the XD Mod.2 with the Grip-Zone, you get the idea. Twelve stippling panels strategically located across the backstrap, front, and sides of the grip offer three levels of texturing to deliver an aggressive grip without the bare-hand discomfort often associated with robust polymer stippling.


The overall contours of the frame have also been upgraded, with sleeker angles and a thinner beavertail profile that is more comfortable and puts the hand higher and closer to the bore axis for natural point-and-shoot hand/sight alignment. These elegant angles continue up to the narrower slide with gradual tapering toward the top versus the pronounced slide rail step of the first-gen XD-S. Also upgraded are the slide serrations. These are longer and offer improved index finger and thumb grip to better actuate the slide with bare or gloved hands.


Springfield Armory ships the XD-S Mod.2 with two magazines—a 1- to 5-round flush mount floor plate version and a 1- to 6-round Mid-Mag X-Tension. Our carry choice is the latter because the Mid-Mag delivers another finger groove for a more substantive grip and better control with only a .60-inch increase in overall height. The Mid-Mag X-Tension also features matching Enhanced Grip Texture that blends expertly with the grip stippling.

As with the previous XD-S model, the XD-S Mod.2 incorporates an ambidextrous mag release to accommodate left- or right-hand shooters. The disassembly lever and slide lock are both located in their expected left-side positions, and the handgun continues with grip and trigger safety systems. The loaded chamber indicator allows you to visually or tactily confirm the presence of a cartridge in the chamber. This is another feature we’ve come to appreciate because it eliminates the need for a two-handed “press check” to determine whether a cartridge is in the chamber.


The XD-S Mod.2 in .45 ACP is debuting in three models based on different sighting configurations. All models boast a new rear sight. This is the SA Tactical-Rack rear sight with a 90-degree front profile to allow one-handed slide operation. If you are unable to actuate the slide with your charging hand, the SA Tactical-Rack sight allows you to place the sight against a solid edge and then push the frame forward and release the slide to chamber a round. The 45B model and the 45BVR both come with a fiber optic front and white dot rear sights. The 45BVR also includes a Viridian laser sight that blends almost seamlessly with the trigger guard and secures via the accessory rail. The 45BT has a U-shape rear sight notch and Pro-Glo Tritium (luminescent) front sight to aid in extreme low-light conditions.


Regarding carry credentials, the XD-S Mod.2 delivers. When sporting the Mid-Mag X-Tension, the Mod.2 overall height is five inches, with grip width just under an inch. Overall length is 6.5 inches. Weight with an empty Mid-Mag is 22.5 ounces. For a .45 ACP that is easy to conceal AND is comfortable to shoot and shoot accurately, we’ll take that all-day long.

From our viewpoint, Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 will keep the .45 ACP on the carry concealed crowd’s starting bench for several years to come.


XD-S Mod.2 .45 ACP Specifications

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Magazines: stainless steel, 1-5 round (flush-fit), 1-6 round (Mid-Mag X-Tension)
  • Barrel: 3.3-in hammer-forged steel; 1:16 RH
  • Barrel Finish: Melonite
  • Frame: black polymer with Enhanced Grip Texture; plus Viridian laser on model #XDSG93345BVR
  • Slide: forged steel, Melonite finish
  • Recoil System: dual-captive recoil spring, full-length guide rod
  • Length: 6.5 in
  • Height: 4.4 in w/flush mag; 5 in w/Mid-Mag
  • Grip Width: .975 in
  • Weight (empty mag): 21.5 oz w/flush mag; 22.5 oz w/Mid-Mag
  • Sights: fiber optic front & steel tactical rack serrated white dot rear (#XDSG93345B & #XDSG93345BVR); Pro-Glo Tritium/luminescent front & steel tactical rack serrated rear (#XDSG93345BT), fiber optic front & steel tactical rack serrated U-notch rear



Springfield Armory


article copyright © 2018 ShootingDaily.com; promoted by Springfield Armory

Although Springfield Armory is one of our sponsors, the views expressed in this article are those of the author. ShootingDaily.com receives compensation from Springfield Armory in various forms to help promote their products.