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Reviews : Arsenal

Springfield Armory XD(M) 3.8 Pistols

Springfield’s new XD(m)s continue the quality legacy of the XD line and are well suited to off-duty and concealed carry.

August 19, 2011  |  by Nick Jacobellis - Also by this author

Photo: Nick Jacobellis.
Photo: Nick Jacobellis.

When I first heard that Springfield Armory was manufacturing two new XD(m) pistols, I made a special trip to my local police supply store. I wanted to inspect them before I committed to conducting a field test.

One thing I wanted to check was how easy it is to rack the slide on the XD(m) 3.8 Compact. This is a pet peeve of mine because I know that some shooters have a difficult time manually operating the slide on certain pistols while executing a combat reload or when making a pistol safe. When a pistol is equipped with a heavy recoil spring, it can be difficult to retract the slide far enough to the rear to override the slide lock so you can sling-shot or release the slide forward.

Once I was able to operate the slide without any difficulty I decided to review the pistol. Since the new XD(m) is also available with a full-size grip and a 3.8-inch barrel, I decided to test the standard XD(m) 3.8 as well.

As you probably have already noticed, the XD(m) 3.8 and the XD(m) 3.8 Compact get their names from their 3.8 inch-barrel, as opposed to the four-inch barrel standard on the original XD Pistols. The Compact designation is assigned to the 3.8 Pistol, which has the short "Compact/Sub Compact" style grip.

In order to kill two birds with one stone the XD(m) 3.8 Compact is supplied with a high-capacity magazine that has a plastic extension collar fitted to the bottom of the 19-round 9mm magazine or the 16-round .40 S&W caliber magazine to make the Compact 3.8 look and feel like a standard XD(m) 3.8 pistol. You can also carry and use the 3.8 Compact Model with a 13-round 9mm magazine or an 11-round .40 S&W caliber magazine that fits flush with the shorter grip.

From an aesthetic perspective some end-users believe that it looks better when a high-capacity magazine has a plastic extension collar that fits flush with the shorter grip on a compact or sub-compact pistol. I personally prefer to use standard capacity magazines in my compact and sub-compact pistols and will only rarely use a higher-capacity magazine as a spare magazine. I am able to do this because I am now retired and I am no longer carrying a service pistol and a backup gun like I once did on a regular basis during my law enforcement career.

Note: Springfield Armory recommends that you use the high-capacity magazine with the plastic extension collar when you wish to carry the XD(m) 3.8 Compact Pistol with more ammunition and a larger grip to prevent possible damage to the ejector. If you have any questions about this issue, contact a technician at Springfield Armory.

Concealed Carry

When I test fired the XD(m) 3.8 Compact for the first time, I immediately noticed that this pistol is soft shooting. This was true whether I used 147- and 124-grain FMJ ammunition or law enforcement hollow-point service ammunition.

I suspect one reason why the 9mm XD(m) Compact 3.8 is a soft shooting pistol is because this handgun has a fairly hefty slide assembly and very good overall ergonomics. Even though both models tested were comfortable to shoot, I preferred the 9mm XD(m) 3.8 Compact over the 9mm XD(m) 3.8 with the full-size grip.

Tags: Springfield Armory, Firearms Reviews, Duty Pistols

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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Kim AS. @ 8/23/2011 7:45 PM

I have a subcompact XD in .40 caliber and a new XDm in .40. I have found these pistols to be very reliable and very accurate. The subcompact is my regular CCW arm and I utilize the XDm as a duty weapon. Both are a pleasure to shoot, well made and I would highly reccomend them.

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