The XD(m)-9 5.25's slide has a cutout on its top, which reduces reciprocating mass to lessen muzzle flip, allowing for faster cycling and permitting the pistol to digest a wide variety of ammunition with reliability. At the rear is a low mount, fully adjustable rear sight, which mates up with a fiber optic front sight for faster sight alignment, target acquisition, and transitioning. In addition, accuracy is enhanced by the longer sight radius.
Like all pistols in the XD(m) line, the XD(m)-9 5.25 features ambidextrous magazine releases, which greatly eases the training of Southpaw officers. Each pistol comes with a padded carrying case containing three magazines, a holster, dual magazine pouch, and a magazine loader.
Springfield provided me with a Bi-Tone XD(m)-9 5.25 to evaluate for POLICE Magazine. I found its handling and ergonomics to be above reproach while the Minimal Reset Trigger had short take-up and reset distances. I could both hear and feel when the trigger reset, which I find to be a valuable feature for making precise shots.
I test fired the XD(m)-9 5.25 for accuracy from a rest at 25 yards with four brands of high-performance 9mm ammunition. The pistol shot to point of aim with all of the ammo and produced groups ranging from just under two inches up to three inches in diameter and, as do many of the 9mm pistols I've fired, showed a preference for heavier projectiles.
I belted on the holster that came with the pistol and ran it through the following series of drills:
- 5 yards-draw pistol and fire five rounds on target with an unsupported (one-handed) grip.
- 5 yards-draw pistol, switch it to the weak hand and fire five rounds on target.
- 10 yards-draw pistol and fire two rounds (double tap) on target. Perform combat reload and repeat. Re-holster and repeat drill three times.
- 15 yards-draw pistol and fire 10 rounds on target, slow aimed fire.
The Springfield handled very well during all of these drills. The longer barrel and slide provided excellent balance and reduced muzzle flip and felt recoil, even with +P+ ammunition. The sights proved to be just what was needed for fast, accurate shooting. And the well-positioned magazine releases and wide magazine well made for fast and fumble-free reloads. I had no trouble whatsoever putting every round exactly where it would have been most effective.
I believe that the XD(m)-9 5.25 would be a most viable option for police service. Despite its longer barrel and slide, it has a shorter overall length and weighs less than such full-sized pistols as the 1911 or Beretta 92/96, making it practical for daily, uniformed carry. Its excellent ergonomics, low recoil, and high cartridge capacity would be especially useful in tactical operations.
Paul Scarlata has served as an auxiliary police officer and is a frequent contributor to POLICE.
Springfield Armory XD(m)-9 5.25 Pistol Specs:
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Capacity: 19 rounds
Overall Length: 8.3 inches
Barrel Length: 5.25 inches
Width: 1.180 inches
Height: 5.875 inches
Weight (unloaded): 29 ounces
Construction: Slide: forged steel
Finish: Black Melonite or bright
Sights: Front: fiber optic
Rear: Fully adjustable
Features: Minimal reset trigger, match grade barrel, grip safety, ambidextrous magazine releases, loaded chamber indicator, cocked striker indicator, Picatinny rail, interchangeable backstraps, three magazines, magazine loader, holster, dual magazine pouch, padded carrying case, cable lock, owner's manual
Price: $795 (Black); $865 (Bi-Tone)