Most love stories end in tragedy, death, sorrow and hell, even dismemberment if you read that kinda stuff. My search for the perfect conceal carry weapon has been a long line of horrific and tragic events. I have been through many guns that I love with all my heart, cleaned after every trip to the range and first and foremost said I would never sell.
Here I am doing another review for a CCW and I have sat on this one for a while, waiting for the post-review “break up,” where I carry it down to a local store and tell it I never want to see it again.
I have had the Springfield XDS chambered in 45 for quite a while now. I bought the gun and went to the range that morning to film the first impression, this is where the story began. My previous conceal carry piece (or several of them) was something I bought because I could conceal it easily when wearing just about anything. This is the first thing I will tell people to throw out the window when looking for a conceal carry gun as an “option,” as it seldom brings you down the right path. We all obviously want something we can comfortably wear around without hearing: “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” When you look at size realize this one thing, the shape of the gun ends up contributing more than anything when it comes to the ability to conceal.
I have had the XDS by my side since I purchased it with my Cleveland holster (review should be up shortly) and constantly forget it is there. This gun is lightweight and about the same size as most competing 9mm CCW options. The grip angle is convenient for how I like to carry it as it tucks up against my side when canted so I don’t “print” at all, which is really what I am going for. Some people rock open carry or could care less if they are printing but personally I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable in my presence, full well knowing we are all entitled to the first amendment just as much as the second.
Functionality-wise I can’t say enough about the XDS. I have ran a total of 700 rounds through it (review was filmed prior to writing the review) without a single malfunction. No stove pipe, no failure to feed, no double feeds, no magazine issues… nothing. This has been flawless from day one. I have run white box, 45 auto, PMC and every other brand I could find through this and haven’t found it to be selective on ammunition.
The accuracy is not an area of concern, mostly my mechanics with a shorter grip are what cause the lack of consistency. If you check out the video review you will see how I shot with it on one of the worst handgun days I have had in some time, which still was not all that bad. As long as you line the sight up within 25 meters you’ll hit what you are aiming for with this handgun, all in a 3.3 inch barrel (which also is a notable point).
I am a baby when it comes to aggressive grips. When you want to conceal carry something or shoot it every day at the range it is important to know it will be enjoyable to shoot and carry.
I have used this as an everyday range gun since my purchase. This sets the XDS aside from any other conceal carry gun I have owned simply for the fact that I can shoot it without destroying my hands in 50 rounds from felt recoil and an overly aggressive grip. I purchased the extended magazine for it bringing the capacity to 7+1 vs the 5+1 it has out of the package. The extended magazine makes it much easier to shoot every day at the range since it lengthens the grip to the point that it is comfortable even for someone with Andre the Giant-sized hands like mine.
The grip looks like it is made out of slag. This was my first apprehension; I love conceal carrying but don’t really care to feel like I am getting cozy with a cheese grater all day. When you hold the XDS the first thing you realize is that the grip style is perfect for keeping a good handle on the gun without causing it to feel jagged or uncomfortable.
I gave the trigger it’s own section in the review for one reason… It feels like every other trigger I have shot on a Springfield. Clean break, small reset and a competition trigger feel that I have yet to see put on another conceal carry weapon. Watch the video to see what it looks like. After buying multiple guns and getting rid of them when I realize the trigger is the devils sister, I really appreciate the lack of that looooooong break that most companies feel is a “safety” feature for compact handguns.
Recoil and Capacity
Let’s back it up for a second to the capacity and recoil as those are two other big factors on the list for everyone. 5+1 capacity is the deal-breaker for everyone on this, which has me a little baffled. I understand the desire for a 20 round magazine and a full case of ammo in a wheelbarrow behind you but in my personal opinion, the best option is the one you are more likely to have on you all the time. I can pocket carry a 45… say that out loud and then realize what you just said. It’s a beautiful thing and now an option for me.
The recoil on a 21.5 oz handgun chambered in 45 is going to destroy you… just kidding. Keep in mind I have fired about 20,000 rounds in the name of this site over the past year, I am not a firearms instructor but I have a high enough round count to tell you this really isn’t that bad at all. I would equate the recoil to my Ruger LC9 (Review) which was a 9mm. I can shoot more with the XDS in 45 than I could with the Ruger LC9 (Review) chambered in 9mm without whining. If you are comfortable with a 45 then this is an easy choice and something that won’t leave you thinking it is just for conceal carry.
Overall, I love this gun and have 0 issues with the design, reliability or function. It’s a great daily range gun and an even better conceal carry gun. For anyone looking at an XDS, I suggest you go pick one up, hold it and see what you think – you might be surprised. The controls on the gun make sense, it has a great trigger pull and can fit anywhere you want it to… take that however you will but it is small. Any questions please feel free to post them up or contact us on Facebook.