Springfield Armory took a bit of a different approach to the “small” subcompact pistol market, they went straight to a single-stack .45 ACP with the new XDS pistol. I have been excited to see this pistol since it was introduced at SHOT show in January. I really would love a small, concealable, manageable .45ACP carry pistol. After all, there is something strangely comforting about having a .45 with you whenever you need it. My primary carry piece is an Ed Brown Special Forces Carry which I am able to carry it IWB with most types of clothing – that said, there are certainly times when a smaller gun is needed (and I usually end up going to a P238 in the pocket or an EMP40 IWB). I have never been a big fan of the XD line (I am a big fan of the EMP) – I never really liked how they look and feel and I don’t particularly care for the trigger. Of course, I would also prefer a gun that was made in the good ole USA (which is unfortunately is much more of a dream than an actuality these days), and the XD’s are made in Croatia. Knowing all of this, I still couldn’t wait to see the XDS. Handling it in person, many of the same thoughts I have about the XD hold true with the XDS. It’s a bit blocky, and I don’t particularly care for the trigger. At 6.3″ long, the gun is too big for pocket carry (unless you are wearing pants with enormous pockets). One thing it does have going for it though (aside from being .45 ACP) is how slim it is – it’s less than an inch thick which is pretty amazing for a .45. In all fairness, SA did a very nice job with the XDS engineering a slim (and relatively small) .45 ACP pistol. One disappointing factor is that, as of this writing, they are still not available for purchase (Even though SA said they would ship in March). From what we heard at the NRA AM, it will be next month at the earliest before they hit the shelves (some people heard it may be 6 weeks still). A 9mm version is supposed to be available in early fall followed by a .40S&W version by the end of the year.
Pictures from the Springfield Armory booth (click on the picture for the full size version):