Springfield Armory XD (Xtreme Defense)
Springfield Armory’s XD series of pistols is based on the polymer framed, striker fired Croatian HS2000 (Hrvatski Samokres). Unlike most modern polymer pistols, the XD incorporates a grip safety similar to that found on the M1911. Another unique component is the full length guide rod. According to the Croatian designers, this mechanism was intended as a “stand-off” device for Close Quarter Combat scenarios. If the muzzle comes in contact with a solid object, the pistol will not go out of battery.
The trigger is a two-stage design, like those found on Glock pistols, but has a smoother overall feel. The XD series incorporates several additional safety features including an internal safety preventing the gun from being fired if a round is not fully chambered. A drop safety prevents the release of the striker, should a sharp blow be struck to the pistol. Several versions incorporate a manual thumb safety.
Shooting the Springfield XD is more enjoyable than most polymer framed pistols as the grip safety aids in creating a lighter and more consistent trigger squeeze as less resistance is needed. The test gun was the XDM variant chambered in 357 SIG. This round may be a bit harder to come by; it is a 40 S&W case necked down to accept a 9mm bullet,
it performs well and shooters can often buy it as a second barrel to use in their existing 40 S&W handgun (or vice versa). The ammunition used was Hornady Critical Defense and groups at 50 feet averaged less than 2 inches.