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Springfield XD9 Full Size: Is it comfortable to carry? [Review]

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By Linda M. Gilbertson

If you’ve read any of my articles on pistols, you know that I’m a big-gun kind of gal. No wimpy-caliber, light-weight, pink gun for me. Give me big and give me heavy. With it, I’ll hit my target every time and quickly. I won’t have to tell the perp to stand still long enough for me to get my grip secured and my sights lined up on him/her.


I’ve carried a variety of big guns before I chose what I currently carry. When in uniform I carried a S&W Model 28 on my hip. In private life with semi-autos, I carried a .380 PPK, a S&W Model 6906, a Taurus G2 and full-size XD9. Currently, I alternate between the Taurus G2 and the Springfield Armory XD9 as the inch difference in the barrel length determines how I’ll dress and carry concealed. The Taurus G2 is used for on-body carry, the XD9 is used for off-body carry. For now, let’s take a closer look at the Springfield Armory XD9.

Original XD

My XD9 is the original, not the new XD9, MOD.2. This original XD set the standard for polymer pistols. It has “superior ergonomics, reliable performance and features that make it easy and intuitive to use” according to Springfield Armory. Here are the specifications: The recoil system is the dual spring w/full length guide rod. The sights are dovetail front and rear (steel) 3-dot. It weighs 28 oz., and its height is 5.5”. The slide is forged steel with a Melonite Finish. The barrel is hammer forged, steel, melonite/1:10 twist. Overall length is 7.3”, and grip width is 1.20”. The stainless-steel magazines (2) hold 16 rounds each. The XD9s double-stack magazines, and sufficient weight is comfortable in my hands. It’s well balanced, and easy to shoot. It is easy to acquire the sights and has a natural aim. It’s there when I need it.


In describing the XD9, let’s start from the back and work towards the front as you view the picture. The grip has sufficient width and length for placement of all three support fingers. The trigger finger rests comfortably along the side of the frame and the thumb rests in a depression specifically molded for it which sits between the slide lock above and the magazine release below. The webbing of the hand sits high on the back-strap and depresses a grip safety. The back-strap and front-strap have molded checkering for a better grasp. Above the hand webbing is a Beaver-Tail that protects from the recoiling slide. A striker-fired indicator protrudes from the back of the slide. The rear sight just above has two white dots. The slide at this location has cocking grooves which can be fitted with a slide-pull by Brass Stacker to ease the manipulation of the slide for those with hand or strength issues.

Moving forward, the wide trigger has a safety insert which connected to the grip safety work in concert with each other. There is no external safety. Above the trigger on the slide is a loaded chamber indicator at the rear of the ejector port. Just forward and above the trigger rests the take-down lever, which is large enough to easily find and manipulate. With the slide locked open, push the take-down lever upwards, pull the trigger and move the slide forward off the frame. To reattach the slide to frame, reverse the procedure. Forward of the take-down lever on the frame is a rail for the attachment of a flashlight or laser. On the slide above are more cocking grooves for your choice of slide manipulation. The front sight with one red dot protrudes above the slide and slightly forward of these cocking grooves.


Springfield XD-9 Review

So, how popular is the XD9? When I used the XD9 in my classes, several ladies fell in love with it and purchased one. Here’s some personal testimonials about their love of the XD9.”

    • “I LOVE my Springfield Armory XD9! It’s the Cadillac of guns that I own. Small recoil, handles beautifully and my targets show the difference between a .38 Special and the XD9. It’s fun to shoot but not to carry on my person, so I’d like to get a smaller, lighter version.” -V/Lakeside, AZ.
    • “My XD9 is accurate and consistently shoots well. I have never had a mechanical failure. It is very easy to break down and clean. It is not hard to load or rack even though my hands are not in good shape. The only disadvantage is that it is not a good concealable firearm on your body, but my oversized purse takes care of that.” D/Pinedale, AZ.


Those interested in the newest model, you can purchase the Springfield XD9 Mod 2 model. Some of the changes effective in the Mod.2 not found in the original XD9 includes, fiber optic front sight and low-profile combat rear sight. The Mod.2 is also slimmer in width by two tenths of an inch and its weight is .5 oz less w/empty magazine. It offers a Bi-Tone stainless-steel and black polymer frame with Grip Zone texture grip. Even though it is slimmer and lighter, it still offers the 16+1 rounds of 9mm. The noticeably slim profile and other features combine to make the Mod.2 Service Model a pistol that offers excellent ergonomics and serious firepower in a surprisingly concealable full-sized handgun.

I’ve not had the opportunity to try the Mod.2. From experience, the original XD9 does not lend itself to on-body carry for women. When on-body carry is necessary or preferred, I switch to my Taurus G2, due to the shorter barrel length. The XD9, Mod. 2 is smaller and therefore designed for on-body carry. If it feels as good as the original XD9, is consistently accurate as the original XD9 and is small enough for on-body carry. In many ways, it is an improvement of the original XD9. I highly recommend that you give it a try. Whether you use it as a bed side firearm or for personal protection, you can’t go wrong with and XD by Springfield Armory.


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