Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with small pistols. Whether it was a .45 caliber cap and ball “Philadelphia Derringer,” a two-shot cartridge firing over/under Remington .41 caliber rimfire, or a semi auto AMT Backup in .45ACP. I’ve always thought compact guns, whether pistol or rifle, were practical firearms to own. As long as you stay within the practical and realistic expectations placed on the chosen firearm, you are good to go.

I’ve owned an AMT Backup .45 for about 20 years. I owned a Star Firestar in 9mm for years before that, and I still have a Keltec PF-9, 9mm. These days my Springfield Armory XD-S 45 (the original) is my go to. I have found my XD-S 45 to be accurate, very compact, and easy to control.

Springfield Armory Inc. recently sent me a “Mod.2” XD-S 45 to try out and I must say, all the improvements that were made were favorable. Let’s discuss some of those improvements.

The Grip

The first and most visibly noticeable modification / improvement is the grip texturing. Although I have no problem with the texture of the original XD-S I already own, I like the smoother and more refined Mod.2 grip texture better than the original. Along with the grip texture, is the extended beavertail above the web of the firing hand which, incidentally, places your grip higher in relation to the bore’s axis, and thus improves control of the pistol.

The Sights

The XD-S Mod.2 is now available with a “Pro-Glo” tritium front sight from Ameriglo. Although I like the fiber optic on my original XD-S, a tritium front sight is a great option to have on a factory pistol. Couple this with the “One-handed, Rackable” steel rear sight (a squared off shelf meant to catch on a belt or other hard edged surface), it is a great improvement over the original. 

Shooting Impressions

I will say that, for me, the Mod.2 shot and performed no better than my original XD-S (which does really well)…

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