Springfield Armory showcased its new hammer-fired pistol, dubbed the XD-E, at the 2017 edition of the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits: a subcompact handgun conceived for concealed carry and personal defense, the XD-E offers a SA/DA trigger with an ambidextrous manual safety and decocker
Success and dominance over the market is something that must be fought for – with innovation and quality more often than not, but sometimes even going against the tides.
That may very well be the case of the Springfield Armory company, which introduced its latest concealed-carry subcompact pistol at the 2017 edition of the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia.
Springfield Armory's new concealed carry pistol goes somewhat against the common dendencies of the market, and yet offers everything the market asks for: intuidive and comfortable handling, accuracy, and reliability.
The pistol in question is dubbed the Springfield Armory XD-E. It is a sound, fairly conventional design, and yet it somehow departs from the trends of a market that is increasingly focused towards striker-fired handguns for defensive, duty and tactical purposes – a current that Springfield Armory itself follows, rides and dominates with the XD, XDm and XDs lines of pistols.
Indeed, not only does the XD-E come with a SA/DA external hammer action, but can very well be considered as a hammer-fired conversion of one of the world's most popular striker-fired pistol designs.
We are of course talking about the XD pistol line, and more specifically of the newest XD Mod.2, first launched in late 2016.
Springfield Armory' XD-E pistol is built around a black reinforced polymer frame that offers many of the XD Mod.2's innovations and features: these include a short MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for tactical accessories; a slightly rounded trigger guard with front serrations; and a redesigned grip, dubbed the Grip-Zone, offering front finger grooves, a raised beavertail, and positively gripping slip-proof surfaces on the front and rear straps.
The slide is manufactured out of forged steel, and sports a black Melonite finish. According to the manufacturer, the slide of the XD-E pistol – dubbed the L.E.S. ("Low Effort Slide") – offers well-defined rear serrations and a redesigned outline. Jointly with the dual recoil spring mounted on a full-length guide rod, the L.E.S. slide is 27% lighter and easier to rack than that of its most direct striker-fired counterpart, with far fewer slipped pulls.
The Springfield Armory XD-E subcompact pistol is chambered for the 9mm Luger round, and feeds through single-stack metal magazines featuring a black polymer mag pad which can either flush-fit or sport a pinky finger support dubbed the "Grip X-Tension™". The standard capacity is eight rounds; a magazine extension is available, offering a more comfortable grip and adding an additional round to the overall capacity.
The barrel of the Springfield Armory XD-E is 8,3 cm / 3.3" long overall; it is hammer-forged out of steel, Melonite-finished, and features six right-handed grooves with a 1:10" twist.
The XD-E pistol itself is 17,14 cm / 6.75” long, 12,7 cm / 5" high, barely 2,5 cm / 1" wide, and weighs 708 grams (25 oz).
The manually-cockable external hammer allows to quickly shift between double or single action, and an ambidextrous manual safety is located on the rear portion of the slide, also dubbing as a decocker for additional safety when carrying. The magazine release catch is also ambidextrous, while the hold-open release lever and the takedown lever are both located on the left side of the frame.
No manufacturer's suggested retail price has been announced yet for the Springfield Armory XD-E subcompact pistol, nor there is any information concerning possible exports. What we know, however, is that fifteen of America's best-regarded holster makers already have models ready that are compatible with the XD-E – that possibly meaning that Springfield Armory trusts that the XD-E will meetwith a sound commercial success. Time will tell.