RETURN OF THE DA/SA
BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH THE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY XD-E EDC
Back to the future with the Springfield Armory XD-E EDC.
When I first saw the new Springfield Armory XD-E at the 2017 NRA Exhibits in Atlanta, I asked, “Why?” With all the striker-fired, slim-line, single-stack 9mm concealed carry guns available today, why do we need a hammer fired double-action/single-action (DA/SA) slim-line semi-auto pistol? When I asked that question to myself, I broke my cardinal rule, never to use the word “need” when talking about firearms.
As it turns out, many pistol shooters like SA/DA semi-auto pistols for concealed carry. After several weeks of carrying the XD-E and firing approximately 500 rounds, I now know why. Not everyone is a believer in the safety of carrying a striker-fired pistol without a traditional safety, and some were trained on a service weapon that had a double-action first shot and single-action successive shots.
Springfield Armory refers to the XD-E as the “hammer reinvented.” As such, they have taken the best elements of their XD line, added a hammer and a safety/decocker and, voila, the XD-E.
The XD-E is a polymer frame, hammer-fired semi-automatic pistol that fires either double action or single action on the first shot (depending upon in which mode you are carrying it) and single action for subsequent shots. Its single-stack, slim-line design makes it a good choice for EDC. It’s not a pocket gun, but it is easily concealable when carried IWB, AIWB or even OWB under the appropriate clothing. For women, it would fit nicely in a medium or larger purse.
When compared to an XD-S in .45
ACP, the XD-E looks considerably larger, but the frame with slide is only one-quarter inch longer (not including the hammer spur) and the grip is seven-sixteenths inch longer. There is also a little more meat at the rear of the frame/beavertail, where the
hammer pivots, and the trigger guard is slightly larger on the XD-E.
Once a round is chambered, the choices are to engage the safety and carry the gun “cocked and locked,” hammer decocked without engaging the safety or the hammer decocked and the safety engaged. For the ultimate safety when carrying concealed, the gun would be carried decocked with the safety engaged. For the ultimate speed of engagement, the gun would be carried “cocked and locked.”
To decock the gun, the thumb safety lever must be firmly pressed downward, past the horizontal position. Pushing the lever up past horizontal will engage the manual safety. To accommodate both right- and left-handed shooters, safety/decocking levers are on both sides of the slide.
A loaded chamber indicator is provided on the top of the slide, behind the cutout for the barrel hood. When it is raised, there is a round in the chamber. When it is flush, the chamber is empty.
Springfield Armory calls the slide a “Low Effort Slide” (L.E.S.) and states that it requires 27 percent less effort to operate. The slide is much easier to manipulate than that of most striker-fired pistols. My wife has trouble racking the slide on most striker-fired pistols but was able to manipulate the L.E.S. without a problem.
The XD-E’s sights feature a drift adjustable combat rear sight and a drift adjustable fiber optic front sight. Spare fiber optic inserts are provided in both red and green.
Grip Zone texturing is applied to the front and rear of the grip with some wrap-around on the sides. This texturing works well without being as aggressive as that found on the original XD-S pistols. An oversize trigger guard allows for operation with gloved hands and provides room to reach the trigger when it is in its forward-most D.A. position.
The magwell is beveled slightly to
“...MANY PISTOL SHOOTERS LIKE SA/DA SEMI-AUTO PISTOLS FOR CONCEALED CARRY.”
Above: The right side of the XD-E shows a safety/ decocking lever and a magazine release button for lefties. The trigger guard is oversized.
Right: The top of the pistol shows the loaded chamber indicator and the red fiber optic front sight.