Some claim the hammer is the most important tool in the toolbox. I agree. Springfield Armory reinvented the hammer in the latest addition to their XD Series, the XD-E. The double/single action (DA/SA) trigger with an exposed hammer clearly shows the gun’s condition. Unlike other concealed carry handguns, the XD-E allows 3 different methods of carry.
1. Decocked, hammer down and safety on.
2. Decocked, hammer down and safety off.
3. The hammer cocked with the safety on.
In February I had my first opportunity to shoot the XD-E at the Springfield Armory Writer Shoot in Las Vegas. Even though I shot about 350 rounds, I still wanted to spend time with the pistol on my own range. I wanted to shoot in the different modes at various distances to see just how well the pistol performed.
The black polymer-framed 9mm XD-E has a 3.3-inch barrel with an overall length of 6.75 inches, a height of 5 inches and 1-inch width. Besides the gun, the box included one 8-round Grip X-Tension™magazine, one 9-round Mag X-Tension™ magazine and a child safety lock. The different magazine options allow you to personalize concealability and capacity.
I began my time on the range with 124 grain full metal jacket Aguila ammunition, shooting a 12-inch steel target at 30 feet as a warm up, in single action. After looking at my shots on the target, I had a feeling the sights were slightly off. So, I switched to a paper target at 7 yards and shot double action only. After each shot, I decocked using the ergonomic ambidextrous decocking lever (which also serves as a thumb safety.) Yep, after shooting 2 magazines (17 rounds), I knew I needed to make a sight adjustment. However, to double check, I shot 3 rounds in single action at 4 yards and asked my adult son to shoot it as well. The pistol shot about an inch to the left at 7 yards. Using a mechanical pencil to mark the sights. I moved it about half of a pencil width.
With the sight adjustments made, I moved on to 4 magazines in single action at 7 yards from the draw. I put the gun on safe between draws. I was satisfied with the groups.
Sure, the XD-E is designed for concealed carry and close shooting, but I decided to push it a bit. I stepped back from the steel and shot 4 magazines at 55 feet standing off hand, just to see what it could do. Yes, I shot much slower, well-aimed shots, and the XD-E was up to the challenge. I hit at least 4 out of 5 shots consistently.
Springfield did a great job making the low effort slide of the XD-E easy to rack. It took much less effort than other handguns of the same size. The DA/SA trigger worked smoothly and I had no issues shooting either. I like how this feature offers a user the chance to choose how she wants to carry the pistol.
The XD-E comes with a red fiber optic front sight that easily caught my eye. The ramped rear sight hinders one-handed slide operation against an object; however, you could always use the ejection port. I find the 2 white dots on the rear sight busy and would black them out with a fine tip Sharpie.
The sleek frame of the XD-E fit comfortably in my hands. Springfield’s textured GripZone® offers my hand a nice purchase on the gun – all aiding in less muzzle flip and increased stability.
Women will like this gun because of the ease in racking, ergonomics and choice of different conditions to carry it in. This gun will be the perfect addition – the hammer – to your personal protection tool box.