Springfield Armory XD45 Compact Tactical .45 ACP
In this test we looked at four different polymer handguns that offer higher round capacity but take up less space than full-size models. Our first pistol, the $503 Taurus PT24/7 Pro 45-BP-12 could be considered a true compact, especially when compared to Tauruss new OSS pistol. The Springfield Armory XD45 4-inch Compact XD9645HCSP06, $589; and the Springfield Armory XD45 5-inch Compact Tactical XD9655HCSP06, $619, have undergone the Colt Officers treatment, receiving a shortened grip frame attached to a full-length slide. The $637 Glock SF21 is a remodeling of the Glock 21, but the SF21 does not seem to be much smaller. We wanted to find out if any of its subtle streamlining added up to a better pistol than the original.
Aficionados of forty-five who crave the Government Models power but long for more rounds in a concealable handgun should like the XD45 Compact Tactical. The length of the grips on both the XD Compacts with the 10-round magazine in place was about 0.75 inch shorter than a standard-framed 1911 loaded with a flush-fit magazine.
The original concealable 1911s were custom guns in that their grip frames had been cut in length. This limited capacity to six rounds in the magazine. We measured the XD grip to be 1.2 inches wide at its base. This was about 0.10 inches thinner than a typical 1911 fit with standard width grips.
The XD Compact Tactical differs from the 4-inch model only in the length of its barrel and slide. This increased the sight radius, making the front sight easier to see for most shooters, but it adds about 2.5 ounces to total weight. Additional weight usually adds recoil control, but not when its attached to the top end, which is moving back and forth. If the difference in felt recoil between the two model XDs was a negative, then heres reason to feel good about the need for more attention to the grip. The long 5-inch barrel provided more velocity and power than our other guns. In fact, the extra inch of barrel accounted for about 50 foot-pounds more muzzle energy when compared to the 4-inch XD pistol.
Another aspect of carrying either of the XD pistols with the large magazine in place is the excess weight. For example, it is one thing to carry 15 or 16 rounds of 115-grain 9mm ammunition in the magazine and quite another to tote 13 rounds of 230-grain 45 ACP. This made all the guns in our test top heavy when seated vertically in a belt holster.
Springfield does supply a belt holster and dual magazine pouch with the XD Compacts as well as for other models, but for some body types, this polymer high-ride design can let the gun flop outward, printing against the covering garment. In our opinion a better choice of holster for these guns would be a low-ride model wherein the line of the grip is nearly level with the belt.
The matching dual magazine pouch was exceptional however. It featured a tension adjustable hold that will not come loose and both front and back edges were sculpted with a Picatinny rail for carrying a weapon light or other accessory.
From the bench our test pistol averaged about 1-inch-wide groups for all shots fired.
In our action test of the Tactical model, we landed 17/20 shots in the A-zone. The 20-shot group was tight, but our test shooter was once again pushing shots to the left. Shifting to the head shot, we printed 6/10 shots in the desired spot.