March 21, 2011

Springfield Armory XDM 45 XDM945BHC 45 ACP, $709

In this test we evaluate the $709 Springfield Armory XDM 45 XDM945BHC. It is a full-sized gun with polymer frame and a barrel length of 4.5 inches. It offers an accessory rail, low-mount sights, double-column magazines, and a measure of ambidextrous features.

The trigger on the XDM 45 requires a takeup and press that was much shorter than that of other tested guns. That was because the striker inside the XDM 45 is primed to a point just short of ignition by movement of the slide. However, the XDM 45 is categorized as a double-action pistol. This is based on the actions of pressing the trigger renders final compression and release of the striker.

Gun Tests November 2010

Courtesy, Gun Tests

A fun gun to shoot, we think the XDM-grip improves control.

Our tests for accuracy were performed from a bench at the Top Gun of Texas indoor shooting range, We took full advantage of Top Gun's 20-yard bays and the slick mechanical target retrieval system recently installed by Action Target. Away from the heat and marauding showers in the Texas outdoors, we liked the privacy and safety afforded by the sizable ballistic barriers that separated us from other shooters. Accuracy testing was a slow-fire exercise, but we used an electronic timer to record our first shot and total elapsed times during our two action tests. Our first action test was performed from the 7-yard line with the shooter holding the gun in both hands and the front sight held at the lower edge of the shooter's peripheral vision. Our target was the IPSC-P (paper) targets from

The action consisted of firing two shots to the body (a 5- by 9-inch rectangle A-zone), and one to the head. The head area measured 6.9 by 6.3 inches overall with a 4-inch-wide by 2-inch-tall A-zone, which on a human target terms would mask the eyes. We recorded ten separate runs.

In our second action test we wanted to know more about keeping the gun mounted in the hand throughout rapid fire. So, for this test the start position was with the gun directly on target held only in the shooter's strong hand. This meant our right-handed test shooter fired holding the gun with only the right hand. The IPSC-P target was placed 5 yards downrange and we concentrated on head shots only. Five runs of two shots each were recorded.

Gun Tests November 2010

Courtesy, Gun Tests

The XDM 45 utilized a long single-filament recoil spring. Note the overhang extending from the top of the barrel hood. Springfield Armory ignores this area and lists barrel length at 4.5 inches.

Test ammunition included 185-grain and 200-grain Hornady Custom XTP jacketed hollowpoint rounds. We also tested with the least expensive rounds we could find. They were Federal 230-grain FMJ rounds purchased for less than $17/50 from Walmart. Our action tests were performed using the 200-grain Hornady ammunition. Here's how we rated it:

The XDM series of pistols represent a refinement of an existing product. Changes from the XD pistols include a cosmetic change to the slide, a more squared profile of the grip and disassembly without the necessity of pressing the trigger. The XDM arrived in a distinctive attaché case filled with holster and magazine pouch, magazine loader, two additional 13-round magazines, and two alternate backstraps of different sizes and shapes. Similar accessory packs are available with the XD pistols, but most XDM pistols operate from higher-capacity magazines. Our XDM was all black, but a two-tone model is available for $771. In either case, the XDM pistols cost more, prompting us to point out the following. In a recent attempt to establish an economy line, Smith & Wesson introduced the SD series as a less expensive alternative to the M&P polymer pistol. In a somewhat opposite move, Springfield Armory's XDM now places the XD series in the position of being their economy pistol. The XD and the XDM pistols arrive completely assembled from Croatia. But they are function-fired at the Geneseo, Illinois, facility before being shipped.

Both the XD and XDM pistols feature ambidextrous magazine-release buttons located just above the undercut to the trigger guard. But the XDM slide release and the takedown levers have been given a makeover to blend in with the sleek profile of the weapon. The XD and XDM pistols are the only pistols to our knowledge that include a grip safety, other than the 1911 design. The extra cost of the XDM also goes for an upgrade to the sights, including the rear unit that extended sight radius to the rear plane of the slide.

The XD pistols have been a success based on simplicity and ergonomic appeal. With the introduction of the XDM 45, now both series of pistols are offered in the most popular calibers (9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP). In our July 2008 issue we recommended the XD45 to anyone with medium to large hands. But the interchangeable backstraps of the XDM 45 were more effective in placing the trigger finger in correct relation to the face of the trigger, and this should help accommodate a wider range of hand sizes. In addition, our staff said that it was the contour of the M-style side panels that did more to control the recoil of 45 ACP rounds, including muzzle flip and torque.

From the 20-yard bench we were pleased by the consistent accuracy of the XDM 45. Average Group Radius was recorded as 0.87 inch, 0.64 inch, and 0.92 inch for the 185-grain, 200-grain, and 230-grain rounds, respectively. (The on-paper difference was slight, although cost varied from as little as 34 cents per round to as much as 91 cents per shot.) The largest-diameter 10-shot group fired using the Federal budget rounds measured 2.47 inches across.

The short press of the XDM trigger and the improved grip made firing our actions tests fun and simple. From the 7-yard line, only our first few careful runs placed two shots to the body and one to the head in an elapsed time of more than 2 seconds. Like on the original XD, we think the XDM-series pistols are very easy to learn. On average, runs 1-5 took .89 seconds for the first shot and 2.09 seconds to complete. Runs 6-10 produced average elapsed times of 0.81 seconds for the first shot and 1.82 seconds of total time. As hard as we were pushing, the target showed 20/20 hits neatly inside the lower A-zone. The head area also contained 10/10 expected hits.

Firing strong hand only from 5 yards, our two-shot runs were completed in an average elapsed time of 1.82 seconds. First shots were fired at the 0.97-second mark. That the same advantage in speed we saw firing the XDM freestyle did not specifically translate to a faster time when firing the gun held with only our strong hand was a surprise. One hit was pushed to the left, and two more shots landed low of the head area on our target.


Our Team Said: So many pistols, polymer or otherwise, have been adapted from 9mm to more powerful ammunition. Some of these pistols have been able to maintain their original level of performance, but at the price of making the shooter work much harder. That is where the Springfield Armory XDM 45 fully succeeds because this pistol was actually more fun to shoot than the smaller caliber models we've tested. We think the XDM's changes to the original design makes this gun more 45-worthy than many other pistols we've tried.

Comments (19)

I've got four Springfields, including the first XD from 2004 in a full size 40 S&W. I took it to the Front Sight school in Nevada and was the only person with a Springfield on the firing line. Everyone told me I should have a Glock or a 1911. Now if you go to Front Sight everyone has a Springfield and you don't see as many Glocks as Springfields, though 1911's are still really popular. The other three Springfields are a subcompact XD 45ACP, a Match XDM 9mm, and a 45ACP XDS (with the modification after the recalls). The only thing I don't like is the trigger slop and over travel. In the XDS, it's fine as it's my go to carry gun and I want extra travel in the trigger to prevent an accidental discharge when the adrenalin is pumping. But, I'm an old 1911 and Revolver shooter. I like a smooth trigger without slack. So I ordered Powder River Precision Kits for the 45 Subcompact and Match 9mm. It's a huge difference to me with a much better, smoother trigger without slop or over travel. Trigger reset is fast and my time in practice and competitions has improved.

Posted by: shootist100 | December 20, 2014 10:28 AM    Report this comment

I own two Glock 22s for home defense and an S&W Shield in .40 for concealed carry. Based upon the Gun Tests review, I purchased an XD45 a few months ago. It really is a soft shooting pistol and my new nightstand home defense weapon. I also have an Alien Gear hybrid IWB holster with an XD45 shell. It works, but it's hard to find a good position on my belt that doesn't cause the pistol butt to protrude under my clothing like a dorsal fin.

Posted by: jdogdaddyw | December 18, 2014 7:27 PM    Report this comment

I don't know how this 3 1/2 year old report came back to life, but I will add one thing. I you have or buy one, also go to Powder River Precision and get a pack of 3 striker retaining pins. The factory retaining pin can split and lock up the gun with a round in the chamber. PRP's roll pins are a spring steel "burrito" style pin that holds up much better. Apparently this is a greater problem if you dry fire a lot without a snap cap in the chamber. Anyway, $12 for a pack of three is cheap insurance.

Posted by: WilliamB | December 18, 2014 5:11 PM    Report this comment

I am terrible when it comes to cleaning my guns after a range session ( or 2 or 3).
Though I don't recommend it, my original XD45 shoots better than me and does it
every time. I'm sure I am wearing parts down quicker than normal, when the time comes
to overhaul it, it might replace my double stack 1911 as my bedside gun. I wish I could
carry it a little easier but in the Fl. heat... Well, you know.

Posted by: | December 18, 2014 4:49 PM    Report this comment

I own an xd 40 and an xd 45, I also own 2 glock 23's, I have obviously shot all of them, alot. I also have an M&P 40 with factory laser grips. It is my opinion that the xd 40 is the best handgun in the world today!!! The xd design was built upon the glock design and by my count had made 13 improvements over the glock!!! I also believe that the M&P 40 will be the next sidearm of our military, and it should be!!!! I know it may sound like I'm contradicting my self but I have valid reasons and examples for what I believe. I don't have the time to go into specifics but suffice it to say this......If you are interested in buying a handgun you need not go looking beyond the pistols I have mentioned above.

Posted by: sincentral | December 18, 2014 11:03 AM    Report this comment

I own six semi auto loaders. I have owned the Springfield XDM in 45acp and 9mm competition. They are my favorite and the ease of field stripping is marvelous. I carry the XDM 45 comfortably with hip, iwb and shoulder. The lifetime warranty is nice but I never expect to use it. The sites were perfect out of the box.

Posted by: zellworks | December 18, 2014 10:13 AM    Report this comment

I have both an XDM and an XDS. Both guns are in .45acp. I feel very well armed with these two. Finding holsters was difficult at first, but MTR and Black Hills have come through on that issue. Both guns are reliable and accurate, but the XDM is MUCH more fun to shoot! These Springfields are awesome!!!

Posted by: Doc49 | December 18, 2014 10:01 AM    Report this comment

I own the original XD45 version and, while the XDm is a nice handgun, I don't have the urge to upgrade to it any time soon. I quite content with the XD.

Posted by: Heat Seeker | March 25, 2011 9:24 AM    Report this comment

I bought my Springfield XD, a few years ago,[about the time, they first showed up, on the market. Took it, using 230 grain hollow points, along with My Glock 19,[9mm, using 124grain hollow points], to the range, on my first use of either Gun.
After shooting, about 500 rounds, i noticed, such a minute differnce, in the recoils!... [Actually thinking, my XD.45 shot better, and more accurate, than my 9mm Glock!...].
I purchased my handguns, to carry concealed. I have no intention to shoot anyone; unless, i had my life threatened! After shooting my Springfield XD .45, i was convinced, this is the only gun for me!... [I never want to shoot anyone, but, if i did, i'd rather shoot with a .45, than a 9mm!].
I've since, convinced, 3 police officer friends, how the Springfield XD .45, was "The Gun"!... [One Detective, prefers it, over his Glock .40 caliber!...].

Posted by: muffdiver | March 25, 2011 9:22 AM    Report this comment

I have the original XD45 and to me and my short fingers the original feels much better in the hand than the XDm. The diameter, despite the small back strap, feels bigger. I have not seen results that justify replacing my XD with the new XDm but both are fine reliable pistols that I bet my life on every day. I just wish Springfield would come out with a 10mm version because that is my first choice in caliber...not the wimpy ones found on the counter but the original loadings now offered by DoubleTap.

Posted by: IanFrog | March 24, 2011 10:41 PM    Report this comment

CORRECTION to previous post: knucklehead: check out Gallery of Guns from Davidson's, due to the high popularity, they have plenty, and you get the gun the next day, and much less than MSRP!!!

Posted by: Timothy B | March 24, 2011 10:27 PM    Report this comment

I have the 9mm and LOVE it! I do, however, love the .45, and wish I had that option when I first looked at the XDm! All are fine guns and I would love any one of them in my hand if the situation called.

Posted by: Timothy B | March 24, 2011 10:22 PM    Report this comment

106345: check out Gallery of Guns from Davidson's, due to the high popularity, they have plenty, and you get the gun the next day, and much less than MSRP!!!

Posted by: Timothy B | March 24, 2011 10:18 PM    Report this comment

I have the original XD45 and to me and my short fingers the original feels much better in the hand than the XDm. The diameter, despite the small back strap, feels bigger. I have not seen results that justify replacing my XD with the new XDm but both are fine reliable pistols that I bet my life on every day. I just wish Springfield would come out with a 10mm version because that is my first choice in caliber...not the wimpy ones found on the counter but the original loadings now offered by DoubleTap.

Posted by: IanFrog | March 24, 2011 10:04 PM    Report this comment

Got one in January. Awesome shooter...not a bit sorry I took the plunge. Local dealer had the two tone with standard sights for $629 at the Indy 1500 gun show. Couldn't resist.

Posted by: Rich R | March 24, 2011 8:58 PM    Report this comment

Seriously canovack? You have to think about this one??? Pull the trigger already!

Posted by: PVB | March 24, 2011 8:41 PM    Report this comment

While I am decidedly sold on the .45ACP, I do own several other pieces chambered in this caliber. That, along with my current ownership of an XDM in .40S&W, tends to mitigate some reticence on my part to purchase another one. It IS a neat pistol, and I may have to figure some way to get one into my collection.

Posted by: canovack | March 24, 2011 6:35 PM    Report this comment

Want one --- gun store don't got none --- gunna gets some soon

Posted by: knucklehead | March 24, 2011 4:28 PM    Report this comment

Don't think this is a long gun nor a shotgun, otherwise a great article:

Classification:Long Guns
Model Name:XDM 45
Manufacturer:Springfield Armory
Model Number:XDM945BHC

Posted by: gcsnyder | March 24, 2011 1:08 PM    Report this comment

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