Big 9mm Shootout: Glock, CZ, FN, and Springfield Compete

We test four of the best-handling handguns we have fired in some time. These big semi-autos are a joy to use and fire due to their inherent accuracy and low recoil. But which is the best for you?

1

Handguns are designed to give the user a certain amount of useful power in a portable configuration. For home defense, the limits on “portable” are less restrictive than those for concealed carry under covering garments. Weight is a big issue for carry, but length competes with mass as the dimension that causes the biggest pain in the back. But for performance, length is helpful when it allows for a longer barrel that will make for greater velocity and energy, and up top, a longer slight radius on the slide generally improves accuracy. Also, a longer front end tends to dampen sight movement during recoil, important when chambering a more powerful cartridge such as the 357 SIG. As such, a certain class of handguns — long barrel/long slide models — answer a lot of needs for home-defense shooters, and for the right people, could even be carried. In this report, we looked hard at four 9mm Luger pistols that are among the longest offerings in their respective stables, they were:

  1. the CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 at 8.1 inches in overall length
  2. the FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 at 8.25 inches OAL
  3. the Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS at 8.74 inches OAL
  4. the Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XD(M)T9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel, whose 5.3-inch-long barrel contributes to its 8.3-inch OAL

The CZ P0-9 is a longer version of the CZ P0-7, yet in this group, the barrel is the shortest of the test at 4.54 inches, or 0.79 inch longer than the CZ P0-7’s. This pistol also features an elongated grip that holds 19 rounds in the magazine versus 15 for the P0-7. An important difference between this pistol and the smaller P0-7 is that the P0-9 is supplied with interchangeable backstraps. To put it in scale, the well-known CZ 75 B is also 8.1 inches long, but the 75 B is 0.4 inches shorter than the P0-9 and holds three fewer rounds in its magazines. Interestingly, the pistol retails for an average $100 less than the smaller P0-7. This product from Cesk zbrojovka Uhersky Brod is a polymer-framed pistol, but unlike the others tested, the P0-9 is hammer fired. We expected the CZ pistol to handle differently from the striker-fired guns, and it did.

9mm Luger Range Data

Black Hills 115-gr. EXP CZ-USA CZ PO-9 FNH Longslide Springfield Armory XD(M) 4.5 TB Glock 34 Gen5 MOS
Average velocity 1260 fps 1240 fps 1298 fps 1247 fps
Muzzle energy 405 ft.-lbs. 392 ft.-lbs. 430 ft.-lbs. 398 ft.-lbs.
Small group 1.6 in. 2.4 in. 1.75 in. 2 in.
Average group 1.8 in. 2.7 in. 2.1 in. 2.2 in.
SIG Sauer V-Crown 124-gr.
Average velocity 1180 fps 1212 fps 1220 fps 1199 fps
Muzzle energy 383 ft.-lbs. 404 ft.-lbs. 409 ft.-lbs. 395 ft.-lbs.
Small group 2.2 in. 2.8 in. 2 in. 1.8 in.
Average group 2.4 in. 3.1 in. 2.3 in. 2.2 in.
Federal HST 147-gr.
Average velocity 980 fps 1050 fps 1044 fps 1039 fps
Muzzle energy 313 ft.-lbs. 359 ft.-lbs. 355 ft.-lbs. 352 ft.-lbs.
Small group 1.2 in. 2.4 in. 2.2 in. 2.3 in.
Average group 1.6 in. 2.7 in. 2.4 in. 2.5 in.
All groups were fired at 25 yards from a solid benchrest position using a Bullshooters pistol rest. We used a Competition Electronics Pro Chrony to measure velocity. Ammunition sources: Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain EXP ($15/20 rounds from VenturaMunitions.com); SIG Sauer 124-grain V Crown ($19/20 from SIGSauerstore.com); Federal 147-grain HST ($30/50 rounds from LuckyGunner.com).
9mm pistol loads

FN America pitches the FNS-9 Longslide as a competition gun (as does Glock for its G34), saying the Longslide has been “tested in every type of major shooting event, from high-speed IPSC/USPSA and grueling 3-gun matches to precision bull’s-eye and actions events like the NRA Bianchi Cup.” Okay, none of that scares us if we’re looking for a dependable, easy-to-shoot self-defense handgun.

The Glock G34 Gen5 is likewise designated as a competition pistol, but it’s not Glock’s largest 9mm by quite a bit. The G17L Long Slide gets that honor with a 6.02-inch-long barrel and an OAL of 9.53 inches.

Oddly, Springfield’s XD(M) 4.5 TB (now discontinued in the two-tone color scheme) is longer than what the company designates as a competition handgun, the 5.25-inch-barrel XD(M)95259BHCE Competition Series 9mm. Despite its nomenclature, the threaded-barrel XD(M) version we test here has a 5.3-inch-long barrel to accommodate the threads and is 0.05 inch longer overall than the 5.25 Model, according to company specs.

9mm pistol loads

Here’s what we found out about these longer-than-average handguns:

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger, $402

GUN TESTS GRADE: B (Best Buy)

CZ has managed to pack a lot of value into the P0-9. This pistol is not only a long-slide version of the P0-7, the grip frame is lengthened as well. The result is a pistol with a 19-round magazine. These magazines are not difficult to load. The pistol exhibited faultless reliability. The only limit was the long double-action trigger press, but some will prefer this option. The Omega action allows easy changing between single-action and decocking type safeties. While the double-action first shot limited first-shot accuracy, the single-action option that many tout as an advantage certainly proved viable as this pistol is the most accurate handgun tested with most loads. This isn’t the competition pistol you are looking for, but it is a good all-round personal-defense handgun.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

ACTION Double-action first shot
OVERALL LENGTH 8.1 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT 5.8 in.
MAX WIDTH 1.46 in.
WEIGHT UNLOADED 31 oz.
WEIGHT LOADED 37.4 oz.
BARREL LENGTH 4.54 in.
BARREL Steel
MAGAZINE 19-rd. detachable box
SLIDE Steel
SLIDE RETRACTION EFFORT 18 lbs.
FRAME Polymer
FRAME FRONT STRAP HEIGHT 3.25 in.
FRAME BACK STRAP HEIGHT 3.75 in.
GRIPS Pebbled
GRIP THICKNESS (max) 1.2 in.
GRIP CIRCUMFERENCE (max) 5.75 in.
FRONT SIGHTS Replaceable post
REAR SIGHTS Drift adjustable
TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT (DA) 9.8 lbs.
TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT (SA) 3.9 lbs.
TRIGGER SPAN (DA) 2.8 in.
TRIGGER SPAN (SA) 2.55 in.
SAFETY Manual/Decocker; Omega option*
WARRANTY Limited 5 year
WEBSITE CZ-USA.com
TELEPHONE (800) 955-4486

This was a recent price from BudsGunShop.com. The P0-9 features the Omega trigger system. The action is a double-action first shot. Following shots after the first shot are single action as the slide cocks the hammer for subsequent shots. The action feels smoother than previous CZ pistols. While CZ has offered the CZ 75 pistol in both decocker and manual-safety versions, the Omega system offers relatively simple changing between the decocker and safety versions. We left the pistol in the decocker mode for the test.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

The pistol is supplied with two magazines. These magazines hold 19 cartridges. In common with the Springfield XD(M), the grip frame is smaller than would be expected with this type of magazine capacity, but polymer-frame technology allows this efficient engineering. The steel magazines are well made and finished and feature hard-plastic base pads.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

The double-action trigger features a bit of take up before the movement stiffens and eventually breaks. It seemed odd that the trigger in single-action mode had more take up. The single-action trigger is easily best of the four trigger actions tested here, even including the single-action Springfield XD(M). Reset is longer than the Glock but works well in rapid fire. The sights are fixed types with a three-dot set up. The design is such that the greatest advantage is taken of the sight radius. The rear notch is well designed for accurate fire but fast enough for good results in rapid fire. Our pistol was supplied with the CZ “day-glo” type sights. They are self luminous but only after being exposed to a bright light source. We would have preferred tritium, but there are few $400 service pistols that are delivered with night sights. As it was, the sights were an advantage because none of the pistols were delivered with factory night sights. In a test performed at night by one of the raters, he used a Surefire light on the sights then quickly placed the gun under a pillow in a darkened bedroom. The luminous sights were bright for 10 to 12 minutes and gradually dimmed to normal sight illumination in about 16 minutes.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

We like the grip design. The front and rear strap provide good abrasion, and the grip sides offer good adhesion. Control was never an issue. The top of the grip offers a smooth indentation on each side that helps reduce trigger reach. The squared magazine release is positive in operation. The decocker is easily actuated by the firing thumb. The decocker is ambidextrous, while the slide lock is not. Our raters had difficulty reaching the slide lock without canting the handgun. The frame features a mount for combat lights and laser devices. Above the steel trigger are two sections of stippled frame that allow for resting the finger when the finger is in the safe position before firing. The trigger guard is large enough to accommodate a gloved hand and is squared off.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

The slide is well finished. There were no tool marks visible on this pistol. The slide features both forward and rear cocking serrations. Each works well enough. However, the CZ P0-9 has a trade-off feature. The slide rides low in the frame, making it sometimes more difficult to rack the slide. The slide actually rides inside the frame rails rather than outside the frame. This results in a low bore axis and less muzzle flip and felt recoil.

Disassembly isn’t difficult. Begin by unloading the pistol and then moving the slide toward the rear. Line up the witness marks on the frame with the slide and press out the slide lock. The guide rod recoil spring and barrel are easily removed. While the disassembly isn’t difficult, it is more involved than the other handguns.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

The pistols were first tested on the combat range, with shooters drawing and firing at ranges of 7, 10, and 15 yards. The CZ P0-9 was holstered and fired from a double-action first shot. We also fired the pistols for accuracy from a solid benchrest, firing the CZ single action during this test. We fired 120 cartridges in each pistol during the combat course, with 100 rounds being a handload using the Hornady 124-grain XTP and enough Titegroup powder for an average of 1200 fps. This is a stout load well suited for all-round use. We also fired 20 rounds of the Double Tap 124-grain JHP +P on the combat course. At 1340 fps (Glock 34), this is a strong load that was a good test of the control inherent in a long-slide 9mm pistol.

CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 9mm Luger

Firing off the benchrest for accuracy, we used three modern defense loads. These included the Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain EXP, the SIG Sauer 124-grain V- Crown JHP, and the Federal 147-grain HST. The P0-9 exhibited good results on the firing line. Drawing and quickly firing at 7 and 10 yards and pulling straight through the double-action trigger, results were good, but some raters did better than others. At 15 yards, the difference was more noticeable, and the double-action-only Glock and FNH and single-action XD(M) gave better results for the first shot hit. At all ranges the P0-9 gave better combat results once we got past the long DA trigger. The single-action mode is controllable and offers excellent hit potential. In absolute accuracy, the pistol was the most accurate tested overall, but not with every load. With the Federal 147 HST load, the P0-9 pistol delivered a 1.2-inch group at 25 yards. This is excellent performance. During the firing phase there were no failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject. Combat firing was excellent, even considering the long double-action trigger. The CZ P0-9 in some ways gave a surprising performance for the shortest barrel tested.

Our Team Said: The takedown is dated, based on a 1975 CZ 75 design. The pistol is a good DA first shot design, but combat results for the first shot, which may be the most important shot, were not as good as the Glock, FNH, and Springfield’s. Just the same, the overall performance for the dollar makes the pistol a solid Best Buy. We don’t like to get into “what ifs,” but if the pistol had been converted to the manual safety mode and used as a cocked-and-locked single action, the results would have been different on the combat course. But then, we believe the DA-first-shot CZ isn’t intended to be carried cocked and locked.

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger, $570

GUN TESTS GRADE: B

The FNH pistol features sights that were rated from good to excellent on the score cards. The pistol exhibited faultless reliability. The primary complaint compared to the other pistols tested is the heavier trigger. Accuracy wasn’t as good as the other handguns.

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

ACTION Double action only
OVERALL LENGTH 8.25 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT 5.5 in.
MAX WIDTH 1.35 in.
WEIGHT UNLOADED 26.5 oz.
WEIGHT LOADED 32.9 oz.
BARREL LENGTH 5 in.
BARREL Steel
MAGAZINE 17-rd. detachable box
SLIDE Steel
SLIDE RETRACTION EFFORT 16 lbs.
FRAME Polymer
FRAME FRONT STRAP HEIGHT 2.5 in.
FRAME BACK STRAP HEIGHT 3.6 in.
GRIPS Pebbled
GRIP THICKNESS (max) 1.3 in.
GRIP CIRCUMFERENCE (max) 5.8 in.
FRONT SIGHTS Interchangeable post
REAR SIGHTS Drift adjustable
TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT 6.5 lbs.
TRIGGER SPAN (DA) 2.7 in.
SAFETY Hinged trigger
WARRANTY None written
WEBSITE FNAmerica.com
TELEPHONE (703) 288-3500
FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

This pistol features the increased weight and balance of long-slide 9mm pistols and is a continuation of the popular FS9 pistol. The FN Longslide is 1 inch longer than the FNH 9mm service pistol. We like the fit and finish of this handgun. While finished in dark color, the FNH FNS-9L’s slide and barrel are stainless steel. The pistol features distinctive cocking grooves, including forward cocking serrations. This makes for a tactical advantage not all of the handguns tested share. The FNH pistol is easier to use than most. The pistol features an extractor with a red top that indicates when the chamber is loaded.

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

The pistol features a well-designed post front sight and a serrated rear sight that offers a good sight picture. These high-visibility sights were the best overall, because the also-very-good Springfield suppressor-height sights make it difficult to find a suitable holster. We liked the rear sight cut for speed shooting. This V cut out and white three-dot sights made for good shooting. The trigger guard is the equal of the CZ for gloved-hand use. The pistol’s controls are well designed and worked well for all the raters. We liked the magazine release. The takedown is simpler than the CZ’s, and we like the Longslide’s takedown better than the Glock, and find the Longslide as simple to take down as the Springfield XD(M).

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

The grip pebbling is comfortable, and the grip cannot be faulted for adhesion and abrasion. The pistol’s wide magazine well allows rapid magazine changes. The pistol’s trigger action is similar in design to the Glock, but feels much different in practice. The trigger has minimal take-up then meets a hard spot in the pull. The trigger pull measures 6.5 pounds. The trigger is manageable and some of the raters liked the action, but it was the least-accurate pistol tested on the bench.

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

Our Team Said: During the combat course, the pistol gave good results. It was fast to draw from a generic belt slide and came on target quickly. The sights are an advantage and the pistol is comfortable to fire. From the benchrest, the trigger limited accuracy. We felt that with sufficient acclimation, better results might be had, but we had never fired the P0-9 either and had better results with the latter gun. In the end, the Longslide is reliable, handles well and is of high quality. It simply isn’t the most accurate handgun tested.

FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 9mm Luger

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger, $710

GUN TESTS GRADE: A

The Glock 34 has good features, and we feel that the Gen5 guns are the best yet, with superior accuracy and features over earlier Glock handguns. The Glock demonstrated a high level of practical accuracy on the combat course. The pistol’s fast handling and accuracy for the first-shot hit are good, and reliability is faultless. While it is the most expensive pistol tested, the Glock has a lot going for it. There are also many accessories for this handgun.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

ACTION Double action only
OVERALL LENGTH 8.74 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT 5.1 in.
MAX WIDTH 1.3 in.
WEIGHT UNLOADED 26 oz.
WEIGHT LOADED 32.4 oz.
BARREL LENGTH 5.3 in.
BARREL Steel
MAGAZINE 17-rd. detachable box
SLIDE Steel
SLIDE RETRACTION EFFORT 17.5 lbs.
FRAME Polymer
FRAME FRONT STRAP HEIGHT 2.5 in.
FRAME BACK STRAP HEIGHT 3.5 in.
GRIPS Pebbled
GRIP THICKNESS (max) 1.2 in.
GRIP CIRCUMFERENCE (max) 6.1 in.
FRONT SIGHTS Post
REAR SIGHTS Adjustable
TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT 5 lbs.
TRIGGER SPAN (DA) 2.8 in.
SAFETY Hinged trigger/firing pin block
WARRANTY Limited 1 year
WEBSITE US.Glock.com
TELEPHONE (770) 433-8719
Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

The Glock 34 tested is the newest version of the Generation 5 pistol. This was a recent price for the 34G5 at TombstoneTactical.com. This handgun features detail changes, including an ambidextrous slide lock and the new Marksman barrel. The Glock 34 is the longest pistol tested, but it is considerably shorter than the previous Glock 17L. The Glock 34 conforms to competition rules concerning overall length. This pistol is the MOS optics-ready version. We did not test it with optics, just as we did not test the Springfield with a can, but if your heart lies with one or the other, the choice is simpler. Springfield offers an OSP optics ready handgun, and Glock offers a threaded-barrel pistol. In common with the other polymer-frame pistols, the Glock G34 isn’t a huge or heavy pistol. This pistol has more weight to absorb recoil than the Glock 17 and with its 5.3-inch barrel, the Glock 34 offers a 7.5-inch sight radius. A shorter sight radius tends to magnify errors in sight alignment, so for more-accurate shooting, longer is better.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

This pistol features a sharp and crisp 5.0-pound trigger compression with an excellent feel. We don’t know if we were lucky or if Gen5 Model 34 pistols will come with a trigger lighter than the Glock 5.5-pound standard. This trigger allowed a marksman to make good offhand shots with the pistol and to fire good groups from a steady rest. The sights of the Generation 5 Glock 34 9mm are low-profile adjustable sights. These seem improved over those offered a decade ago for the Glock pistols and work well enough and are easy to adjust, although the adjustment screws are quite small.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

The pistol’s slide lock doesn’t require twisting of the hand to operate. The pistol features an ambidextrous slide lock while the Springfield does not. However, the Springfield features an ambidextrous magazine release. The sights of the Springfield are superior for personal defense use as far as visibility is concerned. The Springfield’s XD(M) grip treatment is good but not superior to the Generation 5 Glock. The cocking serrations of the Springfield, however, are superior even if the forward cocking serrations were not a consideration. The race was on at this point between the Glock and the Springfield. The rest of the field were fast becoming also-rans.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

On the combat course the Glock handled well. Here, we have to make an important point — 9mm service-size handguns are easy to use well. They are soft kickers, even with +P ammunition. So, you might take several pistols to the range and get similar results. That isn’t what we do at Gun Tests. The pistols are fired in skilled hands to find the greatest advantage. We learn the best points of the pistols. The Glock is a pistol that competition shooters adapt to. The polymer-framed steel-slide pistols sometimes fire low if the shooter isn’t experienced. The Glock is perhaps the most neutral of the polymer-frame handguns. The balance or heft is perhaps the best of the pistols tested, with the FN offering practically the same heft and balance.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

We fired these pistols a lot, more than any in recent memory, and the Glock frame treatment was never raspy but gave good results in firing heavy loads for extended periods. The Glock 34 MOS is supplied with four plates to accept popular red-dot sights, including the Trijicon, Docter, Meopta, C-More, and Leupold. The pistol is supplied with grip inserts to accommodate various hand sizes, and it is delivered with three magazines.

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm Luger

Our Team Said: In absolute accuracy, the Glock was the second most accurate handgun tested, but it was the most accurate with the SIG Sauer 124-grain V Crown JHP. Competing against a single-action pistol, this was a good showing. Considering the trigger is the same for every shot, this makes the Glock a superior competition handgun. There are many accessories for the Glock. We used an inside-the-waistband holster during the test and found that the JM Custom Kydex holster gave good results. It required some effort to learn to draw the Glock 34 with good speed, but it is possible, with practice. We found the Glock 34 to be a good all-round 9mm handgun, and it would be our choice for competition use.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XD(M)T9459FDEH Threaded Barrel 9mm Luger, $505

GUN TESTS GRADE: A

This is our pick as a personal-defense, home-defense, and tactical pistol. The slightly longer Springfield barrel developed a few more fps. There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject. Our sole complaint was loading the magazines to capacity.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

ACTION Single action
OVERALL LENGTH 8.25 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT 5.6 in.
MAX WIDTH 1.3 in.
WEIGHT UNLOADED 29 oz.
WEIGHT LOADED 35.4 oz.
BARREL LENGTH 5.3 in.
BARREL Steel
MAGAZINE 19-rd. detachable box
SLIDE Steel
SLIDE RETRACTION EFFORT 16 lbs.
FRAME Polymer
FRAME FRONT STRAP HEIGHT 2.5 in.
FRAME BACK STRAP HEIGHT 3.8 in.
GRIPS Textured polymer
GRIP THICKNESS (max) 1.2 in.
GRIP CIRCUMFERENCE (max) 5.7 in.
FRONT SIGHTS Suppressor-height steel post
REAR SIGHTS Suppressor-height rear notch, adjustable
TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT 6 lbs.
TRIGGER SPAN (DA) 2.6 in.
SAFETY Hinged trigger; firing pin block, grip safety
WARRANTY Limited lifetime
WEBSITE Springfield-Armory.com
TELEPHONE (800) 680-6866
Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

This was a recent price for this discontinued model at BudsGunShop.com. The XD(M) 4.5 as tested features high-visibility suppressor-ready sights and a 5.3-inch barrel. This extended threaded barrel gives the pistol long-slide performance as far as velocity goes, but without the greater weight of a longer slide. The pistol is a typical XD in many ways, featuring a cocking indicator and a single-action trigger with safety features, including a firing-pin block and the new XD(M) frame treatment. The Springfield features a grip safety. This safety prevents the trigger from dropping the striker. The slide is also locked unless the grip safety is pressed. We find this an advantage in personal defense.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

When holstering the Springfield, the slide is rigid as the piece is shoved into the holster. Sometimes tightly-molded holsters will push the slide out of battery unless you are using a cocked-and-locked 1911 or the Springfield XD(M). We would not like to deploy the Springfield XD without a grip safety because the piece is a single action, by our definition. There are certain advantages, such as the ability to field-strip the pistol without pulling the trigger. Field strip is simple enough: Simply turn a lever down and strip the pistol to the slide, frame, barrel, and recoil spring and guide.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

The Springfield XD(M) features what Springfield calls a Match Grade Select Fit Barrel. This is a competitor to the new Glock Marksman barrel. Just as we compared the CZ P0-9 to the earlier CZ 75 pistols and the FNH to other FNH pistols, we compared the Springfield XD(M) to a long-slide tactical Springfield on hand. The Springfield barrel has a good fit in the barrel hood, locking lugs, and muzzle-to-slide relationship. The fit is at least comparable to the Glock 34 9mm. Lock up is tight. At 30 ounces the pistol isn’t heavy, and it is supplied with three 19-round magazines. These magazines were not difficult to load up to 16 rounds, but after that were quite difficult, requiring us to use the Blackhawk magazine loader, which the P0-9, the other 19-shooter, did not. The magazines also did not like long-nosed 124-grain handloads and were impossible to load past the 17th cartridge.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

Of all the pistols tested, the Springfield felt largest in the hand. The XD(M) grip treatment somewhat addresses this, but just the same, this is a larger pistol. The grip is larger than the Glock 34’s. The bore axis is also higher. The advantage of the single-action trigger and its straight-to-the-rear trigger compression gave us an advantage over the Glock, and in the end, the sum of all the features led to a great-shooting pistol. The trigger action breaks at a clean 5.75 pounds, not the lightest tested but manageable. When running on the combat course, the pistol exhibited excellent handling traits. We rated it above the CZ because of the CZ’s double-action first shot, which limited a centered first shot hit at greater range. The Springfield also outperformed the FN pistol by a margin. The Springfield and the Glock ran neck and neck in the hands of some raters, but the Glock pulled away from the Springfield in overall scores.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

Still, the Springfield may be the preferred pistol for some shooters. We liked the scalloped-type cocking serrations, and in several drills, we were able to easily rack the slide using the elevated sights. As a tactical rather than a competition pistol, the forward cocking serrations and high sights gave the pistol an edge on all others tested, an important consideration. Despite the height of the sights, they were well regulated for 115- and 124-grain loads at 15 yards. And it is suppressor ready, if that is a primary concern, just as the Glock is optics ready for those who prefer a pistol with those sights. The XD(M) pistol has changeable grip back straps that allow customizing the piece to your hand size.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

In benchrest accuracy, the pistol gave good results. The CZ P0-9 had an advantage over the other three pistols in single action. The FN was limited by a heavy trigger. The Glock 34 gave slightly better accuracy than the Springfield XD(M) in absolute terms. We do not feel that this advantage would be apparent in anything but long-range competition.

Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel 9mm

Our Team Said: As a personal-defense, home-defense, and tactical pistol, the Springfield has it over the Glock 34 by a margin. One advantage that we feel may vary from gun to gun was velocity. The 5.3-inch Springfield barrel developed 1290 fps with the Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain EXP versus 1260 fps for the CZ and 1240 fps for the Glock. In common with all of the pistols tested, there were no failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject. The tall steel sights and the ability to rack the slide with the sights are a consideration. The forward cocking serrations are also a plus.

Written and photographed by Gun Tests Staff, using evaluations from Gun Teststeam testers.

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