The single stack 9mm market hasn’t completely gone to the wayside yet. Springfield Armory recently introduces new optics-ready versions of their XD-S MOD.2 pistols in an effort to meet the demands of modern concealed carriers. I was able to receive a copy of the Springfield XD-S MOD.2 OSP pistol in 9mm and in their 4-inch barrel configuration and with this review, I wanted to set out into a realm of handgun performance I hadn’t really spent all that much time with in the last couple of years. Why? Well with the introduction of modern micro-compact 9mm pistols, there really hasn’t been a need for me to pick up a compact single-stack 9mm in a long time but I had the feeling that many people still probably preferred their older single-stack 9mm pistols and might want to have carry-optics capabilities but keep largely the same gun.
More from Springfield Armory @ TFB:
TFB Review: Springfield Armory XD-S MOD.2 OSP 9mm Pistol
- 9mm Single Stack 7 or 9 round magazines
- Black Melonite finish forged steel slide
- Polymer Fram with XD-S Enhanced Grip Texture
- 4-inch Hammer Forged Steel Melonite Finish Barrel
- 0.9-in Wide by 5-in Tall by 7-in Length (extended mag)
- Max 23.5 oz unloaded (with extended 9-round magazine)
- Includes Crimson Trace CTS-1500 Red Dot
- MSRP $550
Only 4 years ago, the single stack 9mm market was completely oversaturated with options much like the micro-compact 9mm market is today. Nearly every major manufacturer including Springfield Armory had an offering and overall every single one of those options was a quality one that offered you a reliable, and slim EDC option. Springfield’s XD-S MOD.2 line was introduced back in 2018 and James Reeves did a great review on the pistol which eliminated the infamous (or famous) GRIP ZONE markings on the side of the frame of the pistol and the new XD-S MOD.2 OSP has kept this aesthetic decision.
One perhaps disappointing feature about the new XD-S MOD.2 OSP is the decision of Springfield to no longer include a foam padded plastic case with their XD-S models. Instead, the pistol comes shipped in a matte laminated cardboard box with the gun’s soft case, manuals, and spare magazines set inside. I personally much preferred the presentation and shipping of the old Springfield boxes which featured foam cutouts for nearly every component but if you don’t use your gun cases after you buy your guns, then this is perhaps a complete non-issue for you. The fit and finish of the gun right outside of the box are what I would expect from Springfield with everything functioning right out of the box with no blemish marks on the slide or frame.
The MOD.2 OSP came with a pre-mounted Crimson Trace CTS-1500 red dot. However, options are available without the red dot and feature a Shield RMS footprint for the optics cut. The optics cut is low enough on the OSP to allow for a full co-witness with the CTS-1500 and standard height iron sights.
After finding a holster to fit the XD-S MOD.2 OSP in, I headed out to the range to get some trigger time behind the updated MOD.2 pistol. I immediately noticed that I was going to have to practice with the gun a lot more if I wanted to use it in its optics-mounted configuration. Anyone who has spent a lot of time behind a pistol-mounted red dot will understand the growing pains of having to hunt for the dot until you’ve established enough muscle memory to bring the pistol to bear with the dot already in the window. Since the XD-S MOD.2 grip is much different than the rest of my carry guns with optics, this proved to be a lot harder since I was unfamiliar with the pistol.
This point is also perhaps a positive for some people who already carry an XD-S MOD.2 pistol and simply want a red dot-mounted option. If this is the case then I surmise that your time to train to proficiency with the red dot mounted will be drastically reduced.
The pistol and red dot combo are very accurate (despite my poor marksmanship). The pistol has a trigger pull weight of just under 7-lbs and while this isn’t great, it’s more than adequate for defensive use. When James reviewed the XD-S MOD.2 back in 2018, he mentioned that the undercut of the grip made for a more comfortable shooting experience during long range sessions and this turned out to be true as a ran my 500 rounds through the pistol. In addition to the grip style of the MOD.2, the grip texture is still aggressive enough to give you a firm hold on the gun while at the range but isn’t overly aggressive as to agitate your skin on either your hands or your side while the pistol is being carried. For reference, this grip texture is somewhere in between the dot texturing on Glocks and the extremely abrasive Smith & Wesson 2.0 grip tape texturing.
It was during this marathon range session that I noticed that the highly polished feed ramp of the barrel had become almost completely caked in carbon due to a mix of 124-grain, 150-grain ball, and self-defense ammunition but the pistol remained 100% reliable throughout the entire range session and with no cleaning or lubing done to it during the trip. Once home from the range, a quick wipe down of the chamber and feed ramp returned it to its factory-new mirror shine.
I did notice that with my lighter 150-grain loadings of Federal Syntech, the pistol did not always want to lock the slide back after the last round was fired. This happened more often with the shorter 7-round magazine but it did occur at least once with the extended 9-round magazine. My guess is that the dual captive recoil spring is just a hair bit too strong for the 150-grain Federal Syntech which is only exiting the barrel at a little less than 900 feet per second making for a soft recoiling but perhaps not very reliable round for the XD-S MOD.2 OSP. I did not experience these malfunctions with any of the 124-grain or self-defense ammunition that Hornady sent me to test with the MOD.2 OSP.
The Crimson Trace CTS-1500 red dot that came mounted with the MOD.2 OSP survived the marathon 500-round range session and I didn’t have any issues with it losing its zero or breaking. Only minor windage and elevation adjustments needed to be made at the range and I assume that is because they are sighted in at the factory using the iron sights as a point of reference. However, I did have one minor issue with the CTS-1500. The red dot features an “always-on” design and there is no way to turn it off or brighten the dot as lighting conditions change. While my slight astigmatism will give me a “starburst” effect in lower light conditions, this isn’t too much of an issue as I can usually see the dot clearly enough to make accurate shots.
For me, the issue is the intensity of the dot when the sun comes out and you are shooting on a bright white background. I simply found that the CTS-1500’s brightness was just a hair bit too weak to make for a very clear dot when shooting on a brightly lit light-colored target. With some concentration, you can still see the dot, however, I have met people who often want brighter dots because of vision problems so this might be something to consider if you still want a red dot ready XD-S – maybe buy the option that doesn’t come with the red dot and find one that works well for you.
The XD-S MOD.2 OSP pistol is not for me. I am simply too heavily invested in stack-and-a-half or double-stack micro-compact 9mm pistols for me to want to switch back to a single-stack 9mm pistol. However, the XD-S MOD.2 OSP is a quality addition to Springfield’s lineup and I find that it has great value for those who love their XD-S pistols and want to have carry optics capability. The pistol still functions flawlessly, even with the added weight and I think it’s perfectly acceptable these days to carry with a red-dot equipped pistol if you’re willing to put the time and effort to become proficient with it.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the XD-S MOD.2 OSP. Is the addition of a red dot a feature worth upgrading to over your standard MOD.2 XD-S pistol or would you rather stick with iron sights? Furthermore, do single stack 9mm pistols still have a place in EDC carry when options like the similarly sized Glock 48 and others exist? As always thoughts and comments are welcome down below.
Thank you to Hornady for sending along several boxes of 9mm self-defense ammunition for this review
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