By Michael Humphries
Springfield has definitely been proving they can think outside the box with their products. While everyone seems to be releasing striker-fired, polymer-framed pistols (and Springfield certainly has a good share of these in its own XD and XDm lines), Springfield broke the mold with the release of the 9mm XD-E (click here for an article by Mas Ayoob on it). Well, Springfield just gave us an even bigger hammer with the new XD-E in .45 ACP.
A polymer-framed, hammer-fired pistol, the pistol gives shooters a handgun with an easier to cycle slide (Springfield dubs it the L.E.S. for “Low Effort Slide”) than comparable striker-fired guns. Due to the hammer, the pistol has a DA/SA system of operation with a long trigger pull to cock and release the hammer on the first shot, with the slide cocking the hammer for subsequent shots to provide a single-action trigger pull.
An ambidextrous thumb safety/decocker at the rear of the frame allows you to adjust the system to however you want to carry. You can use the pistol cocked-and-locked, hammer down on safe, etc. That combined with the easily rackable slide makes for a formidable and adaptable little gun. The safety/decocker is matched up with an ambidextrous magazine release.
The new XD-E sports a 3.3″ barrel and has a single-column magazine for slimness. While the first model was a 9mm, this one packs in 6+1 (or 7+1 with the extended magazine) rounds of .45 ACP in a package that weighs just 23 ounces. The pistol comes with the two mags mentioned (and the 6 rounder’s finger extension baseplate can be swapped with an included flush one for even more concealability), and also features steel sights with a fiber optic front unit. A loaded chamber indicator rounds out the package.
I had a chance to try out the pistol at a recent writer’s event in Las Vegas and noted that the pistol had more “oomph” to it than the 9mm model, which stands to reason. Slinging out those .45 caliber slugs made for a pistol with more notable recoil than the earlier model, but also gives you a lot more impact downrange. I think it is a reasonable trade-off, particularly for all of us .45 fans out there!
The pistol is available now, so if you are interested take a look and see if the new XD-E .45 is right for you. For more information, visit http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/xd-e-3-3-single-stack-45acp/.