Springfield XD-9 Subcompact – Potential Safety Problem


Springfield XD-9 Subcompact

Springfield XD-9 Subcompact

Let me start off by saying, I think the Springfield XD-9 Subcompact is a great little gun!  However, I think the design of the grip safety could potentially have a safety flaw for women and younger shooters with smaller hands. In a stressful reload or malfunction, a shooter with smaller hands could easily fail to engage the grip safety fully and not be able to get the slide to lock back to be able to clear the weapon.

Some folks have suggested just taping the grip safety down with some black electrical tape, but I would just like to see Springfield change the design so that the grip safety not being fully depressed doesn’t keep the slide from being pulled to the rear.  Seems like a no brainer to me.

To see more on the potential safety issue, checkout the video below.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube if you don’t have Flash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPKm9r7M2qg

The Springfield XD-9 Subcompact Specifications:

Caliber: 9x19MM

Magazines: 1 – 13 Round Compact, 1 – 16 Round w/ Grip Extension

Barrel: 3” Steel, Melonite, Fully Supported Ramp

Sights: Dovetail Front and Rear (Steel) 3 – Dot

Trigger pull: 5.5 – 7.7 lbs.

Frame: Black Polymer

Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish

Recoil System:  Dual Spring with Full Length Guide rod

Length: 6.25”

Height: 4.75” w/ Compact Mag, 5.5” w/ Extended Mag

Weight w/ Empty 26 ozs. w/ Compact Mag, Magazine: 27 ozs. w/ Extended Mag

The Springfield Specifications sheet can be located here: http://www.springfield-armory.com/assets/pdf/1SPRINGFIELD_Book_XD9801.pdf

Have you had any issues with the grip safety on your Springfield XD-9 Subcompact?


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7 thoughts on “Springfield XD-9 Subcompact – Potential Safety Problem

  1. JJ,
    Your evaluation of the Springfield XD safety issue was spot on. While the Springfield XD series of pistols has a lot going for them I believe it is the grip safety that keeps them out of most police holsters in the US. There are over 100 different Federal agencies which overwhelmingly issue Glocks and Sigs. Of the state and local agencies, Glock is the most common with the Smith & Wesson M&P in second place. You will see Berettas, HK’s, , and Rugers here and there as well. Less often you will you see Springfield XD’s. Although the XD is very popular with the civilian market, it has not caught on as much with the law enforcement crowd. This is due to a huge marketing campaign in all the gun magazines and the fact that they give you plenty of freebies (plastic holsters and mag pouches).
    After I retired from Federal Law Enforcement (where I carried a Sig 228 in 9mm) I joined a local police department in Wisconsin and was issued an XD45. I asked why the department selected the XD when no other department in the area carried it. I was told because the firearms Sgt saw that it was the gun of the year in a hand gun magazine. I chose to carry a personally owned Glock in 40cal.
    The XD safety works well when you are standing in line on the range and nobody is shooting back at you. The problem is that is not reality. It a real world situation you have to plan for the worst case scenario. You have to plan for the following:

     You may be grappling with the bad guy and unable to grip the weapon enough to engage the safety.
     You will very likely be wounded and unable to grip your weapon properly. You may not get the opportunity to shoot first. Your gun may be slippery from blood. Your grip may be week. You may be using your off hand.
     Tactically your position may prevent you from griping your weapon properly. What if you are lying in the street using a curb as cover or crouching in the front seat of a vehicle using the engine block as cover?
     The safety is a mechanical item that can break or malfunction. What happens if the safety cannot be engages for some reason when you really need it to?

    Additionally, from an armorer’s perspective, the Springfield XD is much more difficult to work on than the competitors (Glocks and M&P’s). This is another reason why they have not been embraced by the law enforcement community. Great article JJ! I won’t say the Springfield XD is a bad gun, but for a strike fired pistol I trust my life (and my family’s lives) on, I will stick to Glock

  2. I just bought an XDS9mm a few days ago. Tuesday of this week I took it to the range to fire some rounds.
    My first 3 pulls of the trigger produced no bang. I stood there dumbfounded. I racked the slide thinking I had no shell in the pipe. After thinking a minute, I determined that I needed a perfect grip on the weapon to hold in the Grip safety. I have fairly small hands and have some arthritis in my right hand and can’t fully close my fingers.
    After I figured out the problem the gun fired great and was extremely accurate. At this point, I remembered G. Gordon Liddy’s comments about not trusting His life with nothing but a revolver. I now carry my new LCR38 SPC
    As my carry gun with my LCP as backup..The XDS9mm will soon be up for sale. I do not have to have the perfect grip with my Glock 29 or my LCR or my LCP or my Taurus 85.. So long XDS9mm

  3. It is a weird feature, I don’t really understand my they connected the grip safety to the slide lock. Makes no sense to me at all. Hopefully they will change it for future models.

  4. I’ve shot two different XDs one full size and one compact and I didn’t have any issues. However now that I’ve read that you’ve heard issues I could see where the grip safety could cause an issue.

    Also Dave said some good things, if you’re in a position that you can’t grip the gun perfectly to engage the safety that could be a huge problem.I see why the police don’t use them.

    I have a feeling Springfield will leave the grip safety in because that’s what they started with and it helps them be different from the glocks….it probably really depends on how their sales go.

  5. Yep, I think the XDs are great guns. I just wish they would change that one simple feature. I have heard rumors that the new models are going to be changed. We shall see….

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