Recoil|March - April 2021
Springfield Armory’s Red-Dot-Equipped Subcompact
Tamara Keel

For the last couple of years, it’s felt like all the attention in the concealed-carry world has focused on increasing capacity in subcompacts. SIG’s P365, Springfield Armory’s Hellcat, and the 43X/48 duo from Glock have been getting all the headlines.

Because of this, it can be easy to overlook the fact that the original slim single-stack subcompact nines, in many ways the forebears of their double-stacked kin, are still out there and putting in yeoman work in holsters across the land.

Springfield Armory jogged our memory with the recent launch of the OSP variant of their single-stack subcompact XD-S Mod.2, with a slide milled to accept red-dot sights and available right out of the box with a factory-installed Crimson Trace CTS1500 red-dot optic.


So, is the classic micro single-stack still relevant in the age of the Hellcat? Springfield Armory sure seems to think it is, so let’s open the box and find out. And when we say “open the box,” we mean that very literally, because the packaging for the XD-S Mod.2 OSP is a semigloss black cardboard box, about the right size for a personal pizza, except with the Springfield crossed-cannons logo instead of a Domino’s one.

Lift the lid on the box, and the interior contains a zippered black nylon pouch, also logo’d, that contains the pistol and magazines, a separate compartment under a folded cardboard lid for the mandatory lock and accessories, and some “Defend Your Legacy” moto ad copy on the inside of the box lid thanking you for your patronage. A nice touch, actually.

Unzipping the nylon pouch reveals the pistol itself, with its Crimson Trace dot already mounted. There’s also a sewn-in pocket holding a spare magazine; in the case of our test gun, a nine-round ’stendo with an adapter collar textured to match the grip of the pistol. The flush-fit magazine holds seven rounds of nine.


The Mod.2 version of the frame is a lot more aesthetically restrained than the original. Gone are the huge molded-in “XD-S” billboard and the giant pyramids of texturing that made the grip look like a frag grenade. In their place are panels of subtly molded coarse texturing reminiscent of that currently found on the grips of SIG’s offerings.

This grip texture, shared with the XD-E series, looks grippy but isn’t nearly as aggressive as it looks. This can be good and bad — good in that it doesn’t chew up clothing with the aggressiveness of skateboard tape (or the old pyramidal texturing) and bad in that it can get a little squirmy in sweaty hands, even if you clamp down on it.

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