When I spent time with the XD-M Elite at Springfield’s booth the pistol changed my perception of the XD-M platform somewhat. Did it change my mind to invest in one? Maybe not. But, I do believe Springfield Armory is on the right track.
A week before Shot Show Springfield Armory introduced the firearms community to the XD-M Elite series of pistols. Springfield had a video presentation, press release, and data sheet for the XD-M Elite pistols. The new XD-M Elite series of pistols where made with the discerning shooter in mind. The elites where built with the design philosophy of better performance and ergonomics, improved accuracy, and a better trigger. All this fitting into a nice price point of around $800.
Full disclosure I am not a big fan of Springfield XD lineup. They are some of my least favorite pistols to shoot. I wanted to give Springfield a chance to change my perception and opinion of the XD platform. Let’s found out how the new XD-M Elite stacks up in my mind.
When I spent time with the XD-M Elite at Springfield’s booth the pistol changed my perception of the XD-M platform somewhat. Did it change my mind to invest in one? Maybe not. But, I do believe Springfield Armory is on the right track. First, I will breakdown what I enjoyed about the elite pistols. Then, I will discuss what I didn’t enjoy. Finally, I will talk discuss my overall impressions. Now, let’s get into the down and dirty details and find out what I think about XD-M Elite.
First, let’s rundown what I liked about the pistol. From my time with the pistol I completely enjoyed the ergonomics, trigger, and quality build components, on new XD-M Elite pistols.
I was quite surprised on how much I enjoyed how the elites felt in my hand. You are able to get a nice high grip on the frame of the elite for positive control. The inclusion of ambidextrous slide stop was a nice touch. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the checkered grip of the elite. The stippling ended up feeling good and not to intrusive on my grip. I hold a pistol quite tight I was worried about the grip leaving imprints on my hands. I don’t know how the checkered grip will hold up with wet or sweaty hands. To me I don’t feel it would provide extra grip in that circumstance but, it very well could. Overall, I was happy with the design philosophy of the ergonomics. The XD-M Elite felt good in my hands and is well balance in that way. So, all-in-all I was happy with ergonomics.
When it came down to the trigger I had low expectations to be honest. One of the weakest areas of the XD-M platform has always been the trigger in my opinion. So, when I spent some time dry firing. Feeling the uptake, break, and reset I was very surprised. The XD-M Elites are using this newly designed trigger called META by Springfield.
META stands for Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly. The META offers a flat face trigger shoe. Over travel on the trigger has been reduced by a backstop on the back of the trigger. Allowing for a nice short reset of the trigger. You also get that clear audible “click” of the reset which I enjoy.
My experience dry firing the elites was a positive one. I was able to achieve good finger placement on the trigger shoe. The uptakes were clean and direct, no wasted movement. The break was crisp. The reset was nice and short with good audible “click”. The trigger truly surprised me out of the elites. The new META trigger complete changes and improves the XD-M Elite trigger versus a stock XD-M pistol. They are too different triggers. Well done Springfield on improving the trigger.
The XD-M Elites have quality components that makes up the pistol. You have a match grade barrel in from the jump. An enhanced trigger with a flat face shoe. A flared magwell to help with reloads and nice factory 3-Dot fiber optic sights. The quality of the materials at the price point delivered at is a selling point of the XD-M Elite. A small one yet and still a selling point.
Alright, we have covered all the positive traits of the XD-M Elites. Let’s get into the negative.
When it comes down to the design of the XD-M Elite pistols, as Usher once said its all bad. These are some visually unattractive pistols. When I look at them there is nothing that screams sexy at me or that is a well designed firearm. Look at a Sig Sauer P365 XL, a Glock 17 Gen 5, a 1911 pistol, all those pistols are good looking firearms. The XD-M Elite series is an ugly duckling they tried to slap makeup on.
The lines are clean but underwhelming. The front and rear side serrations lack any visual flare. They barely look like they can help create any positive traction when using. The checkered grip creates a visual eye sore in my opinion. The flared magwell doesn’t mesh well with design language of the pistol. It is visual intrusive and adds nothing to design presence of the XD-M Elite pistols.
Lastly, I am not a fan of the blackstrap safety on the XD-M platform. Design and aesthetics are important to me. I want a gun to run like a beast and look good while doing it. But, that’s not to say you can have a gun that runs like a dream but, be designed visually poorly. I can go on and on about the design of the XD-M Elite pistols but, I will leave it there. I believe you get the gist on my impression of the design.
At the end of the day the Springfield XD-M Elite didn’t wind me over. It definitely improved my opinion of the XD-M platform but, Springfield has a long way to go to change perceptions. Instead of going for a complete overhaul and redesign. Springfield chose to design a high performance XD-M from factory. I don’t know if anyone was technically asking for that but, now we have it.
The new XD-M Elites offer a match grade barrel, the META trigger, and good sights. That’s about it. But, in the long run there are better options out there like the Sig Sauer P320 X-Series that falls within that $800 dollar price range. The X-Series by Sig Sauer is miles ahead of the XD-M Elites in design, performance, and quality.
I believe Springfield should completely redesign the XD-M from the ground up. Look at the ebb and flow of the industry and what shooters are looking for and go out and design a great pistol.
I have hope that Springfield can change my perception of the XD-M platform in time.
What do you think about the XD, XD-M and XD-M Elite platforms? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks For Reading
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