Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review

Review: Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol


When asked to review the Springfield Armory XDM Elite 9mm pistol, I said it would be a pleasure but inwardly I was groaning at the thought of a boring Croatian Glock.  

Now, I really hate admitting it when I am wrong (ask my wife) but I stand corrected! This is one very interesting and totally fun, very accurate pistol. So, what happened to change my mind?

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
The XDM Elite looks typical but performs better than that in several key areas

The XDM comes in a standard cardboard box in which I discovered an attractive and functional zip-up pistol bag containing the XDM and magazine plus a compartment containing lots of goodies.

Inside were:

  • two more magazines. How generous to supply three mags 
  • two extended base plates for mags in case you want to install them
  • an extended magazine funnel to aid fast reloads (which I admit I did not use as I found the already bevelled mag well plenty fast and comfortable)
  • two extra, different sized backstraps, giving a total of three grip sizes available to suit almost every size hand
  • a padlock-style gun lock
  • extensive, well written and illustrated manual and instructions
  • impressive factory 10-metre test target.
Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
Springfield XDM Elite with all its goodies

So now I was grudgingly thinking how well-appointed and supplied the XDM was from the importer. Basically, all you need is a holster and you can start competing in IPSC or other action matches.

Now a bit more intrigued, I picked up the XDM and was pleasantly surprised how well it fit my hand without even changing the back grip for any of the other sizes. 

Dry firing it a few times, I was impressed just how truly smooth the trigger was for a factory striker-fired gun. No, this is not a high-end 1911 trigger but, to my mind, it is the best striker-fired trigger I have used to date. I was most impressed with the reset; I could hear and feel it and it was a clean, short reset.

So far so good, time to field strip and give it a quick wipe just to be sure everything was in order. It was clean, naturally, and a little dry but it did not need any attention. 

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
Springfield XDM Elite stripped to its main components

I did notice how well things fitted together, far more precisely than many of the sloppy service-type striker guns I have tried, which was encouraging. 

I think what most excited me was just how super simple the take down was. Lock the slide back, push the takedown lever to the 12 o’clock position, retract the slide and then slip it forward off the frame! Quick and easy, although it does remove any excuse you may have for not cleaning.

Off to the range and I first wanted to put a box or two of ammo through it on metal plates just to test reliability etc. 

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
Graham found the XDM easy and very fast in its handling

The goods new: some 300 rounds of very mixed ammo later, the XDM hadn’t even looked like failing to function perfectly. 

The bad news: I could not hit a 150mm plate at 10 metres. Shots were way high and to the left. Time to test the adjustable sights.

They turned out to be very precise in adjustment with positive clicks and just feel like high-quality Bomar’s of old. Impressive, given the cheapo approach many makers saddle us with that almost require replacement if you want to be competitive. 

After adjustment the XDM was spot on and I was happily hammering steel. 

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
XDM Elite’s fully adjustable rear sight is a quality unit

The fibre-optic front sight worked very well and the red dot is very fast to acquire. It is easy to change if you prefer a different colour or solid steel front etc.

In doing this preliminary testing I noted that the XDM seems exceptionally easy to keep on target when you go fast. It seems to just want to stay on target, no matter how fast I tried to go. I believe this is a combination of the smooth, short reset and general ergonomics, but if you like to push your speed then I think you will be impressed.

There is no thumb safety but there is a well-designed grip safety that is most forgiving of hand position. I pretty much forgot it was there when shooting but it does add that little extra safety to a striker gun. 

The XDM features both a loaded-chamber indicator on top of the slide which is both visible and tactile, as well as a cocking indicator at the rear of the slide which is clearly visible.

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review

As more and more club members showed up at the range, I offered both the XDM and another pistol (which cost twice as much) to fellow members to try and them give me their thoughts. The shooters ranged from newbies through to seasoned competition winners so I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to stand back and observe their reactions.

Some 200 rounds later, I was collecting feedback and asked the question, “If you could have either of these guns, which would you pick?”  

Interestingly, all but one person preferred the XDM over the other, more expensive pistol and one of the members actually wanted to buy the test XDM when I was finished with it. 

All commented on how well it shot and how it “felt good”. The more experienced shooters loving its speed.

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
Accuracy testing was done on a rest at 25m

Moving over to the 25-metre range I set up a target and my Caldwell Stable Table Lite portable benchrest and proceeded to test using a rest to find out how the XDM shoots groups. 

After shooting five different types and weights of 9mm ammo (five shots each) I walked down to retrieve the target board. When I got close, I actually just stood there for a moment in amazement. I am no great shot yet I saw consistent 50-70mm groups regardless of ammo type.

One group using 124gn Federal Syntech put four shots into less than 30mm (just over 1”) with a self-inflicted flyer opening the group up to 75mm. But if you accept that I am not using a fancy machine rest, just a table and supports which means there is still much room for human error, then this is an amazing result for this type of firearm.

Springfield XDM Elite 9mm pistol review
The XDM Elite is capable of excellent accuracy in this class of handgun

The black Melonite finish seems tough as nails and despite all the handling and shooting the gun still looked brand new once cleaned. The black finish is also attractive in a very businesslike fashion.

The XDM Elite is a seriously impressive striker pistol and well worth your consideration if looking at a new gun.

I would like to thank the importer NIOA for supplying the XDM and to Cleaver Firearms for helping us with ammunition for the test.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Calibre: 9mm
  • Action: Striker fired
  • Colour: Black Melonite finish on slide and barrel, black on frame
  • Barrel: 133mm (5.25”), 1:10 twist rate
  • Slide: Forged steel
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Sights: Fibre-optic front, fully adjustable target rear
  • Magazines: 3 x 10rd capacity
  • Weight: 850 gram (30oz)
  • Length: 210mm (8.3”)
  • Height: 149mm (5.875”)
  • Price: From about $1335 (January 2023)
  • Distributor: NIOA

 

 

 


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Graham Park

Graham is the President of Shooters Union Australia and is also a keen lover of all things that go bang. With over 40  years of experience in the firearms community and industry, Graham is well placed to share information on a wide variety of firearm related issues. He runs a cattle property and is also a well published writer, with an Australian best-selling book (health related) and many, many published articles in Australian and international media.

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