Why I Carry What I Carry: Part 1

I’ve shared on a few occasions that my go-to carry of choice is my Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm. And many people have asked me why, specifically, I prefer that handgun. I have several reasons. Just remember: I am not an expert; I just like what I like!


I suppose I was drawn to this particular model because my husband owns a Springfield XD 9mm. I have trained with this gun and have even carried it for a while, but the XD had a tendency to take up way too much room when I carried it in my handbag. It would kind of “clunk” around when I set down my purse, or it would swing, heavily, and thump me in the hipbone as I walked, moved to pick something up, or simply shifted the bag. I knew that I wanted to purchase something slightly smaller and lighter. The single-stack XD-S (weighing 23 ounces, with empty clip) is what I like to think of as “light enough to carry around… but heavy enough to know it’s there.” With a 3.3-inch barrel, the XD-S is also a little smaller than its XD counterpart, so it’s easier to conceal—in a purse or on my body. So for me, this compact pistol is an ideal choice for concealed carry.


Another feature I personally love about the XD-S is the grip safety. I’m not a big fan of the more traditional mechanisms. With 3 children in our home, I view a grip safety as one extra means of protection because you have to hold the gun properly—and you have to intend to shoot it—to get the gun to fire. This, along with a heavy trigger pull, makes it nearly impossible for a little hand to shoot it accidentally. It’s also advantageous that the XD-S has a loaded-chamber indicator, so I can easily see—or feel—a round in the chamber. I like having that extra peace of mind since I’m with my children so much. (NOTE: Because I’m around children, most of the time, it’s my personal preference to carry without a round in the chamber.)

Special Additions

The XD-S also features a bright-red, fiber-optic front sight. I tried out the green one that comes with it, too, but for me, the high visibility of the red color makes alignment seem easier, especially between shots. I also purchased the optional clip extender; it increases the grip by about an inch and holds nine shots instead of seven. Both versions are comfortable for me, so I typically use the regular clip, just to keep the overall size of the gun down a bit. Speaking of the grip, I also really like the texture. The very distinct ridges and grooves feel firm and secure in my hand, even if I’ve recently used hand-softening lotion!

Please visit the USCCA blog next Tuesday to read the rest of my “why.”

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