Five to Stay Alive

This Springfield Armory XD-S sports a 4-inch barrel and an overall length of 7 inches. And with a grip width of less than 1 inch, this gun’s mission is clear: easy-packin’ and straight-shootin’. Drop it in a CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe — a holster which adds virtually no extra girth but instead offers a secure, stable and comfortable means of carry — and you won’t even mind the gun’s capacity is only five rounds with the flush-fitting magazine.

Or will you?

Five rounds. It’s not often a gun maker brings to market a gun with the same capacity as some snub-nosed revolvers and less capacity than its predecessors or its competitors. Unless, of course, there’s a significant advantage to doing so. In the case of this XD-S — which has been out for a little while — Springfield is betting the easy-packin’ and straight-shootin’ outweighs the need for more than five rounds on board. Oh, there’s a spare magazine, yes. A six-rounder with a bit of an extension which makes holding and shooting this gun just a bit better than with the five-rounder.

You can find striker-fired, double-stack .45 ACP pistols carrying more rounds in a single magazine than the XD-S’ two magazines combined. But you might not find a .45 ACP that weighs only 23.5 ounces and can easily be described as skinny and very easy to conceal. And a hoot to shoot quickly and accurately.

But the name of the game here is concealability. With the five-round, flush-fitting magazine, the height of the gun is only 4.4 inches. There are shorter guns, yes, but not many. At least not chambered in .45 ACP and as straight-shootin’ as this XD-S. Thanks to the dual-spring recoil system, firing this gun is sort of like firing a snappy .40. You hang on, sure, but there’s never any threat that it’s just too much to handle. And helping you hang on is an aggressive checkering system around the stocks. If there’s anything to complain about, it’s that the stocks feel very square in hand. You’ll get over it because you’ll love that the gun hides so well.

Riding in the CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe — which looks like a lot of holster to hide but unexplainably isn’t — the XD-S sits with a slight forward cant, offering a perfect combat grip. I like this rig at 4 o’clock. For all the leather and plastic you see in the CrossBreed holster, it does a great job of enhancing the concealed carry of a pistol. The thinner the gun, the better. And, the longer the barrel of the gun, the better, as the inside of the barrel presses against the body-side of the holster to add friction and therefore stability.

There’s more to love about the XD-S, including the grip safety, fiber-optic front sight, loaded chamber indicator and simple controls — including an ambidextrous magazine release. Retailing for $549, the XD-S is a concealed carry wonder, especially if it is matched up with a CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe, which retails for $69.75.

Is this your idea of “five to stay alive”?