Glock vs. Springfield XD vs. S&W M&P
Four models top our list of recommended guns: Glock, Springfield XD, Springfield XD(m) and S&W M&P. All 4 have many similarities: size, shape, weight, caliber options, barrel length options, and cost. The following are our opinions based on using all 4 gun types and seeing many of these guns used by students in classes and in competitions.
|trigger break||springy||moderately crisp||moderately crisp||mushy – Apex sear improves to “crisp”|
|aftermarket trigger upgrades||many options, low cost, user installable||Springer Precision drop in (DIY) or send to Springer for trigger job||Springer Precision drop in (DIY) or send to Springer for trigger job||Apex Tactical – drop in or Apex install.|
|interchangeable grip inserts||Gen 4 only||None||XDm only||all models|
|grip length||medium (G19) is 2 rounds shorter than full size (G17/G34), easier to conceal.||standard & 5″ models have same grip length||standard and 5.25 models have long grips, harder to conceal compared to G19, XD, M&P. 3.8 models come with short and long magazines||standard, M&P Pro have same grip length, in between G19 and G17|
|mag release||easily upgraded to larger size w/ aftermarket parts if needed, only works from left side (right thumb). Gen 4 models have a reversible mag catch (like M&P) but only works with Gen 4 magazines that have the release notch on both sides.||ambidextrous operation, button is small, hard to push||ambidextrous operation, somewhat easier than XD||larger than XD/Glock release, can be flipped to other side to accommodate left thumb operation|
|slide lock||easily upgraded to larger size w/ aftermarket parts if needed, only works from left side (right thumb)||if high thumb grip used, right handed shooter can prevent slide from locking by “riding” the lock lever||if high thumb grip used, right handed shooter can prevent slide from locking by “riding” the lock lever||ambidextrous design makes M&P significantly easier for left handed shooters than Glock or XD|
|accuracy||3-4″ at 25 yards typical||3-4″ at 25 yards typical||2-3″ at 25 yards typical||4-6″ at 25 yards typical, aftermarket barrel needed for better accuracy. some factory guns shoot better than 4″|
|safeties||trigger and internal safeties||grip and trigger safety. Grip safety must be depressed to rack the slide. Can be a problem with one handed gun manipulation.||grip and trigger safety. Grip safety must be depressed to rack the slide. Can be a problem with one handed gun manipulation.||trigger and internal safeties|
|disassembly||Trigger must be pulled to remove the slide. A few users have shot themselves in the hand by failing to remove the round in the chamber and by gripping the pistol with muzzle into palm when disassembling. Location of disassembly levers on Glock causes some to use UNSAFE muzzle-in-palm position to depress both levers. DON’T DO THIS.||Trigger must be pulled to remove the slide. Design different from Glock, so risk of making similar muzzle-in-palm error basically zero.||Trigger does NOT have to be pulled to disassemble gun.||Trigger does NOT have to be pulled to disassemble gun. Sear lever inside frame must be manually moved. Disassembly tool is stored in gun frame as part of grip.|
|.45 ACP models (.45 ACP round is longer than 9 or .40 so all .45 ACP models have larger grips than 9 or .40 models)||G21 has very large grip, G21SF is better but still is larger grip than 9mm and .40 models||XD .45 has smaller grip than G21 models||XD(m) .45 has interchangeable grip panels||M&P .45 has interchangeable grip panels, lower capacity than Glock or XD, smallest grip of these models.|
for those with smaller hands and left handed shooters, the M&P is the best option, because of its small grip size and ambidextrous controls.
for those transitioning to a polymer pistol from the 1911, the XD will probably feel most familiar, due to grip angle and grip safety.
for those interested in IPSC competition: Glock, M&P and XD all compete in Production division, 9mm most popular caliber, mag capacity not an issue since all competitors limited to 10 rounds. Glock 34, M&P Pro, XDm 5.25 models optimized for competition.
for those interested in IDPA competition: 9mm models of all 3 models can shoot in the Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP) division. XD can’t be used in the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) division, because BATFE considers the XD design “single action”. Just as in IPSC Production, IDPA limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds, regardless of the maximum capacity of the handgun.