If you have been keeping a keen eye on the firearms industry there are several trends that have been occurring in the last 3 – 5 years in a big way. For one, we are seeing an abundance of factory-configured pistols that accept red dot sights. So many shooters over the years have paid off gunsmiths to modify their handguns to accept optics that manufacturers are jumping on board. Secondly, more and more companies are offering select firearms with threaded barrels. While the NFA approval process is still a deplorable abomination to wade through, there are more people buying silencers than ever before. Thirdly, people are in pursuit of Custom Shop pistols out-of-the-box so they can circumvent sending a gun to a Custom Shop (and paying the associated price hike).
So, what if you could be a forward-thinking gun enthusiast and get a firearm that bundles all 3 of those trends?… Would you buy one?… Let us introduce you to the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm in Desert FDE! Today we will review this pistol for you to see if that many upgrades could be the secret sauce to a pistol you have been searching for or if it is flatly too much. Let’s dive in and check it out!
SPECIFICATIONS: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm
The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm in Desert FDE is everything an operator might request or simply what the modern shooter is yearning for. I, personally, own several silencers and appreciate the factory-threaded barrel because to purchase one separately or to pay a gunsmith to thread one is very expensive. A lot of the other features you receive with this package can be read below as presented by Springfield Armory:
- Barrel: 5.28″ Hammer Forged Steel, Threaded (.5 x 28), Melonite® Finish, 1:10
- Slide: Forged Steel, Desert FDE Cerakote Finish, Optics Ready
- Frame: Desert FDE Polymer
- Sights: Co-Witness, Suppressor Height
- Recoil System: One Piece w/ Full Length Guide Rod
- Magazines: Two (2) 22-Round Mags
- Overall Weight: 30 Ounces (Unloaded)
- Grip Width: 1.2″ | Overall Length: 8.6″ | Overall Height: 5.875″
It is important to note that the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm does not come with a Trijicon RMR sight (that is purchased separately). The XD-M Elite OSP does come with all of the mounting hardware and tools necessary to add all of the industry’s most popular red dots though. The MSRP for the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm is benchmarked at $709. An extended explanation of the pistol can be read below in Springfield Armory’s Press Release statement:
The Springfield Armory® XD-M® Elite 4.5″ Tactical OSP™ in Flat Dark Earth (FDE) packs all the advanced features of the Elite line into an operations-ready 9mm powerhouse. Sporting an extended, threaded barrel, an ability to accept today’s top red dot optics, suppressor-height iron sights, the Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly (META™), ambidextrous slide stop, improved slide serrations and an increased magazine of 22+1 (working in concert with a removable extended and flared magwell), the XD-M Elite 4.5″ Tactical OSP™ offers the pinnacle of performance.
first look: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm
One of the first things you notice on this pistol is the striking Desert FDE (Flat Dark Earth) color. This might be a love-or-hate color for some shooters, but I have my seat on the FDE bandwagon and think it is pretty groovy. The next element that catches most people’s eyes is the threaded 1/2″ x 28 TPI (Thread per Inch) barrel suited for silencers and muzzle brakes. A third immediate piece to this puzzle is its optics capability where the OSP (Optic Sight Pistol) nomenclature is derived from. Again, this pistol comes with all the mounting hardware you need, but sights are separately purchased/chosen by the user.
Those are fairly obvious points on this pistol, but something that is a lot more surprising is the trigger. Springfield Armory went to town on upgrading this trigger compared to previous XD-M pistols to fully earn their self-dubbed name of XD-M Elite. Springfield Armory goes on to explain the META (Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly) Trigger in this statement below:
At the heart of the new XD-M® Elite is the Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly (META™) system, a superbly refined trigger designed to wring out the most from the pistol’s most important interface with the shooter. Featuring a flat face and integral overtravel stop, the META™ system delivers the finest trigger pull available on a production polymer-framed pistol.
While simply handling this pistol for the first time, you get the impression that it has a pretty large grip and overall large frame. That is not to say it is too large. It fills your hands well (coming from an individual with moderately-sized hands) and all of the controls are still easy to manipulate.
One point of concern I had while mounting a Trijicon RMR to the slide was the Loaded Chamber Indicator. I thought that the mounting plate and optic might interfere with the Loaded Chamber Indicator on the slide, but I was wrong. Springfield accounted for that and everything paired up perfectly. The Trijicon RMR ended up using a Springfield Armory #3 Mounting Plate and installed very easily. No fuss, no mess.
RANGE TIME: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm
Once I got this pistol out to the range, the real fun began. It had an extremely light recoil impulse. This is not surprising because it is a generally large pistol and a fully loaded magazine is 22 rounds of 9mm. With the high polished stainless steel magazines and the flared, oversized magwell, it was very slick and easy to transition quickly from magazine to magazine.
While shooting off-hand from distances of 10 to 15 yards with just the pistol and my Trijicon RMR red dot I was getting 2″ – 4″ groups on a heavy crosswind day at the range. Typically I expect more out of my handguns, even if I am shooting an unsupported position like off-hand, but I could feel the wind pressing on the pistol while outstretched and shooting.
The ammunition I was using for this range session was some Federal American Eagle Syntech 115 Grain TSJ (Total Synthetic Jacket). The industry might joke that this is “lipstick” ammo, but the synthetic jacket to the bullet is ultra-clean on your firearms and less splash-back occurs on steel targets, So, that is a win-win in my book.
When I put my Silencerco Hybrid .46 Cal silencer on the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm, my groups shrunk tremendously. In all of my years of shooting silencers, I had never seen something like this before. My group sizes dropped to 1″ – 1.5″ at the same distance like magic! It was pretty cool to see a suppressed firearm do this.
The silencer created a strong stabilizing effect. This was probably the most enjoyable handgun I have ever shot suppressed because of the accuracy, tremendously light recoil, and let’s be honest, this rig looks freaking sweet. Another element I appreciated was the red dot lining up perfectly with the iron sights. If my red dot were ever to fail me in any way the co-witnessed sights and continuous shooting reps would get my muscle memory exactly to where it needed to be as far as properly pointing the handgun.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm
So, after a long range session, reading up on this pistol on the internet, and thoroughly handling one before flinging some lead, these are my final thoughts. I spoke pretty glowingly about this pistol because to be blunt I was pretty impressed by it. That does not mean it is without fault though. One obstacle that may be difficult to overcome for some shooters is the circumference of the grip. This is authentically a thick grip. It may not suit everyone who picks it up so before you rush out and buy one I would recommend handling one at your local gun shop.
To play devil’s advocate on myself, this pistol might have too many bells and whistles so I would not entirely suggest novice shooters pick one up and try to start running with it. This is a “Corvette” of pistols. There is not much you could possibly add to this polymer handgun to improve it. With that being said, if you are new to shooting a different model from the XD-M Elite series might be better suited for new shooters like the XD-M Elite 4.5″ or XD-M Elite 5.25″ Precision. Those, too, have superb quality, but less add-ons (like a threaded barrel) that a brand-new shooter might not immediately ever use.
When I am not playing devil’s advocate this is a tremendous firearm. The threaded barrel plus my silencer shrunk my groups dramatically, the META Trigger is fantastic for a factory trigger, my Trijicon RMR mounted easily, and the flared magwell coupled with the high polish stainless steel magazines were the easiest to change out that I have ever played with. It made the range session accurate, faster, and beneficial to growing my shooting skills (or lack thereof).
At an MSRP of $709 and the amount of features you are getting for the money, I believe this pistol is definitely worth the asking price. Traditionally, to get an RMR cut on your slide plus a threaded barrel plus an upgraded trigger plus a flared magwell you would be easily looking at $1,000+ for a handgun. Not the case with the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm in Desert FDE.
In closing, I want to say thank you to Springfield Armory for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm in Desert FDE. That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite OSP 4.5″ Threaded 9mm is something worth spending your money on? Would you carry it while camping or hiking? Shoot a league with it? Hunt with it? Use it for defense? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
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