Glock To XDS Part III

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Product Reviews
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This is the final segment in a three-part review of the Sprinfield XDS in .45 ACP from a Glock-owner’s perspective.  In the first part of the review, I covered general impressions of the pistol.  In part II of the review, I discussed shooting the XDS compared to shooting a Glock.  In this installment, I’ll talk about carrying the XDS.

I’ve owned the XDS for over two months and have been carrying it for a month.  This includes typical ‘around town’ carry as well as long (1000 mi+) road trips.  Of course, the subcompact size excels at deep concealment, so it’s ideal for strapping on a pistol to take the dog out or go to the mall.  It’s superb for wearing under long shirts or even a relatively tight-fitting tennis jacket.

I currently carry the XDS IWB in a belly band, as show in this photo.  I’m still searching for an ideal holster as a complement to this setup.


To date, I’ve only carried with the +2 mags, both in the gun and backup mag.  Even so, I’ve never had an issue with printing.  Because of the short barrel, I can adjust the BB position so that the XDS hides perfectly underneath whatever I’m wearing (and it makes no difference if I’m wearing pants with a belt or not).  Thin is good when it comes to concealment.  It’s also comfortable as I’ve been on the road with the XDS and it’s actually easy to forget I’m wearing it 🙂

Now, with the flush mag, is it a pocket gun?  Typical front pocket – probably not.  Back pocket?  Perhaps with one of those pocket-pal or wallet holsters.   I don’t know and am not interested in that type of carry.  I have my fake wallet in the back, rear pocket already.

The XDS does fit in the front pocket of both my hiking vests even with the extended mag.  The weight of a full load of .45 ACP pushes the barrel down to the point that there is a noticeable protrusion at the bottom of a typical jacket pocket.  I actually carried the XDS in the front pocket of my Solaris jacket in a trip across three states.  No one ever gave me so much as a weird glance (even cops), however, I did not like the pistol bouncing back and forth as I walked.  For true pocket carry, I’d think you would want something lighter.

I did, however, like the idea of having something in my front pocket while in the car that could be easily drawn without worrying about the seat belt.  On the return trip, I tried it this way and left the XDS in the car safe on stops.

To answer your next question, I relied on my backup while at the stop.  That leads into my standard carry configuration in which the XDS fits quite nicely and comfortably.  I’m kind of old-school, so I believe in a good semi-auto as a primary and if that does not work out, introduce your enemy to my good friends Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson, or my buddy Mr. Ruger.  Revolver, that is.  I don’t mess around.  My backup is a performance center Smith 629, short-barrel .44 magnum.  It’s in a shoulder-holster rig, generally loaded with hot .44 specials – a 255 gr. SWC.  Two speedloaders on the belt are loaded with six-each of 225 gr. Barnes-X in .44 magnum.

In an outdoor or hiking scenario, the XDS on my hip is replaced by a Glock 20 Gen4.  I have not tried this, but there might be a useful role for the XDS in the front pocket of my hiking jacket for quick draws against a two-legged attacker, i.e. the guy with a knife inside 21 feet scenario.  I haven’t gone on any ‘deep woods’ or similar hike in which I can test how the XDS carries in such a situation.  I’m also looking for a good pocket holster so that the pistol does not print when carried front vest pocket.  I’ll post updates whenever I purchase and evaluate new holsters.

If you currently carry the XDS and have holster recommendations, please leave a comment and thanks for taking the time to read these reviews.


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