Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 10mm

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 10mm

By: Dave Bahde 

All of the backcountry boxes checked

Having been a 10mm fan for a couple of decades, I’ve noticed that this cartridge continues to ebb and flow in popularity. Its inevitable demise has been predicted for years, but the reality of the market seems to contradict the soothsayers. Its popularity is seemingly here to stay, with new pistols hitting the market regularly. One of those is the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 4.5” OSP (Optics Ready), and in its latest form, in a flat-dark earth finish. Equipped with the META (Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly), this pistol has all the familiar features of Springfield Armory’s Elite series pistols; it’s just chambered in the more powerful 10mm.

The OSP suffix indicates optics ready, and the pistol will ship with a card that is redeemable for a free optic-mounting plate of your choice. Trijicon’s ultra-rugged RMR HRS red dot was used throughout testing. Iron’s consist of a white outlined U-notch rear and bright-red fiber-optic front.

A backcountry defensive pistol must be reliable above all other considerations. Secondly, it should be low maintenance, durable, and able to competently resist corrosion. It should be mechanically accurate, boast a high magazine capacity, and be easy to shoot well in all conditions; Springfield’s 10mm XD-M Elite checks all of these boxes and more. The backcountry-friendly flat-dark earth finish adds $42 to the base all-black model; we think it’s worth it — especially if handgun-hunting is the goal. And, for an extra $142, the pistol will come with a factory-mounted Springfield Armory Hex Dragonfly red-dot optic. Not a bad deal.

The large, serrated, and easy-to-manipulate magazine release and slide stop are present on both sides of the pistol. Two 16-round magazines — which hold one more round than typical — are included within the pistol’s soft case. The large flared magwell not only makes mag changes a breeze but also serves to plant your firing grip. Interchangeable backstraps create an ideal fit/trigger reach.


My test pistol was equipped with Trijicon’s HRS RMR red-dot optic, which is likely the most rugged RDS on the market today. Optic mounting plates are available for all of the most popular red-dot optics. The fixed rear sight is Springfield’s Tactical Rack U-DOT, and the front is a bright-red fiber optic — both sitting in a dovetail mount. They do not completely co-witness, but the front sight was usable in a pinch with the RMR. The barrel is 4.5 inches long, hammer forged, and melanite coated. The pistol’s slide is forged, coated in FDE Cerakote, and fit to a matching FDE-colored polymer grip frame with fully ambidextrous controls. The flared magwell is perfectly sized, large but short for easier concealment. The pistol ships with two 16-round magazines (one more round than typical double-stack 10mm magazines) that fit flush to the frame. Overall, this is a very powerful pistol in a relatively compact package. Need an even more compact and stowable package? Springfield also offers the XD-M 3.8 Compact OSP in 10mm with both a shorter slide and grip frame.

Carrying a pistol in either a hunting capacity or for backcountry defense mandates that it’s always a draw-stroke away from implementing, and a solid chest holster fits the bill perfectly. Crossbreed’s “The Chest Rig,” with its breathable leather back, precision-fit Kydex holster shell, and rugged all-metal buckles, is, for sure, one of the nicest chest-carry solutions out there. Check them out at www.crossbreedholsters.com.

Range Time

Even with the stoutest of 10mm loads, the XD-M still shoots pretty softly, which is a common characteristic across the XD-M Elite line. Accuracy was solid, with my best group at 25 yards in the 1.5-inch range using Speer 180 Grain Gold Dot. At 50 yards, it kept everything inside a fist-sized group and not much bigger at 100 yards. Typical 180-200 grain practice loads were easy to manage; tossing in some of the more “stout” loads from Doubletap Ammunition and Buffalo Bore, the increased energy did not go unnoticed, but recoil and muzzle rise were still more than manageable. There were no stoppages throughout testing — it ran everything it was fed without problems.

We were impressed by how shootable the XD-M 10mm was with full-power loads; the extra energy did not go unnoticed but also didn’t dramatically affect our ability to put rounds on target at a rapid pace. Reliability was 100 percent throughout testing — an attribute that seems to be shared across the XD-M line.             

Bottom Line

Springfield Armory’s XD-M line of pistols continues to enjoy a loyal following. Having 16 rounds of 10mm in a more compact size with an RDS will appeal to many hunters or even fishermen who spend time in bear country. And, at $695, it does it without breaking the bank. If you are in the market for a 10mm — especially if you are an XDM fan — you really need to give this one a try. See the new XD-M Elite OSP 10mm at your nearest dealer, or for more information, contact Springfield Armory; Tel.: (800) 680-6866; Web: www.springfield-armory.com.

Specifications: SA XDM OSP 10mm

Action:                                    Striker Fired

Caliber:                                   10mm Auto

Barrel Length:                          4.5 Inches

OAL:                                       7.6 inches

Weight:                                   31 ounces

MSRP:                                    $695.00

The notoriously-accurate Speer 180-grain Gold Dot load took top honors during testing the XD-M Elite OSP 10mm, producing this 1.60-inch five-shot group at 25 yards.