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Springfield XD: Just Another Glock Copycat Gun?

Springfield XD
Image: Creative Commons.

In the early 2000s, a new handgun hit the market from an unlikely place: the Balkan republic of Croatia.

The gun drew considerable inspiration from the Glock pistol and quickly gained a reputation as a well designed, reliable, relatively inexpensive weapon. The HS 2000 was quickly licensed by Springfield Armory, which dubbed it the XD (“Extreme Duty”), and sells it to this day.

History: 

Croatia was the second republic to secede from Yugoslavia and suffered heavily in the ensuing multi-year civil war. After the war, the country proceeded to produce its own small arms, in part to ensure self-sufficiency in defense and increase exports. One of the first weapons developed by an independent Croatia was the HS-95, a close copy of the SIG 220 shown for the first time in 1991.

This copying of a successful handgun design was repeated with the HS-2000. After a brief run sold under the HS name American gun manufacturer Springfield Armory purchased the exclusive distributorship rights, renaming the HS-2000 the XD. The Springfield XD was re-released to the public with only minor changes and it remains on the market today, and it is still manufactured by HS Produkt in Croatia.

Technical Details: 

The Springfield XD is a recoil-operated, locked breech, striker-fired handgun. In both inward and outward appearance, it is very similar to the Glock 19 handgun. Like the Glock, it used a polymer frame and grip paired with a steel slide and barrel to achieve significant weight gains over comparable all-steel handguns. The HS-2000 even disassembles in a similar manner. Like the Glock, the XD’s trigger needs to be pulled in order to complete the takedown process.

The XD is dimensionally almost identical to the Glock 19. Both pistols are 7.3 inches long with a 4-inch barrel. The XD weighs 26 ounces with an unloaded magazine, while the Glock weighs 23.63 ounces. Both pistols use double stack magazine columns to increase available ammunition and have a width of 1.2 inches.

The XD does differ from the Glock in a number of ways. The XD features forward slide serrations not seen on early model Glocks, giving it a leg up in markets such as California where the Glock line is only available up to Generation 3. The XD has a grip safety similar to that on the M1911A1, preventing the gun from firing unless the safety is depressed. The grip angle is also taken from the 1911. Although the takedown process is similar between the Glock and XD, the Croatian pistol has a larger, easier to manipulate lever to remove the slide rather than the small semi-recessed on the side of the Austrian gun. Finally, the XD’s magazine can fit one more round of nine millimeter ammunition than the Glock.

Like most modern handguns, the XD started with a full-sized nine-millimeter pistol model and expanded to other sizes and calibers. The XD introduced two subcompact models with 3-inch and 3.3-inch barrels, making them attractive for concealed carriers. The full-sized pistol was also made available in .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 ACP. The XD has enjoyed limited success as a law enforcement firearm.

New Pistols: 

In 2009, Springfield Armory introduced a new parallel line of XD pistols, the XD-M series. The XD-M series differs largely in appearance, with interchangeable backstrap panels to the size of the grip to the shooter’s hand. The XD-M is also available in 10 millimeter. The service pistol version features a 4.5” inch barrel and the subcompact version a 3.8-inch barrel, giving both a slightly longer range than the standard XD line. The XD-M series also and includes a competition-level version with a 5.25” barrel.

The Springfield XD series could rightly be considered something of a copycat of Glock’s line of pistols. While undeniably true, it is also true HS Produkt/Springfield has embraced features Glock won’t, such the grip safety and removable backstraps. This, along with an attractive price point due to cheaper Croatian labor, has allowed the XD series to carve out an impressive niche in the U.S. market.

Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast.
Written By

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Fransisco. His work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Esquire, The National Interest, Car and Driver, Men's Health, and many others. He is the founder and editor for the blogs Japan Security Watch, Asia Security Watch and War Is Boring.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. XD is better than Glock in every way

    October 24, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    What utter trash to say it’s a copycat of a Glock. They are similar under the hood but then again many modern guns run off the same sets of mechanics etc.
    The Springfield XD trigger is 100% better than a Glock & I carry a gen 5 Glock for a living! The Springfield XD is more accurate than a Glock as well. Glock isn’t a bad gun by any means but it doesn’t stack up despite the similarities.

  2. Christopher

    October 24, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Also different from the Glocks is the loaded chamber indicator and the firing pin indicator. That is the only two features I wish I had added to my gen3 Glocks. With my XD9 I can (in the dark) verify that there is a round in the chamber and if the firing pin is ready to fire.

    • Dave

      October 25, 2021 at 3:19 pm

      Probably the most confusing and untrue article I have ever read. It’s like comparing a 1995 Camaro and a Mustang. Yeah, both have an engine, trans and 4 wheels, but definitely different. I am a big XD fan and know Glock line. Especially when dealing with the M and Elite series, the new U sights are awesome and you do not have to pull the trigger to take the slide off. I don’t have time or space to go over all the inconsistencies in this article.

  3. Victor

    October 25, 2021 at 6:51 am

    I have agree with first response the Springfield is better maybe because I bought the Springfield first 20 years ago.

    But I love the safey points it comes with. Not being able fire the weapon unless it grip is fully pressed unlike the Glock.

    I now own a Glock 22 because I love the.40 Cal round I dropped the Glock the other day and it went off, I have dropped my Springfield and it has never went off and luckily no one was hurt when the Glock went off.

    I’ve heard stories in the past years about such things happening with the Glock basketball players shooting themselves mainly. But till it happens to you it will be forgotten like me.

    I strongly believe in saftey when it comes to the make of firearms and how the the people who use firearms.

    The Springfield XD is a great gun but like said I now own a Glockit 22 and the recoil is smoother then the Springfield XD with that said the choice is yours.

  4. Adam

    October 25, 2021 at 11:23 am

    XD’s are complete trash. I had two 9mm and .45acp neither lived past 6k rounds. I have a G17 that has about 50k rounds and it runs perfectly. I have some surpluse CZ75’s with probably close to 100k only replaced the springs, they shoot extremely well. No professional firearms trainers carry XD’s or will they advise you to. Get a quality firearm get trained the XD will get you killed.

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