Glock G45 vs. Springfield XDm 3.8

The Glock G45 now provides us with a G19 barrel with G17 capacity; a “Commander” length G17, if you will. The Springfield XDm 3.8 in 9mm has given us that combination for quite some time. It was only logical for me to write a comparison between the two, since there are both Glock and Springfield enthusiasts among us mortal beings.

To start with, while both pistols are short-barreled “Service” pistols, there is nothing short in the quality department with either.  The Glock G45 is considered as a ‘Compact’ pistol, while Springfield has always referred to the XDm 3.8 as a ‘Service’ pistol. I think that it is a moot point, since when holstered on the hip in an OWB holster, or carried in an IWB holster, they both become ‘Service’ pistols even to those other than LEOs. A question of semantics?

Both exceed the 10-round magazine limit set by states foreign to the U.S. by 9 rounds. The dimensions of both are nearly identical, although barrel length of the XDm 3.8 is a scant 0.22 inches less than the G45; it is not enough to even concern ourselves with.

Since we are turning into a touchy-feely society, let’s me say that both feel real good in the hand when properly outfitted with a desired grip adapter. But, let’s first take a look at the mechanical aspects of each pistol.

Item Glock G45 Springfield XDm 3.8
Caliber 9mm 9mm
Capacity 19+1 19+1
Recoil System Dual-Spring captivated Dual spring w/full-length guide rod
Sights Drift adjustable, notch n’ dot, polymer, steel, or Glock Night Sights (GNS) Two dot rear, fiber optic front.
Height (w/mag) 5.47 inches 5.75 inches
Width (grip) 1.34 inches 1.18 inches
Length 7.44 inches 6.75 inches
Weight (dry) 24.98 ounces 29 ounces
Slide Forged steel,  nDLC Coating Forged steel, Melonite Finish
Slide width 1.0 inch  
Barrel 4.2 inches, match-grade Marksman barrel complete with an enhanced hexagonal bore in a right-hand twist, cut with conventional rifling. 3.8-inch Hammer Forged, Steel, Match, Melonite 1:10 twist
Frame Black Polymer Black Polymer
Magazines 3 – 19 round, Polymer coated steel 2 – 19 round, stainless steel
Generation 5 N/A
Safety System Glock Safe-Action Grip Safety, trigger safety
Slide Lock Ambidextrous Left side only
Magazine Release Interchangeable left or right side Ambidextrous

The Springfield XDm 3.8 is a little taller, but shorter in length that the Glock G45. The Glock G45 is slightly thicker in the grip while being lighter in weight. The differences, again, are fairly negligible in the grand scheme of things.

Some will prefer the clean lines of the G45 over the Springfield XDm 3.8, but others may prefer the grip angle of the Springfield XDm 3.8 over the G45.  The grip area of the G45 is much more subtle in texture over the Springfield XDm 3.8. The finger-grooved grip is gone in the GEN 5 G45; whereas the grip of the Springfield XDm 3.8 is also finger-groove free. Some have applauded Glock’s removal of the finger grooves with the G45; I can work with either.

The G45 is shipped with additional back straps that include two with a beavertail; The Springfield XDm 3.8 also comes with back panels, but the frame is sculptured enough not to warrant a beavertail. I installed the large back strap with beavertail on my G45 to my hand’s delight; I never felt the need for more of a beavertail than the Springfield XDm 3.8 already provides. With the large beavertail back grip adapter on the G45, the grip now feels like that on the Springfield XDm 3.8, with the exception of the grip texturing of course.

Glock has added front serrations to the G45, a first for Glock. The Springfield XDm 3.8, on the other hand, always had them.

Of course, the Springfield XDm 3.8 incorporates a grip safety and some have a love-hate relationship with it. Personally, I like it, but I am used to one on the 1911 and it does provide an extra measure of safety. I don’t even notice it on the Springfield XDm 3.8 and I don’t miss it on the G45.  I will operate a polymer, striker-fired pistol without one but I would not operate a single-action, hammer-fired 1911 without one.

The Springfield XDm 3.8 has a tactile and visual loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide; whereas, the G45 chamber loaded indicator is part of the extractor, which protrudes slightly from the slide when a cartridge is chambered.

One thing that the Springfield XDm 3.8 has, that the G45 does not, is a ‘cocked’ indicator, or what Springfield calls the “Striker Condition Indicator,” which is a small button that protrudes from the rear of the slide when the pistol is cocked – loaded chamber or not.

The accessory rail on the G45 is more subtle than that found on the Springfield XDm 3.8. In fact, the whole front end of the G45 is shaped so as to make holstering the pistol quite smooth. The G45’s muzzle is more nicely contoured to assist in holstering the firearm.

The sloped contour of the Springfield XDm 3.8’s slide provides less profile than the contour of the G45’s slide that, while rounded off at the top, is still flat on the sides.

Of the things vastly different between the Glock G45 and the Springfield XDm 3.8, the trigger would be high on the list. Although both pistols incorporate the trigger “lever” safety in the center of the trigger, the difference in pulling the triggers on these two pistols are like night and day. With the G45, there is that initial take-up, then a short bit of resistance until the striker releases. The resistance is stiff, as this is when the trigger is completing the cocking cycle of the striker.  With the Springfield XDm 3.8, on the other hand, there is mushiness to the trigger before a resistance is pulled through to release the striker. The trigger of the Springfield XDm 3.8 provides me a little bit more decision room in taking a shot over the trigger on the G45. With that said, I can work with both, but I will say that I prefer the Glock trigger because of its crispness. The fact of the matter is that I am still on the fence between the two trigger. It’s a matter of a shift in trigger pressure and what you prefer that matters.

Accuracy between the two pistols is really, really close. On days, I have shot a Glock better than a Springfield. On other days, it is just the opposite. Trust me when I tell you that they will both do the job at combat distance if you do your job.

The fiber front sight of the Springfield XDm 3.8 is visible enough in good lighting to probably be useful to most. The contrast between the red fiber front sight and the two white dots of the rear sight is good. The white outlined notch of the rear sight and the white dot front sight of the G45 are standard Glock fare and are good enough for combat use. Both pistols would benefit from a good set of night sights. Sights on the G45 are much easier to change out that those of the Springfield XDm 3.8. My long-term test and evaluation G45 had Glock night sights installed and this was my choice of pistols over the two that were available. The night sights stand out very nicely in low-light situations, but are large enough to use during strong sunlight or range lighting.

One feature that I do like about the Glock G45 (in fact any Glock pistols) is the easily replaceable front sight. Sometimes, a need for higher or lower sight is needed for elevation and with the Glock Front Sight Tool, swapping sights does not take a gunsmith.  The Springfield XDm 3.8 (or any XD pistol) may require a gunsmith to properly fit replacement sights.

Last, but not least, is a mention regarding the magazine well. The G45 has a slight flare of the magazine entry point to aid in exchanging magazines. The magazine well of the Springfield XDm 3.8 is not flared.  I can live with either. Also, the notch at the lower front of the grip that is on the GEN 5 G19 is not on the G45 – and many, like me, thank Glock for not including it.

The Concealment Factor

For those of us who like to keep our defensive tool preferences out of the eyes of the public, concealing the darn things can be a challenge.  It takes more than a holster to be successful at concealing a firearm, but a well-made holster is a good place to start.  With either the Glock G45 or the Springfield XDm 3.8 pistols, concealing the barrels is not the issue; concealing the grip is.

The grip length of the Glock G45 and the Springfield XDm 3.8 pistols are full-size grips. While wide, both are actually narrower than the grip of my normal EDC, the RIA 1911FS Tactical with Hogue Rubber Finger Groove grips, and I have been able to successfully conceal that beast for several years on my right hip in an IWB holster. My manner of dress, which usually consists of an un-tucked, baggy outer-shirt, helps in that respect. Luckily, I can dress casually and my ‘normal’ look is somewhat “every-day workman” in appearance. Colder weather dictates more clothing and that is a plus in concealing large firearms.

I prefer leather over Kydex and hybrid holsters. I also prefer full muzzle and front sight protection even though the firearm is carried IWB. IWB Leather holsters, of course, have a tendency to compress under the pressure of the belt when the firearm is pulled, unless the holster has means to prevent compression.  I used to concern myself with re-holstering a firearm under these conditions, but found my concern to be somewhat unfounded, since most firearms can be easily re-holstered using two hands; I am more concerned with the firearm coming out of the holster more than with holstering the firearm – fast out, slow in.

My only two options (for me) in carrying a firearm is hip or shoulder carry. I recently modified a “Cuda” holster for the Springfield XDm by Simply Rugged by the addition of metal belt clips attached to the slots in the holster intended for OWB wear. Fastening the clips at the lowest depth positioned the opening of the holster at the top of the trousers with enough of the holster top showing for inserting the firearm. Complete sight and muzzle protection is afforded for both the Glock G45 and Springfield XDm. In fact, even a Glock G21 will work in the holster, although the fit is tighter. In fact, the holster can be used for any size Glock or Springfield XD-series handgun, with the exception of the Glock G43.

Shoulder holster selection; however, takes more care.  Selection has to consider the difference in the height of the slides of both pistols. The slide of the Springfield XDm is slightly taller than the slide on the Glock G45. The position of the retaining strap; therefore, has to be considered. In the case of a shoulder holster, it is best to order one that is an exact fit to the pistol.

Regardless, the Glock G45 and the Springfield XDm 3.8 can be effectively concealed if you do your part.

To Summarize

Well there you have a comparison between the Glock G45 and the Springfield XDm 3.8. These are both excellent pistols. I can’t tell you what is good or bad about either one because the features of both are what they are and you, like me, will have your likes and dislikes.

Now, I know that you are asking yourself; “So, what is his preference?” Well, the picture below should tell you. As much as I like my Springfield XDms’, the Glock G45 has won out in this case.



About Taurian

Taurian is a U.S. Army veteran and former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Taurian also has over fifty years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.