When I finally arrived at purchasing a pistol that would shoot the 10mm Short (.40 Smith and Wesson), a lot of research ensued. I needed a platform from which to shoot it, and of which I had none. I had shot the .40 Smith & Wesson in various range guns to include the Ruger SR40, a Glock G27, and a Springfield XD 4.5. All shot fine and I was accurate with them all. I was; however, more comfortable with the Springfield XD 4.5 since I have the XDm 9 and the XDm 45 in 4.5-inch barrel lengths. I also wanted to give the .40 S&W a chance in the same XDm model to keep the evaluation equal by using the same type product from the same manufacturer. A Springfield XDM9202HCE (aka, the XDm40 4.5) was ordered through my favorite LGS (Read a review here: https://guntoters.com/blog/2018/05/15/life-begins-at-forty/).
Until recently, my experience in firearms chambered for 10mm has been none to minimal. I have been introduced to the .40 Smith and Wesson and moving to the 10mm would be like moving from .38 Special to .357 magnum or .380 Auto to 9mm Luger. When the time came for me to investigate the 10mm cartridge (as usual, I am late in the game), the search for a suitable pistol platform ensued in the same fervor as that for the .40 Smith and Wesson. However, this time I needed to be a little bit more serious about it. The 10mm Auto cartridge is a powerful, high-pressure cartridge and I only had one (financial) chance of getting it right (at this time). The 10mm Auto produces energy slightly higher than an average .357 Magnum load and below standard .41 Magnum rounds and retain more kinetic energy at 100 yards than the .45 ACP has at the muzzle. In short, it takes a solid platform from which it would be fired. I wanted to make sure that the platform would be adequate for evaluating the cartridge without expending a whole lot of green stuff in doing so.
It would be great to be like some professional firearm reviewers that can simply request a firearm for test and evaluation purposes, have them for a period, and then decide if they are to be returned or kept. Unfortunately, that is not me. I get to invest hard-earned cash into what I plan to review; therefore, I must investigate as thoroughly as possible, because I will be the sole owner of this firearm until I decide not to be, or forces beyond my control dictate otherwise.
The Colt Delta Elite was dropped from consideration, due to the cost. The Glock G20 was dropped from consideration, as was the Glock G40, although the latter was the more desirable. With the high-pressure of the 10mm Auto cartridge, I wanted them to be fully-supported, and the Glock barrels do not provide that. The SIG P220 in 10mm was also out due to cost. The Rock Island Armory 1911 FS ULTRA HC in 10mm was enticing, especially considering the price. However, my Son-In-Law purchased one and the plunger tube and components decided to prematurely exit the pistol the first day at the range. I just didn’t feel that the RIA was up to the task.
Author’s Note: I eventually did purchase the single-sack version of the Rock Island Armory 1911 in 10mm; the Rock Ultra FS. It is an excellent pistol, and you can read the review at: https://guntoters.com/blog/2019/12/29/armscor-rock-island-armory-rock-ultra-fs-10mm/.
There are other pistols, of course, with the Glocks being in the desired price range, as I was not going to sink a bundle of cash into something unless it is something highly desirable, and truthfully, a 10mm pistol was not highly desirable; it was something that I simply wanted to evaluate. If I liked it, and the cartridge, for my purposes it would be a keeper. If not, I would toss it up as a loss, but not a great loss. The cartridge is as serious for defense as it is suitable for hunting medium-sized game, but hunting was not the intended purpose for this round in my company – defense is. I needed the cartridge to give me the same warm fuzzies that I have when carrying my favorite 1911 and a defensive loading. And, I wanted a cartridge that could give me the confidence that I have with the .125-grain .357 magnum cartridge but in a semi-automatic pistol that could be concealed; albeit, not easily.
Additionally, the Springfield Armory TRP was ruled out due to cost, although I do drool when I see this pistol. After all, the Springfield Armory TRP would be an excellent choice (IMHO), but this is my first excursion with the 10mm cartridge and there is no sense in sinking a whole lot of hard-earned cash into something that I may not like. For the first time, I did not seriously consider the 1911 platform for this cartridge.
However, I have to say that the Ruger SR1911 Target in 10mm was enticing, as I trust Ruger to manufacture a robust firearm that would handle the 10mm cartridge, and the MSRP of $1,019 is something that I could live with. Ruger also offers a 10mm firearm in its GP100 and Super Redhawk line. But, if defense use of the cartridge is the priority, as compared to hunting, then a semi-automatic pistol would be the wiser choice, since it is far more difficult to conceal something like the GP100 or Super Redhawk and a semi-auto has a greater round count.
I also want to maximize the cartridge’s velocity as much as possible, and I would consider a 5-inch barrel the minimum barrel length. I also wanted to maximize the benefit of the 10mm cartridge to the cost of the firearm. Up to this point, I saw no benefit of the 10mm cartridge over other defense cartridges. But a decision had to be made, as I had already ordered range ammunition in anticipation of purchasing a pistol.
The Springfield XDm 5.25, at an MRSP of $779 put it in my price range for what I would consider as my entry level cost for evaluating both cartridge and pistol, although I don’t consider the XDm as an entry-level pistol. I have the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in .45 ACP and it is one of my favorites, although it is a challenge to properly conceal – but it can be done, at least by me. A person of much thinner girth may have a problem. So, and for me, it essentially came down to the Ruger SR1911 Target or the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25. I have to say that the Springfield Armory XDm 10 in 5.25 (or 4.5) has a lot going for it.
From Springfield Armory:
“An unprecedented torture test of 10,000 rounds was performed to prove the quality and reliability of this new addition to the XD-M line, firing 10,000 rounds of Federal Premium® Hydra-Shok® 10mm ammunition through the gun with EVERY round documented on video. No work was done to the pistol, outside of a recoil spring change and adding Lucas® Extreme Duty Gun Oil at 2,000 round intervals. The magazines were left uncleaned and exposed to wind, dust, and grit. The XD-M 10mm performed flawlessly under these conditions and powered through all 10,000 rounds without a single failure. The XD-M 10mm has been meticulously engineered to ensure the pistol is as robust and reliable a defensive force as possible.”
It sure doesn’t hurt that, since this pistol would be used for defensive purpose, having 15+1 rounds of 10mm Auto at one’s disposal, over that of a 1911-based pistol, ups the ante. And, a 5.25-inch barrel would add a bit of velocity over the 4.61-inch barrel of the Glock 20.
Looking at the Springfield Armory XDm-10 5.25 we have the following:
|Description:||SPG XDM 10MM PST 5.25B 15RD|
|Finish:||Black Melonite Finish Slide|
|Action:||Double Action Only (USA Action Trigger System)|
|Stock:||Black Polymer Frame|
|Sight:||Fiber Optic Front, Fully Adjustable Target Rear|
|# of Mags:||3|
|Safety:||Grip, Loaded Chamber Ind, Striker Status Ind|
|Packaging:||Plastic Case, Cable Lock|
The cost of 10mm Auto ammunition notwithstanding, the cost of the pistol was within my means and garnered a closer look. As expected, my local gun club did not have one to test out. That meant that I needed to acquire one, and an order was placed for the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm. The following Sunday morning (my usual range day), the necessary 4473 was completed and I became the new owner.
The pistol was disassembled, a bore snake run through the bore, contact areas lubricated, and the three magazines were stoked with S&B 180-grain FMJ (ratings: Muzzle velocity: 1164 fps with a Muzzle energy: 543 ft/lbs.). After reassembly, it was time to put some rounds downrange. But first, let’s look at the particulars of the pistol.
Fully loaded the gun is undeniably weighty (roughly 38.668 ounces or 2lb 6.6 ounces). However, those 15 rounds are crammed into the same volume others might require for 9mm Parabellum. The gun carries about like a full-sized .45 ACP.
The grip is only a silly millimeter larger than the Glock G17; however, the grip texture is more pronounced and the grip angle is set to an angle reminiscent of a 1911. The grip safety is a feature that I have always liked, coming from 1911 stock, and adds just a bit more safety when handling the firearm, and more importantly, when holstering the firearm. Springfield also includes three grip adapters, although I had no issues running the gun with the installed adapter. That may change later but was fine for now.
Although I am not a fan of fiber front sights, the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto has them and they are well paired to a fully adjustable target style rear sight that has no dots. The rear sight; however, is low profile and the long sight radius of the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto is welcomed.
The slide of the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto is cutout and the pistol weighs an ounce and a half heavier than the 4.5 counterpart. That extra weight does aid in recoil management, but in a 10mm pistol like this the difference in recoil is negligible. The recoil is, obviously, more pronounced that a 9mm and .40 Smith and Wesson. The sharp impulse of the recoil tells you that you are not firing a .45 ACP cartridge that is more of a shove and less pronounced (but not by much). The recoil; however, is very close to the .45 ACP, is very manageable, and just takes some getting used to.
The Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto has a high bore axis, like the Sig Sauer, which results in a little more muzzle flip, but the weight of the pistol counteracts the muzzle climb as does a good high hold on the pistol. When the slide locks back on the last shot, the substantial slide lock lever helps operators close the slide for quick chambering. Otherwise, the substantial slide serrations help the hand to get a grip on the slide for “slingshot” chambering.
Springfield magazine are some of the best and the XDm 5.25 gets three of them, regardless of the caliber. The ambidextrous magazine release sheds them like water on a duck’s back. Magazine insertion is positive, although it takes a bit of effort to load a full magazine with the slide forward, and it takes some effort with a ‘Lula’ loader to get fifteen of them into the magazine when the magazine is new.
With the early XDm-10 5.25, there were no round-count verification or witness holes. Having to count rounds as you’re stuffing mags isn’t fun, but it’s what we do for these magazines. However, with the pistol that I received, all three magazines had 15 witness holes in the spine.
This full-figured XDm is bulky and; therefore, a chore to conceal for one who does not want to take the time in selecting suitable gear and clothing to do so. Given that the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 (any XDm 2.5) is deemed a competition pistol some might balk at carrying a competition pistol for self-defense. However, consider that many who shoot a competition pistol in competition also rely on them for personal defense, although they might not consider carrying them concealed.
Since I have experience with the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in .45 ACP, the features and operation of the pistol are familiar to me. At first introduction to the Springfield line of polymer pistols, the grip texture was somewhat bothersome, but there was no way I could complain about not getting a grip. The XDm frame is molded with aggressive checkering and offers interchangeable backstraps, and a full-sized gun needs these things. Being able to get my hands firmly and completely around a gun, especially one in 10mm, is a must. However, the backstraps on these guns are not quick to change. They require a 3⁄32-inch punch, preferably a roll pin punch, and a hammer to drive out the retaining pin to change the straps. No disassembly is required to change out the backstraps, but you should experiment with the backstraps to obtain the desired grip profile before beginning this endeavor.
Quite a few complain about the trigger and try to compare it to (not surprisingly) the Glock trigger. The XDm trigger; however, is not a Glock trigger and should stand on its own merits. Trigger pull measured 5 lbs., 8 ounces. The striker-fired trigger on the XDm is superlative. There is the expected smooth take-up and discreet break without a hint of creep. Personally, I like the trigger pull as (I feel) it gives me a little leeway in taking or not taking a shot, whether in a defensive situation or when practicing on a static target. The pull is smooth, the reset is quick, and any good operator will become accustomed to the trigger within a couple of pulls.
There is a lot more to be said about the Springfield 5.25 that applies to any Springfield 5.25, but to make this article as short as possible, I steer you to my review on the Springfield 5.25 in .45 ACP chambering for greater detail (https://guntoters.com/blog/2016/10/26/springfield-armory-xdm-5-25-model-xdm952545bhce-45acp-review/)
I have taken you this far, and now it’s time to take you to the range.
I was as excited about shooting this new caliber and pistol, as I was the first time I had shot one of my single-shot black powder pistols. Even though I was familiar with the 9mm and .45 ACP version of this pistol. The 10mm was a different, but similar, pistol.
While I would fall far short of running 10,000 rounds through this pistol, I felt that a box of Sellier and Beloit 180-grain FMJ (ratings: Muzzle velocity: 1164 fps with a Muzzle energy: 543 ft/lbs.) and a box of Sig Sauer V-Crown 180-grain JHP (ratings: Muzzle Velocity: 1250 fps with a muzzle energy of 624 ft/lbs.) would tell me how the story will go after this first range outing.
Accuracy was first and foremost, and of course, accuracy cannot be determined by a first outing, as it may take several outings with different kinds of ammunition before the best for the pistol is to be determined. However, what I had with me would be a good indicator.
The first round fired of the Sellier and Beloit 180-grain FMJ (ratings: Muzzle velocity: 1164 fps with a Muzzle energy: 543 ft/lbs.) was centered in the bullseye while firing off-hand in my usual stance. I packed everything up and went home. KIDDING!
Within four more shots and letting my shooting companion and friend fire off five, I determined that I did have to add some right windage. The Springfield Armory XDm-10 5.25 just happens to have a fully adjustable rear target sight. I added five clicks of right windage, which brought subsequent rounds back to center. Fifty rounds of the S&B ammunition proved to me that this pistol is more accurate than I can shoot it. The center of the “bull” area had a large hole in it with a sprinkling of satellite holes. I moved on to a box of the Sig Sauer V-Crown 180-grain JHP (ratings: Muzzle Velocity: 1250 fps with a muzzle energy of 624 ft/lbs.). The game at this point was to fire one head-shot at seven yards and try to place the next 24 in the same hole. While that didn’t happen, I did manage to place two shots in the same hole four times.
Accuracy is no problem if the operator does their part. The sights just seems to fall into place naturally; however, while the red fiber front sight is bright in normal room lighting and outside, the overhead range lighting was not enough to bring out its brilliance. There is a good gap between the front and rear sights enough to obtain a good sight picture even without the front sight fiber illuminating, and that’s the way the pistol was shot. The rest is just keeping them where they should be throughout the trigger pull. The sole purpose of the trigger in the XDm is to release the striker and it does a good job doing just that. The rear sight needed no further adjustment, and it seemed that the pistol was already set up for 180-grain cartridges in elevation. Put the barrel on what you want to hit (the front sight just above it), roll back the trigger while keeping that sight picture, and the pistol does the rest.
As mentioned previously, the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto has some muzzle flip, due to the high bore axis, and enough recoil to let you know that you are not firing a wimp cartridge. The slide comes back with authority and the recoil impacted me in the thumb web of the shooting hand. Getting back on target was no worse than when I shoot a full-size, full-weight Government Model 1911 pistol in .45 ACP chambering. If you expect a 10mm pistol to act like a 9mm pistol, and you want or need to do a magazine dump, you may be disappointed. Recovery time, the time to get back on target, is about the same for me when shooting a 1911. The Springfield XDm 5.25 has great ergonomics that help that happen.
The polymer, wide grip frame helps to distribute the recoil. As expected, the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto performed without issue; it is almost boringly predictable in its functioning.
The Mega-Lock grip texturing I found to be ideal. It keeps the hand in place while not aggravating the hand, although I did wear the texture a bit on the hand after the session was over. I did not have to reposition my grip after firing; I just had to bring the muzzle back in line. I was firing five round strings just as fast as I can with my 1911 in .45 ACP chambering. With full-power hunting loads; however, I probably would not be saying the same. Then again, I hope that I don’t need to shoot five or more rounds in rapid succession, but when being attacked by a very angry two- or four-legged animal, you are going to be doing the best you can to pump as many rounds in that beast as possible – and you will have 15 + 1 opportunities to do so.
The grip adapter that came installed on the pistol (small) seemed to be the right size for me and having a grip that fits your hand is a big plus.
Shooting the Springfield Armory XDm-10 5.25, with the selected loadings was a very pleasant experience, and its bark may bring some curiosity and comments from fellow shooters. I walked away from the range with a good taste in my mouth about this Springfield Armory XDm 10mm Auto in 5.25 and the 10mm cartridge in general, or it could have been just all the lead and smoke in the air.
Carrying the Pistol
For those who think that light, compact pistols are great for carrying, but large heavy pistol are greater for shooting, read on.
The slide cutout would be a deal breaker for some who consider carrying the pistol. Dirt and debris could get into the slide and muck things up. For those, I point out that the open-top Beretta 92 (M9) has been used in the mud and blood and worse conditions. A good holster and proper maintenance should keep bad things from happening to good pistols. A good concealment holster (OWB or IWB) with full-barrel coverage should keep FOs (Foreign Objects) at bay.
Another deal breaker may be the barrel length, which is a quarter of an inch longer than the standard 1911. However, one must consider that the barrel (up to a point) is the easiest to conceal. I have carried a Glock G41 concealed with its 5.30-inch barrel with no problems. But, then again, I have enough girth that helps me do that. A thin person may not even consider it, and they may be right in doing so.
Now, I am not going to sit and say that the Springfield XDm 5.25 is a delightful carry piece; that would be highly foolish of me. The XDm 5.25 is big and heavy and you just might prefer to carry something of lesser largeness and weight. My point here is that in the right holster, the Springfield XDm 5.25 Competition Model carries comfortably, and it is nice to know that I have a few additional cartridges to work with if need be. There are those that would consider carrying the Springfield XDm 5.25 Competition Model as extreme. But, then again, sometime extreme duty takes extreme measures and tools. The Springfield XDm 5.25 Competition Model fits right into that, I think.
For concealment, I have currently an IWB holster from Black Arch Holsters for the Springfield 5.25 in .45 ACP and it is a perfect fit for the 10mm Auto version. Because of the weight of the pistol when fully loaded, I augment my belt with a set of Perry suspenders. When carrying concealed, I always wear a T-shirt and my outer shirt, which is one size too large, is worn with the shirt front open. When possible, a non-tactical photographer’s vest is worn and serves as my ‘man purse.’
Due to the Springfield XDM 5.25 being a large pistol, it may be better suited to be carried in cooler weather where one or more outer layers of clothing would better conceal the pistol. With that said, if you can effectively conceal a Glock G17 or similar, you should be able to conceal the Springfield XDM 5.25.
A new holster has been ordered from Savoy Leather that will provide better protection and less wear than the hybrid holster can provide. A similar holster was found to be near perfect for the Glock G41 (see https://guntoters.com/blog/2019/03/14/savoy-leather-iwb-holster-for-glock-g41/ for detail).
I did a lot if research before I decided that the Springfield Armory XDm 10 5.25 would be the chosen one. Watching videos from Hickok45, Sootch00, and the Military Arms channel, in addition to watching several 10mm vs. .45 ACP videos helped bring the 10mm cartridge and the pistol into focus. The 10mm Auto could be viewed as the ideal single all-around utility cartridge. The Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 (or the 4.5) could be considered all-around utility handgun for the cartridge. The XDm 5.25 is manageable enough for recreational use and competition use, but the high-capacity magazine and serious chambering take some of the trepidation out of engaging in a serious social encounter. I would not feel under-gunned, at least.
While I won’t be swapping out my 1911 in .45 ACP for the 10mm Auto anytime soon, the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 in 10mm Auto is a keeper. I’ll invest in enough range and defensive ammunition to keep it fed and may even add it to the personal protection rotation schedule at some point.
If you are a beginner or experienced shooter with an interest in the 10mm Auto, and are looking for an excellent, affordable pistol to shoot the cartridge, you may, as I did, consider the Springfield Armory XDm 4.5 or 5.25 versions in 10mm chambering. The Springfield XDm 10 5.25 is an impressive handgun, in the holster or in the hand.
- Springfield Armory XDm in 10mm: https://www.springfield-armory.com/products/xdm-5-25-10mm/ and https://www.springfield-armory.com/xdm-10mm-features/
- Springfield Armory XD(M) 10mm at https://gunsmagazine.com/handguns/springfield-armory-xdm-10mm/
- Springfield Armory XDM 10mm Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz_NRMqdAZA
- Springfield XDM 5.25″ 10mm vs. Glock 40 10mm for Alaskan Bears Part 1 with Chukes Outdoor Adventures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_KBNDVcsTM
- XD-M 10mm – 10,000 Round Torture Test | Springfield Armory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83EpENxUJKM
- Hickok45 – XDM 5.25 10 mm at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrOhcdK3kyc
- New XDM -10 10mm Review (SOOTCH00): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_8Zr5sdGFM
- Is 10mm a Viable Self-Defense Caliber? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqwoJmxbGg0
- Personal Protection: 10mm vs .45 ACP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBkjdutVmFA
- UNBOXING Springfield Armory XD(M) 10mm| Gun Talk LIVE First Look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnmJ-3P1YtU
- Springfield Armory XD(M) in 10mm – It’s Here!| Gun Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex4JsT-6Z6M
- New 10mm from Springfield Armory: XDm 10 4.5 (HammerStriker): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHg1t4YJaCk
- Springfield XDm 10mm Auto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzZF0-X5VpY
- Springfield XDM 10mm vs Pumpkins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqurIuxDeCM
– Taurian, July 2019