Springfield XDS – After the Recall Repair

Those of you who follow 13C Gun Reviews know I had quite a bit of experience with the XDS 45 prior to buying my XDS in 9mm.  I had a chance to evaluate a few T&E guns as well as those friends and colleagues purchased themselves.

While I wasn’t in a rush for a new EDC (every day carry), or backup EDC to be precise, I did want an XDS in my collection.  So rather than buy when they first came out, I waited until prices settled a bit and picked one up… about a week and a half before the recall.

The first weekend I picked it up I did quite a bit of dry practice with it and I had one solid range day of live fire with it before shipping it back.  While it wasn’t the most stellar piece I definitely preferred it to some other options like the Ruger LC9 and I placed it just sightly ahead of the M&P Shield.

xdsreturndayWhen it first came back my gut reaction was to trade it in on a Shield as fast as I could get to my LGS.  Right out of the box the trigger was abysmal.  The trigger pull hadn’t just increased but worse than that, it was gritty and little spongy.

Other people had described the trigger on a repaired XDS being referred to as almost “two stage” and the amount of travel is remarkable in and of itself but I’m not talking about that, I’m specifically speaking about the press itself once you take up the slack. Right out of the box it’s horrible.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to receive leading up to getting my XDS back.  I knew I was probably in for a heavier trigger but beyond that reports have been all over the place from “crisp and constant” and “clean break” to the issues I’m having with my mine.  Some had indicated the trigger gets better when it is “broken in”… Broken in?  I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I bought another Keltec P11.

If it needs to be broken in, then there are problems that haven’t been properly addressed at the factory which result in to poor workmanship and quality control that then manifest themselves into fit and finish problems, or worse.

As to being broken in, prior to shooting it I dry pressed the trigger a few hundred times the good news was, it did improve.  Personally I’m shocked SA would allow something with a trigger that bad out the door.  It appears to have been test fired before it left the factory, was the person who did the repair actually satisfied with the trigger?

I understand Springfield had a daunting task for this recall.  Over 200,000 handguns, in both 9mm and .45, had to be repaired and returned to their owners.  It took just over three and a half months for my XDS to be repaired and returned to me.  Considering the volume of the repairs being done, that’s pretty good in my opinion.  I am also of the opinion if you are going to do something, you should do it right.

I decided I need to team up with my good friend Tim from the Military Arms Channel in order to get not just a second opinion, but also so I could compare it side by side with his XDS that hadn’t been repaired yet.

Tim and I made it out to the MAC range over the weekend and we were able to compare them first hand and talk about our experiences.  Tim also related to me his experiences at his LGS and having the opportunity to see a few other post-recall samples.  The triggers of those samples were similar to mine when it was first unboxed.

Trigger pull weight on the repaired XDS, after about 400 dry presses and live firing, is now closer to the weight of the unmodified XDS.  About 7 1/2 pounds as compared to 6 3/4 pounds.  Springfield lists the spec weight range at 5.5-7.5 pounds.

Live fire testing was positive and no malfunctions were encountered.  Testing was preformed using both factory ammunition and my own reloaded ammunition.  So far my XDS has had zero malfunctions since I purchased it, both pre and post repair.

The good news is, if you got your XDS back and the trigger is similar to what we’ve encounter there is hope.  By the end of our range day the XDS trigger had improved some more and is definitely in the acceptable range at this point.  I’m still thinking I should have bought a Shield at this point but I no longer feel the overwhelming urge to sell it.  I’m going to continue to work with my XDS and see where it leads.

We’ll keep you updated.


As an Oath Keeper Joe is known for his staunch, unwavering defense of Liberty and the Constitution. His background in medicine, from the streets as a FF/EMT to a level 1 trauma team, bring a unique perspective to TBS team. As a life long firearms enthusiast you may also recognize him from his work with MAC and as founder of 13C Gun Reviews.

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  • Frank Szabo

    Mac If you look close the notch on the seer is gone on the upgraded xds .

  • Aaron Smith

    Just got both of my xds back this week, my guns felt the same as always, crisp trigger on the 9&45. Sorry to hear others have been less fortunate. I wonder why my 45 is dramatically more accurate than the 9 mm ? Luvin my XDS!

  • Jay

    …still havent sent mine in..Gotta get the thumb outta tha butt and gitterdone..

  • Greg Tarpley

    I sent my in the day of the recall and got it back about 5-6 weeks later. Trigger was horrible. It did smooth out some but it’s still not very good. I have contacted a ‘smith that has done quite a bit of XD work for me in the past and he says that they can get it tuned up for me. Just need to send it off again.

    • Marque Lintvedt

      How was your trigger after gun smithing? :-/

  • Jon

    Thanks for the article and video guys! Excellent work as always. So, I have dry fired my .45 XDS post upgrade about 30-40 times and I swear it is almost identical to when it left except for a slightly heavier trigger press than before it left. I have taken it to the range as well and the slightly heavier trigger is the only thing I notice ( except for more of a snappy recoil rather than a “push” type recoil I noticed prior to the upgrade). The take up feels fine as does the break and reset. So, is this more prevalent in the 9mm or people having this problem with .45 as well? Thanks again.

  • CharlieKilo

    Working for an FFL, owning plenty on my own, shooting for over 30 years, including competition, in addition to gunsmithing; I’ve never seen a mass produced gun with a great stock trigger, period. “If it needs to be broken in, then there are problems that haven’t been properly addressed at the factory which result in to poor workmanship and quality control that then manifest themselves into fit and finish problems, or worse.” No, just no. I can’t stress how “off” that statement is. Even with excellent QC and accurate production machinery, if parts are off or have a burr even .001 out of spec, things can seem “off”. Rough tolerances require more rubbing and fine tolerances still require some rubbing, but both will require some work when fitted. A couple hundred rounds is relatively small potatoes and indicative of something in the neighborhood of “fine”. With that being said, simply slapping stuff together will get a product together, but hand-fitting is where a minimal break-in shines. But, that’s not mass-produced, that’s hand-fitted. Also with that said, some guns come from the manufacturer “post break-in”, meaning the product went through it’s cycle of operation, repeatedly. Working on a major manufacturing line, and for a major company, I can assure you that minute tolerances can cause the “grinding” or “slack” or “long pull”. Grinding can be alleviated by cleaning and lubricated, or at the very least, mitigated. As noted previously, even if something is .001″ over spec, it can throw some wrenches in the works. What fixes that? Grinding stone or polishing. If you want every mass-produced gunmaker to do those things, expect to see the price of that M&P or Glock or XDm/s jump up in price, considerably.

    Every machine I have ever come across requires some sort of break-in. Small engines (lawnmowers), large engines (vehicles), RC engines (trucks, planes, helicopters), compressors, batteries (although that’s called cycling), electric motors, tools, and even guns. Every one of those things work better after an initial wear-in period. More specific to the point of this article, contact points inside the action can’t be exactly leveled to each other, not without significant cost increase, like are found inside non-mass produced firearms. In fact, the M&P Shield has a pretty dreadful trigger when compared to custom work or drop-in replacements. My point? It’s an unrealistic expectation for any company that mass produces firearms or a model of firearms to an outstanding trigger. Usable? Sure. Even competition mass produced pistol (M&P Pro, XDm 5.25 Competition, CZ SP-01, Glock 34, etc) have their triggers worked by competent gunsmiths (after purchase) or through a drop-in replacement. Even more to the point, gun barrels, especially precision instruments, require a number of rounds through the bore to “break” or “wear” the barrel in.

    • Chumpyslapper

      Did you not read the entire article? The trigger was good before it went back for the recall. Now it feels like it needs work. Don’t give me that crap about a manufacturer not being able to make a good mass produced trigger. Glock makes a great trigger for all their guns.

      • nsumniac

        and factory glock triggers also suck w/o being “broken in”

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  • Fled

    Mine came back yesterday….my heart sank when I dry fired it….. $600 paperweight! I mean terrible. I never liked that the xds’ trigger was more like the glock trigger than the xd standards but prior to the “fix” I could shoot it well and it was extremely accurate. While I appreciate the concern for our safety I could buy two turkish polymer wonders with similar crappy triggers for what I’ve got in this gun. Sad thing is I really liked this thing when I first got it. Had to special order it through my distributor and wait a month……really really bummed.

    • BDUB

      I just got mine (3 months later), and my experience mirrors yours. I’ll be taking out this week to try and “smooth it out”, but my initial reaction was just YUCK! I’m not sure how a trigger can change quite so dramatically in character.

  • Brett Munson

    so you like the trigger better on the unsafe gun VS the safe gun

    • John Galt

      I liked mine better before. It was smoother and lighter.

  • Raoul

    Maybe after a few more recalls Springfield will abandon the stupid grip safety.

  • Skip

    I just got mine back yesterday. OMG, the trigger sucks. It is not remotely like it was before the recall was performed. I have not yet been to the range with it but my first thought is to sell the POS. It was much better box stock the first day of purchase. Why would it need to be broken in..not to get it better than the first day it was bought but rather to get it close to but not as good as the pre-recall trigger. I never would have bought the gun if I had gone to the shop and felt it with this trigger. I have both a Shield and an XDS which were both purchased about the same time. While I always felt the Shields trigger was crisper and broke better the XDS was not bad. Now it is extremely long and heavy. If I wanted that I would have just kept using my little LCP as a daily carry. I am very disappointed especially after over 3 months of waiting! This will be the last Springfiedl Armory gun I buy.

  • JT Hickman

    Just picked up a post-recall XDs and the trigger sucks! I’ve sent off for a
    Powder River Precision spring kit, hoping it will help.

  • Charles Newman

    Springfield’s discussion with me on the bad XDs trigger. ‘Is there anything you can do to smooth out the trigger?’ “No.” ‘So it is what it is?’ “Yes.” ‘You know it’s the stamped trigger bar being out of spec, right?’ Silence.

  • bubba ha

    Trigger sucks will always suck
    if it was 4-5 pounds I’d have 2

    It doesn’t get better YOU GET USED TO IT

  • greg

    I recently purchased an XDS .45. I have not had a chance to fire it but am concerned about all of the issues regarding failure to return to battery. Springfield says the weapon needs to be broken in with about 500 rounds due to the tolerances being so tight. Not sure how I feel about this. Anyone else have issues?