Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Review: Is it Competition Ready?

by Travis Pike

February 20, 2023

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The Springfield XD-M series of handguns have long tried to find their place in the world of polymer frame striker-fired pistols. They seem to make one for everyone, and the XD-M Elite series has introduced us to their first long slide, the Elite Precision. Let’s see where the XD-M series stands.

A competition ready XD-M with good performance and great price tag

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Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Specs

  • Name XD-M Elite Precision
  • Caliber 9mm Luger
  • Magazine Capacity 22+1
  • Action Striker Fired
  • Frame Polymer
  • Slide Forged Steel
  • Sights Fiber Optic (Front) Fully Adjustable Target (Rear)
  • Barrel Cold Hammer Forged
  • Barrel Length 5.25 inches
  • Weight 30 ounces
  • Safety Grip Safety

The World of XD

Springfield does not make the XD-M pistols. They import them from Croatia from a company called H.S. Produkt. Believe it or not, the XD series used to be called the HS2000 and were a fair bit cheaper on initial import. Springfield went through an odd identity crisis in the late 90s and early 2000s. 

They were known for 1911s but wanted to find a new, more modern handgun. They tried CZ clones for a bit, but then Glock blew metal frame, DA/SA guns out of the water commercially. Everyone wanted a polymer frame striker-fired gun. Springfield struck up a deal with HS, and the HS2000 became the XD or Xtreme Duty. The price went up, but the influx of cash and expertise from Springfield also saw the gun improve in the features department. 

Under Springfield, the XD series evolved into numerous models to meet the expectations of American shooters. This includes the Hellcat series, various hammer-fired models, and purely American calibers like 10mm. Alongside these new guns came the XD-M Elite lineup. This includes the Elite Precision we have our hands on. 

The Elite Precision is their longest barrel model that features a 5.25-inch barrel with adjustable sights and a penchant for accuracy. This gun is made for the competitive world and for very accurate shooting. It’s a bit big for any method of carry, but for home defense, I can see a valid argument for the gun and its 22-round magazines. 

Let’s see if the Elite Precision is made with Croatian pride.

Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Features

Springfield XD-M Elite Precision gun features
1 Adjustable Rear Sight
2 Fiber Optic Front Sight
3 Ambidextrous Controls
4 22 Round Magazines
5 Massive Magwell

Models and Variations of the Springfield XD-M Elite Precision

There are no variations on the XD-M Elite Precision, but there are several variations in the Springfield XD-M Elite ranging in size from compact to the full size long slide variation in this review.

Finding Some Elite Precision 

Springfield XD-M Elite

The big long barrel and overall length of over 8 inches provide you with a nice solid sight radius. They shove the rear sight as far backward as possible. I appreciate that. Since the gun is designed for accuracy, I tested that first. I used a B8 as a target and set up at a bench 25 yards away with some Remington 115-grain JHPs. Defensive ammunition was chosen because I wanted high-quality ammo, and defensive ammunition tends to be consistent. 

I fired five five-round groups. My tightest group was 2.91 inches, and the worst group was 3.2 inches. Not bad by any means, and if I was a better shot, I could have consistently kept those groups smaller than 3 inches. Outside of a long sight radius, the weapon is fitted with the META trigger system. It’s a flat trigger with an ultra-smooth pull and consistent break. The 5.25-inch barrel is also cold hammer forged, which helps. 

On the shootability front, this great big gun controls very easily. It’s a full-sized 9mm, and that makes the gun pretty easy to handle. It’s not as soft handling as an all-metal frame CZ 75, but it’s on par with its contemporaries in the polymer frame 9mm market. I had a blast shooting small targets quickly. From a series of clay pigeons to gongs and beyond, the mix of accuracy and shootability makes it fun to go fast with.

Controlling Thunder

XD-M Elite in hand

A great big gun with a great big grip is a nice touch. I have more than enough room for my big hands. The grip is thin and comfortable. At the bottom, we got this great big magwell that allows you to feed magazines into the gun rapidly and easily. You can slam magazines home with quickness, and the magwell helps eliminate some of that human error. 

Springfield and HS added completely ambidextrous controls to make it a bit easier for lefties to rock and roll. The controls are perfectly mirrored on each side, and it’s one of the better ambi mag releases I’ve found on a handgun. The slide release is ambidextrous but also way too easy to accidentally pin down with your thumb. 

At the rear of the grip sits a grip safety. I really dislike grip safeties. Lord forbid you don’t get a good grip on your gun when you need it to go bang. I don’t see a point in grip safeties, and it’s probably my biggest ergonomic complaint with this gun.

Peanut Butter and Jam Free

A good mix of brass, steel, and JHPs fed through the gun, almost all problem free. The gun itself didn’t have an issue, but the magazine did. As I shoot and dry fire, I often reload, and that involves the mag hitting the deck. The gun comes with three magazines, and I seem to have bent the feed lips on one of the magazines. This caused feeding issues and took me a while to figure out. 

XD-M Elite Patch

Upon examination, it seems like the magazines are made from a very thin metal. With the careful applicate of a Gerber, I bent it back, and it’s run fine since. I’ve stopped letting the mags hit the hard ground. Speaking of dry fire, the manual advises using Snap caps. Apparently, a roll pin in the gun can break after too much dry fire without a Snap Cap. 

In the value department, the gun’s MSRP is only $674 making it one of the cheaper long-slide options on the market. If you want a competition-ready rig, this might be the right route to take on a budget. For a defensive firearm, your basic models will save you a little more dinero.

Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Pros and Cons 

  • Accuracy – Very Accurate
  • Shootabilty – Easy to Control
  • Price – Affordable
  • Magazine – Fragile mags

Report Card

Shootability

The gun performs as well as any other polymer frame gun. It’s not all metal 1911 in 9mm, but easy enough to control.

B+
Reliability

The gun itself was plenty reliable, but with such easily bent feed lips, I have to take a few points off.

C
Ergonomics

I like the ergonomics, but I hate the grip safety, and the slide release is too easy to accidentally thumb downward.

C
Accuracy

This big long slide gun hit where I was aiming, and the only way to improve accuracy would be a factory red dot mounting option.

A
Value

For a long slide, competition-ready gun, the MSRP is quite low.

A
Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Final Grade

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 7 Reviews

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Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Starter Pack

If you’re serious about picking up one of these bad boys, there are a few extra things you’ll probably want to pick up–if you don’t have them of course.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: To keep your XD-M Elite in competition form you will need to keep it cleaned and lubricated. We’ve got a whole article dedicated to gun cleaning kits you’ll need to keep your pistol in tip top shape.  
  • Eye Protection: This should go without saying, but you need to invest in some quality shooting glasses. One errant piece of brass, and you’re in for a bad day. Check out our recommendations for the best shooting glasses!
  • Hearing Protection: If you’re getting a Springfield XD-M Elite Precision and going to be competing, you will be shooting a lot. Protect your ears and get some quality hearing protection. We’ve gathered all of our favorites to help you decide the best hearing protection for you.

Springfield XD-M Elite Precision Gun Deals

Check out some of the best deals you’ll find when searching for your new Springfield XD-M Elite Precision.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Springfield XD-M Elite Precision

The XD-M Elite comes pretty upgraded from the factory, but if you are going to start competing with the XD-M Elite you will need plenty of magazines. We have found great deals on both the 22 round and 35 round magazines

Standard Magazine

Springfield XD-M 22 Round Magazine

XD-M Elite 22 Round Magazine – 9mm

Extended Magazine

XD-M Elite 35 Round Magazine – 9mm

Best Ammo for Your Springfield XD-M Elite Precision

Now that you stocked up on magazines, let stock up on ammo. Here are some great deals on 9mm range ammo.

Range Rounds

Magtech 9mm Ammo

MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ

Other Competition Pistols of its Class to Check Out

The Springfield XD-M Elite Precision is a decent choice for competition, especially on a budget. But if you’re not sold on the XD-M Elite, there are other options out there. Here are two of our favorites. 

#1 Sig Sauer P320 X-Five Legion

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  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A+

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 52 Reviews

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#2 CZ Shadow 2

CZ Shadow 2

A heavier extension of the CZ Shadow platform suited for USPSA competition.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value A-

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

B+

Based on 35 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

How to Care for Your Springfield XD-M Elite Precision

You need to learn how to strip and clean your XD-M. We found this video walking you through the process.

Here are some links below for the manufacturer’s website, operator’s manual, and the official XD-M Elite video by Springfield Armory .

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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