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Preview – Glock 30S and Springfield XD-S

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Big-Bore Carry Guns
We Test Drive the Glock 30S and the Springfield XD-S

The American gun buyer has had a love affair with the .45 ACP for more than a century now. Despite recent advances in bullet technology that make the 9mm almost its ballistic equivalent, there’s still something comforting about the big, trashcan-shaped round. With the massive increase in CCW permit holders, gun makers have been shoehorning the .45 into smaller packages, so we decided to take a look at two of the best compact options in this caliber and compare them head to head.

Choosing a concealed carry weapon is an intensely personal decision, so we always encourage prospective buyers to try out as many guns as possible and choose the one that fits them best, rather than steering them toward whatever the flavor du jour happens to be. For 20 days in January, if our pants were on, we were carrying one of these guns in either a Galco or IHL inside-the-waistband holster. This gave us the chance to assess them both in real world situations and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each.

The Springfield XD-S was brought out last year to much fanfare and since became the hottest gun in their lineup. The Glock is a newer introduction, unveiled at SHOT Show in January and offering increased capacity over the Springer. However, those extra rounds have to be stored somewhere. So as you’d expect, the grip is fatter, but otherwise the two guns have similar dimensions. In true RECOIL fashion, let’s examine them in 1:1 scale and put them to the test.

Small, Potent & Good Looking
The first impression you get when picking up the XD-S is, “Wow, this thing is tiny.” Despite being chambered for a much bigger round, it’s really no larger than the S&W Shield, which has garnered many fans in the CCW arena. This is especially noticeable in the grip size — although it’s about the same length as the Glock, it’s much slimmer. This allows it to almost disappear in a concealment holster and the difference is really noticeable when carried in an appendix rig.

Glock’s decision to add another model to the line was driven by demand from a select group of users. The Special Investigations Section (SIS) of the Los Angeles Police Department is issued the G21 as its duty weapon, but is permitted to select from a list of approved .45s for use on the job. A member of the SIS, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity due to the nature of his work, explained what led to the creation of the new model. “A bunch of guys had been mixing and matching G30SF frames with the G36 top end to make a gun that combined the best qualities of both. We asked the local Glock rep to make it into a cataloged item, as it might be OK for individuals to mix up serial numbers, but that’s sort of frowned upon in a police department. Eventually, Glock came through.”

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