There have been a plethora of posts on here lately about folks who want to buy an XDS, but are hesitant due to "this person said there were problems" or "I've read about all of these issues on the forum" or "this youtube video said that they suck", etc.
If you are one of the ones who is considering an XDS but is buying into the forum lore that they are somehow all plagued with problems, read on.
1. The XDS is a short barreled compact .45 with a unique manual of arms.
The cycle time is extremely short and the feed ramp angle is steep, and as such you need to use good technique and have solid fundamentals. That doesn't mean choke it to death, and that doesn't mean wet-noodle your grip - just hang onto it and keep your flippin' thumbs away from the slide
. If you don't, light strikes and feed issues will likely be the result. Additionally, it's very easy to induce feed problems by short-stroking the gun or following the slide home while racking. On mine, I can rack it with a full mag, slingshot the slide or use the slide release with no issues, and I believe that this is probably the case with any XDS - but you HAVE to rack it with authority. The second you ride the slide or otherwise pussyfoot around with it, the top round will bounce off of the feed ramp and jam itself into the roof of the chamber, causing a feed stoppage that you have to remove the magazine to clear. Same goes for clearing live rounds. You have to yank the slide hard to clear the gun. Some people refer to this as a design problem, but I view it as the nature of the beast when it comes to small, short barreled .45s with potent recoil springs. There is a reason that there aren't a whole lot of them on the market. They are hard to get right from a design standpoint, and they require attention on your part.
As an addendum to this, let me inject my personal opinion here:
Quite simply (and again, this is purely my opinion), the XDS is not the ideal gun for wives/girlfriends/daughters/new shooters. There are exceptions in any case, but this is a common misconception among shooters shopping for their significant other. They say something like "I'll get my wife this cute little Kel Tec .380, she'll love it". I believe that is a mistake. Small handguns in general are better suited for experienced shooters, as they have a shorter sight radius and are harder to manipulate quickly. Add the stress of a real defensive encounter and you're asking for trouble unless that person is willing to train extensively with the gun. With the unique manual of arms associated with the XDS on top of the usual "small gun" training issues, I would imagine that most newer shooters, or ones who lack the dexterity to properly/forcefully manipulate the action, would be better served with another option.
2. The XDS, like any gun, is mass produced.
There are bound to be a few examples out there that have legitimate problems that get past the QC department, same as any gun. However, by and large there aren't any significant problems with the XDS. This is not just my opinion, but empirical data that I have compiled by talking with other owners (both on the forum and off), as well as gun store owners/employees, cops, and competitive shooters all over the Metro area where I live. By and large, the reports have been positive with very few reports of dissatisfied customers wanting to return the gun - and of the few that fell into that catagory, ALL of them were due to the shooter not liking the shooting characteristics of the gun. Nobody I talked to wanted to return it due to a problem with the gun itself. Which brings me to my next point...
3. Forum members make up about .1% of the total ownership of this firearm.
We are not, repeat not
, any sort of overwhelming majority here on XDTalk - a fact that often gets overlooked when people start feeding off of each others' stories and getting all riled up. How many people posting about problems with the gun are brand new members with one or two posts under their belt, who joined the forum just to ask about a potential issue, or to see if something is "normal"? "I'm getting light strikes" or "My gun won't eject live rounds" or, even better, "What's with all the problems with the XDS??" Now, I'm not faulting those folks for posting their questions, as the sharing of information is what our forum is for...but I think that the internet in general right now is doing everyone a disservice by making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to the XDS. Just think about the thousands upon thousands of people who have purchased an XDS and are quietly enjoying it. That's the thing about 'Merica - when something works, it's to be expected and isn't anything noteworthy, and very few go out of their way to say how great the gun is. When something doesn't work though (whether it's a legit problem or something completely user induced), then it becomes "holy crap the world is ending, lets get on the forums and on youtube and make our displeasure known at maximum volume to everyone who will listen". On top of that, you have to remember that in the wide world of the internet, while we'd all like to believe that everyone is honest and legit, there are a few people out there who have ulterior motives when it comes to just about everything. If you're one of those folks, please take a breath.
For those of you who have had legitimate issues that SA has had to correct, please do not crucify me. This thread is not directed at you, but you make up a minority among owners - a minority that has somehow managed to become the "majority" in forum/internet circles. My goal here is not to slight you or make light of your headaches, but to help alleviate some of the concerns posted by so many new members on this board and help everyone to realize that while the XDS is unique and can be a little hard to handle for some, it's not as problematic as many are making it sound.
In conclusion - if you want an XDS, go buy one!
Don't wait for mysterious issues to be worked out, don't worry about a certain serial number popping up, don't wait for the stories to stop...because they never will, and all you're doing is missing out on a great little gun and buying into the internet negativity. Better yet, if you're truly worried about it, go rent one at the local range or ask a local forum member to let you shoot theirs. I bet 9 out of 10 of you will put 50 rounds down the tube with nary an issue, and the 10th person is probably limp wristing
. If you end up buying your own and then you have a legitimate, non-user-induced problem with it, you can always send it back to SA and they will take care of you. Theres no reason to fear the XDS. Do right with it and it will go bang every time!