Ruger SR9C vs Springfield XD-S .45

This was a really fun comparison. Today, Princess Gail and I decided to shoot and compare my Ruger SR9C to the latest and greatest small pistol for concealed carry from Springfield Armory, the XD-S .45ACP. You can find comprehensive reviews of these two great handguns elsewhere. This post is to document our own experience.

Pictures and the specs for the SR9C are here and for the XD-S .45 here. You can see that size-wise they are very comparable: (SR9C vs XD-S) weight 23.4 vs 21.5 oz., length 6.85 vs 6.3″, height 4.61 vs 4.4″, width 1.27 vs 1″. They were both designed for the concealed carry market. These are the actual guns we shot:

1. Caliber

The SR9C is a 9mm handgun. The 9mm round is a very acceptable load for self defense. The .45 caliber XD-S shoots a much heftier bullet, resulting in a slightly larger area of tissue destruction and definitely better “stopping power.” In general, handguns chambered for 9mm have less of a recoil “kick” than handguns chambered for .45 caliber. In general, the smaller caliber 9mm is easier to control and shoot accurately than the more powerful .45. In general, handgun magazines can hold a larger number of the smaller 9mm bullet than the larger .45 bullet. The cost of each 9mm round is definitely less than the cost of each .45 round.

2. Magazine Capacity

I will speak only about the smaller magazines that come with these pistols, as they would be the ones used for concealed carry purposes.

The small, double-stack magazine of the SR9C can hold 10 rounds. The small, single-stack magazine of the XD-S only holds 5 rounds.

3. Recoil and Accuracy

The SR9C has been around for two years now, and the SR40C for one year. They have built a reputation for being easy to shoot and remarkably accurate. But a small .45 caliber handgun should give you a nasty kick, right? Well, no! What a surprise to shoot the XD-S .45 and find a very, very manageable recoil! The power of the .45 load was obvious, but the kick felt only slightly more than that of the SR9C. That made for fast and accurate follow-up shots. Princes Gail had no trouble shooting the XD-S .45 well and accurately at the typical 3 to 7 yard self defense distances, and even at longer ones.

After 20-25 rounds, though, Gail’s arms did get tired, and accuracy suffered after that. She much prefers the 9mm SR9C, and prefers even more her Walther PPS. That speaks for the ergonomics of each product. It is important that your gun feel right in your hand, and in this respect everyone is different.

4. Quality

Both of these guns are very well made. You can sense the quality of their construction at every step of the experience. Again, I refer you to the Ruger and Springfield websites for details, and to the many posted reviews if you want more objective opinions, prices, etc.

5. Final Opinion

Both of these guns are terrific! I will be glad to stick to my SR9C because I believe the 9mm bullet has more than enough power to perform its intended self-defense function. I also believe that it is more controllable, and therefore more accurately shot, than the .45 caliber bullet. I think proper shot placement is more important than the difference in size and power of these two bullets. Further, I would have 10 rounds in my SR9C and only 5 in the XD-S.

I also realize that the chances I will ever actually shoot this gun in self defense are very small. I plan to keep myself safe and out of trouble in other ways. So I will probably only shoot my gun at the range. The 9mm is plenty fun, and the cost per round, or per 100 rounds, is considerably cheaper than the .45.

But I will say that shooting the XD-S .45 was lots of fun, too. It was easy to shoot and very accurate at the self defense distances. If you are someone who would prefer the power of the .45 caliber load, or would just feel cool carrying this beautiful little monster, I can recommend the XD-S .45 without reservation!


  • Hank January 30, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Thanks! I am actually debating these two right now

  • Bhavesh September 14, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    I don’t know whether to laugh at you and give you an eesinpxve recommendation you’ll hate, or once again describe the best way to find the best firearm for you.Guess I’ll be consistent:1) Go to a range which rents firearms. Handle each one. Check them for grip size and how easy it is to reach the controls when in a firing grip. Pick the three which feel the best, which you can easily reach all the controls of.2) Rent those three and run a box of ammo through each of them. One of them will stand out as your best choice. If not, go back and, with the understanding of how a gun recoils in your hand, see if you can find three more you anticipate will feel good while shooting. Rent them. Try them. One of the three will most likely be the best for you. That should be your choice.3) Since you have a grand to spend, it is unlikely that your choice will cost more than that. Muffs and glasses should be under 40. A trigger lock may be mandatory with your purchase or may come with the gun, as well as a case; If not, trigger locks are cheap, with the most eesinpxve ones being about 20 bucks or so.You can read up all you want about other people’s opinions, but they don’t mean squat because a firearm is a very personal choice if you HAVE a choice, you should exercise it. Those with issue weapons don’t have a choice their department has made a one size fits all decision EVERYONE has to live with, and some will love them and some will hate them. You DON’T HAVE to put up with that.So get whichever firearm FITS YOUR HAND. Forget about brand, or what the gun rags say, or this or that agency uses XYZ find out for YOURSELF. You’re not issuing these guns out you’re choosing ONE pistol for YOU.Be smart. Choose the one which will give you the best opportunity to survive a lethal confrontation:1) One which fits your hand.2) That you can hit with consistently.Best and most responsible advice I can give.

  • rockabillyboots October 7, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    I have xds9 with a grip sleeve as I see your 45 does. I used a caliper on the xds with grip sleeve and its thicker than the SR with that on it. I cc my xds daily and its totally fine. Just throwing in that info since you put the measurements but those are without that compensation.