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:
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.
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!