Springfield XD 9mm
Chuck Taylor's view of the Springfield XD 9mm:
In the category of small arms, the names of B. Tyler Henry, Hiram Maxim, John Browning and George Luger attained legendary status, as did Sam Colt, Daniel Wesson. John Garand, Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov cast huge shadows in the world of military rifle design, as does Gaston Glock in the world of handguns.
Yet, though on the surface, these men's achievements appear unrelated, they all share one thing in common – they took existing concepts and reshaped them into something whose time had come. And in so doing, they facilitated a quantum leap in technology that elevated the state of the art in their respective endeavors.
So it is with the Vukovic-led Croatian design team engineers who designed Springfield Armory's XD-9 9x19mm pistol. Although they're probably not aware of it, they created something significantly better than anything that came before. Incorporating the best of both Glock and SIG designs with a few new wrinkles thrown in for good measure, the XD-9 is a strong contender for the title of being the first true pistol of the 21st century.
Historically, the XD-9 began life as the HS-2000, which itself was an improved version of I.M. Metalworks (Karlovac, Croatia) HS-95 of 1995. But it actually first appeared as the PHP in 1991, though that particular pistol was fraught with a few quality control problems due to the ongoing Croatian civil war. Vukovic's design team continually refined the PHP and HS-95, correcting its design and metallurgical weaknesses, the final version being designated as the HS-2000. At this point, I'll forego further historic commentary because it would be redundant, since the HS-2000 was covered in detail in a previous issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. Shortly thereafter, Springfield Armory acquired importation rights and re-designated the weapon as the XD-9.