I've owned 7 of the standard XDs in 9mm/45acp, subcompact/service/tactical and OD/2-tone/black and they were all good shooters and 100% reliable. My only issues were that they felt top heavy (especially the subcompact) and the grip was less than grippy. I kept going back to them since they were a good inexpensive poly gun with the correct grip angle for my human hands.
Well after the last one I said "no more" since it was getting ridiculous to buy them and then sell them off when something else came up. I felt they were great guns but something was lacking in them for me to not want to keep on in my collection.
Fast forward to me recently buying the XDS 2-tone. That gun is honestly the perfect little carry gun in 45acp I thought would never exist. Very low recoil, no need for a mag/pinky extension to keep a firm hold, accurate and thin enough to be carried with any type of clothing. Well that little gun got me looking into the XDM models. I knew the grips had been changed and the replaceable back straps were ideal since the smaller one on both the XDS and XDM mimic the angle of what I prefer even though I wear XL gloves.
Well I was set on getting a bigger brother for my XDS so it had to be 2-tone, but I wanted the standard 4.5" barrel and in 9mm......because who dosn't like 19+1 rounds. Well my LGS had one used but in .40S&W and I've never care for that round, so I just went ahead and bought a new one.
Fast forward to yesterday at the range and all I can say is the XDM is an improvement over the standard XD series. First, the trigger is light, crisp with a very short reset. I don't remember any of my XD triggers being so nice and if one were to drop-in an aftermarket trigger, I would suggest it for range or competition use only....the stock trigger defiantly needs zero modifications to be just awesome.
The grip itself is a huge improvement. The texture is plenty grippy without being too aggressive. My standard XDs always wanted to slip in my hand no matter what model or caliber. The small back-strap turned it into exactly what I've always wanted the XD grip to feel like.
The sights on mine are the standard 3 dot but with a lower profile than the older XDs. The slide itself narrows and has some relief cuts inside making for a lighter top end. This means no more top heavy feeling with a full or empty magazine. I'm not looking up the weight differences between the XD and XDM model as I'm writing this, but even if they're close, they've managed to distribute the weight correctly.
Ammo shot was 300rds total that included: Federal 115gr. ball, Winchester PDX-1 124gr. +P HP, Federal HST 124gr. HP +P and Speer Gold Dot 147gr. HP. Like my other XDs and XDS...zero malfunctions right out of the box. Accuracy was excellent with a 3" five shot group at 15 yards as the biggest grouping of the day shooting semi-rapid fire.
Bottom line, if you're used to the standard XDs and didn't care for them or thought something was missing, take a look at the XDM models. This one is a keeper for sure.