I have had this gun for a few months now, so I think it is time for a review. On a side note, this is my first auto-loader, as well as my first handgun period.
ETA: to clarify things, the normal package is about $500. I paid about $400 for the one i got.
I originally picked this gun for the the way it felt, not the way it shot. I went out and fondled a bunch of guns in the same price range ($500-ish), some of which felt OK, and some of which...sucked. For example, when I picked up a Block 19 (I am sorry, a Glock), my giant Sasquatch mitts did not come close to fitting in the cool (but badly placed) finger moldings on the front strap. When I picked this one up, though, it was like it screamed PICK MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! Great fit for my monster mitts, I don't even have to think about getting a good grip. It just goes there by itself.
The package I got was what SA calls the "XD Essentials" package. This means that the package does not include the factory holster, mag pouch, or speed loader, but you save a hundred or so dollars. You get the gun, two 16round magazines, a lock, a plastic bristled bore brush (I prefer brass), and assorted paperwork.
The lack of a holster/etc. didn't bother me, as the savings allowed me to buy a molded leather OWB holster and an aftermarket speedloader without going over the original price.
I will say I am somewhat disappointed with the case. Pros are that it was included, seems pretty tough, and says Springfield on it. Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of slop in the spaces for the gun and the mags (see photo below), so they rattle around a lot and do not fit snugly into the box. This really annoyes me a lot, since I am used to nice padded cases! It is only a $500 gun, so I am not sure i can complain too much about a crappy case, but my dislike stands. Also, my speedloader does not come close to fitting in the space provided for one.
About half an hour after I walked out the door, I was sitting at the range with a buddy and a couple of rifles. On a whim, I stuck a mag in it and fired at a full body target at 50 yards...and hit squarely center of mass (sorry, I did not have a camera.) I can keep groups under 4" at ten yards with it. This gun is more accurate than I am (or may ever be.)
The trigger pull is light enough not to bother me too much, and has a fairly clean break. On the flip side, it also has a ridiculously long and sloppy take-up, which I suspect is a byproduct of the trigger safety. Compared to my boltgun it is pretty ugly, but after shooting a friend's G17 (seriously, do they Rhino-Line them or something?) and a few others, I have decided it is not bad, and have no problems using it.
To date I have fired over a thousant rounds of various brands and types, and have yet to have any feeding, firing, or jamming problems at all. The rounds in the magazine sit so flat to the feed ramp that it will load empty casings...literally. I actually stuck a few empty casings into an empty mag and racked the slide a few times--they fed with no problems.
Breaking the gun down to clean is almost ridiculously easy. After four or five runs I actually blindfolded myself, and first try took it down and put it back together again in about 20 seconds. Before this, i'd never disassembled a semi-auto before. Only bolts and breaks.
I think I will be keeping it for a long time.
Also, I think we need this logo again: