Notice that the lower part of my hand and my pinkie finger hang under the gun with the standard magazine. But when I have the extended magazine the gun fits nicely in my hand. The reason I felt I had to have a gun that fit nicely in my hand was because I thought I would have a tendency to move my hand up higher on the grip, and that would increase the chances of my hand getting caught by the guns action.
Now, for safety reasons, I am going to stress that you use snap cap rounds when you try loading, unloading, or handling your gun to get use to it. DO NOT USE REAL AMMO. Below is a picture of what snap caps look like in a clip.
Some of the XD models are equipped with a thumb safety which can be operated by both right and left handed shooters. The sub-compact model that I purchased does not come with this thumb safety. (NOTE: The thumb safety does not count as an action when determining if the gun is loaded. In Utah a gun is considered loaded if there is only one action to shoot the gun. ie, if you pull the trigger the gun will fire. The safety does not count as an action, so you cannot consider the gun unloaded if you can pull the trigger and it will fire even if the slide safety is on.)
The second safety feature I like is the trigger safety. The trigger safety locks the trigger from moving backward. The trigger safety is a lever located in front of the trigger. It is shown in the picture below.
The third safety feature I like on the Springfield’s is the grip safety. The grip safety is located at the top rear of the firearm grip. The grip safety must be depressed to be deactivated. So in order to shot the gun you must have the grip safety and pull the trigger safety before pulling the trigger. The grip safety is shown below.
But these three safety devices are not the only things that make the Springfield a very safe gun to own. There are two indicators that will let you know if the gun is ready to fire.
The first indicator is the Loaded Chamber indicator. This will let you know if there is a round in the chamber. When the loaded chamber indicator is up, the firearm is ready to fire. The next picture is a picture of the fire indicator down, or the firearm does not have a round chambered.
Notice how the metal piece just below the chamber is flush with the top of the gun. The next picture shows the loaded chamber up, or the firearm is ready to fire.
Notice how now the indicator is up, it is not flat with the top of the gun.
The second indicator is the striker status indicator. This indicator is in the rear of the slide. When the firearm is cocked, the pin will protrude out of the rear of the slide. (Note: The cocking indicator does not always mean that the firearm is loaded, both the chamber indicator and the cocking indicator have to be showing for the gun to be ready to fire. NEVER TRUST A SAFETY OR AN INDICATOR!!! ALWAYS ASSUME THE FIREARM IS LOADED, AND READY TO FIRE). The following picture shows the striker indicator without the gun being cocked.
Notice that there is not a silver pen in the middle of the loaded striker status indicator. The picture below shows what it looks like when the firearm is cocked.
Notice that the round hole now has the silver pin in it. This indicates that the gun is cocked.
These are some of the reason I chose to purchase a Springfield over the Glock. But as noted before, always treat a firearm as if it is loaded and ready to fire. Keep your finger away from the trigger, and when you pick up a gun, make sure the magazine is not in it, and that there is not a round in the chamber.
Next, I will show you what this firearm looks like when you field dress it and then reassemble it.