MP-Pistol Forum banner

M&P and XD - Strength Comparison

5903 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Kazman

Comparison between M&P and XD

I'm a real XD fan. I still carry my XD 40, as I am very used to handling that pistol. About six months ago I found a pistol that could challenge the XD from my perspective: the M&P40. So I purchased it for my daughter as a graduation gift. She is going into LEO work eventually. This affected my choice for her.

Here are my impressions after owning both pistols for a while:

BOTH Strengths:

Both pistols feel good in my hands. The grip on the XD is awesome. But the M&P still has the edge - because it is adjustable-awesome.

M&P Strengths:

  • It is more durable (if that is possible) (The XD is tough enough!)
  • The slide will not rust (My XD slide will if not cared for carefully.)
  • The chasis system is very good. (XD has rail tabs that are polymer in the back. Don't know if that's a problem. Some guys swear that it is not.)
  • The slide is through hardened. (XD? Case or Through?)
  • Interchangeable palmswells!
  • The trigger is very nice (like it better than the XD)
  • The magazine release button is the most comfortable I have ever felt. Easy to use too.
  • 15 rounds versus 12 on the XD.
  • No failure to feed issues. (On the XD, I had issues with FTF, sent back to factory, they fixed it. Has been OK since. Many others have experienced FTF initially on the XD 40.)
  • The slide stop is impossible to activate accidentally.

    • The XD Strengths:

      • Loaded chamber indicator that pops up
      • The XD grip safety has saved me from potential shirt-tail holstering trigger pulls. The M&P will not be so forgiving in this regard. But if the choice is interchangeable palmswells OR grip safety, but not both, then I will take the interchangeable palmswells.
      • The XD can dry fire without a magazine.
      • The slide stop is much easier to operate. But this can be a problem too, if my thumb presses it accidently (before the mag is empty).
      • Serrations on the front of the slide for gripping the front cycling the slide. (Don't try this on an M&P - you will burn your fingers!)
      • XD support and resources. S&W is really good about support, but their customer service doesn't even have a part list yet! The XD has been around a while, and there a lot of vendors that sell product for this pistol. The M&P is still too new in this regard. And S&W needs to get more aggressive in supporting the M&P with accessories (just my opinion)
      • The existence of the XD 45 ACP model. I wonder if S&W will try this in the M&P?

        • The M&P strengths seem to be much more significant to me than the XD strengths. Overall, I think the M&P will be a more durable gun. Either gun is good. But the M&P, I think, is a superior firearm.

          When S&W and other vendors start beefing up the accessory part of the business relative to the M&P, then this will be one superior package from nearly every perspective. But, even without the support network built up, I still heavily recommend the M&P.

          So, after having purchased the M&P, I still think that it was a wise purchase - compared to purchasing another XD. This is one pistol that will seriously challenge the XD, Glock, and other polymers.


See less See more
1 - 4 of 15 Posts
remat457 said:
Call me ethnocentric but a big plus for M&P is the fact that it is U.S. manufactured.

Just curious - Is it manufacturered in the States for sure? A lot of our stuff is made elsewhere.

One of my sons recently said "everything is made in China!". Knowing that I had him, I said: "Not children" He said - "Oh - they make a lot of those in China too." Score: Son 1 - Dad 0


Good points -

Rooster said:
4. I love the backstraps for the M&P - but the XD has the thumb rest that works perfect for my grip. On the M&P I still haven't found a grip or palm swell I perfer as my support hand thumb gets lost and finds itself getting in the way of my shooting finger.

Yes. That depression in the grip of an XD is nice.

Rooster said:
5. The trigger on both guns are nice - I still really like the XD trigger better at this point, but from reading gun books I'm learning my trigger technique is wrong and I'm having to change, so I'll have to re-analyze this point at a later date.

I recommend that you have Burwell Gunsmithing perform a trigger-job on your M&P. He lightens the pull to 3.5 pounds. It makes the trigger nicer than a standard XD40 in my opinion.

Rooster said:
6. The magazines seem better on the XD - this could be apples to oranges, but the M&P40 magazine is much harder to load than my XD9 or my previously owned P345 .45 caliber. My poor thumb is hurting... The XD mag seems to go in and out smoother too.

You are pressing more volume into the M&P magazine and getting the same round count (15), which I consider impressive. You will find in your studies that the force required to load a magazine is not generally considered a significant factor in magazine quality. How well it feeds rounds into the pistol is very important.

Also, you may have noticed in my list that my XD40 magazines change shape over time. This is more of a hassle - but I really don't like the fact that I have flatten the front of my XD magazines every month or so.

Solution to hard magazine loads: I recommend that you purchase a speed loader. After you get used to it, loading a magazine is easy and fast. I use an HKS Speedloader for my XD40. I need to try it on the M&P40 Mec-Gar magazine.

Rooster said:
7. The S&W seems lighter and thinner - however looking at them side by side doesnt seem to confirm this - both seem the same width, but the M&P seems thinner? Either way, I like the thin feel of the M&P...

I noticed the same thing. The width is really similar, however, the feel is much "thinner". This is my theory: The M&P is longer in the slide, and is less of a block shape than the XD. Also, the front-strap of the grip is much more narrow. The feel is more like a 1911 than an XD. The end effect is a pistol that is easier to get into and out of a holster. Try inserting your M&P into an XD holster. It will go in with less force.


By the way take a look at the M&P refinished by Burwell Gunsmthing:
See less See more
Mortech said:
I know this is going to be a gift for your daughter but does she have any shooting experiences / preferences for either pistol ? Other than that you seemed to have made a really well thoughtout side-by-side evaluation .

She has used it quite a bit, and she prefers the M&P over the XD.

Other favorites of hers:

Kimber Warrior

H&K USP 40

See less See more
1 - 4 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.