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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my disinterested comparison of the XDS v. J-frames. It's not meant to start a debate on which gun is "better." If you are on the fence about getting a small carry, and are looking at these two offerings, you may find this helpful.

A friend has an XDS and lets met take it to the range when she can't make it. The more I use this gun the more impressed with it I become. I don't know if I am ready to purchase one for myself, because I prefer revolvers, but I must say a disinterested comparison gives more than the edge to the XDS is both firepower (5 rounds .45 v. 5 rounds .38/.357) and footprint.

Regarding firepower, I won't debate the efficacy of the .45 v. .38/357.

As for handling, I must say the XDS, while snappy, handles very well, and I would say it's much like a +P in an airweight j-frame.

As for concealment, here are some comparisons.

In the first picture a SW 640-1 (.357) is overlaid on an XDS with an extend 7 shot magazine. The grips on the 640 are Ahrend's boot grips. Had I used the original combat grips, the back strap would be covered by about 1/8" of rubber, and a pinky grip would extend about 1/2" below the grip. So you have a five shot .38/357 v. a 7 shot .45. Because of the cylinder in the J-frame, the XDS, with its flat cross section, is thinner.



Advantage in concealment and firepower: XDS

This next image is one of a SW 60-3 overlaid on the XDS without the extended magazine. The 60-3 is a .38 only, and the barrel is about 1/4" shorter than the 640-1 in .357. The 60-3 frame is about the same as an airweight, so this is also an accurate comparison of an airweight (442, 637, 642, etc.) to an XDS. This is the "minimum" footprint for a J-frame. Assuming you are going to the small size in both platforms, the XDS still prevails - it's thinner and has five rounds of .45 v. 5 rounds of .38



Advantage again goes to the XDS.

This last image is one of a SW 60-7 (.38) with a pinky grip. The grip, while longer, allows for the pinky to provide some grip support. Now you will see that the overall "concealment" foot print is about the same size as that of the XDS. However, the XDS is outfitted with the 7 shot magazine. And if you top off, you now have 8 rounds of .45 v. 5 rounds of .38.



Advantage again goes to the XDS.

About the only advantage of the revolver is its inherent reliability - I've never had a revolver jam, and if you have a failure to fire, you pull the trigger again.

There's something about revolvers that I do enjoy. However, the more I think about a carry choice, the more I am wondering why I am not moving to the XDS for my main discreet carry option. I suppose its my own personal bias and my attachment to the revolver. Maybe one day soon I will switch. Not sure if I am ready to yet, however.
 
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Great pics, I know what you mean have shield, glocks but I cc snubs just to easy to shoot well, comfortable, an always work. image.jpg
 

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Thanks for the photo comparisons, I am a huge fan of revolvers, I am not a fan of small autos. I carry full size autos every day, do carry a small revolver some, fewer parts and things to go wrong.
 

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Regardless of size, my J-frame carries better in my pocket than my XDs does. That round shape is more natural than one with all 90 degree angles. Thanks for the photos.
 

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They are pretty, but they actually perform really well, the SP is scary accurate out to 25 30 feet which is about the max I practice to. They cc so comfortable you dont even know your wearing them.
 

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Which one is more likely to go bang every single time, time after time (shot after shot)... Advantage J frame.

And I am a big 1911 guy.

I considered an XDs when they first came out, but availability of the gun and the cash never coincided. I was given a S&W Airwieght a while back from a neighbor and I have come to love it. My small light carry gun was an LC9 which I have an excellent holster for (more important to a carry choice than the gun IMO), and I find I carry the J more than the LC9 now that I have some good IWB leather for it.
 

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At the beginning of the year, I actually put down a deposit on an LCR .357. Then I made the mistake of handling the XDs at my LGS. I was this || close to buying the LCR, but I ended up changing the deposit for the XDs. I'm glad I did. I've put 840 rounds through my XDs and haven't had a single issue. It is SO easy to CC.
 

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A light weight snubbie is going to be considerably lighter than the XDs. Weight matters, not just size.
 

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Tried that

I tried that with a Kahr PM9 I had purchased. Looked good! Tried to discretely place it in my pants pocket and it felt much larger? My 642 will meld nicely despite the cylinder,it just does. The PM9 despite being thinner prints like crazy. Has the same look and feel as carrying a VHS tape in my pocket? Trying to clear my pockets quickly... forget about it between the angles and all the revolver beats it badly. I like the Kahr but for quick and easy I just tend to grab the revolver. Kind of like a pocket knife just easy and convenient.
 

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Thanks for the great comparison. Very timely for me as i've been looking for a bug/deep concealment gun. The J frame is the winner for pocket carry hands down. Im not big on pocket carry and dont mind toteing the extra wieght to gain the extra firepower. I can see the XDS 45 backing up my 5 and 4 in 1911's soon.
 

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I'd prefer a .45 ACP cartridge but when I pocket carry something a little bigger than my LCP, I like my 442. Like pattrickg, I've also got a PM9 but that's an IWB carry for me too unless I'm wearing some roomy cargo pants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Regardless of size, my J-frame carries better in my pocket than my XDs does. That round shape is more natural than one with all 90 degree angles. Thanks for the photos.
I discovered that when trying out the XDS in the pocket yesterday. Apparently the rectangular form is less amenable to pocket carry. So if pocket carry is a must, I say the the j-frame wins (for me, anyway).

I cannot really tell much of a difference for IWB at 3:00 - 4:00 though.

(Sadly, I returned the XDS gun to my friend tonight....it's a nice little gun....)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A light weight snubbie is going to be considerably lighter than the XDs. Weight matters, not just size.
Yes, for pocket carry the weight makes a big difference. But for IWB or OWB, with the extra support, the weight doesn't make much difference (for me, anyway - YMMV).

Per my post above, I would give the advantage to the j-frame if pocket carry is a method that is important to you.
 
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