It warmed the cockles of my gun-owner's heart to learn that the Silicon Graybeard has joined the club of happy owners of Springfield's XD-S single-stack compact pistol. He's just bought one chambered for the venerable .45 ACP cartridge. He comments:
Before pulling the trigger on the XD-s, so to speak, the sales guys set us up with a demo gun and free range time to test it (we just had to buy a box of their ammo). The XD-s gives me no troubles at all. Mrs. Graybeard ... likewise had no discomfort with the 45 ACP XD-s at all. I'll admit that's a little puzzling, but write it off to better ergonomics. Perhaps the beavertail safety puts our hands into a better position.
There's more at the link.
I'm not surprised he likes it. Out of all the current crop of small, single-stack, easily concealable pistols like the XD-S (which would include most Kahr pistols, the Glock 43, Smith & Wesson's M&P Shield series, Ruger's LC9S, and a number of others), I've found the XD-S to be consistently the most ergonomic of them all in my hands. Firing .45 ACP rounds in a small, light pistol can be a very painful experience (*cough*Kahr PM45*cough*), and even full-power 9mm. can be ouchy, but somehow the team that designed the XD-S got it right. It's comfortable to shoot; most people can do so accurately, despite its small size; and it's proved to be reliable in my hands. I've yet to experience a misfeed or failure to fire with it, having bought my first one two years ago.
Ergonomics are supremely important in a sub-compact pistol, much more so than full-size weapons. They must be controllable and accurate in rapid defensive fire, because their very reason for existence is that you're more likely to have one of them on your person when you really, really need it, whereas you might not bother to carry a larger, heavier, bulkier, harder-to-conceal full-size handgun. I've helped many people learn to use firearms. More often than I can count, I've seen them struggle to control smaller firearms, such as the little J-frame Smith & Wesson revolvers. I loathe with a passion gun shop employees who try to sell such guns to novice lady shooters in particular (I quote what I've heard more than once: "But it's pink!" Grrrr . . . ) A novice shooter is best served by a gun they can control and shoot accurately, one that won't hurt them when they fire it, so that they develop an almost incurable flinch and are never comfortable using it for defense of themselves and/or their families.
If you're already trained and/or familiar with the operation of firearms, and you want a small, concealable, accurate pistol, chambered for an effective round, I highly recommend Springfield's XD-S series from personal experience. I own more than one of them, and like them very much. They're my pocket carry weapon of choice (in a suitable pocket holster, of course - I use DeSantis' Nemesis or Remora's Tagua), and work very well in a shoulder holster, too.
(No, Springfield's not paying me for this endorsement, or offering me any form of kickback - nor are any other manufacturers. I've bought my guns and accessories with my own money. I just like to recommend to my readers and friends things that I've found work as advertised.)