The HS Produkt D.O.O. company, headquartered in the Croatian city of Karlovac, has been active as a gunmaking plant with different names (IMP or IM-Metal, initially) at least since the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence against what was then Yugoslavia. In the following years, it quickly became one of the world's most reknown firearms manufacturers, offering now high-quality weaponry such as the 5.56x45mm caliber VHS bull-pup assault rifle, adopted by the Croatian Armed Forces. What made them famous, though, is their pistols line: their first attempts were based upon the Walther P.38 model, and were called the PHP-MV9 and PHP-VM17; later on, HS Produkt manufactured a SIG-Sauer knock-off, dubbed the HS-95; at the turn of the Century, it was the time for a revolutionary semi-automatic, single-action, striker-fired, polymer framed wonder, named the HS-2000.
Originally offered only in 9mm caliber, the HS-2000 pistol featured a stainless steel slide and a grip-mounted, 1911-style safety catch; its low per-unit cost along with its unsuspected reliability and quality made it an instant success worldwide, and most notably in the United States, where it became a top seller after 2005, when the Croatian company signed a deal with Springifled Armory LLC., one of the biggest names in American gun industry, to start a mass distribution campaign of their HS-2000 pistol line under a new brand: the gun was now dubbed the XD, for "Extreme Duty", as it was mostly meant for service and defense purposes, having also been adopted domestically by the Croatian Armed Forces and Ministry of Interior. Under Springfield Armory suggestion, the Croatian company started to develop new variant to meet the increasing demand of the American market: compact and sub-compact models, long-slide competition/IPSC variants, ported versions, and a hodgepodge of calibers, ranging from .40 Smith & Wesson to .357-SiG and even .45-ACP and .45-GAP; the success of the XD pistol was so big that it was awarded as the "NRA Handgun of the Year" in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2009; in the past years, the line underwent a major upheaval with the launch of the XDm "modernized" models, featuring a more user-friendly, streamlined design, and available in four different variants.
If the HS-2000 and Springfield Armory XD "baseline" pistols were seldom seen outside of Croatia and the Unites States – the American market demand absorbed most of the HS Produkt manufacturing capabilities! – the XDm variants were almost impossible to find in Europe... until now. The Italian-based DTG - Defense Technology Group S.r.l. company announced at the 2013 edition of the EXA expo in Brescia (northern Italy) that the mass distribution of the XDm series will start soon; the first model to be imported will be the XDm-3.8, named after its 3.8-inch barrel lenght, a semi-automatic, semi-compact pistol specifically designed for service and defence purposes and available in 9mm and .40 Smith & Wesson calibers. DTG imports these pistols directly from Croatia, and deals solely with HS Produkt itself; the pistols are marked "Springfield Armory", "XD" and "XDm" because the Croatian company itself manufactures them with these markings.
DTG - Defense Technology Group is a wholesale distributor and not a retailer, and operates only in Italy and in a limited number of other European Countries; all requests concerning pricing and availability of the HS-2000, Springfield Armory XD and XDm pistols in different Countries should be asked directly to local distributors and retailers; a list of authorized distributors in a limited number of Countres is available under the "Zastupnici" section of the HS Produkt website.