Colt is probably the most well known name in commercial firearms, having a legacy ranging to over a century. When the company introduced decided to move with the times by introducing the Mustang Pocketlite, it was looked upon as an evolution rather than a revolution of the original Mustang 380, with critics noting very few improvements over the original.
Fortunately, that's not the case with the latest Colt Mustang XSP, which is over an ounce lighter than the Pocketlite while keeping the same dimensions, all thanks to the polymer frame Colt used for the production. Though the XSP still retains the same original design frame as the original, the significant reductions in weight and overall exterior could have been sufficient to deem it as a different model altogether.
Though there is some ambiguity on the name, RJ Contorno of Colt explains that the XSP name comes from their XSE series of handguns which had numerous upgrades from their standard firearm offerings such as extended sighting, improved safeties etc. The P signifies the polymer frame used in the construction.
The Colt 380 Mustang XSP comes in an all black frame which is immune from rusting. The overall feel of the design is spectacular, with stainless steel solid block being used in the construction of the barrel and slide. It seems that Colt has been listening to what consumers had to say, as there are other minor improvements such as deeper serrations on the slide for improved handling and grip.
Though the XSP belongs to the same Mustang family, it has significant exterior changes. So don't count on the same design appeal if you are a fan of the original Mustang.
One of the main criticisms of the Pocketlite was the mediocre non-serrated uni-body front sight which had lower viewing angle under certain lighting conditions. With the XSP, however, the dovetailed front sight provides much better viewing angles. Another advantage of the dovetailed front sight is that it's replaceable. The front sight, though it may seem narrow, is good for long ranges of up to 20 yards if you are an experienced shooter.
The Colt Mustang XSP holds 7 rounds, including one in the chamber, just like its cousins and great uncle. However, the recoil was markedly improved allowing for more than a 100 rounds to be fired in under an hour without any soreness in the hands.
Aside from that, there were 5 jams in the first hundred rounds, after which the pistol performed smoothly without any issues whatsoever. We tried the XSP at 13 yard ranges and found the shots to be quite accurate, with only minor deviations from the target, possibly due to shaky hands.
All in all, the XSP is a significant improvement over the Pocketlite and functions great as a standalone pocket gun. However, the design of the pistol may not appeal to Mustang series loyalists, but the light trigger, excellent grip and portability makes up for it.