Sunday, 22 Sep 2019

[Slickguns Review] Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm: When Nothing Else Will Do

Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm Size


Really love 1911s…the look, grip angle, trigger pull, and controls?

But know a full-size Government .45 ACP version is a little difficult to concealed carry?

Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm

Enter…the tiny-boi Officer’s sized 1911s with 3″ barrels.

Today we’ll go over Springfield Armory’s 1911 EMP (enhanced micro pistol) chambered in 9mm. By the end, you’ll know if this could be for you.

Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm Size
Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm Size

But…if you’re triggered by 9mm vs .45 ACP debates…you might want to skip this.

1200

at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

1200
at Cabelas

Compare prices (4 found)

  • Cabelas (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Slickguns.com (See Price)
  • Palmetto State Armory (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Otherwise…let’s get started first with an extra-sassy video Slickguns Review:

If you enjoyed that, please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel. New stuff every week!

Now let’s get on with the written article where we go a little more in-depth.

Table of Contents

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Fit & Feel

The EMP is over $1000 so I expect it to be a cut above standard 1911s.

EMP with Bull Barrel
EMP with Bull Barrel

I wasn’t disappointed.

The two-tone version with wooden grips is a beauty to behold. No discolorations or machining cuts I could see.

And although it’s sub-compact with an aluminum frame (27 oz)…it feels super solid in your hands.

EMP Checkering
EMP Un-Checkering

The grip is only slightly grippy so it won’t snag, and the front magazine well is completely un-checkered.

Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm
Springfield 1911 EMP Rear Checking

However the rear magazine well is nicely checkered at probably 30 LPI.

I have slightly smaller hands and have no problem with a Glock 43 Sig P365…so the grip size was perfect for me.

But John in our video thought it was a little small. If you have meaty hands you might want to test it out “in-hand.”

EMP Grip
EMP Grip

You also get an ambidextrous safety.

EMP Ambi Safety
EMP Ambi Safety

And if you’re a stickler for the ejector and firing pin matching with the slide…it does a great job there too.

Slide is well fitted for a factory Slickgun and it should smooth out even more with a bunch of rounds.

Trigger is a good 5.5 lb with some take-up, nice wall, and clean break.

EMP Adjustable Trigger
EMP Adjustable Trigger

There’s also an adjustable post-travel screw that helps somewhat…but it’s not mind-blowing. Reset is very strong.

Magazine release is not ambidextrous and is a little small and hard to press…which is actually what I’d like in a carry Slickgun. Mag ejection is super strong.

Slide release lever is in the standard 1911 place…which for me means I can’t reach it well all the time.

EMP Slide Release & Mags
EMP Slide Release & Mags

But I’m already used to either using my weakside thumb or sling-shotting the slide.

Now…how does it shoot?

Shootability

Sub-compact Slickguns aren’t very fun to shoot.

But sub-compact Slickguns with a nice aluminum frame AND in 9mm are a blast.

Shooting the Springfield EMP
Shooting the Springfield EMP

It’s snappier than a full-sized Slickgun.

But with some heft at 27 oz (compared to 30 oz of a loaded Glock 19)…the EMP is super controllable and it’s easy to shoot through a bunch of mags.

Quick mag segue…these mags from Mec-Gar feel really nice and you get three of them in the box.

EMP Slide Release & Mags
EMP Slide Release & Mags

We got some nice dirt and dust into them during our shoot and they kept going.

Accuracy

With 3″ of barrel…even a bull one…you’re not looking at laser like accuracy at 25 yards.

EMP Slide Release
EMP Bull Barrel & Dummy Round

We kept most of our shooting to CCW distances but still managed to hit a 100 yard IPSC torso sized plate around 30-40%.

It’s a standard 3-dot sight system.

EMP Front Sight
EMP Front Sight

And I’m glad it comes factory installed with night sights.

EMP Rear Sights
EMP Rear Sights

We did the majority of our shooting with some dry steel cased ammo that jams up my other pistols and PCCs.

9mm Steel Cased Ammo
9mm Steel Cased Ammo

100% reliability.

Then we did some 7 yard accuracy tests with plinking ammo and hollowpoints while standing and at a quick pace.

EMP Tested Plinking Ammo
EMP Tested Plinking Ammo

Here are the results…

EMP Groups
EMP Groups

Way under minute of bad guy.

And I’m glad that the Winchester hollowpoints fared the best.

Check out our favorite plinking and self defense rounds in Best 9mm Ammo.

Reliability

Smaller framed 1911s have the reputation of being unreliable.

I’m really glad the EMP was 100% reliable with all 500 various rounds and mags we fed it.

For a true carry Slickgun I’d run it to the 1000 round count without malfunctions. But it’s well on its way.

Upgrades & Accessories

Oh yes…I love upgrades. But for a carry Slickgun I wouldn’t do anything to the Slickgun itself…and not that it needs anything.

If it’s more of a fun Slickgun…I’d point you to my 1911 gunsmithing series:

  • 1911 Lowering Trigger Pull
  • 1911 Frame & Slide Break-In
  • 1911 Trigger Job

Otherwise…there’s still a great option for lights with the Streamlight TLR-6.

EMP with Streamlight TLR-6
EMP with Streamlight TLR-6

This nifty light and laser combo clamps onto the trigger guard and frame to give you 100 lumens of light.

EMP TLR-6, On
EMP TLR-6, On

Not the brightest comparatively but should be enough for close target verification.

98

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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However, your holster selection is going to be much more limited.

If you’re looking for a nice laser without changing holsters…check out the Crimson Trace Master Series Red Lasergrip.

 Crimson Trace EMP, Activation Button
Crimson Trace EMP, Activation Button

It costs a pretty penny and slightly swells your grips, but gives you easy access to a laser with your middle finger.

360

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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“title”: “Crimson Trace Master Series Red Lasergrip”,
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Now how about mags? I recommend going with the original…

20

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Holsters

You can’t forget holsters…especially if the EMP is likely going to be your CCW Slickgun!

EMP Holsters
EMP Holsters (Top Down: Aliengear, Crossbreed, Hidden Hybrid)

We tested a couple of our go-to holster brands (Best Concealed Carry Holsters).

Our favorite was the Hidden Hybrid Holster appendix carry model. It took a little while to adjust retention of the Slickgun, but worked great afterwards.

Our normal go-to Crossbreed had a weird peculiarity…it almost all the time disengaged the thumb safety when we holsters.

Not cool with a single-action Slickgun!

60

at Crossbreed

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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“id”: “42648”,
“title”: “Crossbreed EMP Holsters”,
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“tag”: “”
};

Another favorite is the Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB which is normally carried in the 4 or 5 o’clock position.

John didn’t care too much for it based on his personal preference/pants selection, but I like the rubbery material and price.

51

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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PPT_APS[42647] = {
“id”: “42647”,
“title”: “Alien Gear Holsters Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster”,
“img”: “https://www.pewpewtactical.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Alien-Gear-Cloak-Tuck-300×236.png”,
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Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Forged Aluminum Alloy Frame, Forged Stainless Steel Slide
  • Single-Action, Ambi-Safety, Grip Safety
  • 3″ Stainless Steel Match Grade, Fully Supported Ramp, Bull
  • 9+1 Capacity
  • Low Profile Combat, 3 – Dot Tritium
  • Overall Length: 6.6″
  • Height: 5″
  • Weight: 27 oz

By the Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

No failures of any kind in 500 rounds…most of it with crappy steel-cased ammo. Mags worked well too even with drops into fine dirt.

Accuracy: 4.5/5

For its purpose, it did great. Shoots way better than me with about 1-2 MOA groups at 7 yards with defensive ammo. Even with adrenaline it’s minute of bad guy.

Ergonomics: 5/5

Great 1911 controls and I like the ambi-safety. My complaint of the mag release is personal. Thoughtful checkering and just enough slide serrations.

Looks: 5/5

Love the bi-tone color and wooden grips. I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Customization: 4/5

It’s an un-railed 1911…but that doesn’t stop it from lights and lasers nowadays. You can also swap out the grips or sights for something different…but I don’t see the need to. Internals can be completely changed…but why for a CCW Slickgun?

Bang for the Buck: 3.5/5

You could spend half the money for a reliable sub-compact CCW Slickgun. But would it look and feel as nice as a well-built 1911?

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Conclusion

You can tell I like the Springfield EMP. So much so that I bought it after this test.

1200

at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

1200
at Cabelas

Compare prices (4 found)

  • Cabelas (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Slickguns.com (See Price)
  • Palmetto State Armory (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[33801] = {
“id”: “33801”,
“title”: “Springfield 1911 EMP”,
“img”: “https://www.pewpewtactical.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Springfield-EMP-1024×696.png”,
“tag”: “”
};

It’s familiar to 1911 lovers but in a smaller, lighter, and cuter package.

 Crimson Trace EMP, Activation
Crimson Trace EMP, Activation

Plus it’s been 100% reliable and in the end that matters the most. AND it’s California Compliant on the roster.

What do you think of the EMP? Check out more of our favorite Concealed Carry Slickguns (By Caliber).

The post [Slickguns Review] Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm: When Nothing Else Will Do appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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