Over the past 10 years, the interest in 1911 pistols has increased at the same time period when more and more States made it easier for the average citizen to obtain a concealed pistol license. The natural result was the development of smaller and small 1911 pistols with some working out better than others. The EMP is Springfield Armory's latest entry into the market of sub-compact 1911 pistols and has been met with open arms by the carrying public.

Most 1911 compact pistols are built by shrinking John Browning's original Colt M1911A1 design down and tweaking out the firing characteristics with new recoil springs, barrel bushing work-arounds, and other things. The problem with this approach was that there are limits to the effectiveness of these measures which became very clean when the attempt to make the gun workable with either the 9mm or .40 S&W cartridges.

Springfield Armory decided to overcome this obstacle by completely redesigning the 100 year old 1911 pistol from the ground up and purpose-building it for these short-action cartridges. The result is the EMP 9mm and EMP .40 S&W pistols. The 9mm version was awarded the prestigious American Handgunner Magazine's “Gun of the Year” award in 2007.

While they closely resemble the original gun in appearance all of the components from the slide to the frame, to the barrel are made to work with these smaller caliber cartridges. The gun remains a true locked-breach pistol, not a simple blowback action that is found on many guns which try to trim down into “pocket pistol” territory.

The frame of the EMP pistol is tooled from aircraft grade aluminum while the slide and barrel remain forged from high-quality steel. It retains all of the traditional 1911 components such as the grip safety, single-action trigger setup, and right-hand-only magazine release. The pistol is fitted with low-profile combat sights which are smoothly dovetailed into the slide. Upgrades include the 3-hole cross-drilled trigger, skeletonized hammer, ambidextrous safety, and beaver tail grip safety.

So what makes the gun different from Springfield Armory's other micro-pistol offerings such as their Loaded Micro-Compact 1911 pistol? The major difference is in the magazine. The 9mm cartridge, being shorter than the .45 ACP, feeds best from a magazine that is shorter front-to-back than a .45 magazine. This can be easily seen in how the grip of the Springfield Armory EMP has less of a forward leaning angle than the Micro-Compact. This allows for smoother chambering and extraction when compared with the .45 ACP pistol.

Springfield Armory EMP 9mm Pistol Reviews

Springfield Armory 9mm EMP Pistol

The 9mm EMP features a 9 round magazine which is fitted with a slam pad. Each gun ships from the factor with three of these and more can be ordered as well. Springfield Armory only make the EMP pistol in a bi-tone finish with a stainless steel slide/barrel and a black hardcoat anodized finish on the frame. As with most Springfield Armory guns, the EMP-9 is made in both the company's U.S. and Brazilian factories.

Reviews of the Springfield Armory EMP sub-compact pistol can be found below. Please limit the reviews to the 9mm version of the pistol as the EMP .40, the Loaded Micro Compact, and Micro Compact Operator have their own review sets. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts on this gun's overall quality and value as other shooters are looking for direction when making their next gun purchase. Be sure to send a picture of your gun to pictures@gunreviewspot.com as well and we'll add it to the EMP-9 Photo Gallery for all to see.

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