Springfield Armory EMP – Review

Last Updated on July 6, 2021.

Do you need a 1911 designed specially as a carry gun?

You like 1911 pistols, and you want to carry one for self-defense, but they are large, bulky, and heavy. Subcompact models exist but do little to reduce size or weight, and often don't perform as well as their full-size counterparts. Rather than settling for a 1911 carry gun you don't want, Springfield Armory has crafted one you'll love - the Springfield Enhanced Micro Pistol.

Is It Worth Your Money?

Springfield Armory EMP


  • Size - The biggest advantage the EMP offers over other subcompact 1911s is the size. It is one of the smallest 1911s available on the market today, and if you must have a 1911 as a carry gun, you'll be hard-pressed to do better than the EMP. It is effortless to conceal.
  • Weight - The reduced sized and aluminum frame greatly cuts the weight down over other small 1911 options. While subcompact 1911s will never be as light as polymer frame pistols or revolvers, the EMP's weight is light enough to be comfortable while providing a stable shooting platform with little in the way of recoil for its size.
  • Reliability - One of the biggest issues with 3" 1911s is that they were never intended to be that small - since the EMP was specifically designed to be the size it is, and is not a chopped down full-size pistol, it is incredibly reliable. Users should feel confident and safe choosing the EMP as a carry pistol.


  • Price - All the features the EMP has comes with a price tag the MSRP is around $1300. Many people may have an issue with spending that kind of money on a pistol that is designed solely to be a carry gun and nothing more. You can definitely have fun shooting the EMP, and need to train with it before carrying, but it wouldn't be my first go-to pistol at any of my fun range sessions.
  • Carry Options - Since it is a unique build there are not as many holster options for the EMP as there are for other 1911s. The frame is enough smaller that it may not fit all standard 1911 holsters properly. Keep this in mind if you like to carry in several different methods as you may have a hard time doing so with the EMP. 
  • Accessories - Again, the unique build of the EMP means the aftermarket accessories for the pistol are quite limited. The magazines are proprietary, the grips are thinner than standard 1911 grips, and most of the other parts are unique to the gun as well. Aftermarket grips and other parts are available but not nearly in the quantity as other 1911s.


The Springfield EMP is a unique entry for the 1911 carry market.  It is not just a scaled down model of a massive 1911; it is a standalone model.  Introduced in 2007, Springfield designed this model specifically to be the one of the smallest and lightest carry 1911 you could have.

The overall scale of the EMP is shorter than a standard 1911.  Why is this important?  The standard 1911 was designed to be a full-size pistol.  Many subcompact variants are not as reliable, comfortable, or accurate because they were never intended to be that small.  Because the EMP was designed around the shorter scale, it is much more comfortable to handle, more comfortable to shoot, and more reliable than any "cut down" 1911.  Other important features include:

Lightweight Frame

Low Profile Night Sights

Extended Ambidextrous Safety

Extended Beavertail Grip Safety

Increased Capacity

Angled Front and Rear Slide Serrations

Lightweight Hammer

Lightweight Trigger


  • Caliber - 9mm/.40S&W
  • Height - 5"
  • Length - 6"
  • Weight - 27 oz. (Without magazine)
  • Magazine Capacity - 9 Rounds (9mm)/8 Rounds (.40 S&W)
  • Slide Material - Forged Steel
  • Frame Material - Forged Aluminum Alloy
  • Finish - Black Hardcoat (Slide available in Black or Satin Stainless finish)

  • Conclusion

    Springfield Armory EMP

    If you're looking for a unique 1911 carry gun, the EMP should be on top of your list. The EMP is very compact and is comfortable to shoot.

    The increased capacity over .45 is a bonus for a defensive pistol, and the thinner profile and light weight make this one of the easiest 1911s for concealed carry on the market today.

    While it is expensive, you're getting a very high-quality pistol designed do to one thing - be carried - and it does it exceptionally well. When it comes to protecting yourself and others, the EMP will get the job done.

    You can also check:

    Springfield Armory Loaded 1911 Reviews

    Proper Procedure on Stippling a Gun (visit this page)

    Is Dry-Firing a Gun Good or Bad?

    Learn more about policies on open-carry on this article.