Walking around the 2017 SHOT Show, I had the pleasure of handling Springfield Armory’s new 1911 EMP-4 Concealed Carry Contour pistol. The EMP-4 Concealed Carry Contour is an evolution of Springfield Armories original 1911 EMP 4” Lightweight Champion. The EMP-4 Concealed Carry Contour is a Commander-sized 1911 that features a match grade 4 inch bull barrel as well as a bevel on the butt of the pistol that mitigates “printing” when carrying concealed. As soon as I got back to New Mexico, I requested and received one for testing.
Key Specs of the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol:
- The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP – 4” is chambered in 9mm
- The Pistol features a dual spring as well as a full length Guide Rod
- The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP – 4” weighs 30.5 ounces with an empty magazine. For comparison a loaded Glock 19 weighs 30.18 ounces
- The slide is composed of forged stainless steel and features a satin finish. The frame is made of forged Aluminum Alloy and is hardcoat anodized.
- The barrel is a 4 inch stainless steel match grade bull barrel. It has a fully supported ramp and features a 1:16 inch left hand twist.
- The pistol includes a fiber optic front sight and a “combat style” 2 dot rear sight.
- Springfield includes 3, 9 round magazines with the 1911 EMP – 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol
Testing was done on some BLM land near my home in New Mexico. Prior to testing, the pistol was cleaned, then lightly oiled with M-Pro 7. Aided by Snap Caps dummy rounds, I spent 45 minutes dry firing the pistol. During my dry fire session, I found the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP to be well balanced, and the trigger was simply amazing.
For field testing, I was joined by a colleague and close friend Kevin Reed. Kevin is both a big fan and student of the 1911 platform. Since the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol features a match grade bull barrel, we held ourselves to a high accuracy standard during testing. Aside from some paper targets, field testing included a pair of Grizzly Targets, Dueling Plates.
After setting up the targets, I stood 10 yards from the paper target and shot 1.5 to 2 inch groups with ease. Transitioning to the 5 inch Grizzly Dueling Plates, I had no problems getting first round hits out to 25 yards. After testing the practical accuracy of the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol, I shot some aggressive strings of fire. The 9mm chambering allowed for a soft recoil, which in turn allowed me to recover quickly and accurately get more bullets down range faster. During range testing, Kevin and I fired close to 200 rounds of ammunition. The ammunition tested was Federal RTP, polymer coated American Eagle/SYNTECH and some Blazer Brass. All ammunition was 115 grains. With the exception of 1 bad primer, that even my Glock 19 failed to fire, we didn’t have a single malfunction.
Range testing was done on a Saturday. On Sunday, I had a host of chores to do around my wooded property. Slipping the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” pistol inside a leather Blackhawk IWB holster I went outside to work. I wore the pistol for several hours while I did chores and found that a Glock 19-sized 1911 is quite comfortable to carry concealed, and the bevel cut on the grip did mitigate printing. When I placed the holster in an appendix carry position and sat down, I found that the butt of the pistol did not aggressively dig into my abdomen and was comfortable, even in a sitting position.
After 200 rounds and 8 hours with the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol, I came away with an extremely high opinion of the platform. The pistol was accurate, and I would have no problem popping someone’s grape at 25 yards, and 75 yard hits on an IPSC target would not be a problem. The pistol is comfortable to carry concealed, and ready to go right out of the box. Aside from being concealed, this pistol would make a fine duty weapon. Springfield did a very good job with this pistol and I would not hesitate to carry one. These pistols are perfect.