Pistol Review : Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour 9mm

    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

    Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour pistol. Springfield includes 3, 9 round magazines.

    The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” has a 4 inch stainless steel match grade bull barrel.

    The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Concealed Carry contour gets its name from the bevel cut on the grip. Note the checkering on the rear part of the grip.

    Note the checkering on the front of the pistol. Well executed.

    The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” alongside a Glock 19. Very similar in size and weight.

    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.

    The paper target I used for testing.

    The BYOR stand and Dueling Plates from Grizzly Targets. This is an awesome setup.The Plates are 5 inches across.

    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.

    Off-hand accuracy testing was done at 10 yards. The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4”, was shot from 5 yards to 30 yards .

    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.

    The following ammunition was used during testing. With the exception of a bad primer, the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” functioned flawlessly.

    I had no problems hitting this 5 inch steel target at 25 yards. I found the Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” to be very accurate.

    Typical groups at 10 yards.

    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.

    Final Thoughts

    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.

    A big thanks to Grizzly Targets and Springfield Armory. Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel, TFBTV. As always tips, questions, comments and jokes are welcome in the comments below.

    Thomas Gomez

    Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected]


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