Springfield Emissary 4.25″ 1911 Review
1911 has been around since 1911 and served the US military up until 1985. In all the major wars, it proved itself to be an excellent combat sidearm, and it’s as popular today as it ever has been. One of the caveats though, is the most popular caliber for 1911, is now 9mm instead of 45 ACP. It’s just a little bit softer shooting, you get a few more rounds, and it’s just a pleasure to take to the range. 9mm has really stepped it up for their self-defense loads.
Now today we’re going to be taking a look at the Emissary. They’ve already put out that 45 ACP Emissary and if you’re a 45 guy, we’re going to take a look at that one as well and compare it to the Commander version in 9mm, but this is new from Springfield Armory. It’s a very thin handgun and a lot of that has to do with the super thin grips. But there’s a lot of upgrades over the standard 1911. Although the Emissary has taken it up a few notches. It brings that old warhorse into a modern pistol that is excellent for self-defense, yet has a lot of custom features to it that make 1911s so desirable. We really appreciate Springfield Armory for sending the Emissary in 9mm Commander version because it gives us a chance to be able to show you guys something when it first comes out. But again, we’re going to compare this to the full size 45 version in case 45 Is the caliber that you like.
The Emissary comes with 9 round magazines, but typically you can get 10 round magazines. I have a lot of Wilson Combat 10 rounders that worked really well. But you have 9 rounds plus one and with 45 ACP you have 8 rounds plus one. So with just a eight round magazine versus a nine round magazine, the 45 ACP gives you really some advantage. But one of the things about the 9mm is just going to have softer recoil, less muzzle rise, and it’s just easier to shoot. But 45 ACP is going to give you superior ballistics, but yet, with the self defense loads that 9mm are offering, you can really get great ballistics with it as well. For me personally, I’m a big 45 ACP fan. I love shooting 1911s in 45. But with 9mm, it’s definitely more of a pleasure to shoot. One thing with the 45 is it’s more of a push or a shove. With the 9mm it’s more of a punch. And yet honestly, it’s very little recoil, especially when it comes to a full steel frame pistol.
When it comes to pros and cons, one of the big things with a 1911 is it’s just a proven design and it is a combat pistol. Now, Modern Warfare has definitely changed some things and we have more capacity. So with a lot of the polymer frame, striker fired pistols, even double-single action, we have a lot of double stack magazines, a lot of round count. That definitely counts for a lot. But a lot of people just enjoy carrying a 1911 and this is still a viable self-defense option. There’s a lot of mystique around 1911s, because they did serve the US military for so long. But again, they are limited in round capacity.
With this particular model, it does have the all-stainless frame and carbon steel slide, and it is a full heavy firearm, so that’s going to add a little bit to it as well. But still, a lot of people just choose to have the 1911, many choose to have the polymer frame pistols. Like I always say, we’re living in the golden age of firearms and there’s so many different choices. What’s right for you is something you need to decide. For me, I typically carry polymer striker fired pistols for self-defense every day. But there’s a lot of times that I will strap on a 1911 on my hip, and there’s just something very comforting about that.
Now, with this particular pistol being 1911, there’s a lot of upgrades over your standard 1911s: the site, the high ride beavertail, the really thin grips, the excellent trigger, the wide slide serrations, being a forged, lower and upper with the barrel, the bull barrel and the full length guide rod. All of that makes this a very smooth shooting 1911. There’s a lot of pluses with this type 1911 over your standard 1911. But then again 45 ACP may be your style as well and obviously there’s a lot of 1911s in those calibers.
So if you’re looking for a 1911, and you want something more than just your standard government model with just the basics, this is it. One of the things about the Emissary and other 1911s that are out on the market, is with a lot of these different features, it just gives you advantages when microseconds can count in a self-defense situation. The Emissary is made for self-defense and it has a lot of custom features that are very practical.
Springfield Emissary 4.25″ 1911 Specs and Features
Slide: Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
Frame: Forged Stainless Steel
Recoil System: Commander Length
Magazines: (2) 9-Round
Grips: VZ Grips® Thin-Line G10
Barrel: 4.25″ Forged Stainless Steel, Match Grade, Fully Supported Ramp, Bull, 1:16
Sights: Tritium/Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack U-Notch Rear
Color: Blued / Stainless
Big thanks to Fiocchi USA for Supplying our ammunition!
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