It has been said that good things come in small packages. This is certainly the case with the latest offering from the folks over at Springfield Armory. New to their lineup is a new version of their popular 911 .380 ACP. The 911 was welcomed with open arms and now Springfield has raised the bar on the gun with the inclusion of a new coating. I was fortunate to get an early look at the sub-compact fighter and liked what I saw!
The gun is small. Not just slightly small — but really small. The overall length of the 911 pistol is 5.5″ and it weighs 12.6 oz. with an empty magazine. The reduced weight is attributed to the T6 aluminum frame which makes the gun almost unnoticeable in everyday carry. Keeping it hearty though is the stainless-steel slide and barrel. Once again, small is the operative word as the gun has a 2.7″ barrel. While this micro size description may make it sound like it would be difficult to run, I found it to be the exact opposite. Springfield has designed the gun to be easy to grip. The front strap, mainspring housing, and the G10 grips feature the Springfield Armory’s Octo-Grip texture. This was a game changer on the range as the gun barely moved in my hands. In fact, the entire geometry of the gun was interesting and allowed the gun to shoot like something much bigger in size. Without breaking out my protractor and compass I will simply share what the engineers at Springfield have to say about it. “Springfield Armory engineers optimized the 911’s frame-to-slide-to-trigger guard relationship to create handling characteristics unique among small pistols. While many pocket guns can be difficult to shoot, Springfield Armory’s gunsmiths specifically designed the comfortable feel, confident control and minimal recoil in their .380 platform to encourage both practice and carry. ”
While this micro size description may make it sound like it would be difficult to run, I found it to be the exact opposite.
While some companies are rushing to just push out pocket pistols, Springfield has taken the time to make this a real EDC style gun. It comes with a set of low profile Pro-Glo tritium sights. They are designed to reduce or even eliminate snagging when the pistol is being drawn. Another design feature I like on a defensive pistol is an ambidextrous safety and Springfield delivered. It had good pressure but was smooth and easy to run. One of my biggest challenges with the flood of pocket pistols has been their triggers. In a rush to have something in the market, some companies simply went with “good enough” on their triggers. That translated to long crunchy pulls and an often-confusing reset. Again, Springfield has stepped up and worked to make this gun a fighter. The 911 has a G10 short-reset pivoting trigger. While the official specs say it breaks at five pounds, it feels lighter. Much to my joy, the reset is short and clean. It shoots like a much bigger gun. Wrap up the mechanics of the gun with full-length guide rod and flat wire recoil spring as well as a loaded chamber indicator and it is fit to fight.
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It’s the finish of this gun though that separates it from its mates in the 911 lineup. This new model includes a black nitride finish. For those of you not familiar with the science of gun coatings, the black nitride is a high-grade corrosion and abrasion resistant finish that allows the pistol to withstand hard wear and tear while maintaining its function and accuracy in extreme conditions. In my mind, this is an exceptional finish for a gun. Remember this gun is designed for everyday carry. Possibly even your back up pistol. The gun must stand up to the everyday wear and tear that we see with EDC. From sweat to dirt and even rain, the gun will be expected to last. Nitriding does just that. Through the process, the outermost layer of the stainless steel frame is hardened, thus making it more resilient to strenuous use and inclement weather. It is a solid finish and will ensure a long lifespan of the gun.
It shoots like a much bigger gun.
I have had the fortune of shooting pretty much every subcompact pistol out there so I was anxious to add the new 911 to the list. After a quick set up and inspection, we were off to the races. Ammo for the day was Hornady 380 Auto 90-grain FTX® Critical Defense and Federal 380 Auto 99-grain HST-JHP Micro. First impressions swirled around the fact the gun did not wiggle around in my hands. The grip design and overall geometry made the gun easy to shoot. The trigger, however, is what really stood out for me. It broke smoothly and quickly in hammer pairs and longer strings. While the gun only has a 2.7″ barrel, I found it to be accurate. While this gun is designed for “bad breath” distance fighting, I was able to consistently hit a reduced size steel torso at 25 yards. In fact, most of them struck the six-inch plate hinged in the center. I attribute this to the nice grip and good trigger. I shot most of the drills from concealment and experienced no snagging or hang-ups. The gun comes with two stainless steel mags. One flush fit with a six-round capacity and a seven-round magazine with a Mag X-Tension. I experienced no feed issues with either brand of ammo and had no malfunctions of any kind during my time on the range.
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The trigger, however, is what really stood out for me.
The Springfield Armory 911 .380 ACP is a great pistol in the subcompact market. The new black nitride finish coupled with their focus on making the gun a fighter puts it as a tier one gun. While no one gun fits everyone, I encourage you to take a long hard look at the 911 if you are in the market for a small defensive blaster.
- Caliber: .380 ACP
- Length: 5.5″
- Height: 3.9″
- Weight: 12.6 oz
- Barrel: 2.7″ 416R Stainless Steel, Black Nitride Finish, 1:16 Twist
- Slide: 416 Black Nitride, Loaded Chamber Indicator
- Recoil System: Full-Length Guide Rod w/ Flat Wire Spring
- MSRP: $599.00
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