“When the police are minutes away and the threat is seconds away … 9-1-1,” says Springfield Armory. And that’s not a phone call. The new-for-2018 Springfield Armory 911 pistol is an EDC gun you will have with you at all times.
Just when you thought everyone had both feet in the EDC market, Springfield Armory brings a micro-compact 911 to the table. Its lineup of 1911-style pistols, from full sized to micro, is now complete with the addition of the micro-compact 911 chambered in .380 ACP. If you have a full-sized Springfield Armory 1911, such as the Range Officer or TRP and an EMP, all you need to complete the family is a 911.
The 911 looks and feels much like a traditional 1911 that has been miniaturized. Major differences include the lack of a grip safety, barrel bushing and a pivoting G10 trigger.
WHAT’S TO LIKE?
There are many things to like about the Springfield Armory 911, especially for those who are fond of the 1911. Some might even buy the 911 as a backup to their full-sized 1911.
1911 Style and Feel. The 911 looks and feels much like its full-sized “father,” the 5-inch 1911. Anyone who is familiar with a full or Commander-sized 1911 will feel right at home with the 911.
Light Weight and Small Size. An aluminum frame helps keep the weight of the 911 low, at just 14.1 ounces, which includes an empty flush-fit magazine. The physical dimensions of the 911 put it slightly smaller than a G42 and a bit larger than a Ruger LCPII, S&W Bodyguard or Taurus Spectrum.
Accuracy and Controllability. The 911 is quite accurate for a micro-compact pistol, with several of the evaluated loads averaging around 2 inches for three five-shot groups at 15 yards. The physical configuration and excellent grip surfaces allow for controlled follow-up shots, even from the snappy .380 ACP cartridge.
Controls. Controls on the 911 are located in positions similar to those of the parent gun and have a familiar feel to them. The slide lock/release/takedown lever is located right above the trigger guard on the left side; the magazine release is located on the left side behind the trigger guard; and the thumb safety is bilateral and is located at the rear of the frame above the grip. When in the “safe” position, the thumb safety also locks the slide, unless the hammer is fully cocked. Single-Stage Trigger. After approximately 0.03 inch of takeup, the Hogue G10 trigger breaks crisply at 5.7 pounds. The pivoting trigger certainly has a different feel than the straight pull of a true 1911 trigger, but it is not detrimental to the crispness of the trigger. The reset is a very short 0.05 inch.
Single-Stage Trigger. After approximately 0.03 inch of takeup, the Hogue G10 trigger breaks crisply at 5.7 pounds. The pivoting trigger certainly has a different feel than the straight pull of a true 1911 trigger, but it is not detrimental to the crispness of the trigger. The reset is a very short 0.05 inch.
Sights. The Ameriglo Pro-Glo front and rear sights are an excellent choice for a defensive pistol that might well be deployed at night. On the front sight, the green tritium vial is surrounded by a yellow luminescent circle; and on the ledge-style rear sight, the dual green tritium vials are surrounded by white luminescent circles. Both the front and rear sights are drift adjustable for windage. There is no adjustment for elevation.
Loaded Chamber Indicator. A visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator is located on the top of the slide at the rear of the ejection port.
External Extractor. A robust external extractor is used on the 911 instead of the smaller and more fragile internal extractor found on many 1911s.
Grip Panels. Hogue Thin-line G10 grips provide a very secure grip surface without being overly abrasive.
Frame Texturing. Both the front strap and mainspring housing feature “Octo-Grip” texturing to ensure a secure grip.
Disassembly of the 911 is very similar to that of a standard 1911 pistol. After removing the magazine and making sure the chamber is empty, pull the slide to the rear until the slide disassembly notch is aligned with the tab on the slide stop. Then, push the slide stop out from the right side. It might be necessary to use a small-diameter, non-marring punch to push the slide stop pin out far enough to grasp it on the left side of the frame. The slide assembly can now be slid forward off the frame. Do not over-rotate the thumb safety when the slide is removed; this will cause the loss of the safety detent plunger and spring. The slide can now be disassembled by pushing the recoil rod forward slightly and lifting it up and away from the barrel link.
Use caution when removing the recoil rod, because it is under spring pressure. The barrel can now be removed. This is all the disassembly that is recommended. Unlike a traditional 1911, the barrel “link” is an integral part of the barrel. Also note that there is a firing pin block at the rear of the slide on the left side (when viewed from the top).
When reassembling the 911, as the slide is moved to the rear of the frame to align the disassembly notch and the slide stop, press the ejector at the rear of the frame down so it passes under the back wall of the slide. Do not press the ejector too far down. Once the slide stop tab and window are aligned, reinsert the slide stop lever (make sure to capture the barrel link) and seat it against the frame. Allow the slide to move forward into battery, and reassembly is complete.
“The 911 looks and feels much like a traditional 1911 that has been miniaturized. Major differences include the lack of a grip safety, barrel bushing and a pivoting G10 trigger.”
VERSIONS AND ACCESSORIES
The Springfield Armory 911 is only available in .380 ACP. There are four versions: PG9109 has a black-anodized frame, black nitride slide and green/black Hogue G10 grips. PG9109S has a black-anodized frame, brushed stainless steel slide and gray/black Hogue G10 grips. PG9109VG has a black-anodized frame, black nitride slide and Viridian Green Grip Laser grips. PG9109SVG has a black-anodized frame, brushed stainless steel slide and Viridian Green Grip Laser grips.
There might be versions in the future with cosmetic or accessory changes, but I would be surprised to see the 911 chambered for other cartridges, such as the 9mm Luger.
For the purposes of this evaluation, I used six different factory loads from five different manufacturers. Two of the loads were FMJ practice loads, and four were defensive loads. During approximately 350 rounds fired, I only experienced one malfunction: The last round in the seven-round extended magazine failed to chamber. I had no problems prior to that and none following it.
In Springfield Armory’s operation and safety manual for the 911, I found no caveats regarding ammunition, except, “Use only clean, dry, original, high-quality commercially manufactured ammunition. Using reloaded ammunition may void warranty.”
Shooting off-hand from various positions was another story altogether. First shots weren’t at all difficult to control; neither were follow-up shots. As long as I used a proper two-hand grip, I had no trouble controlling the 911. While shooting off-hand, I never dropped the magazine unintentionally.
The aggressive grip texture and “Octo-Grip” texturing on the front strap and mainspring housing helped acquire and maintain a proper grip on the 911. When drawing the 911 from concealment, it is especially important to obtain a solid grip on the pistol so that accurate and rapid follow-up shots can be made. Due to the 911’s small size and light weight, there is little room for error here. There isn’t a lot to hold onto, so you’d better get it right the first time. When drawing the 911 in condition 1 (“cocked and locked”), I found it extremely easy and natural to remove the thumb safety and bring the pistol into action. Unlike some striker-fired pistols and the DAO Taurus Spectrum, with the 911, there is no time for deciding whether or not you really want to fire the pistol. Once you take up the 0.03 inch of slack in the trigger and put 5½ pounds of pressure on the trigger shoe, it breaks, and the pistol fires.
At the time of this writing, only a few custom-fit holsters were available for the 911. That said, Springfield Armory provides a perfectly acceptable padded pocket holster with the 911. The only complaint I have with this holster is that it is bulkier than necessary as a result of the thickness of the material used. A better alternative for pocket carry is the DeSantis Gunhide Super Fly holster.
This holster is roughly the same size as the Springfield Armory holster, but it is thinner—and therefore, much less bulky. The outer flap on the Super Fly also disguises the shape of the pistol in a pocket and prevents it from printing the outside of the pocket.
The only downside to the Super Fly is that it doesn’t protect the thumb safety and magazine release quite as well as the holster furnished with the 911. If the trigger guard could go about ¼ inch deeper into the Super Fly, it would be perfect. MSRP: $40
For OWB carry, a DeSantis Gunhide Mini Scabbard works well. The orientation of the single belt loop provides a forward cant to the holster for quick access to the 911. When clothing allows, I prefer an OWB rig over an IWB. The OWB holster is easier to position, and drawing and re-holstering are easier and safer with it. A single retention Phillips screw next to the trigger guard allows for an initial retention adjustment and future adjustment as the holster breaks in. MSRP: $63
The DeSantis Mini Scabbard is a high-quality leather holster that should last most EDC users for years. Made of synthetic material, the Super Fly is very durable, but I doubt it will last as long as the leather Mini Scabbard.
ACCURATE AND RELIABLE
Whether you’re looking for a micro-compact pistol as your sole EDC gun, a fair-weather gun for when you don’t have many concealment options or as a backup to your 1911, the Springfield Armory 911 in .380 Auto would be an excellent choice. No, a .380 doesn’t have the stopping power of a .45 ACP, but once you start carrying it, you won’t leave it home because it is too big or too heavy to conceal. The 911 could be the one for you if you worship at the 1911 altar and are looking for something familiar but a lot smaller in an EDC or backup gun. It is very accurate when fed the proper ammunition and was reliable with everything that I fed it.
“The new-for-2018 Springfield Armory 911 pistol is an EDC gun you will have with you at all times.”
It quickly becomes a part of you, whether you carry the 911 in a pocket, inside the waistband, in a purse, on your ankle or anywhere else. Other micro-subcompact pistols are light and easy to conceal—but what most of them don’t have is the familiarity of the 1911 that the 911 has. When trouble is staring you in the face and the police are minutes away, bring your own 911 to bear to protect your loved ones and yourself.
Average Velocity (fps)
|E.S.||S.D.||Small Group (inches)||
Average Group (inches)
|Inceptor ARX 56 grain||
|SIG Sauer FMJ 100 grain||
|Hornady American Gunner XTP 90 grain||
|Federal Premium HST JHP 90 grain||
|SIG Sauer V-Crown JHP 90 grain||
|Winchester “White Box” FMJ 95 grain||
NOTES: Velocity was the average of 10 consecutive shots as measured and calculated by a LabRadar device. Group sizes were three five-shot groups fired at 15 yards. “Small Group” was the smallest, in inches, of the three groups fired. “Average Group”was the average for three five-shot groups, in inches, for that particular type and brand of ammunition.
ACTION: Single Action
CARTRIDGE: .380 ACP
HEIGHT: 3.9 inches
LENGTH: 5.5 inches
THICKNESS: 1.11/.95 inches (thumb safety/grip panels)
BARREL: 2.7 inches; 416R stainless steel, black-nitride finish, 1:16 twist
WEIGHT: 14.1 ounces with empty flush-fit magazine
SIGHTS: Ameriglo Pro Glo tritium night sights, front and rear
SLIDE: 416 stainless steel
FRAME: 7075 T6 anodized hardcoat aluminum
MAGAZINES: One 6-round flush, one 7-round Extended with finger rest; stainless steel
ACCESSORIES: Zippered, padded nylon case with removable pocket holster, lock and bore brush
MSRP: $599 (PG9109 and PG9109S); $789 (PG9109VG and PG9109SVG [Viridian Green Grip Laser models])
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.