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View Full Version : Followup Range Report on the Springfield EMP - 56k beware


9mmepiphany
02-28-2010, 4:39 PM
Some of you may remember a thread a little while ago about my new Springfield Armory EMP in 9mm
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=271236
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=271242

Well I finally got a chance to take it out and it was very smooth. Unfortunately it has been rainy and I had to shoot at an indoor range with terrible lighting. I really couldn’t get a clear sight picture (more on that later) and had a hard time focusing much past 7 yards.

After warming up with some PMP 115gr FMJ, I thought I’d shoot it for a group with my intended carry load, the Ranger 127gr +P+ load.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_1673.jpg

I got this group
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_1719.jpg
Which measured about 1” by .5” (center to center) shooting 2 handed at about 1 round a second. Enough time for the sights to settle and squeeze off another round (the nick in the upper left hand corner was one of the warm up rounds)

Function: The EMP functioned flawlessly, feeding 100% with all 3 magazines it came with. The rounds released cleanly from the Mac-Gar magazines and fed with no stoppages on the feed ramp. I had heard about some extractors being too tight, but that certainly wasn’t the case on this example,extraction was clean with both cases I tried.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_1676.jpg

Trigger: The trigger was a bit heavier than I would have preferred, but broke cleanly and consistently

Recoil: I noticed the recoil was a bit more snappy then I thought it would be, almost as much as my Kahr CW9 with the polymer frame. Nothing really objectionable, but I can see how it requires a firm hold.

Sights: I found the Trijicon dots in the Novak rear sight distracting when trying to align the sights. The silver rings caught the light of the range lights and that kept catching me eye. I was pretty happy with the group I shot, except that it was centered about 3” high (that's an adhesive name tag in the picture). It most likely was a result of me not getting a distinct sight picture. I’ll have to take it out when the weather clears up and see it it gets better in natural light.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_1658.jpg

Fit:
The gun was tight and showed no undue wear after the range session. The only visible wear is at the muzzle of the barrel and the locking lugs seating in the slide.
The grip safety was fitted well enough to avoid any pinching of the web of my hand.
The thumb safety clicked on and off smoothly with just about the right amount of resistance.
The magazines all locked in positively when inserted with authority...you can't baby them into the mag well as there is quite a bit of upward pressure in the fully loaded magazine.
I feel that the build quality of the EMP falls somewhere between the Springfield TRP and the Professional...which makes it quite a value at around $1k

Druthers: My only real complaint is with the serrations on thumb safeties being very sharp...my thumb was not happy after 50 rounds. I can see looking at having the trigger cleaned up and the thumb safety changed to a one-sided one with a slightly beveled edge. I think I’ll also be looking at changing out the rear sight for something in plain black…maybe the 10-8…and adding a solid (maybe flat) trigger too. as much as a like the look of the Coco Bolo grip panels, I'm eyeing the half-checkered Alumagrips with their new ripple texture.

nn3453
02-28-2010, 5:05 PM
Thanks for the review. Missed the distance it which it shot like that? Nice groups.

How heavy is the EMP? I have never had the chance to handle one myself. How does it compare in weight to the usual combat nines? CZ, Sig, etc.

How is the bore axis, follow up shots, feel compared to a Glock 17/34?

I want to order one but not ready to take the plunge until I can figure out how it compares to other 9mm guns. I understand it is based on a 1911 so will feel different, but would like a comparative review if possible.

Thanks.

sammy
02-28-2010, 6:34 PM
Great review and nice shooting. 10-8 sights are wonderful. I have them on 3 of my Glocks. I have passed on the EMP because of reliability problems I keep reading about. If it is just due to a tight extractor that is an easy enough fix. 1911's under 4" are plaged with reliaiblity problems but Springfield started with a clean sheet and designed it from the ground up which helps. I just might need to start shoping for one!!

9mmepiphany
02-28-2010, 9:09 PM
If it is just due to a tight extractor that is an easy enough fix. 1911's under 4" are plaged with reliaiblity problems but Springfield started with a clean sheet and designed it from the ground up which helps. I just might need to start shoping for one!!
my understanding was that the early EMPs had a tendency toward tight extractors and tight chambers. the 1st was an easy fix, the 2nd was a a tolerance change in the machining...the Custom Shop was fixing it on their dime until the pushed the change through.

i talked to the pistolsmith who worked for Devel on the cut-down 1911s and did development that resulted in the Officer's ACP...they actually designed it with a longer barrel, but a marketing guy thought they need to keep the .75" difference in barrel length...he actually recommends staying with the 4.25" slide/barrel length for reliability

Springfield adjusted the timing when they designed the EMP's "short action". the shorter length cartridge and lighter cartridge allows reliability with the shorter barrel because it has a different timing dynamic...the required slide mass and recoil spring length speed is such that it allows sufficient dwell time for the magazine spring to bring the next shell up. i'm sure the ramped barrel helps a bit too

evidens83
02-28-2010, 9:15 PM
Nice review. Good pics. Beautiful gun. :rockon:

9mmepiphany
02-28-2010, 9:23 PM
posted bynn3453
Thanks for the review. Missed the distance it which it shot like that? Nice groups.

How heavy is the EMP? I have never had the chance to handle one myself. How does it compare in weight to the usual combat nines? CZ, Sig, etc.

How is the bore axis, follow up shots, feel compared to a Glock 17/34?

I want to order one but not ready to take the plunge until I can figure out how it compares to other 9mm guns. I understand it is based on a 1911 so will feel different, but would like a comparative review if possible.
the distance is in the 2nd paragraph...7 yards

the alloy framed EMP weighs 23oz and is comparable in size to the Kahr CW9 with the distance from the dustcover to the middle of the bore roughly the same. the CW9 is a better comparison than the G17/G34...the closest Glock in profile would be the G19, the the EMP and Kahr are thinner due at least partly to their single stack magazines.

my G19 is currently out on loan, but from memory i thought the G19 had more snap to it between it's polymer frame and heavier slide

nn3453
02-28-2010, 11:24 PM
the distance is in the 2nd paragraph...7 yards

the alloy framed EMP weighs 23oz and is comparable in size to the Kahr CW9 with the distance from the dustcover to the middle of the bore roughly the same. the CW9 is a better comparison than the G17/G34...the closest Glock in profile would be the G19, the the EMP and Kahr are thinner due at least partly to their single stack magazines.

my G19 is currently out on loan, but from memory i thought the G19 had more snap to it between it's polymer frame and heavier slide

Thanks. Is yours mostly for carry use or would you consider competing with it in anything? Or general range use? Trying to decide if it is for me (or rather trying to justify that I need it :) )

9mmepiphany
02-28-2010, 11:40 PM
i bought it to carry...and because i was taken with the concept of a 1911 actually sized to the 9mm cartridge. i'm odd like that, i bought a H&K P9S just to have a roller-delayed action pistol.

my current competition gun is a tuned Sig 226ST...i might try the EMP in a couple of matches, but that wasn't the intent when i bought it. it might also work when teaching and the Sig P6 is too fat, while the Kahr is too thin...makes it tax deductible. i could see it in the role i currently use a 642 for...winning bets by hitting stuff at 50 yards

i'd consider it a serious carry gun, not for a newbie shooter as it's small size and light weight introduce issues a new shooter to the platform doesn't need when they are learning it's manual of arms.

i've been corresponding with a pistolsmith who has some interesting ideas to optimize the EMP for carry. he is also a LEO who carries his EMP as a BUG to his 5" .45ACP 1911

Voo
03-01-2010, 3:54 AM
Thanks. Is yours mostly for carry use or would you consider competing with it in anything? Or general range use? Trying to decide if it is for me (or rather trying to justify that I need it :) )

nn-

My friend has one of these. I originally never thought i would like anything 'that' small in a 1911-style platform.

After shooting it, I was completely amazed. Handling on the EMP is impressive. I shot for groups, at 7-10 yards. I thought the gun would slide/slip from being so small, but I didnt have any issues in this regard.

I then ran it at speed. Controlled pairs then seriously quick double taps JUST to see where it printed at 7 yards- I wanted to see how 'bad' the flip was. The cont. pairs were right where I pointed. The double taps were within inches of each other.

Again, I was amazed at how well it handled for such a small gun. I dont know if I'd get one, but the handling is surprisingly good- small frame or not.

It's not like using a fullsize glock then jumping down to a subcompact or even their compact series. Whenever I switch to the smaller frame sizes, I typically have minor slip/grip issues and have to adjust accordingly. The EMP didn't give me this problem whatsoever. Obviously my hand size, grip technique is going to play into all of this, but it was overall a surprisingly soft shooting gun without much snap or flip.

nn3453
03-01-2010, 7:42 PM
nn-

My friend has one of these. I originally never thought i would like anything 'that' small in a 1911-style platform.

After shooting it, I was completely amazed. Handling on the EMP is impressive. I shot for groups, at 7-10 yards. I thought the gun would slide/slip from being so small, but I didnt have any issues in this regard.

I then ran it at speed. Controlled pairs then seriously quick double taps JUST to see where it printed at 7 yards- I wanted to see how 'bad' the flip was. The cont. pairs were right where I pointed. The double taps were within inches of each other.

Again, I was amazed at how well it handled for such a small gun. I dont know if I'd get one, but the handling is surprisingly good- small frame or not.

It's not like using a fullsize glock then jumping down to a subcompact or even their compact series. Whenever I switch to the smaller frame sizes, I typically have minor slip/grip issues and have to adjust accordingly. The EMP didn't give me this problem whatsoever. Obviously my hand size, grip technique is going to play into all of this, but it was overall a surprisingly soft shooting gun without much snap or flip.

Voo, good to know. Right now I am focusing on training with my G34 and CZ (for ESP) but I might pick one up based on the input in this thread. Thanks!

9mmepiphany
03-01-2010, 10:40 PM
i'm more and more taken with it each time i handle it. the downside of that is that...when i really like a gun, i want to optimize it.

i'm looking into
1. cleaning up the trigger
2. changing the thumb safety to a single sided one that has been beveled
3. rear sight without the Trijicon dots
4. solid trigger
5. beveled muzzle
6. fitted beavertail
7. textured frontstrap and MSH
8. half-checkered Alumagrips

it only gets worst

DRM6000
03-01-2010, 11:44 PM
i'm glad to see that you like the emp.

i love mine. it's a great little gun.

esskay
03-01-2010, 11:50 PM
i'm more and more taken with it each time i handle it. the downside of that is that...when i really like a gun, i want to optimize it.

i'm looking into
1. cleaning up the trigger
2. changing the thumb safety to a single sided one that has been beveled
3. rear sight without the Trijicon dots
4. solid trigger
5. beveled muzzle
6. fitted beavertail
7. textured frontstrap and MSH
8. half-checkered Alumagrips

it only gets worst

Nice pics and report.

Agree on the plain rear sight... also lining up the 3-dots often do not correspond with proper sight alignment -- that might also have contributed to your elevation issue if the rear dots were unduly drawing your attention at the indoor range. For a defensive carry gun, perhaps consider a single low profile (i.e. no outline/etc) rear tritium lamp in a straight eight type configuration?

Again for a defensive gun, would suggest thinking twice about nixing the ambi safety -- you never know if you might need to shoot with your left hand... and if you do you'll wish for that ambi safety!

9mmepiphany
03-26-2010, 1:44 PM
i'm going to bump this once because, i forgot to link this to the original thread and folks keep asking how it shoots. i guess it falls off the 1st page pretty fast