MICRO SIZE, MAXI PERFORMANCE
WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO CALL 911, YOU CAN REACH FOR YOUR SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 911
When there’s no time to call 911, you can reach for your Springfield Armory 911.
By Richard Schutz
It’s just like your father’s 1911 in .45 ACP only smaller, much smaller. That’s the Springfield Armory 911 in .380 Auto.
Springfield Armory’s new 911 pistol is a 1911-style, micro-subcompact in .380 Auto that you can have with you at all times, no matter how you are dressed. When SHF, your Springfield Armory 911 will be there so you can be your own first responder.
NOT JUST ANOTHER 1911
The Springfield Armory 911 pistol fits square in the middle of the Taurus Spectrum, Glock 42, S&W Bodyguard and Ruger LCP II pack by both size and weight. What the others lack is the 1911 pedigree of the 911.
Even though there are significant differences between the 911 and a
traditional 1911, the similarities are striking. It not only looks like a 1911, but it feels like one, only smaller. The thumb safety, slide lock and magazine release are all in the same relative positions as the 1911. Anyone who can shoot a 1911 will have no trouble with the 911 unless they have very large hands.
Even though the Hogue G10 trigger shoe pivots on a pin rather than traveling straight back, the trigger feel is crisp and breaks cleanly, just like a 1911. It breaks at an average of 6 pounds, 2 ounces for 10 consecutive pulls as measured by a digital Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge.
Some other differences include the lack of both a grip safety and a barrel bushing. The 911 also uses a fulllength guide rod and spring rather than the guide rod, buffer, spring and plug used in most 1911s.
The thumb safety operates just like one on a 1911, but with a different effect. When the hammer is cocked, the safety can be lifted up, locking the hammer, but not the slide. When the hammer is in either the half-cock or fully forward position, the thumb safety locks the hammer in place, thereby also keeping the slide from operating.
Just like on a 1911, the magazine release is located behind the trigger guard, at the bottom. It operates from the left side only. Depressing the button releases the magazine, allowing it to drop free from the magazine well.
The slide stop lever locks the slide back when the magazine runs dry or when it is manually engaged. Like a 1911, it is also used to disassemble the 911. Disassembly of the 911, however, is somewhat different from that of a 1911. After removing the magazine and checking both visually and tactilely to make sure that the pistol is empty, retract the slide to the point where the half-moon window on the left side of the slide is aligned with the half-moon lug on the back (inside) of the slide stop/takedown lever.
Then push the slide stop pin out from the right side of the frame and remove the slide stop lever. Slowly relieve the tension on the recoil spring and allow the slide to move forward, drawing it off of the frame. The recoil rod and spring can now be removed from the slide by pushing forward on the large end of the recoil rod and slightly compressing the recoil spring. Carefully lift the recoil rod and spring assembly out of the slide while being mindful of the compressed recoil spring. Finally, the barrel can be lifted up and backwards, out of the slide.
The slide is reassembled in reverse order. When installing the slide on the frame, push down on the ejector to allow the slide to move fully rearward. Also, when installing the slide stop lever pin, make sure to capture the barrel lug.
At the time of writing, there were four versions of the 911. One version has a black frame and slide with green and black G10 grip panels. A bi-tone version has a black frame, matte stainless-steel slide and gray and white G10 grip panels. The other two versions are similar to the first two only with Viridian green laser grip panels rather than the G10 panels.
I found the Springfield Armory 911 to be amenable to any ammunition that it was fed. All brands and types of ammunition fed, chambered and ejected without any problems. The two magazines supplied with the 911
“ANYONE WHO LIKES 1911S OR NEEDS A BACKUP FOR A FULL SIZE 1911, WOULD BE FOOLISH NOT TO AT LEAST GIVE THE 911 A HARD LOOK AS AN EDC GUN.”
also functioned flawlessly.
For this evaluation, I used six different types of ammunition from six different manufacturers. Two of those types were full metal jacket, three were hollow point defensive loads and one was a defensive load that uses a composite bullet.
I found the 911 much easier to control than I had anticipated. As with any micro-subcompact pistol, obtaining the proper grip is extremely important. If the proper grip is not executed each time, problems could arise, such as inadvertently dropping the magazine, riding the slide lock lever and causing the slide to lock back when you don’t want it to, and engaging the safety by mistake. The only problem of those types that I encountered was that
I had a tendency to disengage the magazine when firing from a sandbag during accuracy evaluations.
This micro .380 Auto pistol was
snappy due to its small size and light weight, but it was still relatively easy to control. I have small hands, so the 911 probably fit me better than it would most men. Women should find that it fits their hands better than many pistols.
During approximately 350 rounds fired, I had no malfunctions to report. The magazines are easy to load and the slightly beveled magazine well allows magazines to be inserted easily. I have no complaints at all about the operation of the 911.
“DURING APPROXIMATELY 350 ROUNDS FIRED, I HAD NO MALFUNCTIONS TO REPORT.”
Accuracy was quite good, too, especially for a pistol with a sight radius of just under 4 inches. Ruger 56-grain ARX ammunition took home the accuracy honors with an average of 1.98 inches for three five-shot groups at 15 yards. Federal Premium 99-grain HST, Hornady Critical Defense 90-grain FTX, Blazer 95-grain TMJ and Black Hills 90-grain JHP all came in between 2.48 and 2.92 inches. PMC 90-grain FMJ had the largest average
at 3.24, but even that is acceptable for a micro-subcompact pistol.
WORTH A LOOK
Overall, I found the Springfield Armory 911 a very competent micro-subcompact .380 Auto pistol. As well as being small and light, the 911 is accurate and functioned without incident for over 350 rounds.
It is extremely easy to conceal with a wide variety of clothing, whether in a boot, ankle, AIWB, IWB, OWB or belly band holster, purse, or virtually any other way. The 911’s controls are easy to use and have the familiar feel of a full size 1911. Anyone who likes 1911s or needs a backup for a full size 1911, would be foolish not to at least give the 911 a hard look as an EDC gun.
Some people have a problem with the stopping power of the .380 Auto cartridge. I understand that it doesn’t have the knockdown power of a .45 ACP, however, with the proper modern defensive ammunition, it can be an effective defensive round. The important thing with an EDC pistol is to always have it with you and to know how to shoot it well under adverse circumstances. The 911 is an EDC pistol that you can have with you at all times. It’s up to you to practice and become proficient with it. CC
The 911 rides in Springfield Armory’s pocket holster that is included with the pistol. Daily carry gear includes a spare magazine loaded with Ruger ARX 56-grain ammunition, a Powertac E20 1180 lumen rechargeable flashlight and aBuck Rush EDC folding knife with a 2.5-inch drop point stainless steel blade.
Right: The stripped slide assembly shows the underside of the slide, barrel and guide rod with spring.
xx Above: Here the 911 is in the “cocked and locked” condition with the hammer fully cocked and the thumb safety engaged. Below: The frame, less slide, reveals the ejector lever protruding from the frame. This must be depressed when reinstalling the slide unto the frame.
Right: The Pro-Glo sights provide an excellent sight picture, especially during low light conditions. Note the Octo-Grip textured mainspring housing. Left: The underside of the frame reveals the laminations of the G10 grips, the flush-fit six-round magazine and the Octo-Grip front strap. An oversized external extractor ensures that spent cases are properly extracted and ejected. The ledge style Pro-Glo rear sight is dovetailed into the slide.
Hogue manufactures the pivoting G10 trigger shoe for the 911.
This bi-tone version of the 911 features a brushed stainless finish on the slide and a 7075 anodized hard coat aluminum frame. Grip panels are gray and white G10.