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Old 02-14-2011, 08:23   #1
ithaca_deerslayer
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Springfield EMP 9mm review

My wife bought a Springfield EMP 9mm for herself.

She already has a Beretta 92 compact and a S&W 637 .38 snubbie. Also a Ruger GP-100 .357 for hunting and target. She loves the Beretta for range time, but really loves the snubbie for carry. Over a decade ago, I bought her a Glock 26, but she didn't like it at all and it quickly became mine. She was in the market recently for a single stack 9, and the EMP was what she picked.

The EMP is absolutely beautiful. It's a small 1911 made for the 9mm, 9+1 capacity mags, 3-dot night sights, wood grips, ambidextrous safety, beavertail grip safety, stainless steel slide, aluminum frame.

She took it to the range, and I had no idea what to expect. I had cleaned it the night before, showed her how to take it down and put it back together. Get to the range, at 50 ft, standing off-hand, and bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, Federal 124gr FMU, she puts all 5 on target about a 4" group centered exactly on the bull's eye. A few more rounds of that, with groups down to 3". Then some 115 gr Federal FMJ. Then some Gold Dot 124gr JHP. Then some PMC 115gr FMJ. All cycling no problem, all on target. I give it a try and no problem for me either, about a 4" group, on target.

What is there to say? The gun is perfect. It holds nice, aims nice, has great balance, seems plenty accurate. Who knows what it could bench rest at. We'll do that sometime. But for now we can say it shoots like a dream. She is really happy with it.

Her intended use is concealed carry, and just having a fun gun to shoot.

I notice that while completely different from the Glock 26, it is actually pretty similar in many ways. So, for fun, we each also shot the 26 aftewards. She hasn't shot it in years. Recoil between the EMP and Glock is about equal. But man, the EMP has such a nicer grip and trigger pull. I put my Glock group at about 4.5" on target. Her group was about the same size, but maybe 2" left of center, perhaps due to the much longer and harder trigger on the Glock compared to the short crisp trigger on the EMP.

In all, my wife's groups were better than mine, she really had some tight EMP groups.

For futher comparison between the EMP and Glock26, I have some home measured specs below:

EMP overall length 6.5"
Glock overall length = 6.5"

EMP slide width and length = 7/8", 5 1/4"
Glock slide width and length = 1", 6 1/4"

EMP overall height = 5 1/4"
Glock overall height = 4"

EMP trigger reach, from back of grip to trigger = 2 1/2"
Glock trigger reach, from back of grip to trigger = 2 3/4"

EMP grip circumferance = 5"
Glock grip circumferance = 5 1/2"

EMP weight empty = 24 oz
Glock weight empty = 20 oz

So, while the EMP is just a tad heavier, and has the longer grip, it has a much slimmer profile, shorter slide, and is much easier for smaller hands to reach around the grip, and to reach the trigger. Oh, the EMP costs at least twice what the Glock costs

The important thing is that she absolutely loves her new EMP I like it too. It makes an interesting alternative to something like the Glock 26.

Here's a side by side pic. Please excuse my crappy picture taking skills. It is a bit fuzzy and does not show how stunningly gorgeous the EMP really is.
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Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 02-14-2011 at 08:31..
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:49   #2
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ithaca, nice comparison. enjoyed reading it.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:24   #3
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Here's a couple more pics, showing how the EMP is a bit thinner than the Glock, has a shorter slide, and has the longer grip.

Personally, I find that the rear sight area of the Glock 26 is what is most likely to print on me. Not the sight, but the square part of that back of the slide. Interestingly, the EMP is sort of cut off there, and just has the hammer, which may not be as likely to print.

I'm not sure how the longer grip will play out for concealment. At least it is thin. The grip of the Glock doesn't usually print on me at all, even though it is stubby.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:29   #4
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Great review of a beauty of a gun.

This may be the gun I buy for my wife. She likes my Kimber Ultra Carry CDP II, but the .45 in that frame is a bit stout for her. I'd be interested to see the UC next to an EMP.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
Great review of a beauty of a gun.

This may be the gun I buy for my wife. She likes my Kimber Ultra Carry CDP II, but the .45 in that frame is a bit stout for her. I'd be interested to see the UC next to an EMP.
My dad has an EMP and I used to have an Ultra sized Kimber. The EMP comes with thin grips, but is otherwise pretty much the same size. Same holster fits them both.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlockinGregg View Post
My dad has an EMP and I used to have an Ultra sized Kimber. The EMP comes with thin grips, but is otherwise pretty much the same size. Same holster fits them both.
I wonder if the trigger reach is the same. Supposedly Springfield built the EMP specfically for the 9mm, and so was able to shorten some things up.

For a woman or man with smaller hands, that trigger reach, and grip circumference, is probably something that isn't immediately noticed but likely contributes to the "feel" of the gun.

MarcoPolo, you could take a measuring tape and compare my numbers for the grip and trigger reach, to your Ultra's

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 02-14-2011 at 09:48..
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlockinGregg View Post
My dad has an EMP and I used to have an Ultra sized Kimber. The EMP comes with thin grips, but is otherwise pretty much the same size. Same holster fits them both.
Great info. Exactly what I was looking for. THANKS!
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:30   #8
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Congrats!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
I wonder if the trigger reach is the same. Supposedly Springfield built the EMP specfically for the 9mm, and so was able to shorten some things up.

For a woman or man with smaller hands, that trigger reach, and grip circumference, is probably something that isn't immediately noticed but likely contributes to the "feel" of the gun.

MarcoPolo, you could take a measuring tape and compare my numbers for the grip and trigger reach, to your Ultra's
IIRC, the trigger reach will be shortened, but not sure how much.

here's a photo of a EMP and a SA Micro. you can see the difference in the grip size, which would be similar to the difference in trigger reach.

General Firearms Forum

when i get a chance, i measure the difference between a std trigger and an EMP trigger.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:03   #9
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Great choice, your wife has good taste.
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Old 02-14-2011, 17:09   #10
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THey are gorgeous guns, I just couldn't get past the price and reliability history.
Hopefully yours (or The Wife's) will be a peach.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berto View Post
THey are gorgeous guns, I just couldn't get past the price and reliability history.
Hopefully yours (or The Wife's) will be a peach.
What reliability history?

Every gun make has a few guns here and there with this or that problem. Is there something systemic with EMP that I should be aware of?
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:17   #12
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the early guns had problems with having the incorrect feed ramp angle.

there are reports of feed issues every now and then as well.

The problems are what you hear about most on the internet, but you have to consider that there are ~17,000 EMP's that are out there.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:19   #13
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also if you want to shorten the grip a little, have one of your magazines modified for a flush fit.

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Old 02-15-2011, 18:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
What reliability history?

Every gun make has a few guns here and there with this or that problem. Is there something systemic with EMP that I should be aware of?

I was in the market for one, did the research and came up with the same thing Quack mentioned.
I'm not saying it's necessarily a problem gun, just noted some had issues.
My Kimber with the ext extractor was supposedly a turd well beyond what I've seen on the EMP, yet it's one of the most reliable auto pistols I've owned.
If it works, it works. No worries.
I ended up with a 3913, happy with it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 18:43   #15
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Thanks for the write up, I enjoyed it.

The EMP has been on my list of must have guns.
I still can;t get passed the price.

I own a Kimber Pro CDP II. although I love the guns, I never carry it because it is to darn heavy. I like the 1911 platform and really want a Compact 9MM 1911.

For those of you that own a EMP, I would guess that they feel 1911ish, just smaller?
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Old 02-15-2011, 18:48   #16
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Originally Posted by NHmike View Post
Thanks for the write up, I enjoyed it.

The EMP has been on my list of must have guns.
I still can;t get passed the price.

I own a Kimber Pro CDP II. although I love the guns, I never carry it because it is to darn heavy. I like the 1911 platform and really want a Compact 9MM 1911.

For those of you that own a EMP, I would guess that they feel 1911ish, just smaller?
Price is just relative to what you get.

BTW, have you priced a Kimber Aegeis?
I would buy a Springfield before the Kimber
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Old 02-15-2011, 19:03   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack View Post
Price is just relative to what you get.

BTW, have you priced a Kimber Aegeis?
I would buy a Springfield before the Kimber
I actually came back to this post to edit what I said. I was going to add that i also have my eye on the Aegis. But again, very expensive.

I have had no problems with my Kimber what so ever, but I still would like to go SA just because.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:06   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHmike View Post
Thanks for the write up, I enjoyed it.

The EMP has been on my list of must have guns.
I still can;t get passed the price.

I own a Kimber Pro CDP II. although I love the guns, I never carry it because it is to darn heavy. I like the 1911 platform and really want a Compact 9MM 1911.

For those of you that own a EMP, I would guess that they feel 1911ish, just smaller?
It's only money

For carry, I carried my G26 around for 10 years and didn't think it was heavy. I bought the 642 snubbie just because it was rounder and easier to conceal without a cover shirt. But, it was also lighter, a lot lighter. Then when I'd switch back and carry my G26, I'd think man that is heavy! So I guess it is all just what you get used to.

And the EMP has 4 ounces on the G26. I can't say yet how the EMP feels to carry all day. It is heavier than the polymer double action compact 9's out there, that's certainly true. Probably will always be true as long as they make the compact 1911 9mm's out of aluminum and steel. Can they make a polymer 1911, or is that against the law?

For shooting, the EMP certainly is not heavy. It is very balanced.

Oh, for small, there's always the Sig .380 that sort of looks like a baby 1911. Ever look at that? It's in current production, and I've seen it at gun stores, but never handled one.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:08   #19
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Yes I was looking closely at the Sig P238. Could have got it on discount when I was at Sig but already have a LCP.

I know it is only money but I also have 2 small kids. I made a promise to myself, no more selling guns to get more, I am keeping what I have and then adding to it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:17   #20
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Quote:
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I know it is only money but I also have 2 small kids. I made a promise to myself, no more selling guns to get more, I am keeping what I have and then adding to it.
Have you considered selling the kids?

I sold a couple nice guns years ago to pay for college. One was a 6mm Remington 700 BDL with bull barrel, trigger job, glass bedded, with Leupold 6.5-20x50 scope. I can't even imagine what it would cost to get that rig today. The other was a Winchester 92mag classic, with pistol grip stock. Both mint condition. I miss them fondly

The cool thing about the EMP is the wife really really really likes it.

So, buy one for your wife?

There's always another gun out there to drool over. I think I'm pretty much done after I pick up my Kahr PM9. Oh, and an HR ultra light slug gun. And I saw a nice looking Ruger bolt-action .22. Ugh, where does it end!

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Old 02-16-2011, 11:10   #21
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Now have her order some of Lazza's Horned Lizzard grips and dress that sucker up!

http://www.davidsonknives.com/grips/grips.htm

The pic in Quack's post shows what they look like.

Dr. Lunde's gallery also shows an EMP with the Horned Lizard grips.

My formerly owned EMP was wearing the HL grips, too, when I sold it.


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Old 02-16-2011, 11:31   #22
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Quote:
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My formerly owned EMP was wearing the HL grips, too, when I sold it.
Why sold it?

She'll see this post, but I doubt she'll go for the horned lizzard grips
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Old 01-24-2012, 21:21   #23
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Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack View Post
the early guns had problems with having the incorrect feed ramp angle.

there are reports of feed issues every now and then as well.

The problems are what you hear about most on the internet, but you have to consider that there are ~17,000 EMP's that are out there.
The VAST majority of these internet stories ends with Springfield making it right by the customer as well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:20   #24
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Been close to a year since I started this thread, 0 jams with the EMP9

She still likes it, and carries it. I've shot it occassionally. I've since gotten a Kahr PM9 for myself, for my own CCW needs. The EMP would be viable, but I like the lighter PM9 and no external safties. Just a preference kind of thing. The longer EMP grip is nicer, however, than the 2 finger PM9 grip.

If anyone wants a good, small, single-action, single stack, 9, with a thumb safety, I'd say the EMP is the gun to look at. Especially if you want all your fingers comfortably on the grip.

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Old 01-26-2012, 09:24   #25
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Holy blast from the past Batman! Nice review! With our tax return, my wife is buying an EMP .40 and I'm buying a Stainless TRP.
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