In 2006, Springfield introduced the EMP, which stands for Enhanced Micro Pistol. At first glace, the EMP, appeared to be a typical Springfield micro 1911 that has been re-chambered in 9mm. If this were the case, it would have been no different than pistols that have been offered by other manufacturers for several years. When Springfield designed the EMP, they did just the opposite. They took a 9mm cartridge and scaled down the 1911 frame and slide to fit the caliber. This required a completely new set of specifications for the frame, slide, barrel, extractor, firing pin and other parts. The result is one of the slickest little 9mm handguns on the market. After five years on the market, the demand for the EMP has continued.

Recently, I contacted Dave Williams at the Springfield Armory Custom Shop about building a custom EMP to show off the shop’s work. Springfield’s Custom Shop offers a full service “one-stop shop” for anyone with custom 1911 needs, regardless of manufacturer. Since the introduction of the XD and XDM, the Custom Shop has also become gurus in getting the best out of the polymer-frame Springfield pistols.

Gun Details

The stock 9mm EMP is a very attractive pistol that has a satin-finished stainless slide and a black anodized frame. The little gun weighs 27 ounces empty and is 5 inches in height and 6.5 inches in length. Standard features include an ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety with a speed bump and Novak-style fixed sights with three-dot tritium inserts. The 3-inch bull barrel is also stainless and, like all alloy-frame pistols from Springfield, has a fully supported feed ramp. The full-length recoil spring guide rod uses a dual spring design to ensure reliability. While great out of the box, I knew that the Custom Shop could perform some magic and make the EMP even better. I was not disappointed.

I wanted the finished EMP to look significantly different than the stock pistol. First on the checklist was a basic reliability package. The reliability package optimizes the function of all of the components. Critical areas, such as the breech face, feed ramp and chamber are checked to ensure they are within proper tolerances. These areas are also polished to improve feeding. The extractor is re-cut, polished and re-tensioned. All of the bearing surfaces, such as the hammer, sear and trigger surfaces, are inspected for proper fit. It is to Springfield’s credit that very few problems are found when performing this package on the EMP. The quality of the production is that good.

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