GUNS Magazine May 2013 Digital Edition - Page 32

OuT OF THe BOX™ MIKE CuMPSTON The sPRingfield aRMoRy enhanCed MiCRo PisTol pockeT power in an 8-shoT .40 s&w. he now wildly popular Springfield EMP emerged in 2007 as an alloy-frame downsized 1911 chambered for 9x19mm with the steel-frame .40 S&W variation coming on board in 2008. The consumer base for such a handgun is enthusiastic, dedicated, and demanding, comprised of the sort of shooters who will pay a premium for his equipment, use it regularly and have the skill set to determine if it meets high expectations of performance. Half a decade later, the EMP enjoys sustained and growing acceptance among this rather unforgiving demographic. Our sample .40 S&W EMP arrived a magazine carrier, an assortment of complete CCW system. The pistol itself hex wrenches a spacer to capture the resembles the Pythagorean Ideal estab- recoil spring assembly for easy disaslished by such classics as the 1908 Colt sembly and keys for the unobtrusive and the 1911. Observers often deem and unproblematic Internal Locking the fit and finish comparable to the System hidden away on the mainspring best offerings of custom makers. The housing. stainless slide, blackIt could use a coated frame and the Torx 15 driver for deep red cocobolo the grip screws— grips present quite a an item that may harmonious package. be supplied in Practical enhancethe near future. ments include NovakAt 6.5 inches pattern Trijicon night long and 5 inches sights, ambidextrous tall, the pistol safety, and a match approaches the trigger that settled minimum pracin at 5 pounds after The Springfield Armory case contains a com- tical dimensions lubrication and initial plete CCW system including paddle holster for a pistol of this magazine carrier and three 8-round Mecshooting. The EMP and caliber. The grip Gar Magazines made especially for the EMP. is drop-safe by virtue circumference of a light firing pin is significantly and heavy firing pin spring and has less than that of the full-size 1911s, no passive firing pin block. Its stan- consistent with the overall downsizing dard accompaniment consists of of the arm to conform to the length three 8-round magazines, a tension- of 9x19mm and .40 S&W cartridges. adjustable Kydex holster and double The coned, bushingless bull barrel is 3 T The Texas CHL proficiency demo consists of 50 rounds timed fire from 3, 7 and 15 yards (above). Highly visible sights, a decent combat trigger and optimum grip geometry make the EMP an excellent choice for the CCW licensed citizen. The 140-grain Barnes lead-free hollowpoint, loaded by Black Hills and CorBon (below) turned in our smallest 25-yard bench groups. Pictured is a 1.7inch group with the CorBon load. Louis Ellis, a fan of the .40 S&W round since its introduction, decided to augment his air-weight Chief with the EMP. inches from muzzle to the back of the fully supported chamber and suitably configured for the shortened slide cycle. The double-recoil spring on a fulllength guide rod is a near-necessity for a 1911-type pistol of this size adding greatly to the expected service life of the recoil system. Springfield Armory recommends replacement after 5,000 rounds. Some small, lock-breech handguns eat up their single-recoil springs within a few hundred shots. Three shooters—two with large hands and one with hands small enough to become a primary concern when selecting a pistol—all felt the grip size and trigger reach of the EMP ideal. The grip diameter coupled with the beaver tail allowed all of them to quickly acquire and maintain a perfect shooting grip. All remarked felt recoil, even with the 155- and 165-grain Hornady loads at 1,200-plus fps, was surprisingly mild. Recoil and barrel rise were significantly lessened with the two loads using 140-grain lead-free hollowpoints. The 27-ounce weight, roughly equivalent to service-sized .40s with alloy or polymer frames is a significant factor in recoil abatement. Initially, the EMP was hitting to the right. The rear sight is tightly fitted in the dovetail and retained by a set-screw. After I had regulated the sight, all loads were dead on for windage with some hitting slightly low and heavier bullets 32 W W W . G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M AY 2 0 1 3

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