A stunningly handsome & accurate 40 S&W self-defense pistol.
I’ve been a concealed carry license holder for nearly 12 years. When dressing for the day the OWB holster goes on and stays on until bedtime. It’s not nice out there & it’s getting more dangerous for those of us perceived as ”easy prey”. I disarm myself only when I plan to enter a no gun zone, i.e., the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center for treatment or any other gun prohibited building or facility. I own more than a few handguns of different caliber, style, manufacture and date of birth.
As I approach [the] “geezer” stage of my life I decided I needed to limit my daily carry choices to one or two arms that would satisfy my needs. I live in the Southwest and by mid-April through mid-October my uniform of the day is T-shirt & shorts, restaurant attire – add a shirt. A tough time to conceal a 3-1/2 inch .45 ACP Colt Officers model 1911 in a OWB holster. However, when the weather allows a jacket, old thumper goes back on.
A year ago I took the first step in resolving my corundum by purchasing (from Buds) a upgraded Beretta Pico complete with night sight, red laser & Talon Grips. Loaded with cartridges topped with a Leheigh Defense Extreme Defender bullet, I don’t believe I am under gunned at self-defense ranges and the Pico can be effectively concealed in a flannel shirt’s breast pocket! Next I began searching for a small semi-auto chambered for 40 S&W that when carried in a quality leather OWB holster it would be effectively concealed by an un-tucked shirt. Unfortunately my Officer’s 1911 presents a little “lumpy” under an Aloha shirt.
Lots of new semi-automatics out there. One caught my eye – the Springfield Armory 3-inch EMP. I own an original .45 ACP HD equipped with a green laser which is my go-to living room gun. I am aware and appreciative of Springfield Armory quality. After internet EMP owner/shooter’s review searches I purchased the .40 S&W 3-inch bi-tone from Bud’s. I am not disappointed.
Concept, design, size, materials, machining & final assembly of my EMP is outstanding! With the exception of the barrel sans barrel bushing, slide recoil assembly and its overall smaller size, the EMP is a faithful reproduction of the 1911A1 and user controls placement & function work just like the original. This is a handsome pistol. Place my EMP beside any other handgun and it will not be criticized as a second place winner; some of my handguns are high-end expensive arms.
As other reviewers have noted, out of the box the EMP’s springs are very tight, the slide was tough to rack. Now after 200 rounds (no hiccups experienced) and proper lubrication the recoil & hammer springs have exercised into an easier rack. I expect this smoothing to continue as I work through a 500 round break-in evaluation before I deem it to be a reliable carry piece. Some criticize the lack of factory front strap checkering/stippling. Actually, I believe Springfield deliberately omitted roughing the front strap in anticipation of the 40 S&W cartridge recoil impulse. I solved the so-called ”torque-retention problem” as described by some shooters, by applying a strip of Talon Grips textured rubber material to the front strap. This works for me and prevents any abrasive action by checkered metal during extended range sessions. Other shooters have complained the 40 EMP is too heavy for daily carry vis-a-vis the 9mm Emp which has an alloy frame. Shoot them both side by side and the extra weight of the all steel 40 EMP soaks up a whole lot of recoil. Get over the small weight penalty. My advice: evaluate your holster & pant belt - consider wearing braces. With the proper ammo the 40 S&W EMP is a pleasant shooter. Trigger weight (presently 5.1#s) & reset makes double tapping easy & accurate. In summary, I believe the 40 S&W 3-inch barrel EMP is an outstanding choice for a belt carry defensive firearm! I have found the second pistol I will carry daily for the foreseeable future.
My EMP is the forth firearm I have purchased from Buds Gun Shop. No negative issues for me to complain about. I will continue to be a return customer. This particular purchase saved me hundreds of dollars compared to what I would have paid at my local gun stores. Thank you Buds! Good luck out there, sensors up! And practice all you can.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!