Pocket pistols in .380 ACP have been done before, and done well, damn well. I would specifically reference the Ruger LCPII and SIG Sauer’s P238. Both are well made by reputable companies, they are comfortable to shoot—compared to earlier generations—and both have proven to be reliable designs. Are there other guns in this category? Sure, but the Ruger and the SIG illustrate the length and breadth of the .380 pocket semi-auto market, and both have been thoroughly tested and proven their mettle at the range, and at the sales counter.
But those guns inhabit opposing ends of the spectrum in terms of design and price. Ruger’s LCP II is built rugged and reliable—ready to run regardless of the lint and melted Snickers that may cohabitate your front pocket—but it’s also built for economy. The polymer frame shaves ounces, and dollars, and every angle is beveled, every feature scaled to be snag free and low-profile. The SIG, on the other hand, is designed to be reminiscent of the 1911. It’s a gentleman’s (or woman’s) option, where fashion is valued as much as function. Built on a steel or alloy frame, the P238 comes with performance enhancing features like controls you can actually use, and sights you can actually see. It also comes with an MSRP of no less than $679—ouch. I’m not saying the guns aren’t worth that kind of dough, but remember, we’re talking about for a 6+1-round, .380-ACP micro-pistol. The Ruger on the other hand—all killer, no filler—is just $349 MSRP, and usually significantly less over the counter, but it’s got as much style and soul as a toaster.
Now, of course, we get to the topic of this preview, Springfield Armory’s new 911, and from what I can tell this pistol is intended to be the compromise that doesn’t compromise. In terms of design, the 911 is also inspired by the 1911, it’s a hammer-fired, single-action self-loader in .380 ACP with a 1.75-inch barrel. It comes with two magazines, a 6-rounder and a 7-round extended mag with grip extension. And it seems chock-full of enhancements: bilateral safety (lefties rejoice, all six of you); luminescent, tritium-powered, ledge-style steel sights; a G10 trigger—I don’t even know what that means but it looks rad and G10 is strong and lightweight, so why the heck not?
Now, I know what you are thinking—it’s a knockoff of the SIG. Well, maybe. But if it is, the feature set would make it comparable to higher-end P238s—models in the $700 and $800 range. Springfield’s MSRP for the 911 is just $599, well below even base model SIGs.
I did reach out to a couple folks who had a chance to wring out 911 at a pre-launch event. Their responses were quite positive, and they reported that around 10 guns were used to put several thousand rounds of .380 ACP downrange without incident—not a common occurrence with .380 pocket pistols. Further, of the dozen or so new and coming platforms previewed at the Springfield event, the 911s were perhaps the most fun to shoot.
Springfield’s full spec list for the 911 is listed below, and according to the company’s website it looks like there will be black and stainless models, and Viridian grip-laser-equipped guns forthcoming.
I’ll withhold a final verdict until I see these guns in the wild, but if they run well, the combination of premium features and a price well below the current market standard are going to make the 911 the gun to beat in the .380 hideout category.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Springfield Armory 911
CALIBER: .380 ACP
RECOIL SYSTEM: Full Length Guide Rod w/ Flat Wire Spring
SIGHTS: Pro-Glo Tritium/Luminescent Front & White Outlined Tritium Night Sight Rear
WEIGHT (WITH EMPTY MAGAZINE): 12.6 oz
SLIDE: 416 Black Nitride, Loaded Chamber Indicator
BARREL: 2.7″ 416R Stainless Steel, Black Nitride Finish, 1:16 Twist
TRIGGER: G10 Enhanced Pivoting Trigger, 5-lb. Pull
GRIP TYPE: G10 Grips
FRAME: 7075 T6 Anodized Hard Coat Aluminum, Octo-Grip Texture on Front Strap & Mainspring Housing, Extended Ambi Thumb Safety
MAGAZINES: 1 – 6 Round Flush & 1 – 7 Round Extended, Stainless Steel
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