When a company sets out to design a concealed carry handgun, their focus must be on producing a gun that’s reliable, compact, lightweight, and comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, a concealed carry gun has to pack enough of a ballistic punch to stop an assailant while still being manageable to shoot. And like it or not, the gun has to look good for anyone to buy it. While developing a gun that meets these criteria is easier said than done, the folks at Springfield Armory seem to have hit the bull’s-eye with their Enhanced Micro Pistol (EMP). In the few short years the EMP has been on the market, it has earned a reputation as an excellent concealed carry pistol.
While the Model 1911 pistol chambered in .45 ACP is an American classic, there are times when carrying a full-size 1911 is just not practical due to its size and weight. For diehard 1911 enthusiasts who won’t settle for less than “cocked and locked,” Springfield Armory’s EMP offers an intelligently engineered pint-sized alternative to the traditional 1911. The EMP looks, feels, and operates just like a traditional 1911 but is specifically designed for concealed carry.
To call the EMP an aesthetically pleasing pistol would be a bit of an understatement. With its black hard coat anodized frame, forged stainless steel barrel, and Cocobolo hardwood grips, the EMP is downright pretty. Beyond aesthetics, the surfaces of the frame and slide are smooth, which makes the EMP both easy to draw from concealment and comfortable to handle.
The EMP is definitely lightweight, tipping the scales at a mere 26 ounces (with an empty magazine). However, the EMP is well balanced and certainly doesn’t feel scrawny when held. The EMP measures up well, with 6.5 inches in overall length, 5 inches in height, and 1.4 inches in width at its widest point (across the ambidextrous thumb safety). The slide is just 0.9 of an inch thick. The grip measured a slim 1.08 inches across and 1.9 inches from front to back.
The grip was thin enough for my hand to completely envelope and long enough to make room for my little finger—a feature that makes EMP easier to shoot than many other sub-compact pistols on the market. The reduced grip diameter allows the EMP to properly align with your shooting hand and arm, which makes the recoil very manageable.