Springfield Concealed Carry Pistols and Their Other Firearms
One of the most popular gun brands at the moment is Springfield Armory, as it's a famous name as well as several lines of very popular handguns. The company sells a number of very popular firearms for a number of uses, including concealed carry pistols, home defense and range work.
Go to virtually any gun store and you're likely to see a few Springfields, and for good reason. If you need a good working handgun, Springfield has something for nearly everyone. Their products are known for delivering accuracy, reliability and a good amount of amenities for some very reasonable prices.
Today's Springfield Armory Inherited A Famous Name
Up until the late 1960s, the Springfield Armory was the repository for the bulk of our nation's ordinance. It was first established in 1777 as the "Arsenal in Springfield," as the site was recommended to none other than George Washington as a potential site for an armory by General Henry Knox, his chief artillery officer. Washington approved, and the armory was built.
The armory in Springfield, Mass., served as one of the chief storage facilities for our armed forces' arms as well as a design and testing facility for new rifle design. Manufacturing of arms began in 1795, commencing with the first design of Springfield Musket. Rifled barrel designs followed later in the 19th century, with the first being the Springfield Rifled Musket of 1855 - the first Springfield rifle.
A number of other rifles were manufactured there, including the Trapdoor Springfield breech-loading rifle, the Krag-Jorgensen rifle, and the iconic 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle. The 1903 is still a popular collector's item and sporting rifle today and also birthed possibly the most versatile and popular sporting cartridge to date: the .30-06 Springfield. Later in the 20th century, the M1 Garand and M14 rifles were manufactured and warehoused in Springfield as well..
An enormous number of innovations in manufacturing, rifle and cartridge design all occurred at the Springfield Armory. Books have been written about it, so needless to say it has a long and storied history.
Springfield Armory Is A Long Way From Massachusetts
In 1968, then-Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara announced the closure of Springfield Armory (budget issues and so on) and transfer of its assets to other locations. Today, the original site is a museum and tourist attraction, and well worth the visit.
After the closure of the facility, a businessman in Texas - one Elmer Ballance - acquired the license to the Springfield Armory name and started manufacturing semi-auto only M14 rifles from surplus parts that were made to be used to make actual guns but hadn't been yet. He called it the M1A and it was fairly successful. In 1974, he sold the business to a family outfit in Geneseo, Ill., run by the Reese family. They kept the Springfield Armory name, and continued to make the M1A rifle, eventually manufacturing all parts in-house in lieu of using surplus parts.
The Reese-owned and operated Springfield Armory eventually branched out into pistols, manufacturing GI-spec 1911s as well as other rifle designs, some made in-house (such as Springfield M1 Garand rifles) and others being Springfield-stamped imports of foreign guns.
After the 1989 ban on imported "non-sporting" rifles, Springfield largely turned its attention to pistols. Their 1911 line gained a great deal of popularity, being an American-made 1911 pistol of good craftsmanship, good accuracy and reliability and at reasonable prices. Their custom shop also gained acclaim, with Les Baer and Jack Weigand being former directors there.
Over the years, their 1911 offerings have expanded considerably, including full-size and compact models, multiple chamberings and an enormous list of available features on various Springfield 1911 pistol models.
In 2001 and 2002, Springfield began offering a new line of pistols, the XD series of polymer striker pistols. One of the worst kept secrets of the gun industry is that these pistols are actually made by HS Produkt in Croatia as the HS2000 series of pistols; Springfield, much like European American Armory or Century Arms, imports them and stamps their name on the frame.
However, handgun buyers couldn't care less. The XD line is currently one of the most popular series of handguns on the American market to date. Their 1911 lineup also remains very popular, as a 1911 pistol for nearly any purpose can be had from Springfield.
Recent additions to the Springfield lineup include the XD Mod.2 series in 2014 and the Saint AR-platform rifle in 2016, so their product line keeps getting refined and added to.
Springfield Handguns To Look For
If I wanted a Springfield, which Springfield handguns should I look at? It depends on what you're looking for, but there are certainly some standouts.
For instance, you cannot go wrong with the Springfield Mil-Spec 1911. It's a GI-spec, Government-frame 1911 in .45 ACP. You do get dot sights instead of a mere notch-and-blade, and you can opt for stainless or parkerized finish. There's not much else to it...but it's a quality entry-level 1911 made in the USA - their take on a classic.
However, for the person who wants bells and whistles...many more Springfield 1911 pistols are available. The 1911 Loaded model lives up to the name, with a railed dust cover, Trijicon low-profile sights, bobtail grip safety, skeletonized hammer and trigger and ambidextrous thumb safety levers. You can select 9mm or .45 ACP.
The Springfield XD has been a perennial best-seller since they were released. The original XD comes in two flavors - 3-inch compact in 9mm or .40, and 4-inch full-size in those chamberings or .45 ACP. You can also get a 4-in XD in .45 ACP with a thumb safety if desired. Sights are 3-dot, there's an accessory rail...and that's about it. Polymer frame, striker-fired operation, extended magazines if you want them for the compact.
The Springfield XD(S) is a very popular concealed carry pistol, as that series is single-stack and just under 1 inch wide at the grip. The frame is the same, but you can choose the slide and barrel package - 3.3-inch or 4-inch lengths are available. The compact model is available in 9mm, .40 or .45 ACP, the 4-inch model is chambered in 9mm or .45 ACP. Extended magazines are very popular accessories for the XD(S).
If the XD is too bare-bones, the XD Mod.2 is an XD with all the bells and whistles. Ergonomic improvements, improved grip texture, low-profile ramp rear and fiber optic front sights and stainless or melonite black finishes. The 3-inch subcompact in 9mm and .40 S&W, and the 3.3-inch subcompact in .45 ACP are very popular. There are also 4-inch and 5-inch barrel models available as well.
In the 1911 line, two popular CCW 1911 pistols from Springfield are the EMP series (or Enhanced Micro Pistol) and the Range Officer Compact are both smaller 1911 pistols, perfect for concealment. The EMP series is offered with 3- or 4-inch barrels, and in either 9mm or .40S&W. The Range Officer Compact is offered in 9mm or .45 ACP. Both have the bells and whistles - ramp rear and fiber optic front sights, and skeletonized hammers and triggers. The EMP can be had in all black or in two-tone, with a stainless slide, but the Range Officer Compact only comes in stainless steel.
However, for those that just need a better pistol than basically anybody, the Springfield Custom Shop is still making custom 1911 pistols equal to some of the bigger names in the custom 1911 business. One of the most popular models from the custom shop is the Professional, which Springfield Armory has been making for the Los Angeles SWAT team for years.
Springfield Holsters by Alien Gear
Alien Gear makes a holster for virtually every handgun currently made by Springfield Armory, so Springfield holsters are very well represented in our product lineup. In fact, the only Springfield handgun we don't make a holster for is the Wadcutter, a target model made by custom shop designed for mounting optics.
Springfield 1911 holsters are well represented. Even if you can't find a Springfield 1911 model by name - say if you can't find the Range Officer Compact - you WILL be able to find the barrel length among our 1911 holsters, which will still work perfectly, including for railed Springfield 1911 pistols.
As to the XD family, Alien Gear currently produces XD holsters, XD(S) holsters, XD(M) holsters and XD Mod 2 holsters, including full-size, compact and subcompact models and all barrel lengths.
We even offer an XD(M) 5.25-inch competition model holster, so we leave pretty much no stone unturned when it comes to Springfield Armory.
Both IWB and OWB models are available, all featuring our adjustable retention shell.
We also offer Springfield mag carriers, for all calibers and in single and double stack configurations.
Latest Springfield Armory Guns And Rumors
The most recent addition to the roster of Springfield Armory guns is the Saint - an AR-15 style semi-auto rifle. However, the company did usher in some new handguns at the 2017 SHOT Show. None were exactly new, per se, but rather were fresh takes on existing models.
Two new variants of the EMP 1911 were introduced, one - the Black Armory Kote - for the 3-inch EMP model and a new variant of the EMP 4-inch barrel platform. The Black Armory Kote treats the frame with black Cerakote and dark wood grips, for a very dark appearance indeed, but with a good amount of class.
Additionally, the Concealed Carry Contour model was added to the EMP 4-inch model range. The Concealed Carry Contour EMP has a bobcut on the rear of the frame for better concealment - a popular refinement for concealed carry 1911s - along with the usual EMP refinements.
Two more Kote models were released in the TRP model line. There is the standard TRP Black Armory Kote, which has a black Cerakote finish, and the TRP Operator Black Armory Kote. The latter features a gray frame and black slide, with a full-rail dustover and adjustable rear sight.
Springfield has also added an XD Mod.2 4-inch Service Model in .45 ACP, bringing a big bore to the full-size Mod.2 pistols.
Springfield Armory is likely to remain one of the most popular handgun companies for some time, as their products serve many needs for many people. Their guns are certainly well worth considering if you're looking for a new concealed carry pistol, range toy or home defense handgun.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.