New Emissary pistols from Springfield Armory – Bridging defensive and custom 1911s

Springfield Armory's family of 1911s expands: featuring a forged steel construction and two-tone finish, the Emissary pistols are now available in two new models, a 5" model in 9mm and a 4.25" one in .45 ACP.  

the Emissary series pistols
With a very classic 1911 overall design, the Emissary series pistols sport a two-tone look with a carbon steel slide and a stainless-steel frame.

Described as “a defensive pistol with an air of custom refinement” that “bridges defensive and custom pistols”, the Emissary sports a hot salt blued finish, carbon steel slide and a stainless-steel frame with squared trigger guard. A stylish detail are the slide forward lightening grooves with a flattened and serrated top strap – what the manufacturer calls a “Tri-Top” slide that allows light diffusion and glare reduction thanks to its 40 line-per-inch serrations along the sighting plane. 

The heavy match grade bull barrel with fully supported ramp provides better accuracy and reduces felt recoil. Moreover, both the 9mm 5" model in and the .45 ACP 4.25" version have a so-called grenade-pattern checkering on their stainless steel frames and slim line VZ Grips machined from G10. Sights are a Springfield Armory’s Tactical Rack U-Dot rear type for fast and intuitive acquisition paired to a tritium/luminescent front sight for low light conditions.

Springfield Armory Emissary 1911 pistol in video

Springfield Armory Emissary, two sizes and two calibers

The 4.25" model in .45 ACP. (left) and the 5" model in 9mm side by side
The 4.25" model in .45 ACP. (left) and the 5" model in 9mm side by side, showing the “Tri-Top” slide.
The stainless steel frame
The stainless steel frame features a grenade-pattern checkering and VZ Grips machined from G10.

With its compact dimensions, the Commander-sized Emissary 4.25” in .45 ACP is designed for everyday carry, while the new  5" full size model is the 9mm of the already available 5" model in .45 ACP with the same aesthetics and features – the full size models also offer an integrated Picatinny accessory rail for the mounting of lights or lasers. Springfield Armory claims that the Emissary series delivers ultra-fast lock times, also thanks to a light skeletonized hammer and flat-faced trigger.

The Springfield Armory Emissary pistols come with two magazines. Capacity is nine rounds in 9 mm and eight rounds in .45 ACP – so not a great advantage for the smaller caliber in terms of fire power. In any case, if you are spoilt for choice, comparing prices won't help, since MSRP is $1279 whatever the caliber and the size (5” or 4.25”). Sure, more pricey than most polymer striker-fired pistols. But still, we are talking about classic forged steel 1911s with custom details...