Springfield Armory Echelon, “a new standard for duty pistols”

The claim – “a new standard for modern, striker-fired duty pistols” – may not be particularly original, but the new Echelon from Springfield Armory is quite a feature- and innovation rich 9mm handgun, with many solutions still patent pending.

The Springfield Armory Echelon features deep and crisp slide serrations,a trench cut forward of the action for press checks and charging the firearm, and a special adaptive grip texture.

The modular Echelon pistol is designed around a robust and precision built stainless steel chassis. At its heart lies the all-new Central Operating Group (COG): the COG is entirely self-contained and serialized allowing it to be easily moved between grip modules in seconds. Considerable attention was paid to achieve excellent trigger performance: all critical components are machined from tool steel and highly polished for a clean take up, defined wall, crisp break and short, positive reset.

The heart of the Springfield Armory Echelon: the Central Operating Group (COG) is entirely self-contained and serialized, allowing it to be easily moved between grip modules.

Built with safety in mind, the Echelon is designed and tested to exceed SAAMI drop test parameters. In addition, the Echelon’s Central Operating Group features a unique second sear design to help prevent unintentional discharge should the firearm be dropped.

Also interesting is the Echelon’s patent-pending optic mounting system called the Variable Interface System (VIS). This system, described as ”the most advanced optics mounting system on the market”, allows users to mount over 30 optics directly to the slide without the use of adapter plates. 

You just have to configure the self-locking pins for the footprint of your desired optic to achieve a low, direct mount for improved sight picture and intuitive alignment. 

New Springfield Armory Echelon in video

The Echelon’s slide has been designed for ease of manipulation, too, and sports four distinct engagement surfaces: a trench cut forward of the action gives shooters a natural index location for press checks and charging the firearm. The back of the slide is flared for positive purchase. Lastly, deep forward and rear serrations provide a firm grip from any angle.

The Variable Interface System (VIS) of the Springfield Armory Echelon allows users to mount over 30 optics directly to the slide without the use of adapter plates by utilizing a set of movable pins. 

The Echelon comes in three grip sizes – small, medium, and large – and each grip module accepts the Central Operating Group. As can be expected in a truly modern gun, the grip can be further adapted to your own specific needs and preferences thanks to backstraps available in three different sizes. All the backstraps have an integrated armorers tool, are universal and can be installed in the small, medium, and large grip frames. The special adaptive grip texture feels smooth to the touch until you apply pressure and engage the more aggressive texture just below the surface.

The Springfield Armory Echelon alternative grip modules, available in small, medium, and large, give shooters the ability to find a configuration that fits them best. Each grip module accepts the Central Operating Group.

The trigger guard is oversized for use with gloved hands, with an undercut for additional comfort and a firmer grip.

The Springfield Armory Echelon is also available in a variant with 5.28″/134 mm threaded barrel and 3-dot tritium sights.

Slide stop and magazine release are ambidextrous. Field stripping requires no tools nor pull of the trigger. Standard sights include a tactical rack U-Notch rear sight and a tritium front sight with luminescent ring. A tritium 3-dot configuration is also available. The hammer forged barrel is Melonite coated for corrosion and wear resistance. You can choose between a 4.5″/114 mm standard or a 5.28”/134 mm threaded barrel with ½ x 28 thread pitch.

The Echelon magazine has a scratch and wear resistant coating, with a 17+1 capacity in its flush fit configuration and 20+1 with the extended base pad installed. A low capacity 10-round model is also available.

Speaking of prices, the new 9mm Echelon pistol from Springfield Armory ranges from $679 to $739 (MSRP in the U.S.), depending on the variation: standard, low capacity, 3-dot tritium, or threaded 3-dot tritium.

Springfield Armory Echelon specs and prices

Barrel Length:
4.5″/114 mm (5.28”/134 mm threaded)
Overall Length:
8″/203 mm (8.8″/223 mm threaded)
23.9 oz/677 g (24.5 oz/694 g threaded)
U-Dot or tritium three-dot
17+1 flush, 20+1 extended (10 round magazine also available) 
Price (MSRP in the U.S.):
$679 to $739 depending on the variant
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