Workin' Springfield's EMP 3 9MM

Workin' Springfield's EMP 3 9MM

This is a discussion on Workin' Springfield's EMP 3 9MM within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looks might be deceiving. The EMP 3 is one gorgeous handgun. I picked her up yesterday. I put ~110 rounds through her. 3 FTF's within ...

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  1. #1
    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Workin' Springfield's EMP 3 9MM

    Looks might be deceiving. The EMP 3 is one gorgeous handgun.

    I picked her up yesterday. I put ~110 rounds through her. 3 FTF's within the first 40 rounds. It was new W-W range ammo that's given to me. Then she settled into shooting consistency. The last 50 rounds were from a new box of 147 grain Fed HST Tactical. Every last round fed perfectly.

    This was the first new gun I've purchased that I didn't thoroughly clean before shooting it. All I did was run a patch through her and wipe away excess oil.

    I'll shoot 120 rounds through her on Wed followed by an update. If I get one FTF, she's going back to Springfield for inspection.

    An anecdote: she's listed as having a 9 round mag capacity. I'm thinking that the reality is she has an 8 round mag capacity. The 9th round requires a lotta effort to get in place and the mag has to slammed into the pistol.

    I've never had a single issue with my Springer loaded Model .45 ACP. She is one accurate handgun. I bough her to compete. If my lumbar gets squared away w/o scalpel intervention, I might revisit that idea.

    I've never heard of a single problem of any kind with an S&W Shield 9MM, a gun that's priced at a third of the Springer EMP. Maybe I ought look at picking up a Shield. That's darn near heresy for me. I'm old school, not striker school. Might just be I gots to picks me upa new education ;-)
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  2. #2
    Member Array simonp67's Avatar
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    Good luck with your EMP, hopefully you got a good one and hopefully Springfield has corrected their QC, mine went back to Springfield and when they didnít fix it went to a smith I trust. Sadly just about everything on the gun is both proprietary and internally is poor quality MIM but being In Kalifornia itís the only option


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    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Hi simonp67,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words.

    I'm going to have the armorer from the agency that writes my retirement stipends take a look at it on Wednesday before I shoot it again. Armorers take very good care of us. They will not approve junk for cop & retired cop carry. If the armorer ID's a problem, I'll go with his recommendation, which will probably be to send it back to SA.

    Who's the smith who worked you EMP? Is he in So Cal? I see that you're in the Bay Area, so I'm assuming he's up your way.
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    I have the EMP4 in S&W .40-the pistol has not missed a beat since I purchased it new 2 years ago.I carry the pistol at times when I want a change.I really like the way the smaller frame fits my hand.
    Workin' Springfield's EMP 3 9MM-nkcr43s.jpg
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  6. #5
    Member Array simonp67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Frame View Post
    Hi simonp67,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words.

    I'm going to have the armorer from the agency that writes my retirement stipends take a look at it on Wednesday before I shoot it again. Armorers take very good care of us. They will not approve junk for cop & retired cop carry. If the armorer ID's a problem, I'll go with his recommendation, which will probably be to send it back to SA.

    Who's the smith who worked you EMP? Is he in So Cal? I see that you're in the Bay Area, so I'm assuming he's up your way.
    Yes he is up here, itís on John Jardineís bench still being worked over.


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    Member Array TimeExposure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonp67 View Post
    Yes he is up here, itís on John Jardineís bench still being worked over.
    Wow, tough crowd. Jardine is a rock star, and nobody said, ďoooh?Ē

    Thereís lots of love for Springerís little 1911ís as carry guns. Wish I knew with certainty that I would press that safety off if I needed to use it in a self-defense situation.

    As it is, I just really donít know how Iíll react, so I remove all extra steps.

    Truth be told, the EMP3 I borrowed at the range was crap. Knowing that range, they probably last cleaned it when B. Hussein Obama was in office.

    Now my gubmít size TGO1 is a heck of a Springer, but I expect that with a Custom Shop pistola!!

  8. #7
    Member Array plumber802's Avatar
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    It was love at first sight when I saw a EMP4 in 9mm at my LGS.I really liked the look and feel of the gun but just could not get past the fact that most of the parts were proprietary to Springfield.The price was around $800.I spent a little extra and got a Kimber CDP Pro.
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    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    It's back at SA for diagnosis and remedy. When she returns she had better be 100% reliable. If not, we'll part ways.

    EMP is an expensive model. I paid half its price for a P239 that's 100% reliable.

    I might go back to my P239 as my primary self-defense weapon.

  10. #9
    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Good Morning, krunchink,

    That is one gorgeous handgun. I hope she brings you many, many years of shooting fun & self-defense comfort. The EMP is one good looking handgun.

    A gun the cost of an EMP should be flawless when it leaves the factory of its birth.

    I have a P239 .40 S&W that I bought when they were on the cheap because they were DC. I paid less than 6 bills for her. She's 100 percent reliable...and beyond accurate. I might make it my carry gun assuming I get around to carrying a handgun.

    I get the Adam Smith capitalism thing: profit maximizing, lowering costs, what the market will bear, etc. Then there's consumer loyalty. Everyone can make a mistake. I ain't going sideways on Springfield Armory because of one less than perfect EMP. It deserves a chance to make it right. However, we all have a steel trap in our minds that hold bad experiences. Try as we might, we're unable to purge bad experiences from our steel traps. My less than sanguine experience with a 12 bill handgun that should've been perfect before she left her birthing center will be hard to unlawful detainer from my mind's bad experience trap.

    BTW, and this ain't a cartridge debate: my EMP is the first 9MM I've ever owned. Truth be told, I like 180 grain .40 S&W. When I saw my friend shoot his very expensive .45 ACP shorty (3" barrel), I was able to learn from others' experiences that some cartridges are not suitable for shorties. I can keep my 3.6" barreled P239 on target with 180 grain bullets. I'm not sure I could do that outta a 3" EMP 3, which is why I went with a 9MM. In my opinion and my opinion only, the .40 S&W is a superior self-defense cartridge vis-a-vis the 9MM.

    The .40 S&W & 4" barrels are a better match than me an Kate Upton. But Jason Verlander poached her before she got a chance of experiencing true elation from hanging all over me.

    BTW, and only for consideration: the armorer at the outfit that cuts my retirement stipends told me w/o hesitation to use 180 grain FED HST Tactical ammo in my P239. Other ammo is good, but apparently Fed HST outperformed all others when tested.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    J-Frame You read like a rather new shooter or with some what limited exposure to different brands and models . You can drop 3000 bucks in a handgun and have an issue specially if your not feding it good proven quality ammo .

    And some times a production handgun you have an issue with will run fine for thousands of rounds for some one else . Also don't think some armor is all that ether . They took a class that should help them trouble shoot issues and maintain a weapon but to start with LE firearms for the masses are rarely high end well tuned models . Just a run of production firearms . ..

    I read stores of springers , colts , kimber , dw and lb's that give problems so you spends your money and take your chances .

    I bought a Kimber ss ultra 9mm for lowere 700 dollar price tag new locally . Bought some thin g-10 grips for it and after shooting it 400 time all trouble free and then I let my wife shoot it . She claimed it as her EDC after a couple mags full of ammo . IT now has over 2200 rounds fired still 100% reliably yet some mutt will say its junk . I use mostly home rolled ammo for practice , a coated swc and my wife carry'147gr HST is for carry after a couple hundred rounds were fired . After she claimed it I picked up a colt lw commander in 45 . It too just fine and totally reliable and a I had a RIA tac2 few years ago that was one heck of reliable shooter too but I not a fan of heavy lard butt handguns and sold it . 32 years of CC and many more hunting or shooting and I have had 1 bad handgun remington r51 and few others that went home for some tlc and came back running well but sure not worthy of a tread . So live and learn but sure not worth putting on a show over a minor problem of unknown cause that might be yours !

    My EDC is a 40sw and does not matter the brand as I had 4 - 40sw over my 32 years carrying concealed all reliable as they can be since 1990 and my ammo has been consistently a fast mid to lighter weight bullet that I have tested on a couple deer . Ha

    Maybe start making some choice on your own as many LE department use a number of different ammo brands as one can't cover them all !! A little 40sw ammo insight below for you to review and some others cartridges can be found .

    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...ic-tests/#40SW


    HST is good but not the only equally as good ammo . and some messed the test above .

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Hi hardluk1,

    I am a new shooter ;-) a new shooter of EMP 3 9MM's.

    If a handgun might be used to save my life, you're right: there are brands you couldn't give me. Quality is expensive. But then again, how much is your life worth? I'm far from rich. When it comes to saving my life and lives of my loved ones, don't try to palm off junk to me. I will buy quality, for quality might just save might life. Junk might just end it.

    My former employer issued quality handguns. If we wanted to carry our own, there were two, maybe three other manufacturers that were approved for duty use. Our armorers were candid. They had to be. Part of their job was to keep us from carrying junk that could get us killed. Every once in while a cop would bring in a gun for approval for off-duty carry. Our armorers would tell buyers of junk to get it out of their office. They wouldn't look at it let alone approve it.

    I've owned a lot of handguns in my life. I've owned only two that were w/o question 100% reliable: a Sig P229 & a Sig P239. There's no doubt in my mind that either would leave ANY revolver is a cloud of dust swirling from reliability competition. Both of my Sigs are factory originals. I've never had a single thing done to them. They were 100% perfectly reliable when they left Sig's factory. That's the way self-defense guns should work.

    I personally know of an S&W 5904 that went 10k rounds w/o any cleaning. It never had a single failure to do anything. It always fired every brand of ammo fed it. It passed the big boss's reliability test.

    My EMP will be a self-defense handgun. That means it might have to be used to save my life. If it ain't as close to 100% reliable as a handgun can be, it's worthless to me.

    The person at Springfield Armory was aware of the problem with my EMP. Apparently it originated from a design flaw that has been corrected. Once SA smiths gets her dialed in, she'll be 100% reliable.

    I have a Springer 1911-A1 that has been 100% reliable. But I don't have enough rounds through her to put her in my Sig reliability category.

    I've never heard of ANY LE agency using different ammo brands. Can you tell me the name of an agency that issues more than one ammo brand?

    Remember, I'm new to this stuff & all ;-)
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    You missed the point . ANY handgun can have function issues and many brands of ammo typically cheap lines can cause issues too for range practice . How well YOU can trouble shoot your problems say far more abut your skills than telling use about an unknow problem on a tread ..

    I'm old enough to know guys with most brands of handguns that had some kind of problems with new handguns including springers and sigs classic line . One is a old match shooter buddy that after about wearing out two old springer GI model 1911's one a 9mm , one a 45 bought a new springs 1911 to use until has old 1911's could be gone thru and upgraded . Both old 1911's were north of 100,000 plus fired . Well that fine new 1500 dollar upgraded model springer lasted a couple weeks of use and he snapped off the safety lever !! So it got a trip back home for some TLC and he used a 460 dollar RIA I had stuffed back in my safe and ended up buying it . Got figure . He did get his pistols back with new match grade barrels bushings fit along with triggers and fire control parts . But kept that cheap RIA , sold the new springer .

    So your armor kept out the junk firearms ?? What would some of those junk brands and models be . Glock and calibers , m&p and calibers , maybe hk's or beretta 92 ?? Other brands ? You seemed to gloss over that . I'm not a fan of glocks but they tend to be carried by more LE departments reliably over the last 30 years than any brand !! Assuming the officers don't shoot them self but that's a training or personal stress issue .

    You put far to much faith in your armor's opinion as what most officers carry can be budget driven by others with in LE departments or the hard sell from a manufacture !


    SIG reliability ? Maybe a CZ reliability ?? You should spend some time on Sig Talk classic sig section and find there good but not gar O teed reliable ether . Or springfield forum might change your perception too . MY handguns regardless of brand or model all have to prove there reliable and that's what really matters . I have a few handgun getting real high in rounds fire all reliable but I keep up with spring replacement and general service needs but think a new model can't have some issues is fooling only you as there is no sure fired reliable production brand today .

  14. #13
    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Good Morning, hardluk1,

    Maybe I did miss your point. For that, I apologize.

    I'm curious about your friend's Springer with a broken safety. Springer 1911-A1's are made in the USA. We can draw an inference from one incident with one handgun, SA 1911-A1's have received highest praise and rankings. But then again, the genius of the 1911-A1 is simplicity of design. It's not complicated.

    Nothing done in law enforcement is based upon opinion. It is based upon demonstrable, scientific fact. As science changes, LE changes with it.

    I have no knowledge of recent Sigs. I've had a lot of exposure to the P226, P229, P239, and P220. They were all of highest quality and highest reliability. I've associated with at least 10k cops in my career. I've never heard a single negative comment about Sig hammer-fired guns. I've attended God only knows how many hours of professional firearms courses. The most common handgun design I've seen fail were all revolvers. Double action revolvers are of complex design. Semis are of simple design. Double-action revolvers have more moving parts than semis, and some of those moving parts are tiny any subject to failure. One tiny spring failure will render an expensive revolver a throwing weapon.

    The last handgun I was FORCED to carry was an H&K USP double-stack .45 ACP. That was one HUGE handgun. I begged to return to my P229, a far easier and lighter gun to conceal. Nope. When administrators decide, they can reveal how far removed they are from the actual delivery of service.

    I'll guess that I put a 1000+ rounds through that H&K USP .45 ACP. It was an excellent & flawless weapon. It was way to big for my taste. But it was an excellent handgun in terms of reliability.

    Since I've retired, hammer-fired handguns have all but disappeared from LE. It seems to be all striker fired. I have no clue of why.

    My guess is the Shield is as reliable as any other semi. I've yet to read a negative word about Shield. Unless it failed a safety test, I see no reason why cops would be denied ability to carry one.

    When Glocks became all the rage, pause was issued due to a design flaw that caused catastrophic failure. I don't own any striker fired handgun, so I can't definitively opine, but my guess is Glock has corrected the design flaw that caused failures. It's a very popular LE handgun.

    Armorers did not arbitrarily define junk handguns. Either they were on a list of guns not approved for use or if it were a unique handgun, suitability for use would have to be proved. There's an ancient bromide in LE that is still controlling: "No one wants to hear your opinion. Tell me what you can prove to be factual."

    LE agencies don't peruse the 'net for handgun knowledge. They'll take possession of a sales rep's copy and put it through scientifically accepted testing protocol. They'll abuse it, torture it, stress it, muddy it, and if it still fires, it might wind up in the running for consideration for purchase, and the rep will get his gun back that won't look like it did when he submitted it for consideration.

    I will cop to a long handgun hiatus except for yearly HR 218 qualification, and that's 15 rounds. Hence, I know virtually nothing of striker-fired handguns. I haven't kept up with changes in the handgun industry. I have read that since Cohen took over Sig, its QC has suffered. But I have no clue of the validity of it.

    Just because it's on the 'net doesn't make it true ;-)

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Gabill's Avatar
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    Good luck on a smooth running pistol. I sent a Colt Defender back, not a problem since. I carry it regularly.
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  16. #15
    Ex Member Array J-Frame's Avatar
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    Correction of post #13 above:

    "We can draw an inference from one incident with one handgun..."

    Change can to can't.

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