Springfield Armory 911 Review: the 1911’s annoying little, little brother.

by Daniel Young

March 7, 2023

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First there was the Colt Mustang, then the Sig Sauer P238, and now the Springfield 911. This Springfield 911 review will look at how the 911 stacks up to the field. 

An all metal subcompact 9mm or .380 with 1911 styling and ergonomics.

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Springfield 911 Specs

  • Name Springfield 911
  • Caliber .380
  • Magazine 6+1 (Flush) 7+1 (Extended)
  • Action Single Action
  • Frame Aluminum
  • Sights Pro-Glo Tritium
  • Barrel Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Length 2.7 inches
  • Weight 15.3 ounces
  • Safety Ambi Manual Safety

Springfield 911 Background

The 1911 is one of, if not the, most iconic American guns. And while it has served in military, law enforcement, competition, and self defense roles, it is not much of a pocket pistol. Even short barrel models like the Officer are simply less than ideal for that type of carry. 

Instead of shortening the barrel and grip lengths to make something smaller, Colt took it a step further. They shrank the gun in every way. This resulted in the Colt Mustang. Now, this is a bit of an oversimplification. There are many design differences between the Mustang and the 1911, such as the lack of a grip safety. But it does retain the general air of “1911-ness” which many shooters were drawn to. 

Eventually the Mustang went out of production. Sig Sauer’s P238 reignited the micro .380 1911 trend. Colt then reintroduced the Mustang. Many years later, Springfield Armory brought out their contender, known as the 911. It also did away with the grip safety while retaining the manual safety.

The 911 was itself a short-lived product, and was discontinued within a few years. The demand for this style of .380 had waned by the time Springfield brought theirs to market. It seems that the market moved on from tiny .380 pistols in the age of the high capacity micro 9mm.

Springfield 911 Features

Springfield 911 Gun Features
1 Grips

Thin, aggressively checkered G10 grips

2 Ambidextrous Safety

Ambidextrous thumb safety works for both left and right handed shooters

3 Loaded Chamber Indicator

Tactile loaded chamber indicator 

4 Night Sights

Pro-Glo tritium night sights

5 Size

Very small overall dimensions

Models and Variations of the Springfield 911

Springfield is known for making multiple versions of a gun when they make a gun, and the 911 was no exception. Models were made in both .380 and 9mm, and with or without visible lasers. All models are now discontinued.

This review focuses on the .380 model. The review gun is black with green G10 grips. The extended magazine with finger rest was also used.

Springfield 911 –  Our Take

Springfield 911 Patch 2

Shooting the .380 911 is a mostly negative experience. The recoil is soft thanks to the metal construction. It is a decently heavy pistol for its size, and it is enough to tame the already mild .380 recoil. That is about the only positive thing to say about shooting the 911. 

The list of negatives is far longer. The slide fit with the frame is tight, but in a bad way. Rather than feeling like a Swiss masterpiece where fitment is tight but movement is perfect, the 911 is just tight. The slide feels like it does not want to move even though it is designed to move. This also leads to the slide feeling gummy or sticky when dirty. Along with the weak slide movement is a hammer that seems to lack strength. I experienced some light strikes on primers. All rounds did fire when loaded into the gun again, but that is not the kind of performance that should be exhibited in a defensive pistol.

Another strike against the 911 is the ejection pattern. It throws the brass straight up. The empty cases had a habit of falling back down on top of my hat after bouncing off of the roof of the shooting stall.

Springfield 911 Patch 2

The 911 is not a great fit for shooters with large hands, or even medium hands. Its grip is both thin and narrow, and even with the extended magazine it seems like there is simply not enough grip. The 9mm version has a grip which is longer from front strap to back strap, and it is a little easier to hold as a result. 

Despite the tiny grip, the 911 exhibits decent accuracy. I was able to place rounds where I wanted to. It is a difficult gun to shoot quickly though, in large part due to the grip size. 

An ambidextrous manual safety is located in the normal 1911-style position for manipulation with the thumb. It snaps firmly on and off. The safety blocks slide movement when engaged, which is mildly annoying. Having to take the gun off safe in order to clear the gun is a little counterproductive.The safety is easy to manipulate though, so at least it is easy to move it to the desired position.

One feature I do like on the 911 is the loaded chamber indicator. It is a small lever on top of the slide that normally sits flush with the slide. When a round is present in the chamber, it pivots up. This creates a visible and tactile way to check if the gun is loaded. While not a huge time saver, this is a nice touch that makes it easy to double check the gun without totally removing it from a holster.

Springfield 911 Sights

How good of a deal is the 911 today? That entirely depends on how good of a deal you can find. These seem to be selling around $450 on the used market, but those prices tend to vary wildly. Two magazines are generally included, one extended and one flush fit. Tritium night sights are also standard. These are a much better value now then they were at full retail price, but the reliability issues call into question the wisdom of purchasing one for defensive use.

At the end of the day, the 911 was discontinued for a reason. It is not a great pistol. It does not shine as a great shooter, nor is it terribly reliable. Used models are out there for a shooter who insists on buying one, though there are few reasons why anyone would insist on buying one of these. The better decision is a micro 9.

Springfield 911 Pros and Cons 

  • Size – Extremely concealable
  • Capacity – Low capacity
  • Aftermarket – Very little aftermarket support
  • Longevity– Short production run

Report Card

Shootability

Despite mild recoil, the 911 is not fun to shoot.

C
Reliability

It does not like to be dirty, and makes it known.

D
Ergonomics

Best for shooters with small hands.

C+
Accuracy

It is accurate enough, compared to its peers.

B
Value

There are few reasons to spend any money on this gun.

C-
Springfield 911 Final Grade

Our Grade

C

Reviewed by Daniel Young

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 15 Reviews

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Springfield 911 Starter Pack

If you are new guns or have years of experience you want to make sure you have a few items on hand. Eye and ear protection is a must, and a good gun cleaning kit is key to maintaining a functioning firearm.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Gun cleaning is not that complicated, but you need some specific gear to get the job done right. We’ve got a whole article dedicated to gun cleaning kits you’ll need to keep your pistol in tip top shape.  
  • Eye Protection: Wear eye protection. If you need help finding good eye protection that you will actually wear, check out our recommendations for the best shooting glasses!
  • Hearing Protection: Same with eye protection, you need ear protection every time you go shooting Don’t be the old person (or even worse the young person) who cant hear anything because they were too cool for hearing protection. We’ve gathered all of our favorites to help you decide the best hearing protection for you.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Springfield 911

Unlike a true 1911, the 911 does not have a lot of aftermarket support but there are a few things you can get to accessorize the firearm.

First you will want several spare magazines. Since this gun has been discontinued, you may want to pick up these sooner than later before they are gone.

You will also need a good holster to carry your gun. And why not make the gun truly yours with some custom grips.

Best Accessories For The Springfield 911

Springfield Armory 911 - 6 Round Magazine
  • 6 Rounds
  • Stainless Steel
Check Price
Springfield Armory 911 - 7 Round Magazine
  • 7 Rounds
  • Stainless Steel
  • Polymer bumper
Check Price
Tulster IWB Profile Holster
  • 1.5in Quick Clip
  • Adjustable cant angle
  • Sweat shield
Check Amazon Price
Custom Grips

Stoner G10 Grips

Stoner G10 Grips
  • fits 911 .380 only
  • many colors to choose
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your Springfield 911

You will need to train with your CCW gun, regardless which one you choose. Here are some good deals on training ammo. When you are done training, load up your magazines with some high quality self defense rounds, after verifying they cycle in your gun of course. We found some good deals on those as well.

Range Ammo

Magtech 380 Auto Ammo

MagTech .380 Auto 95 GR FMJ

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Target Sports USA $0.39
Sportsmans Guide $0.44
Palmetto State Armory $0.44

Carry Ammo

Federal HST 380 Auto Ammo

Federal HST .380 Auto 99 GR JHP

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
MidwayUSA $1.55
Palmetto State Armory $1.85

Other Concealable Pistols of its Class to Check Out

The Springfield 911 did not get a very good grade. We think there are much better options out there for your concealed carry firearm.  We have an entire article on our favorite concealed carry handguns. Here are two of our favorites in 9mm.

#1 Sig P365

Sig P365 Featured Image

Sig P365

The Sig P365 set a new definition for what a great concealed carry handgun can be – it quickly became the go-to 9mm for many shooters.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A+

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 178 Reviews

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Success Your Grade Has Been
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#2 Glock 48

Glock 48

Glock 48

At its core, the Glock 48 is essentially a Glock 19 with a single stack magazine.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability B+
  • Ergonmics A
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 57 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

How to Care for Your Springfield 911

The 911 has similarities to the 1911, but it is not identical. If you own a 911 make sure you know how to take it about for cleaning and maintenance. Here is a video walking you through the process.

Check out the links below for the Springfield 911 manufacturer’s website and operator’s manual.

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About Daniel Young

Daniel is an attorney and lifelong gun nerd. His Instagram account, @fromtheguncounter, grew out of his work at a gun store and shooting range. He can usually be found in the hills with a rifle when he's not working.

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