I am a 1911 fan and have one of the earlier 9mm EMPs. For our club 3 gun and pistol challenges, I have shifted from the commander size 45ACP using most often the 9mm EMP. Shooting std torso silhouette targets at 3 to 25 yard distances under time, although any A zone center mass hits are acceptable, I prefer to use head shots. Even at 25 yards this little pistol will shoot buttons off a shirt if needed. For fun after the timed shoot, ringing 8" steel at 40 yards is very doable. Using 115 grain round nose for range work this is an amazingly little pistol! I have not figured the reason yet, but I am more accurate with the 9mm EMP than with my commander length 45 ACP.
Yes, as a short barrel gun, it was perhaps designed for close encounter situations, it is very capable of off hand shots out to 40 yards, perhaps further depending on the shooter's skill, but at typical defensive distances, it is a bell ringer! Never a failure to feed or any common hick-up malfunction. With many hundreds of rounds thru this little gun, I would feel totally comfortable trusting my life to it ... if we ever get real concealed carry here in the Peoples Republic of New Jersey.