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First Look: Springfield Armory Emissary 1911 Review

TidalWave

Professional
I loved reading through all the comments on this thread. Lots of different opinions. I think that is what I like most about this pistol. It is classic, but at the same time it is different enough that it stirs a different feeling from different people. Too many manufacturers today are trying to build the gun that everyone will love. Springfield didn’t do that here. Instead they built a gun that some people would live and others? Well… not so much.

I think that is the best approach. I’d rather design something that is loved and hated (not that anyone hates the Emissary) than some thing that everyone thinks is just O.K.

The bull barrel takedown method is very common among bull barrel 1911’s and once you do it it becomes very easy to field strip.

I found the checkering in the front strap to be very grippy. I originally thought it was going to be primarily decorative. It looks great and works great as well. The gun shoots like a dream.
Paul , do you own one now or just test fire one? Reason I ask is I’m curious to know if the “value” is there for the $1300 price tag.
 
Part of the appeal of a 1911 is the relatively narrow grip that only a single stack can provide. A double stack would have to be called something else. I’m not a fan of the squared off trigger guard, either. I’m not decided on the angled off top of the slide. 1911’s have that nice, gentle radius. Cheers to SA coming up with something new, though. I’m sure they’ll sell all they can make. Just not to me.
 

TidalWave

Professional
You know something ?
I’ve been looking at some pics of this thing - close ups and from diff angles - and it’s starting to lose its appeal…
Not sure why, maybe a little bit of a gang weapon look?? Or maybe it’s a pic I saw from underneath that makes the rails look wide… or sumthin.
(I’m not a huge rail fan anyway)
Well….Guess what ?
Went into a LGS down east today (I’d been there yrs before but forgotten about it) and they had the Emissary. $1275 price tag ( not all that bad; I’ve seen em online for $1300+, not counting shipping).
I handled it, and the slim grips are great but it felt funny somehow. Barrel is distinctly heavier at the muzzle; more that I’d imagined it would be even with rails (def not a cc gun). U-shaped sights were ok. I found the contrast in finish to be a bit much - the blued Ronin is bluish. This one is black. The forward serrations are actually cuts and more cosmetic than anything, although they might serve to reduce the noticeable forward weight…

I was excited about it at first and my first inclination was to get it. But the more I handled it the less I liked it and finally told myself No, I don’t want it.
Gaudy
Bad-ish feel when I gripped it
Looks ghetto/gangsta in person
Bad carry gun (open or concealed)

Final word: Not a good buy at that price, imho.
 

southtex

Custom
Founding Member
The look really made me do a double take, color, clean and sleek. I don't care for the rail but the squared off guard caught my eye. While I was looking at the picture my wife glanced over and said "Now that's a nice looking gun". I was disappointed to read the color in person (Tidal Wave), wasn't as nice as when compared to the Ronin. I hope my LGS has one come to the store so I can look at the gun in person. Currently this sits on my (strong) thinking about it list. This would be a range, pleasure shooting, ranch & lease type gun because I also agree that carrying a full size 1911 does become noticeable in the afternoon.
 

Fedeni2

Alpha
Has anyone seen one of these at their local LGS yet? I’m wondering if these are shipping in any quantity yet. I’d love to get one, but I can’t find one anywhere, and Gunbroker is not an option for me.
 

TidalWave

Professional
Has anyone seen one of these at their local LGS yet? I’m wondering if these are shipping in any quantity yet. I’d love to get one, but I can’t find one anywhere, and Gunbroker is not an option for me.
I’ve seen one up close at an LGS. Heavy, but that might be good in some applications and at the range. But I won’t be buying, I think… see my posts above.
 

SimonRL

Professional
I saw one at my LGS today. I’ve been secretly hoping that when I saw one up close I would be really impressed and want to whip out my credit card, but sadly, my card stayed in my wallet. If anything it looks even more overdone in person. It’s a hard pass for me. Now my sites are set firmly back on a two-tone BUL SAS Ultra II.
 

10mmLife

Moderator
Staff member
Founding Member
I saw one at my LGS today. I’ve been secretly hoping that when I saw one up close I would be really impressed and want to whip out my credit card, but sadly, my card stayed in my wallet. If anything it looks even more overdone in person. It’s a hard pass for me. Now my sites are set firmly back on a two-tone BUL SAS Ultra II.


Not quite a BUL 1911 but I handled a BUL Cherokee last night which is another plastic fantastic modeled after the CZ -75 platform but it had terrible controls and did not feel good in my hands.
 

javbike

Professional
I just don’t care for all the fees they charge now, including sales tax. Plus I’d rather give my business to a local shop.
Yea I agree but sometimes LGS just doesn’t get it in I don’t remember paying any extra fees I am from California so guns aren’t available like other states anyway I know the FFL charge sales tax but not guns.com they are pretty straight forward no shipping fees anyway good luck finding the emissary
 

wmg1299

Professional
I was excited about it at first and my first inclination was to get it. But the more I handled it the less I liked it and finally told myself No, I don’t want it.
Gaudy
Bad-ish feel when I gripped it
Looks ghetto/gangsta in person
Bad carry gun (open or concealed)
I appreciate the honest report. I have a Remington R1 G.I. replica, and have been thinking of buying a more premium 1911 for awhile. I was interested in the Emissary after reading the promo materials and seeing a few pics. The marketing has been great, but I haven't actually seen the gun in person or handled it.

I'm hoping to still like the gun when I see it, but I won't make a decision before that time. I used read car magazines as a kid. I remember the print ads for the Pontiac Fiero making that car look amazing (like an American Ferrari). The feeling faded quickly upon actually seeing one in person.
 

shesky

Alpha
I just bought one 5 minutes after I knew it existed. A true impulse buy. I saw it and really wanted a tricut and didn't want to spend $4k plus on a nighthawk.

Received off gunbroker. No problem in that regard. Nice looking pistol. Solid, no rattle. Very aggressive feel in hand. I like it. It's rough and narrow. Sights look promising

Not a fan of the plastic trigger. The trigger pull is the worst I've ever felt on 1911. Averages between 5.5-6lb of pull. Truly terrible. I switched out the hammer and it went down to 4.5-5lb. Better, but not great. Probably gonna throw some $ at it and install a nighthawk drop in. Also having issues with the slide stop not releasing. That might be mag related though. Switching to wc mags seems to stop this.

Overall, not worth $1300 and not a good value. You can get a fantastic Dan Wesson for what I paid.
 
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