All About Guns


The Springfield Armory Ronin EMP 4” 1911 pistol is crafted from the ground up to be the optimized 9mm single-action concealed carry handgun. Building upon the rock-solid foundation of John Moses Browning’s inimitably timeless combat tool, the artisans at Springfield Armory strove to bring this classic century-old design into the Information Age.

emp 1911 design compromised
How does the Springfield Armory Ronin EMP 4” 1911 pistol perform as a CCW pistol? Does it strike a workable balance between packability and real-world tactical performance?

EMP stands for Enhanced Micro Pistol, and it is so much more than simply a miniaturized .45 ACP 1911 rechambered in 9mm Parabellum. The Ronin EMP incorporates eleven proprietary parts specifically designed to run the 9mm cartridge in this chassis. These components include the frame, slide, firing pin, firing pin spring, extractor, ejector, trigger, plunger tube, plunger tube assembly, grips and magazine. The end result is a shooting and carrying experience unique to this platform.

The Ronin family of guns comes in seven different configurations and three discrete chamberings. Each gun orbits around a forged steel slide mounted atop a forged aluminum frame. Within the Ronin line are two EMP variants — a 3” and a 4” version. For me, the 4” version represents a most fascinating compromise.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Is it just me, or does it seem like folks are a bit more acrimonious these days than might once have been the case? Problems that previously could have been settled via civil discourse now unfortunately seem to be adjudicated by means of anarchy and street violence. Is compromise a failed concept these days?

emp 1911 design problems
The Springfield Armory Ronin EMP 4” 1911 pistol is specifically designed to be part of your standard daily loadout.

This particular Ronin EMP might just disprove that perception. By melding a full-sized frame offering a 10-round capacity with an abbreviated 4″ bull barrel, the synergistic result really is greater than the sum of its parts. The 1911 Ronin EMP 4″ handgun is easy to conceal while remaining eminently shootable. It is the elusive successful compromise.


The American gun culture has been a bit fickle when it comes to defensive handgun cartridges. More than a century ago, John Browning dreamt up the .45 ACP because .38-cal. handgun cartridges were inadequate for the task at hand. Eventually, American law enforcement and civilian shooters dabbled in the 9mm Parabellum because of its soft recoil and prodigious capacity. Deficiencies in bullet design eventually drove us to such stuff as the .40 S&W and 10mm, but bigger cartridges always equal more punishment on both the shooter and the gun.

emp 1911 problems
The author has carried the Springfield Armory Ronin EMP 4” 1911 pistol underneath his surgical scrubs in an IWB holster.

Nowadays, advances in defensive bullet technology have put the performance of the 9mm back on par with its portlier brethren. With its luster properly restored, the 9mm is now the most popular defensive handgun round on the planet. This makes the 9mm the obvious chambering for the 4” Ronin EMP.

On a 1911 pistol the frame is what interfaces flesh with machine, so it’s important. The Ronin EMP frame is forged aluminum alloy finished out in satin aluminum Cerakote. This keeps weight in check while still offering the sort of durability and wear resistance that lets the gun become a generational heirloom.

emp 1911 finish compromise
The satin aluminum finish matches the deep blue of the slide to make a beautiful 1911-style pistol.

The slide is forged carbon steel sporting a lustrous deep blue. The slide is what encapsulates the chaos, so it has to be as strong as is humanly possible. At the risk of sounding like a vapid teenager, the dichotomy between the silver frame and the rich blued slide strikes a pleasant visceral aesthetic chord as well.

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