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The concealed carry market is absolutely booming. It’s a trend that’s been growing for years, and with the AR-15 bubble now well and truly over manufacturers are getting back to making new guns for the carry market. Springfield is getting into the game with a smaller version of their popular Range Officer 1911, offering a few nifty changes that make the gun better suited for that purpose. And in general, it looks like they decided to make a carbon copy of the Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry that I use as my every day carry gun . . .


Just like the Wilson Combat handguns, gone is the barrel busing on the front of the slide. The expanded barrel and tighter fit make for a more accurate gun, but it is slightly annoying to disassemble. On balance though, for carry guns I like it. Another change is a fiber optic front sight instead of the target sights, and while I prefer the green dot on the Wilson Combat gun the red dot on the Springfield works as well. The rear sights are a standard Novak cut with some fixed sights, so you can swap them out if you want.


Everything else about the gun is pretty much bog standard for a 4″ compact 1911. The rear of the mainspring housing is rounded for your comfort, the hammer is skeletonized and rounded, and the gun is fairly lightweight. But the same issues exist that I found on the original Range Officer: it’s just very rough and sharp. The trigger, the safety, and even the slide feel like they need some time under a buffing wheel. Just a little bit extra work would make this gun great feeling as well as great looking, but then again if you take the time and effort to do that you’ll end up in Wilson Combat territory for price range anyway. As with all things, a trade off.

I would love to see this in a 9mm version, and given that they just released a full size 1911 Range Officer in 9mm I’m guessing the compact version isn’t far off.

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      • Oh man, I switched from an SR9c to a full-size 1911 a while ago for my EDC. I had been bitten by the 1911 bug and had to have one. I have no complaints about my 1911 as a shooter, but….yeah. I miss simply forgetting my SR9c was there. Also, in my parts the price of .45 is still around $24 a box, but 9mm is back to $14.97. I am seriously considering listing my 1911 on armslist this weekend.

        • TR,

          Believe me, I absolutley LOVE shooting 1911’s. For me the form, shootability and nostalgia of the gun is second to none. And at some point a custom 1911 will be in my gun safe. But I just can’t bring myself to consider replacing my 9c with a 1911. I shoot lights out with the Ruger,it carries great and I trust with it my life. No doubt though, a commander size 1911 ALWAYS catches my eye :).

        • @TR
          Never sell a gun unless you hate it or desperately need the money. Just wait out the ammo scarcity and prices will fall a few bucks a box. Just shoot your 1911 less and 9mm more for now.

        • I love the 1911 design as well, and the Springfield Operator is really nice looking. Personally, I don’t understand why Springfield 1911’s cost $1000+ when they are made in South America yet comparable make/quality Turkish 1911’s are half the price. It may be just a rumor, but supposedly Springfield lost out on the M45A1 contract simply due to not being able to produce it in-country.

        • My mother is 5’2″ and ~105lb and has carried a CCO sized gun just like this from Kimber (compact carry) for many years. They are great guns and easily carried, very similar in size to a Glock 19

    • You guys mind sharing your holster expierences for the SR9c? I’m looking to move away from my Remora, interested in what you’ve used for AIWB, 3’o’clock, and open carry (retention). All the cool minimalist stuff (raven concealment) is for Glock and M&P it seems like.

      • My best result for a holster with the SR9c was the N82 tactical holster. Absolutely loved it. I had the original elastic version, but supposedly the kydex is better.

        • I also endorse the N82 Tactical Professional inside the waistband (IWB) holster. It has an adjustable cant, is tuckable, has positive retention, and the part the holds the gun is made of polycarbonate. Since the back of the holster completely shields your gun from your body, nothing rubs your skin and no sweat or body oils can ruin the finish on your gun or grips (mine are beautiful wood). If you carry your gun at the 4-6 pm position, no one can “pickpocket” your gun easily since the gun has to be twisted slightly to get it out of the holster and it definitely won’t fall out (downside – you cannot draw your gun at lightning fast speeds). If you want to carry a fairly heavy weapon, the N82 holster will let you do that comfortably. My holster is for a Springfield 1911 9mm EMP with the 3-inch barrel. It weights 27 oz unloaded. N82 holsters are cheaper than most others and are of high quality, plus you don’t have to wait forever to get one (the big name holster makers have gotten too big for their britches in my opinion – too pricey and too long a wait). Don’t waste you hard earned $$ on the others. And no, I am not an employee or relative of N82. I am just a hick living in the back woods of downstate Illinois – the mecca of corrupt politicians and home of the murder capital of the US (Chicago – you better have your CCW in a N82 holster if you visit that city as your life will depend on it.)

      • I use a trigger guard holster from Cooks Holster which I LOVE…I hate bulky holsters and carried without anything for a few months and just slid the pistol in my waistband…surprisingly very comfortable, just couldn’t carry with one in the chamber.

      • I carry in an Old Faithful leather/kydex holster made specifically for the 9c. Works wonderfully for me. (for IWB)

      • I carry the SR9C in an aliengear holster at 3 o’clock. It’s super comfortable, very concealable, and has good enough retention that when playing with the baby on the floor I’ve never had it come closet to falling out of the holster. Aliengear’s equipment is great, but their customer service and shipping times aren’t great. I’ve ordered from them 3 times and have waited 6 weeks each time for delivery.

      • I’ve carried the old lady’s SR9c in a blade-tech UCH IWB at 3-4 o’clock and it disappeared (to be fair so did my CZ75b with the same type of holster), great holster but I don’t know how well it’d work for appendix.

    • I’ve attempted to leave my SR9c for two different 1911’s. Both(Sig Ultra & Kimber Ultra) spend more time collecting dust than in a holster.

  1. I love Springfield’s crossed cannons wood grips. Nice touch for moderately priced 1911s.

    • Uh, the EMP has a 3″ barrel. A 4 or 4 1/4 inch barrel is a “commander” sized gun, while the 3 is a “compact.” And from what ‘ve read, getting the timing right on a 3″ barrel is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

      • I didn’t misspeak. SA has a *compact* 1911 in 9mm. What Nick meant to say is that he’d like a Range Officer 1911 in 9mm with a commander-length slide and an officer-sized frame. As to the EMP, it runs beautifully, thank you. It was built from the ground up to run 9mm and is not a retro-fitted .45 ACP 1911. Fortunately, when it comes to 1911s, Springfield knows what they’re doing.

        • I guess that depends on where you draw the line. In my book a 3″ barrel qualifies as a subcompact, and a 4″ as a compact. So the EMP–which I would like to own if it weren’t so expensive–is a subcompact, IMO.

        • I have had the 9mm version of the EMP for 2 years. I have fired about 1500 rounds through it using cheap ammo, including Tula, and have never had a misfire, failure to feed, failure to eject, or any other problem. It has been PERFECT. If you want a compact 1911 in 9mm or .40 caliber, you cannot go wrong with the EMP. It is way overpriced but I could not resist it. The gun is made well and is beautiful to look at, never mind the fact that it carries well for a 1911 and is reliable. Some of the early versions of the gun had problems, but as I said, mine has been flawless.

  2. I guess I would just use a shoulder rig if I needed to conceal something more powerful than a .32 or compact 9.

    Wonder what the recoil is like? Due to being lightweight.

    • I can make an educated guess based on my S&W 1911PD, which is the same size and uses a very lightweight scandium frame. For me, recoil isn’t stronger than a 5″ 1911, which is a creampuff anyway, it’s just snappier. The shorter slide and barrel make the the recoil duration seem more like a punch than a shove, but it’s no worse or better.

      • My Kimber 4″ Pro Carry is sharper than a full size, and has more barrel flip, but controllable. I shot 200 rounds Monday, not sore Tuesday. I am not a great shot, but even I can manage a fist sized group at 15 yards. I did add Hogue grips, because the front strap without serrations is a hard to hold down. I see the same features here.

    • I’m sure it’s quite manageable, the Springfield XDs in .45 isn’t even unpleasant and that thing is dang near pocket size. For whatever reason even the small .45s are more enjoyable for me to shoot than full size .40s.

    • 6 rounds, it should be an officer frame. Though there are plenty of 7 round officer mags out there. I think the dimensions look off because of the 4″ barrel, normal CCO’s have a 4.25″ commander slide that looks much better proportioned with the officer frame.

      Its crazy how much heavier the steel versions are. I bought a commander sized blue gun for draw practice and the sucker is an anchor compared to my real aluminum one, even loaded up.

  3. Funny…I bet that gun will be over $600 and yet it has no ambidextrous features…I have a Regent 1911 made in Turkey that has ambidextrous controls, railed dustcover, bushing-less barrel (just like the SA above), Hogue grips, flared ejection port, etc. for less than $500.

    And I’ve put thousands of rounds thru it, factory and handload and it hasn’t missed a beat! I literally shot old lead handloads thru it ’til is was so dirty and crusted up with lead that it wouldn’t fire. Field stripped it, cleaned it, put ‘er back together and she was banging away again…

    I just can’t buy into the American made 1911 hype when there’s so many good and great guns at way lower prices than what some of these jokers come out with…and with way more features to boot!

  4. Personally I only like the bull barrel on Commander sized guns, if it’s a full size I think it just looks odd. I also like the new STI single stack Tactical 4.0, but this SA also draws my attention

  5. The “new” compact 1911 by Springfield. It’s yet another model based of a really really old, outdated, unreliable design.

    • What a bunch of nonsense. The 1911 has better ergonomics and a better stock trigger than any modern pistol. The design has had 100 years of combat reliability testng. The only valid complaint is the 7 round single stack magazine and your chances of needing more in a DGU are slight.

      • 1. Better ergonomics for some people, not all. 2. Plenty of modern firearms have better factory triggers, not to mention different brands and models of 1911 have different triggers. 3. There are so many variables in a DGU, it’s impossible to accurately predict how many rounds you need, IMHO, it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.

        • Late response due to extreme thunderstorms in the area last night.

          (1) Ergonomics are not confined to the grip. It is also balance. As TTAG reported several weeks ago the pistol is so finaly balanced that it has the least muzzle rise and recoil of almost any pistol

          (2) Not the trigger of a Glock, XD type, M&P, Beretta or SiG. Maybe H&K makes smoother stock triggers but I have shot one.

          (3) I base my statement on empirical evidence presented in TTAG’s DGU stories. One, attacter, multiple attackers, doesn’t matter once the shooting starts they take off and/or go down. Are there circumstances where the bad guys keep coming? Sure, but few if any non-LEO who post here will ever encounter them.

    • TrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTrollTroll.

      There are more of them than just about anything but the AK line. They must be garbage because so few people are willing to spend over 500 bucks for one. These huge billion dollar companies have no idea what the market demands!

      You willing to stand downrange while we test how out-dated and reliable it is?

      • You caught me, I wanted to see how many people would get their knickers in a twist. 1911s can be good guns, but they’re not my pick for EDC.

  6. It’s only an inch shorter than a full size or about the same size as another JMB design, the Browning Hi Power. If you want to carry a 1911 that extra inch really doesn’t make a difference for concealment.

  7. I’ve never seen a compact Range Officer. Most Range Officers are well over 200 lbs and doughy around the middle.

  8. 1911s are great as long as they’re not fancy. I have a Springfield stainless 1911 that will not feed. I’ve tried everything short of sending it to Springfield. I think instead of doing that I’m just going to let it go to another owner and they can deal with it, with full disclosure of course.

    A friend has an old Norinco bought at a gun show for cheep that runs like a Swiss watch. That’s what I want. I know several people with RIAs that runs flawlessly as well. I know a guy with a Kimber that refuses to run, and another with a plain old Colt Gov’t that runs. In my experience the fancy ones are troublesome.

    • My Kimber never ran reliably, jamming up after 75 rounds. I recently replaced the factory “woolf” springs with new springs directly from Woolf, and it ran through 200 rounds with only two feed bobbles, and probably could have gotten away with not cleaning it other than a wipe down.

    • Scurvydog,
      I have a Colt Government in stainless that will shoot anything! Runs like a scalded dog
      ( Sorry for the pun.)

  9. Nick, you need to loosen that wristband on your watch. šŸ™‚

    Also, this looks very cool. I hope the price clocks in well below the Colt New Agent.

  10. I always carry a 5″ 1911 [CCW/IWB] and I have several models in .45acp and 10mm; DW, Colt, SA and I do carry my 5″ RO a lot because it is a accurate, nice shooting weapon. I don’t have any problems carrying a full size, using a good holster/belt combo and I like the better shooting of the 5″ over the smaller models.

  11. The questions about concealed carry holsters; I have used almost everything from $20-120.00 and the absolute best holsters for the money are on from “The Holster Store”! I have been wearing them for three years now and will never change, XD compact 4″ .45, full size 1911, and a 4″ S&W 66. Made in FL, extreamly high quality at amazing price!

  12. Who are all these yahoos making this a sr9c thread? This is a Springfield thread and i bought this gun in dec 14 for self xmas gift and it shoots as good as my dad’s les and wilson he paid body parts for. The sr9 is a budget carry and in no way even comes close to RO compact in any contest except mag cap and for a carry and someone that can actually hit a target at 15-50 that stat doesnt matter. I once had a sr9c, it was my first carry and it was ok. Switched to quality soon after. If you are tight on cash the sr9c is a great buy like new with mags can be had for as low as 275. But to talk about it on this thread is shameful, i even feel ashamed mentioning it on a Springfield article!


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