The Little "pew pew" That Could: How The New 911 .380 Changed My Mind About Small Guns

Posted by Rob Leatham

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Jan 11, 2018 2:14:15 PM


Finally a little gun I can wrap my mind and hands around: The Springfield Armory® 911 .380.


OK, let’s just get this out of the way - I do NOT like little guns. Never really have. I've always been more concerned about pistol performance than size. And since I could never seem to find a tiny gun that I could shoot very well, I just didn’t have much interest in them.

I own LOTS of small guns; from revolvers to sub-caliber semi autos to derringers, but only a couple have ever really been small and light enough for what I consider "pocket carry." Unfortunately, those that were just didn't shoot very well. Because of this I usually prefer the smallest "large" gun I can carry.

All that’s now changed with the Springfield Armory® 911 Series.

My Concealment Reqs

I'm a T-shirt-and-shorts kind of guy who lives in the Sonoran Desert, so I don’t usually wear multiple layers, jackets or vests with which to hide a gun.

Little revolvers were once a go-to choice, but they have always just been too thick for me. And most sub-compact autos in the .380 and smaller calibers are just too hard to shoot well. For belt carry, the 4-inch XD-S® 9mm is my favorite, but it's a bit too large for a pocket gun. 

In short, my concealed-carry gun has gotta be tiny, lightweight and very thin. For me, it’s all about concealment and convenience.

Pocket Perfect

Enter the first small handgun that I want both to pocket carry and shoot... the Springfield 911 .380. There is just so much I like about this gun! Here goes:

  • Small in Size - It fits perfectly in my pocket holster which means above all else, I will have it on me if needed.
  • Lightweight - The 911 is incredibly light. At just a few ounces, it goes nearly unnoticed by the carrier.
  • Visibility and Accessibility - It's thin and unobtrusive when carried, but it comes out of my pocket quickly and easily.
  • Shootability - The 911 is just plain fast and accurate. It points great and is comfortable in my hand - two things that, next to reliability, are the most important to me.

reliability and testing

A carry gun has gotta work, otherwise, why bother? I've always found it funny that so many people who buy and carry little guns never shoot them. How can you know just how reliable they are? #DontBeThatPerson

In fact, I suspect many owners carry them having never fired them! #DontBeThatPerson 

The truth is this: tiny guns aren't properly user-tested because they are usually no fun to shoot. So, unfortunately, most of them never get a box of ammo fired through them in their lifetime. This, however, is never a good reason to not thoroughly test, shoot and become competent with a carry gun. #DontBeThatPersonEither 

All this is now changed as this .380 makes shooting, training with and testing a small gun an enjoyable experience. Bring on the ammo!! #BeThatPerson


I witnessed Steve Horsman have a lot of fun as he shot (and I loaded his magazines with) many hundreds of rounds through our 911 .380.  He did this for a marketing video last month, and actually shot for over two hours without a single malfunction. Yes, I was a little jealous, but also simultaneously impressed.   

Little guns typically suffer from operator-induced problems due to their size and the difficulty of manipulating the controls. Probably due to poor ergonomics and improper gripping. But not so with the 911 .380. Steve proved that beyond a doubt.

So when you get your 911, there is absolutely no reason to be "that" person when it comes to reliability testing.

911 NegativeS Negated

Because of all of the "negatives" associated with the smallest of carry pistols, I was never confident with my ability to reliably hit what I was shooting at. Therefore, I have never owned a small carry pistol that I really liked or completely trusted. 

But now - gratefully - I do. I like to think of my new 911 as "the little pew pew that could" - a .380 pistol that I can finally count on.

The Springfield 911 has a great trigger pull too. Short, light and clean. It is equipped with an ambidextrous manual safety (something I very much like in a handgun) mounted in the right place, which offers familiar operation.

Our .380 is enhanced with low-profile sights that still offer an excellent sight picture. Quick and precise. Just like the larger Springfield 1911 models I love to shoot.

And is it accurate! Not trying to brag (those of you who know me know I would never do that) but I can shoot this .380 better than any tiny gun I've ever had. At close self-defense distances, I can make any shot I could make with any full-size gun. And that's saying something.

911 and Done

So our 911 .380 is easy and enjoyable to shoot, accurate, reliable AND it works and operates much like the larger single-action semi auto pistols (read that as 1911s) that I have vast experience with…  What's not to like?

Time to order up a bunch of .380 ammo (never thought I’d say that) because I plan on shooting - and carrying - this one a lot.


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Topics: Everyday Carry

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.

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