The Springfield 911: Up Front With The Backup

Posted by Ivan Gelo

Jan 25, 2018 2:24:10 PM


When I started my law enforcement career over 27 years ago, it was common to carry a backup gun in an ankle rig or some type of vest carrier holster. More often than not, the weapon of choice was a semi-automatic .380 ACP.

There were a few .38 special and .22 revolvers that the “old timers” carried because they didn't trust the reliability of the .380s - and rightly so. Back then, .380s were finicky and reliability was questionable.  

Over time, those backup and small off-duty guns developed into the smaller version of the double-stack 9 millimeters and 40 cals. I tried to carry some of these guns, but found them too wide for my taste. Especially given the role of the particular carry need I had at those times.

Fast forward to today, and my personal and professional needs and roles have changed. More often than not, the firearm I carry daily is my Springfield Armory® XD-S® in 9mm in Flat Dark Earth. Why? Because we all like a reliable AND cool-looking gun on our side. I honestly couldn't be happier with my XD-S®. I considered it the perfect all-purpose carry gun ... until now. #OptionsAreGood


What, you ask, is the “9-1-1”? It's Springfield Armory®’s newest truly subcompact pistol; a semi-auto single action .380 ACP that I recently had the opportunity to both shoot and witness it being put through it's paces.

Working with the Springfield Armory® team, we gathered to test-and-evaluate the 9-1-1 .380, record video of us shooting it and complete work-up details for the introduction event in Las Vegas. 

supreme Stress Test 

Team Springfield’s Steve Horsman had the primary responsibility of firing the 911s while the rest of the team was very busy keeping mags loaded. Steve fired these pistols for over two hours with very little down time. Hundreds of rounds ... with NO malfunctions. Please, re-read this: NO MALFUNCTIONS! No cleaning or re-lubricating, either.

That's TRULY EPIC, considering my previous experience with smaller sized semi-autos – especially of the .380 ACP flavor.

Taking my turn with the 911, I found it extremely pleasant to shoot. It's compact – but even with my larger sized mitts, I had zero problems working and operating the gun at speed. It was also very easy to draw and fire from my personal side holster.


While working as an RTO (Recruit Training Officer) at the largest police academy in Arizona, it was hard to find the right handgun/carrier system for trail runs and long street runs through south Phoenix. I usually went with a medium- to compact-sized pistol in a fanny pack with my running shorts and t-shirt as wearing BDUs with a belt system and t-shirt would just look dorky.

Springfield’s new 911 would have been perfect in a suitable pocket holster, belly-band rig or similar carry system. By the way, even a compact-sized firearm in a fanny pack on a long trail can be painful. I would have been very pleased to have the much lighter, more compact, and much more convenient 911 .380 system.


This little .380 pocket rocket is also a work of art. It offers a refined finish with a very tight feel, soft and smooth recoil, and it boasts a trigger which is unrivaled among the sub-compact genre.

Similar to the 9mm, the bullet technology for the .380 ACP has increased by leaps and bounds over the years. The ammunition choice options in .380 ACP abound, which is a win-win for all first responders.

All in all; this is the perfect concealed carry firearm for self defense. Deep concealment meets extreme reliability.

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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