New Gun: Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour In .40 S&W

New Gun: Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour In .40 S&W

Springfield recently released the EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour in .40 S&W, giving shooters a more powerful iteration of the slim and lightweight 1911.

  • This EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour has the same concealable design as the 9mm.
  • As with prior Concealed Carry Contour models, the grip has been trimmed.
  • The heel and mainspring housing have been rounded to minimize printing.
  • The EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour weighs 37 ounces empty.

Given it remains the hottest end of the firearms market, options abound when it comes to concealed carry pistols. Almost every newfangled sidearm released in recent years has been driven by self-defense: enter the Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour.

And for certain people, time-tested technology reigns supreme.

That's the exact type of shooter Springfield was aiming at when it released its EMP (Enhanced Micro Pistol) line in 2016. Decked out for serious concealed carry duty, the compact and lightweight 1911 has struck a chord with dedicated fans of John M. Browning’s brainchild. And Springfield has been quick to jump on this success, expanding EMP options at the start of this year.

Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour in .40 S&W

In addition to releasing a 4-inch barreled model at SHOT 2017 — the EMP 4 — it also has introduced a concealed carry-optimized variation of the larger 1911 — the Concealed Carry Contour.

Initially, the EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour was available in 9mm, but recently Springfield announced it's offering a chambering for those shooting to go bigger. The EMP 4 is now available in the middle-ground .40 S&W, but still decked out with all the features that make it a solid carry option.

In particular, the Concealed Carry Contour has the smooth lines that make it a snap to conceal, and at the same time it's more comfortable to have on the hip all day long. To this end, Springfield has rounded the pistol’s heel and mainspring housing, which have a tendency to print through clothing and bite into the side.

The small but significant design modifications enhance the single stack’s overall slim dimensions — right around an inch in width. Furthermore, originally designed around the 9mm, the pistol boasts a trimmed down grip frame, not only making it easier to conceal, but also to get a firm grip on. Topping it all off are slim G10 grip panels that not only keep the pistol svelte, but also add a striking look to the Concealed Carry Contour’s overall aesthetics.

Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour in .40 S&W side view

However, the .40 S&W EMP 4 does come in a bit heavier than the 9mm version, tipping the scales at 37 ounces unloaded. This is due to the chambering, which forced Springfield to switch from the 9mm’s aluminum frame to carbon steel to handle the .40 S&W’s more powerful recoil.

The 1911 comes outfitted with a number of other desirable features: bull barrel, second-gen speed trigger, fiber-optic front and low-profile combat rear sights, and Black-T finish on the frame. And the .40 S&W comes with three eight-round steel magazines.

As is typical with most 1911s, the EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour is a bit more spendy than most self-defense pistols, with an MSRP of $1,220. But for those searching for a tried-and-true design and optimized to go undercover, the price tag could prove a pittance.


Springfield EMP 4 Concealed Carry Contour
Caliber:.40 S&W
Recoil System: Flat Wire w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Sights: Fiber Optic Front & Low Profile Combat Rear
Weight: 37 oz., empty
Height: 5.5 in.
Slide: Forged Stainless Steel, Satin Finish
Barrel: 4 in. Stainless Steel Match Grade, Full Supported Ramp, Bull; 1:16 LH; 6-Groove
Overall Length: 7.5 in.
Grip Pannels: G-10
Frame: Forged Carbon Steel w/ Concealed Carry Contour, Black-T Finish
Magazine: 3, 8-Round, Blued
MSRP: $1,220


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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