Tag Archives: springfield armory

Hellcats: The Colors, the Colors

Springfield has been kicking out new color options for its popular Hellcat series of micro-9 pistols and a Desert Flat Dark Earth variant is the newest offering.

The new Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro in Desert FDE still offers a 15+1 capacity in what the company says is “a smaller footprint than any other gun in its class.”

It is also an Optical Sight Pistol, or OSP, configuration milled with the Shield RMSc/Springfield Micro footprint with a set of co-witnessing U-Dot tritium sights. For those keeping count at home, the Hellcat Pro runs 6.6 inches in overall length and 1 inch in width, which puts it in the same box as the nominally 10+1 capacity Glock 43X.

Previously, Springfield only offered an FDE variant of the Hellcat in its original 3-inch barrel format.

Also, the company has announced new Robin’s Egg and Burnt Bronze two-tone models as well:

Gonna give you a wild guess of what I would go with, as I have a (spoiler alert) something of a problem when it comes to 50 shades of FDE.

Not a bad deal for $800…

A pair of 9mm thoroughbreds are the newest horses in Springfield Armory’s stable of Garrison series M1911 single-action pistols.

Designed as an “heirloom-quality” old-school M1911A1-format pistol available in either a classic hot salt blued carbon steel or rust-resistant stainless-steel format, the Garrison series run match-grade 5-inch barrels and the standard layout of Mr. John Browning’s classic. Switching it up from the familiar .45 ACP caliber, the new Garrisons come in a single-stack 9mm, shipping standard with a stainless steel 9-round magazine.

The cost is around $800. 

And they are pretty easy on the eye as well.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Hell(ion) on wheels. Actually not that bad

Announced to coincide with SHOT Show in January, the 5.56 NATO carbine is an Americanized version of the HS-Produkt– who also makes the XD series pistols– VHS-2 rifle made for the Croatian military.

Well, I’ve been kicking one around for the past couple of months to get a feel for it and have the battle scars to prove it.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Springer doing better when it comes to Micro-9s

Promising a more full-size performance out of its micro 9 series platform, Springfield Armory announced the new Hellcat Pro on Friday.

Using flush-fitting 15-round magazines rather than the standard Hellcat’s 11+1, the Hellcat Pro brings a 3.7-inch hammer-forged barrel to the carry game in what Springfield says is a smaller footprint than any other gun in its class. For those keeping count at home, the Hellcat Pro runs 6.6-inches in overall length and 1-inch wide, which puts it in the same box as the nominally 10+1 capacity Glock 43X. At a height of 4.8-inches, the Hellcat Pro is a tad shorter than the G43X when the Austrian polymer pistol has its standard mag inserted.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Meet a new 5.56 Bullpup to the American Market, via Croatia

Shrinking the size of their rifle game, Springfield Armory hit the market Friday with the Hellion bullpup 5.56 NATO platform.

An evolution of the proven HS Produkt-made VHS-2 rifle system, the Hellion has an overall length of just 28.25-inches while still possessing a carbine-length 16-inch CMV barrel with a 1:7 twist. The rifle uses a 2-position adjustable short-stroke gas piston operating system. It also has fully ambidextrous controls and a reversible ejection system that can be swapped without using special tools.

While the HS Produkt name is vague on the U.S. market, the Croatian gun maker is known for variants of its HS-2000 pistol, which has been imported to this side of the Atlantic for decades as the Springfield XD series. The VHS series rifle was first introduced in 2005– an evolution of a bullpup prototyped during the Croatian War of Independence in 1992– and today is the standard rifle of the Croatian military and police, as well as in use in other countries around the globe.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Emp Ronins?

Springfield Armory is blending its Ronin series M1911 single-stacks with that of its carry-ready Enhanced Micro Pistol platform. 

The two new Ronin EMP models include an ultra-compact 3-inch with a 9+1 capacity, and a 4-inch version with a 10+1 capacity. When stacked against traditional M1911s, this is equivalent to Commander and Officer-length guns, only about a half-inch shorter in each instance.

And, with a two-toned look of a carbon steel slide with a hot salt blue finish over a lightweight aluminum frame with a satin silver Cerakote finish, paired with walnut grip panels, they are easy on the eyes.

More in my column over at Guns.com.

Emissary, now in Commander and 9mm versions

Following up on the popularity of the Government-sized Emissary .45ACP M1911, Springfield Armory on Thursday announced a Commander-length model as well as one in 9mm.

As with the earlier model, the Emissary line sports a two-tone finish, with a blued carbon-steel slide and a stainless-steel frame with a squared trigger guard. Carrying a “Tri-Top” cut to the slide, the single-action pistols run a bushingless heavy stainless-steel bull barrel with a one-piece full-length guide rod. For those who want texture in their grip, the series has a grenade-pattern texture on the front and back of the grip as well as the slimline G10 VZ panels.

And they are as easy on the eye and they are capable on the range.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The 1911 is a Perma Staple of the Gun Community

With a narrow profile and an excellent reputation for “stopping power” (in certain calibers) coupled with a host of on-board safety features, John Browning’s big M1911 format single-action pistols can be exceptionally accurate, and, if given a few tweaks and made correctly, can last a lifetime so long as the small internals and barrel are swapped out when overworn. Plus, there is probably no other platform other than the Glock that is backed up by so wide a spread of aftermarket parts and skilled smiths who know how to wring every ounce of performance out of them. Little wonder that gun companies seem to always be introducing new takes on the same gun.

Speaking of which, Springfield Armory this week came out with a new version of Mr. Browning’s single-action single-stack.

Using a forged steel barrel, slide, and frame, Springfield’s new Emissary sports a two-tone finish, with a blued carbon steel slide and a stainless-steel frame with a squared trigger guard. Carrying a “Tri-Top” cut to the slide, the single-action pistol runs a bushing-less heavy stainless steel bull barrel with a one-piece full-length guide rod. For those who want texture in their grip, the Emissary is fully wrapped in a grenade pattern texture from its slimline G10 VZ grips to the matching machining on the mainspring housing and front strap.

The Emissary is billed as blending defensive and custom pistols to create a striking .45 ACP railgun that looks great while still being very capable.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Black Walnut: A National Defense Asset

While the Navy’s long term cultivation of oak groves and other vital woods were a strategic no-brainer in the 18th and 19th century (and they still have Navy foresters today!) it may be a little surprising to think that the Army also had an important interest in keeping stockpiles of fine lumber on hand during much of the same period.

Via the Springfield Armory National Historic Site:

The Black Walnut Tree, many of which can presently be found on the grounds, were used to make gun stocks. So why was Black Walnut used instead of other wood? Black Walnut is a hard, dense wood that is resilient. This wood, when seasoned (slowly dried), doesn’t shrink much and it isn’t prone to splitting which is key when making a gunstock.

Once a tree had been felled, the wood needed to be properly seasoned which took anywhere from 2-8 years depending on the moisture content of the wood. Because of this length of time, thousands of blanks needed to be properly stored for drying. 

Under Major James Ripley, Building 19 was constructed to store these blanks for drying.

Black walnut drying for gun stocks, Springfield Armory NHS Archives

During the Civil War, to quicken the process, a steam heated dry kiln was installed.

The Armory bought blanks from Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Massachusetts among others. They specifically requested wood that was fine, not knotted, or sappy to ensure the best quality for the U.S. Military Arms. While other trees were used to make gunstocks through private arms makers, Black Walnut was the primary wood used at the Armory, for small arms production, during its operating years.

By the 1820s, the armory used a Blanchard Lathe, which could carve out a rough gun stock from a blank in about nine minutes.

The last U.S. martial rifle to use a wood stock was the M14, which ceased production in 1964. Springfield Armory closed in 1968.

TR’s SAA Goes for a Cool $1.3M

Via RIAC

The above Colt Single Action Army revolver was ordered as a gift for President Theodore Roosevelt’s 54th birthday. Factory engraved and silver-plated, it was shipped four days before his birthday, just over a week prior to the election of 1912 where he ran on the Bull Moose ticket, and 10 days prior to his famous assassination attempt in Milwaukee. It was lost to history for years. 

Complete with Colt factory engraving by master Cuno Helfricht, this M1873 “Peacemaker” now ranks (at time of the auction) as the third-highest firearm ever offered by Rock Island Auction Company– and last week picked up $1.3 million smackers before the gavel ended a wild bidding war.

Sadly, I am sure it will disappear for a few years into a private collection, then resurface only to be sold for a higher bid, and this will be the closest that the public will ever get to it.

Gratefully, though, lots of TR’s hardware is well-preserved in various museum systems. For instance, I worked with Sagamore Hill National Historic Site and Springfield Armory last year to detail his specially-ordered M1903 (SN#0009), which is in their collection.

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