SME's 411 on the Springfield Armory 911 .380 Pistol


Rob Leatham’s 411

As you’ve heard me say, I judge all guns by their “shoot-ability”; big, small, hi-capacity, low cap, 9mm, .45, it doesn’t matter – if I can’t hit what I need to hit, I have no use for the gun. And generally speaking, smaller pistols are not very “shootable”.

Which is why, I’m constantly surprised by how well the Springfield 911 .380 shoots.


Human engineering is what has made me love the single action, manual safety pistol.

One of the reasons the 1911 design has lasted so long and done so well, is in part due to its well-designed thumb safety. With the 911 .380, we also incorporated this traditional, time-tested safety feature.

And like my friend Ronin Coleman (of PACT Timer) says, “What’s wrong with having an off-switch?” 

I really like to have a gun with a thumb safety – it gives me confidence. Which is why I feel extremely safe carrying the 911 in a good pocket holster.

And when it comes to hitting your target, nothing is more important than the trigger pullFor it’s intended purpose of close range and self defense, the 911’s trigger is pretty much perfect!


To interest me and make my “carry list”, a small, concealable handgun needs to be:

1- Safe.

2- Reliable.

3- Shootable.

4- Accurate.

5- Durable.

And in that order.

Check, check, check, check and check.

My 411 on the 911 is if an unfortunate self defense situation requires me to protect myself or my loved ones, I’m confident I can get the job done with my Springfield Armory® 911 .380.



Historically I have carried a large caliber pistol for self-defense, both on and off duty during my Law Enforcement career. That being said, there have been times when I was searching for something smaller to carry, due to clothing restrictions or my environmental conditions. However, I’ve never been completely sold on any of the available options.  

Up until recently nothing quite fit my standards — until Springfield Armory® introduced the 911 Pistol in .380 caliber. With a design similar to my tried and true 1911, it made perfect sense for me to check it out. What I found, has proven to be a new pistol that fits a role for me that was previously empty and had been for many years. 


For most of us in the LE and military worlds, deep concealment refers to being able to conceal a pistol in a position that would not be detectable by other experts (whether LE, Military or the enemy), even with a pat down. Now that I’m retired, deep concealment means carrying completely undetected regardless of what I’m wearing or doing. It’s carrying securely, comfortably, easily and discreetly, whether rain, sun, sleet or snow, all while I’m on the go.  

My 411 on the 911: With its similar frame-mounted thumb safety, short and exceptional trigger, and factory tritium night sights, the 911 from Springfield now fills the role as my deep concealed carry pistol.


Kippi Leatham’s 411

Women who shoot and choose to carry often have different challenges than men who do the same.  Many of us are smaller framed and wear tighter, form-fitting clothing. Most of us are around children more often too, which means (even though carrying in a purse is not the best option) purse carry is not an option at all. The gun needs to be on-body at all times, small enough to conceal with everyday clothing, secure and comfortable.

At the range, the gun should be easy to control and manipulate so we actually want to practice with it.

I have owned a .380 pistol for 20 years, but never carry it or shoot it because it doesn’t meet my criteria, and it’s awful to shoot.


When I first shot Springfield’s 911 .380 pistol, I thought the gun actually malfunctioned. I stopped to look at the slide to ensure it had closed into “battery”. I wasn’t expecting the recoil to be that much lighter than other .380 pistols I had shot in my lifetime. But it was and I in turn, was pleasantly surprised.  

Pleased enough that I immediately ordered a few new concealment holsters and began experimenting.  By the time I tried two or three different configurations, I found my all-time favorite position in the small of my back on my strong-side.  #StealthMode


I’ve always preferred to carry a pistol with an external thumb safety or a double-action trigger, and with the 911 (with an external manual safety – Yay!), I now have a safe, slim and sleek on-body concealment option that I can wear during the warmer months of the year, without having to put on a larger over shirt, jacket or vest.  

My 411 on the Springfield 911 is that it’s the most enjoyable .380 super compact pistol I’ve ever shot. And at 12.6 ounces, plus magazine weight, in my super stealth small-of-the-back holster position, I can comfortably carry the 911 all day during my normal activities. 



With the release of Springfield Armory®’s 911 pistol in all-black, the ultra concealment option of this pistol is now complete. Many tacticians prefer all-black pistols; they reflect less light and blend in better with your concealed carry gear and clothes. And all-black is always a very cool look. 


Having shot, carried, and qualified with various .380 pistols during my LE career, my hopes were always to just “get through” a training session or qualification without the gun malfunctioning. I have experienced similar opinions with co-workers who had fought the same problems with .380 pistols.

Which is why I was amazed and so glad to see that the Springfield 911 .380 pistol has set an entirely different standard, especially in terms of reliability.


Having witnessed literally hundreds and hundreds of .380 rounds being fired successively with NOT A SINGLE MALFUNCTION through the 911 pistol, I have full confidence carrying it as a backup gun, in deep concealment, or as my every day carry.

Add to the 911’s reliability a crisp and clean trigger, 1911-like ergonomics, excellent grip texturing and sights, the 911 is a great backup option for your hostile environment.

My 411 on the 911 is that it is the most RELIABLE, ACCURATE, and smooth-shooting deep concealment .380 pistol you can get your hands on.


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