Springfield 1911 EMP 4: The Proper Way To Run a 1911

Duration: 4:15

Using a Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Lightweight Champion, Rob Pincus demonstrates the correct way to run a 1911 for defensive use. He starts by explaining that with a modern firearm and a good holster, empty chamber carry is the wrong choice.

Empty Chamber Carry

Empty chamber carry means that when drawing your 1911 (or any defensive handgun), the safety is off, the hammer is down, the magazine is loaded, and there is no round in the chamber. Drawing and firing then involve these steps: draw the handgun out of the holster, grab the slide with the support hand, pull back to chamber a round, drive the gun out into the firing position, and take the shot.

There are a few reasons why this is inefficient, including that it requires the use of both hands, which you may not have available in a defensive incident, and that there are too many steps. Extra time and manual dexterity are required, and you may not have these when you’ve been startled and need to defend your life.

Rob shows how you can rack the slide back when you only have one hand available for manipulating the gun. It’s doable but far from optimal.

Empty chamber carry: don’t use it in handgun training and practice, or for actual defensive use.

The Correct Way

The Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4” Lightweight Champion and other modern handguns are designed to be carried with the safety on, hammer back, and a round in the chamber. Then the drawing and firing procedure is: draw the handgun out of the holster, drive the gun out, flick the safety off, and press the trigger. After you take the shot(s), put the safety back on as you’re pulling the gun back into the ready position. Keep your thumb on top in case you see another threat while assessing. Then you can quickly flick the safety off with the thumb.

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One Response to “Springfield 1911 EMP 4: The Proper Way To Run a 1911”
  1. Aaron

    Rob, I have never carried a 1911 or any single action firearm, although I am a fan. I have only carried double action/single action, such as a Sig P229, with a decocker and no safety . I was always taught to place my thumb on the hammer as you reholster so that you can feel any resistance if something were to get inside the trigger guard. I noticed you didn’t do that at the end. Is that not still commenly taught procedure today or is it advised to keep your thumb on the safety when holstering a firearm with a safety? Or could they possibly be interchangeable with today’s firearms? Thanks for the great video.

    PS. I’m not trying to knit pick, just figure I can always learn something new.