Springfield Armory: Dedicated to Quality

— Kat StevensCADRE Dispatch

Springfield Armory has been around longer than many gun owners realize. The popular firearms manufacturer boasts a rich, storied history that’s virtually unparalleled throughout the industry.

That’s right, Springfield Armory has a fascinating and colorful background that extends far beyond designing and manufacturing cool guns. We’re going to walk you through the history of the company and fill you in on the details of some of their most popular models.

the original springfield armory factory
The Armory can trace its roots back to the Revolutionary War. (Photo credit: U.S. National Park Service)

When was Springfield Armory founded?

It was 1777 and the American Revolutionary War was well underway when President George Washington approved the location for what was then known as the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield. The idea was to have a central location where ammunition and weapons were made.

Throughout the war, all manner of weapons — muskets, cannons, and more — were stored at the Armory. When the war ended, it continued to be used as a massive arsenal. By 1794, the Armory was manufacturing muskets. The United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield stayed in business until 1968, when it was closed due to apparent governmental budgetary issues.

In 1974, the Reese family took steps to bring back the designs and spirit of the Armory, and the Springfield Armory we know today was born. Production began with bringing back guns such as the M1 Garand, 1911-A1, and M14. Today, Springfield Armory strives to remain true to its deepest roots while also keeping up with advancing technology and offering the latest and most effective designs to its customers.

Who owns Springfield Armory?

Springfield Armory is owned by the Reese family. Founder Robert R. Reese passed away in 2019, but the company is still a family-owned and operated business. The Reese family has dedicated themselves to advocating for the Second Amendment and producing some of the finest firearms on the market today.

springfield armory handguns
Springfield Armory manufactures a wide variety of handguns. (Photo credit: Springfield Armory)

What handguns does Springfield Armory make?

Springfield Armory makes a vast array of handguns. This includes everything from 1911s to striker-fired guns. Available calibers vary widely as well. Some of Springfield Armory’s handgun models include:

  • XDM Elite
  • SA-35
  • Hellcat
  • 1911 Garrison
  • XD-S Mod.2 OSP
  • 1911 TRP Operator
  • 911
  • XD(M) Competition
  • XD
  • Range Officer Elite
  • Echelon

Whether you’re interested in a handgun for plinking, competition, or defensive purposes, Springfield Armory likely has a model that suits your needs. The gun maker’s line of firearms is extensive.

Where are Springfield Armory guns (including the 1911s) made?

1911s made by Springfield Armory are manufactured in Geneseo, Illinois. In 2021, Springfield expanded their facilities to include another 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The facility was built to broaden the production capabilities of firearms such as the Springfield SAINT, M1A, 911, and 1911s.

The gun maker imports some models or components of firearms but they’ve taken great strides to expand in-house manufacturing in Illinois. The larger amount of space has also made it possible for them to expand research and development so they can continue to offer the latest technologies to gun owners.

Is the Springfield Hellcat a good gun?

springfield hellcat
The Hellcat is a micro-compact with great capacity. (Photo credit: Springfield Armory)

The Springfield Hellcat was launched in 2019 as a self-defense pistol and has enjoyed stellar success. It’s a micro-compact chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum that’s meant to offer excellent capacity in a smaller size. Thanks to its smaller dimensions the Springfield Hellcat is easier to conceal than many other guns in its class. This is especially useful in situations where deep concealment might be necessary.

This pistol has a 3-inch barrel, 4-inch height, and 6-inch length. Capacity with a flush fit magazine is 11 +1; with an extended magazine, that increases to 13 +1. Empty, the Hellcat weighs 18.3 ounces. Its barrel is hammer-forged for superior accuracy.

springfield hellcat in black and fde
The Hellcat is available in Black and FDE. (Photo Credit: Springfield Armory)

Features include serrations at the rear of the slide that wrap all the way across the top and forward serrations on either side. It has a loaded chamber indicator for an added layer of safety, an enhanced Gen 2 trigger, and a reversible magazine release. Tritium U-Dot sights come standard and are great for drawing the eye to the front sight. Grips are aggressively textured to help the shooter maintain a firm hold on the pistol and controls are ridged for confident operation.

Several guns have been added to the Hellcat family since the launch of the first gun, including:

  • Springfield Hellcat OSP
  • Springfield Hellcat RDP
  • Springfield Hellcat Pro

Safariland offers numerous holsters for the Springfield Hellcat. This includes the 27 Inside the Pants Concealment Holster, the 578 GLS-Pro Fit Holster, and the 5198 Open Top Concealment Paddle/Belt Loop Holster. Whether you’d like to carry your Hellcat concealed or openly, Safariland has you covered.

Is the Springfield Echelon a good gun?

springfield echelon
The Echelon is an impressively durable duty pistol. (Photo credit: Springfield Armory)

The Springfield Echelon is a striker-fired pistol designed for serious duty use. It was created with serious attention to detail and according to exacting specifications for a pistol that can be trusted in the moments when it matters most. The gun has a rugged steel chassis and is designed for modularity.

In the creation of this pistol, Springfield also came up with the Central Operating Group (COG), which is self-contained and serialized so it can be moved to a different grip module if the user prefers another size or style.

This gun is also optics-ready and boasts the company’s Variable Interface System which offers compatibility with more than 30 red dot sights. It’s made possible without adapter plates through the use of unique self-locking pins.

echelon with red dot mounted
The VIS makes mounting optics easy.

Additional features of the Springfield Echelon include aggressive serrations for easier slide manipulation, adaptive grip texture for a solid hold during use, and an oversized trigger guard for use while wearing gloves.

The Echelon ships with three interchangeable sizes of backstraps. And regarding the aforementioned COG, there are three sizes of grip modules available — small, medium, and large — giving gun owners additional options for aftermarket size changes. The Echelon is made to withstand hard use and to perform reliably and accurately.

The Safariland 6360RDS-ALS/SLS Mid-Ride, Level III Retention Holster is a fantastic option for the Springfield Echelon. This holster is designed for OWB (outside waistband) use and has tough, long-lasting SafariLaminate thermo-molded construction. It’s compatible with red dot sights and, thanks to the ALS (Automatic Locking System) and SLS (Self Locking System), you can be confident your firearm is properly retained whether for duty use or wear when out and about.

What is the Springfield Armory SAINT?

The Springfield Armory SAINT is an AR-15-style rifle that first hit the market in 2016. The rifle is chambered in 5.56 NATO and has a mid-length gas system with a pinned gas block. Flip-up iron sights come standard. Features include a Bravo Company PMCR M-LOK handguard, forged receiver set, and the use of the Accu-Tite Tension System to hold the receivers firmly together. The original SAINT was designed as a defensive carbine and continues to enjoy significant popularity.

Following the release of the first SAINT came additional members of the gun family: the SAINT Victor and the SAINT Edge. The SAINT Victor is offered in several configurations including the classic 5.56 NATO, 9mm, and 308 Winchester. It offers numerous enhanced features such as a free-floating handguard with M-LOK compatibility, a newly designed muzzle brake, and QD mounts for the easy addition of a sling.

SAINT Victor 9mm Carbine

As for the SAINT Edge, it’s a lightweight rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO that’s made for durability, portability, and superior overall performance. The entire SAINT line of rifles is well-made and used by gun owners for everything from self-defense to plinking to hunting.

Should you get a Springfield Armory gun?

Springfield Armory manufactures firearms for a broad range of shooting sports. If you need a quality carry gun, there are endless options, and if you’re looking for a new rifle they manufacture quite a few. The gun maker has an exceptional background and a proven reputation for manufacturing reliable, durable firearms.

What’s your favorite Springfield Armory gun? Let us know in the comments.

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