I Carry: Springfield Armory Emissary 1911 Pistol in a Milt Sparks Axiom Holster

posted on August 13, 2021

Firearm: Springfield Armory Emissary 1911 (MSRP: $1,279)

Brand-new from Springfield Armory is its Emissary 1911. Intended as a ‘next-level’ 1911, the Emissary offers upgrades and options that set it above a standard model. One of the most distinct visual cues is the squared-off trigger guard, but that’s hardly the only deviation from the norm. The Emissary also has a flat-faced trigger, a two-tone blued/stainless finish, VZ Grips thin-line G10 grips and Springfield’s proprietary Tri-Top cut slide, giving it a distinct, rounded appearance.

It’s not just an eye-catching pistol, either. Useful features abound, such as a flat-ledge rear sight for one-handed racking in an emergency, top serrations to reduce glare and checkering on the frontstrap and backstrap to anchor the Emissary in the hand. An accessory rail graces the dustcover should a light or laser be desired, with three cross slots for optimum placement.

Springfield Armory has opted for a similar sight arrangement for the Emissary as it uses on the Hellcat. The rear sight uses the U-dot configuration while a tritium vial surrounded by a bright yellow ring comprises the front, making quite the prominent sight picture. Both front and rear sights are dovetail mounted should adjustment or replacement be desired. The 5-inch, match-grade bull barrel is paired with a one-piece, full-length guide rod, and resides in the blued carbon-steel slide. The Emissary has an overall length of 8.4 inches and weight of 40 ounces.

The MSRP of the Emissary puts it somewhere in between the Ronin / Range Officers models and the super customs like the Loaded and TRP. It’s visually distinct while still offering much to the defensive shooter. Thoughtful upgrades combined with a visually striking handgun mean you’re not sacrificing form for function.

Holster: Milt Sparks Axiom ($170 standard, $240 as outfitted)

A next-level pistol should have a superior holster, so we’ve opted for the Milt Sparks Axiom outside-the-waistband holster to go with the new Emissary 1911. Constructed of sturdy cowhide, the Axiom features dual snap closures that allow the holster to be added to or removed from a belt without having to take the belt off. Placement of the loops at the ends of the Axiom helps spread the weight of the firearm over a larger area, making it more comfortable to carry even a hefty 1911 all day long.

Models are available in black and tan, and for Glock midsize pistols and Smith & Wesson revolvers as well as 1911s. The Axiom comes with a 20-degree cant to aid in concealment. The model we have today has shark accents on the reinforced mouth and snap closures for a custom look, and adds a $70 premium to the standard price. It’s for style, of course, but why not have a little flair?

Knife: CKRT Daktyl (MSRP: $69.99)

A unique 1911 and holster arrangement deserves an equally unique pocketknife, so we’ve gone with CRKT’s Daktyl. Rather than open with a flipper mechanism, thumb stud or hole, the Daktyl swings open through the handle. It’s quite unique and takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get the sequence right it’s just as quick as other methods. The lever that is pressed to open and close the knife also functions as a lock – push it down, and the knife is locked so that the blade won’t rotate.

A 3-inch, 420J2 steel blade sports a bead-blast finish, while the 420 stainless steel handle is skeletonized for even further weight reduction. The Daktyl weighs only 2.4 ounces, and measures 6.8 inches open, 4.4 inches closed. There’s no pocket clip, but the ring section cleverly conceals a springloaded clip that can attach it to a belt loop or a pack.


man drawing revolver from holster
man drawing revolver from holster

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