Video Review: Springfield Armory Echelon Semi-Auto Pistol

Self-defenders just got a commission for the upper echelon, courtesy of Springfield.

posted on July 28, 2023

Springfield Armory's brand-new Echelon handgun is more than just a product line extension (although we like those too). This semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol chambered in 9mm Luger takes a wholly different approach than Springfield's other self-loading offerings. It's a modular system, which consists of a removable, self-contained fire-control chassis that bears the gun's serial number. Springfield calls this component the Central Operating Group, which houses the trigger and a secondary sear to prevent accidental discharges.

As more Americans clamor for reflex-sight-ready firearms, Springfield's Echelon answers the call. It boasts an innovative, optic-mounting solution called the Variable Interface System. It features a series of pins that act as feet, or lugs to secure many of today’s most popular red-dot optics directly to the slide—mounted as low as possible, while maintaining use of the gun’s iron sights.

With an overall 8" length, 4.5" consisting of barrel, the Echelon is a full-sized handgun. It weighs just under a pound and a half unloaded (23.9 oz.), and comes with a 17- and a 20-round box detachable magazine. What it gives up in concealability, however, it gains in shootability and reliability. Our friends at American Rifleman gave the gun a very thorough workout, and were thrilled with its performance.

"Our testers recently put just under 500 rounds through this exact model you see here, without fail. Accuracy at 25 yards with the help of Trijicon’s RMR Type 2 red-dot shows promise that the gun is more than capable as a home defense tool. Our testers particularly enjoyed the gun’s fit.

"Although the M1911 aficionado may find the grip angle steep, it nevertheless affords a high grip, and the added stippled support pads on both its left and right side, and undercut trigger guard, work in harmony to help the shooter maintain control. In addition, fieldstripping the gun is simple and does not require a trigger pull to separate the slide."

Check out the rest of the specifications on Springfield's Echelon and find out why it's NRA's Gun of the Week with this great video from American Rifleman! For more information, visit


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