Not gonna lie… The NEW Springfield Armory Echelon is something DIFFERENT. The Echelon is not your standard polymer 9mm handgun. Imagine this… Combine the modularity of a P320 and the reliability of a Glock 45.
The Echelon has features that really set this gun apart and ahead of the current generation of handguns out there. Not only does the Echelon feature a C.O.G “Central Operating Group” Think Grip Modules... It also features a V.I.S. “Variable Interface System” also known as a universal optic-mounting system.
Let's dive into this review. Make sure to check out the the video below after you finish reading! I also have some links to the products used in this video. Hope y'all enjoy!
Quality Impressions -
Springfield Echelon simply runs... well!
Regarding quality... I don't
see any issues, defects, or blemishes. The Echelon feels well-fitted and parts seem to move freely. The Echelon
seems to have a good balance and ergonomics are done well. The interchangeable backstraps snap in an out easily and there are no hang-ups with firearm takedown.
The Echelon is PACKED with features that really elevate this pistol above the others.
First and biggest noticed feature is the C.O.G. system. This stands for Central Operating Group. Essentially this is the "Fire Control Unit" of the handgun and is the serialized part. This means you can change out the grip module for after-market versions without the need to fill out any additional paperwork.
The second big feature is the V.I.S. This stands for Visionary Optics Integration. This is an EXTREMELY impressive feature. With the V.I.S you can essentially mount up to 30 different optic types with the use of included locking pins. These optics can be mounted directly to the slide without the need for adapters or optic plates... EPIC...
The overall styling, serrations, and contours are very well thought-out. The Slide has trenches cut just in front of the chamber to make press-checking easy. The serrations are deep enough for simple manipulation and follow the entire slide all the way from the rear to the front. The included optics cover plate is also serrated to match the pattern if you choose to not mount an optic.
Magazine release is truly ambidextrous and can be manipulated from either the left or right.
The Backstraps are interchangeable and can be replaced easily without the need to remove any pins or screws. The Echelon comes with 3 different sizes.
The sites point well! The front site is a Day/Night sight utilizing Tritium with a Fiber-Optic insert. The rear sight is a U-Notch style site. Due to the low optics-cut, you get a natural co-witness using the RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA
The Picatinny rail has four slots and can accommodate just about any pistol-mounted light on the market. Attached to this Echelon is the Surefire X300U-A
At the time of this writeup, I have put around 600 rounds through the Echelon without any issues, malfunctions, or failures. I have also tested a few different variants of hollow points without failure.
The recoil impulse is very light most likely due to the texture, grip angle, and support-hand ledges which are also stippled.
When a manufacturer comes out with a new design, holster options typically are pretty limited. Of course this article is being written before the Echelon has been released to public.
So what do we currently have to work with? GOOD news... Safariland has already been working with Springfield Armory for this model and offers a holster. There is also the option of using a universal holster such as my other favorite go-to... the Blackhawk Omnivore. This holster is fit for most semi-auto handguns that have the surefire x300 attached.
Products used in the video and this article with links to buy...
Trijicon RMR2 3.25moa
Axil XCOR Ear Pro
Gatorz Blast Shield ballistic glasses
High Speed Gear Combo Mag Pouch
Springfield has truly come out with something impressive here. Perhaps it's the most capable and modular handgun out on the market. I'm sure the Springfield Armory Echelon will be a huge hit and adopted by many after-market manufacturers.
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