Product Review: Springfield Armory Echelon™- Innovation Is Still Thriving

Posted by Gunprime Staff on 08/04/23


Product Review: Springfield Armory Echelon™- 

Innovation Is Still Thriving 



The Springfield Armory Echelon™ sets a new standard for modern, striker-fired duty pistols with its revolutionary features and modular design. As a firearm enthusiast, I was eager to get my hands on this handgun and put it through its paces. What seems like just another plastic wonder-9 is anything but that. After extensive testing and evaluation, I can confidently say that the Echelon is going to set the new standard for innovation and features in the handgun market. 


Central Operating Group (COG): 



The heart of the Echelon is the Central Operating Group (COG), a self-contained and serialized stainless steel chassis. Taking cues from the popular Sig Sauer P320 platform, this innovative feature allows easy swapping between grip modules, giving users versatility. This system will also allow for easier maintenance, cleaning and repair for owners and armorers.


Variable Interface System (VIS): The future of optics mounting?


The Echelon also introduces Springfield’s patent-pending optic mounting system, known as the Variable Interface System (VIS). This direct mount provides an improved sight picture and better mounting height than many competitors. The VIS system utilizes optic specific studs (included with the gun) that can be placed in mounting holes on the slide to allow the mounting of over 30 different optics without the use of adapter plates. This also has the additional benefit of allowing the optic to be mounted lower in the slide than other handguns, allowing iron sight co-witness with many popular red dots. 

Slide Design and Ergonomics: 



The Echelon's design offers fantastic slide serrations, making slide manipulation easy and reliable. Deep trench cuts forward of the ejection port make press checks easy in any condition, whether you are wearing gloves or have wet hands. The rear serrations match the front in form and function. The Echelon’s slide also includes HK VP9 inspired rear-cocking wings. Unlike the VP9, which has polymer wings, the Echelon’s wings are milled into the slide. The Echelon is also a great option for left-handed shooters, featuring an ambidextrous slide lock lever and magazine release. The magazine release features a drop safe ledge built in each side of the grip to prevent the magazine release from being activated by drops and accidental bumps. 


Adaptive Grip Texture and Interchangeable Backstraps: 


Photo Source: https://www.springfield-armory.com/echelon-series-handguns/echelon-handguns/


One of the standout features of the Echelon is its Adaptive Grip Texture. It feels smooth to the touch yet offers enough aggressiveness to keep the gun in place while firing. Springfield didn’t skimp on texturing, adding it in every place on the grip where it matters. The magazine release, thumb rest, and the trigger guard all feature the same texture as the grip. Springfield also included finger rests, or as many refer to them as “gas pedals”, in front of the trigger guard. These give the user a memory point to rest their finger when they aren’t shooting as well as a shelf to help push the muzzle down while firing to help mitigate recoil. Moreover, the pistol comes with three interchangeable backstraps, allowing users to find the perfect fit for their hand.


Interchangeable Grip Modules: 


Photo Source: https://www.springfield-armory.com/echelon-series-handguns/echelon-handguns/


Springfield currently offers three different grip modules for the Echelon (small, medium and large). All Echelons currently ship with the medium grip module and all three back straps. Assumably, just like Sig Sauer, Springfield will have future offerings of grip frames in different sizes, colors, and (hopefully!) calibers. 


Trigger and Safety Features: 


Photo Source: https://www.springfield-armory.com/echelon-series-handguns/echelon-handguns/


The Echelon's trigger is exceptional, with critical components machined from tool steel and highly polished for a crisp break and short, positive reset. Safety is a key feature of the Echelon, exceeding SAAMI drop test parameters and featuring a unique second sear design to prevent unintentional discharge during accidental drops. The trigger guard is also enlarged to allow for shooting with gloved hands. 


Sighting System and Barrel Performance: 


Photo Source: https://www.springfield-armory.com/echelon-series-handguns/echelon-handguns/


The Echelon comes standard with tactical rack U-Notch rear sights and a tritium front sight with a luminescent ring, offering excellent visibility in low-light conditions. You can also opt for the 3-dot night sight version. The hammer-forged 4.5” barrel, coated with Melonite® for corrosion and wear resistance, provides superior accuracy and service life. Springfield now offers a 5.28” threaded barrel version with the industry standard ½ x 28 thread pitch.  


Magazine and Capacity Options: 


Photo Source: https://www.springfield-armory.com/echelon-series-handguns/echelon-handguns/


The Echelon comes standard with a flush fit 17 round magazine and an extended 22 round magazine. The 22 round magazine has a textured grip extension that matches the frame. Both magazines are constructed of stainless steel and feature an all new black scratch-and-wear resistant coating. A 10 round version is available for states with magazine capacity restrictions. 


In conclusion, the Springfield Armory Echelon™ is an outstanding handgun that stands out in the market due to its exceptional features and design. The COG system, VIS optics mounting, and Adaptive Grip Texture make it a highly adaptable and versatile firearm. The outstanding trigger and safety features provide superior performance and peace of mind. The Echelon truly exceeds expectations, offering an unparalleled shooting experience. Whether for duty use, self-defense, or competitive shooting, the Echelon is a top-tier choice that stands out in a market with no shortage of options.