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Here is my review of my EMP4 .40 that I sent to Steve Owens of Integrity Arms:

Back Story

I tried to “upgrade” my Springfield Armory EMP4 .40 with an oversized gunsmith fit slide stop. Through inexperience, tolerances, and the gun being completely dry, I made the gun seize up requiring a rubber mallet to get the slide off of the frame, without the slide being able to go on the frame again…. Being a member of 1911Addicts.com I learned about an up and coming gunsmith, Steve Owens of Integrity Arms. I contacted him around Thanksgiving about my pistol. After talking to him about my issue and possibly personalizing it. After back and forth conversations we agreed on the work to be done. In late December I sent him my pistol. On May 8th, with a side trip back to Springfield Armory, I received my EMP4 back.

Initial impressions:

This is my first time ever sending a firearm to a gunsmith for work. OH MY! NOW I KNOW WHY PEOPLE SEND GUNS OFF TO GET CUSTOMIZED AND HAVE ISSUES WITH PRODUCTION FIREARMS!

First of all, the slide worked. Not only did it work, it slid on the frame ball bearings. Everything that I wanted and more. This gun is amazing. I had quite the amount of work done (probably the most amount done to an EMP4 – or at least that I have seen).

I had done:

Refit slide to frame (reweld BTGS area for more uniform fit)

Flat top and serrate top of slide

Install adjustable rear sight

Serrate rear of slide to match new sight

Install and flatten new trigger (Harrison)

Install extended magazine release

Install and fit Wilson concealment BTGS

Install Harrison TR ignition set with concealment hammer (new strut and pin)

Install new FPS

Install fit and blend Wilson XTAC magwell

Action Job

Reliability job

Marvel cut

Tune extractor

EGW fit and slim the paddle thumb safety

Harrison HD ejector (drill and pin)

Fit Harrison slide stop (Flush and countersink with frame)

Install EGW one piece recoil spring guide assembly

Install Challis grip bushings

French border

New pin set

Counter sink/crown barrel 11 degrees

Refinished in DLC (blackout)

The custom work is amazing. The machine lines are straight even and clean. The trigger is awesome, a touch lighter than I am used to (3 1/2ish pounds) but clean. I may tweak the sear spring to make it a touch heavier, I am going to take it out a couple more times first. I was skeptical on the DLC finish but seemed like the most durable option that was available through Steve – I was also thinking about Robar Poly-T2/Roguard/NP3/NP3+ or a Black Nitride. With the other finishes I would have to receive the gun back and then send it out for more time away to get the gun refinished. Also, there are many other companies that use DLC. Honestly, I think this might be my go to finish for future builds. It is not dark dark black but dark enough for me.

I was able to take it out the day that I got it. I burned through 232 rounds. Although, I wasn’t shooting for accuracy, the gun is way more accurate than me. I was just happy that I could get through all the magazines without any issues. The temporary Magpul grips have to go. I have already ordered StonerCNC slash and burn grip that should be here this week. When they get in I will be taking it out again. After some time getting acclimated to this gun, it will be replacing my Glocks (I know I know) as my main carry sidearm and for competitions (I am a big believer in competing with what you carry).

Thank you Steve for the awesome pistol!

Steve Owens

Integrity Arms


Facebook: IntegrityArmsCustomPistol-Smith

Thank you for reading. Here are some picture:




This is as far as the slide would go on before I sent it:


Last one, at the range ready to go:

I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now
6,231 Posts
Steve is awesome, DLC is awesome and that's a bad ass looking EMP :):)

1911 Pistol Smith
9,890 Posts
A few more pics for a look at the top and rear of slide. This one was a challenge but, it was also fun.. A shout out to Rob at Alchemy/Cabot for some pointers on opening up the extractor tunnel a bit to aid in better feeding. SA drilled and pinned the ejector then when it returned I swapped for a HD exact fit. Sent it to them in hopes they would provide a new extractor as they would not turn loose of any parts for this primarily proprietary pistol. Thank you for the work Dvs6 and your confidence in me to do it.

NRA Endowment member
3,149 Posts
Wow! Over the top for sure!
Nice work Steve.
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Just outsided the realm of Crazy!
1,837 Posts
Congrats and thine is a fine looking Springfield to be sure! Steve is definitely the man!!:thumbs::cheers:
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