How far can you take the 1911 pistol? From the standard military-issue M1911 to customized versions that have been carefully machined, polished and tweaked until they are extraordinarily accurate, this pistol has been produced in an amazing variety of models, all still based on the basic, original design. Is there anything left to be tried with the 1911 platform? There is, now. Springfield Armory set out to create a production 1911 that is so well made that it provides the accuracy of a custom gun. Called the Springfield 1911 TRP Service, we’ll review the extent of their success.
The TRP Service was originally conceived to provide U.S. government personnel – exactly who, and in which departments is still kept confidential by Springfield – with the highest quality production sidearm. Called the “Tactical Response Pistol,” it is designed to take advantage of the pistol’s greatest strengths, manufactured from the best possible materials and finished to provide a pistol that is accurate and reliable under even the most extreme conditions. Since it was to be issued to civilian agents who would depend upon its quality (military special forces and members of special operations units have been issued with another model, called the TRP Operator), an emphasis on absolute quality was required.
Even at first glance, it’s obvious that the TRP Service pistol is not your standard M1911. It’s a full-frame pistol, 8.6″ overall and 5.7″ tall, chambered for .45ACP, but the similarities end there. Available in either black Teflon Armory Kote™ or matte stainless steel finish, it has the look of a tough, serious pistol that still has the polish that only attention to detail can bring.
Both the frame and slide are forged from national match carbon steel, while the extra-thick 5″ bull barrel is match grade stainless steel. These have been carefully finished and fitted, so that has almost no horizontal or vertical play.
The aluminum trigger provides a 4.5- to 5-pound pull, with a crisp action. The pistol’s 42-ounce weight helps dampen perceived recoil, so the shooter can quickly reacquire the target for a follow-on shot.
Designed for use under “the worst conditions you’ll encounter,” Springfield has also paid attention to the ergonomics. The TRP Service has G-10 composite grips for a firm, no-slip hold. In addition, both the backstrap and front strap have 20 lines-per-inch checkering. The manual safety is ambidextrous and the grip safety is slightly enlarged. The extended beveled magazine wells are also designed with combat use in mind. The pistol is shipped with two 7-round stainless steel magazines, complete with slam pads. There should be no fumbling with this handgun, even under high-stress scenarios.
The sights are fully adjustable 3-dot tritium. Combined with the excellent fit and the match-grade barrel, the results are groups that would be satisfying for a custom gun.
Now that the original government contract for the Springfield 1911 TRP Service pistol has been filled – is still being filled? Springfield isn’t talking – the civilian public now has a chance to obtain the same model. This is a long and honorable American tradition, of course, and nobody is complaining that a government contract sponsored the creation of a firearm that everyone else can now own.