The concealed carry market is absolutely booming. It’s a trend that’s been growing for years, and with the AR-15 bubble now well and truly over manufacturers are getting back to making new guns for the carry market. Springfield is getting into the game with a smaller version of their popular Range Officer 1911, offering a few nifty changes that make the gun better suited for that purpose. And in general, it looks like they decided to make a carbon copy of the Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry that I use as my every day carry gun . . .
Just like the Wilson Combat handguns, gone is the barrel busing on the front of the slide. The expanded barrel and tighter fit make for a more accurate gun, but it is slightly annoying to disassemble. On balance though, for carry guns I like it. Another change is a fiber optic front sight instead of the target sights, and while I prefer the green dot on the Wilson Combat gun the red dot on the Springfield works as well. The rear sights are a standard Novak cut with some fixed sights, so you can swap them out if you want.
Everything else about the gun is pretty much bog standard for a 4″ compact 1911. The rear of the mainspring housing is rounded for your comfort, the hammer is skeletonized and rounded, and the gun is fairly lightweight. But the same issues exist that I found on the original Range Officer: it’s just very rough and sharp. The trigger, the safety, and even the slide feel like they need some time under a buffing wheel. Just a little bit extra work would make this gun great feeling as well as great looking, but then again if you take the time and effort to do that you’ll end up in Wilson Combat territory for price range anyway. As with all things, a trade off.
I would love to see this in a 9mm version, and given that they just released a full size 1911 Range Officer in 9mm I’m guessing the compact version isn’t far off.