By Dan Thurs
The 1911 design has been around for a very long time and has hardly changed in all those years. Why should it? Many consider John Moses Browning’s design the perfect handgun.
Springfield Armory started offering 1911 pistols in 1985. Since that time they’ve increased the calibers offered to include 9mm, .40 S&W, and, of course, the .45 ACP. Now they also offer 1911 pistols in 10mm, as in the 1911 TRP (Tactical Response Pistol) Operator models.
Lack of available ammunition is the biggest complaint I hear from people when it comes to 10mm. While that may have been true in the past, that’s changed.
At the time of this article, we have more than 20 different loads of 10mm ammunition ranging from 60gr up to 220gr bullets, with muzzle velocities from subsonic all the way up to 2400fps.
The cost of these rounds is comparable to 9mm defensive rounds and they’re available from most major manufacturers. Most are around $35 per box of 20.
The only real shortcoming at this point may be FMJ ammo choices for your days at the range where you just want to practice. A few manufacturers offer range loads for about $25 per box of 50. I’m sure this will improve as the caliber becomes more popular.
Loading your own is always an option, too. In this case, you can load rounds close to your defensive rounds in regards to performance. I’ve been able to load for about 35 cents per round not including the cost of brass.
After spending a little time with the 1911 TRP at the range, I can say I’m rather impressed. I’m a big 9mm guy in regards to every day carry. The 10mm seems to have a bit of snap to the recoil, a bit like a .40. However, once you get used to it, which only takes a few rounds, it’s very controllable.
I’m also a big caliber guy, meaning I love anything big. While the the TRP Operator is fairly hefty at 40oz, it’s not going to tire you out while shooting it. You won’t have to take up weight lifting to be effective with the pistol.
The 1911 TRP features a Picatinny rail, forged steel frame and slides, a stainless steel match grade barrel, and fully supported feed ramps.
There’s just the right amount of weight here to control recoil without weighing you down too much. In this video you can see how it performed with different shooters.
The Springfield 1911 TRP 10mm Operator has the short, crisp single action trigger (Springfield’s Gen2 Speed Trigger) pull that’s characteristic of the John Moses Browning platform. This model had a 5 pound pull (Springfield ships the gun with a pull weight between 4.5 and 5 lbs.) and a mere 1/32” travel to make it go bang. Personally, I prefer a pull weight more in the 3 to 4 pound range in a 1911, but that’s me.
The TRP 10mm Operator ships with attractive VZ G10 grips. They may look uncomfortably aggressive, but aren’t at all. Combined with Springfield’s Octo-Grip checkering on the mainspring housing and front strap, your hand will stay comfortably in place without the pistol shredding your palm under fire.
Also standard is an ambidextrous safety and drift-adjustable low profile SA tactical rack rear 3-dot tritium night sights.
1911 pistols are naturally comfortable to carry and shoot. The only ergonomic problem I encountered was reaching slide stop and magazine release buttons. I have average size hands, but had to take the pistol off target and adjust my grip to get to them. They’re slightly too far to press them with a standard shooting grip.
I let a few other shooters try the gun. While, to a person they remarked on how much fun the gun is to shoot, they experienced the same problem. Shooters with size large hands may not have that problem, but as a competition shooter, I notice things like this.
The Springfield TRP 10mm Operator was tested under controlled conditions. The firearm was clamped into a vise to remove human error and each round was passed through a chronograph, with strings of 3 to 5 rounds each.
Group patterns as well as maximum size were logged. Below are a few examples of these results.
Each target was at 25 yards. The Springfield Armory 1911 TRP produced impressive average patterns of about 1.5”. A few, like Federal HST was significantly better than that. This is one accurate pistol.
The only hiccup I experienced was when one of the really hot rounds ripped the case in half leaving one half in the chamber. I can’t really blame this on the gun.
Even the RIP ammo I tested cycled with no issues. I’ve had people tell me RIP ammo hates 1911s (or vice versa), but I didn’t see any issues with it in the TRP.
In the end, the Springfield Armory 1911 TRP 10mm Operator is a feature-packed, very well-built, accurate pistol. While it’s on the heavy side for everyday carry, it would excel as a home defense or hunting and general outdoors pistol.
Specifications: Springfield Armory 1911 TRP 10mm Operator
Caliber: 10mm (also available in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP)
Grips: Thin-Line G10
Front Sight: Fiber Optic Front
Barrel Length: 5”
Material: Forged Steel
Rear Sight: Tactical Rack Rear
Finish: Black-T® Finish
Overall Length: 8.6″
MSRP: $1,790 (about $1450 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * * *
The 1911 TRP 10mm Operator is one good-looking pistol. The standard “dirty olive” G10 grips may look aggressive, but they’re attractive and work well. The 1911 is an inherently attractive design and Springfield didn’t do anything to diminish that here.
Customization * * *
The 1911 platform has hundreds of options available. With the TRP 10mm Operator’s Picatinny rail, mounting flashlights and laser sights is a snap. Aftermarket barrels seem to be a bit of a challenge. I wasn’t able to locate a threaded barrel…something that should be available for an “operator” pistol.
Reliability * * * * *
After sending several hundred rounds through this gun I have very few issues to report. Actually, only one.
Accuracy * * * * *
Turning out 1.5″ groups at 25 yard is excellent. For a handgun that isn’t likely to see a lot of use outside that range, this pistol is far more limited by its shooters’ ability than the accuracy that’s built in.
Overall * * * * 1/2
Accuracy, reliability, and the timeless good looks of a 1911 are top notch. The only factors denying a full five stars are the ergonomic issue and the fact that this “operator” pistol doesn’t seem to be available with a threaded barrel. But neither of those is a reason to not take a good look at the TRP 10mm Operator.
All photos courtesy the author.