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How many times have you heard it before? If you’re having feeding or other reliability problems with your pistol, the first place to check — and the most likely culprit — is your magazines. That applies for everything from cheap pocket mouse guns to full-size duty pistols. But it may especially apply to 1911s.

Lovers of the 2011 platform were thrilled at the announcement of the Springfield 1911 DS Prodigy last month. It’s a doublestack 9mm 1911 that gives you 17+1 or as many as 20+1 rounds of carry capacity built on John Moses Browning’s much-loved design. And Springfield had priced the Prodigy 2011 pistol at $1500, almost two grand under some of its well-regarded competitors.

However…if you follow the forums, keep an eye on the Gram or watch YouTube videos, you may have seen that early adopters of the Prodigy weren’t entirely happy. Many had experienced feeding problems. These mostly seem to be failures to feed or failures to return fully into battery.

That’s not what buyers want to see in their new $1500 pistol.

Some people returned their gun to their retailer. Others sent their pistol back to Springfield for some TLC. Still others went to work themselves polishing rails, buffing feed ramps or buying new springs. And after all that some still experienced problems.

And then today, we got this from Check-Mate Industries. You may not know that name, but Check-Mate makes OEM magazines for lots of gun makers, some of which you probably own.



We talked to Check-Mate and they tell us the Prodigy in the video is a stock, unmodified pistol. They say they fed it standard MagTech 115 grain range ammo in both the Duramag magazines Springfield packs with the Prodigy and Check-Mate’s own 2011 mags (which, incidentally, they make for another prominent maker of 2011 pistols located here in the great state of Texas, not too far from TTAG Central Command).

As you can see, there’s a big difference in reliability shown in the video. The results would lead you to conclude that there’s nothing at all wrong with the Prodigy…nothing that better magazines won’t fix.

We have a Prodigy and some Check-Mate mags on their way to us. We’ll give them all a good going over, see what we can see, and report back to you.

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  1. Check-Mate basically produces every magazine that isn’t made by the even larger Mec-Gar.
    Unfortunately they don’t list any 2011 magazines on their own website, otherwise i would’ve tried them before…

    • A 2011 magazine has about an inch or two where it goes from double stack to single stack so a different magazine wouldn’t work. It would take a complete redesign and then would it really by a 2011 gun then.

  2. Good luck but if I’m going to own an 1911 then it’s going to shoot .45acp.
    It’s part of the nostalgia of the gunm.
    As for a JMB 9mm , that’d be the HiPower.

  3. Umm… It’s a 2011. Hopefully someone with more race circuit experience can comment, but my feed lips all needed tuning. That’s not something a factory gun can do, it’s specific to each gun. Sure, these mags may have a little better geometry temporarily, but if you’re putting down enough lead, they’ll be out of spec eventually too. Throwing parts at any 1911 is not as helpful as knowing what to tweak.

    • The swinging link system does not lend itself well to full-length guide rods… and multi-piece guide rod designs certainly aren’t going to help in that area, either.

  4. Dennis Reese (who, do not forget, won the NRA Man Of The Year Award – you suck too, Wayne) should probably consider spending money on magazine development instead of lobbying against the natural rights of the citizens of his state. Also, he’s a giant asshole and Springfield deserves no mercy.

    Do not forget.
    Do not forgive.

    • Never buy a new model anything (gun, car, tv etc.). I don’t care how much testing ANY company does there is always some gremlin(s) in the works for any new model.

  5. Didnt we go down this double stack 1911 road before and I think was called the ParaOrdinance. I finally got rid of mine sometime in the last 2 years of “give me anything that will shoot at any price. I gotta have a gat.” Mine was custom from the frame up. Limited IPSC gun. It ran great but I had long ago ground off the last round hold open nib on the slide release. The SA Prodigy…why lord, oh why?

  6. So they want 4 figures for a pistol that doesn’t even work with OEM magazines AND they’re happy to support gun control and chrony capitalism as long as they get their cut? Gee, sounds like a great company to give my money to!

    Even before the IFMA fiasco, about the only thing SA had done that wasn’t being done by a half dozen other companies was importing the HS2000 handgun series (better known in the US as the XD line) from Croatia and increasing the price by $200. There is literally no reason to buy from Springfield

  7. I have been playing with custom 2011’s since the late 90’s and the mags have always been finicky. They have always needed to be tuned, and that is in guns costing 3-5 times what the prodigy costs.

  8. I purchased my Prodigy several days ago. I as many others buyers had problems with failure to feed. I replaced the slide spring with a Wilson Combat 15# springs. I,ve fired 200 rounds since with no problems. Very happy with the accuracy of my Prodigy.

  9. I have a Prodigy which fails to go to battery, and is quite inaccurate. I purchased a Check mate magazine, polished feed ramp and lapped the rail with 14,000 grit TechDiamond lapping compound. I still have failure to go to battery. I have owned many Springfield Armory weapons and have been very impressed with their reliability and accuracy, especially the Hellcat, BUT THAT ISN’T THE CASE FOR THE PRODIGY.

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