Two New 9mm Springfield Range Officers

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The new RO 9mm in Stainless Steel.

The new RO 9mm in Stainless Steel.

Buy a Range Officer at GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=range%20officer

Read more about the whole line of Range Officers: http://www.springfield-armory.com/1911-series/

We here at GunsAmerica are all big fans of the Range Officer line–If you are a fan of the 1911 and have not checked out Springfield’s 1911A1 inspired hybrid, you owe it to yourself to do so.  I have come to the conclusion that the standard Range Officer is just about the best bang for your buck in a target shooting 1911.

What makes the RO so great? The ROs have the best  slide to frame fit I have seen on off-the-shelf 1911s. By off-the-self I do not mean custom guns from the likes of Wilson Combat. These Springfields have been offered in 3 different models.  The original RO is a full sized 1911 with target sights. The RO Compact and The RO Champion, which are both Commander sized, are geared for concealed carry.  All of the ROs have a Parkerized finish and most are available in 45 ACP or 9mm. So what’s new in the RO family tree?

Springfield Range Officer Operator.

Springfield Range Officer Operator.

Range Officer Operator

Springfield has offered a 1911 with a section of rail for a number of years now.  Currently available there is the Fully Loaded model and the Champion Operator.  The Fully Loaded is just how the name implies–a fully tricked out, full-sized 1911.  The Fully Loaded is one of Springfield’s nicest 1911s and has just about every feature available along with excellent fit and finish.  The Champion Operator is a Commander sized 1911 that is set up with EDC in mind. So if you are looking for a 1911 with a rail those are the two choices that Springfield has. Until now. The new Range Officer Operator steps in and fills the gap between the others.

 

Part of what many find appealing about the RO line is the adjustable rear sight.

Part of what many find appealing about the RO line is the adjustable rear sight.

The RO Operator has a sight designed for EDC.

The RO Operator has a sight designed for EDC.

Specs

So what is different about this one?  First it is a full sized 1911 that is set up more for EDC than it is for range time. The sights are one of the big giveaways that this pistol is set up for carry. No huge target sights like on most of the Range Officers, low profile 3 dots are to be found here. The Range Officer Operator also has a slightly flared magazine well. But t lacks some of the features found on the Fully Loaded.  No ambidextrous safety and lack of front strap checkering to name two things.  But it does have a skeletontized hammer and full beavertail and bump on the grip safety.  Here are some number on the Range Officer Operator

It's got a rail on it. First pistol in the RO line to come with one.

It’s got a rail on it. First pistol in the RO line to come with one.

  • Calibers 9mm or .45 ACP
  • Magazines: 2- 9 round in 9mm 7 in .45
  • Barrel 5” Stainless Steel Match Grade Fully Supported Ramp
  • Sights Fiber Optic Front and Low Profile Combat Rear
  • Trigger Long Aluminum Match Grade breaks at 5.5lbs
  • Grips Cocobolo
  • Frame and Slide Forged Steel
  • Finish Parkerized
  • Recoil System GI Style
  • Height 5.5”
  • Length 8.6”
  • Empty Weight 41Ounces
6 rounds in about an inch and a half from 15 yards.

6 rounds in about an inch and a half from 15 yards.

Shooting

This pistol shoots like a Springfield Range Officer should. We were sent a 9mm version of the pistol.  Recoil is what you expect in a full sized steel framed pistol chambered in 9mm.  That is to say, minimal and very manageable. The Range Officer Operator function flawlessly and ate everything we fed it.  Hollow points from Hornady, Speer and Sig all cycled perfectly along with regular FMJ. Five round groups shot from 15 yards were mostly one hole except when operator error clicked in.

In short, this is a damn fine pistol and if you are in the market for a full sized 1911 with a rail that is set up for EDC this one should be at the top of the list. The only negative thing on this pistol is the lack of front strap texture that I want on an EDC pistol.

Fast acquisition.

Fast acquisition.

The orange stands out well between the white dots.

The orange stands out well between the white dots.

Springfield’s Stainless Range Officer

The new Stainless Range Officer.

The new Stainless Range Officer.

But wait, there’s more!  Springfield also sent us a new Stainless Range Officer. It is also in 9mm and is pretty much a standard Range Officer but in Stainless. The only other difference is with the sights. This Range Officer has a fiber optic front sight which is not found on the standard full size RO. The rear sight is a standard adjustable target sight.

The Stainless RO sports a “two toned” finish.  It is not really two colors but looks that way from the two different levels of finish on the pistol. The sides of the slide and frame are polished while the top of the slide and other areas are bead blasted. The top of the slide being more of a matte finish will cut down on glare that a polished one could have.  It also breaks up the monotonous look of an all stainless pistol.

Specs

Like all Springfield Range Officers, the Stainless version also has a stainless barrel with a fully supported ramp. They ship with 2 magazines, a holster and a hard plastic magazine pouch. Here are some numbers.

  • Calibers 9mm or .45 ACP
  • Magazines: 2- 9 round in 9mm 7 in .45
  • Barrel 5” Stainless Steel Match Grade Fully Supported Ramp
  • Sights Fiber Optic Front and Fully Adjustable Target Rear
  • Trigger Long Aluminum Match Grade breaks at 5lbs
  • Grips Cocobolo
  • Frame and Slide Forged Stainless Steel
  • Recoil System GI Style
  • Height 5.5”
  • Length 8.6”
  • Empty Weight 41Ounces
Note the front fiber optic and the rear target sight.

Note the front fiber optic and the rear target sight.

The stainless RO has more propensity for glare, but it looks more flashy, too.

The stainless RO has more propensity for glare, but it looks more flashy, too.

Both run on Springfield's 9mm mags, and we had no issues with them, at all.

Both run on Springfield’s 9mm mags, and we had no issues with them, at all.

Shooting

I have never had a bad experience with one of the Springfield Range Officer pistols.  I said it above and will say it again, they really do offer a lot of value at the price point. Yes, they lack some features found on other guns but they make up for it with the attention to the fit. Springfield uses the same slides, frames and barrels on the Range Officer as they do on their custom guns. They also fit them to the same level especially on the slide to frame. This level of workmanship shows in how these pistols shoot and function.

The Stainless Range Officer lives up to its name.  Function was flawless right out of the box. 9mm 1911s can sometimes be picky on what ammo will feed.  This one ate it all and asked more more.  Groups from multiple shooters were tight and what you would expect from a target 1911. Recoil is light and the pistol come back on target fast.  I like the addition of the fiber optic front sight for fast acquisition.

Thoughts

I clearly have a love for the Springfield Range Officer pistols. These two new ones live up to the name and expand the line. Now there is a one that meets most, if not all of the requirements for a solid EDC pistol.  And if you like stainless pistols, they have that covered now too.

Fiber optic front sights.

Fiber optic front sights.

Skeletonized hammer.

Skeletonized hammer.

In action.

In action.

Trisler, with the RO Operator.

Trisler, with the RO Operator.

The mag well on the Operator. The bevel is small, but helps with mag changes.

The mag well on the Operator. The bevel is small, but helps with mag changes.

Grips are wooden, and have the SA loge and excellent texture.

Grips are cocobolo, and have the SA loge and excellent texture.

Stainless RO accuracy from 25 yards.

Stainless RO accuracy from 25 yards.

These results compare with what we have seen from the other ROs we've reviewed.

These results compare with what we have seen from the other ROs we’ve reviewed.

Like other Springfields, the RO comes with a mag holder and holster.

Like other Springfields, the RO comes with a mag holder and holster.

These allow you to take the gun to the range the same day without having to wait for a holster.

These allow you to take the gun to the range the same day without having to wait for a holster.

9mm ballistics from a 1911 could convince some of that the platform is worth another look.

9mm ballistics from a 1911 could convince some of that the platform is worth another look.

 

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Phil May 3, 2016, 9:43 am

    Bought a Range Officer in 9mm October of 2014. Also received 3 free magazines from Springfield due to a special promotion shortly afterward. The pistol and all 5 magazines have performed flawlessly. It’s a great shooter and extremely accurate. I have not modified it in any way and I like the trigger as it is. Have put over 1500 FMJ’s through it.

  • Lopaka Kanaka May 2, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Springfield 1911 are Awesome and have enjoyed shooting both of my 1911 on a regular shoot out at the range. I have a target
    6″ long slide stainless steel with a bull barrel and it puts bullet hole in one. I also have a 5′ stainless steel with a 400 Carbon 6′ barrel and hits harder than a 10 mm. With a 135 gr JHP bullet it fly at 1500 FPS. I also switch to a 460 Rowland 5 1/2″ barrel and have a lot of horse power from the 1400 FPS with the 185 gr JHP bullet. I also have 38 Super 5″ barrel, a 5″ with a 6 ‘ 45 ACP barrel. I have one S&W Sigma F9 4 1/2 barrel and it is very light to shoot after all the big horse power 1911’s.

  • Edward Burns May 2, 2016, 3:04 pm

    I have had the regular 1911 RO in .45 since it came out, had a trigger job done on it and it performs flawlessly. As mentioned in the article the slide to frame fit is excellent. Recently acquired my CCW and searched long and hard for a conceal carry. Wound up getting the RO Champion also in .45. Other than the heavier trigger it too performs flawlessly (and extremely accurate). Can’t help myself, will have trigger work on it as well despite conceal carry.

  • Mark May 2, 2016, 1:17 pm

    I have an RO in 9mm and I wished I never bought it. It had a problem with the breech not being machined correctly and the slide to frame fit is terrible. I hear of quite a few people who have had very good experiences with their RO’s but I’m not one of them. Springfield should have replaced the gun but they tried to fix it instead. My Sig 1911 shoots exceptionally tight groups but the RO is horrid. I have an Xd that I really like and it shoots well so I know my particular RO is a lemon. Springfield does make quality but they failed with my 1911.

  • SteveO May 2, 2016, 12:40 pm

    If you think the Range Officer is that great you should check out the 1911 TRP. OUT STANDING!

  • mike nason May 2, 2016, 11:47 am

    I have the EMP and RO Champion, both in 9mm. Please Springfield, give us a full size RO in 10mm.

    • Mr James May 2, 2016, 4:13 pm

      I have the fondness for the 10mm cartridge and wish more Arms makers would offer there prize pistols and carbines to include that chambering. Should they refit and offer that cartridge they and others would see the 10mm gain new life as a go to all around. Springfield offers a excellent machine for the money too.

  • Entdoc May 2, 2016, 11:21 am

    9mm RO , both factory magazines have intermittent feed failures mid magazine. Aftermarket mags work perfectly .
    The Springfield mags look nice but are unreliable. Meggars are fine. Like the easy ability to change the color of the front sight insert.

  • Pat Nemes May 2, 2016, 10:23 am

    When is Springfield going the provide a means to mount an optical sight to the RO target pistols?

  • Scot May 2, 2016, 8:04 am

    Thanks for a great article! I’ve been looking at these for quite some time. This might just push me over the edge.

  • Michael Baley May 2, 2016, 5:52 am

    This is the most confusing report on this model I’ve read to date. Extremely poorly written.

    • Marcelino May 2, 2016, 8:07 am

      Come on Michael,the product has to be marketed and business is business. Now, having said that, it’s up to us the consumers to do our researched and find the good, the bad and the ugly of the product.

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