For information on the limited-edition pistol, visit http://www.springfield-armory.com.
To purchase a standard Springfield TRP Operator, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=TRP%20operator.
We like to think of American servicemen and women as heroes. But I think that is wrong. I think using that term on people like me who did nothing in the service diminishes the sacrifices of people who are actual heroes. People like Chris Kyle. If you don’t know who that is, take a break from watching reality TV and taking selfies with your food and pay attention.
Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle was a member of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team 3 where he served as a sniper. He served fours tours of duty in Iraq with 160 kills, earning two Silver Star Medals and five Bronze Star Medals, among other commendations. The military won’t confirm the actual number of kills but 160 has been used as the most accurate. This places Kyle as the most effective sniper in US history.
His skills on the battlefield saved countless American lives of his fellow service members and resulted on the enemy placing a $80,000 bounty on his head. His longest shot was against an enemy sniper at a distance of 2,100 yards (over a mile). Kyle survived through six separate IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks and being shot twice. Kyle served from 1999 to 2009 and after returning to the US and leaving the service he wrote a book about his experiences, American Sniper. The book later on was turned into an incredibly popular film by the same name. That 2014 film directed by Clint Eastwood was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor.
I actually met Chris Kyle several years ago after his book came out. He was on a panel with other authors at the SHOT Show and he spoke in the humblest manner about himself and his service. Given his accomplishments, that made an impression on me. Even after leaving the service Kyle did not stop serving his country and his fellow veterans. He started working with troubled vets, helping them deal with PTSD and other issues. It was while trying to help someone that Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed by a very troubled veteran, the very man they were trying to help. There is no other way to describe it but to say that Kyle died serving his country.
Kyle was also fully committed to our gun rights and the Second Amendment. His second book, American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, was published posthumously and is a testament to his belief in our American exceptionalism and the importance of firearms in our history. Given his long record of accomplishment it seems only fitting that a major gun manufacturer like Springfield Armory would want to honor and commemorate Kyle with a special edition and exclusive pistol.
However, the Limited Edition Chris Kyle TRP Operator 1911 is not just any gun and Springfield Armory is not just any gun company. In his book Kyle recounts how a Springfield Armory TRP 1911 pistol which he personally owned and carried in combat saved him from a possible lethal injury. It was in the midst of house to house combat in Fallujah where Kyle had passed over his usual sniper role to accompany Marines on the ground. Taking heavy enemy fire from insurgents Kyle helped cover Marines as they secured a stronger position. During this movement he found a wounded Marine shot through both legs and unable to walk. As Kyle dragged the wounded Marine to safety an enemy grenade detonated nearby, sending shrapnel into Kyle’s leg. Shrapnel which was only stopped by his 1911 pistol. For his selfless actions in this encounter Kyle was awarded the Bronze star with a “V.”
As for the pistol? In Kyle’s own words “In 2004, I brought over a Springfield [Armory] TRP Operator, which used a .45 caliber round. It had a 1911 body style, with custom grips and a rail system that let me add a light and laser combo. Black, it had a bull barrel and was an excellent gun – until it took a frag for me in Fallujah. I was actually able to get it repaired – those Springfields are tough.”
What better way to commemorate the man and his gun than by producing an exclusive version of that same pistol in his name? At least that was the idea Drew Herbst of Springfield Armory, came up with and carried through to its final completion. “The fact that Chris Kyle chose a Springfield Armory TRP to carry while on deployment inspired this project,” stated Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “Our team at Springfield Armory knows that people like Chris depend on the quality of each and every detail of our design and manufacturing processes, so they go the extra mile to do it right. We wanted to reflect that dedication to excellence while honoring a true American hero and benefiting his namesake charity.”
Indeed, even in death Chris Kyle continues to motivate and help others through the foundation started by his widow, Taya Kyle, who was approached on this project and heartily approved of it. Pistol serial number one (out of a limited run of 1,000) was originally presented to Taya Kyle who decided to place it in a live auction at the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings in Louisville, KY, with all proceeds being donated to the Chris Kyle FROG Foundation. The final winning bid for this outstanding and unique pistol and worthwhile charity was a very generous $22,500.
About the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation
It is no secret that time spent away from home and family especially on dangerous jobs or for long periods of time places a lot of stress on individuals and relationships. This stress is something that Chris and Taya Kyle experienced firsthand and what motivated Kyle to start plans for the eventual foundation to provide support for other families experiencing the same issues, plans that were tragically cut short. Kyle’s wife Taya was left to complete the work which she has.
“The mission of the foundation is to honor God, country and family by serving those who serve. To us, that represents the marriages and family life of our law enforcement, EMS, and military communities,” said Taya. The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that offers support for couples through Revitalization Retreats. These retreats allow married couples to re-establish bonds and reconnect. But this is much more than a weekend respite. The foundation also provides five follow-up coaching sessions with a licensed professional counselor as well as additional counseling as needed.
CALIBER: .45 ACP
BARREL: 5-inch stainless steel
OA LENGTH: 8.6-inches
WEIGHT: 45 ounces
GRIPS: Black G10
SIGHTS: Tritium 3-dot adjustable
FINISH: Black nitride
Limited Edition Chris Kyle TRP Operator 1911
The gun itself is all Springfield and carries all of the same features Kyle chose for the gun he carried in combat. This full sized 1911 features a five-inch bull match grade barrel in stainless steel for superior accuracy as well as fully adjustable low-profile three-dot tritium combat sights and a National Match full length guide rod. The frame and slide have been dehorned and are forged carbon steel with a rich and functional matte black nitride finish. This finish and surface treatment provides superior corrosion and wear resistance as well as a natural lubricity.
The slide features serrations at the front and rear for easier manipulation and includes ambidextrous extended thumb safety. The ejection post has also been flared and lowered for improved reliability. The frame has an accessory rail machined into the dust cover for versatility, a feature Kyle used. The grip safety features an extended beavertail design with added grip pad for reliable operation time after time. The skeletonized commander style hammer is easy to use and the gun also has a stainless steel adjustable trigger. The front strap and blackstrap of the grip feature aggressive checkering for a secure hold even in inclement conditions and the special edition black and grey grip panels are made from G10 material with a laser engraved American flag. The bottom of the grip has an extended and flared magazine well for speedier reloads and the seven-round steel magazine features a slam pad for improved operation.
Only 1,000 total pistols will be produced, laser engraved with a unique serial number range from CK0001 through CK1000, and each ships with an exclusive selection of items. Each pistol arrives in a commemorative mahogany locking display case with matching serial number and an American flag motif. The display case also contains a certificate of authenticity from Springfield Armory as well as a pure silver Chris Kyle limited edition challenge coin as well as one seven-round stainless steel magazine. Buyers also receive a copy of the book American Sniper, personally signed by Taya Kyle. A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit Kyle’s family including two children as well as the Chris Kyle FROG Foundation. Suggested MSRP is $2,495.