Best Budget 1911: Springfield’s Ronin Operator – SHOT Show 2020

The Ronin Operator has a classy two-tone finish, making it an attractive 1911.

Since the last SHOT Show, Springfield Armory has released plenty of awesome guns but two stick out in my mind.

One is the Ronin Operator and the other is the Hellcat. Both are completely different in terms of use and design, but they each have their place. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be focusing on the Ronin Operator.

The Ronin Operator is an affordable, high-quality 1911 that Springfield just announced on the eve of SHOT 2020. This handgun is available in .45 ACP as well as 9mm in order to please both camps.

The Cross Cannon wood laminate grips feel great in the hands and look amazing on the gun.

If you take a close look at the RO, you will see that the carbon steel slide is blued and the flats on the slide are polished, while the rest of it has a nice, matte finish. The frame, in contrast, is stainless steel and adds an appealing two-tone look to the gun, as well as a durability aspect.

The RO features Tactical Rack White Dot rear sights and a fiberglass front sight that will draw the eye. The gun feels great in the hands, with a nice heft and weight balance. The Cross Cannon Wood Laminate grips add a needed texture for grip but aren’t over-aggressive.

The sights that were chosen to go on the RO draw the eye easily.

Overall, the Ronin Operator is a great feeling handgun, but we can’t draw any final conclusion until we are able to run it through our tests. Keep an eye on GunsAmerica for a full review!


  • 45 ACP
  • GI style recoil system
  • Fiber optic front & Tactical Rack White Dot rear sights
  • 40 oz. weight
  • 5.5″ tall
  • Blued, forged carbon steel slide.
  • 5″ Forged carbon steel, match-grade barrel
  • 1:16″ twist
  • 8.6″ long
  • Cross Cannon wood laminate grips
  • Forged stainless steel frame
  • (1) 8 round magazine
  • $849.00 MSRP

Learn more about the Springfield Armory Ronin Operator HERE:

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About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Walt Blackstock January 23, 2021, 7:24 am

    OK now that you sold me on this 1911 why don’t any of the shops I trade with have it in stock. They tell me they can’t get any from the factory. Time you make this model available I will have moved on to another weapon.

  • Bill June 14, 2020, 7:43 am

    Hammer bounce is a non-issue. Never read even one review of a 1911 with it. Ask US servicemen- non- issue. I’ve shot one since being in the Navy Un 1965 and never had it. I have had 1911s from expensive to cheap, from new and used— still a non-issue !!

    Not that I object to functional parts that are reliable and well made.

    But stetting up a boogeyman and then “solving” the issue is fake news!

    Also $849 is hardly “budget”! Try $500!

  • Kevin January 29, 2020, 1:02 am

    In the vid, the interviewer said it was “optics ready”? Uhhh?

  • Edward January 28, 2020, 10:09 pm

    Been shooting 1911s for over 50 years, from Colts, to Springfield Armorys, to Kimbers, to Llamas. Have used hot handloads to very mild lead round nose loads. Have never experienced hammer bounce.

  • Archangel January 28, 2020, 12:37 pm

    PSA a few years back had ATI GFX 45 ACP MIL SPEC 1911A1 going for $299.

    Had I the funds I would have gotten 10 of them!

    Is it the best 1911 ever made?
    No, but it’s not a piece of junk either.
    I’d bet just about every part on that gun would swap into a USMC 1911.
    Every part does swap back and forth with my Citadel 1911 with the exception of the 9mm specific parts like the barrel and ejector being relocated.

    Not as fancy as most but decent quality, shoots better than I can and just like the one I had in the USMC.

  • Will Drider January 27, 2020, 1:33 pm

    “Budget” is always an undefined variable (bait) until you get to the MSRP. BUDGET is often interpreted as “economically priced” but that is seldom the case. Budget is also an individual finance based assumption: fits a guy with a $1K budget buf not a $500 budget.

  • Thane Hanson January 27, 2020, 12:01 pm

    Are you looking into the AR pistol caliber that uses springfield magazines. I’m tired of hearing “it tires glock mag’s.

  • DK Deuel January 27, 2020, 11:38 am

    Nice looking gun, I have a 1911 Springfield A1 “loaded” that is a very satisfactory gun. My advise would be to add $25 to the price and put a proper steel trigger on the piece. I don’t think I’m alone in this point, I don’t buy Glock’s because I don’t like plastic, I don’t buy Xd’s because I don’t like plastic, I probably will not buy a Ronin because I don’t like plastic. Steel guns that are trying to be tactical tupperware don’t appeal to me.

    • Big John January 27, 2020, 12:03 pm

      Plastic triggers on 1911’s are there so a lighter crisper trigger can be achieved with less risk of “hammer bounce” on recoil. Hammer bounce causes your hammer to end up at a half cock position after recoil renduring your 1911 unfireable unless you manually recock the hammer. I’ve been a Professional Gunsmith for over 25 years and would have felt the same way back till befur I got edgeumacated.

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