Editor Note: In case you missed it in our Friday Digest, here’s the full review of Springfield’s newest offering and their step into the 10mm arena.
At long last, Springfield Armory has decided to join the 10mm resurgence. This week we got not one new 1911 TRP Operator chambered in 10mm, we got two! This is a great day for the Cult of the 10mm, of which I am a fully fledged disciple.
Springfield Armory makes what I think are the best bang for your buck 1911s out there, offering base models from around $650 all the way up to $4,000 custom-shop jobs. Whatever pistol you decide to purchase, base model or competition piece, you know you’re getting your money’s worth. That’s a fact. For years, though, many of us have been clamoring for our friends in the Land of Lincoln to make a production 10mm. Sadly, those cries that fell on deaf ears — until now! Today, we have our new champions!
Worth the Wait
You may ask, “Why did it take so long?” It has a lot more to do with engineering than marketing. Springfield Armory is a brand that I respect because they don’t bring half-baked ideas to market. They knew that a .45 ACP frame with a different slide would not take the abuse of full power 10mm. That is exactly the problem that reared its ughly head in the ’80s when 10mm was introduced. The 1911 frames of those day were cracking under 20,000 rounds, which is also part of the reason why 10mm fell from grace.
To correct this problem, Springfield Armory needed two things. The first was advances in metallurgy. If you have purchased a gun in the last 10 years, you know how much the game has changed. Not only are modern guns more durable than they have ever been, but you can pull a Minute of Angle rifle off the rack at Walmart with staggering regularity.
***Want to Win a Free TRP Operator 10mm? Springfield is giving one away! Click HERE to Enter***
The second thing they needed was to enhance the frame to take the punishment. As many of you know, 10mm operates at much higher pressures than .45 ACP. We’re talking a difference between 20,000 PSI in .45 ACP and around 35,000 PSI in 10mm. A tougher frame and slide are necessary to take on those heavy loads. Plus, 10mm has long been the domain of roll your own, and most of us leave the low recoil stuff to the candy asses at the FBI.
Specs 5-Inch/6-Inch Operator
- Caliber: 10mm
- Magazines: Two 8-Round Stainless Steel
- Barrel: 5- or 6-inch Stainless Steel Match Grade, Fully Supported Ramp Bushing / Fully Supported Ramp Bull
- Sights: SA Tactical Rack Rear, 3-Dot Tritium/ Fully adjustable, 3-Dot Tritium
- Trigger: Springfield Armory Gen 2 Speed Trigger
- Grips: VZ Alien Dirty Olive G-10
- Frame: Forged Steel, Accessory Rail, Octo-Grip Front Strap, Ambi Thumb Safety & Black-T Finish
- Slide: Forged Steel w/Ball Cut & Front Serrations, Black-T finish
- Recoil System: 18.5#
- Height: 5.5-inch
- Length: 8.6 inch/ 9.6-inch
- Weight w/ Empty Mag: 40 oz. / 45 oz.
- Price: $1,790/ $1,842
1911 TRP Operators
The resulting creation is a work of art. Both new 10mm guns are what Springfield calls “Tactical Response Pistol (TRP) Operators” models. Basically, it means they have Picatinny rails on the dust cover. Not only does this add weight to absorb recoil, it also provides thicker steel on the dust cover.
Compared to a .45 ACP TRP Operator, the 10mm is thicker still for further longevity. It is almost boxy and has been widened all the way back to the trigger guard. The slide is also thicker comparatively, which combined with the smaller bore of the barrel, shows the difference between this and other 10mms.
The new TRP 10mm pistols are essentially identical, with a 5- and 6-inch barrel option. Why would they do that? Velocity. All us real 10mm nerds know, it is one of the rounds that gains speed significantly in longer barrels. A 1-inch difference means about 50 feet per second with factory ammo, more if you are building your own.
Since 10mm is a round with many purposes, it makes sense to have both options. The 5-inch model is almost exactly the same footprint of a full size 1911, with slight dimensional thickness differences. Still, this should make it a lot easier to find holsters. It makes for a great duty gun.
The 6-inch model is geared toward handgun hunters, or for use as a backwoods gun. Living where I do in Idaho, the potential of dealing with a bear or a mountain lion is very real. If that day comes, I want all the velocity I can muster. The 6 inch is obviously heavier, and looking at the two overlayed, you can see why. Not only is the dustcover longer, but the Picatinny rail was extended on the 6 inch. The difference in felt recoil is amazing. The 6 inch is tame enough for anyone, the 5 inch recoils noticeably harder.
Fit and Finish
Springfield Armory has built a couple of 1911s in their day, so it should come as no surprise that the fit and finish is fantastic. Both come with ambidextrous safeties, Springfield’s own crisp Gen 2 Speed Trigger, and Black-T on the frames and slides, which is a self-lubricating and corrosion-resistant finish. Both feature new dirty olive green G10 slabs from VZ Grips. The texture is very aggressive. Exactly what I want in a 10mm, and I also like that they are thicker than normal. Better purchase from more surface area, though any 1911 grip panel will work. The front strap and mainspring housing feature a new scallop style checkering, known as SA’s “Octo-Grip,” which is both pretty and functional. Extended beavertail safety and front/rear cocking serrations are also standard.
The primary difference, aside from the barrel, is the sights. Specifically, the rear sights. Though both are tritium night sights, the rear is use-specific. The 5 inch features a fixed rear, with melted outside edges, and a shelf front for one hand use. The 6 inch features a target-style rear, which is adjustable. The 5 inch features a normal barrel with a barrel bushing. The 6 inch features a bull barrel, with a bushingless fit.
These guns are both beautiful and functional, a must have for the 10mm fan. I got to first shoot them over a month ago, at a release event in Vegas. From round one, I knew I was keeping at least one of these. So what does a proper 10mm Cult member need besides what comes in the box? Glad you asked.
Ammo & Mags
Step one, I like extended magazines for 1911s. I rarely carry a 1911 concealed, and I was leaning toward the 6-inch Joker gun, which would just be silly to stick in your pants.
From my USMC days, I prefer a 10 rounder for a duty gun. The factory magazines flush fit at 8 rounds, but why not have two more? 10mm single stack magazines are tricky, so I did a bunch of research. One brand really seemed to have it dialed in, Tripp Research. Looking at their offerings, they do seem to have very well- built magazines. For 10mm, they offered two lengths, both with a 10-round capacity. They had to do this in order to keep one model competition legal.
***Want to Win a Free TRP Operator 10mm? Springfield is giving one away! Click HERE to Enter***
ESP Class of IDPA has a box that pistols must fit in, with the magazine inserted. With a 10 round 1911 magazine, this is tight. The tradeoff is that magazine is so short it is more difficult to seat fully loaded than its bigger brother. The difference is about ¼ inch, but it matters. I ordered both, and both ran great. But if you don’t care about ESP, the longer of the two is what I recommend. So far I love these magazines, they were a great addition to the package.
Step 2, What to feed em? Fortunately for me, I know some people. Speer gave me early access to the new Gold Dot 10mm, and it proved to be an excellent option for these guns. This is the original projectile, scaled up for a man’s gun. I could not be happier with how these performed. The 200-grain bullets gave excellent penetration and expansion in freezing cold ballistics gel, going to about 15 inches. Velocity was roughly 1,100 FPS out of the 5 inch, 1,160 FPS out of the 6 inch.
Also on the testing block was Federal Premium Vital Shok, a 180-grain Jacketed Soft Point. This was designed as a hunting round. Personal protection and hunting have different needs, as animals tend to be thicker than humans. The Vital Shok gave an insane 38 inches of penetration. Out of the 5-inch gun, velocity averaged 1,300 FPS, while out of the 6, we got 1,360 FPS. That is some serious energy on target!
For my personal needs, I plan on staggering these rounds in a magazine. A tag team of Gold Dots and Vital Shoks should solve any critter or biped problem I am likely to face.
And I Purchased the…
At a retail price of around $1,800, these 10mm guns are loaded with features, so much that I had to have one. I have elected to buy the 6 inch, though both guns are excellent choices. Sometime in the next 6 months, look for a follow up as I try to burn the barrel out with my secret stash of Centimeter Candy.
Visit Springfield Armory to learn more about these Operators chambered in 10mm.
Shop GunsAmerica to buy your new Springfield 1911 today.
Need 10mm ammo? Make sure you look at Federal’s Vital Shock and Speer’s Gold Dot.
I have just purchased a new Ruger Stainless Steel S1911 10mm. I will put this up against any other 10mm auto on the market. Very accurate and minimal kick. This has a 5” bull barrel an adjustable trigger and adjustable sights. Just my opinion.
I too owned a Delta Elite. I shot that one loose in the late 80’s, early 90’s in some local IPSC matches. I shot with a friend who I helped reload for the both of us. I easily put well over 10,000 rounds through that pistol. No cracks and no Kabooms. It swallowed its fair share of DT ammo and any other full house ammo I could find. Dan Wesson PM 7 10mm was it’s replacement and that was an improvement as well. Those were some tightly built pistols, very accurate and very reliable as well. I have carried a 10 for most of my adult life . Recently I was tempted by Glock’s offering and caved to the purchase of their new Glock 40 Gen 4 10mm. I have found another great 10mm to appreciate. The 10mm has floundered for years. I listened as writers told of its demise, how it would never be a mainstream round. Now look at how this caliber has returned ! Was it the technology or did enough shooters finally learn to appreciate its power ? Seems like there are 10mm’s everywhere and not just the 5 inch but 6 inch (I just installed a threaded 6.61″ bbl in my Glock 40), but now we also have a few carbines to choose from ! 10.6″ up to 16 inch barrels that will surely give the 10mm even more power. I cant wait to see if there will be any rifle specific loads for us to try. My point is…while this is truly a nice pistol from Springfield , it is an expensive new pistol. Im sure if I had the extra money I would love to own a pistol like this. For now , I’m perfectly happy to carry my 15 plus 1 round capable Glock 40 Gen 4 10mm for less that half of what the Springfield cost . With my IWB holster with an extra mag that gives me 31 rounds with which to stay alive with. Thats a lot of stopping power and its not tougher to conceal than the Glock 20. 😉
I just purchased the 6 inch model. Everything you say is true. Breakdown of the firearm is a real bear. Also very hard to rack unless I click the hammer first. Gonna contact springfield about that.
OK, but how hard is it ti find a bloomin’ holster? Everyone always talks about what mags, what ammo, but finding a GOOD holster is sometimes tough. Add a light to that rail for duty use, and the choices are drastically reduced. I’m a 1911 fan from long ago, and I’d love to add this to the collection, but will it fit in standard 1911 leather? Recommendations?
Probably easier to have a kydex one made.
Love your reviews. Just saw a video of you at Independence Indoor Shooting in ID too. Check out http://www.foamactionsports.com Rifle Rest. I would love to send you a few to review.
I stick with my Glock 20 10mm at less than 1/2 the price.
I had a Colt Delta Elite right from the get go. But my Tanfoglio Goldteam 10 is much better. It’s quite a bit like the Bren 10 as they both derive from the CZ 75. You can’t beat it for 900 dollars less than the S.A and holds nearly twice the B.B. s. Oh yeah beveled mag well, and stainless too.
The Omega was springfield’s first 10mm I believe.
Almost makes you want to spend money with SA… almost.
I’ve had a 10mm Kimber sitting for ages at a pistolsmith’s waiting for him to convert my Kimber into a gun just like this. Now if only Springfield could deliver an updated Bren 10, I’d be in heaven.
SPRINGFIELD’S FIRST 10MM?? FORGOT ABOUT THE OMEGA??
Oh Boy a made in Brazil 1911 in 10MM
Springfield 1911’s have not been made in Brazil for years.
They are all made in the US in Illinois.
Since it is now a high pressure capable “1911” why bother with the small bore cartridge. Develop some high pressure loads in .45 ACP for better killing power than a 10mm.
That’s a very good point. Putting an economical price-point on staying with .45 ACP guns; most .45 ACP pistols can be converted to shoot .45 Super. Which, btw.. the .45 Super has more energy and greater strike surface. Heavy .45 Super loads give greater penetration as well. 28,000 psi(.45 Super) vs. 10mm(35,000 psi), is a consideration in safety. 10mm likes to go KB! in all pistol formats.
$1800? Wow, I got a Kimber Custom II TLE/RL for half that price and it’s a sweet pistol. I hope that they come out with an XDM in 10mm, that would definitely go to the top of my wish list.
Try Double Tap Ammo for some premium feed!
Double tap ammo inflates their velocities. Real 10mm is either bandleader or bought from Underwood Ammo.
Hand loaded or bought at Underwood Ammo
Actually, Springfield Armory did previously offer a 10mm 1911 in the Omega back in the late ’80’s, early ’90’s. Used a linkless barrel and frame setup with dual extractors. Was a collaboration with a German firm, Peters-Stahl, I think.
^^ I immediately thought this too. I had the pleasure of shooting that pistol and to this day I feel that it was the most accurate pistol I have ever shot. The model I shot had the porting. Lots of flame but man, I felt that I could confidently hit targets out to a hundred yards with it.
….”makes it easier to seat.”
Mag isn’t seated.
I like the look of ‘em anyway.
uh, extended magazines stick out the bottom of the gun past the grips. so yes, that is what a 10 rounder looks liked seated.
Great show of patience brother.
Just a request, I was wondering if you would do a review on the Rowland 460 conversation? I have it on my Springfield XD full size and am wondering how it stacks up against the10mm in terminal preformance? Also how you feel it preforms in the XD platform vs. .45acp