The Original Springfield Operator

Uncle Webkins sends us a photo of his favorite pistol …

More from me. Back in the heyday of Springfield Armory, before there was the TRP Operator, before there was the Loaded Operator, there was the one without front cocking serrations… the Mil-Spec Operator (PB9105L). Nothing but style. And after a little tuning, it’s the crown jewel of my entire hoard.

Thanks Unc`

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • BattleshipGrey

    Very nice. I love the full rail, squared-off dust cover. I really like the look of the Magpul 1911 grips too. It gives it a more modern look.

    • my biggest gripe is that they don’t cover nearly enough of the grip frame.

      • It is exaggerated in this example given that this Springfield has the older frame profile with the blocky front strap radius.

  • Kevin McCallister

    I can appreciate the history behind the 1911 and it is a truly beautiful design. I just can’t understand the die-hard fans of a gun that is inherently unreliable and has limited capacity. Nearly every time i hear about 1911s they need “tuning,” replacement parts and a huge cost for a more reliable model.

    • Southpaw89

      My Rock Island 1911 if one of the few autos that I have that has yet to jam, granted I haven’t put thousands of rounds through it, but it eats anything that I feed it. I think most of the reliability problems with the 1911 come from people trying to tighten up the tolerances to turn it into a target pistol. Also, and this is just my opinion, if you need more than 7 or 8 rounds of .45acp, you should probably have something more potent than a handgun.

      • Giolli Joker

        I’m not a great fan of 1911, nor of .45ACP, but the limited capacity is less of an issue with double stack 1911s, especially in smaller, equally efficient, calibers.

    • Andrew Johnston

      If you can explain how the design is “inherently unreliable,” I might be inclined to believe you. But as it stands now, manufacturers are still borrowing design elements from the 1911. Maybe you got burned with a cheaply made copy, but that’s not the case for all of is.

      • Giolli Joker

        As far as I know cheaply made copies tend to be more reliable than high end copies, that attempt to make a race tool or a firing jewel out of a military gun.
        Cheaply made copies probably sacrifice some accuracy potential through loose clearances, that increase reliability.

        • Core

          Common misconception. A properly made 1911 is reliable and accurate.

          • Giolli Joker

            Properly made does not mean “extra tight”.
            You can have a properly made, high quality piece with the design clearances to allow reliability.

    • Amazingly, I have 6 1911s that are all reliable, and have been from the factory. I think you just need to expand your horizons a little. 🙂

    • Tom

      There is a big difference between a milspec and a racegun. Raceguns have much tighter tolerances which impacts reliability. If you want a reliable gun then go milspec it might not be the most accurate pistol at the range or class but it will function well.

      Whilst its clear that Americans have a great deal of love for the 1911 and perhaps are a little guilty of placing it and its round on a pedestal the fact that a design dated back to the beginning of the 20th century is still viable (and in service) says a lot.

      • CommonSense23

        Milspec 1911s have the tightest tolerances of any 1911. Its why they were reliable, were produced by multiple companies and had completely interchangeable parts. Raceguns are typically closer to handmade guns which have far looser tolerances which means a lot of hand fitting.

        • Tom

          Nope the term tolerances refers to the space between the various parts, not the closeness of those parts to specification.

    • Eddie_Baby

      I’m not a 1911 fanboy, but it was easy to “get” it once I started shooting it. It fits well in the hand, well balanced, easy to aim and shoot and the trigger is good to great depending on the make and model. My home state limits my capacity, so that’s not an issue for me (I wish it was).

    • Uncle Webkins

      By “tuning” I meant upgrading components like beaver tail, trigger and hammer. Gun was fine on its own merit.

    • zak

      My Springfield A1 is as reliable as any pistol….no problems whatsoever. Not an expensive piece either $500?

    • Core

      A properly made 1911 doesn’t need tuning, replacement parts etc. It’s likely that the wide availability of custom parts that lead to tuning issues. Manufacturers have varying quality control and it’s reflected in the products. The capacity issue is personal preference. I just read a comparative analysis of cartridge lethality and I’m happy with ten rounds for. .45 and one in the chamber. My double stack only holds three more rounds.

  • Uniform223

    mmmmm 1911

  • DonDrapersAcidTrip

    I hope nobody who likes full railed 1911s are out there calling glocks ugly

  • I couldn’t agree more with Tim’s video and his opinions.

  • Duray

    If i may insert a pet peeve, “cocking serrations” are found on top of the hammer, not on the front of the slide.

  • Psylant

    The newer generation of operator got all pony too.

  • torr10

    Odd…my 1911 shoots anything I put in it, has never jammed and has a 15 round single stack mag…