[Review] Springfield Armory TRP Operator 1911 in 10mm

    This past fall I was fortunate enough to attend Springfield Armory’s Desert Duel (a writer’s event) and get some hands-on time with all of their new offerings for the upcoming months. However you feel about Springfield Armory, they do listen to the market and have some exciting products coming out. Another good thing about Springfield Armory is that they are not a one-trick pony. They have firearms that will work for all types of shooters.

    One of my two favorite previews (you will have to wait until early next year for my other favorite) was for the newest variant to the TRP (Tactical Response Pistol) Operator line—a 10mm Auto (in both 5” and 6” barrel lengths). Until now, the TRP Operator was only available in .45 ACP.

    I was fortunate enough to get a pre-release pistol so that I could do a full review in time with the public release.

    Technical Specifications

    The TRP Operator in 10mm is constructed of a forged steel frame and slide which are precision fitted a to Match Grade stainless steel barrel (with fully supported ramps). Both the frames and slides are coated in Black-T, a self-lubricating, highly corrosion resistant finish, engineered to protect the firearm through heavy use and tough conditions.

    The frame has integrated three-slot accessory rails for your lights and lasers and tactical chainsaws. It also features an ambidextrous safety lever.

    Sights are 3-dot tritium night sights, featuring a tactical-rack rear in the 5” version, and a fully adjustable rear in the 6” model.

    The front strap (the “Octo-Grip”) and mainspring housing, coupled with G10 VZ Grips, assure a solid hold.

    The TRP Operator features the Springfield Armory Gen 2 Speed Trigger, tuned to 4.5- to 5-pound pull and the “fearsome” 10mm recoil is tamed by properly balancing the recoil impulse with a heavier slide/barrel combination in conjunction with an optimized recoil spring.

    Each 10mm TRP Operator is shipped with two 8-round magazines.

    The thickness of that barrel says it all.

    The thickness of that barrel says it all.

    One of the first things they stressed, during the presentation, is that this platform was built to the original specifications for the 10mm round. Jeff Cooper’s intent was for a magnum powered round in a semi-auto platform. But as we have seen, the round was effectively crippled, having the load decreased to velocities that were more “manageable” with respect to recoil. The round was shortened to the .40 S&W and this has been a “well discussed” transition on many forums and websites; I will not rehash it here.

    Suffice to say, the 10mm Auto has never really been a super popular and ubiquitous round, but it does have a core of enthusiasts, and a few Law Enforcement agencies (including FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team) continue to authorize its deployment.

    Springfield Armory went back to the original specifications and decided to build a firearm capable of working with the heavier projectile at the higher velocity. They also wanted to make it easy and comfortable to shoot and chose their TRP Operator line as the basis.

    “We have offered 10mm 1911s from our Springfield CustomTM Shop for many years but this is the first production 10mm 1911 offering in the Springfield Armory lineup,” says CEO Dennis Reese. “The TRP 10mm is soft shooting, built for accuracy and takes advantage of the full potential of the hottest 10mm rounds, just as the cartridge was originally intended.”

    Observations

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding. A point I found impressive at the Desert Duel event, is that a number of writers successfully engaged a steel hostage taker target, and the 10mm maintained enough power to spin the head around.

    Despite being large, it fit easily in my hands.

    Despite being large, it fit easily in my hands.

    At first glance, this thing is huge. This is the first 1911 with a 6” barrel that I have handled. Everything about this gun is beefy (from the thickness of the barrel to the weight), and rightly so as it needs the strength to handle the pressures of the 10mm round.

    Despite being a large weapon, it really was easy shooting. I was expecting the 10mm to provide me with some discomfort after running through a few dozen magazines, but it never did. It was arguably as gentle to shoot as my Glock 17.

    Miles bewteen the sights.

    Miles between the sights.

    The long sight radius was appreciated when lining up shots, but I have become a fan of fiber optic sights—I just don’t really like the tritiums. I’ve trained so much with my fibers, that I have a momentary disconnect when I am trying to visually pick up any other front sight.

    I clearly had an unequal grip and bad finger placement on the trigger. But I was consistently bad... :)

    I clearly had an unequal grip and bad finger placement on the trigger. But I was consistently bad… 🙂

    I had a pretty decent grouping at ten yards, as fast as I could dump a magazine, the pistol is way more consistent than I am.  The trigger is very crisp with a very clean reset.

    No problems with different kinds of ammo.

    No problems with different kinds of ammo.

    I ran the TRP Operator with three different kinds of ammo: 180gr Armscor, 200gr PMC Bronze, and 175gr Hornady Critical Duty. It handled all fine.

    Finis

    Through the years I have gone back and forth on the 1911 platform. I would like to think that I am a fan of really all guns. Make no mistake, my striker-fired polymers will always have an important place in my armory and professional use. However, after several weeks with the 10mm TRP Operator, it is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

    The 5" variant.

    The 5″ variant.

    You can find more information about the Springfield Armory TRP Operator in 10mm at:

    Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he teaches wilderness medicine and writes for a number of publications, including The Prepared, a site devoted to self-preparedness. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT thefirearmblog.com


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