The 1911, to many shooters, seems a bit antiquated. At more than 100 years old, the 1911 stands as an icon of past wars. It is a symbol. Yet people keep trying to make it new, as if changing up some of the materials, or altering the lines a little bit might convince the nonbelievers that the 1911 is still relevant. An aluminum or polymer receiver. A bobbed grip. A new caliber.
I’m a believer. I don’t need any of these refinements to see the beauty and incredible efficiency of the 1911. And the folks at Springfield Armory seem to agree with me. They’re dedicated to the 1911. This time last year, I was smitten with their Range Officer. That gun comes in around $800, and shoots way out of its price range. It sold me on Springfield Armory. Completely.
But their Tactical Response Pistol (TRP) takes the 1911 and turns it into a finely tuned tactical service pistol, without doing anything that might be seen as gimmicky.
There are three models of the TRP. The distinctions are easy to see. One has a rail, and is finished in black Armory Kote Teflon. The same finish is available on a TRP without a rail. Or you can get a stainless TRP (which also has no rail). All three are full-size 1911s chambered in .45 ACP.
Only everything is upgraded. The full length bull barrel. The full length guide rod with a “Reverse Recoil Spring Plug.” The expanded magazine well. The incredible detail in the checkering. The trigger has been finely tuned. The frame and slide are hand fitted, and there is no play anywhere in the system. And there shouldn’t be for $1,867. That’s the MSRP. As there are not very many of these available, the selling price is close to that mark.
The grips are a highly textured G10 in grey and black. The checkering on the back-strap is well executed, but modest when compared with the teeth on the front strap. This stuff is sharp. I was cleaning the TRP, and had a can of spray cleaner on the table near where I was working. As I was setting the TRP down, I bumped the full can of spray with the front-strap. The result was a pin-prick hole in the metal can that allowed for the contents of the can to escape in a dramatic, spinning, pinwheel like jet of noxious orange scented oil.
And I didn’t bump the can all that hard. But you aren’t going to have your grip slip.
The sights on the railed version of the TRP are the ideal mix of utility and accuracy. The Trijicon rear sight requires a generous cut out in the frame. But it is a nice mixture of the three dot pattern and a flat black eager sight. The front blade holds the third dot, and all three are tritium, and glow exceptionally in the dark. Both the front and the rear sight are rounded over for easy holster work.
Holstering the TRP
Finding a holster for the TRP can be a bit of a challenge. It comes with the standard SA holster and magazine carrier, but I’ve always preferred a holster with more coverage. The light rail requires accommodation. The absence of a barrel lug allows for a slight protrusion of the end of the frame that is uncommon for a 1911, and it can affect the way the gun fits in rigid formed holsters. The rear sight, though, is the kicker. It has a low profile, but it still sits proud of the slide, if only slightly. Holsters meant for typical 1911s with rails will work, but they’ll be snug at the rear sight, or they might push against, which wouldn’t do anything for the TRP’s accuracy.
I had Tony at Multihosters.com make me a custom rig for the TRP, as I planned on using it for an article I was writing about the LAPD handgun qualification course, and I was going to need to draw from a holster as part of that shoot. Tony’s work is as good as it gets, and this one is no exception. And the faux carbon-fiber texture on the Kydex looks sharp with the TRP’s tactical aesthetic.
The TRP’s Armory Kote Teflon finish is really durable. It is a coating that looks at first glance like a deep blue. But it lacks the transparency of bluing, and is far more protective.
I’ve put this test gun through the ringer. I shot the TRP more than 500 times in one afternoon, and didn’t clean anything, and it ran perfectly. Not a single malfunction. I’ve got more than 1,000 rounds through this one gun, and the finish is pristine.
The TRP is an amazing weapon. It is built for service. There is nothing about it that needs modification. Anything that I could want done to a 1911 has already been done. And the tactical approach doesn’t do anything gimmicky to the traditional 1911 platform. It simply makes a great tool even better.