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In September of final yr, Springfield Armory made waves once they introduced their new pistol: the 1911 DS Prodigy. The Springfield Prodigy is obtainable in 4.25- and 5-inch fashions and was instantly seen as heaven-sent by some; a general-production, more-affordable 2011-style 9mm pistol for the lots. Others seen the brand new pistol with incredulity, not believing it to be definitely worth the vaunted “2011” designation. My solely certainty was that I needed to check it for myself.

1911 Vs. 2011

The 1911 wants no introduction, and 1911 pistols have been round for greater than a century at this level. The 2011 is a more moderen phenomenon. Likelihood is that even should you don’t know what a 2011 is, you’ve heard that they’re particular; one thing to be spoken about in hushed tones and never straight gazed upon.

In actuality, it’s fairly easy, the 2011 is a Staccato. The corporate previously generally known as STI was reborn as Staccato and trademarked the nomenclature “2011.” You’ll nonetheless hear and see of us referring to equally styled pistols as “2011’s,” however a lot of them technically aren’t.  

If you hear or see somebody confer with a pistol as a 2011, and it’s not a Staccato, they’re referring to a number of the primary design options that the pistols share. In rudimentary phrases, a 2011 or 2011-style pistol is only a double-stack 1911 that’s chambered in 9mm. Not like a conventional 1911, which has a body that makes that up the deal with and has grip scales on either side, a 2011-style pistol’s body terminates on the high of the grip. It makes use of a grip module, often polymer, that attaches to the body.

The Springfield 1911 DS Prodigy is analogous in some ways to the Staccato P mannequin pistol, and far of the preliminary buzz across the Springfield Prodigy is about whether or not it’s a extra reasonably priced competitor to the premium-priced 2011’s and different 2011-style pistols.

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capability: 17+1 or 20+1
  • Motion: Single-action, hammer-fired
  • Barrel: 4.25-inch, bull profile, chrome steel, 1:16-inch twist
  • Dimensions: 7.8 inches (L) x 5.5 inches (H) x 1.28 inches (W)
  • Weight: 37 ounces (w/empty 17-round journal) (weighed)
  • Body: Carbon metal, solid
  • Slide: Carbon metal, solid
  • Optics: Lower for optic, makes use of Company Arms adapter plates
  • Controls: Proper-handed slide cease, magazine catch, ambidextrous security levers
  • End: Black Cerakote
  • Grip: Polymer grip module, advantageous stipple texture
  • Sights: Fiber-optic entrance, serrated black “U-notch” rear (drift adjustable
  • Set off: Aluminum, single-action, curved shoe, 4 kilos, 0 ounces (measured)
  • MSRP: $1499

Body and Slide

The slide and body of the Springfield Prodigy are each solid carbon metal and match exactly collectively. The slide has a traditional 1911-style profile and easy diagonal cocking serrations on each back and front. The metal/fiber-optic entrance sight is fitted into the slide through a dovetail. The Firing pin, firing pin spring, and extractor look and performance as they might on any 1911.

The rear/high of the slide is minimize for mounting a purple dot optic however features a rounded cowl plate with a tall black serrated rear sight put in. A model of the Prodigy is on the market with Springfield’s Hex Dragonfly optic put in from the manufacturing unit. Company Arms makes the optic adapter plates which can be obtainable by means of Springfield for quite a lot of different optic footprints. A novel and good function is that the plates drop right into a half-dovetail on the rear of the optic minimize. This could assist help the plate and forestall all of the shear pressure from going into the screws when the gun is fired.

Springfield prodigy with Agency optics plate
The interchangeable optics plates have a rear sight that may be co-witnessed by means of the optic.

The body has a single-slot accent rail for attaching a light-weight and the slide and body are each completed with black Cerakote. Cerakote is an fascinating selection, maybe extra reasonably priced, for coating the slide and body. It seems to be okay, however does really feel extra like a painted coating, which it’s, than a blued or DLC end.

Many pistols function DLC-type finishes which can be sturdy and never paint-like. Cerakote finishes are frequent on up to date looking rifles, however they do present put on moderately shortly on bearing surfaces between shifting elements. Carbon metal rusts in a short time if not coated or stored oiled, so it’s one thing a person ought to monitor.

Grip Module

The Springfield Prodigy has a thick-but-comfortable grip. The polymer grip module is noticeably beefier than a single-stack 1911 grip and even that of many double-stack striker-fired pistols. Nonetheless, it’s straightforward to discover a safe and repeatable grip. The grip has a advantageous stipple texture on the edges and entrance, and a checkered texture on the backstrap beneath the grip security.

A small space beneath the set off guard is barely recessed and {smooth}, permitting the shooter to choke up in opposition to the set off guard. The entrance of the set off guard has a small little bit of the advantageous stipple texturing, however the set off guard itself has beveled edges that mesh properly with the fingers on the robust and help arms as they press in opposition to it.

Springfield 1911 DS grip module
The Prodigy’s grip module has a advantageous stipple texture and a nicely-beveled set off guard. Tyler Freel

Set off and Controls

The set off on the Springfield Prodigy has a curved shoe that’s product of aluminum. It has a small set screw to manage overtravel that’s set from the manufacturing unit. The journal catch button is barely prolonged and has a serrated/ribbed texture. The thumb security has a medium-long sweeping beavertail.

Controls are predominately righthanded on this pistol, however it options twin security levers that give it some ambidextrous perform. The journal catch isn’t reversible.

The security lever is simple to succeed in and gives plenty of actual property to relaxation my thumb on. It disengages with an audible and tactile “click on.” Nevertheless, when the security is disengaged, there’s a little bit of cushion on the backside—one thing you received’t see on high-end 1911’s and 2011-style pistols. After clicking the security off, you possibly can press the lever down one other .063 inches. Let go and spring stress will convey it again. This won’t be an enormous deal to you, however some shooters get persnickety about issues like that.

Barrel and Internals

The barrel on the Prodigy is solid from stainless-steel. It’s a bushing-free bull-profile barrel that’s 4.25 inches lengthy and .695 inches in diameter on the muzzle. It tapers down barely, again in direction of the 2 locking lugs, and options the traditional 1911 rotating barrel hyperlink.

1911 DS Prodigy Muzzle
The bull barrel on the 1911 DS Prodigy doesn’t use a bushing, and the two-piece information rod is tightened along with an Allen key. Tyler Freel

The Springfield Prodigy comes with a two-piece information rod that acts as a full-length rod when assembled. The again half is sort of a GI-length information rod however threaded on the tip. The recoil spring is positioned over the rear portion of the information rod, then when put in underneath the barrel, the spring is slid into an open-ended spring plug. The entrance half of the information rod is then pushed from the entrance, by means of the spring, and threaded onto the rear portion of the information rod. It’s tightened with an Allen key.

Most of the inside elements, some extent of ire with some reviewers, are injection-molded and never solid. Cast and hand-fit elements are nicer, however plug-and-play elements aren’t essentially a nasty factor. Many weapons use injection-molded steel elements to chop prices and pace up manufacturing. Even the hottest-shit Sig P365s, Glocks, or M&Ps are stuffed with stamped and molded elements.


The Springfield Prodigy comes with a 17- and a 20-round journal. The magazines are made by Duramag and look like properly constructed. They’ve a black-finished metal physique, metal spring, polymer followers, and polymer baseplates. They give the impression of being much like Staccato 2011 magazines and can perform in a Staccato P.

Staccato magazines can even perform within the Prodigy, and a few early run customers reported feeding points with the manufacturing unit magazines that have been remedied by switching to Staccato model mags. The Staccato magazines solely value about $10 greater than the Springfield mags so, if feeding is a matter, it may very well be value attempting one. I did discover that the manufacturing unit magazines have been somewhat finicky to load and when totally loaded, there was often a spherical or two rattling within the journal; that didn’t appear to have an effect on feeding or reliability with my pattern.

Springfield Armory 2011 magazines
The Prodigy comes with a 17-round and a 20-round journal. Tyler Freel

The Springfield 1911 DS Prodigy 4.25-Inch on the Vary

I used to be wanting to see how easily the Springfield Prodigy would run, how straightforward it will be to take care of an excellent grip and run quick repeatable pictures, and finally, how dependable it will be. I obtained my pattern in December, which gave me the advantage of snooping round to see what early reviewers and people that know 1911’s and 2011’s higher than I do needed to say. Early outcomes and opinions have been definitely blended. It’s frequent for brand spanking new releases to have some bugs that want figuring out; now I’d know what points to search for.

It typically takes 100 to 200 rounds to interrupt in a handgun and I’ll often really feel snug reviewing one after firing 300 rounds or so. With some early printed evaluations knocking the gun for reliability points, I made a decision to place no less than a thousand rounds by means of the gun earlier than passing judgement.

On the vary, I consider handguns in three completely different areas: dealing with, sensible accuracy, and reliability.

How the Springfield Prodigy Handles

I just like the grip on the Prodigy. The stippling texture provides me good traction and there’s loads of actual property for my support-hand to realize some buy on the grip too. It feels and factors like a thick-waisted 1911. The cocking serrations chew arduous and supply loads of buy. I prefer to rack pistols from the entrance of the slide with my thumb and the net of my hand; it’s easy with this pistol. Slide manipulation is butter-smooth, and I can detect solely a tiny quantity of slop or motion within the slide/body interface—even after 1,000 rounds.

The set off is excellent on my Prodigy, and it breaks cleanly at 4 kilos even (as measured on my Lyman set off pull scale). I’ve felt higher triggers on race weapons just like the CZ TS 2 Racing Green, however this one had a brief take-up, broke clear, and was a pair ounces lighter than the set off on the Staccato P that I’ve.

Loaded magazines snap into the grip module simply and racking the primary spherical is {smooth}. With the beavertail on the grip security, it’s straightforward to index a rock-solid grip to drive this gun. The journal catch requires a slight repositioning of the hand for me to succeed in, however it’s nonetheless straightforward and intuitive. The Prodigy doesn’t embrace a magwell, however the inside edges of the grip are beveled and obtain the bottlenecked magazines simply. Empty mags all fall free from the grip for me when engaged on speedy reloads from a gunbelt.

My solely criticism in regards to the controls of the Springfield Prodigy is that the slide cease is troublesome to have interaction manually. The slide cease lever is sunk into the body to make it flush with the body and the tip is hard to control; it’s very troublesome to do one-handed. It’s additionally troublesome to drop the slide with the capturing hand thumb. With the thumb security depressed, the Springfield Prodigy’s grip is roughly 0.063 inches longer, front-to-back, than the Staccato P’s grip. That distinction isn’t large, however it makes it typically essential to function the Prodigy’s slide cease with my support-hand thumb. I can’t attain it with my proper thumb with out breaking grip.

staccato P and Springfield Prodigy
The Springfield 1911 DS Prodigy 4.25-inch is analogous in measurement and appears to the Staccato P 2011. Tyler Freel

I’ve the nice fortune of attending to shoot fairly just a few pistols, and I consider I’ve fired near 10,000 rounds of 9mm within the final twelve months. I can say with confidence that the Springfield Prodigy is likely one of the quickest and smoothest-shooting pistols I’ve fired in a very long time. The CZ TS 2, Nighthawk Custom President, and Staccato P, are the one pistols I’ve fired within the final yr that edge it out in smoothness, controllability, and pure pleasure.

The clear break of the Prodigy’s set off is adopted by a gentle and fast recoil and return to battery. When gripping the pistol correctly, the entrance sight snaps proper again to the place it was when the set off broke. I’ll not laud it to the purpose of nausea, however capturing it made me need to throw my G19 within the rubbish can after leaving the vary.

How Correct is the Springfield Prodigy?

I shot the Springfield Prodigy with each iron sights and a Trijicon RMR. It’s straightforward to shoot precisely with each, and I famous that the iron sights are tall sufficient to co-witness by means of the optic. That’s a pleasant function in case your battery fails at a nasty time. Like many 1911-style pistols, the Prodigy factors naturally, and the clean-breaking set off makes it straightforward to position rounds the place they should go.

I didn’t spend quite a lot of time capturing measured teams, however with a red-dot, I might simply maintain two-handed un-supported pictures inside a three-inch goal sticker at 50 toes. Sustaining a decent cluster within the A-zone on a USPSA/IPSC goal whereas capturing solely gradual sufficient to catch the reset was a breeze. It’s a pistol that lends itself to forgiving, correct capturing; definitely, correct sufficient for an entry-level aggressive 2011-style pistol.

One other manner I prefer to gauge how simply a pistol is to shoot precisely, and enhance my abilities, is to fireplace counted strings as quick as attainable at a USPSA/IPSC goal at 21 toes. I’ll fireplace strings of 1, two, three, 4, and 5 rounds as quick as I can, engaged on sustaining my grip and sight image. After most periods of 150 to 200 rounds, solely 4 or 5 pictures had discovered their manner exterior the “A-zone” and the middle was a ragged gap. It’s a straightforward gun to shoot properly.

Springfield Prodigy with Trijicon RMR
Sights may be co-witnessed by means of optics just like the Trijicon RMR on the Springfield Prodigy Tyler Freel

Is the Springfield Prodigy Dependable?

I couldn’t ignore a number of the evaluations and movies discussing the problems that some early 1911 DS Prodigy patrons and reviewers encountered. I’d seen reviews of feeding points brought on by each magazines and the slide being slowed down by a stiff disconnector on some pistols. I’d heard of some set off points too. A lot of the reliability points have been being blamed on the injection-molded inside elements.

I hoped that my pattern, which was a number of months after the primary run, would have these points ironed out. Working over 1,000 rounds by means of the gun would absolutely reveal any hidden reliability points, and I’m happy to report that my pattern ran like a scalded canine.

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I encountered 5 whole malfunctions within the roughly 1,100 rounds fired. I had three Syntech-coated rounds stick on the feed ramp within the first journal I fired by means of the gun when new. After that, the one hiccups I had have been two feed ramp sticks in a single journal with the identical ammo whereas capturing weak-hand-only. That was after not cleansing the gun for 300 rounds or so. I concluded that the issue was a matter of my limp left wrist moderately than the gun. I can’t communicate for all of the Springfield Prodigy pistols on the market, however I would definitely vouch for this one’s reliability.

The one reliability-related part I’d critique is the two-piece information rod. I didn’t have any performance points with it, however on the finish of every capturing session, it was not tight. Because it’s essential to disassemble the rod to scrub the pistol, it’s not a component you need to put thread-locker on. Simply control it.

What the Springfield Prodigy Does Effectively

I believe the Springfield Prodigy brings quite a lot of efficiency for its value level. It has an ultra-smooth slide-to-frame match and a pleasant barrel. The grip module is properly profiled and textured, the set off is nice, and it’s a enjoyable and quick gun to shoot.

The place the Springfield Prodigy May Be Higher

The most important ways in which the Prodigy may very well be higher are a barely shorter (front-to-back) grip that permits one-handed operation of the controls. A slide cease that’s simpler to function could be a plus too. I’d additionally choose a information rod design that doesn’t loosen as simply.

Prodigy and Staccato disassembled
Though comparable in some methods, the Springfield Prodigy and Staccato 2011 are two very completely different weapons. Tyler Freel

Ultimate Ideas

For a lot of shooters, the 2011-style pistol has been nothing greater than aspirational; a real STI or Staccato on the native vary is one thing particular that folks nonetheless stroll over to have a look at. With a big-name firm like Springfield Armory bringing a 2011-style pistol to market, the burning query across the Springfield Prodigy is: how does it examine?

The query is completely comprehensible, however I believe it’s the improper one to ask. They’re two completely different weapons which can be a couple of thousand bucks aside in value. They’re actually concentrating on completely different market segments altogether. Essentially the most comparable 2011, the Staccato P, seems to be quite a bit just like the 1911 DS Prodigy, however its supplies, elements, finishes, and a spotlight to element put it in a distinct class than any mass-produced pistol. The Prodigy is an excellent-shooting pistol that feels quite a bit just like the Staccato P, but when the real article is what you need, simply shell out and purchase it. The Staccatos have loads of considerable qualities that justify the upper price ticket.

To be really honest to the Springfield Prodigy, it ought to solely be in comparison with the Staccato in fashion solely. It’s an correct, quick, smooth-shooting pistol that’s a stable performer for its value. The Prodigy is a wonderful possibility for somebody who’s eager to get a good-quality entry-level double-stack 1911 for enjoyable or to compete with. A $1,500 pistol isn’t precisely low-cost however, just like the considerable hole between the Springfield Prodigy and premium 2011-style pistols, the Prodigy I examined was in a distinct league than simply about any $600 to $1,300 striker-fired pistol I’ve shot.

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