In today’s article, Jeremy Tremp takes a first look at the new Springfield Armory TRP models. The new guns bring some exciting new features to the 1911 line. The guns were provided for review to the author by Springfield Armory.
If you’ve been around 1911’s long enough, the Springfield Armory TRP needs no introduction. It is well regarded as one of the best production-quality 1911’s on the market. For those of you who might not be fully versed in its history, let’s touch on the details here for a moment.
The TRP was inspired by the custom Professional 1911 pistol developed by Springfield Armory for the FBI back in the 1990’s. FBI regional SWAT teams wanted a 1911 that was accurate, rugged and reliable, and the Professional was produced to fit their demanding needs. In addition, the pistol was also used by the FBI’s highly respected Hostage Rescue Team (HRT).
Competition among 1911 builders for the FBI contract was fierce, with numerous 1911 producers competing for it. The FBI’s request for proposal (RFP) for the pistol specified a .45-caliber, semi-automatic, single-action pistol, preferably made of steel, with a grip safety and an ambidextrous frame-mounted manual thumb safety. Additionally, it could only accept a single-column magazine.
The test was extremely demanding and made up of several parts. First came an inspection for compliance to the specifications, followed by a safety check, abuse test, firing test, field suitability test, accuracy test, endurance test and, finally, a second accuracy test. The pistols were required to reliably feed hollowpoint ammunition like Remington Golden Sabers, which was the FBI’s selected ammo. Springfield Armory came away the winner with guns that surpassed all the contract requirements.
With the success and popularity of the Professional 1911 pistol, Springfield developed the TRP to bridge the gap between the custom-grade Professional and the consumer, creating an incredible 1911 that had many of the features of the custom gun at a price more attainable for the average consumer.
Since then, the TRP, which stands for “Tactical Response Pistol”, has been a staple in the Springfield Armory line-up. Today adds another historic marker on the TRP timeline — a 2024 refresh of the TRP to offer an entirely new line-up of pistols. You can now expect six new variants of the TRP in .45 ACP, from the Classic to the Rail model to the “Carry Contour” CC models. Let’s dive into the pistols and what you can expect for features and options.
Firstly, all pistols come with forged frames and slides for strength and durability. Also, each pair is hand-selected for slide-to-frame fit and numbered to marry them with their matching components throughout the build process. In addition, all pistols feature Hydra G-10 grips from VZ Grips, as well as the 20-line per inch (lpi) checkering on the frontstrap for which TRPs are known. Also, all the pistols feature finely cut sighting plane serrations along the top of the slide matched up with Tactical Rack three-dot tritium sights. And lastly, except for the CC models, all the TRPs feature two-piece extended magwells.
For me, the most exciting addition is the Carry Contour TRP. This interesting new pistol not only features a shorter 4.25” barrel length for concealability, but also a “carry contour” cut to the lightweight alloy grip frame with a Picatinny rail section. The beauty of this design is that the bobbed portion of the aluminum frame minimizes potential printing while it is being worn in the waistband, but still offers you a full and comfortable grip. You can expect Black and Coyote Cerakote finishes for this interesting new CCW pistol.
The next family is the full-size size 5” railed variants of the TRP. The all-steel, full-size TRP utilizes a two-piece National Match full-length guide rod for reliable operation as well as a strip of Picatinny rail for lights and lasers. This duty-ready pistol with a two-piece magwell comes in Black or Coyote Cerakote finishes.
Finally, we have the Classic versions of the TRP, which are offered in non-railed 5” and 4.25” versions. The Classic is the most reminiscent of the original TRP, but with some new additions and features. The all-steel pistols feature a full-size grip frame and two-piece magwells and come with a Black Cerakote finish with green/black VZ Hydra G-10 grips.
For me, what really makes the new Classic line so interesting — apart from the numerous enhancements — is the addition of the 4.25” version. With this, you get a gun with all the benefits of the TRP, but in an easier to carry and conceal package. Add to that the 5” model that channels everything that made the original so great, and you have two winners here.
If you need further convincing that the TRP is the right 1911 for you, you will be pleased to know that these pistols all receive hand finishing from the legendary craftsmen and women at Springfield Armory. The significance of this cannot be overstated as this kind of attention is generally reserved for custom 1911 pistols. With the Springfield Armory TRP, you can get a production gun that feels and performs like a pistol much higher in price.
The TRP line includes hammer-forged stainless steel match-grade barrels that provide the shooter with exceptional accuracy and reliability. Aiding in the handling and manipulation of the pistol, the TRP offers an ambi safety that is easily manipulated by strong or weak-hand shooting. Being that the TRP is a 1911, you would expect a world-class trigger and you won’t be disappointed. The pistols’ Gen 2 Speed Trigger, with serrations on the front and a skeletonized body, performs as good as it looks.
One of my favorite visual aspects of the new TRP is the VZ Hydra grips. They are made from G-10 material and create the perfect lock-up in your hand while shooting. Keeping with the visual theme, the skeletonized hammer creates an aggressive look while giving you exceptional performance with reduced weight and faster lock times. The TRP is designed with forward and rear slide serrations for enhanced manual operation of the slide under all conditions.
The TRP pistols’ front sight contains a single tritium vial, while the rear sight contains two and is serrated for reduced glare. These sights are built rock solid and provide the shooter with ease of target acquisition in day or night. Finally, the 20-lpi checkering provides the shooter with an unmatched grip on the pistol in any condition imaginable. Combine the 20-lpi checkering with the VZ Grips, and you have top-notch control of the pistols.
As noted, I think my favorite variant of the new line-up is the Carry Contour TRP. In particular, I really like the Coyote version. This pistol just looks and feels right in my hands. I am an FDE fanatic, and the combo of the VZ Grips and Cerakote finish with the black barrel and controls is a masterpiece. The G-10 VZ grips with the 20-lpi checkering in the frame give you an iron-fisted grip on the pistol to easily control the powerful .45 ACP cartridge. Additionally, the forged aluminum alloy frame offers strength as well as light weight.
I’ve also got to give kudos to Springfield for the new Classic version of the TRP. There is something magical about an elegant and classic-looking 1911. It’s a faithful nod to the original look and design of John Moses Browning’s most accomplished design, but with a modern twist. The Classic version also has the unique VZ Hydra grips that offer a beautifully unique blend of deep green and black.
On the range, the TRP line ran like you would expect, flawlessly. The magazines fed with ease, the recoil was manageable, and the pistols ate whatever I threw at them. This ranged from 185- to 230-gr. loads, from ball to defensive ammo. Speaking of ammo, a quick shout-out to Nosler ammo for sending out some of their ASP ammo for this review. The reliability and accuracy of the ASP ammo is of the utmost quality.
You can truly feel the difference between shooting a TRP and any other 1911 that doesn’t quite measure up to the Springfield Armory difference. The decades of experience really shine in this pistol, from its looks to its feel and performance. The TRP is smooth, tight, accurate, and most of all, reliable.
This pistol stands on the shoulders of giants and offers you the best in design, production and craftsmanship from the best in the business. It’s not just one of these features that I have mentioned that make this gun a one-of-a-kind; it’s all of them combined and crafted by professionals with the right experience in the business. That is what makes the Tactical Response Pistol one of the longest-reigning champs in the 1911 market, and why Springfield Armory continues to support the TRP line-up to this day.
If you demand the toughest, most reliable and accurate production 1911, and one with custom-grade features, then look no further than the Springfield Armory TRP line-up of pistols. Whatever your needs, the TRP has your back with the Springfield Armory namesake and the legendary history you can’t go wrong. MSRP for the Classic models is $1,899, while the Rail and CC versions are priced at $1,999.
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