Meet the TRP Operator

By Yamil Sued
Posted in #Guns
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Meet the TRP Operator

March 8th, 2020

3:34 runtime

The Springfield Armory TRP Operator 1911 is not a new gun – in fact, the pistol is one of the staples in the company’s line-up of .45 ACP handguns. Because of this, it deserves a close examination. In this review, I’ll go over all of its features and hopefully give you an idea of why the TRP Operator is as popular as it is.

Springfield Armory TRP Operator pistol
The TRP Operator offers you a high-end 1911 at a good price.

The TRP Line

For those not familiar with the TRP line, the name TRP is an acronym for “Tactical Response Pistol.” The entire TRP series of handguns is based on the professional pistol that Springfield Armory developed for the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). HRT is considered one of the premier law enforcement tactical teams in the world and has advanced training in saving hostages in nightmare scenarios.

Handling the Springfield TRP Operator pistol
The author went hands-on with the TRP for this video review.

The professional HRT pistol was designed to exacting standards where budget concerns take a backseat to performance. After all, we are talking about saving lives.

Springfield wisely decided to make the gun available to the general public. Packaged as the Springfield TRP, the gun incorporates many of the custom-level tweaks and features at a price that most shooters can afford. In gunshop terms that’s 90% of the gun at 10% of the price.

Currently, the TRP line is offered in .45 ACP. Standard models can be had in either black or stainless finishes. The TRP Operator, the gun being reviewed here, is the top-tier model. In addition to the special features exclusive to it, the Operator comes with a black finish.

TRP Operator Features

Operator may seem overused due to the flogging given to it by other companies. However, it is correctly used here with the TRP as the pistol was originally designed for highly skilled tactical team members in operations against terrorists.

But, what makes this gun special? Quite a bit.

Accessory rail on 1911 TRP Operator
The pistol features an integral accessory rail on the dustcover section of the steel frame.

The Springfield TRP Operator is chambered for the proven .45 ACP cartridge. While some people may argue that another cartridge might be as effective as the .45, there is unanimous consensus that the classic cartridge is a fight stopper. When paired with a top tier ammo like the Federal HST load, the round hits like a freight truck.

To maximize the effectiveness of the cartridge, Springfield Armory builds the 1911 TRP with a 5” stainless steel bull barrel. This offers exceptional accuracy potential while also eliminating the need of a barrel bushing. A full 5” allows the projectile to achieve optimal velocity when leaving the muzzle.

For this gun, Springfield selected a one-piece, full-length guide rod. The guide rod, also made of stainless steel, is built to National Match standards. Full-length guide rods require a different field-stripping process, but taking them down is still relatively easy.

TRP Barrel Guide Rod
The TRP Operator has a full length guide rod and a bull barrel for optimal accuracy.

I recognize that some purists may not like a full-length guide rod. For you, I put together a step-by-step guide on how to replace the TRP guide rod. It’s an easy procedure but includes a few steps that I fully explain.

As this gun was designed for serious work, the Springfield 1911 TRP has an integral accessory rail machined into the carbon steel frame. This allows you to add a powerful weapon light like the SureFire X300U.

Springfield Armory hand fits the grip safety on each gun. An extended beavertail protects your hand from hammer bite and a memory bump on the grip safety ensures a positive engagement each time you take a firing grip on the TRP 1911.

Speaking of safeties, the gun has an ambidextrous thumb safety. This feels great and your thumb rests lightly on it when shooting. As you can see in the above video, it works great for me.

Springfield did something interesting with how it included the adjustable sights. Fixed sights on a duty gun are pretty standard across the industry. But the designers of the TRP Operator wanted to give you the ability to zero your sights for a specific load.

If you ever had to make a critical shot where any deviation could result in an innocent person being harmed, Springfield Armory wanted to ensure you knew where your bullet would land. To do that, you have to adjust the sights for windage and elevation.

20 LPI checkering on the 1911 TRP Operator
The backstrap features a checkered mainspring housing as well as an extended beavertail grip safety.

On the Springfield TRP Operator, the rear sight dovetail is farther forward than on a mil-spec gun. This helps to prevent the sight from being knocked out of position – something that can happen in the real world.

I recognize that not everyone will like the adjustable night sights that are standard on the Springfield Armory TRP Operator. For that reason, I created a video on how to swap sights on a TRP.

Additional features include a two-piece magazine well, aluminum trigger, forward slide serrations for press checks and 20 lpi checkering on the front strap and mainspring housing.


Caliber.45 ACP
Barrel Length5”
FrameForged carbon steel
SlideForged carbon steel
FinishBlack Armory Kote
GripsTextured G10 laminate
Sights3-dot tritium night sights with fully adjustable rear
Weight45 oz
Included with GunSoft side carry case, two 7-round magazines, lock

How Does It Shoot?

To say the gun was anything other than a joy to shoot would be lying. Of course, that shouldn’t be a big surprise. Springfield Armory makes some of the best 1911 pistols on the market.

The TRP Operator is a bit heavier than some of the other 1911 handguns on the market. After all, the gun has a steel frame and slide. It’s not a plastic or even aluminum pistol. While the weight might make you hesitate in carrying it for a concealed pistol, it makes for a sweet shooter.

Testing TRP Operator on the range
Yamil ran the TRP at the range and came away very impressed.

Full size handguns are easier to shoot than small ones. When the full size pistol has a little mass to it – like the TRP .45 – muzzle flip and felt recoil are ridiculously easy to deal with.

Accuracy is precise with potential well beyond most shooters. If you are missing the target with this gun, the problems can be found in the nearest mirror.

Bottom Line

The Springfield Armory 1911 TRP Operator is an impressive pistol. All of the TRP handguns are great handguns, but the Operator really turns the knob to 11.

Basically, this is a lot of gun for the money. It has a lot of cool features. Be sure to check it out yourself at the link below, or see my full video review at the top of the page.

Be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Yamil Sued

Yamil Sued

Yamil is a graduate of the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photographic Arts and Sciences in Santa Barbara, CA with a Major in Illustration Photography and Color Technology with over 34 years of professional experience. Yamil started his professional relationship with the Shooting Industry in 1995 and has since worked with companies like Springfield Armory, S&W, Glock, FNH USA, Remington, Bushmaster, Bushnell, Leupold, Aimpoint, PWS, Vortex Optics, Cor-Bon Ammunition, ERGO Grips, AmeriGlo Sights, Krause Publications, Comp Tac Victory Gear, The Beta Company, IDPA, MGM Targets, Rainier Ballistics, Rock Castle Shooting Center, SIG Sauer and was a Staff Photographer for Cabela’s in Sidney, NE. Yamil is also a Writer and Photographer for Guns & Ammo, Guns & Ammo SIP's and Gun Digest.

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