Secret Springfield 1911?

By Rob Garrett
Posted in #Guns
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Secret Springfield 1911?

April 6th, 2020

4 minute read

The Springfield Custom Shop may be best known for the FBI Professional 1911. The Pro was the pistol of choice for the FBI HRT unit, and later with the regional enhanced SWAT teams. The Pro is a full-size, 1911 Government Model pistol that is built to exacting standards by Springfield Custom. What many may not know is that the Custom Shop built a compact version of the Pro.

The compact Professional 1911 from Springfield Custom was an extremely rare pistol built for evaluation by federal LE agencies.

Rarest of the Rare

In 2007, I had an opportunity to evaluate the “Mini Pro” for Combat Handguns magazine. The pistol, shown in the article, is one of a handful that were built for test and evaluation by several federal law enforcement agencies. The concept was to provide a compact pistol, built to the same standards as the 5″ Pro, for concealed and off-duty carry. When you take a look at the photos, the pedigree of the little pistol is undeniable.

Its lineage from Springfield Custom was proudly marked on its slide.

The Springfield Custom banner on the slide indicates that the pistol was built from the ground up by that group. The foundation for the “Mini Pro” is a Champion-length custom slide and Compact size national match frame that is fitted by the shop’s smithies. The 4″ barrel is a match grade bull barrel that is fully ramped and extends slightly beyond the end of the slide.

The Compact-sized frame was a national match variant.

The fire control system is comprised of match-grade components that provide a crisp trigger pull that breaks cleanly at 4¼ lbs. As expected, particular care in tuning and polishing the extractor was given, and the ejection port is lowered and flared like you would expect on any modern 1911. As with all Champion-size pistols, the mini Pro features a captured dual recoil spring system that controls slide velocity and tames recoil.

The “Mini Pro” took everything great about the Professional and sized it down to a very portable package.

Little Big Man

Externally, the pistol resembles the Professional Model right down to the Springfield Custom banner and all the controls. As with the Pro, the pistol features a custom fit beavertail safety with speed bump, an ambidextrous safety and tritium low-mount Novak sights.

The “Mini Pro” is shown here with a Milt Sparks Summer Special holster and spare mag carrier.

The mainspring housing is checkered with 30 LPI while the frontstrap features 20 LPI checkering. The entire pistol is given a soft carry bevel. Like the Pro Model, the pistol is finished in Birdsong’s Black-T finish with the exception of the hammer, trigger and the magazines.

The rear sight is a Novak Lo-Mount tritium two-dot unit.

The only real surprise was how manageable the pistol was. I ran a total of nine different loads through the Mini Pro with no malfunctions. Remington’s 185-gr. +P Golden Saber recorded a blistering 1,045 fps while the standard 185-gr. Golden Saber registered 901 fps. In the 230-gr. category, Bonded Golden Saber averaged 755 fps, Speer Gold Dot averaged 782 fps and Winchester SXT averaged 778 fps.

The front sight is a tritium night sight.

Given the current technology of bullet construction and ammunition advancements, I would feel comfortable with any of these loads. Off-hand groups measuring 1″ or so, were uncommonly easy at 15 yards and I have no doubt that the pistol will easily shoot sub-2″ groups at 25 yards. Recoil was very manageable with standard loads while Federal’s 230-gr. +P Tactical load and Speer’s 200-gr. +P round were a bit more of a challenge.

The “Mini Pro” proved to be a real shooter for Rob, getting very tight groups and running flawlessly.

The One That Got Away…

Unfortunately, and to my regret, I had to return this pistol after the evaluation. It was a heck of a shooter and simply and all-around excellent compact 1911. And while Springfield Custom does not offer this variant as part of its line, it does have a full selection of custom grade pistols and also offers work on customer-supplied firearms. So be sure to check Springfield Custom out, and try not to be too jealous I got to try out this rare Professional model!

Editor’s Note: For those interested in picking up a pistol like this, be sure to check out the 1911 Compact Carry .45 from Springfield Custom. This pistol is designed to offer you a pistol inspired by the one reviewed by Garrett in this piece.

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Rob Garrett

Rob Garrett

Rob is a career law enforcement officer who retired after 38 years of service. He holds multiple POST certifications including Firearms Instructor, FBI Firearms Instructor, and POST instructor. He started his editorial career with Harris Publications with his first article being published in 1984.

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