Handguns

First Look: Springfield Armory Prodigy 1911

Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 with a Wheeler trigger pull gauge

The 1911 platform has obviously had some time to improve upon itself. I’ll let you do the math. However, Springfield Armory continues to expand upon the platform. It has now added advanced modern features, along with an increased double-stack capacity, in this beauty of a 1911. Long gone are the days of 1911s only coming with a single-digit capacity and wooden grips. The Springfield Armory Prodigy is not the 1911 your grandfather would remember.

First Impressions Matter

Picking the Prodigy up for the first time, I began to question why it had been so long since I’ve owned a 1911. With a forged steel frame and pre-mounted Hex Dragonfly red dot, there is a weight and heft to it that feels like a military tank. The Adaptive Grip Texture on the double-stack grip feels amazing in hand and has a nice upgraded feel to it.

Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 iwth extended magazine in front of a brick wall
The Prodigy is one good looking gun! The all black aesthetic is one of my favorites.

The Prodigy comes with 20 and 17-round magazines and a soft, zippered, Springfield pistol case. Also included was a slide cover plate in case you want to run your setup without an optic. Either way, it’s one of the best looking 1911s I’ve seen in quite some time.

Springfield Prodigy Features

The attention to detail is evident. From top to bottom, the Prodigy leaves almost nothing to be desired. This may not be an ideal candidate for concealed carry due to its size, but you can bet it’s going to make a great precision range gun or tactical sidearm for when you’re training.

From an aesthetic perspective, I love the all-black finish. It’s accomplished by a black Cerakote finish on all the metal parts, that complement the black grip module. The deep front and rear slide serrations, Picatinny rail on the dust cover, and the skeletonized hammer create a tactical aesthetic, that sets it apart from many 1911s out there.

“Under the hood” you’ll find a 5-inch match-grade bull barrel with an 11-degree crown. The longer barrel and slide help to reduce the felt recoil, which makes it simple to keep your follow-up shots in line. Of course, the clean, crisp trigger helps too. Using a Wheeler digital trigger gauge, the trigger broke around 5 pounds 6 ounces, and I found it to be extremely consistent while shooting.

If you need to give it a good cleaning, fieldstripping is simple. There is no barrel bushing like you’d find on a Government Model 1911. Instead, the Prodigy dissembles just similar to other 2011s on the market.

Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 with a spare magazine on the included soft case
In the box, you’ll find a soft zippered case, a 17-round magazine and 20-round magazine.

There are several smaller features that shouldn’t go unnoticed. The tall optics-height sights on the Prodigy are made to pair extremely well with the Hex Dragonfly. The sights are just tall enough to clear the base of the optic, allowing you to use either the irons or red dot. The front sight contains a green fiber-optic rod, while the rear sight is a black serrated U-notch. I’m a sucker for green when it comes to sights. I find green to be easier to pick-up in brighter conditions, which is what I’m usually shooting in.

The extended ambidextrous thumb safety is easy to manipulate, allowing those of us not used to thumb safeties on our pistols to adjust quickly.

Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 handgun with a box 135-grain Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition
The Prodigy easily went through the Blazer Brass and Federal ammo with no malfunctions.

If there was one thing I’d like to see on the Prodigy, it would be a large flared magwell. It’s not hard to reload with the magwell how it is, but I think having an extra flare to it would be nice.

Overall, there are no missing features that would leave me with a sense of buyer’s remorse.

Specifications

Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 17+1, 20+1 rounds
Length: 8.5 inches
Sights: Green fiber-optic front, U-notch rear, Hex Dragonfly
Safety: Ambidextrous thumb safety
Height: 5.5 inches
Barrel: 5″ bull barrel, match-grade
Weight: 33 ounces

Range Report: Reliability and Accuracy

The Springfield Armory Prodigy is smooth as movie theater butter. I may not have shot 100s of 1911s, but this one is the smoothest shooter out of any that I have. Since this review is being written while the gun is still waiting to be released to the public, there has been a mere 160 rounds through it. However, those 160 rounds went down range without a hitch. The fact that the Prodigy is chambered in 9mm meant I had plenty of ammo to choose from. I made sure to put a variety of ammo through it that included: 135-grain Federal Hydra-Shok, some remanufactured 147-grain FMJ, and 115-grain Blazer Brass FMJ.

Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 in a man's hand in front of a sight in target showing 5 groups
My first shots through the Springfield Armory Prodigy were better than most new guns that I pick up.

With the Hex Dragonfly red dot coming pre-mounted and pre-zeroed, accuracy was on point out of the box. My first magazine (plus a few extra rounds) through the gun, resulted in sub-2-inch groupings out to 7 yards, and roughly 3-inch groupings out to 15 yards. For me, that is shooting I’m happy with — especially with a gun that is new to me. By the end of a few more magazines, I was able to keep those groupings just as tight and focus more on speeding up my follow-up shots. I can’t wait to get this out to a longer range and see how far I can maintain similar accuracy.

Final Thoughts

If I were to design my ideal 1911, it would be pretty darn close to the Springfield Armory Prodigy. High-capacity, Picatinny rail, optics-ready slide, and a blacked-out tactical aesthetic. With the accuracy and reliability I’ve experienced with the Prodigy so far, I’m confident this will be one of those guns that accompany me on almost every range trip. If 1911s are your thing, you need to do yourself a favor and check out the Prodigy.

The 1911 design is timeless. Today, the 1911 platform chambered in 9mm is gaining popularity — especially when you consider the capacity advantage of the “2011.” Are you a fan of 1911s chambered in 9mm? How does the Springfield Armory Prodigy compare to your favorite 1911 or 9mm pistol? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • sight picture on a pistol with both a red dot and iron back up sights
  • 9mm magazines for the Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 pistol
  • recessed crown on the springfield Prodigy 1911 handgun
  • Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 iwth extended magazine in front of a brick wall
  • Beavertail, grip safety, and thumb safety on the Prodigy 1911 handgun
  • Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 in a man's hand in front of a sight in target showing 5 groups
  • green fiber optic front sight on a pistol
  • Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 with a Wheeler trigger pull gauge
  • forend or a semi-automatic pistol showing the 1913 Picatinny rail on the dust cover
  • Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 with a spare magazine on the included soft case
  • Hex Dragonfly red dot sight
  • Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 handgun with a box 135-grain Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition

About the Author:

Ryan Domke

Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project. If you’d like to check out some of his other content, you can find him on Instagram at (@TheGuyGearReview).
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (23)

    1. Keith,
      Follow this link and navigate to the lower right of the page for a sign up link. ~Dave

  1. I have a Paraordinance LDA Carry 45acp. Never had a problem with it except finding more magazines. I wish this new Prodigy was a double stack with the LDA. It possibly would be my new edc. I plan on checking out this new pistol.

  2. too bad that Kimber doesn’t bring back their “Kimber Polymer Target” 1911 45 ACP that holds 14 + 1 rounds and it weights 2 oz LESS then the Colt Series 70 Mark IV when both are loaded.

  3. I began with an alloy framed Kimber CDP Pro which was my EDC for more than a decade. Four years I sold it and replaced it with an all steel Remington 18+1 9mm 1911. Of course, the Remington is far more fun and far easier to shoot accurately. But, to my absolute surprise, carrying it is just as easy and feels no heavier than the Kimber, using a hybrid 2 belt clip holster.

  4. Not sure why they made it with a steel frame only. You would think they’d offer an alloy frame at least for the 4.25 version. I have two staccatos and they’re top notch. Can’t really tell much by photos on this one. I have to shoot or at least handle one before I can get a sense of how I’m going to like it. With the exception of a Les Baer Comanche I own, I’ve had to modify the thumb safety on all my 1911s to keep it from eating a spot on my hand.

  5. The real pity is that Remington went under. My double-stack 9mm Remington Commander sized 1911 has proven itself to be absolutely reliable at the range as well as highly accurate.

  6. Uh, ChiptheBarber– in 2015 Para was bought by Remington– which wanted the double action guns, and not the 1911 family. I have seen a few that gave huge amounts of trouble, but none that were not taken care of if you bought it new and it had the issues. If you bought a used one with the bent trigger rods or switched out parts, then you were on your own.

    And like I said– I’m still using a Colt I got fifty years ago, and an not a Para booster, but they did not go under, they were bought out.

  7. I notice many of the comments here miss the mark and compare this with standard or double-stack 1911 pistols. I also don’t understand why Springfield chose to muddy the waters by misnaming this new offering a 1911, when it is positively the definition of a 2011. It has the grip-frame, it’s a 2011. Also, Para-Ordinance isn’t around for a reason. If their pistols had been more reliable, they would still be cooking with gas, but many, like my own P-14 struggled to get through an entire magazine without some type of malfunction—if you had a good one, great. Unfortunately, too many had the same experience I did and that’s why there’s no more Para-Ordinance. Springfield is going after Staccato’s market here, coming in at 20-50% less cost. With the popularity/desirability of 2011’s going through the roof right now, I’m guessing that SA has another huge hit on their hands—I’ve STILL; yet to lay eyes on an SA-35!

  8. I wonder if Springfield has “given up” on the SA-35 announced not so long ago. I’ve never seen one, and nobody I know has seen one, even gun store owners I know.

    1. The Sa-35 is alive and doing well. I have one as do a few of my friends. The reason you are not seeing them, is they are being snatched up as soon as they are released. ~Dave

  9. MMMM. Bought a like new used Sig P 226, 9mm 10 yrs ago, (400 bucks) slapped in a Mec Gar 18 rd mag recently to add some firepower. Have not done a thing to it but keep it lubed and clean. Gets the job done most cost effictively. Do not always need the newest , most fancy. Great gun, never let me down.

  10. In the late 90’s I purchased a Paraordnance P-14 (original “Kit Frame”) and “Tricked it Out” with new Stainless Slide, Match Barrel, Bushing, Slide Stop and other ancillary parts.
    Despite the Gunsmithing (both personal and professional) I just couldn’t enjoy an Alloy Framed 1911 in 45 ACP.
    Had Springfield chambered the Prodigy in 45 I might be tempted but in 9mm Parabellum I would rather save my money for a Browning “Hi Power” or CZ-75.

  11. I have carried a Remington Recon Commander for nearly four years. It is a double-stack 9mm 1911 and, unlike the Springfield described above, does have the tradition 1911 barrel bushing and field stripping procedure. It replaced my Kimber .45 CDP Pro when the price of .45 ammuntion began going through the roof — AND, I did want something which held more than 8+1 rounds of ammunition.

    To my surprise, carrying this all steel 41oz gun in a SwapRig double-clip holster is no more of a problem than carrying the far lighter alloy-framed Kimber was. But the added weight certainly makes it more of a joy to shoot.

    It looks to me as if these new Springfields are a reasonably-priced minor upgrade of my Remington (especially the slide cut for optical sights). If I had the money, would buy one but especially given our current economic situation, it is impossible. I will be very interested in hearing range reports from anyone who buys one.

  12. I’ve got a double stack. 45 but it’s not a Colt, or Springfield. it’s an FN FNX-45 Tactical and the magazines hold 15 rds. plus it’s a DA/SA you can carry it cocked and locked a 1911 or decock it and it’s DA on the first round

  13. All this hype about double stack 1911 had me very interested. All that .45 ammo! Of course, it’s not until the bottom of the article that he bothers to say that it’s a 9mm. A bunch of ammo in a 9 isn’t such a new idea.

  14. As has been noted, this is Para Ord without the stainless option or the “extremely functional barrel bushing” that allows wear, tear, and use for over a hundred years and a half dozen generations. Of course, I might be prejudiced by having kept, carried, and used the same pistol for well over fifty years– and I think long term, not this week’s special and mine says COLT, and I know I have replaced the barrel bushing a few times to get that extra edge in being totally functional and knowing the first round will go where it needs to go without buying a new slide/barrel.

  15. I had one of your Range Officer Champion with the 4″barrel in 45acp and loved it and wish you still made it. But I still have the XDE 45acp and a M1A loaded model

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