When Springfield Armory came out with the Operator version of their popular Range Officer series, I knew I had to get my hands on one. The Range Officer has been considered one of the best values in the 1911 world for some time now.
Products that are purpose-built, with no unnecessary bells and whistles have always appealed to me. The Range Officer product line follows that philosophy. Springfield’s concept for the Range Officer was to offer value by spending on component cost while sparing cost in external finishing. That idea hits me just right. The components they chose not to skimp on make sense: a national match stainless barrel with fitted and matched bushing, other internals from the loaded model, a metal main spring housing, and quality sights, to name a few.
Initially, though I appreciated the Range Officer’s value, I was able to resist bringing one home to meet the family due to the competition configuration. Target sights are just fine, but for my purposes, I would’ve replaced them, which would have added extra cost. When the folks at Springfield slapped a rail, a traditional rear sight, and a fiber optic front sight on the slide, I knew I was in trouble. I enjoyed a champion operator for years and am a sucker for full-sized 1911s. The price to play is right as well.
After about a year of use, I can tell you that this is one of the best 1911 values out there.
The five inch barrel has a fully supported ramp. The slide-to-frame fit is nice and snug; you’re sure not going to rattle this gun and find slop—no sir! In fact, many of the features this gun offers are only found in more expensive competitors. I don’t throw around terms like “the best 1911 value in the market today”— I simply don’t have the experience with every firearm out there to make that claim, but this one is definitely a contender worthy of your consideration. It reminds me of an old school muscle car the has plenty of finely-tuned horsepower under the hood but a simple primer paint job on the outside.
Initially, I didn’t make any changes other than a pair of Alien grips from VZ to add purchase for my hands.
Above average. Comparable to many $1k+ models.
Mine has functioned 100% I have read reports of failures with the 9mm variant that required tuning but haven’t personally experienced those failures.
Excellent. The 7yd- 25yd groups this gun is capable of is quite remarkable for the price point.
Adequate. The guns claim to fame isn’t finish but I happen to like the parkerized look and the parkerization job has held up pretty well so far.
Above average. The feature set for the price point is head and shoulders above the previous competition, though it appears the market competition is heating up and that’s good for us.
After extended use, this gun has lived up to its initial positive impressions.
There’s no checkering on the front of the grip. The trigger’s function is good, but I would have selected one with a different form factor. While we’re getting picky, Novak style rear sights aren’t my favorite but since the TRP has them, it was probably a wise choice. Let’s be honest, this is a gun for people who want a TRP but don’t want to spend the coin on one.
Go ahead and rev the engine on this lil’ gal; she may just have a primer paint job, but she’s sure to put a smile on your face!