The world of 2011s has exploded over the last few years. It seems to be the latest firearm for every company to release as a new and exciting variant. Recently, Springfield Armory came out with an offering known as the Prodigy. People went crazy over the new Prodigy for its price and offerings but how does it stack up compared to other offings on the market. Let’s take a closer look at the new Springfield Armory Prodigy 1911DS.
Springfield Armory @ TFB:
Springfield Armory has a few different versions of the Prodigy including the full-size 5″ which is the one I’ve been testing as well as a 4.25″ commander model. This full-size 1911DS comes with a soft case, 17-round magazine, 20-round magazine and cable lock. The pistol itself comes with a fiber optic front sight with a checkered blacked-out rear sight, The Prodigy comes standard with an optics cut that removes the rear sight for a number of different optics on the market. Springfield also included a match-grade bull barrel in both the 5″ and 4.25″ models with a flat crowning to finish it off. Add in the small aspects like ambidextrous safeties, a solid back strap safety and a tactile polymer grip and you have a sturdy feeling handgun with a number of upgraded features straight from the factory. MSRP on the standard Prodigy is $1,499.99 with other models available with optics included.
|Manufacturer Part #||PH9119AOS||Model||Prodigy|
|Accessories||1-17Rd 1-20Rd||Type of Barrel||Stainless|
|Sights||Fiber Optic Front Sight||Subcategory||Pistols – Metal Frame|
So far, I have roughly 750 rounds through the Prodigy 1911 DS. For testing out the Springfield, I typically will take 2-3 range sessions to slowly shoot and see the overall performance as well as test accuracy. The first 150 rounds were very slow shooting just to shake the legs out and see what I was working with. The first few things that stood out to me right off the bat were the fiber optic front sight and recoil impulse. The fiber optic front sight is a bright green with blacked-out rear sights making it really easy to pick up your sight picture between targets.
The blacked-out rear sight is connected to an optics plate. Springfield Armory also offers a number of optic plates for the majority of popular red dots. These optic plates include the rear sights so you’ll have the option to use those as well. When it comes to recoil impulse, the Prodigy had a very soft recoil impulse even with the polymer grip. With little recoil, it was almost effortless to stack 2-3 rounds on top of each other in rapid succession. If you’ve spent any time shooting a 1911, then you’ll understand how easy they are to shoot regularly.
Controls and Ergonomics
Combine the fact it’s chambered in 9mm instead of .45 ACP and this gun is incredibly easy to shoot quickly with higher capacity. The ambidextrous safety had an audible click when going on safe as well as fire but wasn’t perfect. I’ll talk more about that in just a little bit though. My favorite aspect of the Prodigy as a modern take on the 1911 is the fact it offers the classic controls of a 1911 with the higher capacity and materials of pistols today. Combine that with the fact MSRP on these guys is 1499.99 for the base pistols and I think you have a real competitive option on the 2011 market.
The polymer grip that comes standard on the Prodigy has tactile stippling all over it without being too aggressive. This keeps from tearing your hands up but offers traction for a steady grip. I prefer metal grips on my 2011 but this polymer version isn’t a bad option for the overall price. Everything else like the back strap safety and manual safety are identical to a 1911 so it’ll feel extremely familiar to most.
Accuracy and Reliability
Since this is based on a 1911, the overall accuracy of the Prodigy is incredibly similar to an accurate 1911. At 20 yards, I was consistently having 1-1.5 inch groups. I wanted to test out the optics plate but they only have HEX red dot plates available on the website. Once Springfield restocks the Trijicon RMR plates, I will throw a red dot on it and see how far you can accurately shoot with this pistol. Regardless, this firearm is extremely accurate just like 1911s typically are at distance.
The first 50 rounds I did have a double feed as well as a stovepipe. After those two malfunctions, I had 100% reliability with Federal 115gr ammunition. For the testing, I used a mix of Stand 1 Armory 124gr factory new ammunition, Federal 115gr American Eagle, and Blazer 147gr ammunition. The vast majority of the rounds were Federal 115gr ammunition with about 110 rounds of the Blazer and 140 being the Stand 1 Armory.
The only other issue I had with this pistol was the right side of the ambidextrous safety breaking and not disengaging the safety. The main safety on the left side that right-handed shooters use works perfectly still. I did reach out to Springfield Armory about the issue and they are going to replace it and ship it back. They were extremely fast to respond and were reassuring they would fix the gun and have it back in a reasonable time frame which I was impressed with. I know things aren’t always perfect but when a company has excellent customer service, I think that’s a positive mark for Springfield. The Prodigy is still fully functioning without the ambi safety and I finished out my test to the 750 round mark.
One of the most exciting things to me is the fact Springfield Armory made the Prodigy 100% compatible with 2011 parts on the market. This means you can swap grips, triggers, and internal parts with whatever parts you desire. I personally think this adds a huge benefit to the price point since it gives you a canvas to build your exact 2011 desired for less than something from higher-end companies. If you’re anything like me, you love building up guns and this is the perfect gun to slowly build up into a beast range gun that just chews through ammo.
I plan on doing a second article showing how I upgraded the Prodigy and what parts I used so definitely stay tuned for that article coming soon. Some will argue that it’s beneficial to just save up money and buy something standard from another 2011 manufacturer but I think this is a great value for anyone who wants to upgrade and build their own range 2011 over time. Not everyone wants to do that, and I respect that but this gun could very well be the next Glock for the 2011 market that people can either keep stock or upgrade to their hearts’ content.
Even with the hiccups and imperfections of this pistol, the Prodigy is still very impressive. Springfield has brought a double-stack 1911 pistol onto the market that truly is obtainable to the vast majority of people. With other companies coming out with $5,000-8,000 pistols of the same type, this Prodigy really is the pistol of the working class. I think it has an incredible amount of potential and I think it’s certainly worth the price. There are people online who have written off this pistol, but parts availability and aftermarket support are almost endless which makes this pistol have enormous potential.
Let me know what your thoughts are on the Springfield Prodigy 1911 DS. Is it an affordable option on the 2011 market or do you think it’s not for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment down below. If you have questions about the Prodigy or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you in the next one.
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