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Springfield 1911 Double-Stack Prodigy OSP Autoloader Pistols

By definition, prodigy means something extraordinary. It's a fitting name for the Springfield Armory double-stack recoil-operated autoloading Model 1911.

Springfield 1911 Double-Stack Prodigy OSP Autoloader Pistols

(Michael Anschuetz photo)

The new double-stack Prodigy 1911 from Springfield Armory isn’t the first wide-body 1911—it isn’t even the first wide-body 1911 from Springfield. The concept has been around for better than 30 years, and Springfield offered one as far back as 1999. It was called the High Capacity. But the new-for-2022 Prodigy, a thoroughly modern version of the high-capacity Model 1911, is special in its own right and is an excellent all-round 9mm pistol. Its 17-round and 20-round standard magazines give it a lot of firepower, and there’s an accessory magazine that puts a whopping 26 rounds on board.

Para-Ordnance is often credited with coming up with the wide-body Model 1911 concept back in about 1988. The company first offered a kit with a wide-body grip frame. Then about two years later it started producing complete Model 1911s with the high-capacity frame. At about the same time, Caspian Arms started making wide-body Model 1911 frames, and Chip McCormick introduced a revolutionary modular-style wide-body frame that consisted of a synthetic grip held to a steel insert by two screws. Since then, the McCormick frame has undergone a number of name changes as well as changes in ownership. Today, the same basic frame is made by STI. (The new Prodigy has a similar setup.) Other well-known companies that have offered wide-body, high-capacity Model 1911s include Wilson Combat, Kimber, Rock Island Armory, Nighthawk Custom, Les Baer Custom, and Enterprise Arms to name just a few. And now Springfield is back in the game with the new Prodigy.

Springfield OSP 1911 17-, 20- and 26-round magazines
The new double-stack 9mm Prodigy 1911s from Springfield come with 17-round and 20-round magazines, and a 26-rounder is offered as an accessory. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Crackerjack Characteristics

Technically, Springfield is calling the new pistol the 1911 DS PRODIGY OSP. Its only chambering is 9mm Luger, and it’s offered with two barrel lengths: 4.25 inches and 5.0 inches. Shooting Times obtained samples of both barrel lengths.

The match-grade barrels for both Prodigy pistols are made of stainless steel and have reverse muzzle crowns. These barrels do not use barrel bushings. They have integral feedramps and fully supported chambers. And they use two-piece full-length recoil spring guide rods.

As you can see from the photographs, the slides have wide, square-bottom grasping grooves up front and at the rear. The rear portions of the slides, including the rear sights, have been cut for installing a red-dot reflex-type optic. The rest of the slide tops are rounded, and the sights are dovetailed into the slides.

Speaking of the sights, the front sights have green fiber-optic inserts, and the rear sights are all black with U-shaped notches and very fine horizontal striations on the faces. The sights are tall enough to co-witness with a red-dot reflex-type optic. And our pistols came with HEX Dragonfly red-dot optics installed.

According to Springfield, HEX is a “special project to develop superior optical support for firearms.” These reflex-type red-dot sights are built to exacting specifications from premium materials, and every HEX optic is thoroughly tested and backed by a lifetime warranty. If the optic is rendered damaged or defective, Springfield will repair or replace it at no cost to the customer. HEX sights are designed to provide intuitive target acquisition, faster follow-up shots, and everyday dependability.

According to Springfield, the 1X, parallax-free HEX Dragonfly is a most versatile reflex sight and is suited for pistol, rifle, and shotgun applications. It is machined from 6061 T6 hardcoat-anodized aluminum and comes with a scratch-resistant, antiglare glass lens. It is 1.9 inches long, 1.14 inches wide, and 1.01 inches tall. It weighs 1.2 ounces. It fits Springfield’s standard footprint as well as Vortex Venom and Burris FastFire footprints. The sight has a 3.5-MOA red dot and eight manually adjusted brightness settings. There are 160 MOA of elevation and windage adjustment. Power is supplied by a CR2032 battery, and battery life is rated at more than 100,000 hours on its lowest setting (average real-world-use battery life should be somewhere around three years). The unit has a manual shutoff as well as a 16-hour auto-shutoff, and it has IPX7 waterproofing.

Springfield Double Stack OSP Autoloader 1911, right side view
Key features of the Prodigy 1911s include the ambidextrous thumb safeties, integral frame rails, and slides with cutouts for installing a red-dot reflex-type optic. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Of course, both versions of the Prodigy came with replacement filler plates that can be used to fill the optic cutouts if the shooter prefers to not have an optic. In fact, Springfield is offering the Prodigy pistols without optics (MSRP: $1,499).

The Prodigy pistols have skeletonized hammers and ventilated triggers. The triggers have overtravel adjustment screws and vertical striations on the faces of the finger pieces. The magazine releases are extended and grooved, and the ambidextrous thumb safeties also are extended and grooved on the tops. The slide stops are countersunk on the offsides of the frames. The grip safeties are smooth beavertail types with memory bumps. And the mainspring housings are flat and checkered.

Our sample guns’ trigger pulls averaged 4 pounds, 14.4 ounces for the 4.25-inch-barreled pistol and 5 pounds, 7.8 ounces for the 5.0-inch-barreled pistol. Those figures are for 10 measurements for each pistol with an RCBS trigger pull scale. I will say they are heavier than I prefer. However, as you can see from the chart, they did not hinder my ability to shoot the pistols very accurately. And as I’ve said countless times before, I am a mediocre shooter at best.

The frames are forged carbon steel with textured polymer gripping areas and flared magazine wells. And the dustcover portions of the frames have integral accessory rails machined into them. The shorter-barreled frame has one cross-slot, whereas the longer frame has five cross-slots.

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The grips’ circumferences measure 5.63 inches across from the bottom of the trigger guards and over the un-depressed grip safety. Many of you may know this, but for those who don’t, a standard single-stack Model 1911 grip’s circumference is generally 5.25 inches at the same location. The Prodigy trigger guards are squared.

Each Prodigy pistol comes with two steel magazines. One holds 17 rounds of ammunition, and the other holds 20 rounds. As noted earlier, Springfield also offers a 26-round magazine as an accessory. The magazines have removable polymer baseplates and numbered witness holes.

The Prodigy pistols are finished in matte black Cerakote. The barrels are bright stainless steel. And each Prodigy comes with a small Allen wrench, a large Allen wrench, the replacement plate for the slide’s optic cutout, a padlock-style gun lock, and a zippered soft gun rug with one inside pocket.

Whenever I examine a Model 1911, I always check how tightly the slide and barrel lock up. Both Prodigy samples are tight! I could detect just the slightest hint of side-to-side movement in the slides when twisting them, and in lockup, the barrels didn’t budge one tiny bit when I pushed down on their hoods.

Springfield-Armory 1911 Double-Stack Prodigy OSP Accuracy and Velocity Results Chart

Awesome Accuracy

Both pistols were very accurate. The 4.25-inch-barreled Prodigy averaged 3.20 inches overall for three, five-shot groups, each with five different 9mm Luger factory loads. The 5.0-inch-barreled Prodigy averaged 2.84 inches for the same five factory loads. Those are excellent overall averages.

Of course, each gun had its favorite loading, and for the 5.0-inch-barreled Prodigy, that turned out to be the Wilson Combat 147-grain RN. It averaged 2.29 inches. The velocity averaged 949 fps, with an extreme spread of 27 fps and a standard deviation of 17 fps. With an average of 2.55 inches, the 4.25-inch-barreled Prodigy favored the Barnes TAC-XPD 115-grain TAC-XP +P loading. Its average velocity was 1,015 fps with an extreme spread of 33 fps and a standard deviation of 17 fps.

After shooting from the bench for accuracy, I did a bit of offhand shooting with the Prodigy pistols, including firing them right-side up, left-side up, and upside down. Both pistols performed without a hitch. All rounds fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. And with the high magazine capacities, they seemed to shoot forever! Well, not exactly. It’s sort of amazing how fast you can empty a high-capacity magazine with a single-action recoil-operated Model 1911 when you try.

I regularly involve shooting steel plate targets when putting a new handgun through its paces, and I did that with these new Prodigy pistols. But my favorite reactive targets this time out were the polymer bouncing ball and rolling jack targets. You can really make those targets move all over the range with a high-capacity pistol like these.

When it comes to the offhand shooting, I must admit that I preferred the 4.25-inch-barreled Prodigy. For whatever reason, it just felt better in my hand. However, I shot the 5.0-inch-barreled Prodigy more accurately. So whichever one you choose, my guess is you won’t go wrong.

No matter how you size up these new Model 1911s from Springfield Armory, you have to admit that when it comes to magazine capacity, they are definitely extraordinary. And don’t discount their other fine features, either, because they are special, too.

Springfield Double-Stack Prodigy OSP Autoloader 1911, left side view
Offered with 5.0-inch and 4.25-inch barrels, the Prodigy 1911s are thoroughly modern 9mm pistols. (Michael Anschuetz)

1911 DS PRODIGY OSP 5.0 SPECIFICATIONS

  • MANUFACTURER: Springfield Armory, springfield-armory.com
  • TYPE: Recoil-operated autoloader
  • CALIBER: 9mm Luger
  • MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 17 and 20 rounds
  • BARREL: 5.0 in.
  • OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5 in.
  • WIDTH: 1.45 in.
  • HEIGHT: 5.5 in.
  • WEIGHT, EMPTY: 33 oz.
  • GRIPS: Polymer
  • FINISH: Black Cerakote
  • SIGHTS: Black rear, fiber-optic front; HEX Dragonfly
  • TRIGGER: 5.5-lb. pull (as tested)
  • SAFETY: Ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety
  • MSRP: $1,699

1911 DS PRODIGY OSP 4.25 SPECIFICATIONS

  • MANUFACTURER: Springfield Armory, springfield-armory.com
  • TYPE: Recoil-operated autoloader
  • CALIBER: 9mm Luger
  • MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 17 and 20 rounds
  • BARREL: 4.25 in.
  • OVERALL LENGTH: 7.8 in.
  • WIDTH: 1.45 in.
  • HEIGHT: 5.5 in.
  • WEIGHT, EMPTY: 32.5 oz.
  • GRIPS: Polymer
  • FINISH: Black Cerakote
  • SIGHTS: Black rear, fiber-optic front; HEX Dragonfly
  • TRIGGER: 4.9-lb. pull (as tested)
  • SAFETY: Ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail grip safety
  • MSRP: $1,699



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