Gun Trial: Springfield Armory's Tactical Response Pistol 45 ACP

Written and photographed by R.K. Campbell.

Some Texas Law Shield members may have seen Springfield Armory’s Tactical Response Pistol (TRP) and wondered what’s it like at the range. Wonder no more: Here’s what happened when I put it through a rigorous shooting trial against three other top-end 1911s earlier this year.

Priced at $1342 from a major retailer, the TRP was originally offered as an affordable version of the Professional Model, which can run about $1000 more.

The TRP pistol came with two magazines, a plastic range holster, and dual magazine carrier. The TRP does not incorporate a firing pin block into the action. The fit of the slide to the frame was tight, with very little lateral play. When racking the slide of the TRP, the fit felt tighter than a Colt Combat Elite or Colt Rail Gun I had on hand, and it was much tighter than a Springfield Loaded Model as well. But better fit wasn’t the only edge.

The Springfield TRP features a Teflon-based coating that proved durable during testing, and it was self lubricating. Still, I lubricated the pistol, as most users will.

The slide-lock safety was ambidextrous. Fit and crispness of the slide lock safety and magazine release were each excellent. The trigger action was clean and broke at 5.5 pounds.

The cocking serrations forward and rear are a bit longer than the Colts’. The Novak sights featured self-luminous tritium inserts, which are a pricey and helpful upgrade. The full-length guide rod offered reasonably rapid disassembly when used with an Allen wrench, compared to a two-piece guide rod that may be unscrewed by hand.

A big advantage was the TRP’s checkered front strap, which presented 20-lines-per-inch checkering that offered the shooter good grip when firing. The checkered G10 grips also added good gripping surface, but a female shooter said the checkering was too sharp for her palm. To control the pistol in stressful times, with sweaty or wet hands, these textures are helpful.

The TRP also featured a magazine chute that could speed reloads, but it wasn’t compatible with every type of bumper. I used the supplied magazines and five Brownell’s 7-round magazines. Some friends and I fired the Springfield on the same combat course, with the same ammunition, and fired each pistol at the same time with shooters alternating with each handgun and had several observations.

The TRP wasn’t the fastest getting on target, but once there, the Springfield TRP’s superior checkering made it more controllable than the Colts. During combat firing, the TRP showed an advantage in delivering rapid hits and controlled double taps.

Also, the Springfield TRP proved to be plenty accurate, with its best group being a 1.25-inch cluster of five shots with the Winchester 230-grain JHP, the hottest load tested with the most energy and recoil. On a bright day, the sun glinted on the night sights, which is worth noting.

The Verdict: The Springfield TRP is a great gun for the money. We encourage members to test-drive one at a Law Shield-affiliated range and see if it might work as your everyday carry handgun.



Black Hills Ammunition Springfield Armory
200-grain SWC 45 ACP TRP
Average Velocity 890 fps
Muzzle Energy 351 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 1.5 in.
Largest Group 2.0 in.
Average Group Size 1.8 in.
Hornady American Gunner Springfield Armory
185-grain XTP 45 ACP TRP
Average Velocity 963 fps
Muzzle Energy 380 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 1.4 in.
Largest Group 1.9 in.
Average Group Size 1.6 in.
Winchester M1911 Springfield Armory
230-grain JHP 45 ACP TRP
Average Velocity 860 fps
Muzzle Energy 377 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 1.3 in.
Largest Group 1.6 in.
Average Group Size 1.5 in.



Action Single-Action Semi-Auto,
Locked Breech
Overall Length 8.5 in.
Overall Height 5.7 in.
Maximum Width 1.5 in.
Weight Unloaded 42 oz.
Weight Loaded 45.5 oz.
Barrel 5.0 in. Match Grade
Stainless Steel, 1:16 Twist;
Full-Length Guide Rod
Magazine (2) 7-Rd. Stainless Steel
w/Slam Pads
Slide Carbon Steel, Black Armory Kote
Frame Carbon Steel, Black Armory Kote
Frame Front Strap Height 2.6 in.
Frame Back Strap Height 3.2 in.
Grips Black & Grey G10 Checkered
Grip Thickness (max) 1.3 in.
Grip Circumference (max) 5.4 in.
Sights Low Profile Combat;3-Dot Tritium
Trigger Pull Weight Single Action 5.5 lbs.
Trigger Span Single Action 2.5 in.
Safety Slide Lock, Grip
Warranty Lifetime
Telephone (800) 680-6866

Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of several books, including The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader, and other publications. Bob is well-known for his extensive firearms testing. He currently lives in South Carolina.



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