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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
load development

The Springfield TRP .45 ACP- Handloads for a Custom-Shop 1911

Author: Bob Campbell / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Sep 15 2016

The Springfield .45 ACP Tactical Response Pistol
gave good results with every load tested.

I can tell the difference between my favorite 1911s when blindfolded. The worn, comfortable grips are friendly, and the solid engagement of the controls satisfying. The Springfield Tactical Response Pistol (TRP) is equally distinctive. The G10 grips offer good purchase, the front strap is carefully checkered, as is the mainspring housing. The dimensions fit my hand – the palm and the fingers are in agreement. This perfect fit allows a locked wrist when firing, a great advantage of the 1911.

The front strap checkering is a great asset
in maintaining control of the pistol.

Over the years many handguns have been tested. Some have been hardly worth the time. Others have been rare masterpieces of the maker’s art. After the first blush, many of the more expensive types lost their gilding when held in the hand and fired. To make a gun fit the hand and to perform well should be the first goal of any designer.

A minor sight adjustment was required,
but good results followed.

At one time, this goal was taken seriously. The German Luger, Colt 1911 and Browning Hi-Power are excellent examples. In the case of these pistols, users tolerated poor sights and heavy triggers, because the pistols pointed like a finger. The P-38 was among the first truly successful handguns that stretched the trigger reach. The high-capacity Smith & Wesson Model 59 incorporated both a double-action trigger and a high-capacity magazine, the first pistol of its type. Holding it was like holding a 2x4. More and worse followed. The Heckler & Koch P7 9mm, with its single-column magazine fits my hand, but even this racy handgun does not equal the 1911 in general and the TRP in particular.

The Montana Bullet Works 200-grain LBT
did a fine job in accuracy testing.

The TRP is arguably a 1911 that leaves nothing to be desired. The objective and subjective points are beneficial to shooting accurately both in slow fire and in fast combat shooting. The sights are Novak Lo Mount, and feature the three-dot tritium inserts. Self-luminous iron sights are vital for 24-hour use. The slide features forward cocking serrations. Designed for gloved-hand use, forward cocking serrations also afford much more leverage in case you must clear a stoppage. The ejection port is lowered and scalloped, polished inside and out. The frame is chock-full of upgrades.

Leathering Up the TRP
Legendary Lawman Leathergoods has
reintroduced the original Dirty Harry
shoulder holster. It is now available
for the 1911 handgun. If ever there
were a holster that suits the TRP,
this is the one. This holster gets the
weight off the belt in the field and
offers good concealment under a
sports coat. (If shoulder holsters are
preferred, purchase the coat a size
larger than normal.) This is a great
holster at a fair price that will get
lots of attention from the 1911 crowd.

The trigger is a lightweight unit to limit backlash. Trigger compression is a straight-to-the-rear five pounds, clean, with no creep. The TRP also features an ambidextrous safety practically identical to the classic Armand Swenson design. While tactically beneficial, an ambidextrous safety is particularly important to left-handed shooters. The tongue-and-groove attachment system of the safety has proven durable in use with other Springfield pistols. The beavertail safety funnels the hand into the firing grip and helps lower the bore axis. Some shooters seem to have trouble consistently depressing a grip safety. I think this problem arises mainly when shooters adopt the “two thumbs forward” firing hold. While solid, this grip style raises the palm off the grip safety slightly. The Springfield memory bump neatly cures this problem.

This group is to the left. The sights were
quite a bit off at first.

The grip, checkered front strap and Smith and Alexander magazine chute features are what make the pistol fit and feel so good. The magazine chute aids in administrative handling. While a combat reload might not be needed very often, during practice you will be handling the pistol often, and the ability to quickly replenish the magazine is appreciated.

The Nosler 185-grain JHP bullet
proved especially accurate.

The TRP is one of the new breed of tactical handguns. There is actually a pistol a bit above the TRP on the totem pole. The Professional is the handgun that won the FBI protocol to become its SWAT and HRT sidearm. Among the major accomplishments of the pistol is firing 20,000 rounds without a stoppage and maintaining five-shot, 1.25-inch groups at 25 yards during the program. The Professional is a custom-shop item. The wait for a Professional is perhaps months and the cost well over $2,000. The TRP is also a custom-shop gun and an alternative to the Professional.

I burned up much of the ammunition on hand in firing at various targets at known and unknown ranges. This is a better gauge of the shooter and the handgun than shooting paper, but I had to stop and adjust the sights before proceeding. Point of impact as related to the point of aim was several inches to the left. I used a brass punch and hammer to resolve this minor issue. The TRP has the perfect “battlefield zero,” firing a couple of inches high at close range and nearly dead-on at 50 yards.

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