Springfield Prodigy Review: Double-Stack 9mm 1911

by Ryan Cleckner

September 10, 2022

9 comments

4.5
(14)

Springfield Armory, in no uncertain terms, knocked it out of the park with the Prodigy Double Stack 1911 in 9mm.

Now, wait a second before you start the eye-rolling thinking that I (or we) are like the majority of other firearm reviewers and think that every new product is the “best thing ever” because they’re getting paid for it. If you need some examples of how straight we shoot around here, check out our bad grades for guns.

In this Springfield Armory Prodigy 9mm 1911 review, we’ll cover exactly what I loved about this new pistol (and a couple of things I didn’t)

Springfield’s double-stack 9mm 1911

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Springfield Prodigy Specs

  • Caliber 9mm
  • Capacity 17, 20, and 26+1
  • Barrel Length 4.25 or 5 inches
  • Twist Rate 1:16
  • Action Semiautomatic, Single-Action
  • Height 5.5 inches
  • Length 7.8 or 8.5 inches
  • Weight 32.5 or 33 ounces
  • MSRP $1,499-$1,699

Springfield Armory Prodigy Background

1911 pistols have been around for over one hundred years – so, what’s the big deal about this 1911 pistol?

Well, although the 1911s have been around a long time, they have spent decades as only single-stack pistols in 45 AUTO. With the popularity of competition shooting over the past 40 years, it is more and more common to see 1911 platforms in other calibers like 9mm, 40 S&W, and 38 Super. Heck, most of these smaller calibered competition 1911s are also double-stack for higher capacity.

A quick note on the difference between single and double stack:

Single-stack refers to a magazine configuration wherein cartridges are stacked directly on top of each other in a single stack.

Double-stack refers to cartridges that stack within a magazine in a zig-zag fashion resembling two closely aligned lines.

Double-stack handguns are wider than single-stack handguns but they have a higher capacity.

Up until now, if you wanted what is effectively a race car of handguns (a 1911 double stack in a smaller caliber like 9mm), you needed to shell out premium money for something like an STI (now called Staccato). In fact, they invented the “2011” concept (a double stack 1911 with enhancements like a modular polymer hand guard).

The Prodigy from Springfield is a factory option clearly geared at competing with a Staccato. How does it stack up?

Read on…

Prodigy Features

Springfield Prodigy Features
1 Double-Stack Mags

High capacity (up to 26+1) in a 1911

2 Ambi-Safety + Magwell

Upgraded features on a factory pistol

3 Optics-Ready

Comes from the factory ready to accept red-dots.

4 4.25 or 5 inch Barrel

Models available with shorter or longer barrels.

5 Light rail + Aggressive Serrations

Picatinny light rail on dust-cover and aggressive slide serrations

6 Excellent Trigger

A great 1911 trigger out of the box – ready for competition.

Prodigy 1911 DS Variations

Springfield Prodigy 1911 Review – Our Take

I already gave away my views at the top of this review but I’ll do it again here: Springfield knocked it out of the park with this Prodigy 9mm 1911.

Let me try to justify why I love this pistol so much.

First, let me explain what I loved about this pistol:

Vibe: Yes, I just included “vibe” as a category for reviewing a pistol.

Once you hold this gun, it’s clear that it wants to run. You almost feel bad NOT shooting it.

I’m not sure how to describe this feeling.

Perhaps it’s like sitting in the driver’s seat of a supercar and feeling the car begging you to let it roar.

Perhaps this is a silly metric.

Regardless, it feels real to me.

This could have been accidental by Springfield but everything about this gun from the design to the fit and finish just screams “Shoot me!”

Fit and Finish: I hope I don’t offend too many people here, however, I did not expect a premium fit and finish from a Springfield Armory firearm. Sure, they do have some good guns (see their Hellion and their Hellcat and their 2020 Waypoint), but they also have firearms for which I’m not a fan (see their XD).

As an overall rating of the company’s products, I’d say that they aren’t “premium” anything but rather a solid value.

Springfield Prodigy Barell

However, with the Prodigy, my opinion is different.

Everything about this pistol feels and looks premium.

Just manipulating the slide brings a smile to my face – especially when seeing the obnoxiously large bull barrel.

I also love the feeling of the grip and the slide serrations. This is something that is hard to quantify for some guns but whatever Springfield did here just feels right, is easy to use, and adds to the premium feel of this pistol.

Shootability: This gun runs.

As you can see here and in the video above, this gun shoots flat.

The recoil spring and the mass of the barrel and slide really work together beautifully here.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I didn’t expect this pistol to be so great.

In case my gushing isn’t obvious, I would (and will) easily purchase a Prodigy over a Staccato.

Accuracy: I know that I’m not known for being a pistol shooter, however, I think I can hold my own.

When it comes to accuracy with a pistol, if I take my time and focus on the fundamentals, I can usually shoot fairly accurately.

With this pistol, however, it just feels like cheating.

Here is a 20-round group with this pistol, standing off-hand, at 10 yards. For me, 20 ROUNDS at 10 yards free-hand aren’t normally this easy to stack on top of each other (this was shot with 20 rounds of Magtech 115 gr FMJ 9mm).

Springfield Armory Prodigy Accuracy
Springfield Prodigy Accuracy

Reliability: So far, this pistol has proven 100% reliable.

I am not used to this reliability from the 1911, especially not from a “race gun.”

I am going to keep running this pistol hard for the next few months and will update this review with a total round count and a summary of any stoppages.

Trigger: Although not as light as custom race guns I’ve shot, the trigger is crisp, without unnecessary over-travel, and rests nicely.

For a factory 1911, the trigger is great.

Grip: The grip is really nice on this gun. It comes from the factory with what is effectively a popular after-market upgrade for Glocks pistols: a “double undercut” trigger guard.

The texturing is really nice and is only beat, in my opinion, by a custom silicon carbide grip. This factory grip is aggressive enough to get a good purchase on the gun but not too aggressive.

Also, the magwell is nice – it is not obnoxiously large but it does the job.

Value: It depends on which pistol to which we compare the Prodigy to determine if it is a good value.

For example, if we are comparing it to a CCW 9mm like a Sig p365, then, no, it is not a good value.

However, when compared to a similarly intended use pistol like a Staccato, the Prodigy is an incredible value. So much so that I think I’d still recommend the Prodigy at double the price. That’s saying a LOT.

Ok, now on to what I didn’t love about this double stack 1911.

Size: I have large hands and think that a double stack 1911 (2011 style) fits great in my hand.

However, I have two small issues:

First, although this pistol has a HUGE capacity, the grip feels slightly too short for my hands. I know it’s weird on such a large pistol but I could feel my hand hanging off the back a bit

Second, and this is an easy thing to fix, I wish the slide release was extended as I can not reach it due to the width of the grip without changing my grip on the pistol.

prodigy 1911 grip size

I am not normally a fan of reloading a pistol by releasing the slide by pulling the slide back and letting it go. Instead, I find it much easier and faster to use the slide release.

However, with the size of this pistol, and even with my large hands, I can not reach the slide release without modifying my grip. I believe that such a competition-oriented pistol should come with an extended slide release.

Again, however, this is easily remedied.

Limited Utility: This is hardly something to complain about, yet here I am. 🙂

This is a race gun. It is an awesome race gun and one I’ll be asking Springfield to purchase so that I can keep it (unlike most blogs we know of, Gun University does NOT ask for free products in exchange for reviews).

That said, and despite how fun it is to let this gun run, it does have limited utility.

I am not going to concealed carry it.

It is not my best recommendation for home defense.

It is not going into the backcountry with me.

It is a race car.

If you’ve already got a car for taking the kids to school and getting groceries, then having a race car in your garage can be fun. However, I wouldn’t recommend a race car as your only (nor first) car.

Optic: The Prodigy is available from the factory with a Springfield Hex red dot sight.

Although I applaud them for making their own optic, I am not a fan of this red dot and will remove it if Springfield sells me this pistol.

The front of the lens is not shielded enough for me and quickly became smudged from my hand while racking the slide. Also, when shooting toward the sun, it was very difficult to determine which red flare in the lens was the dot.

If this review was for the red dot instead of the pistol, the grade would be different.

I recommend the version without the red dot and adding your own preferred red dot later if you want one.

There is something really unique about the Prodigy and something that I think Springfield Armory got REALLY right… they opted to use the Agency Optic System (AOS).

Agency Optic System Plate

Agency Arms created this system to help solve problems with current red-dot mounting – namely it’s difficult to keep up with the different red dot mounting footprints and current adapter plates are weak-points (we’re look at you, Glock MOS).

The Agency Optic System (AOS) uses adapter plates that are strong and modular meaning you can jump from one red-dot sight’s footprint to the next and have multiple options for your rear iron sight.

I’m really impressed that Springfield chose this and didn’t opt for a simpler dedicated option or their own in-house version. You can currently order plates for all common footprints.

CONCLUSION: The Springfield Armory Prodigy is AWESOME and I like it (love it?) WAY more than I expected I would.

It quickly made its way onto our Best 1911 list as the best 1911 9mm.

Springfield Armory: “Gun University, are you interested in testing out our new pistol?”

Gun University: “Of course. What is it?”

Springfield Armory: “It’s a 1911.”

Gun University: “[not overly excited} Ok, sure.”

Springfield Armory: [sends gun]

Gun University: [shoots gun] “Holy crap, this is phenomenal!”

If you’re looking for a race gun, or perhaps just a range gun that makes it feel like you’re cheating, then I unequivocally recommend this pistol based on my experience with the one they sent me.

I’m going to keep running this gun hard and will update this article in a couple of months with my findings.

Prodigy 9mm 1911 Pros and Cons

  • High Capacity
  • Big enough to shoot well
  • Low Recoil
  • Absurd Accuracy
  • Inexpensive Ammo
  • Limited Utility (other than range or competition gun)
  • Large

Report Card

Shootability

This pistol is a race-car and wants to be shot… fast.

A+
Reliability

In my testing, it has been 100% reliable.

A+
Ergonomics

As a 1911 shooter for years, it feels good – however, it’s a bit small in some areas and large in others.

A
Accuracy

Absurdly easy to shoot with pinpoint accuracy. Should count as cheating.

A+
Value

Compared to other race-guns in its class, this is an excellent value. However, if you’re just looking for a 9mm handgun, this may not be for you.

A-
Springfield-Prodigy-Final-Grade

Our Grade

A+

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 3 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Prodigy 9mm Ammo

Range Rounds

Magtech 115 gr FMJ

Working Ammunition

Sig Sauer Elite Performance 380 Auto

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.77
Palmetto State Armory $0.90

Springfield Prodigy Starter Pack

So, you’re planning on picking up a Springfield Prodigy? If so, you’re going to need more than just the gun to make it safely go bang. You’re going to need proper protections, extra mags, and something to clean it with at the end of a long day at the range. Here are our recommendations:

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full-length review.
  • Storage: Check out our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

Springfield Prodigy Accessories

Below we have our top picks of the accessories we recommend for the Springfield Armory Prodigy 1911 to make it even better than it currently is.

Springfield Prodigy 1911 Accessories

Trijicon HD XR Sights
  • Material – Steel
  • Illuminated
  • Tritium night sights
Check Price
DECIBULLZ CUSTOM MOLDED EARPLUGS
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Amazon
Gunfighter Gun Oil Amazon
Agency Optic System Adapter PlateCheck Price

Springfield Prodigy Holsters

At launch, holsters for the Prodigy 1911 DS include offerings from Comp-Tac, BlackPoint Tactical, Crucial Concealment, QVO Tactical, Crossbreed, Mitch Rosen, and DeSantis. Safariland says a holster is coming soon.

Springfield Prodigy 1911 DS Holsters

Comp-Tac International Holster
  • Outside Waistband (OWB)
  • Kydex
  • Great for competition
Check Price
Blackpoint Tactical Mu Holster
  • Outside Waistband (OWB)
  • Kydex
Check Price
Crossbreed Rogue OWB
  • Outside Waistband (OWB) and Inside Waistband (IWB)
  • Kydex
  • Customizable
Check Price
Mitch Rosen 5JR Express Holster
  • Outside Waistband (OWB)
  • Leather
  • Intended for carry
Check Price
Safariland ALS Holster
  • Heavy Duty
  • ALS Retention System
Check Price

Springfield Prodigy Maintenance

A reliable handgun requires regular maintenance and cleaning. We’ve found a great video on breaking down and cleaning your 1911. Check it out below!

Springfield Prodigy 1911 Resources

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Bought two prodigy today shot a box of shells in each one and so far love everything about it I think this is the one I always look for so thinks Springfield

  2. Ryan – what red dot sight do you plan to put on your new Springfield Prodigy 9mm?

    Also, what other changes you plan to make? Is their an extended mag release available for the Prodigy?

    Do have a gunsmith that you would recommend to make the changes?

    I am considering purchasing a Prodigy.

    1. I think I’m going to keep it with iron sights if I keep the firearm. We only like to borrow guns for reviews – if Springfield makes me a deal, I’ll buy it.

  3. Great information! Aside from their individual reviews, how would you compare the SA DS Prodigy vs a P320 X5 Legion? Would be interesting to see how the Prodigy compares to non-1911 double stacks that are also semi-competition oriented. Thanks!

  4. I don’t get excited about 1911s often but this one caught my interest. I saw one at my dealer and handled it. The slide ran like glass.The trigger was smooth and crisp..I’d estimate it around 5 lbs He said he had a few, so don’t worry. I should have, because they sold out when I returned a few days later. My pistol is now on order. I agree with Ryan on Springfield pistols. I’ve found them accurate but kind of utilitarian. It’s a large pistol and I’ll opt for the commander length. I tend to shoot shorter barrel guns better. Go figure. I’m still debating on if I want to put an optic on it.

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