I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Springfield Armory RO Elite Operator, chambered in 10mm. Just announced today, Springfield expands the already popular model line with the addition of the 10mm.
From their product page:
The Springfield Armory RO® Elite series ups the ante in power with the introduction of its newest model in 10mm.
The RO Elite features premium upgrades in the popular 10mm caliber for shooters interested in competition, hunting or personal defense. It features a 5-inch forged match grade stainless steel barrel with a fully supported chamber and a forged steel frame and slide that are precision-fit for fluid-smooth function. Coated in Black-T®, this highly corrosion resistant self-lubricating treatment is built to withstand the most punishing conditions, and is the same treatment specified on Springfield Armory 1911s built for the FBI’s SWAT and Hostage Rescue Teams. Equipped with an 18.5 lb. recoil spring, the RO Elite 10mm is well-balanced and soft shooting, taming the power of the hottest 10mm loads. A Picatinny rail allows operators to attach accessories, and slanted serrations on the front and the rear of the slide encourage easy manipulation of the slide.
The forged slide and frame, the heart and soul of Springfield Armory 1911s, sets this gun apart from competitors’ cast models on the market by surpassing them in both strength and durability. Early attempts in the firearms industry to make a 10mm pistol fell short due to these firearms inability to endure the abuse from the pressure of this cartridge. Springfield Armory engineers specifically designed the RO Elite 10mm to offer superior performance in the face of repeated recoil and have built an incredibly strong 1911 that will last lifetimes.
A tactical rack white-dot rear sight allows for single-handed operation of the slide should the need arise. The fiber optic front sight provides quick and effortless target acquisition.
Springfield Armory’s crisp Gen 2 speed trigger, ambidextrous thumb safety, and custom thin-line G-10 grips were designed specifically for the RO series and add premium features to the time tested 1911 platform.
The RO Elite 10mm – Forged in the fire of disciplined craftsmanship.
To get us started, here are the specs:
18.5 lb GI Style
Fiber Optic Front, Tactical Rack Rear
Forged Steel, Black-T® Finish w/ Ball Cut & Front Serrations
5″ Stainless Steel Match Grade, Full Supported, 1:16
Forged Steel, Black-T® Finish, Ambi Safety, Integral Rail
(2) 8-Round, Stainless Steel
Let’s start off with a simple fact about myself; I’m a polymer gun guy. I love them and think that they do the job. But man, nothing will ever compare to holding a forged steel firearm and feeling the fantastic weight behind it.
The beauty that is the 1911-style firearm will never go out of style as far as I’m concerned. Springfield did a fantastic job with this line, and it truly is a sight to behold.
At just over 2 pounds, like a 1911 should be, it manages the recoil of the hefty 10mm round quite efficiently. Sure there’s recoil, but the firearm has some weight behind it to make it manageable.
The trigger is crisp and precise, and is what we’ve come to expect from a Springfield 1911.
Like your standard 1911, the firearm comes with a grip safety that needs to be depressed in order to pull the trigger back. Some complain about it but if you’re working with a proper grip, you really shouldn’t even notice that it’s there.
The grip itself feels amazing on the hand, and is very comfortable while shooting.
Of course there’s an accessory rail that allows you to add many different options to the front of your firearm, such as a laser or flashlight.
If your front sight becomes bum or you want a different color, they give you that option in the box. I prefer the green on the front sight, but that’s just me. It seems to come standard with the red, or at least that’s what I received.
I have never owned a 10mm handgun, so this was my first. I’ve shot them before, but never really enjoyed it because of the recoil. With the 1911 platform, it was much better managed. The firearm sent roughly 200 rounds down range, and not a single hiccup occurred. My shots weren’t fantastic in the early stages but once I figured out how the firearm responded, I was able to get the shots on target. But that’s all me. Not the gun.
One of the range employees fired it as well, and had much better luck with hitting the bulls-eye than I did. He’s a master with 10mm compared to myself, as well as the bigger-framed handguns. With this one, he was enjoying it an incredible amount and wanted to keep shooting all day.
For this line, which already included a 9mm and 45ACP version, the 10mm is going to be a favorite for many people, and a welcomed edition to the already popular Range Officer Elite line.
It’s a beauty, it’s accurate, and it’s made to last.