My trend of buying guns this past year concluded with one of the best purchases I’ve made in 30 some years of shooting. If I had to pick the “best” pistol I’ve owned prior to this, it would be a tie between the Fort Smith Walther PPK and my 1917-issued Webley MkVI revolver. I spotted one of these before they became a big thing in the gun mags (by about a week) in my local gun store and after playing with it, plunked down money I really didn’t want to spend. I like the idea of a double-stack 1911. I’d shot a friend’s Para-Ordinance back in the 1990s and it had run like a dream with little recoil and solid accuracy, but it was heavy. I’d been thinking of a Rock Island 10mm double stack for a while — it’s hard to beat that price and RAI 1911s have never given me an issue.

I bought the commander-length 4.25″ Prodigy and got it for a hair under MSRP, and mitigated some of the price with a trade. At $1400, it’s the most expensive pistol I’ve bought (though the Chiappa modified for 10mm gets close.) Fit and finish are great. It’s a nice deep black, silky-smooth Ceracote finished with minimal lettering on the slide — Springfield Armory on one side, Prodigy on the other; there’s also a DS on the frame near the nose. The pistol uses a unique method to cut the weight and make the pistol incredibly thin for a double-stack 1911 (or 2011, os there, STI!) The frame is steel, but the grip is polymer and shifts the weight, even when loaded, to the front of the pistol. It’s just a hair heavier than my SA-35 with 17 rounds in it.

The design makes for a very controllable handgun with muzzle flip practically eliminated. The trigger is better than most stock 1911s and was pretty damned close to the weight and smoothness of the Staccato P I shot a few months back. The trigger breaks at 5 lbs., with no take-up, and nice crisp wall, and a solid, audible reset you can feel. The Prodigy features an ambi-safety — a must for a 1911 with a upswept beavertail, if you are a leftie. I’ve shot enough 1911s that using my trigger finger to pop the magazine and hit the slide stop is second nature, but an ambi safety is a must. The magazines that came with it are a 17 and a 20-round each, but 26-round extended magazines let you compete or play at being John Wick. The pistol will use Staccato magazines, supposedly. The 17 round is “flush”, which is bullshit — it hangs a quarter inch or so belong the magwell. I wouldn’t mind a 15 round that’s actually flush and would make carrying the Prodigy a bit easier.

The trigger guard is squared and undercut near the magazine release, and there are no finger grooves (which I hate!). The grip texture is tremendous. It’s subtle yet really sticks to the hand or glove, without tearing your hand up. Springfield calls it the “adaptive grip texture” and they use it on the Hellcat. It’s simply the best grip texture I’ve held on a pistol. After over a thousand rounds, the grip screws have not backed out. I kind of want it on my Walther PPQ.

Another “big deal” is the slide is cut for an optic. I have not joined the red dot brigade. i understand why some like them, but I haven’t found them to be any faster than iron sights. Your mileage may vary. The cut and plate system was developed i with Agency Arms, and the Prodigy uses their Agency Optic System (AOS) plates. The AOS plates have an integrated rear sight for the best possible sight picture. Each pistol comes with one AOS plate and a cover that also includes an integrated rear sight. You can order sights for other systems from Springfield. The cover/rear sight managed to back out it’s screws a bit after 1000 rounds and needs a torx wrench to tighten…which the pistol doesn’t come with. It’s got the AOS plate and cover, it’s god the hex wrenches for the grip module and the spring guide rod, but not the cover. Boo, Springfield.

The sights! Mine has a green fiber-optic front and a U-notch rear. It’s very quick to pick up and shoot with accuracy. At 20 yards, unsupported, I was getting 2-3″ groups with no work at all. I found it really likes a 6 o’clock hold; I hit consistently a bit high with it, but when drawing and reflex shooting it’s drilling right where I want.

Central to the pistol is the bushingless bull barrel. The guide rod for the main spring is a two-piece, and after a few hundred rounds has a tendency to work its way a little loose. A swap to a single guide rod is probably a good idea. That’s my only real complaint with the pistol and a quick aftermarket fix. (Or I just thumb tighten the thing every once in a while.) The recoil spring feels a bit light to me, and apparently there have been a few issues with the 5″ version binding up a bit, but I’ve had zero malfunctions in 1000+ rounds put through this Prodigy. I suspect the 5″ guns ship with the Hex red dot and that probably slows the cycle and causes some issues.

I spent a couple of weeks shooting it side-by-side with the SA-35, which is a great shooting pistol. The Prodigy has less recoil and better accuracy (and didn’t have teething issues like the SA-35)…it’s just a superlative weapon for about half the price of a Staccato. Side-by-side with my Walther PPQ, one of the best shooting polymer 9mms with a superb trigger — the Prodigy is heavy, but it’s much more controllable and accurate.

If you’re coming away with the impression I like this weapon, you’re wrong. This is easily my favorite 9mm handgun. Better than my beloved PPQ or the equally good CZ P10C. Better than my long-time favorite, the CZ-85 or the SA-35. Better than the superb Kimber Camp Guard 1911 in 10mm. (Man! A 10mm Prodigy…please!) It’s good enough I’m willing to put up with the weight and carry it, if I’m not rocking the little PPK.

I was able to get a DeSantis Pegasus (the Cazzuto) kydex holster for it with no issues. It’s an excellent holster with a paddle that’s not too wide — as many are — and pretty minimalist. Tension screws adjust the tightness, but after jumping up and down with it on, the pistol stayed put. It is adjustable for cant. The cut is for a 5″ 1911, so I might have to dremel that down a bit, but the pistol rides well, with the weight firmly in the body of the holster, not at the grip where it can try to bend outwards, and though it pokes out a bit (see my comment on a real “flush” magazine), it conceals well under a coat.

Man, do I want one of these in 10mm.

In the box is the pistol, a zip bag with two allen wrenches and the optic plate (but not a torx wrench), a 17 and 20 round magazine, and the usual cloth Springfield pistol case that can carry the pistol and two extra magazines. There’s the usual paperwork and guide book, and the government-mandated trigger lock.

So is it worth it? $1400 is a lot of dosh to throw around, and it’s cost another $100 or so to pick up a few 17 round mags if you’re thinking of carry the Prodigy. If you are a competition shooting, it’s definitely worth a look, especially priced against it’s competition (with the exception of the double stack Rock Islands — don’t make that face; they work.) To carry? It’s more expensive, and a bit bigger and heavier than many (and probably better) choices like the Hellcat, Shield, Glock 19 or P10C, but it’s still smaller in the 4.25″ than a Glock 17. For a bedside gun, especially if you have old eye and want a red dot? This is a damned good choice. It really comes down to budget. If you can afford a grand and a half for a pistol, and you want an excellent weapon, do it. If you’re budget driven, not so much.