Welcome to Arnzen Arms 50 Round Reviews. This week we are checking out the new Prodigy 4.5 and 5 inch from Springfield Arms.
Springfield has a long history of producing high value, yet reasonably priced 1911s. When we heard they were entering the hicap 1911 / 2011 segment we got really excited. The world really needs a great entry level double stack 1911 and Springfield could rise to the challenge but… they are not there yet with the Prodigy.
Both guns feel well built and only suffer from minor gripes like skinny safeties and gritty triggers. All of which can be excused for the fantastic price point and upgraded with only entry level 1911 brain damage – these guns are not Legos, they require some fitting for parts.
The 4.5 inch gun started strong but began to show reliability issues as we messed around with different ammunition. Most of these malfunctions could be tracked down to the weak point of the system – the magazines. The mag has been a challenge for 2011s since they were first introduced. Don’t take my word for it. Make some popcorn, google “tuning 2011 mags”. And settle in. The supplied factory mag has dimension and spring issues which caused the gun to malfunction. These issues disappeared when we substituted premium magazines. The 5 inch gun was worse and while the premium mags helped, it failed to cycle 124gr American Eagle or Federal Hydrashocks reliably. Both are flat nosed rounds which leads us to believe the short, steep feed ramp in both guns is the culprit. Presenting the bullet higher, adjusting the geometry of the feed ramp or both will solve for most of the feeding issues we experienced.
These are tough guns to make and even tougher guns to mass produce. Despite the early issues Springfield is on to something with the prodigy. At half the price of the competition we think ardent 2011 fans will be able to get behind this new offering and work through the challenges. Those brand-new to double stack 1911s might want to pause until the kinks are worked out.