Springfield Armory cut its teeth making custom crafted 1911s and has been building them since the mid-1980s, and now it’s built a Commander-sized .45 ACP model in the Range Officer Compact. The experience Springfield has gained over the years in fine-tuning 1911 actions and building specialized frames, slides and barrels has also given it the capability to produce a target-grade 1911 for what amounts to little more than the price of a standard pistol. In 2011, the company introduced the Government-sized Range Officer. This initial model provided shooters with a competition-ready .45 ACP for under $1,000. Now they’ve done it a second time with the new Range Officer Compact.

What you have is a pistol that shoots well beyond its price tag, and it even includes a Springfield hard carrying case, an injection-molded paddle holster and a double magazine pouch. The Range Officer Compact is a Commander-sized version designed for either competitive shooting or concealed carry, and it’s fitted with additional upgrades and features that set it apart from the full-size Range Officer model. The Compact uses a polished bull barrel and has dual recoil springs and a full-length guide rod. The 4-inch, match-grade, stainless steel barrel has a fully supported ramp, and the full-length guide rod is surprisingly easy to remove for field stripping. To minimize carry weight, the Springfield Range Officer Compact uses a forged aluminum alloy frame with a durable black hardcoat anodized finish. The Range Officer Compact’s 6.25-inch-long slide is forged carbon steel with a Parkerized finish. This is the same forged national match frame and slide used on the Springfield Trophy Match and TRP models. It provides a precision fit identical to these considerably more expensive 1911s. At the rear are dovetailed, white-dot, low-profile combat sights, and on the business end Springfield has used a raised, dovetailed blade with a red fiber-optic insert.

Although leaning more toward a concealed carry sidearm, the Range Officer Compact is equally suited for competition. The beavertail grip safety, extended lightweight trigger and flat mainspring housing make it a very comfortable pistol to hold for extended periods. Look for a full review of Springfield Armory’s Range Officer Compact in an upcoming issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS.

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