First, the Walther Creed and now the Springfield Prodigy. What’s Next? The Kimber Daft Punk? (Okay, I think I got all of the jokes out of my system.)
The new Prodigy 1911 DS is about to go public Saturday (September 3rd) with Springfield’s “Unlock Greatness” giveaway.
Note 1 – This is not Springfield’s first widebody pistol. Besides their Custom Shop Raceguns built on Caspian and STI doublestack frames, they also once imported IMBEL MD1 & MD2 pistols and frames from Brazil. The latter was a chunky clone of the Para-Ordnance widebody frame compatible with the same magazines. They also briefly collaborated with Bul Armory for what was going to be dubbed the XM4. This deal collapsed with the signing of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban.
Note 2 – Pricing is aimed squarely at undercutting the Staccato 2011 and Bul SAS-series. Suggested retail ranges from $1,499 to $1,699, depending upon whether the optional Hex Dragonfly red dot optic is mounted to the slide.
Note 3 – Springfield has applied for trademarks on “Prodigy” and “1911 DS”. I would argue that the latter is too generic, being community shorthand for a 1911 widebody frame. However, who knows what the USPTO will think. On the other hand, the name “Prodigy” is already in use by Alchemy Custom Weaponry (ACW) for one of their single stack custom M1911 models. ACW had begun using the name at least two months before Springfield filed with the USPTO. ACW proprietor Rob Schauland is not amused by this development, and has openly accused Springfield of stealing new design features and other intellectual property.
Note 4 – Of course, Springfield will not publicly acknowledge their vendors for the new frame. However, one should note that known Springfield supplier Dasan Machineries of South Korea has had a Strayer-Tripp modular frame clone, the DHP9P, available for a few years now. Dasan had even once been a subcontractor for STI a few years prior to its reorganization as Staccato.
Note 5 – The Prodigy’s magazines are what is really raising hope among owners of Strayer-Tripp modular frame pistols. Older STI magazines were made in-house. and were hit or miss with reliability. They typically required aftermarket gunsmith tuning and constant readjustment. Staccato changed to an outside magazine vendor, and is currently on a third generation design which has eliminated most of the complaints about reliability. However, these magazines are pricey. Aftermarket MBX-brand magazines are even more so.
Springfield is reportedly farming out their magazines to Duramag (C-Products). If the new magazines combine reliable function with a lower price point, they will have a winner.
Note 6 – Is it just me, or are those slide serrations -really- deep? Maybe it won’t be a problem with standard pressure 9x19mm, but I suspect there will be slide cracking and breakages in anything heavier.
Note 7 – Perhaps this will be the impetus to get Dan Wesson to finally release the DWX, or Kimber to complete their patent-pending widebody? I’m a bit surprised that Ruger hasn’t tried to at least offer a Custom Shop version of the Caspian widebody, which Ruger pours at their Pine Tree Casting facility.