How to make a TRP look even better!
By James Nicholas
Since I work on other people guns every day have you ever wondered what the gunsmith would to to their own guns? Well to tell the truth I work on guns everyday and when it comes to my personal guns not all of them are fully tricked it and most are in factory condition. Its hard to take the time out and push my own work to the front of the line. But I have had this itch and I wanted to add a Springfield Armory TRP 1911 to my collection. Now this TRP would not only be in my collection but added to my carry rotation as a carry pistol. I ordered the TRP directly from Springfield Armory so I had a couple of days to think about what I wanted in my new carry pistol. The TRP from the factory is a more than capable pistol that is both accurate and reliable. The TRP extractor has been beveled, the barrel throated and feed ramp smoothed for reliability. The frame, slide barrel and bushing are match parts for accuracy. Springfield adds night sights, ambidextrous thumb safeties, a magwell, G10 Grips with front and rear checkering for usability.
With the long list of factory features I only had a couple of things that I wanted to change and upgrade. My requirements were that everything had to be competed in just one day. With the 4th of July weekend coming I made sure to have all my customer work done leaving me one day to work on my own pistol. This limited me on doing things like beveling the crown of the barrel, something like this could always be done at a latter time. I also tested the extractor and it came beveled from the factory and already worked with both carry and practice ammo I had on had so there was no need to touch it. I also decided to leave the checking alone since it made the gun aggressively stick in your hand.
So my list for the day did include a Trigger Job, while the trigger was perfectly serviceable I wanted to clean it up. There was a detectable grinding creep that I just had to get rid of. When you pulled the trigger you would take up the slack and get to the point where the trigger would release the hammer. But right when you got to that point there was a slight grinding you can feel right before the hammer would let go. I also preformed a slight melt job on the frame and slide to get rid of all the sharp edges. When you carry and use the pistol those rounded edges just feel better and don't want to cut you hands as much. I cut the tip of the slide stop to be just below the surface of the frame and chamfered the hole in the frame. I did this so it would not get in the way of my trigger finger when it was not on the trigger. I can now rest my finger right on the hole for the slide stop on the frame as an index point. I then polished both the factory barrel throating and frame feed ramps. While both areas were smooth from the factory 10 minutes of work and both areas were now mirror smooth just adding in the reliability.
The TRP comes with a black Armory Kote, but for me it was just a little too shiny overall for my taste. And you want something that looks custom right, so I wanted a tactical two tone look. I refinished the slide and all the small parts in KG Gunkote flat black for a meaner look. The frame was coated in a custom mix of KG Gunkote flat light grey and flat black. I mixed it so it would match the grey in the G10 grips that came with the TRP.
The last upgrade was a set of Truglo TFX sights they are like night and day compared to the factory Springfield night sights. These sights are both fiber optics and nights sights at the same time and are so easy for your eyes to pick up. After putting this beast back together I took her to the range to test her out. This range trip was to break the pistol in, remember that the slide, frame, barrel and bushing are match parts. These parts are tight from the factory and make for an accurate pistol. When I refinished the slide and frame it made them even tighter and you have to wear the pistol in. Basically I had to oil the rails and work the slide on the frame back and forth. So at the range I had to shoot one round and the slide would stick, I would smack the slide with my palm and load a new round. I did this six times but by rounds 7 and 8 I was able to get a double tap in. After the first six rounds the finish on the rails have self lapped each other and the TRP works like nothing else. I shot about a 100 rounds with a handful each of different range/practice ammo and had no issues. I then moved onto a 50 round box of my favorite carry ammo Winchester Ranger 230 Gr Bonded and even with the the Rangers wide hollow point tip it worked with no issues at all. Now its off to clean the pistol and carry it for the holiday weekend. What way to celebrate the 4th of July!