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I Carry: Springfield Armory Prodigy 9 mm 1911 Double-Stack Pistol in a DeSantis Holster

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Firearm: Springfield Armory Prodigy (MSRP: $1,499)

It would be interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at the R&D at Springfield Armory. The company has been offering standard 1911s for a long time, and added the polymer-frame, striker-fired XD series more than two decades ago. Recently, though, Springfield has been adding new, different pistols like crazy, from the Hellcat micro-9 mm double-stack to the attention-getting SA-35 Hi Power clone. Now, though, we have the Prodigy, a double-stack … 1911?

It’s not hard to understand why this idea sounded good on paper. The 1911 has always been lauded for its exceptional single-action trigger. With the active thumb safety and passive grip safety, the 1911 design can have a lighter trigger pull than a comparable striker-fired design and still maintain a high degree of safety. The drawback to the 1911 has been capacity, with even 9 mm versions holding only 9 or 10 rounds in a magazine compared to 17 or more in comparably sized polymer-frame pistols.

This is where the Prodigy comes in (and, to be far, numerous other 1911 and 2011 designs like the Staccato we’ve featured previously on “I Carry”). With a double-stack magazine and 1911 controls, the Prodigy combines the best of both worlds, offering 17 rounds in a flush-fit magazine and 20 rounds in a slightly extended variant. Capacity? You’ve got it. Smooth single-action trigger? Also got it. Now, this does come at somewhat of a cost—even the Commander-size model we have here weighs 32.5 ounces and is 7.8 inches long. That’s almost half a pound heavier than a Glock G17, although the Prodigy is slightly shorter. It’s certainly possible to carry the Prodigy, of course, it just involves a little more thought given to cover garments.

Especially noteworthy on the Prodigy is the optics mounting system. Partnered with Agency Arms, the company’s excellent AOS system is used to add powered optics to the Prodigy. More than just a slide cut, this system pairs a footprint-specific plate with an integrated rear sight that sits as low on the slide as a dedicated optics cut. It allows the user to swap from iron sights to red-dot without losing zero, and changing out optics is simple. It’s robust, easy to use and pretty much foolproof; the only downside from my point of view is the need for four screws (two to mount the plate to the slide, two to mount the optic to the plate). This is common with a lot of multi-optic systems, and isn’t a bad thing other than requiring a little more attention to make sure none of the screws loosen.

Holster: DeSantis Speed Scabbard Holster (MSRP: $86.99)

Since the Prodigy is so new, and has dimensions that don’t work with traditional 1911 holsters, we opted for the DeSantis Holsters Speed Scabbard specifically designed for the Prodigy. The double-stack design can wreak havoc with traditional 1911 holsters, and the squared trigger guard will preclude even those generously enough sized for the larger width. In short, you need a holster custom designed for the Prodigy. Fortunately, the good folks at DeSantis have done just that.

We’ve covered the Speed Scabbard before, noting its adjustable retention and straight-drop and butt-forward carry options. It’s a traditional leather design with custom molding and reinforced seams to carry the weight of a 1911 all day long, even a double-stack like the Prodigy. The Speed Scabbard is available in black or tan, for right- or left-handed shooters and for a variety of handguns. 

Optic: Springfield Armory Dragonfly (MSRP: $249)

Since the Prodigy has the Agency AOS optics cut, we wanted to feature it with a red-dot sight attached. We’ve opted for the Hex Optics Dragonfly optic, also from Springfield Armory, to complement the Prodigy’s modern touches in addition to its 1911 heritage. The Dragonfly features a 3.5-MOA dot with manual brightness adjustment in a 6061-T6 aluminum housing rated for IPX7 water resistance.

Additional features of the Dragonfly include an auto-off function that turns off power if the unit is motionless more than 16 hours. This gives the unit a claimed run time life of 100,000 hours on the lowest setting, which Springfield says should translate into roughly three years of real-life use. Eight power levels are available to best suit the dot brightness to your task. The Dragonfly also comes with a Picatinny rail mount, hex wrenches and three sets of screws to mount the optic to your pistol.

Article by JAY GRAZIO

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