So you think the SA TRP is better eh? Well, lets see...

So you think the SA TRP is better eh? Well, lets see...

This is a discussion on So you think the SA TRP is better eh? Well, lets see... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was so perturbed about the SW1911TA issues I posted about that when Shooters Depot offered me within $200 of what I had in the ...

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Thread: So you think the SA TRP is better eh? Well, lets see...

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    So you think the SA TRP is better eh? Well, lets see...

    I was so perturbed about the SW1911TA issues I posted about that when Shooters Depot offered me within $200 of what I had in the S&W, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I traded for a SA TRP.

    I’m just gonna say this out loud and up front, I really don't see what all the excitement over SA is about. And talk about over-priced. I mean I’m sure it’s a good gun, but I really don’t see anything exceptional about it, but nonetheless I am going to say some good things about it.


    right side by ron.0000, on Flickr


    left side plus mag by ron.0000, on Flickr

    I shot 100 rounds through it without a single problem. That’s not a lot of shooting of course, but it’s good that right out of the box, it had no problems in the first 100 rounds.

    From handling and shooting it, it seems to feed rounds really well and positive.

    The ambi thumb safety is nothing special but it has a good snick on and off. I think it’s a bit heavy on the down stroke and may adjust that a bit.

    And it’s accurate, as you’ll see shortly. Even though the trigger breaks at 6 lbs, it is a very clean break and that helps some to compensate for the heavy pull. The hammer is a really skeletonized which will provide a comparatively fast lock time.

    And it’s pretty in a tactical way. Speaking of tactical, I love the grip. The front strap is just a bit aggressive. It has 20 lpi checkering and if you were to shoot this enough, say at a school or just a lot in a session, I have no doubt you’d feel it before long. Most have 30 lpi on the front strap which is probably about as good without the bite over time. But, having said that, from a tactical sense, I like the front strap on the TRP. In a SD situation it will provide and outstanding purchase on the pistol and in a SD situation you won’t be shooting enough to make your hand raw. So plus one for the front strap.

    The MSH, is checked at 30 lpi. I guess they figure you don’t need as much grip there?? Ahhhh, and the grips – outstanding grip to them. Not too aggressive but very grippy – another plus for the TRP.

    I like mag chutes; they’re tactical and gamey. They aren’t for everyone, but the TRP comes with one and I like them; they really don’t add that much size to the gun. A full-size 1911 is already big.

    It comes with Trijicon NS in a Novak format and again I for the life of me can’t figure out what all the ado is about Novak sights. The rear sight is made wrong for tactical purposes. Oh, I know, the ‘no-snag’ is played up, but that’s about as deep as a sheet of paper. There’s no way you can use the rear sight to rack the slide with one hand.

    The TRP has a full-length guide rod and whether you approve or not, that’s what it comes with, and this particular design is horrible. You have to have an allen wrench to remove the guide rod. If you can’t remove the guide rod, field stripping is gonna be a chore. I believe it could be done, but it wouldn’t be pleasant or easy.

    Ok, lets go a little deeper. If you think Kimbers are over-priced, you just met your match. My Tactical Pro Kimbers have everything the TRP does – everything, and the Tactical Pro with Al frame goes for $1089 and the TRP for $310 more. And I didn’t have to finish the parts in my Kimbers. Yeah, that’s coming – about two hours of work to get the inside of the TRP right. And lots of pics to prove the point.

    If I may interject this here, I’ve seen the insides of three Kimbers, a S&W E series, and one of SA’s best, the TRP, and I’m here to say Kimber beats them all by far, it’s not even close in fit and finish work. All the work I did on my S&W and on this SA TRP was already done on all three of my Kimbers, right up to bevels on the disconnector spring leaf.

    Ok, for the pretty pics. Realize this is really small stuff and very hard to get a good focus on, but hopefully good enough for our purposes.

    First, the rear of the trigger bow - not bad, but still scored. This is caused by the sharp edges of the disconnector that contact the trigger bow:


    rear of trigger bow by ron.0000, on Flickr

    I did polish this up a bit, but didn't make a pic of the end result.

    Next the disconnector, first the side that contacts the trigger bow:


    trigger bow side of disconnector by ron.0000, on Flickr

    Partially polished:


    bow face of disconnector with polish started by ron.0000, on Flickr

    and finished (but not cleaned up yet ) :


    polished disconnector - bow side by ron.0000, on Flickr

    This didn't turn out so good - hard to get the camera to focus on the tips of the spring, but here's the spring leafs, esp. the disconnector leaf. The problem is, it's neither beveled, rolled, or polished.


    spring as found by ron.0000, on Flickr

    I did the work on it - took a while, but the pic didn't turn out in focus so I don't have a pic of the finished product.

    Next is the slide edge that contacts the disconnector. I had to polish the disconnector face that contacts this point as well. Here's what it looked like. And notice all the machining marks.


    Slide - disconnector run - as found by ron.0000, on Flickr

    I went pretty light on this, but the edge is rolled a bit and it is polished:


    disconnector run broken and polished by ron.0000, on Flickr

    The main spring is not captured and has some big conglomeration of a hammer strut cap…never seen anything like it. I presume it’s part of the ‘safety lock’ system. You suppose we have to pay extra for that? Kimber doesn’t have that you know.

    The top of the trigger had machine marks on it, small ones, but there. I polished them out.

    After it was all done, and I'm not saying I'm finished, but close, the trigger pull weight dropped from a touch over 6 lbs to 5-1/8 lbs. Right at a lb lighter by just finishing the gun as SA should have. I will take it down to 4 lbs tomorrow.

    Even at 6 lbs, the gun is a shooter. Here's some pics. These were after I got warmed up to the gun a bit.

    Here's three shots @ 7 yds:


    3 shots 7 yds #2 by ron.0000, on Flickr

    here's 5 shots on another target @ 7 yds. The Shoot-n-C (black and yellow target) was at 15 yds. It wasn't bad, but I had pretty much lost focus by then:


    Five shots a 7 yds by ron.0000, on Flickr

    Last two pics in the next post.
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    Here's two three shot groups @ 10 yds; I tried to circle the two groups:


    target #5 two 3 shot groups @ 10 yds copy by ron.0000, on Flickr

    And here's that same group compared to a penny:


    target #5 two 3 shot groups @ 10 yds compared to a penny by ron.0000, on Flickr
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    This is a interesting write up, thanks for taking the time to share it. It also mirrors my thoughts and experiences with Springfield. I had a loaded micro that took a lot of work to get running right, but once did, it was an impressive machine. I was also given a TRP operator direct from Springfield... it was a clunker out of the box. It embarrassed Springfield a lot, as it was supposed to be a range/demo gun for the classes I was doing at the time. I used it for a while to demonstrate that price does not equate skill or reliability. But, once I put the effort into the gun to make it right, that thing was awesome. Its still one of my very favorite guns to shoot.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Hey Tangle - Sorry for all your recent troubles...seems you're getting a lot of unwanted gunsmithing practice.

    You must really like that 1911 trigger to put up with all that nonsense.

    Question - if your Kimbers were so great, why are you venturing into other makes of 1911?

    I'll also thank you for saving me a lot of money and aggravation, by convincing me that any idea I may have about getting a 1911 some day...nope, not for me.

    Good luck with it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I'll also thank you for saving me a lot of money and aggravation, by convincing me that any idea I may have about getting a 1911 some day...nope, not for me.
    You're turning a cold shoulder on the entire platform because he got a bad one? That don't make a whole lotta sense...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Hey Tangle - Sorry for all your recent troubles...seems you're getting a lot of unwanted gunsmithing practice.

    You must really like that 1911 trigger to put up with all that nonsense.
    Well, to be honest, the finishing work is a nice distraction right now for me. I shouldn't have to be doing it, but it hasn't been frustrating at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    ...Question - if your Kimbers were so great, why are you venturing into other makes of 1911?
    What a great question! When I posted I bought a Kimber, I caught a lot of flak about Kimbers. Probably rightfully so, as Kimbers under Cohen did have some problems for a while. I broke it down just like I did these but there was nothing to do - it had already been done by Kimber.

    There was talk about how great non-Kimbers were, and how much cheaper they are than Kimber, etc. So I decided to try a non-Kimber brand and see what all the fuss was about. I had read a number of articles about the S&W E series and how great it was, how it is Smith's Enhanced 1911, etc., so I figured this would be a tough comparison for the Kimber Tactical Pro. They cost almost the same and I had some guns to trade and I got a little cash for extra school duties this summer and traded for the S&W. Well, you see how that turned out.

    So, I think what about SA, a lot of people were talking about them being so much better than Kimber and less expensive. Well the local gun shop had a TRP, so I figured I'd had enough of S&W and decided to trade for the praised TRP. Well, it cost over $300 more than my comparable Kimber Tactical Pro and offered no more at all. In fact, you see what I had to do to bring up to the grade of a stock, out of the box Kimber.

    So in a head-to-head test and eval, I found my Kimbers to be far superior to the E series and the TRP. I'm gonna tear a Kimber down an make some comparison pics tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    ...I'll also thank you for saving me a lot of money and aggravation, by convincing me that any idea I may have about getting a 1911 some day...nope, not for me.
    There is no aggrevation with Kimber. They'll be out of the box everything and more than my 'customized' TRP is now. The only thing I've done to my Kimbers is reduce the trigger pull to 3.5, 4, and 4.25 lbs and they were pretty close to that to start with.

    Sometimes the stock Kimber mags give a problem; my 7 haven't. Well, they do scratch the aluminum frames a bit, but it's really only a cosmetic thing and on the inside where it really doesn't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    ...Good luck with it!
    You're tellin' me! Although, it's already in my mind - if there was a fs Kimber available locally, I'd trade this TRP for it in a flash. Actually it wouldn't cost me much to trade because the TRP costs so much more than the Kimber, well depending on which model, but I'd probably go with a full size Al frame. It would still be probably $200 less than the TRP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xader View Post
    You're turning a cold shoulder on the entire platform because he got a bad one? That don't make a whole lotta sense...
    It'a not just one bad one. I don't know that we could even call it bad, but it isn't good either. And while mine is just one, it has to be typical of the way S&W and SA are manufacturing guns right now.

    But I agree with your point and I agree with 10thmtn too. I can see why he wouldn't want a gun that was manufactured like the S&W E series or the SA TRP. But that goes away with Kimber; they may just be the best bang for the buck in 1911s.
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    Good report Tangle, bad that you've had to go through this. Looking forward to reading more, and especially pictures of the internals and small parts. Some claim the TRS and Professional are basically the same gun, except for finish and fitting, Dave Williams doesn't agree with them but he's only the head of Springfield Custom Shop, what would he know?

    I already see one internal that is different.
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    I'm with 10thmtn here. I was really leaning towards picking up a new 1911 after all these years of being without them. But this got me to thinking and remembering all the reasons I left them to begin with in the first place.

    I now realize I made the right decision choosing the Glock. For the same money, I can have two reliable, pistols that require no tweaking or anything.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xader View Post
    You're turning a cold shoulder on the entire platform because he got a bad one? That don't make a whole lotta sense...
    It's not just that. For me, a 1911 would be just a range gun (ie, a fun toy), but I would never carry it because of many factors (too large for my needs, too heavy, and I just don't like thumb safeties, etc).

    For the money, I could buy 2+ of something else, that would potentially see carry duty. I just do not have the disposable income to buy a range toy right now, and I certainly do not have Tangle's skills nor patience - which I commend him for.

    There's just a lot to know in buying a 1911, and it seems from Tangle's experience that you cannot just assume that an expensive name brand is any good. That's a shame, since it would be nice to get a mil-spec one (maybe with better sights and an ambi safety) just for the historical significance of the 1911. I'm just not willing to go through all the research and effort right now - can't afford it anyway.

    Besides - I probably can use more training than more guns right now, anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xader View Post
    You're turning a cold shoulder on the entire platform because he got a bad one? That don't make a whole lotta sense...
    Yah I know! We could sure use a dislike button! LOL......
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    Unfortunately, not all 1911s are created equal, but it would be utterly foolish to dismiss the platform out of hand.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    I appreciate all of your reviews and the fact you are purchasing and testing different platforms. I tease you about kimber, but the reviews are great and even better that you also know how to smooth out and polish a nice trigger job.

    10thmtn, I love my 1911A1 style 1911. No bells and whistles. Reliable rattle trap that goes bang every time. After I modded the MSH, replaced the springs and did a trigger job and polish, and add some nice grips she is a beautiful shooter. However it is a safe queen. My G29 weighs the same and gets 4 more rounds in it than the 1911 does and I can run it bone dry as a bone with all kinds of AZ sand in it, and it still fires, whereas my 1911 can experience some issues from time to time if run bone dry. When I am not carrying my snubby I grab the glock, it makes more sense especially when I can grab 15 or 20rd backup mags and throw them in my pocket. modern technology and magazine capacity has made that possible for me. The 1911 is a fine platform and served a glorious time honored job as a workhorse for the US military and military units worldwide, however a lot of people choose to still carry the 1911 because it is a fine carry piece. Not only that, but it is a bit nostalgic, it is a beautiful weapon and it just feels like it belongs in your hand. The cartridge is proven, and there are so many modifications and customizations you can make to personalize it, that the 1911 is truly something that you can build as a unique weapon to you, as opposed to a glock which is one size fits all, one style fits all. Don't sell them short. Go buy one. Everyone should have a 1911 in their collection. I carried mine for over 10 years before I gradually gravitated to the glock platform.


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    Good thread Tangle.
    I don't know WHY it is that these gun makers can't ever seem to install a perfect disconnector.
    It's a critical part.
    There are only about 20 high quality aftermarket parts people producing flawless ones.

    Popping one of those in would only add $20. to the bottom line.

    I always stone all of the machine marks off the flat of the disconnector run.
    And while you're at it...the bottom of the slide rails could do for some judicious polishing.

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    Guys, what two guns can you buy for $719? You can by a Kimber Pro Carry with Al frame, weighs 28 oz with empty mag, and you won't have to do a thing to it. I haven't done anything to my three Kimbers except lower the trigger pull a bit and that's easier and cheaper than putting a connector in a Glock. A gen 4 Glock around here is going for $525 - that's only $195 difference. The G21, i.e. .45ACP is probably a little more, so the difference is much less.

    Don't get good 1911s confused with not so good ones. I KNOW Kimbers are good, at least the current ones.

    I'm goin' to shoot the TRP again now; I set the trigger to 4.25 lbs and can't wait to try it again!
    I'm too young to be this old!
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