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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It took a number of years and owning a number of Colts with smooth front straps before I really grasped the significance of 20 lpi front strap checkering. It was shooting the TRP which really opened my mind to the value of this sharp checkering.

I think the TRP can be a great base gun for concealed carry. With the 20 lpi front strap checkering (a highly valued feature to me!) and Novak night sights, beavertail GS, it's got the basics to allow custom upgrades to cherry-picked premium quality small parts, without having to involve the services of a pistol smith, shipping costs, refinishing expense, yada, yada that is typically required when having front strap checkering done after purchase of the pistol.

Mine was acquired a few years ago for around $1200 or so. And I applied some home-done upgrades (all easily reversed, if ever desired), which include:

- Cylinder & Slide Premium grade fire control kit (hammer, sear, disconnector, sear spring)
- EGW Barrel bushing and recoil spring plug
- GI recoil spring set-up (FLGR removed)
- Colt Series 70 Single-sided thumb safety
- Harrison short, solid trigger
- Ed Brown serrated arched mainspring housing (mag well/MSH removed)
- VZ Diamond Back grip panels (these are SHARP, as the front strap checkering is)
- Check-Mate welded-base, 7-round, stainless steel mags with hybrid feed lips and CMF teflon-coated, skirted follower

20 lpi front strap checkering and Diamond Back grips may be a bit too sharp for some people's preference, but these features are priceless to me in a 1911 and lock the pistol incredibly firmly in my hand; the rock-solid stability when firing the pistol works well for me and feels good in the hand. After using this pistol for a time, my other 1911s with bald front straps just don't feel done to me. 20 lpi front strap checking awaits on several of them.

Yes, the TRP was a nice gun as supplied by Springfield, but wth these upgrades, the pistol has morphed into a configuration that really suits my needs in a carry gun very well. Great pistol!









If you're the kind of shooter that likes your pistol grip to bite and lock into your hand, I wholeheartedly recommend 20 lpi front strap checkering and VZ Diamond Back grips. What a huge difference these features make, to me.
 

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Nice piece....a lot of sheriff deputies out here carry them.
 
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When I started shooting my TRP a lot - as in weekly steel matches - that aggressive checkering darn near drew blood! But years later I appreciate what it does for a solid grip on the gun, especially with a .45. Several months ago I got a Range Officer in 9mm for the steel matches - a pretty similar gun, minus the front strap checkering. When drawing quickly, I realized I didn't have a consistently firm grip on the gun because that checkering wasn't there. I took the cheap route for now and there's skateboard tape on the front strap, achieving pretty much the same effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
When I started shooting my TRP a lot - as in weekly steel matches - that aggressive checkering darn near drew blood! But years later I appreciate what it does for a solid grip on the gun, especially with a .45. Several months ago I got a Range Officer in 9mm for the steel matches - a pretty similar gun, minus the front strap checkering. When drawing quickly, I realized I didn't have a consistently firm grip on the gun because that checkering wasn't there. I took the cheap route for now and there's skateboard tape on the front strap, achieving pretty much the same effect.
Smitty: looks like we've got a little AZ group here, friend! I think that for some, it may take time to adjust to the sharpness of 20 lpi checkering. I'm really glad, however, that Springfield felt it wise to choose 20 lpi checkering (vs. 25 lpi or 30 lpi) for the very popular TRP pistol.

Interesting side note, Pete Single now offers 22.5 lpi checkering, for those who want more bite than 25 lpi, but not as much as 20 lpi. Me, I'm sticking with 20 lpi.

.45 auto in defense loadings is a fairly stout load and can easily cause more movement of the gun during firing than many people would like to have. The front strap treatment, along with grips, really solves that movement problem well. And, as you mention, helps give a solid purchase with the draw, as well.

And, yes indeed, skateboard tape does a very good job with helping lock in the grip. I have some of that on the front strap of one of my Commanders. I kind of hate having a cheap-looking fix on a beautiful-looking Commander, but that's merely a cosmetic matter and the tape certainly does the job well, until I can get the pistol to Pete Single for its forever 20 lpi checkering.
 
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She's a beaut, DHart. If you ever decide you can't take care of her anymore, I'll be glad to give her a good home. :icon_wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She's a beaut, DHart. If you ever decide you can't take care of her anymore, I'll be glad to give her a good home. :icon_wink:
Thanks Luke! My plan is to not need to send this to another home anytime soon! :image035: But it's good to know that another potential good "home" is out there.
 

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Looks nice and apparently, you are pleased with function...all is good.
 
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Nice piece....a lot of sheriff deputies out here carry them.
Actually, it was two PCSO deputies in a Pat Rogers course who convinced me to go that route. They both carried the Springer Pro models (like the FBI HRT guns) but I couldn't swing the $2500+. They were aware - as the SA team at the NRA show confirmed - that the TRP is pretty much the same major pieces but with more hand fitting involved. I've got probably 12K or more rounds through mine now, and the only casualty was a broken extractor.
 

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When I started shooting my TRP a lot - as in weekly steel matches - that aggressive checkering darn near drew blood! But years later I appreciate what it does for a solid grip on the gun, especially with a .45. Several months ago I got a Range Officer in 9mm for the steel matches - a pretty similar gun, minus the front strap checkering. When drawing quickly, I realized I didn't have a consistently firm grip on the gun because that checkering wasn't there. I took the cheap route for now and there's skateboard tape on the front strap, achieving pretty much the same effect.
I don't like front strap checkering, vertical serrations like on the S&W 1911s I can deal with, I even put smooth MSH on 1911s that are mostly range guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I don't like front strap checkering, vertical serrations like on the S&W 1911s I can deal with, I even put smooth MSH on 1911s that are mostly range guns.
Nothing wrong with that, at all. Different shooters have different preferences. I was relatively "ok" with smooth front straps for the first years of my 1911 use (Colts, mostly). Then I had a few of those Colts customized, with serrations on the front straps. The serrations improved the traction and were a "step-up" for me in terms of stability in the hand while shooting.

Then, I acquired a few 1911's that had front strap checkering done at the factory (Ed Brown Class A Bobtail Commander, Kimber Compact Defense Pistol). I found the checkering on these to be a nice improvement in traction over the serrations that I had previously upgraded to.

And farther down the road, I bought the TRP with 20 lpi front strap checkering, which was the first pistol I had ever fired with relatively sharp front strap checkering. I found this to be a major step up in terms of traction-in-the-hand.

Finally, I picked up an STI Edge, which also has similarly sharp front strap checkering as the TRP has. And once again, I recognized the substantial difference these front straps offered in terms of rock-solid traction in the hand while firing.

So, for me, it has been a long and gradual transition from bald front-strap 1911s, to serrations, to 25 lpi checkering, and ultimately to more aggressive 20 lpi front strap checkering. And with each incremental increase in traction, I was very pleased.

Each of us ultimately finds the right set-up for our needs in terms of 1911 configurations, whether it be front strap serrations, form factor, grip safeties, thumb safeties, etc. For me... the single-sided Colt Series 70 thumb safety, beavertail grip safety, arched main spring housing, short trigger, aggressive texture grip panels, and aggressive front strap checkering feels "just right".

For others... it may be something completely different. You've got to go down the experience path to find your way.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Actually, it was two PCSO deputies in a Pat Rogers course who convinced me to go that route. They both carried the Springer Pro models (like the FBI HRT guns) but I couldn't swing the $2500+. They were aware - as the SA team at the NRA show confirmed - that the TRP is pretty much the same major pieces but with more hand fitting involved. I've got probably 12K or more rounds through mine now, and the only casualty was a broken extractor.
TRP is a good lower-cost alternative to the Professional. And, as mentioned above, you've got the major basics covered (front strap checkering, Novak nights, lowered/flarred ejection port, beavertail GS) from the get-go, making one's user-defined custom upgrades of small parts relatively easy to do, over time if desired, without requiring expensive refinishing, shipping, pistol smith charges, etc.

Nice to hear that your TRP has performed flawlessly with only an extractor replacement after 12k rounds!

If I were considering buying a TRP today, I would also consider the Colt Wiley Clapp Government model, as well. My only quibble with the Clapp, though, is that I'd prefer the 20lpi checkering on the TRP to the 25 lpi checkering on the Clapp. Otherwise, I think the Clapp probably has higher grade small parts than the TRP has, though it doesn't have night sights and lacks a mag well (which I wouldn't use, personally, anyway). Either one is a great choice.
 

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She's a beaut alright, Dan. :hand10:
 

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She's a beaut alright, Dan. :hand10:
Thank you, OD. :smile:

It's a competent defense pistol, has earned my respect, and I feel blessed to have it. :smile:
 
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Very nice.

The beauty of this genre of handgun is that once you know exactly what you want/need you can custom tailor the gun so that it becomes EXACTLY what is perfect for you.

I have hand checkered a few front straps. It is not all that difficult to do a perfect job.

You really need to take your time though. The finer the checkering the easier it is to mess up.

It is possible to do it on a shoestring. The frame needs to be held rock solid.

I did that by running a length of hardwood (cut to the dimensions of a magazine) all the way through the frame and then clamping the wood into a heavy drill press vise.

I kept that from moving around on my bench with a...."C" clamp.

Some wood shims tapped in between the hardwood and the frame locked that wood into the mag well.

Once you get your first vertical line cut perfectly the remainder of the verticals go like SLOW clockwork.

The checkering file stops cutting once each line reaches the correct depth.

A ZIP-TIE pulled tight around the frame gives you an accurate starting guide for the cross checkering.

And then the checkering gets perfectly pointed up with a triangular riffler file. (also available from Brownell's)

Cold Blue (for a blued frame) works really well.

Degrease. Cold Blue. Then use one of those black handled Stainless toothbrushes to brush in both directions.

The Stainless bristles are softer than the frame steel BTW so that just burnished the bluing.

You need to repeat the Cold Blue process a few times. :yup:

Then I just scrubbed in some Renaissance Wax with a regular toothbrush.

Let that dry and brushed it all again with a dry toothbrush.

And then I put my Wifes toothbrush back into the holder in the bathroom. :rofl:

OK....Just kidding about that last part.

Trying hand checkering is a really good Winter project when you can just take your time...stop and go back to it.

An Opti-Visor with modest magnification really helps especially with the finer checkering but, really it goes mostly by..."feel."

I think most people that do hand checkering do it dry. I did mine with oil which is more messy.

Lots of paper towels handy and a toothbrush to keep the file and the frame clean while working.

It is something that some folks might want to try. :yup:

I am sure that there are YouTube Videos on the process by now.

I just sort of made some of it up as I went along.

NOW...There are 1911 checkering jigs which probably make it pretty much impossible to mess up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very nice.

The beauty of this genre of handgun is that once you know exactly what you want/need you can custom tailor the gun so that it becomes EXACTLY what is perfect for you.

I have hand checkered a few front straps. It is not all that difficult to do a perfect job.

You really need to take your time though. The finer the checkering the easier it is to mess up.

It is possible to do it on a shoestring. The frame needs to be held rock solid.

I did that by running a length of hardwood (cut to the dimensions of a magazine) all the way through the frame and then clamping the wood into a heavy drill press vise.

I kept that from moving around on my bench with a...."C" clamp.

Some wood shims tapped in between the hardwood and the frame locked that wood into the mag well.

Once you get your first vertical line cut perfectly the remainder of the verticals go like SLOW clockwork.

The checkering file stops cutting once each line reaches the correct depth.

A ZIP-TIE pulled tight around the frame gives you an accurate starting guide for the cross checkering.

And then the checkering gets perfectly pointed up with a triangular riffler file. (also available from Brownell's)

Cold Blue (for a blued frame) works really well.

Degrease. Cold Blue. Then use one of those black handled Stainless toothbrushes to brush in both directions.

The Stainless bristles are softer than the frame steel BTW so that just burnished the bluing.

You need to repeat the Cold Blue process a few times. :yup:

Then I just scrubbed in some Renaissance Wax with a regular toothbrush.

Let that dry and brushed it all again with a dry toothbrush.

And then I put my Wifes toothbrush back into the holder in the bathroom. :rofl:

OK....Just kidding about that last part.

Trying hand checkering is a really good Winter project when you can just take your time...stop and go back to it.

An Opti-Visor with modest magnification really helps especially with the finer checkering but, really it goes mostly by..."feel."

I think most people that do hand checkering do it dry. I did mine with oil which is more messy.

Lots of paper towels handy and a toothbrush to keep the file and the frame clean while working.

It is something that some folks might want to try. :yup:

I am sure that there are YouTube Videos on the process by now.

I just sort of made some of it up as I went along.

NOW...There are 1911 checkering jigs which probably make it pretty much impossible to mess up.
OK... I have a lot of respect for you for having done that. Though I have some very modest skills tweaking pistols like the 1911, checkering a front strap is most certainly something that I would want to leave to a specialist, rather than take on myself, in spite of your encouragement and the help of tools such as jigs. I'll leave that to someone like Pete Single and channel my creative energy into writing and playing music. :smile:
 
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I'm embarrass to say this but the was a LGS buddy picking up a TRP and he handled it to me, I try to rack the slide and nothing, thought to my self the safety is on, it wasn't I cocked the hammer and after much effort the slide moved, TRPs are tight.............. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm embarrass to say this but the was a LGS buddy picking up a TRP and he handled it to me, I try to rack the slide and nothing, thought to my self the safety is on, it wasn't I cocked the hammer and after much effort the slide moved, TRPs are tight.............. LOL
Interesting. The slide to frame fit on my TRP is silky smooth; not tight, nor loose. I'm wondering if they are making them tighter these days?
 

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Interesting. The slide to frame fit on my TRP is silky smooth; not tight, nor loose. I'm wondering if they are making them tighter these days?
Could be like the Les Baer's and Springer's Professional Model, Dan, mine were extremely tight, but it was at the barrel slide lock-up and barrel bushing. If you'd placed the slide on the receiver without the barrel, they are very well fitted, and without any vertical or horizontal movement but they slide like they're on glass.
 
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