Tag Archives: 10mm

Springfield Armory 10mm TRP Operator – Out of the Box

A few months ago while hiking in the Smokies, we got up close and personal with some black bears including a sow with cubs. Neither encounter was planned of course. We were about half to three fourths of the way back to the parking area from Laurel Falls and it was near dusk when my daughter rounded the bend of the trail and shouted out “bear”. Not what I was expecting.

I went to the front of the line and saw a juvenile just as startled as we were about 50 feet ahead. I had drawn my 9mm SIG P365 that was loaded with Critical Duty +P ammo but also knew it was woefully under-powered and was literally praying that I would not need it even though Critical Duty is supposed to have some degree of barrier penetration. I was telling the bear firmly to go away and we made a bunch of noise. The bear really had a “oh crap it’s humans look on its face”, immediately looked for an exit in the brush and left the trail. No drama at all. I think the foliage and all the turns in the trail had muffled the noise of our six person group. As we left the area I kept checking behind us just to be sure it wasn’t following us.

You can’t make this stuff up – we had hiked Laurel Falls during the day so many times and never seen bears. However, 10 minutes later we saw two cubs in a tree maybe 25 yards off the trail and down a slope and the sow was at the bottom looking at us. What worried me was that she stood up and walked parallel making sure we were not a threat. We stayed as far away as we could on the trail and I was talking to the bear as we all walked down the trail. She made sure we were leaving and watched until she sat down and started eating berries. When she did that, I knew we were okay and we walked the remaining 15-or-so minutes to the parking lot.

Okay, I did a lot wrong in hindsight. We did not think we would encounter bears on this trail that we’d walked many times before without seeing anything and then we had two encounters. Walking at dusk likely played a role. I didn’t have my bear spray with me and a 9mm would not be my first choice of a backup pistol. We were lucky in that the bears were genuinely not interested in us at all. These things went through my head as we went back to the hotel that night and during our drive home.

Thinking About What To Carry Next Time

When we go back, we will be carrying bear spray – no ifs, ands or buts. Bear spray works 90+% of the time to deter a bear and there is research to support it. Also, a bear can cover a ton of ground astonishingly fast. I read 44 feet in 2-3 seconds and that also means you aren’t going to have a ton of time plus you may have a moving target to try and hit. A fog of pepper spray deployed in front of the bear is a good first line of defense … but what if the next bear is part of the 10% that doesn’t stop?

The more I thought about it, the more I wish I had not sold my 10mm Dan Wesson Bruin. At the time, I needed the money more than I did the pistol even though it was amazing. I’d read plenty about guys carrying 10s in bear country with heavy hard cast loads for penetration of a bear’s skull — by the way, you shoot for the head because all the layers of fat, muscle and bone in a big bear are liable to work against you.

After a lot of thinking, I decided to get another 10mm along with some stout loads with hard cast bullets before our next trip. My good friend Scott Igert of Michigan Gun Exchange has long told me how impressed he is with the Springfield Armory TRP Operator pistols. As a retired police officer with tons of firearms experience, I put a lot of faith in his opinion. I told him my story and he recommended the 10mm TRP Operator.

Enter The TRP Operator

Scott and I both like 1911 style pistols and how they feel. My one quirk is that I like long slides so I told him to order me the 6″ version. I like how the longer pistols feel and also how they absorb some of the recoil. The downside is that finding holsters usually requires custom work and I knew that up front.

After waiting about a week, Scott messaged me that the PC9610L18 TRP Operator Longslide had arrived. Needless to say, I went right over to get it.

The TRP operators are just wicked. The slide and frame are forged steel and sport a massive forged stainless steel match bull barrel with a 1:16 twist. It’s a “fully supported” barrel in that the feed rap is part of the barrel and no part of the cartridge case is left dangling once chambered. It also has a small notch at the rear to let you see if there is a round in the chamber.

The sights are adjustable and use tritium for illumination. They work very well.

The pistol weighs 45 oz (2.81 pounds) empty with a nice balance. It’s 9.6″ long overall and about 5.5″ tall. The grip angle really works for me and feels way better to me than a Glock’s angle. The one thing I didn’t care for were the grip panels. SA puts these “VZ Alien G10” grips on the pistols and they are very nicely done. It just so happens that I really prefer rubber Hogue grips on my 1911s so that is a personal preference thing.

All in all, it was a functional piece of art. It did feel gritty and dry but I tend to expect that with most firearms these days.

The pistol comes new with a soft case and two flush fitting 8-round magazines. In the photo you can see that I bought S&B 180gr FMJ ammo as well as Underwood 220gr hard cast and 200gr XTP loads to test the pistol with.
Boy it looked nice. The finish and fitment were superb. Note all the details in terms of the picatinny rail, skeletonized trigger. big beavertail, and what they call “Octo–grip” checkering that is on the front strap and back on the mainspring housing.
Here’s a better look at the main spring, beaver tail and trigger. The thumb safety is ambidextrous
The TRP Operator has a bull barrel and does not use a bushing. Instead, there is careful fitment between the slide and the barrel.


This gives you and overview of the pistol. In the next post I will talk about the ammo and magazines.

2/16/2021 Update: Read this post where I list the Q&A between readers and myself about the TRP.

Sources For the 10mm TRP Operator and Ammo

Here are some reputable vendors you can order either the 5″ or 6″ TRP Operator plus ammo:

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Improving the Feed Reliability of the Rock Island 52000 10mm 6″ High Cap Pro Match Pistol

As some of you may know from a previous post I did, my Big Rock would not feed Underwood 10mm ammo. Neither Armscor/Rock Island nor Underwood helped resolve my issue though Armscor did take the pistol back and tell me there was nothing wrong with it – probably with FMJ ball ammo.

At any rate, the solution came from a discussion with my friend and FFL, Scott Igert, of Modern Antique Firearms, about the mechanics of the 1911. A lot has to come together correctly for a 1911 pistol to work correctly. In watching the pistol jam, I could see that it always hung on the pronounced shoulder edge of the Underwood 10mm ammo right on the edge of the chamber.

Any 10mm ammo that did not have that pronounced shoulder fed just fine. In doing some digging, I elected to do two things.

First, I polished the feed ramp. To do this, I fieldstripped the Big Rock and removed the barrel for easy access.

I then used my cordless Dremel with with a felt bob and Flitz polish to give the feed ramp a mirror polish.

Second, I used one of the fine rubber POLISHING tips in my Dremel to polish the edge all the way around the chamber. To be clear, I am talking about light polishing and not removing a ton of material. Do not use a sanding wheel or you may take off too much material in the blink of an eye. Take your time and be patient. My goal was to enable the 10mm case’s shoulder to slide over and into the chamber vs. hanging. My recommendation is to always go light, test and repeat as needed.

After the polishing, I then used some of the big 10mm cleaning Q-Tips called “RamRodz” repeatedly along with visual inspection to make sure all the grit was gone and not mess up the testing. Yeah –the RamRodz look goofy because they are huge and caliber-specific but they sure make cleaning easy.

For me, it just took one try – even I was surprised. Whatever the case was catching on was either gone or rounded over. The feed problem was solved – round after round cycled perfectly with no more jamming.

A few months after this I decided to sell the Big Rock to move on to other projects. I can’t say that Armscor’s support impressed me given I had one of their top of the line pistols. I gave them a very elaborate explanation of what was happening and they did not resolve the problem whereas a good talk with someone with a lot of 1911 knowledge, Scott, did. It definitely shows there are benefits to having a smart friend.

In closing, I will go back to a recommendation I always make. Before you rely on a pistol, definitely practice with the ammo you plan to use to make sure everything works the way you want. The Big Rock liked S&B FMJ, SIG HPs and further crimped Underwoods from Scott but not the factory-direct Underwood 10mm ammo until I did the above tuning.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Dan Wesson Bruin First Look – A 6″ 10mm Refined Power House

As part of my foray into 10mm pistols, I picked up a Dan Wesson Bruin with the help of Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms.  The Bruin intriqued me based on reviews and that this was a Dan Wesson pistol!  I have liked Dan Wessons since the days they made the revolvers with exchangeable barrels.  Not too long go they were acquired by CZ  but the quality is still there based on everything I have heard.  I sure liked their Titan but at $4-4,200, it was way, way outside my price range compared to the $1,800 Bruin.

Now I bought the Model 1880 10mm Bronze Bruin before my Big Rock because we found it first and the more I read, the more I wanted to get one.  In my opinion it is excellently built. Here are the off-the-shelf specs:

  • Magazine Capacity:  8 rounds
  • Frame:  Forged Stainless
  • Overall Length:  9.7″
  • Barrel Length:  6.03″
  • Width:  1.5″
  • Weight:  2.74 pounds
  • Trigger:  Single Action
  • Front Sight:  Tritium Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight:  Adjustable Night Sights

When the pistol arrived, Scott, his cousin Andrew and myself were all very impressed. It was coated in a ton of oil in a bag but the first thing we all noticed was how smooth it was – no grittiness anywhere. She slide and trigger were all so slick.  The trigger is probably the best feeling of any pistol I own.

I field stripped the Bruin, wiped off the packing oil, lubricated it and took the pistol to the range. It shot like a dream. No problems of any kind with 180 grain S&B FMJ loads or either 155gr or 180gr JHP loads from Underwood. The Bruin handled everything smooth as silk and its weight really made recoil a non-issue. It’s there but it’s not a big deal is how I would describe it.  Normally my carpal tunnel will act up and tell me when recoil is too much but I really just had fun.  I’m so used to having to fiddle with guns that when one works just the way it should out of the box, it is a real treat.

Given the magazine capacity, I went ahead and bought two more magazines giving me a total of four mags. Interestingly, the website said they were out of stock but when I called their parts department they said they did have them and the gentleman I talked to mentioned that the website quantity onhand vs. actual wasn’t that reliable.  So if you need mags, call them.  Don’t just go by the website plus they have mags both with and without the rubber bumpter. I like the bumpers personally – they add a bit of weight to help the empty mags drop plus help protect the floor plate when they hit the ground.

One little detail I really like is the extended slide release lever.  It has a little extended shelf that gives you a tad bit more leverage to push down and release the slide despite the heavy recoil spring.

Obviously I am  a big fan of this pistol.  I do have one con to mention – the Bruin has a distinctive angled front barrel plug that makes field stripping a bit tricky as you try and get things lined up. To be honest, I would chuck that angle and field stripping would become much easier.  That is my only complaint.

At this point I am debating whether to keep the Bruin, the Big Rock or both,  It may take me a while to decide 🙂  The Big Rock is a wicked brute and the Bruin is very refined.  Both are better pistols than I am a shooter so more thinking is required. In the mean time here are some photos:

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.