Springfield Armory
1911 Ronin 10mm

Thin, Powerful and ... Awesome

Speer Gold Dots demonstrated great accuracy, with a best of day 1.31" five-shot group at 25 yards.

Much ado has been made about the 10mm; some true and some not so much. The FBI standardized on it back in the day. Sort of. After finding the recoil was a bit much to coax peak performance from some agents with less developed shooting skills, the agency progressed through downloaded 10mm ammo and ultimately to the .40 S&W, that was all the rage until a year or so back when 9mm became the standard du jour.

Others have talked about the 10mm as a semi-automatic equivalent of the .41 Magnum. That’s a bit of a stretch, with ballpark 10mm kinetic energy levels of 600–700 ft-lbs. Although there is a slight bit of overlap at the very low end of the .41 Magnum power scale. I’m not aware of any 10mm loads that can exceed 1,000 ft-lbs. at the muzzle, as many .41 Magnum loads do.

As for me, I’ve been making much ado about the 10mm for the past year or so. I love the 1911 platform but have always wished for the miracle of more capacity without sacrifice of the thin profile of JMB’s classic design. The 10mm provides an extra round or so depending on your platform and magazine choice, along with plenty of power for a variety of tasks. While still a caliber starting with a “4” the 10mm shaves some diameter from the case, saving the svelte magazine and grip size I love so much.

The front sight is a fiber optic tube, so it’s easy to replace the rod with a
color of your choice. Rear sight is a square notch flanked by white dots.

This 1911 still has a big hole in the fiery end, and velocity to boot.

A Quick Tour

We’ve looked at other Ronin pistols over the past year, including the 9mm and .45 ACP versions, and been suitably impressed by what you get for the dollar. The family represents a solid 1911 with well-executed base features at a reasonable price point of $849 MSRP. In normal times, you’ll find it for less on the street.

Built for strength, the Ronin features a forged carbon steel slide treated with a hot salt blueing for a classic look. The slab sides are polished smooth with subtle cocking serrations front and back. The well-rounded and carry friendly profile of the slide top surface is matte finished. This is an important detail as the deliberately dull finish removes glare as a distraction when sighting.

If you’re gazing at the pretty pictures, you’ve already noticed the Ronin is a two-tone pistol. The forged frame is also stainless, although finished in its more natural color with the result being an attractive two-tone pistol. Like the slide, you’ll note the side slabs of the frame are shiny while the undersurfaces are well rounded and matte finished. It looks cool. And while the grips’ front surface isn’t checkered, the matte finish makes a noticeable difference, providing some non-slip feel. The mainspring housing is checkered and topped with a standard 1911 grip safety with generous memory bump and beavertail.

As you’d expect from a Springfield 1911, the barrel is hammer forged steel and match grade with a 1:16″ twist rate. In the controls department, you’ll find a skeletonized hammer, left side checkered magazine release button, and left side safety lever. One of the decisions to keep cost low and focus on a solid foundation was to eliminate some expensive nice-to-haves like an ambi safety. I like the idea of paying for a solid base as it’s easy to upgrade parts you care about down the road.

Inside is a classic recoil assembly, so takedown is a no-tools endeavor. There’s no winning the full length vs. classic guide rod debate, so feel free to swap that out later if you care. This one works and is familiar. As for capacity, we’re talking 8+1 with the included factory magazine.

All of this translates into a 40-oz. 1911 package built to last. Its government size specs yield an overall length of 8.6″ and height of 5.5″.

The Ronin is a nice-looking pistol. It’s all forged stainless, just with different finishes top and bottom.

Versatility is a standout feature of 10mm 1911 pistols. These hardcast bear loads
(1,042 fps) from HSM make the Ronin a good woods companion.


As the basic value proposition of the Ronin is solid 1911 for a reasonable price, I wasn’t entirely surprised to see the trigger itself manufactured from some polymer material. It’s skeletonized and flat black, so it’s not something you’ll notice without careful inspection.

As for operation, it breaks with precisely 4 lbs. of pull weight. You’ll get 1/16″ of free take-up followed by another 1/16th of pressure until the break. It’s a decent trigger. Just for kicks, I compared it to the trigger on a Springfield Armory 1911 TRP. The pull weight and travel are almost identical, but the TRP trigger is noticeably more crisp on the break. Then again, the TRP is almost twice the price, so that’s to be expected.

Bottom line: The trigger on the Ronin is perfectly serviceable. I would find no compelling need to put it on the upgrade priority list. But then again, I’m admittedly a trigger snob, and part of the fun of owning a “standard design” pistol like a 1911 is tweaking it over time to install your personal preferences. This pistol is a likely keeper, and while I’m in no hurry to do any work on it, I may glam it up with a fancy (and more expensive!) trigger one day down the road.

The 155-grain lead-free loads from DoubleTap Ammunition are interesting. They averaged 1,307 fps.

Have Ronin, Will Travel

My primary interest in handguns is carry, so I can’t help but ponder how each new gun I get my grubby mitts on would fit into my carry routine. Sure, I have plenty of pistols and wheelguns that are just plain cool (and fun) on their own merits whether or not they’re carry friendly, but I like big carry guns and I cannot lie.

The Ronin 10mm actually makes a great pistol to carry inside the waistband. As my preferred method because concealment requires nothing more than a T-shirt, thin is in, and the Ronin is skinny. This pistol felt slender, so I finally decided to break out my reloading calipers and see exactly how svelte it really is. According to my measurements, the “thickness” at the grip, including the factory wood stocks, works out to 1.13″. That’s narrow. Again, pulling out my 1911 TRP for comparison, I measured that one, with its G10 factory stocks at 1.31″ When you’re stuffing this inside the waistband of already snug pants, we’re talking quite a difference. If you’re one who prefers a wider grip, there aren’t many home gunsmithing chores easier than swapping out grip panels, so knock yourself out. For me, I love the feel of this pistol. The slim-is-in effect works for me.

For carry, I’ve been using a Clinger Holsters No Print Wonder. This Kydex design uses a unique hinge method on its belt attachments to draw the grip close to the body when carried in the classic three or four o’clock position. I added the Clinger Cushion pad on the inside and the rig works like a champ while wearing jeans or shorts and a T-shirt. If I wanted to go with a traditional leather rig, the thinness of this pistol negates the added thickness of a leather IWB holster, so this can be a dandy option as well.

Tom tested the Ronin 10mm using the supremely handy Competition Electronics
ProChrono DLX chronograph. It’s kinda cool to clock a 200-grain bullet over 1,000 fps.

Ronin in Action

With all the panic buying ammo chaos, it’s still possible to find what you need for the more unusual calibers, like 10mm, so I was able to get my mitts on a variety of ammo to test with the Ronin. I tested three types of ammunition with this Ronin: Speer Gold Dot 200 grain, Federal HST 200 grain and Doubletap’s interesting 155-grain lead-free design.

Shooting five shot groups from 25 yards from a basic rest, I observed fine results when averaging out multiple strings. The Gold Dots printed an average of 1.70″ while I managed a 1.94″ average with the Federal HST. The much faster and lighter DoubleTap bullets averaged out at 2.29″. The best group of the day, even considering my aging eyes over iron sights, came in at just 1.31″ with those 200-grain Gold Dots. Nice.

This 10mm Springfield Armory Ronin 1911 10mm is a keeper. It’s just peachy as it is out of the box, but for tinkering geeks like me, makes a great “platform” that I can customize to my heart’s content over the coming years. For this sort of long-term plan, the important thing is the base gun, and for your money, you’ll get an excellent and mighty durable, forged stainless pistol that will serve you for years to come.

For more info: Springfield-Armory.com, ClingerHolsters.com, CompetitionElectronics.com

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