Gun Review Spot's Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator 1911 Pistol Reviews

Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator 1911 Pistol

Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator 1911 Pistol

First Reviewed November 15, 2010
Found in 1911 Pistols, Pistol Reviews, Springfield Armory, Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols

Overall Value4.

Advances in holster production which has made holsters available which can house a light rail equipped 1911 pistol have transformed the platform. Guns which normally would be safe queens taken out for range time or else kept as a nightstand gun are now able to be carried in a belt holster with little difficulty for those who dress appropriately and wear a suitable cover garment. As more and more people choose to do so, they discover that a loaded 1911 is not a light pistol to carry, doubly so when a flashlight or laser sight is attached. This situation was the catalyst for the creation of the Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator pistol.

This gun is similar in almost all respects to the Marine Corps Operator 1911 pistol. It is government sized and comes with an ambidextrous safety, forged steel slide with front and rear serrations, 5” match grade barrel, low profile combat sights, skeletonized hammer, titanium firing pin, ambidextrous thumb safety, High Hand beavertail grip safety, and a cross drilled aluminum trigger.

The major difference lies in the construction of the frame. It still sports a full accessory rail but it made from aluminum alloy instead of steel. This major difference drops the weight of the gun from 42 oz empty to just 34 oz. Shaving off 8 ounces may not seem like a lot, but it ends up being about the same amount of weight as the average rail-mounted flashlight.

Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator Reviews

Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator Pistol

A few other differences cause the Lightweight Operator 1911 pistol to stand apart from its twin. These include the use of a 2-piece full length guide rod similar to other Springfield Armory Loaded pistols and the use of wood grips instead of rubberized wraparound grips that the Department of the Navy required for the MC Operator. Also, the gun does not come in a two-tone finish but instead is all black in color. The slide, being steel, receives a black layer of Armory Kote while the frame, being aluminum, is black anodized.

Like all other Springfield Armory pistols, the Lightweight Operator comes with the company's Lifetime Warranty to provide assurance to those who subject such guns to hard use.

Reviews for the Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator 1911 pistol can be found below. We would appreciate it if you contributed a review of your own if you have had a chance to use this gun in the past but be sure that you match your review to the right gun as the MC Operator, Champion Lightweight Operator, and TRP Operator all have their own review sets. If you have pictures of your pistol you can email them to and we'll be sure to add them to the Lightweight Operator Photo Gallery.

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5 Reviews for “Springfield Armory Lightweight Operator 1911 Pistol”
  1. 500 rounds so far, no problems at all. eats all ammo, dead on accuracy. not sure about durability yet but i’d bet it’s there. easy to conceal with the right holster because of the light weight. worth every penny (1,019).

  2. L. Horn says:

    I own the Lightweight Champion Operator model. If I could build a 1911 from scratch, it would end up being this pistol. I’ll start off by listing the one problem I had with it, which was that it really didn’t like to feed hollow points right out of the box. I sent it directly into S.A. and they re-cut and polished the barrel ramp and reemed the chamber and I haven’t had a single feeding issue since then. The 32.oz weight and 4.25″ barrel makes for a very nice and relatively compact package compared to full sized 1911′s. I did an accuracy comparison between this pistol, a Kimber Ultra-Carry Pro+, a S&W 1911PD (which is basically the S&W verison of this 1911, except it lacks a light rail), a S&W M&P compact w/ 4″ barrel, and a S.A. Loaded Combat model, all chambered in .45 cal. From ranges of 7, 10, 15, and 25 yds, this was hangs down the most accurate with its big fat match grade bull barrel. At 15 yds and closer, this pistol can put a whole mag through one ragged hole of about an inch and a half, off hand. The trigger is as close to “breaking like a glass tube” as I’ve felt from the factory. The nigth sights are quite a bit brighter than those on the M&P, and the rail seems to be cut more precisely so things fit more snuggly on it. Something I don’t understand, but won’t complain about, is that the Lightweight Champion model is in the $800 range (mine was $805) and the normal full-sized Operator is in the $1,300 range, even though they both have all the same features, the only diffence being the alloy frame and shorter barrel, which doesn’t seem to hurt accuracy at all. Anyway, awesome pistol. I would completely recommend getting one for yourself if you are able to find one. I’ve never seen one other than the one I bought, so they are kind of few and far between. Hope this helped.

  3. Col Ford says:

    I’ve been looking for an operator for long time and finally found this pistol at the local armory. They only had one in stock, and I had to have it. This is an outstanding weapon! It’s light, very accurate, and comfortable to conceal and carry. Also, the night sights are very bright! The only thing I don’t like is the dis-assembly. When field stripping, the weapon comes with a small plastic clip (take-down piece) that you snap to the guide rod between the inner spring plug and guide rod cap. Once you remove the slide, the recoil spring assembly can be removed with ease. Without this take-down piece, dis-assembly is still achievable, but with minor difficulty. Being ex-military, I like to be able to field strip weapons easily for repair and cleaning without the need for additional pieces that can be lost or misplaced easily. Overall, I love this weapon, and suggest that you buy this weapon immediately, that is, if you can find one.

  4. george says:

    i love the pistol and it eats ammo like a junk yard dog! not one jamb in 1000 rounds. only problems so far are:the plunger tube(for the thumb safety) became wiggly/loose ( My segeants operator also did). the rear sight had no adjustment bolt in it when i purchased the pistol. how-ever the customer service is glorious! fantastic service and nice people. i use the operator every day-on and of duty. very happy over all. great pistol!

  5. Aaron says:

    This probably is “pound for pound” the all around best pistol I have ever owned. All of the aspects of the gun (weight, caliber size, features, accuracy, etc…) make this pistol the all around best choice.
    This is a great, great gun!

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