November 18, 2020
One of my favorite 1911s to cross my desk in the past year was the Ronin Operator in 9mm, which graced the cover of our October/November issue. It was a blend of good looks, shootability and affordability. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who really liked it, because the company quickly followed it with a Commander-length version and now a 10mm Auto—which is fast becoming a highly popular choice among 1911 fans.
As you might expect, it is a full-size Government 1911 with a five-inch barrel. It has a hot-salt-blue slide atop a stainless frame that is polished on the flats and bead-blasted elsewhere. The gun’s great looks also owe a lot to the laminated wood stocks that are given a handsome half-checkered pattern along with Springfield’s cross-cannon log. Weight is 40 ounces, just a bit lighter than the 9mm I tested but easily plenty of weight to keep the gun controllable in 10mm.
Both the frame and the slide are forged, providing strength and longevity, and the slide sports front and rear cocking serrations. It operates via a GI-style, short recoil spring guide, as John Browning intended.
The sights include a Tactical Rack white-dot rear. This robust design allows you to rack the slide by hooking the rear sight on a sturdy belt or flat surface in case your non-firing hand is put out of commission due to injury. The front is a red fiber optic. I found this to be a great setup on the 9mm Government I tested.
The mainspring housing is checkered at 20 lpi while the frontstrap is left smooth. The lack of checkering helps keep cost down, and the 10mm has the same suggested retail price of $849 that the .45 and 9mm Government versions do. Low cost is the same reason the gun ships with only a single eight-round magazine.
If you add up all the extras—the forged components, great sights as well as an extended thumb safety and a grip safety with memory bump—it’s pretty incredible that the gun sells for as little as it does. In fact, as I pointed out in the review of the 9mm version, the Ronin Operator is pretty much in a class by itself. And now that it’s available in 10mm, there’s a Ronin for any possible use you’d put a 1911 to.