Springfield Armory announced earlier this week that it will be honoring the memory of famed US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle with a limited run of 1911 TRP pistols collectively called the Legend Series. Kyle, who is perhaps better known for his expertise with rifles, carried a Springfield Armory TRP on occasion and counted the pistol among his preferred favorites, even reminiscing about it briefly in his best-selling book American Sniper.
Some of the favoritism may be due to the fact that the gun possibly saved his life.
“In 2004, I brought over a Springfield [Armory] TRP Operator, which used a .45 caliber round. It had a 1911 body style, with custom grips and a rail system that let me add a light and laser combo,” Kyle wrote. “Black, it had a bull barrel and was an excellent gun – until it took a frag for me in Fallujah. I was actually able to get it repaired – those Springfields are tough.”
Kyle, often recognized as deadliest sniper in US military history, was also an avid firearm enthusiast. While he was more often associated with the .300 Winchester Magnum M24 and later on, the Magnum Accuracy International, Kyle also was a fair shot on the pistol course and had previously earned an expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal, the highest decoration that one could receive for weapons qualification. Kyle especially preferred 1911-style pistols for shooting.
Each handgun in the Legend Series will be laser engraved with a unique serial number and comes with a customized mahogany case, certificate of authenticity, and silver Chris Kyle challenge coin. In addition, the firearm will also be issued with a memorial copy of American Sniper, signed by his wife Taya Kyle. Only 1,000 of the pistols will be produced.
The MSRP of the pistols is expected to be $2,499, and a portion of each sale will be donated to the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Taya Kyle to assist military families.
“We’re very pleased to support Taya and the Frog Foundation,” Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese told NRA’s Shooting Illustrated. “When on deployment, Chris Kyle carried a Springfield Armor 1911 TRP Operator pistol, so we felt it appropriate to make this special edition pistol to honor his memory and support the ongoing work of the foundation. Much like the American hero Chris Kyle, this pistol is truly one-of-a-kind.”
Reese presented the first pistol in the series to Taya Kyle at the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, but Taya immediately announced that she intended to auction the unique firearm, serial marked CK0001, at the NRA Annual Meeting, with all proceeds to benefit the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. At the time of this article, online bidding on the pistol has reached $16,000.
Images from Springfield Armory