Probably around 7-8 years ago my wife bought a 9mm Springfield. It was fun to shoot, had a few malfunctions in about 150rds, and she sold it to buy a dog. The dog is annoying but we still have her so...
That was the extent of my experience with 9mm 1911s until last year when my department got a Nighthawk 9mm 1911 for T&E. I shot it one time and knew I needed a 9mm 1911! I have owned 14 variations of 1911s now, so I'm not new to the platform, but the 9mm is just too much fun and it feels like cheating.
Around the same time frame, we took some training from Frank Proctor and a few of the guys fell in love with his STI Marauder. Three of our staff bought one and one of our guys probably has 40,000-50,000 rounds through his... loves it!
I'm not rich, so I sold a gun, saved a bit, and rolled down to the LAPD academy store with the intention of buying a Springfield Range Officer 9mm. They also had a Springfield Loaded Target, and after handling both, I went with the latter. The safety is radiused and more comfortable for me, and the fit/finish was better.
I brought it back to our range and put around a hundred rounds through it. It had several failure to feed malfunctions. Thankfully, I had researched and expected issues. No big deal because I was going to change things. The first thing I did was install a S&A mag well and replaced the ILS parts with an Ed Brown parts kit and Wolff 19lb hammer spring. Then I tried an 11lb recoil spring (factory weight is 9lbs) with a Wilson Shock-buff on a Nighthawk full-length one-piece guide-rod. No go on the shock buff. I took it out and it was running well with no malfunctions if I kept it clean. I think I replaced the 11lb with a 13lb and it's 100% as long as it has some oil on the rails and lugs.
I also had our department armorer, who is a friend, replace the rear sight with a Harrison fixed U-notch rear and install a Harrison short trigger. I put skateboard tape on the front-strap and lower portion of the mainspring housing and installed a set of black/grey VZ grips. I'm super happy with the gun and the only pending change is a Dawson front sight with red fiber optic insert to replace the factory black sight which is several inches high at 25 yards (typical for Springfield).
When I bought the gun I ordered several mags to see what it "liked". Here's what I've found:
As currently set up, this gun runs 100% with (1) Wilson 10rd ETM (I think) mags (old version - plastic follower), (2) 10rd Chip McCormick mags, (2) 9rd Metalform mags, and the two stainless mags that came with the gun. I bought a blued 9rd "factory" Springfield mag and it feeds 100% but fails to lock the slide open most of the time.
I'm so damn happy with this gun that if my department approves 1911s I'll be picking up a 9mm Range Officer (or the Colt 9mm Rail Gun), and Range Officer Compact 9mm.