Briley Manufacturing: Building The Best Prodigy

Briley currently offers three packages to upgrade your Springfield Armory Prodigy 9 mm pistol, including some that will transform it into a competition-ready handgun.

by
at USPSA posted on February 13, 2024
Brileymfg Saprodigy Martens 2
Above is one of the author’s Springfield Armory Prodigy pistols upgraded by Briley. In addition to the Vortex Defender CCW six-MOA red-dot sight, this Prodigy 9 mm has an EGW lightened hammer and ignition kit, EGW slide stop, EGW HD ambidextrous thumb safety, EGW beavertail grip safety, plus a Briley match-grade barrel.
Jake Martens

The Springfield Armory Prodigy hit the market by storm and has been a popular choice for competitors in USPSA Limited Optics and the Modified division in Multigun. I reviewed the Prodigy last year, along with some upgrades available from Evolution Gun Works. The gun is a solid, high-capacity 1911 with plenty of solid features. Of course, we as competitive shooters are always looking for the next piece of the puzzle to help push our performance to the next level. Many (all of us, really) seek it in enhancing our firearms.

Sometimes that is just a better trigger, other times it is something to make it more reliable, an extended part or perhaps some different grips. Many times that is customizing a base model to better suit what our idea of a competition handgun should be and to have it work better for us. You can spend days on social media and forums arguing this, but let’s face it, sometimes we just like to chase performance with gear. I know I am guilty of this.

Springfield Armory and Eley 9 mm competition ammunition
Briley Manufacturing-upgraded Springfield Armory Prodigy 9 mm pistols and Eley Minor 9 mm Competition ammunition.

 

When I started and was looking at getting into USPSA Limited division, there were a couple of options—the old Para Ordnance, STI Firearms, Infinity or Caspian Arms widebodies. Paras and Caspians were metal grips and used by many custom builders as a starting point. STI had the “Edge,” a high-capacity polymer grip attached to a frame, similar to what Infinity was offering, but they had custom builds. The STI Edge was a standard model and was seen as a base model by most of us. It would get sent off for a reliability package, new trigger components and extended competition parts. You could also buy already tuned versions from Dawson and Brazos, who were building their own on STI frames. My first was a Para that was sent out for a better trigger, some new go-fast parts and a tune-up. It was replaced by a Brazos, and then shortly after, two custom-built guns on STI and Phoenix Trinity frames.

When picking up the Springield Armory Prodigy last year, it reminded me a lot of the old Edges and that it was going to be a great base model gun to get customized. At the USPSA Multigun Nationals, Briley Manufacturing was a sponsor and had its tent and tables set up. Laying there was a Prodigy, but as soon as you picked it up, you knew that it had been worked over.

Briley Manufacturing is probably best known for their chokes and tube sets for shotguns, but they have been in the competition and recreational shooting worlds solving problems and innovating products since 1976. Founded by Jess Briley and Cliff Moller, now more than 80 skilled machinists in Houston, Texas, have been building parts and prototypes for many industry giants such as Ruger, Kreighoff, Browning, Smith and Wesson, Colt, H&K and others. Scrolling through the Briley website, you will find everything from shotguns to shotgun parts and custom gunsmithing. There is apparel, the Briley Best Shot App and a link to the Briley store in Houston. They have everything.

Two Springfield Prodigy pistols
The combination of EGW parts, Claudio Salassa at Briley working on these pistols, plus pricing that won’t shatter your budget, make these Springfield Armory Prodigy 9 mm upgrades from Briley Manufacturing a best buy for competitive shooters.

 

They also have Claudio Salassa. Claudio, a well-known custom gunsmith in the 1980s, joined Briley in 1989, not long after the company had started manufacturing pistol parts and accessories. He was part of the design and engineering behind the Briley 1911 barrels and the elite 1911 spherical bushing barrel. Briley continued to produce more parts for guns from Glock, CZ and Tanfoglio, as well as more 1911 small parts. Salassa was building all of the custom handgun offerings from Briley as well as leading the gunsmithing services.

While I was examining the Springfield Armory Prodigy on the table, Claudio came up and we started a conversation about the gun. I reminded him that sometime way back in 2000 I had called into Briley and had a conversation about the spherical bushing that I had, a Performance Center Smith & Wesson 945 at the time, and also asked questions about some of their custom guns. At the 2023 USPSA Multigun Nationals, we chatted for a bit about the Prodigy and how I thought it was going to be a great base gun for customizing. As it turns out, Claudio was already on the job.

We followed up after the USPSA Multigun Nationals and discussed several things about packages to offer, parts to use and several different ideas that he was working on. I sent him the two models of the Prodigy that I had purchased that were both still basically stock other than the EGW magwell, Vortex Optic and the slide stop I had replaced in one of them. This exhausted all of my gunsmithing abilities.

Taking the base Springfield Armory Prodigy, Claudio is going to offer several enhancement packages that customers can choose from. You will be able to purchase the gun already set up from Briley, or you can send yours in and choose from several different options. There are three packages, and each has an optional upgrade to it. The Base Package will get you an upgraded EGW lightened hammer and ignition kit, plus a reliability check, making sure the extractor is set correctly and the feed ramp of the factory barrel is smooth and polished. Briley will also check the locking and unlocking of the factory barrel. You can upgrade this package to include the Briley match barrel and spherical bushing installed.

There is the Premium Package for Iron Sights and the Premium Package for Optic Sights. The parts and work are the same, but the Optic Sight Package will include the plate and installation of the Vortex Defender CCW six-MOA red-dot optic. The Premium Package is going to cover pretty much everything—EGW lightened hammer and ignition kit, EGW beavertail and fully checked mainspring housing, thumb safety (can upgrade to ambidextrous safeties), new guide rod with keyed reversed plug, match-grade barrel and spherical bushing, new Dawson fiber-optic front sight (fitted to co-witness with the Vortex optic), plus reliability check and function testing. For the price of the gun and the upgrades offered, you are getting a solid setup that is much less than the custom offerings, and that will perform just as well—and sometimes even better—than ones costing several thousand dollars more.

Briley and Springfield Armory pistol
After receiving the upgraded firearms from Briley, the author was pleasantly surprised by their new appearance with the added EGW parts.

 

The combination of EGW parts and Claudio Salassa at Briley setting these up make for a real nice shooter that doesn’t break the bank. Upon receiving the firearms back and cracking out the shipping case, I was pleasantly surprised by their initial appearance with the additional EGW parts. The action of racking the slide was nice and smooth, and the triggers were great with a nice crisp break and a short, positive reset. Both triggers were averaging more than 10 pulls on the Wheeler Engineering digital gauge, right at two pounds.

I hit the range with the upgraded pistols for a short break-in session with only a couple hundred rounds of Eley Minor 9 mm Competition ammunition. The weather has not cooperated here in the Midwest for me to really get out and burn through some ammo and do accuracy testing, so more to come.

If you are looking to upgrade your Springfield Armory Prodigy or searching for a USPSA Limited Optics gun that is ready for your next match, contact Claudio Salassa at Briley directly. I have included the list that was provided by Briley (see it below), and the information is current as of this publication (Feb. 2024), but pricing and parts are subject to change.

PARTS THAT WERE INSTALLED ON JAKE MARTENS’ SPRINGFIELD ARMORY PRODIGY PISTOLS

  • EGW ignition kit with lightened hammer
  • EGW Prodigy beavertail grip safety
  • EGW HD ambidextrous thumb safety
  • EGW checkered mainspring housing
  • EGW magazine well
  • EGW slide stop
  • Briley match-grade barrel and spherical bushing
  • Briley guide rod kit with keyed reverse plug
  • Dawson green fiber-optic front sight

SPRINGFIELD ARMORY PRODIGY ENHANCEMENT PACKAGES BY BRILEY

Briley is now offering three packages to enhance your Springfield Armory Prodigy, whether it is only to improve reliability and trigger pull or to turn it into a competition-ready handgun, for a lot less than what is currently being offered by custom handgun builders.

BASE PACKAGE

For the base package, Briley replaces the trigger components with the EGW lightened hammer ignition kit. This includes making sure that the trigger itself moves freely and smoothly within the receiver and that the reset travel is correctly set. Additionally, Briley performs a reliability check to make sure the extractor is correctly set and that the feed ramp is smooth and polished so that the barrel locking and unlocking action is correct.

Build Specification: EGW lightened hammer ignition kit, 19# MS, kit installation and reliability check. PDPKG-SAP-B—$359.99.

Options: Match barrel, spherical bushing and labor included in package. PDPKG-SAP-BB&B—$709.99.

PREMIUM PACKAGE-IRON SIGHTS

This package is a total enhancement of the handgun. All the components of the handgun are removed and replaced with fully machined match components including ignition kit, match barrel and spherical bushing system. All parts are hand fitted and tuned for reliability and accuracy, offering both the competitive shooter or handgun enthusiast a great handgun at a reasonable price.

Build Specification: EGW lightened hammer ignition kit, 19# MS, beavertail grip safety, fully checkered steel mainspring housing, magazine well, Silver, thumb safety, guide rod kit with keyed reverse plug, spherical bushing, match barrel, all labor and refinishing. PDPKG-SAP-PI—$1,239.94.

Options: Package including ambidextrous safety. PDPKG-SAP-PI-AS—$1,342.94.

PREMIUM PACKAGE-OPTIC SIGHT

This package has all the features of the regular iron sight package but includes the Prodigy optic plate and Vortex Defender CCW six-MOA red-dot sight. A lower green fiber-optic front sight is additionally fitted to conform with the optic, as a reference if needed.

Build Specification: EGW lightened hammer ignition kit, 19# MS, beavertail grip safety, fully checkered steel mainspring housing, magazine well, Silver, thumb safety, guide rod kit with keyed reverse plug, spherical bushing, match barrel, Dawson fiber-optic front sight (Green), Springfield Armory Prodigy optic plate A15B, Vortex Defender CCW six-MOA optic, all labor and refinishing. PDPKG-SAP-PO—$1,681.94.

Options: Package including ambidextrous safety. PDPKG-SAP-PO-AS—$1,784.94.

Check out Briley’s website for all of the parts, firearms and services that the company provides.

Article from the January/February 2024 issue of USPSA’s magazine. Photos by Jake Martens.

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