Gun Review: Springfield Loaded 1911-A1

When you think about handguns that have made their mark in the public’s mind, there is, hands down, no firearm more iconic than the venerable creation of John Browning, the Model 1911-AI. Call it a “1911,” a “Colt .45 auto” or a “Navy .45,” this was the gun that got us through WWII, the Korean War, and just about every conflict since. But if you’re late to the party, you might not realize that 1911s were not always held in such reverence. Nope. After WWII, a huge number of surplus 1911s flooded the market. Some good. Many of them not so good. In fact, it was far more likely to find a 1911 that wouldn’t even run, than it was to find one that was a lean, mean, fightin’ machine. As well, there were certain design idiosyncrasies that made the 1911 less than fun to shoot – especially the combo of grip safety and hammer that had a nasty tendency to take a bite out of your shooting hand at inappropriate times.

Enter Springfield Armory. Along with a handful of other companies, they were largely responsible for the Renaissance of the 1911, after gun guys like Col. Jeff Cooper proclaimed the 1911 as their choice for handgun defense. But this is not your father’s Springfield Armory. The government’s go-to guys (founded by G. Washington way back in 1794) closed in the late 60s.

A new Springfield Armory rose from the ashes as a private concern in 1974, to manufacture firearms to the high standards of their namesakes. SA lead the charge back to glory with an extensive line of 1911s, from classic models, authentic down to the last spring, to custom shop models that rival anything you’d purchase from a master gunsmith. In between these extremes lies Springfield’s Loaded lineup, boasting features you’d expect to find in a custom shop gun, but at a much more affordable price.

In the wonderful world of 1911s, you’ve got three main form factors, two choices in frames, and then a plethora of options. Most manufacturers offer the 1911 in a 5″ barrel (the original design), a 4″ barrel (known in WWII as the “officer’s model”) and a 3″ barrel with a shortened grip, for better concealment. You will find frames available in steel and aluminum. The options? The only limits are your imagination…and your budget.

Springfield offers no fewer than 14 models within their Loaded line. We’ll focus on my personal favorite, the PX1909LP Parkerized.

The PX1909LP is a traditional 5″ barrel .45 ACP 1911 with a traditional Parkerized finish, a zinc and/or magnesium coating that prevents rust and is superior to the “blueing” process that pre-dates it. With it’s steel frame, it weighs in at a hefty (trust me) 40 ounces, unloaded.

Add a magazine full of JHPs, and we’re talking a weapon that isn’t just a defensive tool, it’s a freeweight system. While I proudly carry a concealed handgun license, I’m saving up for a lighter weapon before I carry on a daily basis – a 5″ barrel combined with a steel frame is just too much for even a big guy like me to lug around all day.

But weight is only a concern if you’re going to be carrying the pistol on your hip all day. The weight actually becomes something of an advantage, when you consider how this baby shoots – and shoot it does. With a full 5″ of a match-grade barrel, you’ve got it all over those that feature a standard barrel and those guys with a 3 or 4 inches of tubular steel.

The heft of the pistol makes it that much easier to control the recoil you find when shooting any .45 ACP load. A match-grade barrel provides that little extra bit of fit that improves your accuracy every shot. Additional features that add to the shooter’s comfort include a beavertail grip safety (don’t leave for the range without it; your hand will thank you in the morning), a lowered and flared ejection port (keeps spent brass out of your face), cocobolo grips (essentially, African rosewood), an ambidextrous thumb safety, and tritium night sights.

The grip of a 1911 is the standard by which everyone else relates the size and feel of their grips – the benchmark against what everyone other pistol is compared. With it’s grip safety, the feel of a 1911 grip is…um…unique. Some prefer the typically thicker grips of a double-stack magazine (you can find a few 1911-style pistols out there like that, too). Some favor smaller grips. As for me, I can comfortably shoot just about anything, but I keep coming back to the 1911. It just seems to “fit” my hand better than any polymer gun I’ve ever shot. The Springfield Loaded comes with some beautiful, laser-engraved cocobolo grips that you’d only feel like replacing if you plan to upgrade to a set of Crimson Trace laser grips.

One unique feature common to all 1911s is Springfield’s Integral Locking System, a scheme that allows the owner to manually lock and unlock the trigger with a small, universal key, inserted into a locking mechanism located to the back of the grip. The ILS is a sop to those that insist that two safeties on a pistol are not enough. Purists find the ILS an annoyance.

I know of nobody who uses it, for the same reason that few shooters use a trigger lock when there’s an alternative. Trigger locks and the ILS do nothing more than prevent you from using the gun when you need it the most.

All 1911s are NOT created equal. Once you get past what we’ll call the “convenience group” that raise a mil-spec 1911 to something that you’d actually want to shoot, then comes the part that separates the wheat from the chaff as it were – the factory tuning that comes from the attention of a master gunsmith.

Make no mistake – the Springfield Loaded is not a custom gun. But you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference, unless you’re a competitive shooter (and if you were shooting competitively, you’ve likely already purchased a custom gun). No, think of the Springfield Loaded series as a “custom(ish) gun for the rest of us.” Sort of.

Keep in mind that one thing most 1911s share, regardless of manufacturer, is a pretty hefty pricetag. While you can find a slew of good quality polymer guns on the market for under $600, you won’t touch a decent 1911 for under $800, and most semi-custom 1911s start at over $1000. The Springfield Loaded boasts an MSRP of $959, making it an impressive value for the price.

The gun ships in a custom, lockable carry case, along with an extra magazine, two ILS keys, and cleaning tools.

I would judge fit and finish to be excellent, especially in a gun with these custom-class features. And like all 1911s, you can customize it to your heart’s content. One thing to note – I wanted to upgrade to some sights that combine tritium with fibre optics. No can do on the Springfield line, as their sight mounts won’t work with the replacement sights.

Any other downsides? On my personal gun, one of the grip screws would not tighten. Turns out, the screw had stripped out the threads within the frame. Springfield, however, offers an excellent warranty program, and my gun was repaired and returned within three days.

The Springfield Loaded is a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable weapon with custom features without the custom price.

Out of five stars

Style *****

Either love 1911s or hate ‘em. If you love ‘em, what’s not to love?

Ergonomics (carry) ****

A bit big, really. And heavy. Did I mention heavy?

Ergonomics (firing) *****

If you like the feel of a 1911 in your hand, firing it is a pleasure. If not, you’ll find it’s a whole lotta gun. Course, that could be the .45 ACPs talkin…

Reliability *****

As long as you don’t limp-wrist it, the gun runs…and runs…and runs, no matter what. It’s the Energizer Bunny of semi-autos.

Customize This *****

Sights, lights, silencers, lasers, you name it, and you can get it for the 1911 —- one of the most customizable guns on planet Earth.

Rating *****

There’s a reason why this is one of the most popular handguns made. And this one is about the best you can get, short of spending the big bucks on a custom job.

Summary

When it comes to 1911s, you either “get it” or you don’t. If you buy-off on the ergonomics of the 1911, everything else falls into place – the fact that it’s got more accessories than the G.I. Joes of my childhood, and that it’s designed to run in conditions that would give a mule team pause. Comparing a 1911 to a Glock was like comparing a Mercedes to a Beetle – both will get you where you want to go, but the Benz does it with a dash ‘o panache. But a mil-spec/stock 1911 can be a pain to shoot – literally. You want some upgrades to appreciate the “1911 Experience.” The Springfield Loaded provides those much-needed improvements, and then some. It’s the best example I’ve found (so far) of a custom job 1911 at a working-man’s price. ‘Nuff said.

CALIBER: .45 ACP
FRAME: Forged Steel, Parkerized
MAGAZINES: 2 – 7-round, blued steel
SLIDE: Forged steel, Parkerized
BARREL: 5″ Stainless steel
RECOIL SYSTEM: 2-piece, full length guide rod
SIGHTS: Fixed, low-profile combat rear, dovetail front, 3-dot
HEIGHT: 5.5″
LENGTH: 8.5″
TRIGGER: Long aluminum match grade, 5-6 lbs.
GRIPS: Cocobolo
WEIGHT (w/empty magazine): 40 ounces
MSRP: $ $959

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed within this review are those of the reviewer, and do not necessarily reflect those of anybody else, including TTAG. Neither the reviewer nor TTAG have received any considerations – either in the form of money, free stuff, tickets, t-shirts, trips or any other swag – in exchange for this review. In fact, the gun reviewed here is the personal property of the reviewer, and he paid for it out of his own pocket.

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About Brad Kozak

Brad Kozak is an iconoclastic, curmudgeonly graphic designer/marketer/writer/musician/advertiser/conservative creative guy. In 2007, he completed a gradual transition from a conservative semi-pacifist to a proactive, armed citizen, willing to exercise his Second Amendment rights to protect his family and property. His idea of “gun control” is hitting where he aims.

54 Responses to Gun Review: Springfield Loaded 1911-A1

  1. avatarFrank L Giordano says:

    There have been some changes to the gun since you wrote this review.

    Springfield is sort of like Porsche; it is fond of making running changes to its product without necessarily informing the buying public. I recently purchased the Black Stainless Loaded Combat model. Cost was $890.

    It is a beautiful piece and draws ooohs and aaahs from everyone who sees it. I really wanted the Black Stainless competition model, but finding any Black Stainless model on dealer's shelves is next to impossible right now. The current Combat model has Novak sights with tritium inserts and a non-ambidexterous, non-extended safety. The grips are Pearce rubber. The fit and finish is generally quite good. The slide to frame fit is tight with absolutely no rattle.

    The carry bevel job they did is perfect. Nothing to snag or cut, but it doesn't make the gun look like a used bar of soap. I plan on shooting IDPA CMP class with it. To that end, I needed to make some changes to make it really competetive. First, the trigger pull was impossible. Out of the box it measured almost eight pounds. I realize this gun was designed for combat but this is ridiculous. It felt like the designer of the "New York trigger" on certain Glocks had some input on this one.

    Fortunately, the 1911 has more custom parts available than any other firearm. I have ordered a complete trigger pull set from Cylinder and Slide that will drop the pull to a crisp 3.5 pounds. This is light enough for competition, but not a dangerous "hair trigger". I have an all-out race gun with a one pound trigger, and believe me, you have to be careful about sneezing too hard around it. The set from Cylinder and Slide does it right. It includes a new hammer, disconnector, main spring, sear, and trigger spring; and all are carefully matched. Dawson Precision, Ed Brown, and others also make similar kits and they all run between $150 and $200.

    A new drop forged ambidexterous extended stainless steel safety was also ordered from Cylinder and Slide for about $60 dollars. I plan to put a Techwell Carry type magwell system on the gun. The magazine well on the gun comes beveled and the magwell system is not absolutely necessary, but the Techwell system comes with a set of machined Alumagrips that I just love. This system runs about $149.

    All this brings the Combat model up to the specs of the competition model. Since the competition model of the Black Stainless Loaded costs around $1250, it comes out even. The only difference is that the competition model has adjustable sights. I really don't think they are necessary in action pistol. This game isn't bullseye. If you can hold a five inch circle at 15 to 20 yards, you're good to go.

    • avatarGrafton says:

      Thanks for your post. I was very interested because I have just begun to participate in CMP competition and the gun specs are pretty specific. I was looking at Springfield and wasn’t exactly sure about the specifics. Any cmp info is greatly appreciated.
      Thanks,
      Grafton

  2. avatarGasPath says:

    Great review. I was "fence-setting" on the Springfield until I read your reviews. I am not a competitive shooter, just a casual target shooter, but I have quite a few 1911s and have an opportunity to add the Springfield to my collection. Now I will.

  3. avatarMartin Popagain says:

    I have recently purchased a Springfield 1911 A-1 loaded model. It is everything you said and more. I do carry it occasionally but I am a 300 lb. man and another 4 lbs. doesn’t hurt anything… Mine came in a fancy plastic case with 3 mags total, a “Fobus” like belt holster and a 2 mag belt carrier. I got this to be able to shoot because my Kahr P45 was beating me to death… Very satisfied with my purchase. While I love the wood grips, I put on rubber ones for added comfort.
    Keep up the great work on the reviews… Really enjoyed it and it helped me make up my mind.

  4. avatarJeff Spears says:

    Brad, help.

    You refer to this as the PX1909LP but I cannot for the life of me find this online. Do you know if it’s still in production?

  5. avatarJeff Spears says:

    Could the PX1909 actually be the 9101?

  6. avatarmike wandrick says:

    Just had trijicon night sights installed on my R.O. The look great. Waiting for the Wilson combat magazines which will complete my upgrade. Love the gun. Anyone out there that upgraded their R.O.??

  7. avatarGalen Futtrell says:

    I love 1911′s this one I carry for a personal gun. I have put a ton of ammo threw it.
    its like a time ex, watch takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
    personal definse ACURACY? Don’t run, or you will die tired.
    LOVE THIS GUN, 2IN GROUP AT 66FT.

  8. avatarTrenchfoot Willie says:

    These guns sure do get good reviews. Well here’s mine: Disappointing! I could’ve gotten more accuracy by throwing the plastic case at the target. Now before you say,”Dis foo’ can’t shoot.” this is the 6th 1911 I’ve owned, the 3rd Springie, the 3rd .45acp and the 2nd Springie .45acp (that one was garbage too). It was embarassing at the range the first time out. Then I put the .22 slide on and got favorable attention with that (enough for someone to ask about it). When I qualified for plate-shooting I used a Rock Island with unadjusted sights and a loose ft. blade. I was cold and shivering too. This Springie could not have done it. One box of ammo and it’s as loose as Grampappy’s from the war.
    NOT worth a month’s rent or a month of waiting for it.

    • avatarMike says:

      I have the same problem. I’m not the best shot, but I feel like this pistol should be more accurate than it actually is.

      Do you have one of the “N” frame models? Because some of them are not fitted very well, IMO. I have one of the N frames.

      You CAN send the gun to the Springfield Custom Shop and have it tightened up if you want.

  9. avatarJ Workman says:

    I have had my SA Loaded Ultra Compact (3.5″ barrel, officer’s frame) for about 7 months now. Price at the LGS was right at $700. Reliability and accuracy has been excellent. This version weighs in at 33 ozs, but that is a great tradeoff for a pistol with a forged stainless steel frame and slide that will be passed down to future generations. What wasn’t mentioned in the review is that all Springfields have a lifetime warrantee, and that applies to 2nd owners also. Any warrantable repairs are paid for by Springfield, including shipping both ways, and they are considered to have one of, if not the best, customer service shop in the business. One of the top gunsmiths in the country, Dave Williams, heads up the Custom Shop at Springfield, and, if you ever decide on special work for your pistol, The Custom Shop is a fine place to send it. Stock trigger pull was guaranteed for 5-6lbs (mine came in at 5.5lbs). I sent mine in for an action job to get the trigger down to a nice crisp 4 lbs for carry, and got the gun back 6 days after I dropped it off at FedEx. I am very satisfied with this pistol!

    • avatarSteve Gregory says:

      Hi,
      Can you please point me to any SA documents that describe the warranty being extended to the first TWO owners? It sounds good, but I like to see things in writing.
      Thanks,
      Steve

      • avatarAndrew S says:

        I can vouch for SA’s repair department service. They fixed my XD that was (in my estimation) damaged by the aftermarket cerakote I had put on it…for free…after I told them that the warranty was voided. With all of that, I am at least the 3rd owner of this gun.

        Oh, and my PX1909LP is easily my fav handgun I own.

  10. avatarJ Mullin says:

    The only thing i found wrong with the article was when the author put down Glock.I only had one 1911,it was a Springfield Armory Ultra Compact.Bought it new,it jamned every other round.Traded it in for a $250 credit on a Glock 20C.I have seven Glocks out of which i have had only ONE malfunction.It was a hard primer,took 4 whacks to fire it.Not many police agencies or military use the 1911.Here is a kool saying i have heard before that sums it up: ” I show my Kimber to my friends and my Glock to my enemies.”The Glock is a superior weapon but 1911 lovers like to pay a thousand bucks per pistol.Kinda stuck up,really.If your life is in danger,leave your 1911 on it’s shrine and preserve your life with the Glock.

    • avatarAWUSMC says:

      “Not many police agencies or military use the 1911.” The US military used the 1911 as the primary side arm for over 70 years. This is a feat unmatched. Today it is still used by the special forces of the services (the Marine special operators actually use Springfield 1911s, I know because I have worked with them). As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I would much prefer a 1911 over the Beretta M9. Your commentary displays both your lack of knowledge and experience.

      • avatarJim B. says:

        One correction to your correction (gee, sounds like a Monty Python routine). J Mullin’s assertion that not many police or military units use the 1911 is correct today. You are absolutely correct that the 1911 was the go-to weapon for a very long time, but most of the military and police have moved on. Yes, there are still groups who use it. Spec ops guys like the .45. H&K’s MK23 and USP Compact Tactical are two other guns in use by Spec Ops groups. While the 1911 is a fantastic design and many if not most guns today have taken things from John Browning’s design, there are some limitations, not the least of which is the relatively small magazine size on the classic single stack 1911 that precludes it from heavy use as a duty weapon for police. It is a great off duty or civilian CCW, but for those uses the limited magazine is not a problem as most of us don’t expect to find ourselves in an extended shootout with a large number of bad guys.

      • avatarduke says:

        Correct. This guy is a novice dumbass anyway.

    • avatarFler says:

      “I show my Kimber to my friends and my Glock to my enemies.”

      +15

  11. avatarCurt Bibb says:

    Damn straights about the Glock’s!! And not to mention easy to break down/clean/reassemble/modify….and how many rounds do most Glock’s magazines hold…talking standard size Glock’s here. Sure I like my Springfield Loaded 1911A1….but I shoot my Glock’s more often…mostly my Glock’s.

  12. avatarAWUSMC says:

    @ J MULLIN & CURT BIBB: Nothing wrong with Glocks, I have owned and put many rounds through them. I don’t think the author was trying to demean Glocks, they are reliable and durable pistols; but 1911s are smoother and more refined. My Springfield 1911-A1 Loaded is the smoothest pistol I have ever owned. I have owned CZ 75s (The best 9mm I have ever shot), H&K USPs, Smith and Wessons, Bersas, Rugers, Berettas, and Glocks. Glocks are great utilitarian pistols and most certainly reliable; but a tuned 1911 cannot be beat. Round capacity alone does make a pistol. The only failures I have experienced with my Loaded Springfield 1911 have been magazine related (Colt factory mags no less), other than that it has great and I would trust my life to it, just as I do to the Beretta I was issued by the Marine Corps.

  13. avatarMr. Carpenter says:

    I have the 9109LP parkerized Loaded 5in. with nightsights and cocobolo grips as you have reviewed here. I purchased this 2 years ago and have about 1500 rounds through it. Yes it has night sights. These are very difficult to make out during the day, and in 35 years have never shot a pistol in the dark. A white dot is more than efficient and much cheaper. The gun is well made and very nice to look at. It cycles ball ammo very well, yet will not chamber a hollow point/ personal defense round that has any form of flat nose. Ive tried a number of ammo. The hornaday leverevolution red tips will chamber. I paid 900.00 for the gun and plan on keeping it forever. I have cheaper 1911′s that shoot much better though. Yes I can have it polished to feed better. For $900.00 Shouldnt I have to?

    • avatarMike says:

      You shouldn’t have to do anything to make it feed. Most 1911s are properly throated and have polished feed ramps for firing hollow point rounds. If I were you, I would either call Springfield to see if they can fix it, or else take it to a good 1911 gunsmith with the kind of ammunition you want it to shoot, and they’ll make it shoot.

      Mine doesn’t feed 185-grain loads well AT ALL, but it does feed 230-grain hollow point and ball without issue.

      I had a buddy with a Colt and they wouldn’t fix his gun when it wouldn’t feed hollow points, and he ended up taking it to a good 1911 gunsmith with the kind of ammo he wanted to shoot, and that gunsmith did a GREAT job. I shot the gun and it consistently puts down a 2.5″ group when I shot it at 25 feet by hand using just plain old Remington UMC ammo. That’s not match ammo, just plain shelf stuff.

      A gunsmith can cost a little bit (I think he paid $100) to have his gun fixed, but take my word for it – it’s money well spent especially if someone can recommend you to a good 1911 smith.

  14. avatarMr. Carpenter says:

    Woops sorry guys not the Hornaday plastic tip ammo, I was thinking of a different gun I just bought that chambers those. The JHp winchesters will not feed, but the XTP will.

  15. avatarcraig says:

    I liked this write up. I`ve owned many hand guns s&w, ruger, hk, glock. Never owned a 1911 but want to. The SA loaded is on my list to get. Also the ruger sr1911. I CC a glock with a LCP w/laser back up. Both are light and very easy to carry. The 1911`s in the 5″ would be a kick to shoot but heavy to pack but their customer service, from what I`ve read is stellar along w/rugers. Will have to add one or both to my collection.

    • avatarJim B. says:

      Do your homework before you get your 1911. First of all, make sure that you understand that a 1911 is not as easy to take down and clean as a Glock, an XDM, an H&K, a Sig, etc. It’s not difficult, but it is more time consuming and for me a bit of a pain in the backside. That said, I love my SA 1911 Loaded for what it is. My second piece of advice is that before you plunk down any cash on a 1911, particularly a discount one, go to a good gun shop and compare a bunch of 1911s side-by-side. I looked at about six different models before arriving at the SA Loaded, which was the most expensive one my dealer had. I found the slide on the many of the lesser ones felt a bit rough as I racked it whereas it was smooth as glass on the SA Loaded. Another thing to consider is what you want your 1911 to ultimately look like. If you buy a stripped down one and then later decide to add things like beavertail, skeletonized trigger and/or hammer, better sights, etc, you may find that the total cost for your “cheaper” model with the upgrades ends up being more than it would have cost you to get a Loaded model in the first place. I’ve made a number of mistakes with gun purchases since I got into guns, but the SA 1911 Loaded was most certainly not one of them.

      • avatarL. Scott says:

        Thank you for cutting to the chase. this was an awesome review and had a lot of great replies, but for an undecided 1911 newbie, this response is an eye opener. thank you. ( Now which loaded S.A. variant to get).

  16. avatarchris says:

    i have owned a sa mill speck sence 03 out of the box to this day. shot so meny rounds cant even count. i had 2 jams both were my fault one was a dirty gun & lack of lub, the other was poor grip. i love this gun! im geting ready to buy a loaded. hope it shoots as good as my mill speck has. im not sure how i feel about a full lenth gide rod does anybody know what the real diffance is? the mill speck has a short rod i think it looks better.

  17. avatarMike says:

    I own one of these that still has the black bushing, not the stainless one. I think mine may be a little older too because I don’t have the SS barrel with the high polish on it, mine’s sort of got ridges or something it looks weird.

    Anyway, I like the gun. It’s reliable. It just isn’t super accurate. I think if I had to make any changes to the gun, I think I’d send it in and get the match barrel & bushing and the Black-T finish and it would be perfect.

  18. avatarDoug says:

    I own a 1998 SA loaded that has several thousand rds through it and never, never had a problem with it. I have shot it, my kids have shot it and we all love it. I paid a little over $500 for it and it is the best money I have spent.

  19. avatarChad Haire says:

    yes

  20. avatarMongo says:

    I own the Loaded. It isn’t hard to take down. It has that classic hand-fit that makes it feel like an extension of your arm, the sign of a quality pistol for any application. They are reliable, go-to weapons, preferred by vets since before WWI. Glocks are fine pistols. They will never be as highly regarded, nor will they be standard issue for over 70 years and in fact still in use to this day, almost 100 years since first comissioned.

    • avatarMattG says:

      Call me crazy, but one of the reasons I own a SA 1911 A1 Loaded and not a Glock is because my gun wasn’t made in Austria! I like supporting American workers…even with my gun choices.

  21. avatarconceal7 says:

    …just wanted to pick your brain here on your thoughts,views, and personal opinion with the “new” polymer framed 1911′s like the oh so elusive rock river is making ?

    go ? or no go ?

    from first impression’s on the polymer framed 1911 that rock is making in my head
    im thinking “COOL !”

    but

    not having the opportunity to shoot one i’m primarily looking for feed back
    before i pull the trigger (no pun intended) on making an order on one
    of these bad boys

    p.s
    it would be cool if you did a review on one of these when they become available
    “coming soon !” according to rocks dot com

  22. avatarjohn says:

    I have a lodaded Just bought on the 29th of Nov. 2012 I put a 100 round down raing with it so far. So i shot it a bit then went to 10y it shot hi but the first two in the same hole , Shot some more the rear sight was off but holding off I could hit steel at 100y . So far I like vary much it is vary smoth and ease on the hand, it looks good but could be better, somthing I can work on.

  23. avatarggrimes2 says:

    If your Springfield “loaded” does not shoot send it back for repair. I’ve got a plain jane OD green “loaded” that shoots very well with almost every type of ammo I can find. It was purchased because I normally carry a Kimber custom shop 1911 which my wife would not give back after she shot the thing. I picked up the “loaded” for her so I could get my gun back. I’ve now burned through about 2000 rounds of ammo with this pistol. Bench rest grouping with normal ball 240grn at 25 yards measure about 2.5 inches for 7 rounds. Mine shoots about an inch above point of aim at that distance with my hold (could just be me). I’m impressed, wife likes the gun and given it was less than half the price of my Kimber I’d say its a keeper. One item: I do not shoot steel cased ammo not very fond of the Aluminum cased stuff either. This may just be a personal observation but given the cost of a quality 1911 why cheap out on the ammo. I reload so the steel stuff costs me extra. I also do not use reloads for normal carry, settle on a factory load and duplicate for reloading… Factory ammo for normal carry because if “shit happens” I don’t want to be caught with reloads:(

  24. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to
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    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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  27. avatarjoe says:

    This was a good review on 1911′s but I saw no real relevance to the Springfield 1911. Generic and safe.

  28. Pingback: Springfield 1911-A1 (loaded model)

  29. avatarGrafton says:

    Hi everyone,
    I would welcome any advice regarding Springfield and cmp competition specs.
    I’m just beginning.
    Thanks,
    Grafton

  30. avatarJeff Growden says:

    Why is it no one posts any accuracy results here. What good is a gun if it is not accurate?
    I’ve had some guns that were just beautiful but shot like crap. I don’t buy unless I see
    accuracy results! So what good is a review without real results and photos of those results…

    • avatarRobert Seddon says:

      My 45 ACP shoots really well for me.. rapid fire at 25 feet in a 6 inch hole. You can try it and get a 29 inch group with three in the roof and one in the floor. Accuracy is as much the driver as it is the car being driven.
      Robert Seddon

  31. avatarAl says:

    Purchased the SA stainless “loaded” 1911 in 2007. Always wanted to own a 1911, read the reviews and chose this over a Glock. Out of the box could not hit the broad side of a barn, dealer could not believe it and found out for himself when he shot it, sent it back to SA, couple weeks became months… got it back and retured to the range and found very little improvement. Looks great, no big deal to take down and clean, however there is very little confidence level with this gun! It is currently decorating the interior of a safe. Very sorry I made this choice!
    P.S, will be purchasing Glock 21 4th Gen within the next six months : )

  32. avatarduke says:

    If you can’t carry a government model for ccw because it is too heavy, you need to do some pushups or grow a sack. The 4.25 inch is a Commander Model. The 3.5 inch is a Officer’s Model.

  33. avatarJackson says:

    I have owned a stainless SA 1911-A1 since 1994 and it has been my favorite pistol. Only a few upgrades- trigger, grips, and wilson combat magazines. I did have the feed ramp polished when I bought it at the recommendation of the gunsmith. It feeds anything, is tight and extremely reliably. It is my most accurate pistol and after 20 plus years I am pretty darn happy with it. I do own a 228 Sig, 380 Bersa, Ruger SR 1911 (recent purchase and awesome) and a SW sigma which I fixed. So- I would buy another SA 1911 in a heartbeat if I needed one.

  34. avatarApe says:

    Night sights for the SA Loaded’s slide cuts can be purchased from Fusion Firearms in Binghampton New York.

  35. avatarbarry taaffe says:

    Great comments. Thanks! (Dealing with switching from 50 years of revolver to autoloaders. Ha ha. Still like revolvers (Colt and Smith). Kind’a like my new Kimber 1911. We shall see. Now……. Probs with the Kimber mag. Patience!

  36. avatarbarry taaffe says:

    Further, I might beg advice from the “been through it” guys. I have a 9mm Kimber 1911 4inch b. with a shakey magazine. I am new to autoloaders, but not to guns. Does someone have a good suggestion for a good mag for a 9mm! (9 rnd) mag for the poor little fighter (Pro Carry ll)……….I do not get response from my dealer or Kimber! (weird)

  37. avatarApe says:

    Recommend the Kimpro Tac Mag. The plain ones that generally seem to come with the Kimber guns are inferior to the Tac that you can order online.

  38. avatarCD MCKINNEY says:

    I had a stainless SA Loaded and I wasn’t impressed w/ the accuracy. I have a TLE, a RO and a Milspec which are accurate which I really like and carry depending on my “mood”.

    I never have any FTE/FTF’s as I “throat” all of my 1911′s before I ever fire them and “tune” the extractors, both of which are a simple task [done at home] in less than a half hour with a few simple hand tools and some 1000 grit sandpaper.

  39. avatarEscaped from Illinois says:

    I picked up a SS loaded in late 2012. Shoots beautifully. Someone above was complaining about no actual shooting on this review so here you go. Took this the day I picked up the fun from the store. Springfield armory 1911: http://youtu.be/9w4dSufKJ5U

  40. avatarMatt wheeler says:

    I have two of these pistols and i love them, one is a factory gun with nothing done to it, and one is slightly modified for daily ccw. Now some finer points that people have missed, yes this gun is a pain n the *** to break down if… And the big word IF tou leave the factory one peaice guid rod. I switched my ccw gun to a gi style with the factory spring and a new plug, i can now break the gun down in a few seconds. Also i swaped the grips to a set of magpul grips, and of course upgraded to power mags. But on to another note, there are two places these guns are made, one is us one is brazil, us is NM brazil is N, resale value for these the NM brings more money “sorry guys”, but there have been issues with the N series there supposed to be the same gun same parts ect. Ect. But we all know how that goes… If you had an issue with the gun its usally because it dosent like the ammo, or bad mags usally 99% of the time its bad ammo, ive shot almost everything from cheap reloads to exspinsive +p ammo threw mine and only issues it had was soft lead rounds, it hates them and will not feed. Now to the glock fans, the glock is a good gun like a swiss watch, a well built 1911 is like a rolex, there both great guns on there own sides, id rather have my exprince and trigger time that extra rounds any day, and reloading is not that hard. Also if i run out of said ammo, id rather have a half lb of steel than plastic just saying.

    I am a 145lbs and i carry this gun daily, ive done so for so long i forget that its there, but ive carried most of my adult life from military to daily life. The gun is built as a work horse to run, and run and run. Finally to do some corrections from above posters… The military used the 1911 from the end of ww1 untill well it still uses it.. Sooo i would say that it is a proven reliable platform. When i was over seas, most of the ODA guys i ran into, thats spec forces for the arm chair commandos, and not just any spec forces but your best of best guys, all carried custom made 1911s.. Usally from springfield they carry the professional model, and there not the only ones our good ol FBI Hostage Rescue teams, also carry the springfield professional models as there go to back up side arms, they have been used by marine force recon units, and navy seals, and delta force guys, all of these are now called oda teams. Navy seals now use HnKs and usps, marine units use glocks mostly, but good old army still uses the 1911s, i saw many of them during my tours over seas, and can attest there not you run of the mil 1911s there highly modifeid and extreamly reliable, unlike those m9 pos the issue, by the way the berrate is utter garbage in the dessert. At home its a great gun but over there in that kind of enviroment it sucks.. Id throw mine before i tried to fire it.

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