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I carry a 1911 in .45ACP every day. I’ve carried a .45ACP as my daily carry for decades now. I’m invested in the caliber. The key to my ballistic heart: 1911’s incredible pointability. With a good 1911, I can draw and dump a magazine into a 4″ circle at seven yards in a few seconds time. What made me fall in love with the platform is made all the lovelier when it’s chambered in 9mm . . .

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My first reaction was the same as when I got my first XD, many years ago — good job with the packaging and the gear. The case came with everything you need to walk out the door and shoot, minus the ammo: the gun, two mags, magazine holder and holster, and spare inserts for the fiber optic front sight.

I wish everyone selling a gun did this, or at least had this kind of package as an option. Any time you buy a handgun you should have a holster and a way to carry a spare magazine. The only other thing they might have included is a non-marring 1911 take down tool; the Range Officer is particularly hard to take down without one.

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The Range Officer doesn’t stray far from the classic 1911 shape and form. The T&E gun arrived in rail-less stainless steel with a satin finish. There are no rough edges, nothing sharp to catch or snag. There’s also no blending of the lines, and no high polish anywhere. The back of the gun sports a flat mainspring housing that’s nicely checkered with the front strap left smooth (not my preference).

The thumb safety is single-sided, but large and well textured. Some may find it a little too well textured, but for me, it provided a positive grip and rest for my strong hand thumb during firing. The thumb safety engages and disengages with a strong snap. It operated with almost unconscious effort when I pressed the gun forward during the draw.

The Springfield Range Officer has a moderate extended beavertail safety with the now standard memory bump. There are no forward slide serrations and the scales are a checkered cocobolo bearing the Springfield logo and double diamonds. It sports the traditional bushing on a fully supported barrel. That bushing is pretty tight, especially for a gun of this price range. In fact, the lockup of the gun and general fitment were better than expected on what I would consider a low cost 1911.

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Immediately after taking the Range Officer out of the box and checking to make sure it was empty, I had my first cause for concern. Pulling back on the slide and inspecting the chamber without a magazine in the gun proved that the gun was clear. When I released the slide, the slide did not fully return to battery. A light tap on the back of the slide fixed the problem, but it was easily repeatable.

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I chalked this up to a lack of lubricant and broke out my go-to can of RemOil. The problem persisted, but now returned to battery with only a forward shake of the gun. With that, to the range!

On my daily carry gun, I insist on Heine SlantPro Straight Eight night sights; the likelihood of having to use the firearm in the dark is greater than having to use it in the light. But for range, hunting, or competition use, a fiber optic front sight is the way to go. I was happy to see the Range Officer sported a red (green also included in the box) fiber optic front sight and a fully adjustable flat black target-style rear sight.

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The first pull of the long aluminum trigger was a little stiffer than I would have liked, but it broke cleanly. Slightly heavy, but with no creep and a crisp break. That persisted through the 550+ rounds I ran through the gun.

As I’d expected, the gun is fun and easy to shoot. After a few mags of slow fire, I got to shooting faster, which is the point of a 1911 in 9X19. At least it is for me. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Although it didn’t drive quite as fast as the STI Tactical DS in 9mm (at twice the MSRP) I shot last year, it was still throwing lead downrange almost as fast as I could pull the trigger. The gun was certainly waiting for me. I wasn’t waiting for the sights to set back on target. With locked wrists and a firm grip, that muzzle barely rises. It feels less like recoil and more like the pistol just shakes in your hand bit. I’d recommend the 9mm Range Officer for a new shooter on the minimal recoil alone.

It should be noted here that although the round may be lighter, the gun itself isn’t. Like most 1911s in 9X19, it’s heavier than its .45ACP counterpart. More weight and less charge equals a lot less recoil from any position.

One-handed with my strong hand only, the gun was still very easy to control, and delivered excellent results when shooting from non-standard positions. I always try shooting from my back, both forward and across my body. I also try shooting while crawling (try it and despair, it’s shockingly difficult), as well as from an incomplete draw with the handle planted in my ribs. The mild recoil and full 5″ slide made follow up shots from these various positions much easier.

I shot the gun with the CEO of Underground Tactical. Jason Carter isn’t much of a 1911 guy; none of them fire a significant enough projectile for his uses. He’s an extremely accomplished handgun hunter and the only guy I’ve ever met who’s taken a Cape Buffalo with a double action revolver.

Carter and I both had the same issues with this gun. For the first 300 rounds or so, the gun repeatedly wouldn’t go fully into battery on a new magazine, either by releasing the slide lock or pulling back and releasing the slide itself. I wiped it clean and relubed the gun several times during the process of firing.

I experienced this with all three rounds I tried, the ubiquitous Winchester white box FMJ, Team Never Quit’s Frangible Training rounds, and my preferred carry load, the Winchester Defender 124gr +P. The slide would come 95 percent closed, but had to be pushed that one little bit with the thumb to completely close.

The problem was predictable through 300 rounds, intermittent by #350, and gone by the 400th. The last 154 fired without any malfunction at all. I call that growing pains. Other than that, there were no malfunctions of the gun.

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Neither Carter nor I shot the Springfield Range Officer particularly accurately. My 25 yard seated groups off a bag where anywhere from 4 to 6 inches. I felt like the gun could do better. I pulled the slide from the gun and blasted the junk out with an air compressor, then lubed it back up, BoreSnaked it, and put it back together to shoot another day.

My final day ended with acceptable results. The gun is accurate . . . enough. Team Never Quit Frangible Training ammo gave me the best results: regular 3″ groups. I was making 50-yard one-handed shots with that ammo while standing at a 19″ silhouette target with relative ease. The Winchester white box 115gr FMJ’s shot anywhere from 3 1/4 inches to 4 inches. The disappointment came with the defensive round, the Winchester Defender 124gr +P, which scored groups in the 6″ range.

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Given the gun’s minimal recoil and the wide disparity in performance based on ammunition, I can’t help but think there is a self defense round that will perform better out of this gun than what I had on hand. Those 3-inch groups are perfectly acceptable. The six-inchers are no fun at all.

Best of all, the 9mm cartridge in a government-sized steel frame 1911 made shooting fast seem like cheating. Two-handed, there’s not much muzzle rise. With a support hand wrist-locked, these guns pour rounds on the target. Anything I can do in .45ACP, I can do even faster in 9mm. For one handed fire, using my strong hand only, the difference between the two calibers in the same platform becomes even more pronounced.

For newbies or budget conscious 1911 buyers, the Springfield Range Officer is a welcome addition to the line.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Sights: Fully adjustable target with fiber optic front
Weight: (with empty magazine) 41 ozs.
Length: 8.6″
Height: 5.5″
Slide: Forged stainless steel
Frame: Forged stainless steel
Barrel: 5″ Stainless steel match grade, fully Supported ramp
Grips: Cross cannon™ double diamond cocobolo
Magazines: 2  9-round
MSRP: $1,045.00 (Prices range on GunBroker from $844 to full MSRP)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ergonomics * * * *
Everything in its place. I’d have liked the trigger undercut just a little more and the front strap checkered, but in 9X19 the recoil is so mild you don’t really need it.

Appearance * * * *
No fancy finish, but no rough edges either. Good wood on the handles, a modest script on the slide. For a budget 1911, this one was done well.

Accuracy * * * *
Three to four-inch groups off a bag at 25 yards is just fine. I’ve shot 1911s that shoot a quarter of that at six times the cost. What’s impressive about this gun: the speed at which you can achieve that kind of accuracy. One-handed shots at the 50 yard line ringing steel every second will get you some attention on the range.

Reliability * * * *
If I rated this on the first 300 rounds, reliability would have been a two. After a modest and completely acceptable break-in period, the gun performed flawlessly with all ammunition types.

Overall * * * *
This is a great gun, a solid shooter, and much better than I would have thought for the money. It won’t replace my EDC, but it would make an outstanding beginner’s 1911, as well as a great base gun to start your own custom 1911 in 9X19.

91 Responses to Gun Review: Springfield Range Officer 9mm

  1. Outstanding!

    A big, heavy, low-capacity, high-bore-axis 9mm on an obsolete platform!

    Somebody take my money (about the same needed to buy two Gen3 Glocks, I’ll note…)!

    • Putting a 9mm in a 1911 is like putting a two stroke engine in your 911.

      For the same money, you can almost get a completely pimped out SIG LEGION that will weigh about the same, have twice the capacity, and have all the bells and whistles.

      I can understand custom high-end 1911s, but a “entry level” gun at ~1k with minimal features is a bit absurd.

        • True, but street price is a lot closer together. I got mine for $1150. In any case, you can easily pick up a P226 with good sights for the exact same money.

        • And street price for these will be $800. They’re not direct competitors. Comparing a Sig Legion to a CZ Shadow Custom, for instance, would be appropriate.

          Then the question could be asked of you, why on earth did you buy the SIG and not the CZ?

        • Agreed w/ Dave the renegade on this one.

          But!… a 1911 in 9mm is a joy to shoot. In fact, I just bought one. We can argue price and capacity and utility till we’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that a 1911 in 9mm is a joy to shoot.

      • Two-strokes can give considerable more power per cc than 4-strokes … if you run them in their powerband.

        So, yeah, dropping a same-displacement 2-stroke into a Porsche could be a lot of run under the right circumstances.

    • The range officer series is meant for competition. You will not match the accuracy of a 1911 chambered in 9mm with a Glock especially when you are using out of the box triggers on both platforms. And if you truly want an out of the box accurate self defense pistol you would should carry a Springfield XD series and not a Glock. The trigger is so much better.

      • Oh, really now? I’ve got a Glock 23 and Glock 35 with a Wolf stainless .40 to 9mm conversion barrel and a few other mods that’ll take that challenge. JWT was putting up 3-4″ groups at 25 yards. That’s decent but not exceptional. Now if those were roughly 1″ groups, I’d quietly stash my plastic brick someplace else and compete with something more accurate. Even bone stock Glock 19s, 17s, and 34s can do 3″ at 25 yards with decent ammo, and do it cheaper than this Springfield.

        This Springfield is a decent gun, and I’m confident that JWT is an accomplished shooter, but the groups he posted aren’t going to scare off challengers. I like the 1911 platform, and modded versions can be ridiculously accurate (and finicky, too!), but this gun definitely makes some compromises to hit a price point. If those compromises work for you then have at it.

        • So let me get this right. Your tricked out Glock is better than an out of the box Springfield.

        • Tdiinva,

          I’m actually saying a couple things. If this Springfield is a 3-4″ at 25 yard gun, a stock Glock is just as accurate. And costs less. For the $800 street price of this Springfield, one could modify a Glock to make it even more accurate than the 3-4″ groups this gun printed. A 416R Lone Wolf .40-9mm for about $109 and a stainless steel or tungsten recoil spring / guide rod for about $60. Add a trigger job or connector mod as a final touch.

          I’m not bashing the Springfield, and I’m trying to recall which variants I’ve shot that were of similar or better accuracy. I’m just a little disappointed by the dollar to accuracy ratio of this sample, especially when compared to other competition ready / competition oriented guns.

          What the striker guns like the G34, CORE, and XD(m) offer in accuracy, reliability and value is debatably lost in style. Whereas the 1911 has lots of style, in my opinion, but costs a lot of money to get there. And modded 1911s can have a disheartening tendency to choke on .45 cal JHPs.

          I’ll eventually buy a 1911, but my current .45 ACP slinger is a Sig 227. I’m still trying to find a .45 that hits the right compromises for me, and it may actually be the Springfield 1911 USMC tribute pistol in .45 with a stainless barrel and a rail. It runs about $1,250 at ProForce.

          My $.02.

        • I’ve had two different (still have one, son has the other) factory-stock Glock 34 9mms that would shoot 5 shots into less than 3 inches at 25 yards. On demand. One would do it with a couple of different loads. They are shorter, lighter, thinner, and hold almost twice as many rounds as a 5″ 1911. The trigger isn’t as much “bad” as it is different, and people who can correctly apply the fundamentals of pistol shooting can shoot Glocks OR 1911s well, even those examples sporting less-than-crisp factory-stock actions.

          Additionally, I don’t think some of you have fired recent examples of the current crop of entry/mid-level 1911s or BHPs, or you wouldn’t be raving about the nice triggers on those, either. Browning also made it much harder for a novice to pull-out the BHP mag disconnect quite some time ago, which is another sign that some of you aren’t keeping up with the latest/greatest advancements in the field.

          I also tried out a SIG 227 not too long ago, and it is now on “the list”. Seems to be a great, and very accurate, pistol.

        • And its no big deal to remove the HP mag disconnect either which will drop the weight of pull by at least a pound and take out a lot of the grinding when you pull the trigger providing its legal in your state.

          As to the Glock I once bought two of the Glockmeister’s match grade trigger assemblies for two different Glocks and the only thing his triggers did was drop the weight of pull but they still had that creepy, draggy pull that the guns had with the stock triggers.

      • And if you truly want an out of the box accurate self defense pistol you would should carry a… Ruger GP100.

        Fixed that for you.

    • You do recognize that 9mm 1911s have a place other than an SD gun right?

      Glock is similarly out done by current offerings.

      • Glock may be outnumbered by current offerings, but they aren’t necessarily outdone.

        And all the “features” sported by the 1911-style guns (excessive weight, thickness, muzzle-whip due to high bore axis, low capacity, and persnickety functioning) doesn’t make them any better suited for other tasks, either. Except maybe a temporary boat anchor?

        They are (or can be) pretty, you can put nice grips on them, they have some history, and they are well-suited to one-handed bullseye shooting. Oh, and when they have a stoppage, they are heavy and durable enough to make a fine club. That about sums-up the 1911s advantages.

        • Glocks are “outdone” if you consider the metrics accuracy, function, and ergonomics. Lots of plastic wonderguns are more accurate, feel better in the hand, and have better triggers out of the box (and better sights!)

          1911s have less muzzle climb than glocks, in any caliber. you can throw around that high bore axis BS at SIGs all you want, but the fact you bring it back about 1911s tells me you’ve not spent much time shooting 1911s, they have negligible muzzle climb.

          There are entire divisions set up in USPSA and IDPA for single stacks, which a single stack 9 can play in. If you want to shoot Single Stack, you can’t do it with your Glocks.

        • “There are entire divisions set up in USPSA and IDPA for single stacks, which a single stack 9 can play in. If you want to shoot Single Stack, you can’t do it with your Glocks.”

          You’re right, Dave. But what you’re missing is the reason WHY those restrictive divisions exist.

          It’s not to protect the Glocks; it’s to protect the single-stacks.

          If forced to compete on an even field with fantastic plastic hi-cap pistols of ANY brand, the near-obsolete 1911-style single-stack would be totally destroyed. Realizing that, during the conception of the divisional categories, the people setting up the divisions knew they’d have to give the legions of 1911 fans a “protected space” to keep their fragile egos from being damaged by advancements in technology. Witness the mag capacity limits in IDPA CDP division, where 1911s often do well; although you can use any pistol which otherwise meets the IDPA SSP rules, CDP competitors are limited to loading a max of 8 rounds into their magazines. SSP allows 10 (due to the old Federal 10-shot-max laws, and many states that still use them), most “modern” .45 ACP pistols will hold 10 (or more!) and still fit into the max-size box, but that would put the 1911 shooters at a decided disadvantage, so the max in this “1911 safe space” is 8 in the mag.

        • IPSC has classic division, the only divisions in modern pistol sports that do not have mag caps is limited and open. Virtue of having more bullets hardly makes a platform better for gaming when the games are designed to have those limits. Limited and Open are dominated by 2011s which is pretty much just a 1911 double stack, prone to all the same hiccups and foibles. Regardless why the mag caps are there, they are and it’s foolish to suggest a Glock is “better” at them. Hell production is starting to be dominated by DASA guns, so at this point in time you almost seem like a dinosaur for showing up with a striker gun. IDPA had more CZs present each major match I go to, so it won’t be long before it will be the same. In IPSC production the first pull trigger weight hamstrings striker guns. And single stack and CDP are viable divisions with strong competition at most major matches.

    • I’ve recently purchased a blued RO in 9mm. I found the trigger on mine was about 4 pounds and crisp. I have other 1911s in 45ACP and 10mm, This one is fun to shoot and while I recommend DA/SA autos or revolvers to my NRA students, I LOVE the 1911 and my carry gun is a Colt Commander that has 35 years of history and two rebuilds behind it. WIll replace the barrel with a Kart shortly. The RO is a great gun for the cost. All I did to it was to add a full length recoil guide which will help with accuracy.

    • Has all the bits that someone who cares about performance but not aesthetics wants. Lowered and flared ejection port (just like all the other ones), tight barrel/bushing fit, target rear sight, etc.

      No checkering, gourmet finish job, or unobtanium grips.

  2. “For newbies or budget conscious 1911 buyers, the Springfield Range Officer is a welcome addition to the line.”

    Huh? A > $1,000 MSRP = budget conscious? A gun that takes a 400 round break-in period is good for either newbies or the budget conscious?

    A 2.5lb gun with match grade barrel that shoots 6″ groups with the only defensive ammo tested, is a good choice for what exactly?

    I’m just really confused by this review.

    • Well it’s a budget conscious 1911. Or budget conscious if your other choice is a Dan Wesson Pointman 9mm 1911.

      But frankly if you wanted to watch your budget you would not bother with a 1911 at all.

        • Scott, I took Achmed to mean that “budget 1911” is not the same as “budget gun”. This has been my experience as well.

        • You’re right you shouldn’t need to, and you don’t. There are many sub-$500 1911’s. Rock Island has several models with a MSRP in the $500-$650 range that will be available under $500. ATI is even more budget-friendly, and my experience with ATI was very positive.

          Those may not be competition guns, but if you want a 1911 there are plenty of solid reliable options for under $500.

        • As snobbish as it is to say – yes. If you want a 1911 you want the 1911 with all tool steel fire controls and a 2.5# trigger that breaks like glass. You want surgical accuracy from a match grade barrel and bushing. You want the most outlandish grips that really tie in the aesthetic you’re going for. Since you don’t own one, you don’t understand yet. You grab that first one and you’ll see why a $1200 – $1500 gun is the value sweet spot for the platform.

          There’s a joy from running a well made 1911 that’s absent from many (most?) other platforms of pistols.

          The springfield Range Officer is a base to start building up. Cylinder & Slide trigger kit, new Mainspring / recoil spring, new grips (if needed), Dawson Ice Magwell, or Smith & Alexander mag guide if you’re doing the understated thing. Nowlin or Barsto barrel and bushing… you’re set. Yes, you’ve just spent about $1,500 on a gun not quite as tightly fitted as an out of the box Dan Wesson, but you still need to add the grips, magwell, and EGW hard sear to the DW.

      • You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a good 1911 i have two of them RIA and colt both are good guns and did not spend more then 1200$ for both.

    • Agreed, $1000 may be a middle of the road budget 1911 but it is a lot of money. You can get a decent 1911 for a lot less. I have a RIA Citadel in 9mm that was under $400 (admittedly a while back) with two mags that runs flawlessly; even with steel case wolf. That is a true budget 1911 that delivers outstanding value. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to grab that pistol in a bind if my rifle or G19 weren’t handy. Take it fwiw, from a guy whose most expensive pistol is a Sig 1911 Tacops.

      BTW, love the reviews fellas, please keep them coming. Nice work on this one JWT. Stay away from the click bait nonsense and stick to the reviews, hunting stories, politics, etc.

  3. I have a Range Officer in .45ACP, parkerized finish, purchased in 2014. Paid $663 for it btw. It’s the only 1911 I’ve ever brought. It too, is quite tight with virtually no give whatsoever. I took it out of the box, stripped it, wiped it off and spritzed it with a little bit of RemOil. From that point on, I fired 654 rounds of all kinds, without a single malfunction of any kind over several weeks, with no cleaning whatsoever before it FINALLY failed to feed a cheap, nasty Tula cartridge. One tap-rack-bang fixed that, and it finished the rest of the box. Then another 50 rounds of Fed Champion aluminum case, which is also pretty dirty stuff, still no malfunctions. Then two more boxes of Remington UMC, at which point I finally decided to clean the gun out of shame of keeping such a filthy thing in my safe. After all, I was taught as a kid to always clean guns right away after shooting and it pretty much became a habit until I forced myself to skip it in order to provoke a malfunction.

    Most all modern handguns have become incredibly reliable with a bare minimum of cleaning, certainly in my experience anyway. Yes, I have had malfunctions happen with guns considered highly reliable before, most notably a very worn out Sig P229. But on the whole, every new pistol I’ve purchased in the last several years has been utterly reliable with both FMJ and JHP’s. Which makes your experience somewhat interesting. Do you think it might have been a weak recoil spring or just a tight slide?

    Tom

    • I have the same one, except purchased in 2013. I had one problem in that the rear sight fell out. I sent the slide back to Springfield and they fixed it right up.

      My wife liked shooting the RO the most out of all my guns, so I eventually bought her the 9mm version, which she really likes. Also black and no fiber-optic, just a black post. I think the price was around $650. Not a budget gun per se but a lot cheaper than any Legion I’ve seen. AimSurplus.com will sometimes have the more luxe Springfield models (like the “Loaded”) at good prices.

  4. I don’t understand the desire for Springfield’s holster and mag holder. Both are garbage. Better off to leave them out and reduce the price so the buyer has a few more dollars in his pocket to buy a real holster.

    • Agreed. I would rather have had a third magazine (Springfield sent me three more anyway as part of their promotion at the time) and the aforementioned 1911 tool. But the holster and mag carrier are sufficient for range use, and ain’ nuttin’ wrong with that.

      I also got five 8 round ChipMcCormick stainless Shooting Star mags from Midway for just a shade under $100 (birthday pricing), and so far they’ve all been flawless.

      I’m not a 1911 guy personally, but I can definitely dig why so many folks like them.

      Tom

  5. If I didn’t have a Hi Power I would probably buy one of these pistols. The Hi Power has all the JMB ergonomics and double stacked to boot. It is the only pistol that I have shot a perfect qual with. My one gripe on the HI Power is the lack of grip safety.

        • The advantage of the grip safety is that you can safely carry a holstered 1911 without engaging the thumb safety. Most people do not understand that the thumb safety is the backup to the grip safety. The only time you really need to engage the thumb safety is when you are doing administrative handling or holding a horse and the pistol at the same time.

      • That needs to be a review criteria when evaluating a gun

        “Will a CZ owner liquidate his collection to purchase one of these? Yes/No”

        • Not fair. For instance, let’s say I had to give up a Cajun Gun Works CZ75 Compact, or a kidney. I’m not giving up the gun. And I’ve only got one kidney.

    • Aesthetics notwithstanding, have you tried a Walther PPX by any chance? I’d say it’s trigger is as light or even lighter than just about anything out there, including my SA Range Officer. The rest of the gun is conventional polymer, 16+1, a face only a mother could love but kind of grows on you anyway, and CDNN sells them dirt cheap. Mine has been accurate as hell, too.

      Tom

    • My WW II Inglis HP is nice overall but I HATE the magazine disconnect. Also, the grip is not quite the same as the more naturally pointing 1911.

      • I find the Hi-Power grip very ergonomic. I like the natural curvature. Hence the plastic guns mostly have grip inserts to change the ergonomic feel.

  6. My WWII Polish Radom’s accuracy would make your groups look shameful. Not that you are a bad shot you probably are a very good shot its just that most handguns built today are junk right out of the box and your honest review proves it and I thank you for your honest reporting very much.

    I had a buddy that owned a Colt 9mm made a few years ago and it too was almost as accurate as my Polish Radom. I only wished I too would have bought a Colt Combat Commander in 9mm before Colt started using junk MIM cast parts, now the older Colts are selling for more than the newly made junk guns.

    Its interesting to note that in 1945 the U.S. Military tested the 9mm in an Ingles High Power v/s a Government 1911 in .45acp. The anemic .45 ACP bounced off a helmet at a scant 35 yards while the High Power in 9mm penetrated the helmet at an astonishing 125 yards and may have been capable of doing it even farther than that but at 125 yards that was the limit of the shooters ability to hit a helmet any farther away. I wonder what would have happened if he had succeeded? See the book “The Ingles Diamond” for further reading.

  7. It must have had a tiny bit of a burr somewhere in the works that prevented it from closing on a fresh mag until you got enough rounds through to wear it down.

    Honestly it seems to me that’s something that should have been caught in QC, but at its price point it can hardly be called a complaint, but it would be even better if a 10-box break-in wasn’t required.

  8. A thousand dollar gun is not a budget gun, even if it is a 1911. As such it should not have issues like not fully going into battery for the first 400 rounds. It shouldn’t require a break-in period to work properly. And if it’s anything like my Springfield Loaded .45, it will require a trigger job.

    Pass.

  9. Thanks for the review, but I’d have given it 3 stars after all that. A nearly $1k gun that needs a 500 round break-in just to run as well as my Glock 19 and doesn’t shoot any better at all? With half the ammo? And more than double the weight? Plus all these safeties I don’t want? These deficiencies would persist regardless of your own personal preference of tuppergun.

    No doubt I’ll own a 1911 some day, but it’ll probably be an affordable Rock Island 45 cal. To each their own I guess! I figure if I’m ever in the market for the fancier 9mm types, this would rank well behind a High Power, CZ 75, or even a Sig in my eyes.

    • As said before, the Range Officer is a entry level competition 1911. It is not really meant to be your first option for a self defense weapon. Accuracy requires tighter tolerances. Tighter tolerances usually means less reliability out of the box until after a reasonable break in period. And that weight is really an asset for its intended purpose.

    • A lot of 1911’s take break in periods, it’s not unique to this one. The RO is a budget 1911. Your definition of “budget” and “budget 1911” may not coincide, but that’s what this is.

      That said, quit living under a rock and buy a CZ. You can’t call yourself a pistol snob if your idea of the best production pistol is a Glock 19. Get a 75 compact of some stripe (P01, PCR, 75 Compact) and get on with your life, you’re living in the stone age. Same money as a Glock but shoots WAY better. I used to shoot Glocks, now I have CZs.

  10. I don’t like the idea of a Glock style trigger without at least grip safety that is lighter than a 1911. I like the Walters pistols but that is a show stopper for me.

  11. I have a blued version of the same gun with some tweaking by my friends at Novak’s. (Wish I had waited for the stainless version, because I like stainless). I did not buy for competition or for carry, but for practice/training new shooters and some elbow relief. I have a bunch of 1911 Colts in .45, but after surgery to repair a torn tendon in my dominant side elbow, there are times that the reduced recoil is greatly appreciated. New shooters appreciated the lighter, shorter trigger pull combined with the excellent ergonomics and overall thinner grip.

  12. That slide-hang thing, in my experience, is usually a problem with the extractor tension. Couldn’t be that with an empty gun, though, so I’m stumped.

  13. I like how people use a 1911 review to justify their purchase of a Glock.

    I’m going to go read a Glock review so I can turn my nose up about my purchase of some other budget/reliable pistol.

    • Yeah, I always like to count the minutes from when one of my 1911 reviews post to when someone mentions a Glock in the comments. Haven’t had to use both hands yet.

      • Meanwhile those Glock shooters will one day find the occasion to shoot a CZ and they’ll get angry they spent so much time being content with “perfection”.

        That’s my thing now, I’m a CZ snob.

        • Me being a glock and 1911 snob and owning several tanfoglios, i’m really curious what about the CZ75 style that got you hooked so much?

          The only things i found better than the above two is the cz allows a higher support hand thumb placement to counter balance slapping the trigger, and more leverage to stop/start a swing between targets.

          What else?

        • Since you asked about the CZ here is my take on owning several of them. The gun has a very long trigger reach even for a person like myself that has long fingers. Some people I know cannot even reach the trigger unless they first thumb cock the gun back into the single action mode.

          Both my CZ guns were stock guns and had gritty but fairly acceptable weight of pulls.

          The CZ is heavier than the High Power but it does point naturally like a High Power.

          The CZ is an accurate pistol with its slide tucked into the frame but that comes at a price as its difficult to grab on to the slide to rack it in a panic or emergency.

          The CZ’s I have do not have strong ignition systems as compared to the High Power but in all fairness despite the very light primer strikes I have had no misfires but I have not used the guns under harsh conditions either such as extreme cold or when the guns were very dirty, over lubed and left in a car overnight.

          The CZ’s I have are much more difficult to break down as compared to many other 9mm pistols. I have had to push the other end of the slide stop against my work bench to get it to move so I could pull it out of the pistol and some of my friends have had the exact same problem with theirs.

          My latest CZ a compact pistol had a very poorly fitted safety that is so loose I would never carry the gun in the locked and cocked mode as the safety would be too easily and accidentally brushed off. My first CZ purchased in 1980 or there abouts had a well fitted safety.

        • Not looking past a quality 1911 for CZ’s, but strolling happily past Glock, Sigs, et All.

          The slide in frame design coupled with the guns ergonomics makes sights stupid easy to track in recoil. Guns balance well, the grip can fit a lot of hands depending on palm swell of grips. The aftermarket trigger options make the triggers obscene. The guns have stupid practical accuracy. Admittedly the design is not as bulletproof as a Glock (hello trigger return spring and slide stops that I must replace) but the performance is worth the price of admission in my eyes. They’re freaking bullet hoses. You don’t have to be a veteran shooter to embrace the recoil taming characteristics and practical accuracy.

          I lump Tanfos in the same boat as CZ’s, since they’re clones and pretty much any of the commentary above would apply to Tanfo as well as CZ. The difference being that with the exception of the Lim Pro (that sometimes fits in the box), the Shadow can play both of the big gun games, while the Stock II is limited to USPSA. The triggers on the Lim Pros and Stocks i’ve handled aren’t quite as nice as CZ’s, but that all goes beside the wayside once the buzzer goes off.

          Yes, I actually carry a CZ.

        • Generally, I get better more consistent grips on metal guns than plastic, excepting the Sig P320 or any other gun with super stout polymer that doesn’t flex when you crank down on it.

          Any gun you can run fast and effortlessly keep the front sight floating in the A zone/ 0 zone is a winner. Plenty of folks can do that with Glocks, I couldn’t, but most everyone I’ve encountered shoots the CZ better than their plastic pistol of choice.

        • I would agree with what you just said.

          For competition I’ve been running pimped out 2011s in Open my entire shooting life. Were it not for me being so heavily invested in them i would’ve seriously set up another complete system, hardware and software, for Open tanfos. That said i used to shoot the tanfos i own a lot just to try out an alternative, and although with the two advantages i stated above i found them to be performing identically and didnt dedicate myself to the switch. Each to his own i guess.

          For defensive/offensive purposes i’m running glocks though. Split times are vastly subpar but they give me the peace of mind that they go bang every time instead of the high maintenance experience i’ve personally had with competition 2011s and tanfos. Funny thing is my CZ tricked out for EDC performed not much better than glocks in my hands and i didnt make the switch because of accessory/parts availablity (yknow, for those days when SHTF). However that one had a polymer frame since i’m a serious weight snob so i cant speak for your experience, though.

        • I could never get my accuracy where I was happy with it with Glocks. My split time, not just mechanical split time, but aimed shot to aimed shot split time is markedly better with CZ, the quality of hits with flash sight pictures is better.

          Aside from performance, there’s life living with a hammer fired gun. One of the things I didn’t realize I hated about my G19 was holstering in my IWB rigs. With a hammer gun, put your thumb on the decocked hammer and have at it. Even if something does find it’s way into the trigger guard, no big deal.

          The SHTF scenarios, ammo and food would become a precious commodity long before the guns wear out so I’m not concerned enough to give up practical accuracy and speed.

          A lot of dudes bash on metal frame guns, but have exceptionally narrow if any experience with them. Most folks who shoot my CZ’s admit they shoot them better, out of the gate than their preferred platform, but it’s usually “I’ve got thousands tied up in my brand X”.

      • Ok, I’m guilty. Although in all fairness I think Dean, on of my shooting buddies, was actually shooting the blued version in of this gun in .45 ACP next to me this morning, whilst I was shooting one of my modded G23’s. I had to do an off-duty qualification for insurance purposes, but it was a practice qualification for him.

        Fortunately I didn’t call him a 1911 snob and he didn’t call me a hipster douchebag. We both had good time and are even still on speaking terms.

        Thanks for the review, JWT.

    • Have one coming, double stack though. Not a review gun, just a personal gun. I was dead set on an STI Tactical DS in .357 Sig when I finally got that the 38 Super was the better option.
      Oddly enough, the 38 Super is pretty common in the narco trade just south of the border. As the 38 Super is not a “military round”, it is legal in Mexico, whereas common military calibers are not.

      • .38 Super used to be the favored round by gangland shooters in the 30’s here in the US, too. Mostly for the rep that the .38 Super would go through car doors…

    • I would like to see a 1911 in .30 Mauser. I remember not too long ago talking to someone on the net that said he had a 1911 modified to use the .30 Mauser. Its quite impressive to see the fire ball come out of the muzzle from the 1600 fps muzzle velocity. Jeff Cooper once wrote that he could not penetrate water to kill sharks with the .357 mag but did so using the .30 Mauser.

      The .30 Mauser and .30 Tokarev bullets because of their high velocity often tumble doing tremendous internal damage. Some years ago a Massillon, Ohio Cop was shot in the buttocks and the bullet after it hit bone glanced upwards and tumbled going all the way up through the upper body causing instant death and that was with a full metal jacketed bullet.

      A friend of mine hunted Red Deer in Europe with the .30 Mauser and swore by it. I have used the 9×19 and it has killed some very big white tail deer. That is why I have never had any reservation about the 9×19 for self defense. When you see it work all the gun writer bad mouthing of the cartridge goes right out the window.

      I think too the old, old 9mm export cartridge or the 9mm Largo would be just the right length to chamber in a full size 1911 gun, probably no better than the .38 Super but many people still cling to the previous poor performance of the .38 super in accuracy when they used to headspace the cartridge on the rim. Its my understanding they now headspace it on the mouth of the cartridge and the cartridges accuracy problems are no more.

  14. I’ve posted quite often about my love for the 1911 platform. I carry a Springfield Mil-spec as a duty weapon and a Kimber Ultra Carry II as a back up/off duty pistol. I find it hard to understand why someone would want a full size 1911 chambered in 9mm. I’ll agree that the recoil of the 9mm round will be less, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of shooting a 5″ 1911, why not use the powerful round that it was designed for? I can see the benefit of a 9mm load in a more compact 1911 package – a Commander or Officer’s Model frame – but even those pistols aren’t abusive to shoot in .45 and this old man believes that big holes in the target (whatever that might be) are always better. If I had to shoot a 9mm due to department policy or because I became convinced that 9mm was the way to go I’d look at something besides a 1911 – even though I love them – because I’d want the ability to put lots of little holes in the target. So I’m thinking Springfield XD or Smith M&P. if my department would foot the bill I’d even carry a Glock. If Its on my nickel, I’ll go with the Springer or Smith.

    • Because a 9mm fullsize 1911 recoils like a bb-gun, which is highly advantageous for shooters in competitions that don’t distinguish between power factors. Given this offering has a target adjustable rear sight and fiox front, I’m guess that is who Springfield is targeting with this offering.

    • One more reason for me to look at a 9mm 1911 is ammo commonality. I have .380, 9mm, .40 S&W I am not sure I want to add .45 to that lineup too.

      • This is probably the best reason I’ve heard to pick up a 9mm 1911.

        Although if you just wanted to add a shooter 1911 to the collection, various companies do make 1911s in .22LR, which would also remove the temptation to employ it for any potentially serious use…

  15. While it’s fun reading gun reviews and…interesting…reading the comments that follow them, I’m still struck by arguments for one brand over another. Most modern firearms designed for self-defense are plenty accurate and I doubt most people buy the latest model to replace perfectly good firearms. I also don’t know a lot of shooters who regularly–or irregularly–fire off 500 rounds at the range. I’d have blisters on my fingers just from loading mags.

    I’m pleased with 3” groups and at my proficiency, which is fine for 99% of situations I’m still very unlikely to encounter. No different pistol is going to overcome my lack of marksmanship. My 25 year old Walther P5 with a milled steel slide and plastic body will also blow through mags (though that’s never been my goal) of, albeit certain, brands of ammo reliably.

    I know 1911s have a devoted following but I also know larger calibers with hot loads are loud as hell. You’ll want to be proficient with one hand…that way, you can protect one ear while firing five rounds in a 1” group from your back in bed. A relatively mild JHP 9mm is quieter and plenty lethal. If it gets to Armageddon, I’ll get a modified AR…and befriend an ammo hoarder!

  16. No need to bash the reliability or accuracy of the Springfield 1911 RO 9mm. It has a lot of good features for the price range, probably designed more specifically for target and competition shooting. One sample of slide problems and some, less than ideal shot placement,does not mean it is a poor firearm. Lots of other owners have experienced no malfunctions when new, and have produced way better results on target, myself included. Please don’t paint all 1911 springfield range officers 9mm with the same brush. we all have brand loyalty, that is why there is so many choices out there. don’t criticize others for their choices, although any discussion on the merits of a firearm is good!

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