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I used to be a 1911 hater, but those days are long gone. Much like a young cigar aficionado who can’t appreciate an expensive Davidoff, I just didn’t understand why 1911 handguns were so popular. Now I carry a Wilson Combat 1911 and haven’t looked back. But there’s something to be said for the original, the 1911A1, and for those looking to own a modern manufactured version of that historic handgun, Springfield offers their 1911A1 GI model that can be bought for less than the price of a GLOCK 19. But even at that price, is it worth the money? . . .

The Springfield 1911A1 Mil-Spec would, one would think, be a straight reproduction of the iconic 1911A1 handgun as issued to the troops. But you’d be wrong. There are a number of things that keep it from being identical to the M1911A1 handgun of WWII (and earlier) fame.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

Two of the changes that separate the M1911 and M1911A1 are a shorter hammer spur and the elimination of the “double diamond” pattern in the grips, but both features are present in Springfield’s 1911A1 handgun. Springfield has even gone further, adding their logo into the cocobolo wood grips and emblazoning it on the side of the gun. Not that I’m complaining — I think it looks smashing — but purists will notice the difference.

Other differences are on the slide. On the original M1911A1 the serrations were vertical at a 90 degree angle from the slide, but on the 1911A1 they’re tilted slightly forward. And on the ejection port there’s a relief cut to allow for better ejection of the spent casings that didn’t exist in 1942. These are features that are common to the newer Springfield handguns, such as the TRP and the Range Officer, so it makes sense from a manufacturing point of view to re-use the same slides from those guns on this model too, but it’s not historically accurate. I know we’re nit-picking here, but in a world where gun companies proclaim the release of a “new gun” for more minor changes it makes a difference.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

At the muzzle end of the gun there’s another difference, but this time more minor: the barrel and barrel bushing are a shiny stainless steel instead of the customary blued steel. I don’t really have a problem with it, I just wanted an excuse to slide that picture in the review.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

One thing that doesn’t differ from the original is the finish: the gun is parkerized, and it feels almost as if the gun is covered in a soft velvet blanket. There are some parkerizations that pretty much suck, but this one doesn’t. Just holding it in your hands feels really, really nice.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

On the range, the gun runs well. No matter what you feed it, be it brand new Winchester ammunition or remanufactured Freedom Munitions rounds, the gun keeps shooting. The gun’s ability to function under adverse conditions is one of the reasons that it’s still in service today, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.

What’s really surprising is that for a gun this cheap is that the trigger is damn near perfect — if a bit heavy. The break is as crisp and clean as an Irish spring morning (or at least what my soap leads me to believe an Irish spring morning would be like) with no creep and no roll whatsoever. There’s about a quarter inch of prepping to do where there’s practically no resistance and a slippery smooth feel, and then an eighth of an inch of overtravel. The reset is short and then you’re back in business. The only complaint I have is that the trigger feels very heavy to me, but then again I’m used to dangerously light competition triggers. Nevertheless, even with the WWII style sights, the gun is dead-nuts accurate.


I take full responsibility for the fliers high and left, but take those away and you still have a 1-inch five round group from 15 yards. Considering the bullets themselves are about a half an inch wide that’s very impressive from a relatively inexpensive handgun.

At this point, the review has been all smiles and unicorns. But there’s a problem with the gun.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

Every other handgun Springfield makes comes with a beavertail grip safety, and there’s a damn good reason: the A1 grip safety hurts. It’s way too short, and for those of us with big hands it puts nearly all of the force from the recoil of the gun into a very small space on the webbing of your hand. By the end of the first 50 rounds I looked down and my hand was visibly bleeding thanks to the grip safety. While I understand that for this to be a “true” 1911A1 it needed a thin grip safety, but with Springfield changing so many other details on this gun I feel like this one has been overlooked. Then again, it’s a brilliant strategy if their goal is to get people to realize how crappy the original grip safety is and upgrade to a “Loaded” or TRP model.

Nevertheless, despite the issues with my hand the gun is legitimately fun to shoot. It’s accurate, it has a good trigger, and most importantly it runs. The best part might be that for a mere $70 you can order a replacement beavertail grip safety and smaller hammer from Wilson Combat and make the gun a lot more enjoyable to shoot. But even as-is, it’s not half bad. And especially given the price, it’s not a bad choice for new shooters either.

But if you’re looking to buy this gun with an eye to upgrade it later watch out, because the slide is going to be an issue. The sights on the gun are the old WWII-era sights, meaning that the front sight is permanently embedded in the slide and the notch for the rear sight won’t give you many options. You can take it to a gunsmith and have them mill you a Novak cut to use some of the higher end sights, but that’s going to take some money and depending on the skill of your gunsmith it might not come out right. Tyler’s friend recently ran into that issue when he sent a 1911 in for some new sights and they came back slanted. I’m not saying it’s not possible, just to be aware and be careful.

Springfield 1911A1, c Nick Leghorn

The real question is whether it’s worth the money, and that depends. If you have your heart set on a 1911 handgun, then this might be a good entry level purchase that you can add those parts I mentioned and make it into a great shooter. If you’re looking for a competition handgun, then the money and time you’ll spend on modifications alone might make it a better idea to buy a Range Officer or something similar. And if you’re just looking for a home defense gun in .45ACP then I remind you that a Glock 21 is only $200 more, holds three more rounds, and comes with an accessory rail built into the gun. In short it all boils down to preference. For some people the 1911 is just too pretty to pass up.

Springfield 1911-A1 Mil-Spec


Caliber: .45ACP
Barrel: 5 inches
Overall: 8.5 Inches
Weight: 39 oz
Trigger: Single stage
Capacity: 7+1
MSRP: $700

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category.

Accuracy: * * * * *
For a gun this inexpensive, it was pretty damn good.

Ergonomics: * * *
The gun feels soft and smooth, until you try to grip it. Then the grip safety digs into your hand and things start going wrong.

Ergonomics Firing: * * *
Recoil is damn near pleasant, but OH GOD THE GRIP SAFETY!

Customization: * * * * *
The 1911 is one of the most heavily customized firearms in existence. There’s no doubt that you can pimp this thing out however you want, and it’ll be pretty cheap to do it.

Overall Rating: * * * *
For the money, it’s a good gun. With a little work it would be a great gun. The only reason I dropped a star is because RIA has a similar offering at a cheaper price, but the quality difference between the two is obvious.

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    • I would like to know as well. I have no idea where Nick got that MSRP. There isn’t one listed on the website and Gallery of Guns says the MSRP is $785. A RIA GI though has an MSRP of about that price. He also mentioned it as the 1911A1 GI in the first paragraph. Springfield used to have a gun called the GI that was cheaper than the Mil-Spec and made closer to A1 specs. They haven’t had those for a few years though.

      • I ran this up on Gun Watch, and prices ranged from a low of $575 up to MSRP. I don’t think one can be had for $475, unless you know some guy in a dark alley who doesn’t do background checks. A little truthiness, Nick? Where’d you get this hot deal?

      • I bought the original Springfield GI A1 in OD green. The round butt strap fits my hand like no other. Has no cutouts and the original military front site. Shoots like a champ and feeds everything I have put in it, even though it is designed for ball. Very (heavy pistol) easy to shoot. Mild recoil.
        Two things I have a problem with are that it throws brass over your head, you get beaned every now and then. The GI front site is for young bucks! Very hard to see in less than great light.

    • i just bought the black parkerized one from at $576.58 with free shipping, plus the processing fee(about $25.00 from mine I use) at your local FFL dealer you select them to ship to from cheaperthan dirt

      • I wish the mil-spec was really mil-spec. I don’t see how slanting the slide serrations is an upgrade or an improvement. Why couldn’t they duplicate the original GI slide exactly? regardless of price, this is a deal breaker for me.

        I learned to shoot with a mil-surp 1911 back in the early 1970’s and I use a thumbs-down grip so as not to bump the slide safety on while I’m firing the gun. I also don’t like extended slide safeties which are easy to accidently bump OFF safe. I also never have a problem with hammer bite. It must be the way I hold the gun. I don’t try to choke up on it to get as high a grip as possible and I can handle the recoil without having to do that.

        Bottom line I don’t like any of the modern “enhancements”, I don’t like how they look and I don’t think that they’re necessary. I think that they’re just fads and I like the gun just the way John Browning designed it except for the thin sights on the military issue pistols. Colt Commercial Govt model sights are much better if your aren’t a 20 year old recruit with 20-20 vision and don’t wear bifocals.

        • I was a US Marine for 30 years and I love the pistol. I bought a Springfield model1911a1 many years ago and the only thing I changed was the main spring housing. I wanted one with a lanyard loop like I had in the USMC. Don’t recall what model I own but the serial number begins NM6- – – -. I fired it when I got my concealed carry permit and it is a great semi-auto. I was not after any updates on it either.

    • Mark, I purchased mine for $550, but it was a display model. The standard price for this pistol at my LGS was $629. There is another model, however, that does not have the stainless barrel for $499. I had one of those once, and aside from the stainless barrel and bushing, it is the same gun. Go on down…get one. You won’t regret it.

      • I have to admit, I’ve never had a 1911 type handgun in my life. I had just about anything else, but a good friend of mine gave me his old, Springfield .45 as a very nice present. Btw, this model has a nut on the front, requiring a 3/16 Alan wrench for disassembly. It doesn’t have the push button that the later models have. As I found out meanwhile, it’s a parkerized MIL SPEC model, made in 1988. I took it to the range and loved the action right away! The trigger is simply perfect for me. It’s not a hair trigger and not a long pull, it breaks exactly where I want it to break and the shots end up exactly where I’m aiming at – which should be normal, but not always the case.

    • My ffl dealer has them for $550 about the same for a glock 21 but not cheaper ive been checking one these out and it is a really sweet gun

    • @Mark, or anybody else wondering how/where to buy a SpringfieldArmory .45 for less than a Glock 19…try pawn shops that deal in quality goods. I got my S.A. .45 at a local pawn shop for $399 and tax. It was broken in, but FAR from broken! I took it too a gunsmith to check it out and HE even offered to buy it from me if I’d lay a price on him. “Not for sale” was my answer then and it’s still the same now. These are AMAZING guns, whether USA OR Brazilain made. Yeah, I know a lot of guys don’t like the Brazilian model, but why? It’s the same gun with the exact same standard that S.A. puts on ALL their guns, and I’ve yet to have a problem with mine at all. It’s all in people’s heads that a US made gun is better than where ever else it was made. There couldn’t be a more false statement when it comes to guns at least. Look at some of the guns that come out of Europe. The US can’t match ANY of the quality in any category, and I feel the same about the S.A. out of Brazil. If you didn’t see the stamp on it, you’d NEVER know the difference, so save yourself the headache and wantin’ to be all “USA USA” and keep some of your hard earned money in your pocket, so the next time you DO see a S.A that’s made in Brazil and in good condition, grab it before somebody smarter than you does! As far as the grip safety, maybe they designed this just for MY hands, idk, but when I first brought it home, I put a full box of 50rds through her without a hitch and with no hand injuries, no jamming….nothing but sweet sweet shooting out of it. The gun’s rated, depending on who you ask, but generally it’s in the top 10 at least of .45s that cost under $1000 right out of the box, and I know why…they’re simply great guns. Sure some tweakin’ might be required, but that’s only for SOME shooters. For others, the gun’s gonna be 100% from the get-go, new OR used. Consider it the AK of handguns cause you’re NOT gonna beat it’s price, it’s design, it’s durability, accuracy or virtually anything else in it’s price range, especially if you’re lookin’ for a 1911A1. If nothing else, buy one and let it grow on you. I TRUST you it’ll grow on ya fast and you’ll love it!!!!

      • I agree, I bought a Remington 1911 R1 with the same mindset but the front sight flew off the first day at the range.

  1. 1911s are good historic handguns.

    Why anyone actually chooses to carry one for EDC, if for no other reason than they are gambling on never needing more than eight rounds, is beyond me.

    Give me my Glock any day for EDC over a 1911.

    • It’s the truth about cars thingy.

      Some people prefer the Glock hoopties, some prefer the 1911 Lincolns.

    • Here we go again with the “Gun Dogma”.

      Believe it or not, the joys of American life are that we can buy and use whatever equipment we like.Considering the typical defensive incident ends with the bad guy running into the weeds at the sight of the defenders pistol, a high capacity firearm is NOT a requirement of CCW.

      Lets can the “my way or the highway ” posts, please.

      • You could just get a doublestack verdion which holds 14+1 rounds. Para-Ordinance makes good ones (I believe)

        • Para Ordnance?How hilarious.The one I had needed a “Some Assembly Required” label

          I got it to work-kinda- after properly tensioning the extractor, sanding down the burrs on the slide, re-beveling said extractor, and removing the sharp 90* frame ledge beneath the one piece ramp .

          If you buy one, don’t expect it to work out of the box.

        • Held one, about as thick as a regular one. Its just the frame and grips that are more square, this gives an illusion of thickness. Work those over with a file and you will see.

      • Mr. McCain is just like that. TTAG posted a story about going shooting with him and how he was a real pleasant guy. Unfortunately, more often than not, when he opens his mouth here it usually sounds douchey.
        Paul you may have a nice bit of pudge that allows you to carry a double stack handgun but we can’t all be so lucky.

          • Bullshit Paul. I gave you a vaild reason why people carry single stack firearms like 1911s. You give me that in return? Cop out.

      • “the typical defensive incident ”
        I’m not willing to risk my life on anything being “typical” about a “defensive incident.”

        “Lets can the “my way or the highway ” posts, please.

        Sure, you first.

        : )

        • He acknowledged that everyone’s choice is their own. So your rebuttal falls flat on its face, preacher man.

      • Some of us, like in “gun-eutopia” Kalifornia, 2 extra rounds of 9mm isn’t that big a disadvantage. Especially with 10rd mags for reload.

    • “…gambling on never needing more than eight rounds…”

      Paul, that’s what spare mags and a single or double spare mag pouch are for. If you need more than at best 22 rounds, you’re in a full on shoot-out and the extra rounds in a GLOCK may be of little benefit.

      Better pack a back-up, and a companion with a fully charged cell phone to call the meat-wagon.

      • This is what happens when someone takes a self defense course geared toward military/LEOs. They get trained up to fight a full fledged shootout lasting many minutes. I have yet to see civilian DGU that fits this description.

        • Such a stupid, stupid attitude and a real revelation of the poster’s wholescale ignorance.

          I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.

          It’s that simple.

          • At least try to represent your church a little better and stop resorting to name calling to get a point across. Tdiinva raises a good point about civilian dgu’s lasting only a few shots. Having 8+1 capacity with a spare 8rounder seems like plenty. I don’t think anyone here is bad-mouthing glock we would just appreciate the same courtesy.

          • Again. He’s not stupid. He made the same calculus you did and came up with a different result, one that works for him.

            I’m going to say this in bold so to make sure you understand it: Everyone who disagrees with you is not a fucking idiot.

            Now you may say that you don’t think that, but your comments here would belie that statement.

        • If ^ that is true you should probably not stop until you have ALL the bullets. Or do you make a cutoff where you decide you have enough for a reasonable risk assessment? Well, other people don’t have the same risk or assessment.

        • Sounds to me like you suffer from an advanced case of expertitis. In the typical “3, 3, 3 ” DGU. I have 5 extra rounds plus the two additional 8 round magazines I carry. Does that meet with your approval? Tell you what you carry what you want and I’ll carry what I want. You can tell my wife I told you so after the evilserbs I pissed off in ’99 take me out because I didn’t carry a Glock and 100 rounds.

        • That`s why LEO & Paul,need a Glock with 17- 39 rounds, so they will most likely get one on target.
          I carry a 1911- A1 Springfield, the older GI model 24/7 with 8 rounds in the gun and (2) 7 round mag. on the side and it shoot a 1 1/2″ group at 25 yardes, whats not to like and if they need more then that, then they don`t need to own a gun or needs to be in the Military ………

      • so if you think that the idea of needing more than 8 rounds is ridiculous unless you are in a full on fire fight, then do you have a problem with the ny safe act?

        • Now there is a brainless nonsequitor. If you want to carry a 30 round magazine for your Glock I couldn’t care less.

          Show me a case where a DGU turned into a firefight that didn’t involve criminal-on-criminal violence?

        • It says nothing about how many rounds were fired or how long it took. For all you know he fired three shots in three seconds.

        • what is the specific arbitrary number required for it to be deemed a “firefight”? i would consider one round fired from each party a firefight. if the homeowner did go 3 for 3 then that is a firefight for the books, but i doubt he did. also, if regular dgu’s are not enough proof that you may need more capacity, then look at the l.a. riots. some Korea town store owners reported firing over 100 shots.

        • You ought to consider this range cowboy. Unlike the police you have to account for every round you fire and you don’t get a free pass for collaterals. So you remember That when you start blazing away with Glock.

          And one more thing, if I am in in a civil disorder situation I am not using a handgun as a primary weapon. I have a Remington 750 with a couple of 20 round magazines — a poor man’s M-14. Any more questions cowboy?

        • haha ok partner.

          p.s. i am a ca slave so i can’t blaze away to much. also i am a XD boy, not Glock. I’ve disliked the few Glocks i have shot.

    • I take then that you only recommend carry a small single stack pistol or revolver as a backup gun. If 7 rounds of 230 grain JHP isn’t enough then certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck with 7 rounds of 9mm or God forbid 380.

      Literally millions of GIs carried a 1911 into more violent confrontations than anything even our militarized SWAT teams face and they didn’t have any problems with it.. The families of dead krauts, japs and a various flavors of commie would strongly disagree with your assessment of the usefulness of the 1911. It is the world’s most combat proven sidearm.

      Recently I have been reminded of the 3/3/3 rule in armed self defense — 3′, 3 seconds, 3 rounds. That’s all your going get whether you have a 5 shot revolver or a Glock with a 30 round magazine. And if it comes to grapple I will have steel bludgeon in my hand instead of a piece of plastic.

      I own and carry a MILSPEC. Over the years it has proven to be reliable, durable and accurate just like the gun my WWII GI family members took into combat in Western Europe, Italy and the Pacific.

      • It’s true that millions of GI’s carried (and were satisfied with) 1911’s in terrible combat situations. Remember, however, that it was their BACKUP gun.

      • Mate, I’ve got to say that you’re sounding like a fanboy. Any firearm that worked in those circumstances would have served them fine. The Browning HP, Polish Viz, and the Luger, all have a loyal bunch of folks that appreciate them, but none, including the 1911 is immune to problems. The m1911, like its contemporaries, is susceptible failure from being exposed to the elements. It is not a weapon that can be quickly stripped, and if you’re of the school that shoot placement is key, it pales in comparison to the Browning HP. It’s an iconic design that, when built and tuned, is about the most accurate you can build, but let’s not get caught up in superlatives or exaggerated claims. For combat use, it will work; but there are better choices and options out there.

    • I must respectfully disagree.
      Carry whatever is comfortable and you are confident with , however, if you are proficient and can use your sidearm with acuracy during a high stress situation, 2 shots is all you need. Probably all you’ll get.
      I bet my life daily on a 1911, I’m a surgon with it and it has been with me for years.
      The revolver like mile and a half trigger travel of the glock just isnt for me.
      I’ll take the crisp, effortless instant single action trigger of the 1911 any day.
      If you are as at ease with your glock, great.
      I hope it serves you well.
      Just a suggestionl if you like the polys, have you tried the XDM ? Twice the pistol of a glock in my opinion.

    • I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but…the truth is that most of us will never get into a gun fight, and if you do, and it takes you more than 8 to 10 rounds, I suspect you’re not in a gun fight. You’re at war. A pistol is something you carry when you don’t think you need a gun. If you think you’re going to need a gun, take your rifle.

      Now, I carry the new HK VP9, and I have said the same thing about carrying a 1911, but if you have used one for years (like most 1911ers I know) and it is all you know and has always worked for you, you don’t need anything else. And that is the truth of it. You really don’t need anything else. Carry a back up mag or two, and you’re good. If you need more than 20 rounds of .45 then just throw the damn gun at ’em and run like hell.

    • If you’re really insecure about “only 8 rounds” then you need to spend more time at the range or just plain learn how to shoot!! If 8 rounds doesn’t do the job for ya, then a couple more aren’t gonna matter much unless it’s an intense, long lasting gun battle, and in that case you can still get mags for the 1911 that’ll hold as many or more than the Glock. Any questions? Didn’t think so. Remember….the man controls the gun and where the shot placement is, not the name on the gun nor the number of rounds it holds. Always THINK that you’ve only got 3 shots regardless of the gun make or mag capacity, and make ’em worth pulling the trigger for! If you master that, you won’t think twice about having that feeling that a Glock would be a step up, because by price alone, then the gun is controlling YOU!

    • Have you EVER been in a gun fight? I have. 8 rounds? Steel gun over any Glock on any day in any gun fight. Glocks are just over hyped junk.

    • Paul T. McCain you’re “That Guy” that gun shop owners and range operators hate to see coming. By your logic you should be strapping 2 fully loaded AR’s in addition to your Glock.

    • I don’t get 1911’s either. They’re huge, heavy, low capacity, and–most importantly–my thumb is too goddamn short to reach the slide lock lever…

      • They are not “low capacity” if you can hit what you are shooting at. Glocks are nothing more than spray and pray plastic junk.

    • I will give you one personal example. I have two scuba tanks hanging in a gully 80 yards from my deck. I am not the greatest iron sights shot, that’s for sure, mainly from mild nearsightedness. I can sometimes get 10 hits in a row, but usually not.

      I tried Glock and Sig 9mms, wasn’t particularly thrilled with the fat grips. I tried a 1911, and got two hits on a scuba tank with the first 7 round magazine. I wasn’t expecting any. Second magazien, got one hit, All the next several magazines got one or two hits.

      Whatever it is, whether because it’s single stack, because the grip angle is more natural, because 9mm vs .45, I don’t know, but I am simply a better shot with the 1911 than the Glock or Sig.

      • Same here. I can handle and shoot best with single action revolvers and 1911s so those are what I carry as my primary. I do have others that I can carry as BUG or second sidearm but the 1911 and Vaquero are pretty much second nature to me. Plus, I really like the .45 ACP… so, of course, both are in .45 ACP. I simply don’t shoot other calibers and other styles of sidearms as well.

      • My friend, probably because you’re holding a gun that’s just more comfortable and less intimidating than some, and you don’t have the ultra high expectations that some gun makers put on their products. As far as a S.A. vs a Glock, honestly you couldn’t give me a Glock for a birthday present. I just don’t like ’em and they’re over hyped in my opinion. Not that they’re bad guns, but just not as good as the jibber jabber goin’ around about ’em. I’ll take a nice big heavy, beautiful 1911A1 ANYDAY over a Glock…of any model! Have a great time with your 1911!

    • I’m not a 1911 hater, but 1911 guys tend to drive me nuts. They’re like Harley guys. They’re both made of steel instead of aluminum or plastic, so they’re heavy and slow, they use dated technology, they aren’t dependable (what do you mean you have to fire 500 rounds before you can trust it for self defense?). Yet their aficionados are convinced that what’s theirs is awesome and everyone else is shooting (or riding) a complete piece of sh!t.

      Sure their fun to shoot (or ride) and they’re a classic design (I’m a huge fan of Ruger Blackhawks) but the snobbery invites the sneers.

      • Gun snobs and fanatics are annoying. Period. Doesn’t matter to me if they’re Glocktards, 1911 nuts, HKfags, or SigSuckers.

        Tangentially related, but one thing that really pisses me off is when the fanatics dismiss someone who has a problem with their gun. If you read gun forums I’m sure you’ve seen people who are so insane about defending their gun of choice that they jump on someone who has malfunctions or problems.

        For example, if you want to piss a Glocktard off mention Gen 3, G19 brass to the face issues. The hardcore tend to claim that they’re all shooter related. It’s an ejector problem.

        If you want to piss off HKfags mention Hornady ammo and how it jams up USPs and HK45s. Their solution? Don’t use Hornady ammo. I guess ze Germans didn’t use the right ancient tacticool operator magical enchantment on the steel to get it to accept Hornady XTPs.

        I don’t know much about SigSuckers. I think you’d literally have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not acknowledge the company has had serious quality control issues these past few years.

        1911 nuts aren’t as bad, in my estimation. They might be defensive about the old gun toward people who don’t like the platform but they usually try to help people who are having problems with theirs.

        • We need to take up a collection to get you laid. Or some Midol, whichever will help you pull the 2×4 out.

        • The SigSuckers drive me nuts too because I’m a Beretta 92 guy. You simply cannot bring up Beretta to a Sig guy without them immediately chiming in about how much better a Sig is than a Beretta. I think they’re just still pissed off about losing the military contract. I usually just tell them that Sigs should be better than Berettas because they cost 50% more and if they weren’t better then they got ripped off and avoid further conversation. Personally I think they got ripped off.

          My issues with the 1911 nuts are more from online conversations than face to face ones, but I’ve run into a few gun counter guys.

          • I have a sig 1911 that would not cycle hollow points. After it would fire one it would jam up tighter than could be cleared by recycling the slide. The only way to get it to seat properly was to smack it just right behind the rear sight. But the main reason I’m responding to your post is because the only time I’ve ever fired a 92fs it jammed up upon channeling a round and also after the first shot. Also I’ve never heard positive feedback from servicemen who carry them. TTAG did a book review on Carnivore and the main character(author) claimed his was trying to get him killed.

        • I have zero experience with Berettas so I can’t comment on them, but yes, that does sound annoying.

          Also, my Sig 1911 is a complete piece of shit. Avoid their 1911s at all costs. They look good but they’re garbage.

          A friend of mine compared it to a gold plated turd. Looks nice on the outside but it’s still shit.

        • Carry .45,

          I’ve put a couple thousand rounds of all sorts through mine without a single failure, although any auto can jam once. Most of the issues with the military guns have been either with the Checkmate magazines in Afghanistan that the government insisted be parkerized for some reason or from worn out parts. Some of these guns have been in service for 20 years and have not been maintained properly. Most any gun WILL jam when you’ve put 50,000 rounds through them without changing the recoil spring. There were similar complaints about the 1911 since they were still using WWII issued guns that still had the original barrel bushings. Just saying you’ve got to take the service member complaints with a grain of salt.

        • Gov, I agree with you on the FS-92/M-9. The only reason I don’t have one for my 9mm is the wrong way safety. My wife carries one and is very happy with it.

        • The safety’s only wrong if you’re not used to it. I figure if I ever get into a struggle for the gun the safety will be wrong for the other guy, but right for me.

        • I own one and can’t say that I agree. But now that it has been broken in (1000 rounds)mine functions perfectly. Though I have only found one hollow point that feeds reliably and that’s the hornady critical defense. The profile is as close to ball ammo as you can get.

        • Mine has always been reliable when using either FMJ or JHP. Sig C3 Revolution so it is a compact. Also own a SA 1911A1 Mil-Spec. Unlike the article gun, mine has not got a stainless bushing. Like the author’s point about the lack of a beavertail, mine too bites. For those who think 8 rounds of .45ACP aren’t enough, they do make 10 round mags for the reload. So I have up to 28 rounds. If you get into that kind of gunfight and need more, maybe you should have had a rifle instead. Shot placement is what counts, not rounds fired.

          • 8 rounds I plenty of ammo is plenty along with your 2 spare mags. I abhorred wasting ammunition. If you’re not confident with your skill set with a 1911 you really shouldn’t carry one.

    • I don’t “hate” 1911s, I’m just not a mindless 1911 Zombie who worships at the altar of the 1911. And, yes, I have one, enjoy shooting it and have bought/sold several others. It is a fun range gun, a nice piece of history to have and hold and shoot.

      • Why is everyone who decides to carry a 1911 a “mindless 1911 Zombie who worships at the altar of the 1911”? Why can’t you accept that maybe they’re not zombies, that they made the same calculation you did and came to a different conclusion? Nick mentions in the article that his EDC is a Wilson Combat 1911. Is he a mindless zombie worshiping at the altar of the 1911? Why do we have this same gd conversation over and over?

        “Why anyone actually chooses to carry one for EDC, if for no other reason than they are gambling on never needing more than eight rounds, is beyond me.”

        This is a gun review of a 1911. Yes, it mentions carry, but that’s not what it’s about. Why you think it’s necessary to inflict your opinion about 1911 carry on all of us (again) is beyond me.

        “Give me my Glock any day for EDC over a 1911.”

        I think your GLOCK is an ugly chunky gun that I don’t care for, and why anyone likes them is beyond me. (OK, that last part’s not true. GLOCKs are perfectly acceptable guns. Y’know, just like 1911s.)

        Oh, and I’ll put the number of mindless GLOCK zombies worshiping at the altar of GLOCK up against the number of your 1911 zombies ANY DAY. I’m pretty sure I’d win.

        • We’ll said. Here’s my theory. People get all worked up with the endless debate over Glock or 1911 or .45 vs 9mm or whatever it is because they take any dissent from their opinion as an attack. Well, I chose this particular item and anyone who disagrees is questioning my expertise, my knowledge, and my little ego can’t handle this ’cause I’m so fragile……whatever. Why take a differing opinion as a personal affront? Quit acting like a bitch and agree to disagree. Myself, I like all guns. I love Some more than others of course, but I’m not going to call people zombies because I have a different point of view. Articulate, factual arguments about whatever gun or caliber or what have you are fun to have, and can be enlightening if you keep an open mind. Getting butt hurt because someone disagrees and resorting to fourth grade taunting and name calling is inane and bad form. Like what you like and be glad you (still) live in a country(some parts of it anyway) where you can still have guns to argue about.

        • And everybody knows the Makarov is the perfect carry gun. No tweaking, no adjusting, no after market add ons. Perfect.

        • Makarov carry etiquette:

          1. Carry a Mak.
          2. Wear a ushanka.
          3. Shoot only if you can’t jump kick a guy in the face.*

          * Cops Season 1 Episode 15 S1E15 Russia, 1989

        • Reading is fundamental, Matt in FL.

          “Why is everyone who decides to carry a 1911 a “mindless 1911 Zombie who worships at the altar of the 1911”?”

          Now, I did not say that, did I? If you are going to quote me at least get it right.

          “This is a gun review of a 1911. Yes, it mentions carry, but that’s not what it’s about.”

          If he mentions carry, then comments about using a 1911 as your EDC are appropriate.

          “I think your GLOCK is an ugly chunky gun that I don’t care for”

          If that is your opinion of a Glock, fine by me. If your choice of firearms is dictated by what looks cool or makes you look cool, good luck with that.

          “I’m pretty sure I’d win.”

          I’m happy for you.

          No need to get so butt hurt, Matt.

          • Let me explain how it works. A-Rod mentioned “1911 haters” and you self identified as “not a 1911 hater” but also “not a 1911 zombie.” You’re defending yourself against an allegation that wasn’t made (nobody called you a hater) and implying that those who are saying they like 1911s better than other guns are zombies who can’t think for themselves. Nowhere in any of your comments is any room whatsoever for opinions that dissent with yours. You state your opinions as facts, as if they were handed down on graven tablets on a mountaintop somewhere, and that’s just not the case. If you look, you’ll notice mostly a bunch of folks saying, “It’s not my thing, but if it makes you happy, great,” and then you come along and effectively say, “My way is best and you’re all braindead idiots.” I know those aren’t your exact words, but that’s how you come off, time and time again.

            Yes, the post mentioned carry, and so fine, it’s a valid topic of conversation. But don’t be a dick about it. There’s no need to shit all over someone else’s choice just because they disagree with you. De gustibus non est disputandum, or as my buddy’s 6 year old niece likes to say, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”

      • Note to Matt in FL. I’ve noticed that the weaker your points become the more you resort to schoolyard vulgarity. Very telling in fact.

        Here’s how it work.

        Men make assertions, not whiney little asides in sentences that end with question marks.

        Assertions can either be agreed with or not agreed with by counter-assertions making factual arguments.

        Men do not whine about who says what or how they say it.

        • No but men do call out other men when they sound like douches. And, sir, I daresay you understand why we hold you to a higher standard of civility than others. You told Matt reading is fundamental. Sounds snarky. You told someone else that because they feel they only need 10 rounds that that was a stupid mindset.(name calling) you told me to stay classy. More sarcasm. All this being said, it’s been fun Paul. I hope you got some enjoyment out of this as well.

        • OK, you beat me. You’re right. You started on the high road by disdainfully questioning why anyone would ever carry a 1911, and then elevated your game by calling tdiinva stupid and ignorant, while dropping a few “fanboy” comments along the way towards those who disagreed with you. And I’m the childish one.

          You want an assertion, from a man? Most of the time in your comments, you come off as an elitist jerk who revels in the sound of his own pontificating, and who knows better than everyone else. What I’ve noticed about you is that when faced with opposition, you get arrogant and start talking down to people, as if they’re stupid little children that need to be educated in the true ways of the world.

          You might get a little more respect if you acknowledged that you may not have all the answers, or that what’s right for you may not be right for everyone else. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that your self-esteem is based on always being right (and being smug about it), so I don’t see your position moving much anytime soon.

        • That’s more like it Matt, nicely done. You are getting there, but unfortunately you have gone the ad hominem route. You fail to read carefully, again. I did not say a person was stupid. I said the “attitude” was stupid. Slow down and read carefully.

          Now as for acknowledging when I am wrong.

          I do acknowledge that at some point I may be wrong. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m open minded enough to hold it out as a possibility, remote as that may be.


          • Saying that his attitude was stupid and he was demonstrating “wholesale ignorance” is effectively the same as calling him stupid and ignorant, as far as virtually everyone on the planet is concerned. Arguing otherwise is backpedaling and hairsplitting, and folks who do that are generally trying to avoid responsibility for their words.

            As far as “nicely done” and “getting there” and your admonishments to “read carefully,” you can take your smug paternalistic pat on the head and blow it out your ass. I’m done with you.

        • Matt, I appreciate you support, at least from uncivil behavior. It’s not like i have never cast stones.
          Perhaps the Rev should look at the plank in his eye instead of the speck in mine.

  2. Doesn’t a Glock 21 hold 6 more rounds? Glock 30/30S/30SF hold 3 more rounds. And have easy to accomplish night sights.

      • I love shooting my 1911 because it’s easy to shoot and wicked cool. I don’t carry it because I prefer other options is all. My comment was directed at a factual error in the article.

      • Because we all know people who understand the defensive uses of a firearm base their decisions on what to use on the basis of what looks cool.

        Eye roll.

        • If and/or when I have to draw down on somebody, they’re not gonna see my 1911 long enough to know if it “looks cool” or not. The friends that I go shooting with seem to think it’s “cool” and some are converts to the 1911 since we’ve been shooting as their choice for an EDC. The single stack mag makes for a more comfortable grip(and you can get up to 10 round mags if you feel like you REALLY need one), and the trigger is ULTRA crisp and light for a standard trigger set up, aka non competition trigger.

  3. “Springfield offers their 1911A1 GI model that can be bought for less than the price of a GLOCK 19″….

    Not in any state I’ve been to.G19s where I’m at sell for $550 new.

    USED GI model Springfield 1911s sell for $550.00.That GI up there would list for $650 in my neck of the woods ,new.

    • +1 – not sure where that is. But you can’t buy a new G19 here in CA for less than $550 – which will exceed $625 once you add fees and taxes. And you can’t even buy an RIA 1911 for less that $500 new around here.

      • We’re at $625 in MD before the 6% sales tax, $10 background check fee, and cost of getting a HQL.

      • May I suggest you are from states where there is a monopoly on the importation of guns by the dealers?

        In other states there is more competition for business…

      • Hilarious….

        It is funny reading “reviews” of “new” 1911s, just as it is hilarious reading reviews of “new” Glocks.

        What can you say about them? But it is amazing how many words people expend stating the painfully obvious.

        • GLOCK reviews, yeah, kind of redundant. Considering the massive number of 1911 manufacturers and the wide array of configurations and customizations, I’d disagree that 1911 reviews are redundant.

        • A 1911 is a 1911, all the hype and hoopla that comes along with a “new” 1911 model is just marketing hype. When is the last time some actually new ground-breaking new technology has appeared in the vast majority of 1911s being released?

          The only truly interesting thing I’ve seen come along in recent years is the side-by-side double barrel 1911. Say what you want about it, at least it was actually interesting.

          As opposed to, “Hey, look at our new 1911. It has cool grips on it!”

          • Ill give you a “fair enough” on the point of them not having much new technology. And I lolled about the pretty grips comment.My scorpion has the hogue g10 piranha grips on it and I love em. And honestly the look of mine is what drew me too it. Olive green grips on desert tan: my idea of sexy.

  4. That is not a Mil-Spec GI model, it is a standard Mil-Spec. It looks as if the GI has been discontinued, but it was a specific model of the Mil-Spec. The GI has a different finish, different grips, original style sights, and a non-lowered ejection port. It was also typically about $100 cheaper than the standard Mil-Spec.

    • I’ve got one of those, low-profile GI sights, the “US” double diamond grips, barrel and bushing match the slide and frame, no extra cut-out on the ejection port.

      Shoots great, although after a long shooting session I’ve got marks from the grip safety. Only change I’ve made was for an ambi safety, though sometimes I wish I could change the front sight for one that was a little easier to see in low light.

      • Get a good grade of fluorescent paint of your liking…something not usually found in nature or in urban areas either, and just have somebody with a steady hand paint the back side of the front blade with it. Problem solved for probably under $5. Just a thought. I’ve had to do it with mine because my night vision isn’t what it used to be. Everybody’s changes with age, even if you’re young and still think you’re invincible like we all have or still do. 😉

  5. The lines are nice and the price is nice. Had one issued to me back in my military days(or is it daze) anyway the weight and size for me at least was unpleasant. My CZ fits me right and works well but the price certainly makes this tempting.

    • My loaded had to be returned, two times, to be repaired. But, as everyone always says, Springfield has great customer service. The reason they do is because they get so much practice.

      • I have a Kimber that had to be returned, and actually, customer service was prompt, something Kimber is not known for–even though it gets a lot of practice.

  6. A couple of years ago at the LGS I dry fired the Mil-spec and the Range Officer back to back and the trigger on the Mil-spec was awful in comparison. The Range Officer was like breaking glass, the Mil-spec was like dragging the trigger across broken glass. I take it Springfield has massaged the trigger a bit since then.

    The Mil-spec does have about the most attractive grips you’ll find on any gun.

    • That’s my experience too, Gov.

      I have two consecutively numbered mil-spec stainless Springfield 1911’s. As you described, the trigger on each feels course and seems to snap at the end its travel. In this regard the trigger pull is exactly reminiscent of the US Army issued 45’s I used during the 70’s, not slippery smooth as described in the review.

      In addition, I have experienced no issue with the handgrip safety. Though I do at first notice the raised stop at the bottom of the safety when I go to shoot the weapon, that raised section goes un-noticed almost immediately.

      Another difference between the Army issue 45 and my mil spec Springfield 45’s is the hugely closer tolerances and tight cycling of my Springfield’s. Some of that may be due to wear on the much used Army 45’s, and some by design.

      The grips are like you said very handsome, especially on the stainless version, but I replaced them with the wrapped grips supplied to Springfield by Pachmayr for their Springfield 1911 Marine Corps Operators.
      These grips fill out the raked frame dimensions providing my hand a more secure, comfortable hold of the weapon.

      I knew of the Pachmayr grips because they came with both of my MC Operators which, like you experienced with the Range Officer 1911, are smooth, tight, have a finely tuned trigger, fit my hand naturally, and are deadly accurate.

      • To be honest I probably would have never noticed the trigger if I hadn’t dry fired it right next to a better trigger. For combat it’s probably not that significant. My personal choice is a Beretta 92 and it has (IMO) a very good single action trigger for a SA/DA auto with a trigger safety. Kind of like Nick described on the mil-spec only there’s a quarter inch of take-up, then another 1/8 inch of travel with slightly more pressure required to disengage the trigger safety then an 1/8 inch of over-travel. Probably a little bit more reset than most 1911s too. But after dry firing the mil-spec, one of the selling points on the Beretta was I thought it had a better trigger (in SA).

        About a light year ahead of the Beretta is my Ruger Blackhawk (44mag). Absolutely zero take-up – the transfer bar rises (and the trigger pulls back) when you cock the hammer. Then about 1/16 inch of over-travel with maybe a 3.5-4lb. break. Despite the recoil I’m far more accurate with it than any other handgun I’ve ever fired. And that doesn’t hold a candle to my Remington 700 VTR. There is no take-up, no over-travel, no travel period. Seriously the trigger travel could only be measured in microns.

        As far a the grips, sometimes the pretty ones aren’t the most practical. But if I was carrying a 1911 it wouldn’t be because it’s practical. That’s just me though.

  7. I have a Mil-Spec and absolutely love it. Ditto on the accuracy.
    I have only ever run into two issues. The magazines Springfield
    sends are little better than surplus WWI/WWII mags. I was
    getting a lot of FTF and stoppages, switched to some Ed
    Brown’s and problem solved. Second, if you reload I found that
    mine was a bit finicky with bullet type and seating depth. It took
    a while to get everything just right, but once I did, again no more
    problem. I’ve also noticed that mine tends to like heavier
    bullets. It’ll shoot 185gr XTPs semi-wads etc without issue but it
    does even better with 230gr bullets.

    As far as the grip safety goes I think it’s more of a training and
    experience problem. I have very large hands and have never
    been bitten. Just remember you can’t brace up on the grip,
    cramming your hand towards the slide and you’ll be fine.

  8. I really enjoy shooting my Springer and it’s never had a single bobble through thousands of rounds.

    However, I don’t carry it concealed because I think it’s way too heavy for that.

    I am looking for a Glock 30S to carry, though.

  9. I am by no means a 1911 fanboy, but I do feel that everyone needs a 1911 for the collection.

    It really is a timeless piece that is all too functional.

  10. I want to add a 1940s version to my “collection, but with Colt engraved on the slide. I’d take a springer too

  11. The A1 improvements are all good and I totally approve of using modern manufacturing and metals to improve the product line. But once you go down that path, they really shouldn’t still call it “Mil Spec”. or maybe they are intending to offer another line called “historically accurate milspec” and then a third product line “Really historically accurate old worn out 1911’s like you had in the Army”. 🙂

    • Now THAT is a cogent remark.
      The marketing gurus may add, “Our ready-to-shoot 1911s carefully duplicate the clapped out war-time relics. We factory duplicate those conditions. With our highly precise new CNC 5-axis millings, we can almost GUARANTEE you’ll have a jam in the 1st 10 rounds”

  12. I have big hands and never had an issue with the hammer or the grip safety. Dunno about the stainless bushing, nice looker otherwise.

  13. Biggest differences between a M1911 and M1911A1 are the cut outs on each side of the frame behind the trigger and the arched mainspring housing, both affecting the ergonomics of the grip.

    • That should have gone in the cluster waaaaay above. Now it just looks even sillier than it would have otherwise.

  14. RE: Grip safety cuts

    Nick, take it out again and try an ultra high purchase. Thumbs high.
    Thank you, that is all.

  15. Is it made in America?

    Or, is it just another foreign pistol that’s shipped in from oversea with iconic Springfield name on it?

      • As was mine. The friends I shoot with that converted to the S.A. 1911 have a mix of US made and Brazilian made, and to ALL of them, there’s no difference whatsoever except the stamping on the side. ALL of the guns made by S.A. had and have to meet the same stringent requirements on fit, finish and everything else….especially customer satisfaction!

  16. I can’t help buy chuckle when people get so worked up about certain firearms, 1911’s just seem to bring it out.

    Guns are just a tool, some are better than others and quite frankly a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I’m a little jaded with AR’s and plastic striker pistols right now because it just seems like the market is flooded with them. Everyone has a new cool design, like that silly Sig that was posted here the other day.

    I own an example of most of the popular pistols, and they all have good and bad points. Pretty much all the ones I don’t own I know someone who does and have shot a bunch.

    I own the above reviewed 1911 and I also have much nicer 1911’s, and I’d like to add a classic WW1 style to my collection at some point. For the price point if you want the GI look with some nice modern additions this is an excellent pistol. I would classify it as a great shooter, and a great way to add a nice looking gun to your collection for a modest price. Its not a high end gun, but it also doesn’t cost $2k-$3k. Sitting on the gun table at the range next to my Grease Gun, Garand, M1 Carbine, and K98 it looks just fine and shoots just fine. No its not a Glock, but I think a Glock would look rather silly in that company.

  17. I’ve carried a Mil Spec as a duty weapon for a couple of years. It works for me. I’m an old dinosaur who learned to shoot a 1911 when that was all we had – and seven rounds of .45 ACP were lots better than six rounds of .38 special. Forty years later the 1911 still fits my hand and I can hit the target with it. The Springer magazines were nothing to brag on so I carry four McCormick 8 rounders on my belt and one in the pistol and I’ve never felt that I was poorly armed. BTW the grip safety has never caused a problem for me.

    Shoot what works for you and I’ll do the same. Be safe

  18. I’m confused.

    The pictures in the review are clearly of the Springfield Mil-Spec, which has an MSRP of $785 (street around $650 here, definitely more than a G19 either way), but the text often refers to the Springfield GI, which is no longer in production.

  19. Love the passionate Glock vs. 1911 debate—especially since it suggests, quite unintentionally, that the greatest EDC gun ever invented is still a vintage S&W Model 60. Combined with good manners and intelligent lifestyle choices, those 5 rounds will be 5 more than you’ll ever need in this lifetime…and you won’t get scoliosis lugging them around all day long.

  20. I enjoy a nice 1911, but I consider the Browning Hi-Power more functional. If I were to carry a classic heavy traditional all-metal pistol, it would probably be the one. I’d love to read some reviews of fancy Browning Hi-Power models here on TTAG. I think it’s a shame there isn’t a comparable Hi-Power scene. Doesn’t America love 9mm and magazines with a higher capacity? Not to mention ergonomics.

    • I recently swtiched from a XDm to a Hi Power for my 9mm. I couldn’t agree more with you about it. It is JMB’s improved 1911 design in a 9mm format. You will criticized for praising it because it only has a 13 round magazine.

  21. Other differences include frame grip safety tangs that have a non-standard radius (.220 rather than the standard .250) and the horrible internal lock mainspring housing which includes a handful of non-standard parts…that’s an easy fix though.

  22. I like a 1911A1 — great history, good shooting. But they’re not for everyone, any more than oysters and desert living in summer are, to pick just a couple of examples.

    You like it? Get one, shoot it. Ya don’t like it? Go away, shoot something else.

    Now what’s so hard about that?

  23. The gun debate. Shoot with what you train with. You can be tactically efficient with what ever you pick up and learn how to use by training with it. Sometimes it seems like people spend to much time having fantasy shootouts in their head and debating what is better than this or that instead of just practicing. If you like a glock, shoot one. You like a revolver, shoot one. 1911.. shoot one. If you are good, you might dispatch someone with a shot or two under pressure. Just remember “there is no such thing as rising to the occasion. One only defaults to their level of training.”

  24. Nick, I haven’t seen a springfield mil spec at 475$. They are usually $667 plus tax. If I were to find a new one for $475, I’d grab it quick.

  25. If anyone’s still reading this, a relatively inexpensive partial cure for 1911 grip safety bites is to look closely at the bottom edges and lower corners of the grip safety tang as it emerges from the frame. Detail strip the gun, or at least remove the grip safety. Get a file and maybe a fine stone or some fine sandpaper and carefully round off those edges and corners. Some grip safeties can be pretty sharp. Be careful not to cut away material too far forward, or else you will create recesses that expose equally sharp edges on the frame tangs; it may be a good idea to put some pencil marks on the grip safety showing exactly how far back to go. Better to remove too little metal than too much, because it’s easy to remove metal, but putting it back is tricky.

    Once you’re satisfied it’s defanged, put some cold blue on the exposed steel, or, if you prefer, matte black BBQ grill spray paint. Put the gun back together and shoot it some more, and see if it doesn’t draw a bit less blood now.

    You may also wish to consider installing an 18.5 pound recoil spring instead of the factory 16 pounder; this may sacrifice some reliability with mousefart softball target loads (or not; good mags, proper extractor tension, and proper feedramp geometry are as important for feeding these as a light recoil spring), but it will also reduce muzzle rise a bit, and no less an authority on 1911s than Hilton Yam suggests it can improve reliability. He also seems to like the Aftec extractor, if you’re contemplating a 1911 for “hard use,” by which I believe he means very high round count use in competitive gun games and/or carrying the weapon in harm’s way.

    Oh. The advent of reliable eight-round mags make the 1911 a nine-shooter. Which is two rounds more than the seven everyone keeps quoting. Nine rounds of good .45 hollowpoints, if you’re using a platform that you’re familiar and competent with, where you have good placement and good split times, well, I think you could do worse. This is not to be construed as knocking other platforms.

  26. Man. this place is worse than youtube comments. All these people voicing their retarded “opinions” just because they can. embarrassing. What anyone else carries as their sidearm is none of your business.

    “My opinion is objectively better than your opinion”

  27. I want to buy a Springfield 1911 45 with the spur hammer can i use the slide from the 1911-A1 Ranger Officer with the Skeletonized hammer will it work? Thanks

  28. I just picked up a used Milspec in new condition at a local pawn shop for only $370 and it has a wonderful fit. finish and trigger. Also, a month ago I picked up an “as new” used Range Officer for only $600.

    I love pawn shops

  29. Some of the comments here astound me. I shoot and carry 1911, Glock 19, and Sig 225, and .38 snubbies. According to some of the posters here, I must be very confused. I would much rather face an idiot with a .45 than an expert with a .22. Bottom line in my opinion is this: Massad Ayoob put it well when he said “A .38 wadcutter in the eye beats a .44 mag in the big toe every time.” Stop bashing someone because they carry and shoot caliber/firearms that you don’t particularly care for. Shoot and carry what you are proficient with and and shut the hell up about others choices. You are only displaying your myopia and ignorance for the whole world to see. When it comes to defensive hand gunning, caliber is important. But it only gets you so far. I find it to be much like real estate. What is more important than caliber is Location, Location, Location. Period. Any pistol you purchase should have a few hundred rounds run through it at the range just to make sure there are no issues. And they can happen with any brand. I have seen $1000.00 Kimbers fail to feed and extract during competition and at the range. As far as how much to carry, that is also a matter of preference. Sometimes I carry 2 pistols but I am sure not going to carry several magazines for each gun. Sometimes I just shove a .38 into my back pocket. No one else has to deal with the consequences of that decision but me.

  30. I am also a big fan of Hi-Power in 9mm. Great gun. Used to have a pair and one of my life’s biggest regrets is selling them. Maybe someday I will be able to get another. Sigh. 🙁

  31. I have one of these and I simply changed out the grip safety. Problem solved.
    BTW, it did involve grinding on the frame, but not a big deal.
    Also, if you have a Browning High Power- keep it.

    • G. Gordon Liddy once said “gun control is being able to hit what you aim at”, that being said to quote a- nother politico, “what difference does it make” if its a Glock, a Swock,Tok, mil-spec, Range Officer or Hi-power, get what works best for YOU, and stick with it. Go to the range and shoot, the difference is in the hand that pulls the trigger, hell, would the Lone Ranger give up his six shooters for a simi-auto? I don’t think so.. Go to the range and shoot them all, to see what you like best. I know a little old lady that could fill your butt full of holes from a .22- 8 shot revolver, but couldn’t pull the slide back on a simi-auto. She keeps plenty of .22 ammo with her revolver, and is reloading whilst the bad guy is dazed.
      All guns are not created equal, for a reason…..just say’n….

  32. I got an old 45 cal. Springfield 1911 A1 from someone. I don’t know much about this type of gun or the Springfield brand. Can someone tell me what type of 1911 I have? “Mill-Spec”, “Loaded”… it’s a little confusing!

  33. I personally own and shoot several autos and revolvers, in many calibers. I’m fond of them all and all have their finer points.
    The 1911 however, come on, over 4 million dead nazis cant be wrong. What other side arm has THAT kind of PROVEN battle record?

  34. Get a Rock Island, It REALLY is milspec and it’s less money and I have a lot of ammo through mine with no problems.

  35. I’ve carried/used the 1911 .45 for the bulk of my professional careers.

    From a off-duty original 1911 to the 1911A1 and variations from folks like S&W, Kimber, and a custom upgraded Colt 1911 from GunSite’s custom shop.

    Have also carried/used BHP, S&W 39/59, Glocks in 9mm, 40mm, and .45 – and been pleased with the weapons per the job or mission’s requirements.

    For me, firearms are tools. Right tool for right task.

    I have a Springfield .45 as evaluated in this article. Paid $400 for it, slightly used. Very nice package in all respects. I have no problem with the grip safety design – it’s all in how one holds the weapon when firing – never had a problem in this area with my Army issue .45s “back in the day”, either.

    I changed the grip panels to a smooth pattern nicely done in oak – $10 at the gun show – same pattern as the original GI grips to include thickness. Just works better for me.

    And holstered in Ed Stebbins/Tracker Leather chest rig for outdoors, around the campsite carry.

    As for “right tool – right job” – if I’m traveling or otherwise feeling it prudent to carry I am quite content with my Ruger DA .45. Does all it might need to and I have no issue with it being tucked away in an evidence room while things are being sorted out in a self-defense matter. $350 – new – much easier to replace financially than a $1500-$2000 Kimber.

  36. Good article; but the author failed to make two rather important points. The first is regarding the 1911 vs. 1911A1. One of the most important difference is in the mainspring housings. The 1911’s is flat, the 1911A1’s is arched, giving it better ergonomics. For people like myself who have deep palms, this is a much-appreciated improvement. I have never much liked the flat housing, which seems to be “all the rage” among the current manufacturers of 1911 clones.
    The second point is an issue with the author’s statement thAt the gun is “dead nuts accurate” with the WWII sights. The problem here is that the gun doesn’t have WWII-style sights, but much-improved, though basic, combat sights. Never in my life have I seen an original 1911 or 1911A1 with sights as good as those on the Springfield.
    I’m not meaning to be nitpicking; just bringing these things up.

  37. I own a parkerized 09/1988 model (according to Springfield), stamped on the right side are “Springfield Armory, Geneseo IL USA” and the serial# NM56260. On top of that, on the slide, is the Springfield stamp, followed by “Springfield Armory”. On the left side of the slide is “Model 1911 – A1, Cal. l45”. The trigger is blank metal with 3 holes in it. Below the muzzle is a nut that requires an Alan wrench to unscrew it.

    Can anyone give me an idea of the value of this gun? It’s in good condition, shoots very well and is very accurate.

  38. I picked up a MilSpec last year and love it. I had a lightweight commander and despised it. I couldn’t wait to sell it off. Not to say I couldn’t shoot with it, actually I did a pretty good job at IDPA practice, just didn’t like it. The full size 1911 feel much better to me.

    That said I had a problem with light primer strikes. At least 3 rounds per mag wouldn’t fire. I replaced the firing pin and spring and now it runs flawlessly.

    l also replaced the MSH with with another arched one but with the lanyard loop. I am glad it doesn’t have the little military sights on it. The bigger sights with white dots works very well for me. It is as close to an original as I’ll get and I like it. I liked it so well I picked up one for my son as a graduation present from Marine Corp boot camp. His misfired on every round in the mag till I replaced the firing pin and spring. Now it is 100% too. He loves it.

    • Some are, some aren’t, but if you didn’t look at the stamp of origin, you’d never know the difference! They BOTH look and shoot fine and are worth the price, even as an “inexpensive” gun for EDC or home defense.

  39. Grip safety issue must be with the author’s hand or the newer mil-spec. Mine is vintage 2001 (parkerized barrel bushing) and does not punish my hand at all. The only changes after 16 years and 2000+ rounds have been a new recoil spring and tritium sights. My eyes ain’t what they were in 2001, esp. in low light.

    The thread is old but I wanted to add a detail. On my gun’s slide the sights are pinned, so replacing them requires milling the tenon on the tritium sights and no slide cuts are needed. Not aware when SA made that change. Their custom shop would have had to make cuts for the rear Novak sight. I opted instead for a local smith who has modded Colt sight for several SA mil-specs.

    It is a great 1911, but when I shoot my friend’s Kimbers my groups tighten right up. But that is not what I was after in a 1911; I wanted a gun I can shoot outside on the farm and that can take a bit of punishment.

    • Like I’ve mentioned before, the S.A.’s are like the AKs of the handgun world. They take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’! Very reliable, dependable and accurate without breaking the bank. Oh, and did I mention just plain bad a$$? 😉

  40. I just happened to come across this thread. I’m a new 1911 owner and wanted to learn as much as possible before I delve into making changes on my gun. I purchased the SA mil-spec version. Being left handed, the first order of business is incorporating an ambidextrous thumb safety. I have found that some require an ambidextrous thumb safety sear pin to capture the right side. Others don’t require it do to the safety being captured by the grip itself. I also liked the skeletonized trigger and hammer. After reading your initial review, I decided to purchase a beaver tail grip safety. So here is my question; are there any aftermarket brand parts that don’t have to be “fitted and fine tuned” to match this specific model 1911? Although I am quite confident in my fine motor skills to adapt any generic part to the gun, I’m overwhelmed with the variety of vendors out there. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • You picked what many of us consider to be the best combat handgun design ever made. I too prefer to shoot left handed, though I am likewise ambidextrous and can shoot right handed if I have to. Some off-hand shooting will get you there too. With that said, I am a Navy veteran and I was first exposed to the .45 Model 1911-A1 service pistol at Naval Recruit Training Command in Orlando, Florida in 1975, followed by numerous topside sentry watches for three years on my submarine when we were in port. After college, I began my law enforcement career until retirement. As an LEO, I transitioned from the era of .38 S&W and Ruger service revolvers to steel frame 9mm S&W Model 5906s to polymer frame .40 Glock 22 and 23 service autos. As an academy certified firearms instructor, I taught them all to an entire generation of LE students — basic, requal, and advanced. I like them all. In fact, new shooters are easy to train on the Glock, which I likewise carried and was proficient in prior to retirement. The Glock is a good gun for many, but not my first choice.

      My suggestion is that you get hardwired to any weapon that you chose to carry. The 1911 design may require more training in order to achieve efficiency. Carry options are Condition 1 (cocked and locked with a round in the chamber and the safety engaged), or Condition 3 (loaded mag in the well, empty chamber). Condition 2 (hammer down or half-cock on a loaded chamber) is dangerous and should never be an option.

      Finally, practice incessantly. Be proficient on the standard 25-yard course of fire with emphasis on speed at the 7-yard and speed and efficiency in reload exercises. Count your rounds when firing and reload when you are down to one round in the chamber and no rounds in the mag. Use only mags that are dependable.

      Finally, know the rules of engagement and the use of deadly force in your state. In most southern and western states, the “legal test” is that there is an “imminent and immediate” threat to life or limb to your self or other person(s). I know that sounds rather basic, but your state should spell out the details, and hopefully your ccw/cwp instructor will include use of deadly force, safety and retention in his/her course. Don’t forget to join the NRA. You won’t be disappointed. Good luck and congratulations.

  41. I purchased my .45 Springfield Armory Model 1911-A1 in 1991, the year it was made, and I still carry it to this day. It is purely mil-spec–except for the beveled mag well, higher sights, slanted slide serrations, and lowered ejector port. Except for the slide serrations, those same differences are/were found on US .45 service pistols used by military shooting teams in decades past. Likewise, those same pistols were considered combat ready and would have been issued indiscriminately with other “unmodified” pistols.

    In conclusion, armory enhancements and modifications to military 1911-A1s didn’t change the designation of these 1911-A1s, and factory enhancements shouldn’t change the designation of commercial versions.

    • I might add that I have several handguns — SA and DA auto pistols and SA and DA revolvers. My latest is a 9mm Sig P226/Mk.25. The .45 Springfield Armory M1911-A1 mentioned in my OP above is still my daily carry gun. I do have a .45 Colt Officers ACP with the Colt Series 80 safety feature. It too is a good carry gun, but not much more concealable than my full size Springfield Armory 1911-A1.

  42. If anyone else is still reading this after four years, I have a solution to the issue of the grip safety. Buy a CZ 97 instead. No grip safety, and more comfortable grips in the first place. Plus three more rounds in the magazine.If you just have to have a 1911, so be it, but go to YouTube and you’ll find several videos comparing the CZ with the 1911 in which the CZ comes out on top. It’s two ounces heavier, but it’s still more comfortable.

  43. In the argonne forest north of Châtelet Chehery France Alvin York killed 8 charging Germans in about 8 seconda with a 1911 .45 caliber Colț automatic handgun.

    Next case…..

  44. I wanted to get a milspec 1911 and this is what the gun store had, I was able to get mine for about $550. Waiting on my J.N. Ingle custom holster & double mag pouch set to go on my Bigfoot gun belt. I think I made a decent starter purchase.

  45. Hey, I like Tundras, tell that to a Chevy, Ford or Dodge guy. If you like it and you’re comfortable with it then carry it. Sometimes I carry a little Berreta 950 BS in my pocket. I like to think it’s better than my Swiss Army knife for defense. More room then it’s a Colt Mustang Plus 2. Plenty of room then S & W .357 or Argentine 1911, no grip safety. It’s like the home defense debates, pistol, rifle or shotgun? How about .50 BMG, fire that inside and everyone will be stunned and on the floor . With the numbers of guns sold it seems like lots of fun things to try. I bought 2 used stainless Walthers, .22 and .380, I had trouble with both of them and traded them at the next show, plenty of people would tell you they’re amongst the best available. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether it’s correct is what all the debate is about.

  46. I have the Springfield and I like it very much. The only problem is I have been trying to get laser sights for it but can not find anyone that deals in this item for this weapon. I figure it would have to be trigger mounted since it does not have groove on the receiver.

  47. Springfield makes a GI model. Of course the mil-spec is not the same as a GI and it’s not supposed to be. You seem to have written an article about the wrong gun?

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