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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. For many years when a guy bought a "forty-five automatic," it was equipped with the smaller fixed sights, a spur hammer, arched mainspring housing, and a short trigger. It would not have the wide "beavertail" grip safety and it would be equipped with a small, single-side thumb safety for right-handed shooters.

Like many here, I "grew up" shooting this earlier version of John M. Browning's classic 1911.

The pistol used in this report is not mine, but belongs to a friend who agreed to leave it in my care. Due to time and weather constraints on the day I shot it for this report, not much ammunition was tried and there was no chronography performed.

The Pistol: The Springfield GI Mil-Spec .45 shot had a parkerized finish and brown, checked plastic grips. The mainspring housing was vertically grooved, arched, and had the locking mechanism common to all Springfield pistols now. It has the GI recoil spring cap and guide rod and the recoil spring was about 16-lbs.

I didn't have a trigger guage, but was pleasantly surprised that this pistol's trigger broke cleanly at about 5 1/2 or 6-lbs. It was not a detriment in shooting.

The sights were just as small as I remembered and seemed smaller to my aging eyes than in years long past.


I was surprised at how tightly the slide fit the frame on this pistol. At the rear, the slide and frame were mated MUCH better than was the case on a Loaded I bought some while back. The barrel-to-slide fit was better than expected as well, with no felt movement. I do not know if all are fitted this nicely, but my friend bought this pistol AFTER examining it and is known to be picky on the 1911's he buys. The gun has the solid bushing which was easily removable with finger pressure. This pistol does have the throated barrel/feed ramp unlike the old military guns it mimicks.

Ammunition: In today's shooting, I tried a handloaded Precision 200-gr. cast SWC loaded over 5 gr. Bullseye, Sellier & Bellot 230-gr FMJ, Winchester USA 230-gr. FMJ, and Remington UMC 185-gr. FMJ-FN. While I did not chronograph using this pistol, in the past, the handload normally gets about 860 ft/sec from 5" guns and is very consistent shot to shot. The S&B averages between about 790 and 820 ft/sec, depending upon the particular pistol, while the Winchester averages about the same. The Remington 185-gr FMJ-FN gets around 980 ft/sec depending upon the gun.

I did not shoot the pistol with any JHP ammo today. I was present when the gun's owner fired Winchester 230-gr. RA45T and Remington 230-gr. Golden Sabers through this pistol with no problems. He may very well have tried other high-performance loads, but these are the ones I'm aware of.

Shooting: I only had time to fire a single set of groups so I opted for the middle distance of 15 yards rather than 25 or 50.


These groups were fired at 15-yds, and consist of five shots each. I shot these from a rest for two reasons. It was quite windy and I was having a hard time seeing the front sight clearly. I was very pleased to note that the fixed sights are dead bang "on" for both windage and elevation with the handload as well as the 230-gr. loads. It would probably begin to hit just a little low at 25 yards with the faster, lighter Remington load or other light bullet loads at that or higher speed.

I did not try any fast, defensive type shooting as I simply cannot use those small sights. Point shooting would have been about the same with this pistol as with other 1911's I shoot.

Observations: I've already mentioned the small sights enough. For some they are more of a problem than for others. I had not completely forgotten how the spur hammers and standard grip safeties allow me to be bitten pretty quickly with 1911's, but was completely reminded. I did get pinched a bit, but have always had this problem as I have fairly big hands.
The owner does not share this curse.

Admittedly, this was a short "test", but there were zero failures to feed or extract. I tried the factory magazine that came with the pistol, one of my Randalls, and a Wilson 7-rnd. The slide did not lock open prematurely nor were there any failures to lock open when the last shot was fired.


The pistol's ejection port is not lowered, but this did not interfere with 100% perfect ejection. Some ejected cases were slightly dinged, a problem for reloaders, but they were not severely dented as is the case with some pistols. Inside, the pistol looked very acceptable and was not nearly so roughly finished as some 1911 pistols I've seen.

If you want a "GI" 1911, but it doesn't have to be "perfect" in terms of markings, age, and some minor features or if you want a base gun on which to customize, I think the GI Mil-Spec might very well be a good place to begin. I would buy this particular pistol in a heartbeat if my buddy wanted to sell it. I was very favorably impressed with this gun. For me, it would definitely be altered so that I could wring what I may from it, performance-wise, but there is nothing wrong with a plain "GI gun" for folks to whom it presents no problems.

Best.
 
G

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thank you for the report Sir

as an aside who makes your favorite 1911A1 ?..actually if you did not have a 1911A1 whose would you buy ? :target:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello, sir. The very best 1911's I've ever seen or shot are a couple made by two fellows (not gunsmiths) who took Dave Sample's on-line 1911 course. I own some nice 1911's, but these are the best I've ever, ever seen.

They were built up from scratch using Caspian slides and frames and other parts.

For an out of the box 1911, were I starting all over I'd probably go with STI's Trojan 1911's. I've been exceptionally pleased with one in .45, 9mm, and .38 Super.

If I didn't want to spend quite that much and could find them, I'd grab the first, clean Series I Kimber I could find.

To this day, I keep an eye pealed for a clean Norinco 1911 after the excellent luck I had with another.

I've had good and bad luck over the years with various gun makers products, but if starting all over and knowing that I could pay a bit more and get a really good shooter w/o waiting for custom work, etc, I'd go STI Trojan.

Best.
 

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I too would go with the STI, out of my price rang but i have shot one, a very sweet gun indeed.
have yet to shoot a norinco, or any chines made gun.
 

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Good report, Mr. Camp! :cool:

My shooting buddy has a blued Springfield Armory 1911A1, and it has shot well. The only problem his has had was the detent tube coming off when shooting at the range recently. I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem, so it was probably an isolated case.
 

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Stephen, thanks for the range report.

I've wondered about the Springfield Mil Spec.

I've only had a chance to run about 900 rounds of jacketed round nose through my Kimber Gold Match Ten in the last couple of weeks and it's eats ball rounds (reloads) left and right and has never jammed yet with them (got some targets in the workshop that, for these tired ol' eyes I think are great results from the Kimber).

I made up another 150 of hollow points and, again, no misfeeds.

But, MY Kimber hates those semi-wad cutters. About every third one will misfeed regardless of which of the three mags (2 ten round mags and one 14 rounder) I try them in.

I chalk that up, possibly, to the fact the Kimber has no feed ramp on the chamber entrance (although there is a manufactured ramp on the inside of the front grip/frame...but not on the barrel itself).

I might just hafta...sorta really wanna...get one of those Springfield Mil Specs to add to the collection.

Then it'll be a Sig GSR 1911 when I can get my hands on one.

Then it'll be a Kimber Custom (for the single stack and thinner grips).

Yepper.....fer sure!
 

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Re: I saw a Rock Island Armory 1911A1

Originally posted by Logansdad
today...I have the cash..I'm tempted:target:
scratch that itch:D
 

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Great report Mr. Camp! One of the local shops has had those milspec Springies for $385.00 so I figured it's kinda like women at shoes sales. I bought it because it would have been stupid not to at that price! Anyway, my pistol section in the vault is only occupied by 1911 variants save one .22 target pistol. I haven't taken this particular Springfield out yet but now am curious after your report.
 
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