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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks. New to this forum but not to 1911's. I've owned quite a few over the years and a couple of them were Springfields.

I've been bitten by the 1911 bug again and I've got my eye on the Mil-Spec and the Loaded, both with the parkerized finish.

My only concern is this. As I've been researching these two, I've come across quite a few photos where the finish on the parkerized models doesn't seem to quite match. The slide seems to be very black and the frame is just sorta a really dark gray. Other photos have the two matching up quite well. Perhaps in some of the pics it was just the way light was hitting it or something. I'm certain it wasn't a blued/black slide with a stainless frame either, just so you don't think I'm confused.

Is there any major inconsistency with the finish on the parkerized models or did I just see a few bad pics? Enlighten me.

And for those of you with Mil-Spec and Loaded models, how reliable are they? Do they need a bit of a break in period like most 1911's?

Sorry to ramble, but thanks for the info.
 

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No, you're not rambling - you have a valid question. I've also noticed the mis-match in various pictures.

For what it's worth, my Mil-Spec doesn't have any problems regarding a color mis-match. The parkerized finish is a proven, reliable "classic" finish that's hard to beat. To be safe the best way to be sure (as with any pistol) would be to purchase in person; no substitute for a good pre-purchase inspection.

As far as reliablity, I'd put the Springfield up against most anything. The original 1911 design is one that is biased towards reliability. Both of the models you're considering are very similar to that original spec. Unlike a custom-grade pistol with its tight tolerances, a Mil-Spec or a Loaded may seem "loose" or "sloppy" by comparison, but don't worry - a 1911 that rattles when you shake it is perfectly normal.

Even in its most basic, "loose-tolerance" form, the 1911 is still a very accurate, smooth and reliable pistol.

EDIT: I forgot - as with other pistols, there's a break-in period, but nothing dramatic. After the first few hundred rounds you'll notice the pistol become a bit more loose/smooth. Just like any other mechanical device. No special treatment required during break-in, just be sure to clean it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unlike a custom-grade pistol with its tight tolerances, a Mil-Spec or a Loaded may seem "loose" or "sloppy" by comparison, but don't worry - a 1911 that rattles when you shake it is perfectly normal.

Even in its most basic, "loose-tolerance" form, the 1911 is still a very accurate, smooth and reliable pistol.

EDIT: I forgot - as with other pistols, there's a break-in period, but nothing dramatic. After the first few hundred rounds you'll notice the pistol become a bit more loose/smooth. Just like any other mechanical device. No special treatment required during break-in, just be sure to clean it.
Couldn't agree more. Actually the best shooting 1911's I ever owned had a nice rattle to them. It was the one's with the tight tolerances that gave me so much trouble.

Happy I'm not the only one who's noticed the issue with the finish. But yeah, I'm planning on going in and inspecting them first. My local gun dealer may have to order it for me if it's not in stock. I'd feel kinda rude, but I'd have to tell them to send it back if the finish were a mis-match.
 

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Just wanted to chime in and say that I love the parkerized finish on my new Mil-Spec. I own some high end customs, but there is something really special about this gun and one of them is the finish.
I love parkerized.
 

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If the gun (slide and frame) were park'd at the same time, they should have pretty much the same color to them. It is possible to alter whether a park'd finish is more gray or more black, so if the slide and frame weren't park'd together, you could end up with a "mis-match".

I wouldn't worry so much about what you see in pictures. Parkerized finishes can soak up more oil in some areas than others and look "mis-matched" because of that. They can also look very different when completely dry vs. oiled. Flashes or odd-lighting can also make things appear different in a pic than they really are.

I like all my park'd Springfields and the finish has held up very well for me. Mine didn't require any real break-in per se. Just clean and lube, then shoot. Things will smooth out over time as parts wear together, but it should run from day one. I'm not sure I'd say any Springfield mil-specs or loadeds I've handled were "loose" or "sloppy". They certainly aren't super tight custom guns, but they most certainly aren't rattle traps either from what I've seen over the last few years.
 

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Our local dealer had both a GI and Mil-Spec and the finishes looked quite different, even though they were both parkerized. The Mil-Spec looked much better. The GI already had spots where the finish seemed to be rubbing off.

Now I don't know if the Mil-Spec had been rubbed down with oil or anything, but the finish looked much "richer" and darker.

Could be a batch variation, or does the Mil-Spec get more TLC? Or is the rougher, more military look of the GI intentional?
 

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Same Loaded under different lights. Doesn't look two-tone to me. Besides, this is a training pistol and a slight mismatch would be totally unimportant. To me anyway. :)

-- Chuck
 

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2-Tone parkerization

My Mil-Spec actually came with that two-tone parkerization, but I really don't mind that at all. As you can see from the attached pic, the difference is rather pronounced, so I'm guessing that the slide/frame color match is just luck. However, the weapon shoots straight and is 100% reliable with any kind of ammo I've been cramming down its throat, so I have no complaints at all.
 
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