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Is it just me or do SA firearms seem to need a lot of repairs?

3309 Views 44 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  toaddrc
Spending time reading about Springfield Armory Inc. firearms (1911s and M1As both) there seems to be quite a few folks having to send their firearms back to Springfield, some more than once to have them repaired or worked on so they work right. I’m not trying to bash Springfield, I’m sure other companies have a few problems too. Just seems like there’s a lot of guns going back.

Anyone else?

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My two work and work well. A loaded model and WWII GI Stainless. They eat 200 grain SWC reloads like jelly beans and hit where they are pointed. I had a couple of Springfileds back in the 80's and they worked just fine too.

Maybe it is just you.
More guns sold means it's more likely to see more reports of problems, even if the overall problem rate is exactly the same as any other manufacturer.

From personal experience, I've had four Springfield products - 1 M1A, 1 M1A Scout, 1 TRP Stainless, and 1 Mil-Spec Operator converted to a TRP Operator. Not a problem with any of them. The Mil-Spec Operator is the only one that's gone to the shop and that's because I wasn't happy with my purchase and wanted them to convert it.
a forum member once told me...

When I was looking for a 1911 and I began to ask questions about all the problems with not only Springers but all of 'em. He said your going to hear of all the problems here but the ratio of guns sold and being used to the relatively few gripes about problems is great..in fact, likely thousands to one. I bought a mil-spec SS and have never experienced a single problem ever...with any kind of ammo or magazine period. course I only shoot paper and if your gonna have a problem, it'll happen at the worst possible moment...and I'm an optimist! :D
I think the part about the forum magnifying percieved problems because everyone with an ill 1911 comes here is very true.

That said, here's my take on 1911 reliability: there are basically two sets of manufacturers. The "value for the money" guys and the high end guys. A few manufacturers have something inbetween, and some do both.

IMO when buying from the "value" lines, you're acknowledging that you're buying inferior small parts, barrels, trigger, and fitting, and in return getting your pistol for $1500 less than some other people paid. Whith these guns, I see the purpose as buying a good frame & slide and then knowing that you may end up modifying or replacing the rest sometime during the gun's life.

Within the value lines, I like SA the best. No lawyer safeties. Forged frame and slide (last I checked). Acceptable small parts. No S&W politics. And a design that's closer to the origional 1911 (and therefore easier to work on) than most.

If the potential issues that come with budget parts worry you, then it's time to open up the wallet and give Ed Brown or Nighthawk or Wilson a call. And then realize that it's still a mechanical system, and failures happen even with the expensive stuff.
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I don't perceive that SAs have more trips back to the shop, based on what I read on these boards.

I have 4 SA 1911s and a M1A Socom, and I sold a SA V-12 several years ago that I wish I had back. I also sold a SA 9mm with Novaks 1 or 2 years ago.

I have customized (actually my local 'smith did the work, which all related to getting the 5 - 6 lb. trigger pull down to about 2.5 lb.) a V-16 that is one of the best guns I own. He also had to tighten the barrel fit, which was quite loose out of the box.

I shot it yesterday with my STI Trojan 6" 45 ACP and my LB Ultimate Master (comped) yesterday, and it outshot both of them consistently. It is clearly going nowhere, except to the range in my range bag.

My 9mm with Novaks was a great gun. The only reason I sold it was to get a 9mm with Bomar style sights. The SA 9mm with Bomar - style sights had exensive rust out of the box, but SA replaced it with a clean one. I had the trigger components on it replaced (with a STI long trigger and C & S sear, hammer, etc.) to get the pull down to about 2.5 lb. It is currently in the shop getting the extractor replaced, but it has been a great gun and I have no complaints.

My M1A has been great out of the box.

My SA Trophy Match 40 S & W has been fairly problematic. It is currently in the shop because it chronically fails to feed (i.e. nosedives). It has also had a litany of sight-related problems. Notwithstanding those problems, the detail work on the gun is great, I have had my 'smith get the pull down to about 2.5 lb (as per above mods), and I plan to shoot it a lot when it gets out of the shop.

I plan to keep buying SAs as long as they keep doing such a great job in the R & D and product development areas.

I regard their production guns as base guns for light modification and heavy shooting.
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M1A Socom no problems
Parked loaded no problems
3 parked GIs no problems
1 stainless Mil-Spec no problems
1 loaded operator no problems
1 MC operator no problems
1 black stainless loaded no problems
1 9 MM XD no problems

1 Para Tac-Four FTF, FTE broken mag release, many cast parts. Sold
Kimber Ultra Carry II long story, returned 4 times, repaired myself and SOLD.
Kimber series I Custom. Great gun. Sold
Rock River 5 inch EC hard chrome. 'Nuff said, never to be sold.
Les Baer TRS. Tight, nice. Too many 1911s, Sold.
Rock Island Armory. Family member gun. Broken extractor. 5 inch groups at 10 yards. Traded quickly for SA GI.

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It burns my ass to here that alot of munufatures have a crappy get rich quick philosphy. But most problems can be avoided by doing some homework.

From what I have seen is that most problems or caused by operator error and ignorant ******** trying to "pimp" out their guns. Same people that drive their cars 10,000 miles with out a oill change and install funky ass after market parts that were not specificly desinged for it either.

I never had to send a gun off for repairs. Maybe it is luck? I think alot of it is operator error (like computer problems). But then I know how to properly take care of my guns and I know my and its limitations. Maybe its due to my training in the army or because I grew up around them.

I have Bushmaster m4 with 3000 rounds. I here alot of people having problems with them but I never had a problem with it. It eats anything I feed it and its tack driver. I even fed it rusty nasty magizines thats older then me. I get a sense that most have never been properly trained in the art of fireams or were never in the military when they bitch about when they can't get thier colaspable stock to extend.

SA Milspec bought back in 93, have no problems but there are some cosmetic issues but that is what you get with a 400 dollar pistol. Had a coupel of issues with cheap magazines. goes bang everytime. not that accurate but that is a 400 peice.

SA ss loaded, little nicer, had some magizine issues to, but goes bang everytime. accurate and reliable.

SA ss TRP, brand new but have 250 rounds threw it, I can load empty brass so that is a indication of reliablility. Its also accurate as hell. Has the fit, finnish, and functioning of my kimber CDP.

SA xd40 tactical, eats anything except has some proplems with wolf flat nose. Besides that it goes bang with all other ammo. Its reliable and get more accurate the more I shoot it.

Kimber CDP 5 inch, close tie in accuracy between it and the TRP. very good fit and finish goes bang everytime.

If some keep having trouble then maybe they should just get a sling shot.
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Glad you've never had probs with your guns. I detail strip to bare frame approx every 4-5 shootings/cleanings. Handloaded at last count in the vicinity of 95,000 rds total thru all my present and past handguns.
2 broken barrels, 2 loose sites, 2 loose ejectors,3 extractors not tuned properly to work (out of 3 SA guns) and getting taken to the cleaners by SA custom shop OFFICE person(DEB!!!).
I don't think I fit that category of operator error, or ignorant ******* trying to PIMP my gun.

It fits in the category of PISS-POOR-QUALITY! Tracy
I guess Im not as understanding because I was never in those circumstances.
My first post here!! :cool: But I've had three Springfields myself and never had a problem with any of them. In fact I'm saving for a TRP right now.
tsp45acp said:
...and getting taken to the cleaners by SA custom shop OFFICE person(DEB!!!)
...and with that comment, I know you are full of crap. You are the first and only person I have EVER heard complain about Deb at the Custom Shop!!!

Go back and reread the forum's rules if you have any question about personal slaps at folks.
It's all there...

:scratch: I don't intend to say anything but perhaps the proof is in the pudding...
I think that just about any company has some products leave the building in less than perfect condition from time to time. I read the Colt forums a lot and find similar gripes. Customer service at SA and Colt both seem to be highly rated, but unfortunately some customers will never be happy. Some seem to think their $700 gun should have the fit and finish of a $3,000 custom shop.

I think my next 1911 will be a Springer...

With that said, I do find that the 1911 forum has a lot of nice people willing to offer suggestions and advice regardless of their pet brand.
LW Mcvay,
If I was slandering someone the rules apply. If I'm stating a fact, is that breaking the rules? The original post had to do with questioning SA probs. I'm stating what happened to me. If I can't give a fact not opinion, then what can we answer when a question is asked? Tracy
I suspect you're leaving something out

tsp45acp said:
When the custon shop fitted the 6 1/2" comped barrel in the longslide-Deb quoted me a price of $125-150 4-6 weeks turnaround time. When it was finished it was $300 took 13 wks and when I questioned the $$$ and time frame I was told by Deb- you don't have to pay, but we have your gun :bawling: !
As someone who has dealt with Deb I can say this, she was always pleasant and upfront about the costs associated with my pistol's work. She was gracious, patient and understanding of my constant pestering and "well, I might as well add this or that, 'while you're at it'" My guess is, you added something to the job. These things tend to cost money and take more time. It's just a guess, but I'm a good guesser. There is also the remote possibility that you had a bad experience, even the best people have off days.

Just my 2¢, YMMV

I'll give her the benefit of the doubt that she was having a bad day. I sent the slide, frame and comped barrel to be fitted. The extractor never worked and I had been using one from another 1911. The ejector was loose.I was told $125-150 to fit the barrel. 4-6 wks turn around. They first fitted another bull barrel which I hadn't requested, then called me to find out what I wanted done with the comped barrel :confused: .At 8 wks I was calling 2x a wk to find out what the hold-up was. I guess Deb finally couldn't answer my questions and passed me off to Dave Williams. At that point, (9wks) I only talked to her long enough to get transferred to Dave. Nice guy, never any bad words from him or Deb, just frustration about the time frame and most of the time they didn't even know what point of repair and fitting my gun was at. At 13 wks, Dave called to say it was done and instructions to mainly shoot+P out of it because the comp "worked so well". My $125-150 was upped to $295. When I questioned the increase I was told they did some "extra" things such as tighten slide to frame and a couple of other things I don't remember now, or requested then. If they would have called first and asked, I would have gladly said yes, but I wasn't called first. I felt then and now, that that expense should be on them if they did the work without my authorization. That's what I mean when I say my gun was held hostage and I was given the choice of pay their $$$ or they keep my gun. I have never said anything negative about the work that was done because it IS TOP RATE. The gun shoots one hole groups. I'm upset at the way it was handled and the response from Deb when I questioned the total amount and the time (13 wks) to finish my gun when originally quoted 4-6 wks and $125-150. If this is bad mouthing someone, than they shouldn't treat someone as I was treated.
Sorry to hijack this thread, but I felt an explanation was in order. Just because anyone else dosn't have a bad experience doesn't mean it can't happen. Tracy
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Hate to hear about some one spend their hard earned money then have to go all through that. But it helps to have all the "details". At least other people will learn form you experince. I wont forget this and I'll remember to be very vigalant when dealing with their shop.
ewtcoma said:
... I wont forget this and I'll remember to be very vigalant when dealing with their shop.
Pretty good plan when dealing with any shop .
Deb will take good care you .
ewtcoma said:
Hate to hear about some one spend their hard earned money then have to go all through that. But it helps to have all the "details". At least other people will learn form you experince. I wont forget this and I'll remember to be very vigalant when dealing with their shop.
While it is good to get the details down right when sending your gun off to a 'smith,the one thing you have to keep in mind here is that there are two sides to the story. And you are only getting one. :rolleyes:

I think Deb's 15 years at the SA Custom Shop speak volumes for her. And you have to look long and hard to find someone easier to work with and better at building pistols than Dave Williams. Their happy customers are a long and distinguished list suffice it to say.
I own 3 1/2 Springfield 1911's and only had one experience with their repair department. It concerned a WW2 GI with a stiff slide stop. I put a scratch in the finish reassembling the thing and tried to get it refinished under warranty. They said no, and I payed exactly the quoted amount, and received my pistol "as new". I'm such a satisfied customer that I went out and bought a Micro Compact about two weeks later. I'm going to buy more of 'em too!
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