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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was at work the other day and a fellow officer asked me if I was interested in another 1911. He had got it from his neighbor and was looking to sell or trade it. He really doesn't prefer 1911's. The gun was a NIB Springfield "loaded" full size stainless with standard sights. It had the box and all the paperwork and appeared brand new.

I had a H&K USP 45 full size D/S decocker I didn't much care for. It was used but in very good condition with about ~3000 rounds through it. I traded him straight-up.

I detail-stripped, cleaned, lubed it, and headed to the range with 100 rounds of Winchester white box 230 FMJ. The gun hickupped a few times in the first 20 rounds but after a liberal dose of CLP, it ran the last 80 rounds without a hitch. I took it home, cleaned it and lubed it again and went to the range the next day after work (it's so nice having a range at work). It ate up another 100 rounds of ball and then finished off 30 rounds of Speer 200gr +P Gold Dots with 100% reliability. I didn't benchrest the gun but it was sufficiently accurate for home-defense, which is it's intended purpose in my house.

I own a few 1911's running all the way from bone-stock to full-house custom. I have a Les Baer PII, a Bob Marvel 6" wad gun (Caspain and Kart components), a locally-built Caspian hardball gun (good friend is a local gunsmith), and a Kimber Ultra CDP II (off-duty carry piece). Here are some thoughts on my new Springfield...

The slide-to-frame fit is very tight. The barrel bushing is fit very well but there is a just a little slop at the lugs. The trigger is fit very well and breaks nicely with a tiny hint of creep at about 5 lbs. It's a very nice trigger job. All the external parts are fit nicely and the overall appearance, including the fully-checkered cocobolo stocks, is very attractive.

It's not really fair to compare the gun the a Baer or even a Kimber CDP but there are some things about the pistol that detract from the overall package.

1. The most glaring of these things is that there are more sharp edges on the gun than in a bucket of broken porcelain! Not one single edge was broken. A lefty was shooting it and he sliced his thumb wide open on the bottom of the slide. You would think that Springfield would just knock the really bad edges back a little.

2. Next, the rear sight flew off while I was shooting. There was no trace of locktite on the set screw.

3. The barrel link pin is so loose that it will fall out when I turn the barrel sideways. There is not pressure holding it in whatsoever.

4. Some of the parts are not actually stainless. The hammer, FLGR, barrel bushing, mag release, and mainspring housing, are painted/plated silver or matte chrome. The color doesn't match the slide and frame and looks a little cheezy. If you are going to be charged extra for a "stainless" gun, you would hope that you'd be getting all stainless... not paint. The ejector and estractor are painted also, but I prefer carbon steel for these parts.

The gun works very well and none of the problems I mentioned are seroius and can't be fixed easily. For a straight-up trade with a gun I didn't like, I feel like I made a good deal. However, If I had plunked down some big bucks at a store and brought this home only to find these problems, I'd be very disappointed.

The gun will be getting some custom touches soon and I'll address all these issues. But I shouldn't have to on a brand new gun from a top-level manufacturer.
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