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I've had my SA Mil-Spec for a year now and just went over the 2000 round mark.

I've read several people on here mention the thought of sending their 1911 in to the Custom Shop for the $175 Defense Package. So far I don't recall anyone reporting back that they had it done and what they thought of it.

Anyone care to comment?
 

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Yes. I have reported back. I recently sent two guns for the defense pkg. More that worth the money.

The guns are now extremely accurate, no malfunctions, and with great triggers.

I also had mine lowered and flared and refinished. The Custom Shop will suggest lowering and flairing the port if you send a GI.

Here are pics of the two.



 

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My nearly knee jerk response to this question is "Why?" ;)

You can pick up a nearly new Loaded for $400 - $500 and have two pistols. Here's what a $400 like new (used) Loaded looks like when it gets less than $100 in customization (grips, trigger, and frame safety):



There are always folks looking to buy MilSpecs and USGI models if you only want one pistol.

-- Chuck
 

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Defense Package Definition

BTW, here is the Springfield Defense Package:

1911-A1 Defense Package $175.00
Deburr complete pistol internally; tune extractor & ejector; recut barrel throat and polish feed ramp; check barrel bushing fit (in 5” non-ported
pistols only); check headspace; install heavy duty recoil spring & buffer system (buffer system in 5” & 6” pistols only); smoothly tuned 4.5# trigger pull

:rock:
 

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Well, I haven't exactly been finding any like new, used loadeds falling off trees for $400-$500 as Chuck states. I haven't actually seen any used loadeds for much less than what new ones cost in MI. Hey, maybe it's a regional thing though? I'd buy every single one I could find for $400.

Nothing against Springfield, but I'm not sure I personally see the value in that Defense Package. It reminds me a lot of a $50 oil change at a new car dealer that includes a 30 point inspection. A lot of "checking" and little actual work.

My knee jerk reaction is why don't their pistols already have some of that stuff done to them before they are sent out in the first place?

-properly tuned ejector and extractor (how does one expect the gun to work properly without this?)
-properly cut barrel throat and polished feed ramp (how does one expect the gun to work properly without this?)
-properly fit barrel bushing (how does one expect the gun to shoot accurately without this?)
-proper headspace (I can't believe this isn't done at the factory?????)
-heavy duty recoil spring and buffer (18 pound spring and a shock buff?)
-deburr internally (I'm a little on the fence on this one, but nonetheless feel anything major should have been taken care of before leaving the factory.)

So the way I see it, it seems like this package is basically a $175 trigger job on your stock parts with a little fluff and buff that should have been done originally taken care of after the fact. I'm a little disappointed.
 

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I will just tell you that it was more than worth the money for me.

I had two modded GIs that needed some tuning. So I sent them.

Now I just picked up a NEW Springer Champ and it was great out of the box.

If you get a higher end gun, it should be good.

If you buy a TRP, you get a primo gun. already polished, etc.

If you buy a loaded, you may note that the feed ramp is smooth, but not polished. There is a diff.

Have to say that if you take a rough GI and do the Defense Pkg, it will probably impress.

It will probably shoot better than a loaded.
 

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It is my understanding that the Custom Shop will work on any 1911 that is in fair shape(maybe?). It might not be a bad idea if you picked up a used one and want some work and inspection done.

That said I thought about sending my GI in because I always seem to have FTF or FTE with the last round or so, but my Loaded on the other hand works flawlessly.
 

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Joshisskinny2 said:
It is my understanding that the Custom Shop will work on any 1911 that is in fair shape(maybe?). It might not be a bad idea if you picked up a used one and want some work and inspection done.

That said I thought about sending my GI in because I always seem to have FTF or FTE with the last round or so, but my Loaded on the other hand works flawlessly.
Call Deb at the Custom Shop and discuss with her. She can square you away.

They are the best. What I have found is that they always exceed expectations. They over-deliver, as the sales folks say.

:dope:
 

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Great thread.

Sounds like a great deal to do at the 2,000 round mark.
 

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army_eod said:
Yes. I have reported back. I recently sent two guns for the defense pkg. More that worth the money.

The guns are now extremely accurate, no malfunctions, and with great triggers...

army_eod said:
I will just tell you that it was more than worth the money for me.

I had two modded GIs that needed some tuning. So I sent them...

Have to say that if you take a rough GI and do the Defense Pkg, it will probably impress.

It will probably shoot better than a loaded.

I hear you, and no disrespect intended, but if I understand this correctly, you had two guns that were not extremely accurate, malfunctioned, and had less than great triggers that you sent out and they came back extremely accurate, with no malfunctions, and with great triggers.

I don't know exactly what the issues were with your guns that led you to send them in for the Defense Package. But, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to expect a 5" 1911 to be at least somewhat accurate (at least capable of combat accuracy, which is generally 3" @ 25 yds.), function properly (no malfs with factory ammo), and have at least an acceptable trigger out of the box.

If yours met the above criteria (i.e. essentially worked just fine out of the box) and you just wanted them to be better, then great. If you got accuracy improvements to say 2" or even 1" @ 25yds, continued to have no malfs, and got a much improved trigger, then there may be some value to the package. In this case, I do see at least some value to the basic checks and trigger job in Defense Package.

If, however, your guns didn't meet the above criteria (i.e were not terribly accurate and/or were malfunctioning to begin with), than I fail to see the value in paying to fix issues like those, when that stuff should probably be addressed by the manufacturer under warranty. In this case, I see the Defense Package as I stated earlier, as a $175 trigger job and a minor fluff and buff to ensure the pistol actually works as it should.


I'm not saying Springfield's custom work is not good or won't impress. I'm just questioning whether this is work being done to fix a pistol that wasn't working as it should have out of the box, or work being done to improve upon an already functional pistol.
 

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The two guns (in pics above) I bought used and did have some malfs. That is why I sent them out. I can afford it. And it is worth it to me. They are perfect now.

Small investment for perfect gun.
 

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I think investing in a Springfield Arms custom shop "defense package" before shooting and breaking in a GI or MilSpec is a little odd for the reason's Kevin posted. Also I think the GI or MilSpec should be broken in to discover any issues that should be covered under the Springer warranty before the custom shop gets involved.

If the people in the Springer custom shop think flaring and lowering the port is important (even on their own pistol brand), that leans me towards a MilSpec instead of GI.

I still think the Springer custom shop defense package is a great investment at $175.

Bottom line, guns have to be EXTREMELY competitively priced, especially at the GI/MilSpec price point. We aren't talking a $2k or more Wilson, Ed Brown, etc.

Springfield has their 1911's made by a government arms contractor, Imbel, in Brazil, to keep costs down, and, I suspect, spec's them to be "middle of the road" reliable and "middle of the road" accurate. They are well aware that people will praise or bash the guns on the internet if they aren't accurate "enough" or reliable "enough." "Enough" takes into account the fact that most buyers only put a few boxes through their guns a year, but there is an occasional service duty shooter or real hobbyist out there who puts thousands of rounds through. "Enough" has to take into account that customers's expectations of perfection is going to be tied to the cost of the gun (GI, MilSpec, Loaded etc.), that an occasional malfunction might get blamed on ammo or magazine, and that if push comes to shove their excellent customer service will take care of the odd gun(s) that have occasional issues, with a lifetime warranty to boot. In other words it is much cheaper to tune up an occasional malfunctioning gun that comes in over the transom than to invest the enormous labor time in making sure every gun goes out in a custom, hand-checked state of tune. (Compare that to Kimber which probably makes a more refined product but has a reputation for poor responsiveness to the off FTF/FTE complaint.)

Add to that the fact that the 1911 design is somewhat quirky:

"The 1911 design has several self locking operational zones where the round can be trapped as a jam." http://www.trippresearch.com/osdoc/maginfo.html

We all know how the US Govt made them "exceedingly reliable" back in the original GI days (compared to revolvers at least with their intricate wheelworks) - but to get there they also kind of threw "accuracy" (target accuracy, not close range combat accuracy) out the window. Those Jeff Cooper inspired paper cutters (target shooters) in the 70's, on the other hand, veered to the other side of the caution highway by tarting their 1911's up with "accurizing" and field reliability be damned.

Right now "real" shooters are back in vogue, thanks to the interest in close quarters combat (thanks Hollywood; thanks Delta and MEU(S)C) and LA SWAT). The guns don't get exposed to as much dirt, but they have to withstand bumps and dumps. The guns don't have to substitute for carbines and rifles, but they do need handgun range accuracy. Above all they need reliability.

I think that is the "sweet spot" where the Springer defense package comes in handy. Ok, maybe the custom shop won't find any major problems with your GI or MilSpec, and a lot of it will be "checking" instead of "doing," but they WILL check everything with a custom shop gunsmith's eye and experience, vs. an assembly line worker's eyes. That comfort factor alone is worth the $175 price of admission. Having heard of extractors that are working themselves loose, what's wrong with experienced eyes checking it out and slightly tuning it up?

Or, you can do this:

http://www.berryhillguns.com/bfp.html

$735 to turn a basic 1911 into a "combat ready" piece. Based on the parts list and smithing involved, a bargain. But compared to the Springer work, probably more than most of us want to pay.

Also keep in mind that Springer work on other manufacturer's 1911's. Given Colt's spotty reputation in the 80's, I would recommend that my friend send his Gold Cup 80 there for that package. Some of the other guns they receive (Auto Ordnance before Kahr?) might need more TLC than others.

And as another poster said, there IS a difference between a smoothed ramp and polished ramp. Maybe it won't show up in a few thousand rounds, but you are playing a numbers game. And also maybe you'll be stuck with nothing but round nose lead bullet ammunition, and be grateful for a little better feeding.

Here's an article on .45's in the Marines MEU(SOC):
http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/meu_1911.htm
 

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Excellent analysis 1911fan

Agree with all of it.

Besides; even tho it IS an old design...it looks cool. :dope:

And, if I want an auto that will kick butt and take names without any issues and is REAL easy to maintain, I go to my Glock 21.
 
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