1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been told that the SA Mil-Spec is a better base gun because it does not have the firing pin safety like the Colt which will translate into a nicer trigger down the road. So, is the SA really the better base gun?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
Depends on what you want. If you want a full house custom gun, the SA Mil-Spec is probably a better place to start (it is the favorite base gun for some well known smiths). Only problem with that is a big name custom gun built on a Colt will probably be worth more than one build on a Springfield.

Billy Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,311 Posts
Handle them both, side by side. You'll find the original contours on the Colt more comfortable and quicker to handle than the "blocky", squared and oversized grip frame and dust cover of the Springfield. Many 1911 aftermarket parts, holsters, etc, don't fit the Springfield as well for this reason. The current production Colt 1991A1s are better fitted and toleranced for a carry/combat gun and are quite accurate and reliable.

The Series 80 firing pin lock does not interfere with a good trigger - and it is a valid safety improvement. Springfield is now changing to an ultra-light proprietary firing pin w/heavy spring and equipping their guns with a mainspring housing locking device in an attempt to make their guns safer. Kimber has also seen the light and now has their own exact COPY of the original 1937 vintage Colt "Schwartz" firing pin lock on all their new guns. Not very innovative, but a good move.

Mechanical Safety is a positive good thing in a handgun - not a negative. A firing pin lock ends the "cocked and locked must be unsafe" argument for good. There isn't a safer handgun on the market, by any maker, than the Colt or ParaOrd 1911s. And you'll never notice the parts are aboard while shooting.

Be aware that any dealer will quite naturally attempt to sell you whatever he has in stock, particularly if he has a lot invested in a large stock of only one brand. That automatically makes it "the best". Shop around, take your time and make up your own mind. Price is pretty secondary to long term satisfaction, in my experience.

One man's take on the subject, from the Colt side of the aisle, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
and dust cover of the Springfield.
This is the second or third time I've read about "dust covers." Where exactly on the gun is this found? Is it unique to Springfield?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,311 Posts
With the gun field stripped, the half curved "trough" at the front end of the frame, forward of the cut in the frame for the barrel lugs. Springfield originally made theirs thicker for IPSC optical sight mounts to be installed by drilling and tapping. No longer necessary, as the IPSC crowd doesn't use single stack guns for optics anymore, but they still make them oversized.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
I own both brands and I prefer the Colts over the Springfields because, the Colts are made completely in the USA. The Springfield's frames and slides are forged in Brazil and imported into this country.

7th

------------------
Support Your Local Police
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Col. Colt,
I have a question for you, you made the comment about the Kimber using the Swartz safety system was not very innovative. If a company is marketing an M1911A1 pistol that was originally designed prior to 1911 and redesigned sometime in the mid 1920's, how innovative should they be? I guess looking at my Kimber Stainless Target and knowing that the mechanical features are essentually the same as the original M1911A1, gives me a real appreciation for J. M. Browning's original design. I think that If some other company (not Colt) came up with a safety improvement/improvement to the design of the 1911, you would say that they strayed from the original design and therefore no good. But because they implemented something that Colt used pre WWII and removed due to the Mil-spec not having the Swartz safety you say that is not innovative. Now for the original question of Colt vs. Springfield Mil-Spec, I would have to say that looking back on my purchase of a Kimber Stainless Target, I wish I would have purchased a genuine Colt 1991 parkerized first, now maybe I will have to make that my second 1911 pistol. Sorry for the long post, but I felt that it needed to be said. No personal attack on Col. Colt, I get a kick out of each and every one of your posts

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
963 Posts
Definitely get the Springfield...both are nice guns for customizing, but you're almost certainly going to overpay for the Colt because almost all Colts are overpriced nowadays.

------------------
A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
I have the Colt Series 80 Government Model and Combat Commander - Will never trade them for any clone.

The Springfield comes with a key lock in the mainspring housing, if you like that. I think that the lock might be something that could go wrong, and tie-up the gun.

Also, the new Springfields have a portion of the barrel that would support the case-head machined-away. This is supposed to be a safety feature. You can look through this machined away area of the barrel and see if you see a cartridge case in the chamber. If you see a cartridge case, you know that the gun is loaded!

No thanks, I'll stick with the Colt!

-Mk.IV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
963 Posts
Originally posted by Mark IV Series 80:

The Springfield comes with a key lock in the mainspring housing, if you like that. I think that the lock might be something that could go wrong, and tie-up the gun.
Ummm...if he is going to customize the gun, why the hell would he care if it has the key lock in the MSH? It's probably going to get changed out anyway.

------------------
A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
The Colt 1991A1's around here are going for a bit less than the Springfields. Last gunshow had the 1991's for $465, and the Springfield's were closer to $500. I have a new 1991A1 made in 2000, and this one was so tight that it surprised me. Compared to my 10 year old Series 80, the fit of the new guy is impressive, yet loose enough that the only FTF's I have had in the 2,000 rounds I have put through it have been my fault (taper crimp was set too loose). Has the funny looking groove in the barrel ramp which really does seem to help it feed lead semi-wadcutters, and I'm thinking about getting one for my old pistol when and if I ever do wear the barrel out! Nearly 80,000 rounds and going strong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
It's quite simple, actually. If you want a gun to collect or gather dust in your safe, buy a Colt. If you want a gun to shoot, buy a Springfield. As to safety, the FBI Swat and HRT teams after exhaustive testing, far surpassing the original U.S. Military testing, found the Springfield quite safe.
The other Colt based guns couldn't meet the demanding test criteria. Then again 20,000 rounds is a lot of shooting.

[This message has been edited by FLSi (edited 07-19-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Flsi
You are comparing apples to oranges there. Your post makes it sound as if then tests that were performed found the other guns less safe than the Springfield. I don't think that is the case. There are probably many reasons the others may not have passed the test. I know in one of the rounds of testing by some letter agency accuracy with their chosen round was a big issue.

Also the guns made by Springfield for the FBI are a far cry from a mil spec model off their production floor. Making a decision on what base gun to choose has nothing to do with the skill of the gunsmiths in the custom shop. The guns that underwent testing were heavily customized and the mil spec a basic no frils off the shelf gun.

[This message has been edited by chris in mo (edited 07-19-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,311 Posts
MarkInND, I was only pointing out that Kimber's "new safety" was, like their guns, a knockoff of a Colt. If WWII had not intervened, all 1911's would have had the Schwartz lock as standard long ago. Credit where credit is due is only fair, don't you think?

I'm honestly glad to see Kimber do it, as I have always believed in the real safety and psychological benefits of a firing pin lock. This modernized the 1911 design, keeping it the leader in service grade handguns, particularly to the general public, who "just know" that a cocked gun is unsafe.

FLSi, the FBI Springfields have darn few Springfield parts left in them - they are essentially custom 1911's using Springfield's slide and frame. They were built and sold to elite government agents, (well below cost I'm sure) to bolster Springfield's image. Look at Springfield's price to build you or me one! They do not remotely represent what an out of the box Springfield "Mil-Spec" pistol is, anymore than a NASCAR Ford Taurus represents the front drive six cylinder at your Ford dealer. I know quite a few Colts with much higher round counts than 20,000, that had a lot less done to them than the Springfield HRT guns. And I'm with 7th Fleet regarding Brazilian vs. USA manufacture. Let's keep the money and jobs circulating here. We are rapidly losing our manufacturing sector as it is.

10-Ring, again, handle both guns, get some of your shooting buddies to lend you current examples of each and go shoot them if possible. See how they each feel to you. Then make up your own mind. No lack of opinions from your brethern here, but it is your money!

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
In regards, again, to safety, I was pointing out that a proper firing(Titanium) pin and return spring(Wolff Xtra power) is just as drop safe as the Shwartz or Series 80. It would seem that the test proved this. There is no mechanical safety for improper gun handling.

As to frames and slides. It was reported in Harris Publications Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement 2001, page 94 " Initially everyone who employed a Colt frame failed the Rockwell hardness test of 39 -41 for the slide and 24- 26 for the frame. This requirement was extremely important because the manufactures had to warrant a minimum 50,000 round service life for the pistols produced."



[This message has been edited by FLSi (edited 07-19-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
963 Posts
Originally posted by Col. Colt:
MarkInND, I was only pointing out that Kimber's "new safety" was, like their guns, a knockoff of a Colt.
Yet the very nature of your words "a knockoff of Colt" betrays the true intent behind them. Col.Colt, can't you talk about a competitor's gun without trying to belittle it? Everyone knows I love my Kimber, and appreciate the products Kimber makes, but I don't make post after post belittling Springfield Armory or Colt (except to point out that Colt guns are a bit overpriced for the market).
Kimber is no more a knockoff of Colt's 1911 than Bushmaster or Armalite are knockoffs of the AR15 or Fulton or Springfield are knockoffs of the M14. They are simply different producers of the same style weapon.

------------------
A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
10-ring, I know from first hand experience that the series 80 fp safety parts will not get in the way of a good trigger job as long as your smith knows what he's doing. A proper trigger job is important to a 1911, that sweet single action trigger.

Don't let the idea of an "extra" passive safety shape your decision. ALL 1911's from what we call production (as opposed to custom) shops will benefit greatly from a trigger job.

I have a Colt 1991A1 that's been judiciously upgraded and tuned to my liking. I haven't messed with anything from SA since about the 1900's...

------------------
Rust never sleeps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
the series 80 fp safety parts will not get in the way of a good trigger job as long as your smith knows what he's doing[/B]
Havoc is absolutely correct. The FP safety is a non-issue if the 'smith knows his stuff.-TR
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,545 Posts
We seem to go round and round on this every few weeks. Let's face it: we all bring slightly different priorities and prejudices to such discussions, and whether the topic is FLGRs, Glocks, holsters or 'smiths -- we're each going to have our favorites. IMO, the freedom to make such choices is a very GOOD thing!

That having been said, when I'm in market for a production 1911 -- all other things being equal -- I'll take the Colt ... every time. Col. Colt's observations on this subject are usually right on target IMO.

Of course, when funds permit, I'm also perfectly content with one of those counterfeiting, patent-infringing Wilsons, Baers or Browns.


Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Go with the Colt!!! Why settle for a copy when you can have the real thing? The new 1991A1's I've seen are excellent quality (but I would change to a metal trigger and main spring housing) ..... and the SA doesn't feel near good in the hand. If you don't get the Colt, you'll wish you did, trust me.

[This message has been edited by Roverman (edited 07-26-2001).]
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top