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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just bought a new gun. A slightly used Springfield M1911A1 in 9mm. 4 digit serial number with no prefix. Probably about a dozen years old. For $600.

The previous owner had installed big adjustable sights which I am having removed and replaced with high visibility fixed sights. Other than that I intend to leave it pretty much alone.

I've accumulated quite a many guns over the years, and the only things really remaining on my list (at a very low priority) were a Springfield Armory
M1911 platform pistol in both .45 ACP and 9mm. I planned to leave any such guns pretty stock other than getting decent sights installed and maybe a trigger job if needed.

I shoot a little bit in both USPSA and IDPA, usually in Production and SSP classes (my issue gun at the PD was a Sig for years and now we recently converted to Glock 22s). If circumstances permit, I try to shoot other guns in classifier matches and sometimes in regular monthly club matches, depending.

(My other M1911 pattern pistols are a Colt Combat Commander that I bought in 1978 (was my duty gun as a cop for 6-1/2 years at the beginning of my career ) and a Remington Rand GI surplus gun that I bought in 1990.

The Remington Rand was a re-import from South Korea or the Phillippines. The barrel was shot out, the slide and frame were pitted, the grip screws were rusted tight into the bushings, the wooden grips were rotted and somebody had tried to adjust the tiny GI sights with a hammer.

My intent was to rebuild the gun into a rack grade M1911A1 just like I had in the MPs. My local gunsmith bead blasted and parkerized the frame, replaced internal parts as necessary, installed a new stainless steel barrel (that he had lying around the shop), replaced the tiny GI sights with new tiny GI sights that weren't all beat up, and did a trigger job to 5-1/2 lbs. It turned out really nice. I shot it in an IDPA classifier match a few years ago, but the tiny sights and my old eyes were a bad combination. I shot good but had to slow down a quite a bit because the damn sights were so small)
 

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What was the finish on the gun? I had a blued one like that and the serial number started in 72XX it ended up being from 86'
 

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Here is my beloved pair. The 9-mil I stumbled across on Gunpoker.....a week later, the 45 almost fell into my lap. These guns were made this way, except for the grips and hardware I changed. I believe them to be distributor guns....maybe Davidson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My new gun was made in November of 1985 and has a parkerized finish.

It's still at the gun smith's waiting for new sights. I hope to get it back in time to shoot in in "single stack" division at a local USPSA match on the 21st . . .
 

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I got lucky and was able to buy this Range Officer from the local shop. The shop owner showed me this 9mm fresh from the distributor, however another customer had priority, but as you can see-- he passed.

 

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willie, what did you pay OTD? I now wished I waited before buying my EMP, I had not heard a whisper about a RO 9mm coming out.
 

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Guess I've been asleep also. I have a RO in .45 and love it. Have been looking for a 9mm on a 1911 platform. Was looking at Citadel and RI, but if I can find one in RO it'll be a no-brainer. How long have they been available or maybe I should ask, are they readily available?
Thanks,

Steve
 

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btw willie, congrats & nice 9'er, checkered FS would be very nice, looks & feel. I am doing my FS now on my RO .45.

enjoy
 

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OP....I think putting the adjustable sight in the dove-tail was about all you could do (or the most economical thing) on the early guns to get adjustable sights on it. I have had three 1911's wearing an aftermarket adjustable sight. You can remove the thing and likely get $40-$50 bucks for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got my gun back from the gunsmith.

I had 6 failures to extract in 180 rnds of local commercial reloads. The gun was 100% with factory ammo (Seiller & Bellot, and Federal M882 GI ball). I bought 3 Wilson ETM magazines and so far I've been quite impressed with them.

I suspect my initial problems with the failures to extract were ammunition related.

I have some GECO 9mm ball to try next.
 

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My SA based Mixmaster A 9mm had weak extraction, too.
It now has EGW extractor and firing pin stop.
Keep an eye on yours and if it acts up with factory loads, check for extractor tension, hook, and "clocking."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Springfield M1911A1 in 9mm continued . . .

Last Tuesday (14 Jan) I took the 9mm Springfield M1911A1 to the range for a practice session. I shot 3 60 rnd practice courses using Wolf & (mostly) GECO ammo.

The slide doesn't always lock open when the mag is empty with the original Springfield magazines that came with the gun.

The Wilson 10 rnd mags work great with 6 or 8 rnds loaded and are iffy when loaded to capacity. Probably because the springs are still pretty stiff.

(One of my shooting buddies recommended the Dawson magazines as well as the Wilsons.)

As I view this gun as a minor caliber trainer for my other .45s of that type, I'm happy if the mags work when loaded with 7 or 8 rnds.

Tuesday night I shot the gun in a local club match on the indoor range. The match was run to USPSA roles but is unsanctioned.

I did have one malfunction (failure to eject) but otherwise the gun ran okay. The stages had a bunch of one hand only shooting on targets partially obscured by no-shoots and hard cover. Even though I had practiced strong hand only & weak hand only earlier in the day I did pull a couple of shots into hard cover. I was bashing the trigger a little bit when trying to go too fast.

Saturday my club had our monthly USPSA match.

I shot my G22 duty gun for the match and did a re-shoot on the classifier (24 rnds) with the Springfield M1911A1 using the GECO ammo. One malfunction on a reload. Not quite sure what happened. Hurt my elapsed time a little bit.

At some future time I may order 3 Dawson mags and give them a try too.

One of the guys in my club echoed Jim Watson's recommendation that I consider a heavy duty extractor from Evolution Gun Works if I keep having extractor problems, and to replace the recoil spring since I have no idea how old it is.

I do find that when shooting a M1911 platform pistol riding my thumb on the safety, if the grip safety doesn't have a "speed bump" on it I sometimes have to re-position my shooting hand to get the grip safety fully depressed.

The gun needs a trigger job (to about 5lbs) and I'll have to keep an eye on potential failures to eject or extract. The gun is very pleasant to shoot, though I'm a little rusty with the manual of arms on a single action auto so I have to be very mindful when trying to go fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I spent the summer shooting my G22 in USPSA matches & my G19 in IDPA matches. Now that my club has moved matches indoors for the winter I decided to shoot the Springfield 1911 pattern gun in 9mm for a few months.

I still had a few problems with failures to extract so I purchased a heavy duty extractor from Evolution Gun Works. The extraction problems ceased.

The Wilson 9 round magazines work great once they get broken in.

After further consideration I've decided that gun does NOT need any trigger work. The trigger is fairly light & crisp as it is with a short reset. I have discovered that if I try to go fast shooting one-hand only I sometimes bash the trigger a little bit & hook the shot to 3 or 9 o'clock.
 

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Range Officer 9mm Report

My new RO was $780 in a Northern Colorado gunshop, including tax and background check. In the shop, all of the routine 1911 tests for tightness, function etc., seemed fine, although the trigger pull was just over six pounds. Detail stripping revealed a bone dry firearm, absolutely devoid of any lubrication that my swabs or patches could pick up. The grip screws were both tight and soft. One pulled out the bushing when removed, and another rounded the allen wrench fitting. I split the stock grip panel and removed the screw, again tightly cemented to the bushing. All bushings were replaced with slim versions to accept Gunsite panels and screws. The trigger was so tight that it needed tapping out from the front with a hardwood drift. I lubed and reassembled the gun, using a Kimber trigger that fit without slop.

At the range, each factory mag needed two rounds to settle in, then both performed flawlessly in all respects. There were then no failures of any kind with a mix of one hundred different factory rounds. The rear sight adjustment screws accept a standard screwdriver, which made finding a fifty yard zero with NATO 124 grain rounds easy enough. At twenty-five yards, both 124 and 115 grain rounds had the same points of impact, which is not always the case with the very short-barreled 9 mm handguns that are now popular. All groups were two inches or less at that distance.

With the new trigger, proper lubrication and one hundred rounds, the trigger pull dropped to under five pounds. New mags from Wilson and Tripp are on the way, as are some more factory versions. I'll buy a back-up EGW extractor, a few recoil springs and probably put a brass dot in the front sight. After a thousand more rounds, I'll know the gun better.

Meanwhile, does anyone know how easy or difficult is it to obtain a second key from Springfield to the wonderful ILS?
 

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So I spent the summer shooting my G22 in USPSA

After further consideration I've decided that gun does NOT need any trigger work. The trigger is fairly light & crisp as it is with a short reset. I have discovered that if I try to go fast shooting one-hand only I sometimes bash the trigger a little bit & hook the shot to 3 or 9 o'clock.
Jeff, you must be quite an accomplished pistol shot to recognize exactly what finger and grip position will cause, as far as target point of impact goes.

Younger shooters sometimes look at my advice, (to change hand/finger pressure points to change point of impact); as though I have "slipped a cog" mentally.

As to your failure to lock slide back on last round, I found a 45 acp slide lock/release lever, instead of the proper 9mm profile one, in an early 80s S A I bought.
You might want to check that. Glad to see the E G W extractor worked for you. I have one to fit in an older 38 super on my to do list now.
 
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