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I am new to this forum and, as with other forums, am quite impressed with all of the knowledge that can be found here. I've got a bunch of questions about the Springfield 1911-A1 Mil-Spec and basic 1911s in general so here goes. I've been thinking about buying a basic 1911 (my first by the way if you havn't guessed by now) for about a month and I'm not sure if the mil-spec is a good choice. Do they good quality workmanship? Are they durable? Reliable? Accurate? Are there any other manufacturers who make one better (i'm willing to pay a little extra if it makes a difference). If I chose to do any add-ons or modifications to it are parts easy to find and fit? What modifications have yall done that you felt this pistol needed? Is Springfield good on there lifetime warranty? I remember seeing some 1911s (colt I think) with olive drab parkerized finishes. Is this available on Springfield's models? Are these more durable than the regular black parkerized finishes? Don't mean to be long-winded; just curious. I'll save the rest for another post. Thanks for all info! I know all of you are probably experts.
 

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Paperpuncher,
Where do we start? Springfield is a very good company with an excellent "Lifetime Warranty". All manufacturers are guilty of letting a pistol out of their factory that is less than relible. It is the risk you take. Springfield will fix any defect you may experience so no need to worry. As for what pistol to buy, what do you plan on doing with it? I would select a different gun for carry than if I were choosing a target shooter. Night sights and absolute reliability being my biggest factors in a carry piece. As for options, I am left-handed so an ambi-safety is a must. Go to a range that will let you rent guns and try a few different 1911's out. This will give you a good idea of what features you want. As for finishes, that is highly individual. I prefer blued guns but they require more maintenance than a parkerized or stainless finish. Well, I hope this has been of some assistance to you. Good luck in your search and welcome to the forum.
Oldcolt

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paperpuncher,
First off, welcome to the forum!

Now, as far as the Mil-Spec Springfields go, I've seen a number of them go through our store, and I have some personal experience with Springfield Armory. I am, however, no expert and my oppinions should be taken with a grain of salt.

Here goes...

I own 1911's from Colt, Para Ordnance, Kimber, Les Baer, and Springfield. Of all my guns, including the $1600 Semi-Custom, I shoot my Springfield 2000 Model "Loaded" more than any other. It is by far my favorite, and for many reasons. It is one of the few 1911's that I own that has proven 100% reliable. It had one or two hicups within the first hundred rounds, but has since been PERFECT. In addition, the service I received recently was great.

I had just signed up for the Steel Challenge, and I decided to use the Springfield in the CDP division. Upon an examination of the gun, I found that the front sight had become somewhat loose. I decided to send it back to Springfield, and contacted the repair department. I explained that I needed the gun for the competition, and specified the date that I needed it back. I stated that rather than re-staking the front sight, I would rather pay to have a white-dot front sight dovetailed into the slide. Well, it cost me $37.50 to send the gun back to Springfield, and I received it back two days before the Steel Challenge.

I was not charged for the dovetail job, which was excellent, but I didn't expect them to also re-fit the slide to frame, adjust the sights exactly to point of aim (I ddn't have a chance to test-fire, and my first shot at the Steel Challenge was the first shot after receiving my gun) and check safety and functioning. (Nothing needed--Again, the gun worked great out of the box!)
They sent the gun back with no charge for the return shipping, and included the parts that I ordered in the package, so I didn't have to pay shipping for them!

(I finished 6th in CDP division, but because Mike Dalton, one of the founders of the Steel Challenge, doesn't accept prizes, he gave away his 2nd place prize, and I was "bumped" to fifth, winning $100.00! Needless to say, a sentimental bond has developed between my Springfield and I!)


As far as Mil-Spec 1911's go specifically, I have never fired one, but I can say that the trigger pulls seem consistently good, with some being extraordinarily good. The slide to frme finish has some play, but I feel that that's OK. The only thing that I have seen that I can say is a negative regarding the fit of the gun is that there is almost always movement, and sometimes considerable movement, when the the top of the barrel is pushed down in the ejection port.

The finish seems good, and the only variation seems to be that sometimes the barrels are stainless, and some are blued (luck of the draw)and the same thing goes for the barrel bushing. I've seen blue barrels with stainless bushings, vise versa, and blue with blue, stainless with stainless, etc. It seems pretty random.

In addition, most Mil-Spec's will come with an "FI Brazil" stamp on the dust cover, just forward of the trigger guard. This means (from what I have heard) that the gun was assembled in Brazil. Some Mil-Spec's don't have this stamp, which supposedly means that they were assembled and finished in the USA. As far as fit/finish/performance goes, I have seen no difference.

Compared to other "Military/Mil-Spec" 1911's, such as the Colt 1991, If I had to choose one 1911, I'd definately go with the Springfield. The customer service is excellent, the guns seem to be vey reliable, and (in my oppinion) most of all, they're SERIES 70! No stinkin firing pin safety to get in the way of a nice trigger pull! Yes, I know that a Series 80 can have a good trigger. I hve a Para P-16/40 Ltd. in front of me right now with an excellent trigger, but in general, a series 70 will start with a better trigger, and be easier to improve.

Now, I do have a Colt 1991 in stainless, and have been VERY impressed by both the reliability (Almost perfect) and accuracy of the gun. It is a great shooter, and I don't think you could go wrong with a new Colt 1991. (2001 production is what I am familiar with) If you go this route, make sure to ge one with the new roll mark. I've seen them and they are SOOO much nicer than the old COLT 1991A1 on the slide! Also, the barrel fit (by way of the "push test" as described above)seems much better than the Sprinfields that I've seen.

Well, I've gone on too long already, so I'll shut up and let some other people reply.

Good luck,

SFB
 

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SFB, you hit all the points perfectly. Well said. I too own 32 1911's, 33 as of 10/15/01. Among them are 2 Wilson CQB's, but my prize gun is a S/A Mil-Spec I purchased several years ago. It may be hard for some to imagine that this $325 gun, I still have the receipt from the gunstore, shoots AS GOOD AS both of my CQB's. Period. It's completely stock, all original parts with the exception of the extractor this "yokal" broke when I purchased a box of Wolff .45 a few weeks ago, but it is functioning perfectly now with an original springfield extractor.

At 25 yds from a bench rest it groups 1.62" while the CQB1 groups at 1.55" and CQB2 at 1.6", BUT, in all fairness, 6 weeks ago I purchased yet another S/A "mil-spec", it's groups average via benchrest a disheartening 2.7".

Maybe my 1st "mil-spec" is a match gun in disguise, who knows.
 

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Been saying this since the 2001 models came out. The Milspec is an absolute best buy. The one I have, which by the way is totally unmodified, is at least as accurate as my much more expensive "loaded" models.
 

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I have one .45 and its a Mil-Spec. I bought it five years ago. I have shot lots of different brands, but none have made me want to replace my classic. Not Colt, not Para, not Kimber. My Springfield just works great for me.


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"We will either find a way, or make one" -Hannibal
 
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