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Springfield Armory pre-90s edition 9mm. Not sure if it's the factory finish or if somebody polished and reblued it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been able to find much info out there on this time period. I know it was manufactured in 88. Here are some more pictures that more closely reflect the finish (I was playing with color settings on the other ones). Any idea of what it’s worth? Not that it matters too much. I already bought it and don’t plan on selling.
604731
604732
604733
 

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I managed to find 1988 Springfield catalog. Polished blue was one of the option offered for Standard Model.

Mine came with the same carboard box. Here is how it was marked on the box. Interestingly, mine wasn't marked as Standard Model. It was marked as 1911-A1 N.M. But I cannot find anything documented in the 1988 catalog about that model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
604752

Interesting. The box mine came in is marked “1911-a1 Standard “. Is the top of your slide flattened with shallow grooves? Have you had any trouble finding parts? Mine is missing the barrel link and link pin. I’m taking it to sa this week per my local gun shop’s recommendation.
 

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Slide top flattened with serrations only featured in the 9mm version from that era. I have seen quite a few 9mm featured those and it's factory configuration. On the other hand, 45 ACP version came with standard round top slide.

In terms of parts, new 1911 parts will work (some will require fitting). Barrel link and link pin should be straight forward replacement.
 

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Springfield started selling 1911A1 pistols in 1985. In 1988 catalog, it also claimed that the parts are 100% interchangeable with military 1911A1 parts. Not sure where they sourced parts from during 1980s, but at the time there were many defense contractors making replacement parts decades after US military stop buying complete M1911A1 after 1945.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Springfield started selling 1911A1 pistols in 1985. In 1988 catalog, it also claimed that the parts are 100% interchangeable with military 1911A1 parts. Not sure where they sourced parts from during 1980s, but at the time there were many defense contractors making replacement parts decades after US military stop buying complete M1911A1 after 1945.
The barrel link and pin came in yesterday. Fit together perfectly. I fired 27 rounds out of a mixed bag and the gun worked without problems.
 

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The very first SA I purchased was a Springfield 1911A1 loaded model when they were introduced. Polished blue finish. I purchased the gun a Navy Arms when they were still in Ridgefield, NJ. I actually had a choice of the blued or the parkerized model. IMO the polished blued guns were some of the nicest guns SA offered. I wish they kept this finish in their lineup or at least as an option. You have a nice example of one of their mil spec 1911's. I would keep it as it and enjoy shooting it. BTW: I still have my loaded. I carried it off duty for years but have retired it to my safe.
 

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I love blued 1911 for presentation purpose. Milspec/Loaded in Parkerizing is more utilitarian, but still look decent. Down side of the bluing finish include that it is not as durable in humid environment and show finger prints the minute you touch it.

Because of decades of new firearm finishing development, bluing is no longer the default choice for manufactures or most gun buyers. Colt is the only one still offer brush blued O1911C as regular production item. A few other semi-custom shop (Les Baer, Alchemy) still use bluing but they are not at the price range for average gun buyers.

Springfield recently bring back blued slide for their 2-tone Ronin. But I would also like to see SA bring back full blued Loaded and Milspec. I used to have this Ultra Compact in factory brush blue too. Sold it a few years back and still regret it until I got a chance to picked up Colt TALO CCO to take its place.
 

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Back then when Imbel was contracted to supply parts and assemble majority of SA production 1911, Springfield used different pre-fix in the serial number to distinguish where those were made.

N - Imbel assembled in Brazil
NM - assembled in Illinois, USA. NM Pre-fix has been used since day one Springfield started making 1911 in 1985. After Imbel contract ended, all the SA production models now have NM pre-fix. Even most of their custom shop 1911 use NM pre-fix with exceptions noted below.

There were a few variances to that general practice that were Model specific:

WW - "GI" models assembled in Brazil
LW - lightweight alloy frame models. No sure if any assembled in Brazil previously???
FBI / DEA / HRT / CRG / USMC etc - Custom shop models catered for law enforcement and military contracts.
 

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NM is not national match, NM on a Springfield pistol indicates that most if not all the machine work was done in the US. Other serial prefixes like WW for instance were finishied/mostly finished outside the US, like Imbel in Brazil.
Not trying to argue but I'm sorry, that just adds to the confusion. I'm not following. Given the markings on the box it seems that N.M. was offered as an option. Are you saying that buyers had the choice of a U.S. machined Springfield. Wouldn't most of us choose a 1911machined in the U.S.?

Font Wood Rectangle Electric blue Signage


"Standard vs N.M vs Officers vs Combat."

What am I missing?
 

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That was from decades ago during 1980s before Imbel supplied and made 1911 for Springfield. Back then Springfield just started making 1911, there are different options for production line-up. Probably much small operation as well.

It's in the 1990s and up that SA become more of a household name for 1911 and the production line up become more like what they are offering today.
 

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I was always under the impression the NM did mean National Match (some models had a two piece barrel, others the NM barrel). And the WW was indicative of the World War (2?) or GI model.
 
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