Range Report: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec .45 ACP...

Renown Browning Hi Power Expert - Stephen A. Camp. Unfortunately, Stephen passed away and he will be greatly missed.

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Range Report: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec .45 ACP...

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:45 pm

Hello. Having owned SA handguns off and on for a number of years now, I decided to try the parkerized Mil-Spec. For those interested, SA designates it as "PB9108L". I'd owned a couple of Mil-Specs some years ago, but managed to trade or sell them.

I had seen and shot a friend's WWII GI Mil-Spec, which is now called something else by SA and was most impressed with the barrel-to-slide and frame-to-slide fit, but I had been satisfied with the sights that came on the "regular" Mil-Spec and opted to go that route.

These pistols can be found under or right at the $500 mark from what I've seen...at least in my neck of the woods.

The Pistol: This gun came with the standard GI grip safety and spur hammer and checkered black plastic grips. The frame and slide are parkerized and the finish is even and not unattractive. The fixed sights are of the 3-dot variety and the front sight is a non-serrated ramp as opposed to the post sight on my earlier Mil-Specs. The trigger is short and grooved and the arch, grooved mainspring housing does have the integral lock.

I was surprised to see that the barrel in my gun was stainless steel and new to me was the small groove cut in the top of the barrel hood to act as a visual loaded chamber indicator.

The Mil-Spec is somewhat spartan, but this one turned out to be reliable and accurate. It is not without faults, however.

Unlike it's WWII Springfield cousin, the Mil-Spec has a lowered ejection port and the magazine well is beveled nicely. It came with one 7-round magazine.

Shooting: On two ocassions now, I've fired just over 600 rounds throught this pistol. These included FMJ, flat-points, factory JHP's, and handloads with both CSWC bullets and JHP bullets.

After the first session, I replaced the standard GI grip safety with a drop-in from Pachmayr that works fine with the spur hammer. The reason was that I was getting eatten alive by both the hammer spur and the sharp edges of the grip safety. I've had this problem with about every 1911 I've ever shot that was in this configuration. The wide grip safety stopped my being more chewed up, but managed to rub off the rather deep scabs from the previous session.

Due to rain and wind, shooting was confined to 10, 15, and 25 yards. No chronograph work was done as I didn't care to set it up in the rain, but I will check out this particular gun in the near future. I expect it will fall in line with my other 5" guns.

10 Yards: Nothing fancy a tall, just some controlled pairs fired starting from a low-ready position and a few failure to stop drills thrown in.

I found the sights easy to pick up for controlled pairs. Each set was fired in something under a second. The trigger pull on this gun is heavy, but that will be remedied in the near future.

15 Yards: Shooting from this distance was done standing and using a two-hand hold in slow-fire.

I was VERY pleased to find that the fixed sights were "on" for me. Many times this is not the case. I suspect that the group being very slightly to the left with a few shots low and left are due to the somewhat heavy trigger pull. I'd estimate it as 7 or 8 pounds. This will be changed in the near future.

25 Yards: Groups fired at 25 yards were done in slow-fire while seated and my wrists braced.

This group was fired using Federal 230-gr. HydraShok JHP in the "old" version, ie, truncated cone bullet rather than the current one having the more rounded ogive.

Observations: The gun was utterly reliable. It fired a total of just over 600 rounds w/o cleaning and the number of malfunctions was exactly zero. There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject. The slide locked open only when it was supposed to.

For those interested, a more detailed report is at:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Crit ... 20Spec.htm

This one is a keeper.

Stephen A. Camp

Thanks Stephen

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:12 pm

Thanks for the report Stephen.

Many folks probably recognize Stephen from 1911forum.com and perhaps other boards as well. Stephen is widly known as "Mr. HiPower," a title that is richly deserved. I have his book on HiPowers, as well as his assembly/disassembly charts, and have found both to be an excellent resources for this old 1911 warhorse.

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Postby Stephen A. Camp » Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:18 pm

Hello and thank you very much. I honestly believe that the SA Mil-Spec is in the "right" price range for many folks and can make a very good, very effective defensive implement in trained hands.

Best and thank you again.
Stephen A. Camp

Thanks for the great report.

Postby dws1117 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:14 pm

Although I haven't visited the 1911forum in quite a while, I do remember Mr. Camp.

The SA Mil-Spec was my first 1911. This is the gun that began my love affair with guns of this type. Unfortunately due to buying to fill other niches it is still my only 1911. There will be more. I have experienced zore problems that weren't of my doing( one of my handloads that mysteriously had no powder in it).

edted to add: this gun is perfect for a first 1911 style gun. It is very inexpensive and the utilitarian features leave plenty of room (and money) to customize the pistol to your tastes.
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Postby CaptDave » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:14 am

Mr. Camp:
Thank you for an excellent range report.
I've been kicking around the idea of a new 1911 and have some interest in the "1911 Street Project Gun" that you and Teddy Jacobson are developing. I've spoken with Teddy on a few occasions and it sounds like things are just about ready to roll-if not already underway. This S.A. 1911 sounds like it would be a perfect gun for the project.

There are probably a few people in this forum that would be interested in the project. I assume you will be using this 1911 as your project gun. As an afterthought, what do you think about posting your "work in progress" here on the web site with photos showing the progression "as you go"?
If of course it's alright with Mr. Cotton. Just a thought.
Thanks again,
Capt Dave
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Postby Stephen A. Camp » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:39 am

Hello Captain and thanks for the kind words. I'll be happy to do this posting of the progress on this Mil-Spec. Right now, Mr. Jacobson is finalizing the parts selection/combination to be used and will be applying his magic to these parts before they're ready to go to members of this project.l

Stephen A. Camp

Postby dws1117 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:03 am

Oooo, Ooooo! tell me more abut this...
"1911 Street Project Gun" that you and Teddy Jacobson are developing

Sounds interesting. The work in progress photos would be facinating as well.

Guess I should visit the 1911 forum more often.
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Postby Stephen A. Camp » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:05 am

Hello. Go to http://www.actionsbyt.com and in the lower left of the page, check on "Teddy's Comments" and scroll back through the articles and you'll find the street gun project.

Take care and best.
Stephen A. Camp

Re: Range Report: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec .45 ACP...

Postby roman3667 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:08 pm

Absolutely. Its also an inexpensive first 1911 and if you don't like it the pistol is very easy to sell especially at this price point.
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Re: Range Report: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec .45 ACP...

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:18 pm

Note the date on my last post. The "Street Gun Project" is no longer in effect.

Stephen A. Camp

Re: Range Report: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec .45 ACP...

Postby TxDrifter » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:10 am

In the Sept issue of American Rifleman the M1911 was listed as Number 1 on the "Top 10 Handguns in the World".
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