Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols-From battlefields around the world to shooting competition winner circles, the Springfield family of Model 1911 semiautomatic pistols has been making itself known for decades. Renowned for durability, reliability and accuracy, these handguns consistently deliver top-notch performance in the field, at home and at the range.
A battle-proven design
Durable construction and reliable performance
For duty, personal protection or competition
Gun Review: Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols- 1911-A1
When you think about handguns that have made their mark in the public’s mind, there is, hands down, no firearm more iconic than the venerable creation of John Browning, the Model 1911-AI. Call it a “1911,” a “Colt .45 auto” or a “Navy .45,” this was the gun that got us through WWII, the Korean War, and just about every conflict since. But if you’re late to the party, you might not realize that 1911s were not always held in such reverence. Nope. After WWII, a huge number of surplus 1911s flooded the market. Some good. Many of them not so good. In fact, it was far more likely to find a 1911 that wouldn’t even run, than it was to find one that was a lean, mean, fightin’ machine. As well, there were certain design idiosyncrasies that made the 1911 less than fun to shoot – especially the combo of grip safety and hammer that had a nasty tendency to take a bite out of your shooting hand at inappropriate times. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
Enter Springfield Armory. Along with a handful of other companies, they were largely responsible for the Renaissance of the 1911, after gun guys like Col. Jeff Cooper proclaimed the 1911 as their choice for handgun defense. But this is not your father’s Springfield Armory. The government’s go-to guys (founded by G. Washington way back in 1794) closed in the late 60s. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
A new Springfield Armory rose from the ashes as a private concern in 1974, to manufacture firearms to the high standards of their namesakes. SA lead the charge back to glory with an extensive line of 1911s, from classic models, authentic down to the last spring, to custom shop models that rival anything you’d purchase from a master gunsmith. In between these extremes lies Springfield’s Loaded lineup, boasting features you’d expect to find in a custom shop gun, but at a much more affordable price.
In the wonderful world of 1911s, you’ve got three main form factors, two choices in frames, and then a plethora of options. Most manufacturers offer the 1911 in a 5″ barrel (the original design), a 4″ barrel (known in WWII as the “officer’s model”) and a 3″ barrel with a shortened grip, for better concealment. You will find frames available in steel and aluminum. The options? The only limits are your imagination…and your budget.
Springfield offers no fewer than 14 models within their Loaded line. We’ll focus on my personal favorite, the PX1909LP Parkerized.
The PX1909LP is a traditional 5″ barrel .45 ACP 1911 with a traditional Parkerized finish, a zinc and/or magnesium coating that prevents rust and is superior to the “blueing” process that pre-dates it. With it’s steel frame, it weighs in at a hefty (trust me) 40 ounces, unloaded. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
Add a magazine full of JHPs, and we’re talking a weapon that isn’t just a defensive tool, it’s a freeweight system. While I proudly carry a concealed handgun license, I’m saving up for a lighter weapon before I carry on a daily basis – a 5″ barrel combined with a steel frame is just too much for even a big guy like me to lug around all day.
But weight is only a concern if you’re going to be carrying the pistol on your hip all day. The weight actually becomes something of an advantage, when you consider how this baby shoots – and shoot it does. With a full 5″ of a match-grade barrel, you’ve got it all over those that feature a standard barrel and those guys with a 3 or 4 inches of tubular steel.
The heft of the pistol makes it that much easier to control the recoil you find when shooting any .45 ACP load. A match-grade barrel provides that little extra bit of fit that improves your accuracy every shot. Additional features that add to the shooter’s comfort include a beavertail grip safety (don’t leave for the range without it; your hand will thank you in the morning), a lowered and flared ejection port (keeps spent brass out of your face), cocobolo grips (essentially, African rosewood), an ambidextrous thumb safety, and tritium night sights.
The grip of a 1911 is the standard by which everyone else relates the size and feel of their grips – the benchmark against what everyone other pistol is compared. With it’s grip safety, the feel of a 1911 grip is…um…unique. Some prefer the typically thicker grips of a double-stack magazine (you can find a few 1911-style pistols out there like that, too). Some favor smaller grips. As for me, I can comfortably shoot just about anything, but I keep coming back to the 1911. It just seems to “fit” my hand better than any polymer gun I’ve ever shot. The Springfield Loaded comes with some beautiful, laser-engraved cocobolo grips that you’d only feel like replacing if you plan to upgrade to a set of Crimson Trace laser grips. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
One unique feature common to all 1911s is Springfield’s Integral Locking System, a scheme that allows the owner to manually lock and unlock the trigger with a small, universal key, inserted into a locking mechanism located to the back of the grip. The ILS is a sop to those that insist that two safeties on a pistol are not enough. Purists find the ILS an annoyance.
I know of nobody who uses it, for the same reason that few shooters use a trigger lock when there’s an alternative. Trigger locks and the ILS do nothing more than prevent you from using the gun when you need it the most.
All 1911s are NOT created equal. Once you get past what we’ll call the “convenience group” that raise a mil-spec 1911 to something that you’d actually want to shoot, then comes the part that separates the wheat from the chaff as it were – the factory tuning that comes from the attention of a master gunsmith.
Make no mistake – the Springfield Loaded is not a custom gun. But you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference, unless you’re a competitive shooter (and if you were shooting competitively, you’ve likely already purchased a custom gun). No, think of the Springfield Loaded series as a “custom(ish) gun for the rest of us.” Sort of.
Keep in mind that one thing most 1911s share, regardless of manufacturer, is a pretty hefty pricetag. While you can find a slew of good quality polymer guns on the market for under $600, you won’t touch a decent 1911 for under $800, and most semi-custom 1911s start at over $1000. The Springfield Loaded boasts an MSRP of $959, making it an impressive value for the price. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
The gun ships in a custom, lockable carry case, along with an extra magazine, two ILS keys, and cleaning tools.
I would judge fit and finish to be excellent, especially in a gun with these custom-class features. And like all 1911s, you can customize it to your heart’s content. One thing to note – I wanted to upgrade to some sights that combine tritium with fibre optics. No can do on the Springfield line, as their sight mounts won’t work with the replacement sights.
Any other downsides? On my personal gun, one of the grip screws would not tighten. Turns out, the screw had stripped out the threads within the frame. Springfield, however, offers an excellent warranty program, and my gun was repaired and returned within three days.
The Springfield Loaded is a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable weapon with custom features without the custom price.
Out of five stars
Either love 1911s or hate ‘em. If you love ‘em, what’s not to love?
Ergonomics (carry) ****
A bit big, really. And heavy. Did I mention heavy?
Ergonomics (firing) *****
If you like the feel of a 1911 in your hand, firing it is a pleasure. If not, you’ll find it’s a whole lotta gun. Course, that could be the .45 ACPs talkin…
As long as you don’t limp-wrist it, the gun runs…and runs…and runs, no matter what. It’s the Energizer Bunny of semi-autos.
Customize This *****
Sights, lights, silencers, lasers, you name it, and you can get it for the 1911 —- one of the most customizable guns on planet Earth.
There’s a reason why this is one of the most popular handguns made. And this one is about the best you can get, short of spending the big bucks on a custom job.
When it comes to 1911s, you either “get it” or you don’t. If you buy-off on the ergonomics of the 1911, everything else falls into place – the fact that it’s got more accessories than the G.I. Joes of my childhood, and that it’s designed to run in conditions that would give a mule team pause. Comparing a 1911 to a Glock was like comparing a Mercedes to a Beetle – both will get you where you want to go, but the Benz does it with a dash ‘o panache. But a mil-spec/stock 1911 can be a pain to shoot – literally. You want some upgrades to appreciate the “1911 Experience.” The Springfield Loaded provides those much-needed improvements, and then some. It’s the best example I’ve found (so far) of a custom job 1911 at a working-man’s price. ‘Nuff said. Springfield Armory 1911 Pistols
CALIBER: .45 ACP
FRAME: Forged Steel, Parkerized
MAGAZINES: 2 – 7-round, blued steel
SLIDE: Forged steel, Parkerized
BARREL: 5″ Stainless steel
RECOIL SYSTEM: 2-piece, full length guide rod
SIGHTS: Fixed, low-profile combat rear, dovetail front, 3-dot
TRIGGER: Long aluminum match grade, 5-6 lbs.
WEIGHT (w/empty magazine): 40 ounces
The opinions expressed within this review are those of the reviewer, and do not necessarily reflect those of anybody else, including TTAG. Neither the reviewer nor TTAG have received any considerations – either in the form of money, free stuff, tickets, t-shirts, trips or any other swag – in exchange for this review. In fact, the gun reviewed here is the personal property of the reviewer, and he paid for it out of his own pocket.
Springfield 1911 Series Pistol Review
Although the M1911 may be one of the most iconic pistols ever created, you’d hardly know that by looking at Springfield’s new and improved models. In fact, of all their celebrated achievements, the most impressive may be how they’ve managed to stay true to the 1911’s classic outline while still incorporating several key performance and design upgrades.
In my experience, I’ve handled some of the most famous 1911 variants, including Smith & Wesson’s, Taurus’, Remington’s, and Sig Sauer’s take on the legendary firearm. Nevertheless, Springfield’s modern take on the 1911 has become the benchmark by which all other 1911s are compared.
Springfield Armory has christened the M1911 as “the most revered and time-honored semi-auto handgun ever designed”, and it’s easy to see why.
Originally designed by weapons pioneer John Browning, the 1911 is arguably America’s most distinguished war veteran. Although it was initially a Colt product, it didn’t take very long for the Springfield Armory to get involved. Ever since then, Springfield has been one of the major distributors of 1911s in the world. As the 20th century was winding down, the U.S. Government decided to phase out the 1911 and replace it with the Beretta M9. Nonetheless, the former still had such a strong following that many users refused to switch. As a result, groups such as the FBI Hostage Rescue Team have turned to Springfield to manufacture new 1911s.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time that we take a closer look at Springfield’s wide variety of 1911 models.
Springfield 1911 EMP
In 2007, Springfield Armory unleashed what is arguably the most unique 1911 on the market. The 1911 Enhanced Micro Pistol (EMP) is truly a reinvented firearm. However, with all of the positive changes and great reviews of this gun, there is a major concern that I must warn you about. When I first saw the EMP, I immediately turned towards the compact 3” model; but I soon realized that was a mistake. Unfortunately, Springfield left the grip of this gun naked and it can cause a lot of control issues. I’m not sure why they left out grip textures on this model but it is a complete deal breaker for me. That being said, the 1911 EMP 4” Lightweight Champion model is the one you gotta check out.
I’m still somewhat torn about this gun because as part of the EMP series, you’d think it would make an ideal CCW, but I didn’t find that to be the case. In fact, SA even added an extra ½” of height to it, not to mention that a 4” barrel is by no means small. Nonetheless, they cut down on the grip circumference and packed in a sleek single stack mag. For even more concealability, check out Springfield’s concealed carry contour model!
Model: 1911 EMP 4” Lightweight Champion
Barrel Length: 4”
Overall Length: 7.5”
Weight: 31 oz. (unloaded)
Finish: Forged Stainless Steel
Springfield 1911 Mil-Spec
This full-size 1911 is the most classic in Springfield series. Crafted from highly durable stainless steel, I recommend this model for those looking for a traditionally-built 1911. Due to its 5” barrel, heavy build, spur hammer, and less than comfortable grip, I don’t really recommend using this 1911 as a carry weapon. Nevertheless, this powerhouse .45 ACP handgun makes the perfect home defense pistol. While staying true to the original GI model, Springfield added a few crucial adaptations, including a lowered and flared ejection port and a beveled magazine well.
Model: 1911 Mil-Spec
Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel Length: 5”
Overall Length: 8.6”
Weight: 39 oz.
Finish: Matte Stainless Steel
Springfield 1911 Range Officer
Springfield’s Range Officer model is the compromise of the conventional Mil-Spec 1911 and the modernized EMP. Built with competition shooters in mind, SA outfitted these semi-autos with top-notch frames, slides, and barrels. Some of the notable upgrades to the Range Officer include a fully supported ramp, a shielded fiber optic tube front sight, a Parkerized finish, and an accessory rail.
Although the full-size is a solid choice, I’d opt for the compact 9mm variant. Springfield took off half an inch from the RO’s height but managed to leave it with an 8+1 capacity. The compact Range Officer 1911 makes for a great daily carry weapon, especially considering its ultra-durable Parkerized finish and low profile combat sights.
Model: 1911 Ranger Officer Compact
Barrel Length: 4”
Overall Length: 7.6”
Weight: 29.5 oz.
Finish: Forged Parkerized Carbon Steel
Springfield 1911 Loaded
The 1911 Loaded series is pretty interesting because it’s a diverse lineup of custom-like handguns with nuanced alterations. Essentially, with a wide variety of sights, frames, finishes, and calibers, it’s easier than ever to find the exact one for you.
Besides for its unique color scheme, the 1911 Loaded stands out due to its modern G10 grip. This new and improved grip might actually be the best grip out of all the Springfield 1911s. This model has risen in popularity partly because Springfield incorporated an extended ambidextrous thumb safety, accessory rail, and an extended trigger.
Model: 1911 Loaded Marine Corps Operator
Caliber: .45 Auto
Barrel Length: 5”
Overall Length: 8.6”
Weight: 43 oz.
Finish: Black Armory Kote
Sights: Tritium Night Sights
Springfield 1911 TRP
This is one of the most interesting 1911s in Springfield’s lineup. While not much different than your standard SA 1911, this version is built-to-last. Its highly-durable and reliable design can be seen on the G10 grips, national match stainless steel frame, slide, barrel and bushing, and its Armory Kote finish. Additionally, Springfield designed this gun to be used in high-stress situations – therefore, they outfitted the TRP with an extended beveled mag, checkered front strap, smooth 4.5-5 lb. trigger pull, and easy to use 3-dot Tritium sight system.
I can see this 1911 working best as a hunting companion or as a personal safety weapon to keep in your car, truck, or boat.
Model: 1911 TRP
Barrel Length: 5”
Overall Length: 8.6”
Weight: 42 oz.
Finish: Black Armory Kote
Sights: Low Profile Combat, 3-dot Tritium
New Springfield Armory 1911 TRP 10mm RMR
SA just announced a major update to their already impressive collection of 1911s, this time with an upgrade to the TRP model. The new 1911 TRP is designed to chamber the up-and-cominghttps://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun-review-2021-colt-anaconda-in-44-remington-magnum/ and powerful 10mm caliber paired beautifully with the Trijicon RMR reflex sight. Although it’s not huge news, many Springfield fans are excited to get their hands on the classic pistol with the new innovative Trijicon optic. While the new TRP RMR will cost a pretty penny ($2,558.00 for 6″ TRP), there are plenty of diehard 1911 enthusiasts out there that are going to want to get their hands on these behemoths. Springfield has managed to revolutionize the 1911 grip system which is especially crucial for a crushing caliber like 10mm.
Springfield 1911 VS. Ruger 1911
If you’re in the market for a new M1911, then you have a lot of research ahead of you. Because some of the top gun manufacturers produce competitive 1911s, it’s no easy task finding the right one; here at Gunsdiscreetsupplies.com, we’re here to help.
Ruger has a really nice lineup of these classic firearms that are similarly priced to Springfield’s. While most of Ruger’s 1911s follow the standard design, it’s their new SR1911 chambered in 10mm Auto that really stands out. This new semi-auto offers increased power and several useful upgrades. In addition to adding a larger mag release, Ruger also incorporated a fully adjustable Bomar style rear sight, a blacked out front target sight and a 5” stainless steel bushingless bull barrel with a full-length guide rod. Overall, this is one of the coolest 1911s I’ve ever seen! I love the new features and the performance boost they bring.
I never really enjoyed using 1911s … until now. I always avoided these traditional pistols because of their chunky size, bad grips, and hard to control operation, but Springfield has effectively minimized all of these! While I don’t think I’ll ever carry a 1911, I definitely recommend adding one to your collection. These guns aren’t just eye candy, these reimagined classics also offer supreme protection and a custom feel – all for a reasonable price.
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