Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Looking at buying SA 1911 Mil Spec- Input?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by OutlawHoss, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    So I've been looking at buying a new pistol for some time. Recently, Bi-Mart started carrying handguns. They have a Springfield Armory 1911 Mil Spec .45, their base model I believe, for $492. This is my first 1911, and I have been looking specifically at models that are basic or entry models, which I will no doubt upgrade parts over time and with desire. Reviews are pretty positive, and I'm pretty set on it.

    Does anyone have any input about this choice, keeping mind I'm looking for a base-model to start with, both out of desire to truly customize, and affordability?
     
  2. Mistman

    Mistman Mist Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    131
    Can't go wrong w/SA. You get a forged frame and slide which makes for a great base gun or just a fine shooter that will last your lifetime. SA customer service is the best IMO. I currently have 3 SA 1911's and a 10mm long slide being built in their custom shop. Both the custom shop and customer service are very easy to work with. If you get a gun that you feel has something amiss or isn't up to your expectations SA's warranty service is also 2nd to none. I've sent 2 back for trigger work and new sights on their dime. They tend to use an exaggerated 6 o'clock POA, a little high for me. Buy it, shoot it, if it needs some fine tuning send it back and they'll make it right. I like to do my own 1911 tinkering but figure if SA will do it for free on a new gun why not? More than likely you'll be pleased right out of the gate.
    I also purchased an XDs, it was a fine shooter, never an issue but I find I like metal pistols much more and always end up getting rid of anything poly I end up with.
     
    Ura-Ki and OutlawHoss like this.
  3. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    That's great info, thanks. The customer service is a big deal, so that's really good to hear. Does it have any ammo preferences or issues? I generally see that a +P .45 ACP round isn't terribly necessary, but with normal ammo, how would you rate the recoil spring strength/tameness of the action against the frame?
     
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  4. Mistman

    Mistman Mist Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    131
    Yeah, I don't know about. I shoot a lot of .45, 40 and 10mm, recoil is relative to the load. One of my SA 1911's is 9mm which is pretty tame. I've got thousands of rounds through all of them and haven't noticed any appreciable wear in places it shouldn't be. Haven't replaced any springs in the SA's yet, I usually go to about 5k rounds before thinking about new recoil springs.
    The only one that's had any ammo related issues is the 9mm but that was early in it's break-in. I haven't had any kind of failures in hundreds of rounds.
     
  5. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    That good info, I appreciate it. I don't have a lot of .45ACP experience so it'll be new to me. I've become accustomed to upgraded recoil springs in other pistols, mostly 9mm's, and have found a real benefit in taming the slide while still being able to fire almost any ammo, from winchester white box to my own 147gr. +P rounds which clock at 1070 fps; accuracy and follow through are greatly improved with minimal flip (according to folks at the range, no visible flip while dumping a mag in the 10 ring).
     
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  6. Pops1911

    Pops1911 Cinebar/Issaquah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    669
    Hi. Been running 1911s for way many more years than some of our forum members have been alive. Yeah. I'm that old. LOL. Love 1911s and currently have a couple from SA. As others have said SA customer service is absolutely first rate. They make a great array of 1911 offerings. IMHO you cannot go wrong with any of them, especially for the price. I have never seen the need for +P .45acp. I have been using a standard 230gr 45acp with an XTP style bullet. Has been a great performer. Accurate to a fault and expands like yoga pants at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I would respectfully recommend you get the SA MilSpec 45. Remember to let us know how it performs for you. :)
     
    Ura-Ki and OutlawHoss like this.
  7. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    I give all due deference to your age, er, wisdom and experience! I didn't think a +P was necessary for a 230gr XTP in .45ACP, but glad to hear that's your experience. Do you have a favorite handload recipe, or are you buying a factory XTP load?
     
    Pops1911 and Ura-Ki like this.
  8. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    652
    I've owned Colts, Rugers and SA's in 1911 and currently own 3 SA's, two in 1911.

    They are well sorted, robust and quality weapons. The customer service at SA and their Custom Shop is excellent. I would not hesitate to purchase another Springfield Armory firearm.

    My three SA's:

    Non-1911 striker type XDS - it is my daily carry weapon:

    DSC_0076_zpskqafk2iq.jpg

    My SA Trophy Match:

    SA%20Trophy%2007_zps5kaapehl.jpg

    And (if the truth be known my favorite of the bunch) my Champion Lightweight Operator. It has a few tweaks from SACS. :)

    SA1911%2012_zpsj9s1lspk.jpg
     
    Ura-Ki and OutlawHoss like this.
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Likes Received:
    7,605
    You can't hardly go wrong with one of the SA 1911's like posted by every one else, they are first class all the way. I would jump on one asap, before some one comes in and buy them all up! No need for +P stuff, standard 230 gr works as John Browning intended! Be sure to let us know what you think after a few mags!
     
    OutlawHoss likes this.
  10. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    3,529
    I was going to buy an SA 1911, but got offered an unbelievable deal on a Rem R1S Enhanced. SA's are definitely high on my list.
     
  11. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,063
    Likes Received:
    6,722
    I can't really comment on the SA1911. I've just handled one at a gun show , but never shot one.

    However I do own a Colt Series 70 Government Model and can comment on the 1911 design.
    I feel that all that really needs to be said , is that while it is not the "end all be all " of pistol designs , it has been around for over a hundred years.
    If it didn't work and work well, it would not still be here with us , with many companies making their version of it.
    Andy
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  12. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    4,305
    There is nothing wrong with the Springfield, but for that price you kind of get what you pay for. It is a good base model. But it needs a little trigger work straight away. Overall it can be smoothed out, that's easy. They have awful triggers! But its easy to remedy! For less than $100 the trigger can feel like a full custom shop trigger.
    The factory springs that come in them do not last all that long, another easy fix.

    I would lean towards the Ruger 1911, or the Remington 1911, they come out of the box super smooth, fit and finish is awesome. I would pick the Ruger first.
    Triggers are both better than the Springfield, but I would work them over a little to smooth them out a little more.
     
    DunRanull, Doc In UPlace and Ura-Ki like this.
  13. Pops1911

    Pops1911 Cinebar/Issaquah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    669
    LOL! I do reload but not the XTP preferring to only use factory loads in defensive weapons. Pretty low tech with hand loads. I am using Lee products due to space limitations right now. Winchester WPS,230gr fmj, Winchester large primers and a Lee powder dipper ".5". Have done thousands of successful rounds with this simple set up. They shoot very well and are on target when I do my job. And, yes, I have previously weighed the powder volume just to confirm the powder weight. Very confident in the Lee dipper with this powder. Other powders call for different sized powder dippers. Have fun making your choice! Cheers.
     
    OutlawHoss likes this.
  14. Kid@Heart

    Kid@Heart Vancouver, USA Cynic Lifetime Supporter Diamond Supporter

    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    836
    I would recommend getting a 1911 with a bobbed hammer and a beaver tail grip safety.

    Hammer bite gets annoying pretty fast.
     
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  15. Mistman

    Mistman Mist Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    131
    Velsey says:
    "I would lean towards the Ruger 1911, or the Remington 1911, they come out of the box super smooth, fit and finish is awesome. I would pick the Ruger first.
    Triggers are both better than the Springfield, but I would work them over a little to smooth them out a little more."

    Wow, 1st time I've ever heard anyone recommend those over an SA. From personal experience I would respectfully disagree. While I do agree that SA does tend to have less than stellar triggers, I've had to do much more work on my SR1911 to get it close to a SA gun. Really all the SA trigger needs is some cleaning up. Smoothing and stoning a few surfaces, tweaking the sear spring a bit and it will be Dan Wesson crisp. I'm not a fan of cast guns for the most part and have seen casting flaws exposed attempting to checker a front strap. The frame on my Ruger is rough, the casting around the beavertail is pretty inconsistent. The trigger has a catch in it I haven't been able to smooth out yet after a little stoning and about 2k rounds through it. It wouldn't group well from the factory, I called and was informed it's not intended to be capable of better than 2" at 15 yds. The barrel moves down while in battery when pushing on the barrel hood. I fit an EB barrel bushing on it and improved the grouping somewhat but still not SA accurate. I will say it's very reliable and will shoot any ammo. A well made 1911 WILL be capable of excellent accuracy.
    For the $$ it cost for a 1911 I would try not to compromise, make an informed decision. I feel they are guns that are to be kept around for a while, not traded around like plastic guns. Check around the web, there are a lot of 1911 forums, see what people say about the differences in them, where to look for quality, what to avoid. Go to the LGS and pick up a few. If you're a newbie to 1911's they all look and feel the same initially. Learn what to look for, how things should feel. They're like cars, very customizable, buying a base gun and making the mods yourself is very rewarding.
    I'm a BIG 1911 fan and have a safe full, everyone has an opinion on them now you've got mine :)
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,392
    Likes Received:
    7,615
    I'll be quick.
    Every one of my SA 1911s were very accurate. The last one I had wasn't until I sent it in and they replaced the barrel and sights,with a target showing what they had done. And I got similar results.
    Only thing about a mil spec would be you have to machine the slide to change sights ? AmIwrong?
    But otherwise it will still be a great gun
     
    OutlawHoss likes this.
  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Likes Received:
    7,605
    Velsey does have a good point, Most factory production 1911's do need a some kind of work to make them run SMOOTH. Triggers are better then other designs, but can all benefit from some basic file and stone work. Some need a little help with slide/rail finishing, but most just need a little "tuning." I have had High End 1911's that seamed perfect, only to find the springs wore out fast, or a trigger hoop developed excessive play, One was so bad, the grip safety wouldn't work. The point is, the very things that make the 1911 design SO GOOD, are also some of it's faults if left alone or not dealt with. Another common issue most newbs find is that production 1911's don't feed Defensive ammo reliably, this is due to the barrel throat not being chamfered enough to allow the rounds to feed into battery. A good throat job ( don't do it your self unless you actually know what your doing) will fix this and make the 1911 as reliable as any! Over all, the move to the 1911 pistol as a viable fighting gun is a choice best made when you understand what makes it better then the others, while understanding that it does have it's limits! 1911's are like a fine Italian Sports car, do your part with tuning and good maintenance, and it will always perform at it's peak!
     
  18. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    4,305
    If my Ruger had a rough frame, catch in the trigger, etc, I would send it back to Ruger and they will make it correct.
    As for SA, I was talking about the under $500 mil spec 1911. Not the Champion Operator or the trophy model. SA makes great guns. But their base model mil spec 1911 needs some TLC.


    spring19.jpg
     
    Mistman likes this.
  19. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    I pretty much anticipate some fine tuning, and it's something I'm good at, just haven't done any on a 1911 (I have a 2 year certificate in gunsmithing, nothing fancy but combined with my experience of taking apart guns since I was 14 I've got some skills, and I'm considered pretty decent gun mechanic, just not a full blown smith). Oddly, I've never put serious hands on a 1911 before, but obviously I will proceed cautiously with a new (to me) model. I've been shooting my Ruger P85 for a long time, which is a tank, but I'm highly skilled with it and it does not have a nice trigger (DA/SA); an SA 1911 trigger just may feel like butter (in a good way) if the factory specs are true, as well as the reviews, in comparison to the DA trigger pull on the Ruger.

    I really appreciate everyone's advice! I plan to get to the store in the next few days, so I'm excited.
     
    mjbskwim, Pops1911 and Ura-Ki like this.
  20. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Likes Received:
    7,605
    Hoss, your going to have a ton of fun with that! Cant wait to see how she runs, and your impressions "that new fangled automatic" fighting gun! Once she gets broken it, it will be interesting to see the changes you decide on! Until then, run it like your life depend on it,and see if that doesn't prove to you just how good the 1911 really is!
     
    Mistman and OutlawHoss like this.