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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up a Springfield A1 Custom today at my LGS. I was in the market for a 1911 that I could tinker with. I had planned to pick up a Parkerized Springfield Loaded, but then I saw this in the cabinet. The mil-spec cocking serrations and roll marks tickled my fancy, while still having the essential "modern" 1911 features.


Finger Gun Grey Nail Everyday carry


Despite "Custom" being in the name, this did not come out of the Springfield Custom Shop. This is a production gun. It's not in Springfield's catalog, so I presume that it was a limited/special run done for one of the distributors that my LGS uses.

The UPC Code is PC9CUS-1. The box says "1911-A1 Custom Pistol #1".

It is essentially a Springfield "mil-spec" 1911 with the following modifications:
  • Beaver tail grip safety
  • Extended thumb safety
  • Commander style hammer
  • 10-8 style rear sight with white dots
  • Fiber optic front sight with red fiber optic rod
  • Skeletonized long trigger
  • G10 grips (not VZ brand)
It has the traditional Springfield mil-spec roll marks

Gun Firearm Trigger Orange Grey

Gun Firearm Trigger Orange Gun accessory


It comes with a plastic gun case, two 7 round mags, cleaning brush, some lube, and replacement fiber optic rods for the front sight (one red and one green).

Finger Wrist Metal Nail Bracelet

Gun Firearm Everyday carry Trigger Tan


As you might expect, all the parts are MIM. You can see the circular ring left by the injectors on everything, including the fire control parts.

Finger Metal Kitchen utensil Material property Cutlery

Finger Iron Tool Metal Hand tool

Finger Cable

The slide to frame fit is snug. If I strip the gun down to just the slide and frame, I can feel a small amount of vertical play, but I cannot feel any lateral play. With the gun fully assembled, there is no discernible free play between the slide and frame. The slide is marked with the last three digits of the serial number. So, I presume that the slide and frame are custom fitted to one another. This suggest that this would be a nice base gun for a custom build.

Out of the box, the trigger is heavy. I don't have a trigger pull gauge, but I would guess it's around 5 pounds. Cocking the hammer feels very gritty, but I expect that it will smooth out in time.

The barrel bushing is not super tight. When field stripping the pistol, I can turn the bushing easily with my bare hands. That said, the bushing doesn't seem to be a sloppy fit either.

The thumb safety snicks on and off the way it should. However, if you ride the safety, you will feel some sponginess; i.e. the thumb safety can be pressed downward past the off position. It's not as bad as the Colts I've tried, but the sponginess is there.

The frame and slide are parkerized, which gives it a dark brown-gray color. The small parts have a blued finish that looks almost black. I really like how the blued parts provide a hint a contrast with the parkerized frame and slide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I couldn't wait to tinker with it. So, I added a Stan Chen SI magwell, VZ frag grips, and a CC super short flat trigger.

Finger Gun Firearm Watch Trigger


Finger Electronic device Technology Thumb Nail
 

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I like the looks of it. I've never tried a flat trigger. Purely academic question, not challenging anything: Can anyone explain why they prefer a flat trigger from a shooting standpoint? Just prefer the feel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the looks of it. I've never tried a flat trigger. Purely academic question, not challenging anything: Can anyone explain why they prefer a flat trigger from a shooting standpoint? Just prefer the feel?
In theory, it allows you to press anywhere on the trigger face and still get a straight back trigger pull.

I've actually come to prefer a curved trigger. However, since I had this trigger sitting in my closet, I figured I would put it to use.
 

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Thanks for the explanation. I am assuming I would prefer curved as well. Both from a feel stand point and also for getting a consistent finger position. All speculation though until I actually try a flat trigger...

Pete
 

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Looks like an awesome find! Congrats!
I really like the looks of this model, I think I'm gonna do some research on these...
 
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Flat triggers can really be an acquired taste, however I have fit a number of them for clients who swore they would never use them, hated them etc.. and now wouldn't have anything else. If you get a good flat serrated, full fit trigger they are really hard to beat for the added trigger control.

Oh and congrats on a good find @B81

And just an FYI for others who might be interested Cheaper than Dirt is offering a Milspec Defender for $469.00
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A better picture of how the blued Stan Chen Magwell looks in a parkerized frame.

Finger Wrist Office equipment Nail Technology
 

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I gotta have more cowbell
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That is coming along very nicely. Just a 2 cent comment. I’m sure the trigger will become cleaner with use. But if you want to take the lazy mans way to get that 5 lb pull reduced, consider a Cylinder and slide light trigger pull sear spring. They drop in with no adjustment . We took a friends Range Officer from 5 lbs to 3 lbs. For 6 or $7 from Brownells, I think it will really surprise you. I’ve done it on four guns and all showed improvement between .75 and 2 lb reduction . It seems that the heavier the initial pull weight the more of a reduction is achieved. Every gun I have put one in passes all the 1911 safety checks no problems.

Thats a sweet gun. I like the play value in adding goodies like you’re doing .
 

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I gotta have more cowbell
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Badabing, thanks for the heads up on the C & S light trigger sear spring. I will have to check that out.
If I had an extra to send you I would. I believe @ZoidMeister uses them too . I feel like it’s one of those secrets that sounds too good to be true. My Volkmann target pistol is at 2.5 lbs with it ( it started at 3.25). My Dan Wesson Pm9 is at 2.75 lbs, it started at 4. The Range Officer of my friends started at 5 and came down to 3.

man I love this stuff! Good luck , it’s a lot of gun right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[...] consider a Cylinder and slide light trigger pull sear spring. [...]
These look interesting.

Looking at the spring geometry, it seems that these sear springs will have a lower spring rate. So, you should be able to set it up such that it preloads the trigger and sear enough to prevent bounce, etc. But since the spring rate is reduced, the force needed to depress the trigger doesn't ramp up as fast as it would with a standard sear spring.

Have I understood this correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I took the Springfield out for it's maiden voyage. I was short on time today, but I managed to get down to the range and put 200 rounds through the gun before they closed for the day.

Shooting 200 rounds in an environmentally controlled indoor range is hardly enough to draw any conclusions regarding reliability. However, for what it's worth, this gun didn't skip a beat. Both Wilson ETM and CMC Power mags worked just fine. I tested the gun using factory 230 grain FMJ/ball ammo. Being in the rush I was, I didn't think to bring any defensive HP ammo with me. I'll have to address that in a later review.

In regards to accuracy, putting 5 shot strings in the black region of a NRA B-8 target and making -0 head shots on an IDPA target at 25 yards was very doable. A sample 25 yard B-8 target is shown below. There is one flyer, but that may have been me.

Firearm Trigger Gun accessory Air gun Gun barrel


The heavy trigger required a little more time and concentration than what I would need when shooting, say, my GI NN or Les Baer CC. So, trying to shoot both fast and accurate is more of a challenge with this gun. All of this could probably be rectified with a little trigger work.

I didn't find the lack of front strap checkering to be as big of a handicap as I imagined it would be. The parkerized finish on this gun has a caulkboard like texture that is naturally grippy. Again, I was shooting under ideal conditions. Perhaps if I was sweating under 90 degree heat the lack of checkering would have been more noticeable.

During reload drills, I did notice a few instances where the magazine didn't drop free. The mag release on this gun is very stiff. I suspect that I might not have been fully depressing the mag release.

Overall, not bad for a sub $1000 1911.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I forgot to mention something in my initial review. The frame on this gun doesn't have the bow tie cut on the vertical impact surface.

Material property


In theory, this may cause the barrel legs to fatigue more quickly.
 
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Just ran across one. Didn’t know they did these. Springfield made a ordered gone for Long Beach PD with the same start PC9CUS.

I wonder how often they do these and like you said if they are distributor specific.
 
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