Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911 - 3,300-Round Ramblings, Review, and Pics

Discussion in 'Range Reports & Reviews' started by WhoIsJohnGalt?, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Following is a write-up / review of my Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911. I purchased this gun new in 2016 and have now logged 3300 rounds through it. It is a gun that is in my regular carry “rotation” of 1911 pistols. I’ll share some of my history and experience so far with what has become one of my favorite 1911s.

    Within the first 500 rounds through the gun, the front sight blade became loose. It did not detach, but had clearly loosened itself in its mounting to the slide. A call to Springfield’s customer service team later and my slide was in the mail to them. In under two weeks, the slide was back with a repaired front sight, and the loosening issue has not reoccurred. Score one for SA’s CS, for sure.

    Over time, I’ve had the trigger upgraded twice. The gun comes with a “short” trigger – I’ve found that I prefer a medium or long version. I had a local gunsmith install a Wilson Combat three-hole stainless unit. This worked perfectly fine but visually detracted from the gun’s otherwise “basic” look. Soon, I asked the same ‘smith to install the Harrison Custom trigger as shown in the pictures.

    Early on, I swapped barrel bushings between this gun and a Colt Government Model XSE – the latter’s is blue while the Mil-Spec’s is stainless, and each would look better to me on the other, so I switched them. Thankfully, no issues there, both guns function perfectly fine with the change.

    Not being a fan of the Springfield factory crossed-cannon logo grips or the black plastic ones that both came with the gun, I slipped the double-diamond checkered grips on it that originally came with the XSE. I also applied some stair-safety tape to the grip frontstrap, something I started doing to most of my pistols a while back. I noted during the picture-taking of the gun that this tape nearly matches the look of my truck’s bedliner LOL.

    I will cop to no small amount of influence from the “Longmire” TV series that prompted me to eventually snag some stag grips, this set having been crafted by Lone Star Custom Grips and purchased from their Etsy page. Up until a few years ago, I did NOT like stag or ivory grips or anything even close to them – it was checkered double-diamonds or nothing for me. Well…after hanging around forums like this for a bit, I do still like my double-diamonds…but stags just HAD to go on this gun. I was initially concerned that such grips might make the gun difficult to hold – this has not been the case. I’m sure the frontstrap tape is the biggest help there, but the grips have not been problematic for me at all. Rather, they’ve added some style to a very well-functioning gun.

    Finally, I’ve installed Challis grip screw bushings on this gun. I had repeated instances of the factory bushings working themselves free, but Challis bushings (as well as their o-rings) have solved that problem.

    In 3300 rounds, I’ve installed two different 16-pound recoil springs and one Wilson Combat firing pin spring along the way, just to keep them fresh.

    I’ve never used the factory magazines that came with the pistol. They are probably perfectly fine; I’m just a fan of the seven-round Wilson Combat 47 magazines equipped with Wilson’s low-profile steel basepads in my 1911s, and that’s all I’ve used so far with this gun.

    In 3300 rounds, the Mil-Spec has had one malfunction. Somewhere in the vicinity of the 2700-round mark (yep, I actually keep up with all this stuff on a spreadsheet), the gun failed to fully cycle while shooting a magazine full of 230-grain goodness at the range.

    I admit – I did not stop to fully diagnose what ailed my shooting-string. I tried a tap-rack-bang drill – issue was not resolved. A lock-rip-work drill (as I recall these drills being referred to in some long-ago issue of a gun magazine) DID work, and the Mil-Spec was thusly back in business. I made a note of the magazine in use when the problem occurred and leaned on it more heavily the rest of the range session – the issue did not repeat itself.

    While I might have liked to have known what exactly happened, I was inwardly tickled that I’d rattled off a tap-rack-bang and then a lock-rip-work rather than my prior performances of stop-pout-curse or moan-whine-vow-to-buy-a-Glock ha-ha!

    As stated, this pistol gets carried. I most often use a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 IWB holster or a Privateer Leather Explorer, their high-riding Avenger-style OWB holster. Also shown in the pics is a Milt Sparks IPD IWB double-magazine pouch. As I’ve carried and shot this 1911, the gun has picked up the typical wear-marks that I’ve really come to enjoy as a carry handgun is seasoned.

    The target shown is not that impressive for a 7-yarder. I’ve seen some of you post target pics better than this at 25 yards! I’m working on it and am still pleased with the results.

    I shot in a local single-stack 1911s-only championship match last year and VERY nearly used this gun for it, just for fun. I wound up going with the XSE instead; the next time I shoot that match or another, the Mil-Spec’s going to get a whirl – I do believe it will work just fine.

    Clearly, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Mil-Spec and I may well purchase a duplicate of it at some point to have another of the breed to draw from. I’ve seen some great things done with these pistols but I also like them the way they come…well…almost, anyway, right? :)

    906287ED-56B6-475F-835D-872203CF1151.jpeg 519EC8F3-0BE3-4057-A0AD-105D4F663CCD.jpeg 88C70B16-E762-4048-ABC1-D3BFCEF68586.jpeg 2800F786-5562-490E-850D-66DC57B68A4B.jpeg 2C144E19-8CDF-4D59-99B9-26883EFAF147.jpeg C0D9AA12-21C0-4DBB-897E-A369ECF5F06C.jpeg
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    1911_Chad, newyork, RN47 and 16 others like this.
  2. Raylan Givens

    Raylan Givens Never Forget

    Aug 18, 2015

  3. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you!

    Raylan Givens likes this.
  4. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Seems you are having a great time tinkering and shooting that gun!! Great write up about it. :thumbs:
    cwoods and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  5. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    Love the current trigger, matches the guns persona perfectly. Great rig!
    cwoods and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  6. Bugs

    Bugs Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    I write up I actually enjoyed reading. Well done. :thumbs:
    cwoods and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  7. dgi

    dgi NRA Life Member

    Sep 10, 2011
    Thanks for sharing!!! I enjoy hearing about "basic" 1911s being enjoyed!
    cwoods and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  8. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
    Mine does well. It is with John Harrison right not getting a change of sights and trigger.

    Gary1911A1 and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  9. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Many thanks!
  10. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018

    Thank you!
  11. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you!
  12. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you!
    dgi likes this.
  13. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you and great shooting!
    monadh likes this.
  14. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Great write up. Thanks for sharing. I have a couple Mil-Specs. One is an ‘86 that’s a full Custom now amd a 2015 that’s stock still.
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  15. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you and that’s cool, especially on that ‘86 model. I remember seeing these guns back in that era and wish I’d grabbed one then!
    azpoolguy likes this.
  16. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Nice gun and good write up. We all want 100% perfection but I think most of us would be pleased with 1 failure in 3300 rounds.
    My favorite 1911 started as a SA “Loaded” that was improved by ACW a couple years ago, but there’s something I love about a basic, no frills 1911. I think the basic touches you’ve done make it perfectly yours without getting out of hand. (The phrase “everything you need and nothing you don’t” comes to mind.)
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  17. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
  18. LPRoad

    LPRoad Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 16, 2015
    Good write up on a good pistol
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  19. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thank you!
  20. WWB

    WWB Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Supporting Addict

    Apr 11, 2015
    Nice write up. The Mil spec is a great gun for the money..
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.

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