Saturday, February 06, 2010

First Rounds

My second son and I took the new Springfield Armory out to our private range today to put some ammo through it.

First impressions. This is a combat pistol, plain and simple. Before we went to fire it, I took it apart. New firearms can be problematic to disassemble, especially if they're tight. This one isn't overly tight. You can field-strip it with the ten tools God gave you to use. It came apart by hand, just like a fighting pistol is supposed to come apart.

The first time I took my Kimber apart I had to use a bushing wrench to remove the barrel bushing. That wasn't the case with this pistol. The bushing turned easily with finger pressure. Likewise, some pistols have link tolerances that are tight and make removing the slide stop problematic. This pistol comes apart easily by hand. To my way of thinking, that's a good thing.

The good folks at Springfield Armory were concerned that the pistol might spend several months in the box before it was opened, so they made sure that it wouldn't rust. Everything was covered in oil. I wiped most of it off and put everything back together, then we went out to the range to put a few rounds through it.

There is one magazine packed in the box, so I dropped a couple of spares in the range box, along with an opened 100 pack of Winchester White Box 230 grain ball ammunition. This ammo is a standard, full metal jacket loading that has a muzzle velocity of 835 fps. It is basic .45 ACP ammo, used by millions of GIs and recreational shooters. This is plain-vanilla ammo and every .45 ACP should function with it.

First rounds, first magazine, the pistol failed to go into battery. I examined the gun and found that I had incorrectly installed the slide stop after I cleaned the pistol. My fault. I correctly installed the stop and five round's later we got another failure to feed.

That particular magazine was one of the spares I had dropped into the box. It's a magazine I have had several years and the plastic follower was worn out, it wasn't feeding the ammo properly. That's not the pistol's fault, that's the magazine. We isolated that magazine, got another spare and ran a couple of magazines through the pistol. Everything worked fine.

SO, we reset the target, paced off exactly seven yards and loaded two magazines with six rounds each. I told my son that I wanted two good targets at seven yards with a Weaver stance, shooting off our feet. For the record, and for Joey's information, those are 3" target dots.

I fired the first target.

Here's my son's target.

The results speak for themselves. This gun's a shooter.

Failures in a 1911 can usually be attributed to the magazine and today we found a bad magazine. That happens to the best of shooters. This gun is very accurate with plain vanilla ammunition, it's not overly tight as some high-dollar pistols are, it uses proven technology to put a heavy bullet on a target. This is the way John Browning designed the pistol to operate and I have every expectation that my grandson will carry this pistol into the next century.

Next year this design will be a hundred years old and has stood the test of time for a fighting pistol. The Springfield Armory GI 1911-A1 seems to be a faithful recreation of that timeless firearm.


Windy Wilson said...

Now is that the GI or tne Mil-spec?
Of course I should ask, I don't know what the difference is, although I do know I have the GI.

Pawpaw said...

It's the GI, Windy. The low dollar base-line pistol.

Old NFO said...

NICE groups!

J said...

The weight = 2 lb, 7 oz, and the price = ~$600.

Rivrdog said...

A few years ago, I bought a 1911A1 built-up on an Essex frame. It too was Parkerized. EVERYTHING was Parkerized. That's when I became less of a fan of that coating process, because Parkerizing spalls, with all those tiny bumps forming a sticky surface where there MUST be a smooth one. The gun actually tightened up as I fired it the first time, eventually (after 25-30 rounds) getting to the point where it wouldn't go into battery without a resounding slap to the rear of the slide.

The cure was finding the exact size flat files to file the grooves in the slides, and to dress the Parkerizing off the slide mounting flanges on the receiver.

It now fires without sticking.

Beware of Parkerizing!

JP said...

Great post. Glad the new 1911 is a shooter. I've been eyeballin the GI model for quite sometime. One of these days I'll get one...

Pawpaw said...

J said... "The weight = 2 lb, 7 oz, and the price = ~$600."

If you add in the gunbroker shipping,handling, and a tranfer fee, I did better than that by buying locally. Which is why I like buying locally when I can.

Joey said...

Love it! Thanks, Pop. Glad to hear your opinion.I'm looking forward to firing it myself.

Flintlock Tom said...

I have the same gun and love it. It is my primary carry while out in public.
For the first hundred (approx.) rounds it would dent the lip of the case on ejecting. Internet wisdom said that it would settle down after a couple hundred and it did.
I didn't like the Integrated Locking System so I replaced the main-spring housing with a flat one which fits my hand better.
I paid $429 3-4 years ago.

Windy Wilson said...

Excellent group, too!
(Better than I can do) I just have to get out to the range again.