A Montana Landmark
For Over 75 Years


Classic Iron Volume XIII

Posted on 10.20.2022

Author: Tom G.

Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911

In my last column we took a look at a very modern rendition of John Browning’s classic 1911 design. For this article we will be looking at a much more traditional take on the 1911 with the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911. Springfield’s take on Browning’s masterpiece very much resembles the 1911A1 issued to our military troops beginning in 1927 up through the mid 1980’s when it was replaced with the Beretta M9.

From a distance Springfield’s .45 pistol looks like a dead ringer to the 1911A1 as produced by Colt, Remington Rand, Ithaca and Singer for our troops serving in WWII. It has a dark, almost black finish which is similar in appearance to the parkerized finish applied to many of the military guns. The mainspring housing is arched, the grips are checkered hardwood and gun is fitted with a short trigger again harkening back to the traditional military guns.

Diehards and 1911 experts (which I am definitely not) will of course notice many of the more subtle differences but to the average shooter the most noticeable difference between Springfield’s gun and the original military guns is the sights. Original military guns wore tiny fixed sights with my eyes have a very hard time seeing anytime the light is not absolutely perfect. Thankfully, Springfield has fitted their gun with slightly larger 3 dot sights which are much easier for my eyes to pick up.

This week, my friend/co-worker Luke and I spent a sunny late October afternoon sending some lead downrange at the Bigfork Gun Club. Luke had never had the opportunity to shoot a 1911 chambered in 45 ACP so he was really excited to give the Springfield a try. While I have had several Mil-Specs over the years, I only recently acquired this one and had not had a chance to put any rounds through it yet.

Luke warmed up by shooting a couple of his 9mm pistols while I ran the initial rounds through the Springfield. I was not surprised when the gun functioned perfectly through the first few magazines. I have shot more than a few Springfield 1911’s over the years and in my experience they just work. The sights on the gun were perfectly regulated to my 230 grain hand loads.

When it was Luke’s turn to fire the gun he got a big smile on his face! He put a couple of magazines down range and really seemed to enjoy it. While he was shooting I was reminded that while there are some incredible, modern variations of the 1911 out there, I really prefer shooting guns that are closer to the original design. Perhaps it is all the history wrapped up in the design or maybe I am just channeling my inner Walt Longmire, but I do love a simple, military looking 1911.

Tagged: Outdoor Shooting