Reliability of Springfield 1911-A1


January 29, 2005, 11:31 AM
I'm considering picking up one of these soon. Can anyone here vouch for the reliability of the 1911 with quality factory ammo? I know John Browning was a genious, but it seems that I've seen folks with more than thier fair share of problems with these ( not Springfield in particular). I'm not trying to bash this platform, but the allure of this pistol is getting me to consider picking up one this weekend. The only 1911 I've ever shot was a friend's, and the results were good. Any opinions on this board? I'm sure I'll get a few.

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January 29, 2005, 11:37 AM
i dont own one but i'd say check the sticky at the top of this thread. that SA was run through a pretty intensive test and help up pretty well

George S.
January 29, 2005, 12:01 PM
I've had a SA Loaded model for a bit over two years now and never had a problem with the pistol. I shoot mostly WWB 230gr FMJ (which the pistol was designed for) and my own reloads. Just finished with 200 rounds of Remigton Golden Saber 185gr +P JHP as a test for defensive ammo and it handled the increased power with no problems.

The MilSpec or the WWII GI pistols are excellent values and are good platforms if you want to build them up with accessories gradually.

January 29, 2005, 12:13 PM
I read an article yesterday on the 1911, the source escapes me, but in a nutshell the article stated what many on this board probably know. The 5" 1911 was designed from the ground up to shoot .45 230 grain pistol ball. Any deviations in the pistol design or bullet weight/design could produce problems. A tricked-out micro 1911 might have trouble feeding wide-mouth hollow points. I guess my point is that if I take the pistol as designed, and feed it ammo it was designed for, reliability should be as close to 100% as possible. I'm certainly no expert here, and I'm just trying to get opinions from people who have experience with this platform.

January 29, 2005, 12:16 PM
I can attest to the reliabilty of the WWII Mil-Spec both the GM model and the Champion model. I have put quite a few rounds thru both, ball and HP and various configurations of HP in the same mag, so yes mine are reliable.

January 29, 2005, 12:37 PM
I bought a new Springfield 1911A1 mil spec two years ago. Out of the box, it would not fire more than 2 rounds without jamming. Installing a Wilson extractor resolved that issue. Then it was shooting so low and to the left that it would barely make the target. Sent it back to Springfield to get that issue fixed. Check out the Springfield forum on It seems to run about 50/50 on reliability of the cheaper guns (i.e. mil specs). Some guys never have a problem, others (like me) get guns that won't run. That being said, most of the problems seem to be either easily fixed by the owner, or Springfield will take care of it. Would I buy another one? Sure. You can't beat the price. I just wish they would make sure their guns work BEFORE they ship them, not after customers buy them and have to send them back in.


January 29, 2005, 12:46 PM
The three most common problems I have seen and heard about the Springfields have been:

1) ejection problems (replace with a quality part and you're good to go)
2) slide stop failures (replace with a quality part and you're good to go)
3) shoots low (locally gun smith correctable for under $40 or return to SA for warranty fix)

I've had my Milspec for 12 years and just picked up a GI that I am working on myself. I like them a lot. Fantastic bargain.

January 29, 2005, 12:57 PM
I've put 600 rounds through my SA Mil-Spec that I got three weeks ago. I had one failure to eject within the first 100 rounds. No other issues so I'll attribute that one failure to the breaking in process.

-jason m

Old Dog
January 29, 2005, 01:33 PM
Of course, I can vouch only for the Loaded, the Black Stainless, the LW Micro-Compact and the Mil-Specs ... ALL of mine are 100% reliable -- and each one more accurate than I am ... Only Springfield I own that I even had a hiccup with was my Micro (a handful of FTFs in the first 200 rounds fired), but it's since settled in (over 2500 rounds) and is perfectly reliable (and very accurate).

I have ascertained no appreciable difference in reliability between my Springfields and my Colts and Kimbers. I love 'em all, but do tend to carry primarily either of two SA pistols.

To be balanced, I have a friend who owns a SA Champion that was having ejection problems, but he sent it back to Springfield where they replaced the ejector and extractor and got it back to him in under two weeks (superb customer service in my book). No problems with that pistol since.

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