Springfield 1911 - Made in Brazil? Cast slide? Bad accuracy? Are the Rumors true?


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AirPower
April 30, 2005, 03:49 AM
What's the deal with Springfield Armory 1911? I keep hearing they're made in Brazil? Is that true? And also people say they are cast steel slide, sort of like Ruger, and they're not very durable compared to milled forged steel used by Colt. Also they are only average in accuracy. They do seem to be least expensive namebrand 1911 around, is there any reason that is so? Any truth to the above rumors?

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Vernal45
April 30, 2005, 04:18 AM
Man, I must have got a Spinger Lemon. Its made in Brazil, champion, not a problem yet, 500 rounds, accurate enough to put all eight in a 3 inch circle.



Springers are good pistols, purchase one, shoot it, dont worry.

horge
April 30, 2005, 04:22 AM
Made in Brazil by IMBEL (Industria de Material Belico do Brasil), which supplies other gunmakers as well. Typical routine is to make the parts, assemble into full pistols, fit, then disassemble. Fitted kits are then shipped to wherever to be reassembled/refitted/marked/etc.

Of course, IMBEL also sells loose' parts. Lots of gunmakers all over the world have bought such parts from IMBEL, from Armscor, from Norinco, among other low-cost manufacturers (notably in Eastern Europe and Turkey), then thrown in pricier parts, fitted and rollmarked the blaster and called it a good day. Good guns do come of it, and Springfield owners certainly look very happy with their pistols.

Precisely what the (re)assembly arrangement is between IMBEL and Geneseo, it lies beyond my feeble ken, and may conceivably have changed over time (that's business, what?) ...or not, but what remains is that IMBEL is a sizable company of quite some repute, and makes forged, cast and (yes) MIM material, but for the 1911A1-pattern pistol you have in mind, the steel has clearly been presented, several times, as forged.

Maybe someone else knows more or otherwise.


hth

ojibweindian
April 30, 2005, 08:44 AM
I have no idea if my GI's slide and other parts are forged, cast, or MIM. I can tell you this, no FTE-FTF, and I shoot 1" - 2" groups from 7 - 15 yards. I am very happy with it.

Ala Dan
April 30, 2005, 08:49 AM
Another very happy Springfield owner checking in! :) I've got a WW-II
G.I. model that functions flawlessly. :D

valor1
April 30, 2005, 08:52 AM
It doesn't really matter if the parts are made in zimbabwe, or tanzania.
It doesn't really matter if the parts are forged or cast.

AS long as they perform well, and are backed by excellent customer service. As for the forged vs cast parts, it is an age old debate similar to what caliber will you shoot. As long as the gun performs so well, you'll never know the difference as to even what steel it was made of.

The key here is to enjoy your shooting, buy lots of ammo and spare a lot of range time and you're good to go. If your gun fails, and it so happens that the customer service is great, then you'll keep on shooting. :p

Marko Kloos
April 30, 2005, 10:47 AM
Castings work well when done correctly. Case in point: Ruger.

For those down on cast slides, here's a little secret...the one-piece SIG slides start out life as a casting, courtesy of Pine Tree Casting, a.k.a. Ruger. I highly doubt you'll find a whole lot of people being down on the SIG for lack of accuracy or quality.

That said, I am pretty sure the Brazil-made Springfield parts are all milled.

Technosavant
April 30, 2005, 11:10 AM
Frames (at least) are made by Imbel in Brazil. Depending on the model, the gun may be entirely made in Brazil, parts sourced in Brazil and assembled in the US, or raw forgings sourced in Brazil and finished off and assembled in the US.

As for quality/accuracy complaints, it sounds like one of the Colt fanatics has been at it again. SA has had an annoying tendency as of late to include front sights of the incorrect height, leading to a gun which shoots low, but they are eager to fix the problem when it occurs. Otherwise, they are every bit as accurate as any other factory/factory-custom 1911.

Some people get caught up in the trademarks and slogans. Fine for them (I guess), but I prefer to buy ammo with the money I save.

HighVelocity
April 30, 2005, 11:35 AM
I own 2 SA Champions 1 stainless, 1 lightweight and both are very accurate and malfunction free. I did have to replace the slidestop on the stainless one (wouldn't lock slide open after last shot) but a phone call to SA and I had the part in 4 days, no charge.
I used to have a Mil-spec and it's high on my list to repurchase. Don't worry about "made in Brazil". They are fine weapons and SA is a great company.

1911Tuner
April 30, 2005, 11:48 AM
Neither the frames nor the slides are castings, and overall, they're very good.
There have been sporadic reports of slides cracking or breaking, but this seems to be a matter of poor heat-treating rather than one of materials...resulting in the slides being either too soft, or too hard, which makes'em brittle. As long as they're properly hardened and drawn, I'd put the
quality of the steel as equal to or a bit better than Colt's, and the rails are
more carefully machined to boot.

Springfield has been comin' on pretty strong in the last two or three years. Their overall quality has been steadily improving as they strive to knock Colt out of the running for the 1911 market...and they seem to be succeeding.
Both the Mil-Spec models...Standard and GI...have been selling hard and heavy in this area, with the Loaded Model following a fairly distant second...
and there have been very few complaints. What issues there have been have usually been a matter of simple adjustments or fine-tuning here and there, or the odd broken small part...but only rarely any major problems.

Hope this helps...

michiganfan
April 30, 2005, 02:01 PM
My GI is a winner and with new checkered wood grips its pretty too.

Shear_stress
April 30, 2005, 03:35 PM
" It doesn't really matter if the parts are made in zimbabwe, or tanzania.
It doesn't really matter if the parts are forged or cast.

AS long as they perform well, and are backed by excellent customer service. As for the forged vs cast parts, it is an age old debate similar to what caliber will you shoot. As long as the gun performs so well, you'll never know the difference as to even what steel it was made of."

Absolutely. I've had guns made (at least in part) in Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Spain, and, of course, the U.S. There is nothing so radically new about gun technology that it is beyond the technological capability of nearly any country that is willing to invest in the needed tools and expertise. Quality is largely a choice made by whoever is in charge of production.

As for as Brazilian-marked Springfield 1911s, mine has been utterly reliable. The frame/slide and barrel/slde fits were a little loose--which is kind of ironic since I understand that fitting is done in the U.S. I wrote Springfield a nice letter, sent my gun in, and they did about $500 worth of tuning for free.

mattw
April 30, 2005, 05:26 PM
i have a spingfield 1911 in NM configuration. no complaints, it is a solid reliable gun and i would put it against a colt or kimber anyday. i have put about 2500 rounds through it and it was used when i bought it, no malfunctions to speak of other than crappy ammo related stoppages. i really don't care if it is made in brazil as long as Springfield is willing to put their name on it.. SA is excellant quality.

444
April 30, 2005, 06:46 PM
The following is my story of my one and only Springfield Armory 1911. Obviously this is ONE case.

4-5 years ago, I bought a full sized Springfield 1911. They called it "loaded" or the "loaded package" or something like that.
It was a piece of junk in every way. It wasn't accurate and it wouldn't run.

I went out with a friend to shoot shortly after I bought it. I couldn't keep all the shots on a paper plate at 25 yards. He said I should practice. I pulled out my many year old Colt Government Model and proceeded to put him to shame. He couldn't begin to keep up with me. So, he suggested that I try the Bar-Sto barrel that he had in his Springfield: luckily, it dropped right in. My groups were immediately cut by 75%. So, problem #1 was identified: barrel sucks. The second problem was that the slide would not go into battery every time. Most of the time it wouldn't. The reason was obvious. When you ran the slide you could feel the fact that it wasn't even: there were obvious high spots you could feel. The wear pattern on the rails confirmed this.
My inital attempt to make this gun work was a foolish mistake. I took it to a local "gunsmith". I had a Bar-Sto barrel and told him to fix the problems. He didn't. So, I sent the gun to Clark's and they dialed it in.

I have owned a half dozen or more 1911s. No, actually, I own that many now so I don't know how many I have had total. They were mostly Colts but I did have an Auto Ordenance and an AMT many years ago. I never had any problem with any of them. I had never had any custom work done to them, I never had any fancy parts put on them. They all worked fine right out of the box including the two off brand guns. Then came the Springfield and I could understand why some people think the 1911 is a POS. I would too if this was the only one I ever handled.

Again, this may have been the only one like this that has ever existed: I don't know. But, I know I won't be buying any more of them.

glocker1911
April 30, 2005, 06:55 PM
Man, if you had a "loaded" that was that bad out of the box, you should have sent it back to Springfield. I know it's easier to trade it away and let the next poor guy who buys it figure it out, but I've owned many Springers and never had a problem. I recently bought a TRP Operator that has the best fit and finish I've ever seen. I would out it up against anybodys 1911, even one from a "custom" maker. Springfield makes a fine product, and although everybody lets one "slip by" now and then, they have great customer service if you do have a problem. Try getting Kimber to admit the problem even lays with the gun, let alone actually fix it!

Zach S
April 30, 2005, 07:14 PM
Castings work well when done correctly. Case in point: Ruger. Dont forget Caspian. Then again, I think Ruger does their castings...

I have a Mil Spec Springer that can run with my Colt anyday.

444
April 30, 2005, 07:20 PM
"I know it's easier to trade it away and let the next poor guy who buys it figure it out........."

If you re-read my post you will see that I sent the gun to Clark's and got it fixed. It is currently sitting in my safe and works fine: after about $500 worth of work/parts.

larry starling
April 30, 2005, 09:36 PM
A EX Springfield owner here! I have owned numerous Springfield products over the years, I have had issue's with everyone of them except two, A TRP and a G.I model! My first experience was with a Loaded parkerized model after appx 400 rd's the trigger went from 5-6lbs to a horrible 15-20lb's! Im no expert but thats not good! Sold! Next problem was with a champion a friend bought had numerous problems with slide returning to battery. Sold! Im in the process now of trading a NIB SS springfield loaded to a store for a 99 percent colt double eagle! I'm through with springfields! :cool:

LeonCarr
April 30, 2005, 10:31 PM
You could just buy a Glock :).

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

444
April 30, 2005, 10:47 PM
:confused:
I never realized there was a limit.
I have purchased a number of Glocks.
I have purchased a number of 1911s.
I have both right now.
If you only own one, that is your problem.

bluto
May 1, 2005, 12:20 AM
I have 2 MilSpecs and both are quality products. Machining OTB was excellent. Have a look at the frame and slide (see pic). No burrs or sharp edges. Tight fit. No problems with either one in over 1000 rds. They'll both shoot with my Colt and are very accurate.

glocker1911
May 1, 2005, 12:25 AM
Here's an idea. Maybe Colt and Kimber could work out a merger. That way there would be a 1911 maker guaranteed to sell lots of pistols wether they work or not! And the buyers would never blame the company for problems and would attack anybody who tried. As for me, I'll stick with Springfield. I've had many over the years, never had a bad one. And anytime i've written, called, or emailed them I always get a friendly response. That's what customer service is all about.

popeye
May 1, 2005, 11:20 AM
bluto!! Ya dirty dog, where's me goil Olive? In the mean time her sister Peanut Oyl is soothing me broken heart.

I took my Springfield MS and sanded most of the finish off an cold blued it producing a gun that looks somewhat military. I know......so what.

Onmilo
May 1, 2005, 02:00 PM
Yep, it's settled, Springfield is so bad our shop sells them four to one over any other 1911 we carry and that inventory includes Colt, Dan Wesson, Smith and Wesson,Rock Island, Firestorm/LLama and on special order, Wilson, Olympic, and Les Baer.

Funny thing, those four to one Springfield outsellers never come back for repair,,,,,,

sfhogman
May 1, 2005, 02:51 PM
my 5 year old Springfield Loaded is absolutely the last gun I would ever sell.
Jeff

bluto
May 1, 2005, 04:08 PM
popeye! I hope you have better luck with Olive than I did. The MilSpec is a sweet gun to work on. I'm thinking about getting mine refinished, but I'll probably shoot 'em some more first.

cxm
May 1, 2005, 04:35 PM
My experience with a 5 year old "Loaded" model was pretty different.

Though I invested about $500 or so in improvements, only two were really "neccessary."

The two piece full length guide rod would not stay together when being fired over about 10 rounds. A new Plunger and 1911 stilly rod fixed the problem forever.

The other NECCESSARY is required on all 1911s I own except for the S&Ws.... a quality trigger job. The S&W guns are good as they come out of the box (and IMHO the best value on the market.)

My major complaint about Springfields is the very sharp edges... VERY sharp... mine got a heavy "melt down" Once that is taken care of it has become a very good gun indeed, having worked two classes at Thunder Ranch... and if a gun survives that, it is a quality gun.

FWIW

Chuck


==================================================
The following is my story of my one and only Springfield Armory 1911. Obviously this is ONE case.

4-5 years ago, I bought a full sized Springfield 1911. They called it "loaded" or the "loaded package" or something like that.
It was a piece of junk in every way. It wasn't accurate and it wouldn't run.

I went out with a friend to shoot shortly after I bought it. I couldn't keep all the shots on a paper plate at 25 yards. He said I should practice. I pulled out my many year old Colt Government Model and proceeded to put him to shame. He couldn't begin to keep up with me. So, he suggested that I try the Bar-Sto barrel that he had in his Springfield: luckily, it dropped right in. My groups were immediately cut by 75%. So, problem #1 was identified: barrel sucks. The second problem was that the slide would not go into battery every time. Most of the time it wouldn't. The reason was obvious. When you ran the slide you could feel the fact that it wasn't even: there were obvious high spots you could feel. The wear pattern on the rails confirmed this.
My inital attempt to make this gun work was a foolish mistake. I took it to a local "gunsmith". I had a Bar-Sto barrel and told him to fix the problems. He didn't. So, I sent the gun to Clark's and they dialed it in.

Shear_stress
May 1, 2005, 09:03 PM
Like I said above, I've had great luck with my Springfield in terms of reliability. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't had as much success with the accuracy. Even after the factory service and a professional trigger job, I have a really tough time getting it to group like my Kimber at 25 yards. I can't put my finger on why--both guns "feel" the same to me. It's kind of frustrating.

Still, at fifteen yards or less, my Springfield delivers great accuracy.

aerod1
May 1, 2005, 09:12 PM
I am totally impressed with my Springfield Loaded model. I could never part with it.

Jim

TNrifleman
May 1, 2005, 09:37 PM
I have a Springfield loaded that shoots extremely well and is also utterly reliable. I have had it for over 5 years and like it very much. I would buy another one. :cool:

Shorts
May 1, 2005, 09:42 PM
We've had two SAs. First was an Ultra Compact, the second is a GI. Both are fun accurate shooters, and the only real issue I can recall is the grip safety on the UC wasn't working. That got adjusted by the guy at the gun shop and it was good to go. I initially thought the GI was having extractor issues, but another 200 rds through has smoothed the young pistol out.

Though we havent used them, I've heard nothing but good things about SAs customer service. I surely wouldn't hesitate to call on them.

Like was mentioned above, it doesn't matter where the parts come from if they do the job and someone is willing to put their name on the product to back it up.

R.H. Lee
May 1, 2005, 09:44 PM
If you're worried about a production pistol as good as the Springfield, maybe you need a $2000 Les Wilson or Bill Baer. Just for the peace of mind. It's only money. :p

XD Niner
May 1, 2005, 10:32 PM
Now I understand why my Springfield Black Stainless is so inaccurate. I can almost never get all five shots into the same hole. Usually they cluster together with the edges overlapped at 7 yards but I can almost always see at least four holes. :what:

Seriously, it is a very accurate pistol and the quality of mine has been outstanding. It is only about a month old but already has over 1200 rounds through it without a single failure of any kind. :neener: Fit and finish are excellent in a gun in this price range and comparable to many I've held that are twice the price. I'd buy one again in a second. :D

Sean Smith
May 2, 2005, 11:12 AM
What's the deal with Springfield Armory 1911? I keep hearing they're made in Brazil? Is that true? And also people say they are cast steel slide, sort of like Ruger, and they're not very durable compared to milled forged steel used by Colt. Also they are only average in accuracy. They do seem to be least expensive namebrand 1911 around, is there any reason that is so? Any truth to the above rumors?

Frames are made in Brazil. Possiby other parts too. Slides and frames aren't cast, they're forged. Guns are fine, on average. End of story.

Shear_stress
May 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
Like I said, my Springfield groups great out to fifteen yards. At 25 yards, though, the accuracy of my particular Springer is no where near that of my other 1911, or my CZ, for that matter. Your mileage may vary.

I am not much of a marksman, but I don't know if I could label a gun "accurate" based on seven yard accuracy alone. That distance is not asking a lot of most modern handguns that are in good condition. Similarly, I wouldn't rate most handguns by their fifty or one hundred yard accuracy.

That said, my Springfield is great, relatively inexpensive, well-made gun that will satisfy most people.

GaryK
May 2, 2005, 02:46 PM
I have 2 Springfields. A Champion and an early 90s "NM" serial #ed government model. Both guns worked out of the box and after shooting both for awhile they still do. I have seen bad guns from ALL mfgs. (including Colt). I think that with the current state of quality control in the industry that you should take the time to learn how to check out a 1911 and do so thoroughly before buying. I think that it would be interesting to see just what components each mfg. builds "in house" and what they outsource. I suspect that we would be suprised.

Brad Johnson
May 2, 2005, 04:03 PM
I have a Springer Loaded Longslide. Picked it up a couple years ago. Cheap. The guy said it shot like crap but I didn't believe him. Turns out he was right. Terrible accuracy. However, a trip back to Springfield and one fitted match barrel later (under warranty, no less!) and the gun shoots a ton. I was so happy I had a local 'smith polish up the trigger to a crisp 2.5 lbs. Benched it'll do one-ragged-hole groups at 25 yards. Truly an outstanding pistol!

Brad

W Turner
May 2, 2005, 05:24 PM
I have had two..the first was a blued Loaded Model that was 100% form the day I traded for it, the other is a Loaded lightweight that I have had for two months that has been 100% and is my favorite pistol.

Both were machined by IMBEL and both have been accurate and reliable. I would have to give the Lightweight model the edge in accuracy and fit, but the finish part has left a little to be desired due to one of the forward serrations being buggered up new outta the box. That's ok though because I got a deal because of it. To give you an idea, using my reloads at 25yards, 3" and less is not hard. Personal best is a three shot group that was just shy of 2" shot offhand at 25 yards.


W

AirPower
May 6, 2005, 03:32 PM
what does lightweight model have? aluminum frame?

paul45
May 6, 2005, 09:21 PM
I have had 4 over the years and got rid of them to finance better made 1911's. Too many QC and cheap parts issues.......maybe Springfield and one of the other foreign made, cheap parts assemblers could get together to make them even cheaper... :fire:

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