Springfield Armory 1911A1


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FPrice
November 25, 2003, 10:14 PM
Was looking through the handgun case at a gunstore a few towns over and saw what looked to be an older, roughly WWII-era 1911A1. Turns out it was a Remington-Rand slide on a Springfield Armory frame. The frame was marked on the right side just forward of the right grip (and just barely readable under the parkerization):

Springfield Armory
Geneseo IL
NM 4XXX

Everything was parkerized except the hammer and barrel bushing (both blued). The grips looked to be inexpensive wood or some sort of substitute (did not look at them too closely, they were crummy). Trigger was light, about 3# or so. All safeties checked out fine. The gun actually felt fairly solid.

My guess is that this was just a parts gun someone put together. Is this a good guess or is it something I may not know about?

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Old Fuff
November 25, 2003, 10:37 PM
I think your guess is correct. Somebody made a homebuilt using whatever parts he could get his hands on, or he may have thought someone would mistake it for a real Remington. Unless you have the skills to check it out carefully I'd pass.

FPrice
November 25, 2003, 10:51 PM
I can do some basic safety checks and field strip it. That's why I said it appears to be solid. My biggest concern was the light trigger pull. I think it would be acceptable on a target gun, but not a self-defense or duty pistol. Do you know if the trigger pull can be made heavier with the existing parts or would it need a new sear?

I'm torn because i do like 1911A1s, but at $550 it's more than a parts gun is worth, unless it's by a big-name gunsmith.

George Hill
November 25, 2003, 11:08 PM
I'd pass anyways.
It has no value other than for being a shooter... but that's it. Wait till the price drops to about 400 and then it would be about right.
Being an unknows parts gun, you would have to have a GS do an inside and out physical before you carried it.

Preacherman
November 25, 2003, 11:56 PM
$550 for a no-name-brand parts gun??? :what:

For that price (actually for a lot less than that price) you could buy a brand-new Springfield Mil-Spec. For two-thirds of that price, you could buy a new Griffon from CDNN. Is the seller nuts, or what???

10-Ring
November 26, 2003, 01:12 AM
I agree, sounds like someone's selling a mutt but trying to get pedigree $$

I'd keep looking

1911Tuner
November 26, 2003, 06:25 AM
Hold on...That Springfield frame may be one of the old ones. Springfield
built some 1911s under license from Colt, and didn't produce any more
after 1918. The most obvious sign would be the lack of scalloping on
the side of the frame just behind the trigger guard. The other could be a long, steel trigger with a smooth face.

If it's an early Springfield frame, it may be an arsenal mix/match, and
even though it's not correct, could still hold some collector value/appeal.
Possible that it went through a campaign in exactly the condition that you
see it.

I can't find my serial number lists at the moment. Contact dsk and
have him date the frame for you. If someone has the link to his site
handy, post it and go look it up.


Luck to ya!

Tuner

Old Fuff
November 26, 2003, 10:04 AM
1911Tuner:

Nope: You are thinking of the 1911 pistols that were made at the U.S. Government Arsenal at Springfield MA. This frame was made by a commercial manufacturer, Springfield Armory - located at Geneseo, IL.

Springfield Arsenal pistols had a numerical serial number without any letter prefix. The pistol in question has a number with a "NM" prefix.

So we are back to square one. What we have is a parts gun.

Concerning the trigger pull. No, a three-pound pull is not a good idea on a carry pistol. For what it's worth Uncle Sam specified six pounds. Can it be fixed? We have no way of knowing because we don't know what modifications were made to get the pull to three pounds.

Preacherman is right. Take your money, and maybe a little more and get a Colt or Springfield Armory (commercial). I suspect you would pay more then the difference between this gun and one of the others getting the gun you are looking at into acceptable shape to use for the purpose you intend.

1911Tuner
November 26, 2003, 10:24 AM
Old Fuff said:

Nope: You are thinking of the 1911 pistols that were made at the U.S. Government Arsenal at Springfield MA. This frame was made by a commercial manufacturer, Springfield Armory - located at Geneseo, IL

Ah! Okay..Didn't know what he had. I'm on the page now...Thanks Fluff.

FPrice
November 26, 2003, 11:11 AM
"This frame was made by a commercial manufacturer, Springfield Armory - located at Geneseo, IL."

Yep. I just got off the phone with a very nice Customer Service rep from SA. The frame is a 1986 National Match frame. The bushing was "probably" the bushing that came with that frame. Hard to be sure, but it seems to match.

"Concerning the trigger pull. No, a three-pound pull is not a good idea on a carry pistol. For what it's worth Uncle Sam specified six pounds. Can it be fixed? We have no way of knowing because we don't know what modifications were made to get the pull to three pounds."

This gun shop is calling this a "combat trigger". From past experience these guys, while nice and likeable, have an over-inflated sense of their knowledge of the firearms they sell. They have no idea that I have the combined knowledge of THR to call upon to ask questions and get information.

Concerning the price, you have to understand that this IS Massachusetts and we have some screwy "consumer protection" laws that limit what we can get.

Bottom line: I'd offer them $375-400 but I know they won't go down that far. So I'll keep looking. My only interest in this pistol was as a shooter.

Thanks for the help.

Old Fuff
November 26, 2003, 04:24 PM
I understand the problems relative to where you live. If you can obtain a list of the manufacturers/models of Government Model style pistols that are allowed maybe the rest of us can make constructive suggestions.

FPrice
November 27, 2003, 09:54 PM
I'm not really interested in new Govt Models so much as older ones, preferably WWII-era examples, IF I can find any at reasonable prices.

Old Fuff
November 27, 2003, 11:44 PM
>> I'm not really interested in new Gov’t Models so much as older ones, preferably WWII-era examples, IF I can find any at reasonable prices. <<

In that case you have your work cut out for you. True 1911-A1 pistols are going through the roof, and there are a lot of home-made parts guns going around, as you discovered. You need to do some research so you'll know what's what.

If you are primarily interested in a shooter made along the lines of a pre-war Government Model you might consider an Argentine "Sistema Modelo 1927." These were licensed copies of Colt's 1930's era 1911-A1 Government Model. They were built using Colt machinery, blueprints, specifications and initial supervision. Colt parts are 100% interchangeable. In the overall picture they are inexpensive when compared to regular Colts and current clones. I think they are better built. For example, the triggers - bow and fingerpiece included - are milled out of one piece of solid steel. You won’t find any MIM parts either, unless they are replacements.

In any case I wish you luck.

sturmruger
November 28, 2003, 04:32 PM
Preacherman,

Have you seen one of those Griffon .45 that CDNN is selling. I have been eyeing those for the last couple of months, but cannot find any review anywhere so i have been hesitant to purchase one. I trust CDNN, but I am a little scared of a gun I have never heard of.

dsk
November 28, 2003, 08:29 PM
During that time period Springfield Armory was selling bare frames and slides in addition to complete pistols. More than likely the frame was bought to complete a GI upper and related parts. No matter which way you cut it however, it's still a parts gun worth about $400 anywhere outside MA.

FPrice
November 30, 2003, 12:00 AM
" If you are primarily interested in a shooter made along the lines of a pre-war Government Model you might consider an Argentine "Sistema Modelo 1927.""

Attached is a pic of my Sistemas. They are two of my six Colt .45ACP/clones. I've been fortunate over the years to be able to pick up a few nice firearms. I can shoot them, now I need to learn how to be an armorer to them.

Old Fuff
November 30, 2003, 12:31 AM
FPrice

Looks like a nice pair you have there.

As for being able to work on them. Start by buying copies of the following books:

The Colt .45 Automatic; A Shop Manual - Vol 1. by Jerry Kuhnhausen.

The Colt .45 Automatic; A shop Manual - Vol 2. (same author)

To get them go to the following link: www.gunbooks.com

Next get a copy of Brownell's catalog - at: www.brownells.com

They have all of the necessary tools and parts you might need, and professional advise is free.

It won't be long before you are up and working .......

Preacherman
November 30, 2003, 12:56 AM
Sturmruger, do a search in this forum for "Griffon" and you'll find a number of threads and/or posts about them. I like and recommend them.

FPrice
November 30, 2003, 12:21 PM
"To get them go to the following link: www.gunbooks.com"

Thanks for the link. Just ordered the first Kuhnhausen book, a 1911 video and the wall chart.

Old Fuff
November 30, 2003, 02:42 PM
FPrice:

Very good! Even if you don't do anything (which is unlikely) the educational content will take you a long way. Then when you start getting serious about it, get the Brownell's catalog where you'll find everything you need.

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