Can you stand another 1911 Mil-Spec Thread???


The Reverend
March 30, 2004, 07:39 PM
Wow sp many 1911 threads and none of them with my name on it...

Well, I hope one more doesn't ruffle too many feathers... which if you actually have feathers you need to be in another forum all together :D.

So here it is... I am in the market for a plain jane 1911. It will be my first of this design so I am looking for a good experience. Reliability, decent trigger, and a good price point are all priorities but not necessarily in that particular order.

I am taking a hard look at the SA Mil-Spec with the High-Viz sights as that is getting what I would consider "rave" reviews from this and other forums. I don't want to exclude other makes in my decision process, so Wesson, Auto Ordinance, et al. are fair game.

And let me say that I am a SIG buyer. I am one that expects firearms to work from box. So, if the iron isn't functioning pretty much flawlessly in 500 or rounds its garbage and its outta here.

Well, I guess thats it. I appreciate all you folks can offer to the advancement of my addiction :rolleyes: .


The Reverend

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March 30, 2004, 07:55 PM
Howdy Reverend,

First off...Stay well clear of the Auto Ordnance unless you're into
the 3 "Ts" Troubleshootin', Tweakin', and Tunin'...and usually
cussin' and replacin' parts.

The Springfield Mil-Spec is closest to the real deal and readily available
at a decent price. If you can find a stock Norinco at anything under
350 bucks, jump on it. Those ARE the real deal. No MIM or castings anywhere in the gun and they're as tough as a hunk of boiler plate.
The triggers are a bit rough, but easy to tend to with a little patience.

On the Springfields...At the first sign of extraction issues, save yourself some headaches and get an Ed Brown Hardcore..Set the tension, and
run it. 95% of the time, that's about all a Hardcore extractor needs. Some
require a little tweakin', but it's not rocket science. Several of the guys here can walk ya through it.



March 31, 2004, 12:52 PM
And let me say that I am a SIG buyer. I am one that expects firearms to work from box. So, if the iron isn't functioning pretty much flawlessly in 500 or rounds its garbage and its outta here.

Hey Rev,

I love my Springfield (Loaded Model). You may not need it but be willing to give it that full 500 rounds. Mine didn't take that many but I did have a couple of bugs at first. After about 200-250 rounds I have had no problems with it. I never sent it back or did any work on it myself. Just kept shooting it. Now it seems to get better every time I take it out.

Good Luck with it,

March 31, 2004, 01:24 PM
I don't know much about 1911s, so I'm a little confused here.

1911Tuner, if Norinco ARE the real deal, then why not pay more than $350 for them?

Sean Smith
March 31, 2004, 01:29 PM
I'm going to give the same answer here that I always give nowadays for this sort of question, to wit: Colt 01991 series.

March 31, 2004, 01:36 PM
Howdy middy,

you asked:

if Norinco ARE the real deal, then why not pay more than $350 for them?

Couple of reasons...One is that most are fairly rough on the metal prep and
the finish ain't the prettiest in the world.

The triggers have a bit of grittiness and creep, but that's easy to correct.

That's about the going rate for a stocker...and I wouldn't want one that
had been smithed by an unknown who may have assumed that the internals were junk and tossed them in favor of aftermarket castings
and other a 3-pound trigger job on the existing trigger group, or worse...a replaced trigger group with inferior parts.

On the other hand, if a Norinco has been fine-tuned by a truly good pistolsmith with credentials, and remains basically stock except for a
slightly improved trigger that doesn't go below my limit of 5 pounds, maybe a nice refinish, a good set of Novak sights, and some attention to detail, then I'd be willing to give much more if I was in the market for a pistol like that.

Anyway...I've got mine, and lookin' for another one or three soon.:cool:



March 31, 2004, 01:47 PM
Thanks Tuner. I'll keep my eyes open for a stock Norinco.

Silent Bob
March 31, 2004, 02:13 PM
I'd love to find a stock, LNIB Norinco in my area for around$350.00-$375.00 in my area. I haunt local pawn shops in search of one, but to date, no luck.

March 31, 2004, 04:50 PM
If you are gonna get a Norinco and then put better sights on it, get a trigger job, polish the feed ramp and throat the bbl, lower and flare the ejection port, bevel the mag well...

Would be easier and cheaper to get the SA Mil Spec (not WWII model) and replace any suspect parts.

Colt? Excellent, but I don't want the series 80 FP safety. Their WWII Mil Spec costs waaaay too much.

Or ya could get a Ruger P90 and not have to do anything nor deal w any 1911 gremlins at all. ;)

ballistic gelatin
March 31, 2004, 05:25 PM
What's the difference between SA Mil-Spec and the GI Model?

Black Majik
March 31, 2004, 05:38 PM
I'm gonna toss in the NRM Colts into the group. To me its a little better in fit and finish compared to the SA Mil-specs. Not to mention prettier to look at! Thing is, both will be a great gun, so it'll come down to what you prefer.

But, dont forget to look at the Colts. :)

I enjoy shooting the Colt more than the Sig. (Blasphemy!) ;)

April 1, 2004, 04:20 AM
I've do own or have owned most of the guns listed here and if I had a budget of $550-ish, (mine was $500) I'd get a blued NRM Colt every single time. Around these parts, the (non WWII) Springfield MilSpec goes for about $440-$450 and that is a considerable sum... I've had good luck with Springfields, but would always take a NRM Colt over a Springfield MilSpec.

I've loved 1911s for a long time and my experience has been very favorable. Having said that, a new SIG 229 costs, what... $700 or so? A 1911 built to the same standards would cost well over $1,000 and should have no MIM parts and certainly a spring steel extractor. And good magazines is part of the equation. If you spend $450 on a brand new 1911 and it works flawlessly with the provided magazines right out of the box, you're doing good. But past experience aside, it would border on foolish to buy a $450 1911 and toss it aside just because it didn't run perfectly out of the box. It's all in marketing and price point matching... Think about it... Glocks sell for over $450 and they cost a heck of a lot less to build than a NRM Colt.

Lobotomy Boy
April 1, 2004, 08:17 AM
Cratz2, having looked at your photo album I have no doubt that you are THE MASTER of finding the best prices. Is the $440-$450 you mention for a MilSpec SA new or used price? I've been shopping for a .45 for a couple of weeks (I bought a used Glock 21 on Tuesday:evil:) and the best price I could get for the Mil Spec was $490. I found many GI versions for $419, but I wasn't seriously shopping for a GI and suspect I could have found one for less.

I also looked for a Colt 1991 and couldn't find a new one for sale anywhere. One dealer, a fellow who has been wrong (or less than honest) before but who generally knows his stuff said he hasn't been able to get new Colts for months. A lot of people highly recommended the NRM Colts, but has anyone actually bought a new one in recent weeks?

April 1, 2004, 10:33 AM
The SA WWII Mil Spec does not have the bevelled mag well, lowered and flared ejection port, hi vis sights.

Ya know, the stuff ya used to pay an extra couple hundred bucks or more to get done on a basic Colt about 20-30 yrs ago. ;)

Both the Mil Spec and WWII Mil Specs I've looked at had polished feed ramps and throated bbls. The triggers on both were good enough as is for me, but some might still want some work done.

Some Mil Specs were shipped w stainless steel bbls and bushings when SA was short on the regular parts; those are a real good deal.

Price (retail) on WWII Mil Spec around town is $450, for the Mil Spec, about $520.

April 1, 2004, 05:42 PM
Those are new prices that I mentioned but prices can vary significantly by region... But please don't call me the master of anything except screwing my life up. ;)

I have seen many stainless barrels and numerous stainless barrel bushings but fewer stainless bushings than barrels. Most of the barrels look more polished than not polished at all and for my money, I'd definately go for the standard (non-WWII) MilSpec Springfield for an additional $50. I'm not crazy about the sights on either model, but everything else would point me towards the standard MilSpec.

NC Shooter
April 1, 2004, 09:10 PM
>I'd love to find a stock, LNIB Norinco in my area for around$350.00-$375.00 in my area. I haunt local pawn shops in search of one, but to date, no luck.<

I can get a new SA Mil-Spec for $369 in the Raleigh, NC area. Why get a Norinco when the SA is so close in price?

ballistic gelatin
April 1, 2004, 09:22 PM
Why not get a Rock Island for $320? As advertised in shotgunnews...

April 1, 2004, 10:12 PM
NC Shooter asked:
I can get a new SA Mil-Spec for $369 in the Raleigh, NC area. Why get a Norinco when the SA is so close in price?

Because the Norinco has that as ZERO cast or MIM small
parts. Because the steel is hard and tough. Because the extractor
is honest-to-John Moses spring steel.

I missed my chance when they were on the open market in plentiful numbers for 250 bucks out the door in some areas. If I had my time to do
over, I'd have borrowed money and bought a pickup truck full of the things.

By the time you upgrade the WW2 Springer to match the 'Rinco, you'll have
enough in it to buy two of'em. If I can find another decent, unsmithed
Norinco, I'll buy it in a heartbeat.

Shop 'til ya drop!


April 2, 2004, 01:58 AM
Hey I like the Colts, Springers, and 'Rinco's.

Tuner, Sean, cratz2...others make good points.

You know though, if a extractor is tuned right, and/or the original extractor being springy and all...well all the "plain janes" ran fine without a lowered and flared ejection port.

Come to think of it they ran without front slide serrations, FLGR's,leather shock buffers ...oh you know the stuff people paid extra for later on , now is considered 'standard" and now folks don' t want ...umm maybe something about stuff going full circle...back original....

Yep a Plain jane will run fine.

Nothing wrong for the enhancements , depends on the use and task, pride of ownership,...etc., and I am big on fit to shooter. Duckbutt or take a bit off hammer if bites...need the grip in a hurry to compete , duty, CCW. Eyes get get the idea.

I'm easy...I like the classics tho'. I appreciate fine craftsmanship, whether visiable ( external) or not ( internals).

April 2, 2004, 03:54 AM
Oh my!

Howdy sm! I like Colts and Springfields too. I've been mighty impressed by every WW2 Mil-Spec that I've seen so far. Good slide to frame fit,
decent triggers, nicely parkerized, etc. I haven't encountered a Colt
WW1 or WW2 reissue as yet, but the NRMs have been hit and miss.

I plan on adding a WW2 Springfield to the stable soon, with expectations
of finding MIM a-plenty. Not an issue, since it's a project gun...and all
small parts will be upgraded after the pistol has been put through its paces. No...It won't be "customized" by today's standards. It'll still
look like a WW2 Mil-Spec'll just have real GI parts in and on it,
or as near as I can arrange. It'll be a treasure hunt at the local shows to
find "All the Right Stuff." :D Then the challenge will be to match the
parkerizing on the Springfield's slide and frame.

The one NRM Colt that I own was a mercy buy from a friend who fell on hard times. It had a good trigger and finish. Fair slide/frame fit in the horizontal plane, and piss-poor in the vertical. I had to swage the frame rails at the front and make a few other adjustments to bring it into what
I consider an acceptable standard on that point. I did a thread on it a
while back called "A Disconnector Story" to illustrate how other things can
be affected by any changes made.

Given three pistols in a dealer's showcase...A stock Norinco, rated at 98%...
A LNIB Colt NRM Series 80 Government Model, and a new WW2 Springfield,
I'd buy the Norinco first...The Springfield second...and the Colt would be in last place, mainly due to the Series 80-ness of it. Nothin' really wrong with
Series 80...It's a good design. I'm just lazy and get tired of the extra fiddlin' that goes along with the Series 80 parts during a detail-strip.

Now, if the Colt was a WW2 reissue, the Colt would bump the Springer
from second place, because of fewer MIM parts that would need to be replaced during the upgrade. The slide to frame fit isn't really an issue
with me. I've got the swaging punches, and I have a friend who is a top-notch tig welder if it comes down to that.

The Norinco that I picked up just first up close look at the inside story...only needed a "Poor Man's Trigger Job" and a little reshaping
at the back of the grip frame to accept the Smith & Alexander flat mainspring housing that I wanted to use. A long, 85 year-old Colt
trigger dropped in with a near-perfect fit...and minor reshaping of the
front make the pistol ideal for my requirements.

Check your six often!


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