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New SA GI but I am P.O.ed

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Alias56, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    I bought a new SA GI from Cabelas. Below the Geneseo IL and
    the serial # stamp it has MADE IN BRAZIL - IMBEL. I know Springfield parts are made in Brazil even tho higher end Springfields don't have MADE IN BRAZI- lMBEL but on all the forum pics of a GI .45 and Mil Specs they don't have this stamp. In fact mine is the only one I've actually seen with this. I intend to build a custom, dream gun off this platform being the only gun to have
    this I feel like it's a bastard at a family reunion. Does Cabelas sell the
    low end stuff or were all the SA GI .45's I'm seeing made before a certain
    period w/out that stamp?
    The gun is tight and my one and only trip to the range it was flawless
    but shot a 1.5 group at fifty ft. eight inches out @ 9:00 with Win. FMJ
    and the last two mags it strung further left off the target.
    I'll get it shooting with my Kimber II and 4k Tripp built Series 70 but
    that MADE IN BRAZIL, being the only one I've, seen bugs me.

    Alias
     
  2. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    All the SA GI's are made in Brazil unless they have an NM prefix serial number. I've seen the Made in Brazil stamp on the dustcover and further back on the frame depending on age. Cabelas is selling the same SA GIs everyone else is. Don't be mad though, the SA GI is one of the most favored custom build bases for many top 1911 gunsmiths.
     
  3. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    An IMBEL frame isn't low-end, just the opposite. What you are looking at is a stamp of quality. Do a search for IMBEL in this forum and you'll soon change your mind.
     
  4. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    So ugaarguy, you're saying I can find a GI with NM prefix. I used to run and shoot with a pretty snooty bunch
    of shooters here in Austin(McCormick, etc) and got tired real quick of hearing the Kimber he designed was the only 1911 worth having, so this guns gotta be flawless.
     
  5. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Good luck I beleive these are old 1911 frames when they were still made in the US. I could be incorect though.
    I have seen this type od crap in a few places. My issues were you built your own gun? or and also Its not a kimber or an STI? who cares it was every bit as reliable as theirs and shot just as well. Find a diffrent crowd to shoot around.
     
  6. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, but it'll be used as stated. With a little looking you can find one though.
    Ask him why the USMC specified some internal features on their Warrior pistols that are rather different from those on the Classic Custom and Custom II. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  7. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    ugaarguy -
    "I have seen this type od crap in a few places. My issues were you built your own gun? or and also Its not a kimber or an STI? who cares it was every bit as reliable as theirs and shot just as well. Find a diffrent crowd to shoot around."

    Yeah, that's exacly what happened.
    Virgil Tripp was/is cool. My pet Series 70 he built was stolen in a burglary last year and I called him in Alpine asking if he could build me a replica. He said he didn't do pistol smithing anymore but if I found another Colt 70 he'd come outa retirement and do it again. I solved the burglary and got my gun back. Too bad he quit hardchroming too.
     
  8. loop

    loop Member

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    I apologize in advance, but if you are not happy your SA is made in Brazil just wait until you try to upgrade some parts.

    You can't drop a 1911 firing pin into an SA because the hole in the slide is undersized so it can take a 9mm pin.

    The ejector probably isn't pinned, but glued and when you try to get a replacement the "legs" won't line up with the holes (and it will take a torch to get the old one out).

    Then there are the dovetails for the sights...

    Personally, I don't have the respect for Imbel that some folks seem to have.

    OTOH, if you call up a smith and have $500 you want to spend on a gun - would he say "take a hike?"

    There are a lot SA addicts out there. They'll fight to the death to defend their Brazilian guns.

    By the time you build out a $2,000 gun the frame is of little consequence. If it breaks, go ahead and get a Fushion frame and make it a $2,500 gun.

    Do what you like. Next time do your research before you invest your hard-earned money.

    I don't like Brazilian guns, but that's just me.
     
  9. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    NO way is this really true? I have 2 friends that 8 months ago got guns back from Tripp after being hard chromed. What happened? I was going to get my clide chromed.

    and when did this happen? I never had any problems with my SA it is a mid 90's model though. Unless they changed their manufacturing since then.
    thats obvious!
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    All Springfield 1911A1s start out in Brazil. If they are not so marked it is because SA did enough work on them in Illinois to convince the Commerce Department that they have enough "domestic content" to not require an import mark. Those are mostly the high end guns. I figure that if you see a GI or Milspec not marked Brazil, probably they had more orders for plain guns that month than they had finished guns in from Imbel and used parts on hand to assemble some more, "American Made."

    If a SA ever had a standard .45 firing pin, I haven't seen it. Ed Brown makes a Springfield specfic firing pin, an oversize .38. I have lately read reports of them being too big and having to be polished down or a standard .38 used.

    I have had one SA with ejector glued in and another of about the same age pinned... with a roll pin in a crooked hole. I can't say that is better than glue. They both shoot ok.

    If you don't want to pay the big bucks, you are just going to have to get used to the cost cutting measures.
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Here's one, Jim. Firing pin mikes out at .0895 inch. It's a mid-87 production "Model 1911-A1" that comes from an era when Springfield was actually building pistols. There are no castings in the gun. All small parts are machined steel, down to the old-style thumb safety. Even the trigger was milled from one solid block of steel. (I have two of those early Springfield triggers.)

    PS

    There are no Imbel or Brazillian marks anywhere to be found.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    If you're gonna start lookin for an older SA, look for the one's that have the crossed cannons logo to the rear of the ejection port, not in front of it.
     
  13. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    X2. I've got a stainless steel one from 1993. Its also marked F1 BRAZIL on the frame. Serial number N333xxx.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  14. zeke

    zeke Member

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    Have an older SA Mil-spec 1911-A1. It has a serial # NM143xxx. Very nice pistol.

    Have an older (think it was first version) SA Trophy Match. Another very nice pistol.

    Bought one of SA first "Micro" 3 inchers several years ago. Their quality control went down the crapper (apparently).
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Did SA Inc ever actually have the capability to build a gun from scratch?

    Being of suspicious nature, I think what you have is a nicely made Imbel from before they started cutting cost corners with one firing pin for all calibers and cast or MIM parts and before the Commerce Department made them start showing point of origin.


    Flawless?
    I don't think so, that is a .087" sight change which will look pretty odd. Sounds like something is out of line in the construction of the gun.

    What says Tuner?
     
  16. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    Thanks all the feed back, except Yo
    Mama...
    "Let me get this. You're pissed off cause your friends are going to give you crap about a nice gun that shot well being made outside of the US? Wow, it's all I can say, wow.

    If it bothers you so much, you should have looked at it when you bought it man."

    No, you didn't 'get this'.
    Long before I got this SA GI and right after Kimber first came out any gun not a new Kimber was considered not 'state of the art'.
    I shut mouths on the range (but not behind my back) driving my point home and my custom Colt and Springers are still my favorite, fastest, and best handling guns.
    My Kimber II's accurate & dependable but if I ever had to sell / trade a gun it would be the one leaving my safe.
    And I did look at the markings before
    I bought it, 'man', it along with Mil Specs all had the Brazilian stamp on them.
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Don't know.

    Dunno that, either. I do know that if thre's an IMBEL mark on it, you'd need a stronger magnifying glass than I've used to see it.
     
  18. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    My 1993 Stainless Milspec does not say Imbel anywhere on it. It does have F1 BRAZIL stamped on the frame forward of the serial number.

    In general are the older S.A. 1911A1's better made than the current crop? Mine has been a reliable, accurate shooter and I had a Bomar adjustable sight added to it. It came with a Commander style hammer, which I never really liked as I prefer the looks of a traditional spur hammer, but it works fine.
     
  19. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    Jim Watson - when I said it was 'flawless' I meant it functioned
    w/out a clog and so far likes my mags. The sites may be ok for stopping a banzai attack but are
    really nothing but a novelty item.
    Funny when you actually go to live fire is when you can see the front site is crooked. The stock bushing is so loose it rattles but with a SS Match it might quit walking off the paper. My other SA's out of the box would pound a single hole through a steel plate.
     
  20. Alias56

    Alias56 Member

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    One of my best SA was a park.
    1911A1 I picked up in a pawn shop in 93'. I sold it which I still regret but it had the Crossed Cannons on the front of the slide and had
    Marcus Registrar on the frame.
     
  21. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    What are you so upset about? Every Springer frame and slide is made in Brazil. Assembly or final assembly is done in Geneso, IL. This has been the case for decades. Imbel makes perfectly fine 1911's and have for a long time. They are completely in spec.

    Who cares? The ejector is a captive part and can't come out. I have a hand-built one that I lost the little pin for and I've never even replaced it. The ejector can't come loose with the slide in place.


    So you obviously don't know the company's history or have ever spec'd out a Imbel gun.

    Springer GI and MilSpecs are some of the most common guns out there to do custom builds to. You won't ever find a 'smith who won't work on one, but there are lots of others they won't touch.

    From Cliff as posted on www.m1911.org:
    This comes straight from Deb/Vicky at Springfield... if > 50% of the work is done on one of their pistols in Brazil, then somewhere on that pistol it will be marked "Brazil". Should > 50% be done in Geneseo, IL, then it does not require a "Brazil" marking.

    That is where the "MADE IN BRAZIL" rollmarks come from... placed above the serial number. That is one variety of markings that will show up on Springfield's G.I., Mil-Spec and Loaded pistols.

    Another is the "Geneseo IL USA" found just above the serial number. There's essentially two common variants of this... for example, in the Mil-Spec line, if it has a N serial number prefix, you will find "IMBEL BRAZIL" or "FI BRAZIL" laser etched in two places. The locations are the bottom side of the dustcover and underneath the right grip panel on the frame. If you find a NM serial number prefix, those markings are usually always absent and the "GENESEO IL USA" rollmark still appears above the serial number on the frame.

    Understand this part- ALL Springfield Armory 1911A1 pistols start their life in the forge presses of IMBEL in Brazil. There the frames, slides and barrels are forged... regardless of what markings are later applied or where the majority of the work is done.

    SA 1911A1 pistols start as frame, slide and barrel forgings made by IMBEL in Brazil. It's been like that since day one for Springfield Armory... hence, there really isn't any outsourcing that was done to reduce labor costs. Springfield's higher line of 1911A1 pistols are all finished (> 50%) in Geneseo, IL. That's not changed. Doubt it ever will.

    IMBEL is a major arms maker... world class. The Springfield 1911A1 pistols that are marked "MADE IN BRAZIL" are equal in quality to any done in Geneseo. One of the best made and fitted Mil-Spec pistols I've seen lately had the "MADE IN BRAZIL" rollmark. This reflects a very highly skilled and competent workforce... I doubt that IMBEL is using cheap labor (for Brazil).

    Why does Springfield do this? It's simple... they simply cannot produce as many 1911A1 pistols in Geneseo, IL, as the market is demanding.

    Please consider this... Springfield hasn't ever said that their line of 1911A1 pistols was exclusively "made in the U.S.A."... not ever. They've never advertised that or made such a claim. The Springfield and IMBEL relationship has been an upfront fact since SA went into the 1911A1 business.
    I'll venture a guess that the workforce Springfield has at their Illinois facility hasn't ever been reduced... likely it's grown. In essence, Brazilian labor hasn't taken any jobs away in Geneseo... it's added to them by virtue of Springfield's increased sales. Even if the pistol is made in Brazil and completely finished there, it still must pass thru the Geneseo facility.

    Regarding the photos you commented on, those are "stock" photographs that illustrate a "typical" model of that pistol. These photos are re-used on a continuous basis each year.

    While it's reported that all G.I. pistols are likely being finished in Brazil, I believe you'll still see Mil-Spec pistols show up with "Geneseo IL USA" on them. I have one... made in February 2007... a parkerized Mil-Spec with no "IMBEL" or "BRAZIL" on it anywhere (has NM serial number prefix).

    Again, I believe a careful examination of all the facts will reveal that there hasn't been any "outsourcing" of any production that was previously done in the U.S.A., other than having IMBEL supply an increasing quantity of finished G.I. and Mil-Spec pistols to meet demand.

    About the history part... I'm not quite sure that applies. Springfield Armory USA has no connection at all to the original Springfield Armory owned by the U.S. military. The latter is on the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts and was closed in 1968. The former is in Illinois and began in 1974 when the Reese family obtained the rights to the Springfield name. They're very clear about this fact... and have never claimed to be the "original" Springfield Armory. They do have the name... and rightfully claim to preserve the heritage. It's savvy marketing... which in its self is as American as apple pie.

    One last thought... Springfield could produce their 1911A1 pistols entirely in the U.S.A. if desired. This would require that they forge (or contract to a domestic supplier) all frames, slides and barrels. You might feel better about the pistol... but you're sure going to pay more for it... and their production quantity would no doubt decrease too.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    My older Springfield has the crossed Cannons behind the ejection port, has machined parts, and does not have "Imbel" or "made in Brazil" anywhere on the pistol. It has been flawless from round one, will feed empty brass, and is as accurate as I am.

    The original barrel has

    Springfield Armory
    45 Auto

    on it. The barrel in the pic is a Firedragon .400 Corbon barrel.
     
  23. Sharp669

    Sharp669 Member

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    So if I read correctly , the gun works well for you, right? The only issue is that its marked made in Brazil? If the goal was to do a 1911 build to impress others, and the "made in Brazil" was on the gun and you thought it might be an issue, why buy the thing if you saw the stamp? Please don't get upset, but I don't understand.
     
  24. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    If I shot a 1.5 inch group at fifty feet, I wouldn't complain.

    I don't even try to shoot tight groups anymore, I just try to put every round into the 10 ring or the nose of the target I'm shooting at, mostly rapid fire.

    I would say with the stated group size, your "dream platform" on that particular pistol may already be 90% there.
     
  25. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    No kidding, especially on one of the cheapest 1911's out there!
     
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