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

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by AirPower, Apr 30, 2005.

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  1. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2005
  2. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    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.
     
  3. horge

    horge Member

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    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
     
  4. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    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.
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Another very happy Springfield owner checking in! :) I've got a WW-II
    G.I. model that functions flawlessly. :D
     
  6. valor1

    valor1 Member

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    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
     
  7. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  8. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    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.
     
  9. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

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    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.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Imbel

    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...
     
  11. michiganfan

    michiganfan Member

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    My GI is a winner and with new checkered wood grips its pretty too.
     
  12. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    " 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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2005
  13. mattw

    mattw Member

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    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.
     
  14. 444

    444 Member

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    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.
     
  15. glocker1911

    glocker1911 Member

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    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!
     
  16. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Dont forget Caspian. Then again, I think Ruger does their castings...

    I have a Mil Spec Springer that can run with my Colt anyday.
     
  17. 444

    444 Member

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    "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.
     
  18. larry starling

    larry starling Member

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    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:
     
  19. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    You could just buy a Glock :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  20. 444

    444 Member

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    :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.
     
  21. bluto

    bluto Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  22. glocker1911

    glocker1911 Member

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    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.
     
  23. popeye
    • Contributing Member

    popeye Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  24. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    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,,,,,,
     
  25. sfhogman

    sfhogman Member

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    my 5 year old Springfield Loaded is absolutely the last gun I would ever sell.
    Jeff
     
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