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Springfield Mil Spec and GI 1911, quandry

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by defjon, Aug 7, 2012.

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  1. defjon

    defjon Member

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    I have to choose one and having a hard time doing so.

    Both in stainless.

    The Milspec is a 3 hour roundtrip drive. Meet in person, come home with it. Comes with three different grips, and the plastic holsters and mag carriers, few others extras. It has an idiot mark :( and frame stamped made in Brazil...I know this does not affect anything but aesthetics. But it *kinda* matters to me. Its 600 face to face, plus the 30ish in gas.

    The GI stainless I prefer the looks, from the serrations to the non lowered and flared port. Frame stamped Geneseo, IL which also kind of matters to me. It only comes with one mag, one grip. This is 585 plus 35 with transfer fees.

    I know it makes no sense, but I think I like/want the GI more...despite the fact that the milspec is almost sure to be a better shooter- lowered flared ejection port, way better sights....also saves me money as it comes with 4 magazines, and the wood grips I would have to buy for the GI. Also, just a slight bonus on the Milspec, but it is nice not having to do the paperwork and wait the 3 days to 'cool down'.

    Really having a tough time deciding between em...milspec makes so much more sense....but I like the GI more...

    These are going to be for the range, but also they will need to be 100%....they will be used for home defense. I've heard Springfield stands behind their product if either one has an issue.
     
  2. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    I understand how you feel, because I went through almost the same thing myself. I also like the looks of classic 1911's with vertical slide serrations in the rear only. My first 1911 was a Springfield G.I., but I ended up selling it after purchasing a Colt 1991. Feature wise the guns are pretty similar, except the Colt has the lowered ejection port and much more user friendly sights. My Colt was also built much better than my G.I., was more accurate, had a better trigger pull, and hasn't failed yet to boot. The Colt did cost more, but it was money well spent IMO.
     
  3. skipsan

    skipsan Member

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    If the G.I. Is really a G.I., it will be stamped "Made in Brazil" or something similar somewhere on the pistol. All G.I.s (that I've heard of) have a "WW" prefix serial number and were made-complete in Brazil. The Mil-Spec model, on the other hand, can be either made-complete in Brazil, or finished and aasembles in Illinois.
     
  4. silversport

    silversport Member

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    in 2005 a buddy and I both bought stainless Mil-Specs from the same place on the same day at the same time (over the internet...even shipped together)...mine had the NM serial and his had the N serial number...

    The front sights were a different design
    the blasted areas of stainless were darker on the N serial'd pistol
    the interior showed smoother finishing on the NM serial'd pistol
    both are just as reliable today as any 1911 pattern pistol

    the upgrades on the Mil-Spec over the G.I. are well worth the difference in price if those are things you want...

    I wouldn't worry about the serial number so much as they are all "made in Brasil" but the NMs are finished here...unknown on the stainless G.I.

    The "idiot mark" can probably be mitigated with Flitz or a 3M scratch pad and some time...

    Here's mine with some upgrades...:D

    [​IMG]

    Good luck with your choice...

    Bill
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    If you're buying this as an occasional plinker and object of affection, the GI might appeal to you more.

    If you're buying it to shoot a lot (maybe compete with?) the Mil-Spec is much further along the path to what you want. And a decent base to start with as you make it a much better gun.
     
  6. defjon

    defjon Member

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    btw, the GI has the WW prefix to the SN, but "made in geneseo" vs imbel-brazil....
     
  7. defjon

    defjon Member

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    what about prices....are those fair?
     
  8. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    The big drawback to the GI is the sights. I also prefer the lowered ejection port, and the beveled magwell, but if you prefer the high port the magwell is a simple fix if you want to do that yourself.

    The sights on the GI are absolutely horrible. The Milspecs are useable. If you get the GI and don't like the sights, be prepared to spring for a new set and milling dovetail cuts into the slide.
     
  9. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Member

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    I picked up the GI (parkerized) last year on a whim and put maybe 3 mags thru it, cleaned it and put it away. Came with some goodies like a mag holder and holster and a coupon for 2 additional mags and an Otis cleaning kit and I believe I paid $575 OTD. I'm not crazy about the low profile sights but that's cause I'm used to a 3 dot that's on my Norinco 1911A1. I dunno, thinking I might part with this SA and put the $$ towards something else......If'n I were you I'd probably go the Mil Spec route as Sam suggested.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  10. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Prices are fine for both. I'd take the WW "GI" myself. They made fewer of those in Stainless than the MilSpec before they shut down that line. So it should be a bit more rare in that regard.

    Should Springfield ever decide to start that line up again (or maybe its Imbel calling the shots.. dunno) it may again become one of the mundane base line el cheapos, but until then and as long as they aren't being made, whatcha waiting for? Go grab one or the other, pronto.

    You can always have SA change out the sights should you need/want bigger better sights down the road.
     
  11. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    personally I'm witt eh group saying it depends on the intended end use of the gun. If it's just for having a GI is a fine gun, if you plan on actually shooting it on a regular basis the better sights and lowered port of the mil-spec make it a better choice. I a few years back i bought a GI both to shoot and to have a GI-style pistol, at the time my vision still tested as 20/20 and those sights were maddening for me, and the un-lowered port resulted in the most mangled case mouths i've ever had come out a gun I've owned. The ejection and case ding issue could have been adressed, and in time I might have done so, but the sight issue lead me to decide to simply trade the GI toward a gun i'd actually use, and buy another GI as a "just to have it" later on.

    I know from having seen and handled them in local shops, that about 5 years ago there were a few guns labeled as GIs that were marked as US made with NM-prefixes. all the examples so marked that I saw, were outwardly of GI config except for having the Mil-Spec style lowered and flared port.

    It was my understanding that were "parts bin specials" assembled in Geneseo. Why they chose to build a batch of GIs, and hike the price by $50 I can't tell ya.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  12. Legion489

    Legion489 member

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    Well I am a big believer in buying what you want. All Springfield Armory frames/slides are made in Brazil by Taurus and shipped to SA to be finished/assembled, so both frames should have a MADE IN BRAZIL and SA address on them. Since SA is right down the road from me (three hour round trip) I can drive over if I have to and SA has always been good to me. Either gun will be a joy for you and SA has excellent service if you ever need them.

    By the way, I bought a stainless Taurus 1911 w/rail and it is excellent. Love the stainless, hate the rail, but I had been wanting to try a rail to see if I would like it or not. Don't, and now I know, and why.
     
  13. silversport

    silversport Member

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    Imbel, NOT Taurus...and I have no bias against Taurus as my PT1911AL is a fine 1911 pattern pistol too...My NM serial'd Mil-Spec doesn't have written on it anywhere about it's Brazillian Imbel heritage (although I know it started life there and was only finished in Geneseo...)

    Bill
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Heh heh...noooooot quite. :)

    Imbel makes some very nice stuff. Every FAL guy in the world knows that name.
     
  15. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    And it's worth noting that Imbel has been making 1911's for a looong time.
     
  16. Propforce

    Propforce Member

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    I have a parkerized SA mil spec with a N serial number that I bought NIB in 1993, on the frame it's stamped both "FI Brazil" as well as "Geneseo IL USA".
     
  17. silversport

    silversport Member

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    yup...the NM marked pistols will not have the Made in Brasil anywhere on them...

    Bill
     
  18. defjon

    defjon Member

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    So, still haven't made the plunge yet...waiting for the right deal to come along...

    Ran across a Colt series 80 stainless, in good shape. Guy is asking 700...which kind of puts it in the Springfield range...would you guys suggest going for the Colt?
     
  19. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    That sounds like a pretty good price for a Colt if it's in good condition and hasn't been molested by any kitchen table gunsmiths. If you can talk him down to 650 even better.
     
  20. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  21. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Member

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    If the Colt hasn't been tampered with I'd probably go that route depending, of course, on condition.
     
  22. silversport

    silversport Member

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    If the Colt is in the configuration you want or close to it...get the Colt but I wouldn't discount the Springfield if you find one like you want...

    Bill
     
  23. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    I have an older Colt 1991A1 Stainless Government (the bead blasted stainless from a few years ago, not the current shiny stainless), a Springfield Mil-Spec, and a recently acquired Colt Commander Series 80 Stainless.

    I love the recent Colt Series 80 Commander. The Springfield follows a very close second. The older Colt 1991A1 Government just does not hold a candle to either of the other two - the only reason I don't sell it is that I can't seem to part with any 1911 right now.

    In stainless, I'd probably go for the Colt, just so long as it is a recent model, and checks out as being in excellent condition. Otherwise, I'd go for the Springfield Mil-Spec.

    I look at the Springfield GI once upon a time, and decided that the mil-spec model had features I'd just end up adding to the GI down the line, but at greater cost.
     
  24. ArcherandShooter

    ArcherandShooter Member

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    My stainless Springfield GI version (WW prefix) is my only regular shooter apart from my Sig's. I truly love shooting it - it is my only .45 and likely always will be.
     
  25. Drail

    Drail Member

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    There is NOTHING wrong with a "made in Brazil" gun. They all started life at IMBEL and IMBEL has some of the highest manufacturing standards in the world. I have both kinds of Springfields (N and NM) and there is no difference in them as far as quality. If having the import stamp on there really bothers you then buy a 1911 with the stupid pony on it. I have 3 Springfields bought in the 80s that I have customized and shot competition with for many years and I wouldn't trade them for anything else. (OK, maybe a Les Baer) If you plan on doing a lot of customization then buy a Mil-spec. If not then the G.I. is all you really need.
     
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