Springfield Range Officer in 9mm: Finicky but good.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Sharpie443, Jul 28, 2017.

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  1. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    Picked up this pistol a few months back. It seemed like a good way to break into more expensive target pistols. I might have to spend a bit in modifications but it would still not brake the bank.

    So far I've been very impressed with it. It's certainly accurate. I'm getting better groups with it than my Beretta 92 or even my Hi-powers.

    It is a bit selective about ammo. I've found this is always true with 1911s. The more tightly machined they are the more finicky they are about ammo. You get a trade off or accuracy. A loose 1911 will shoot anything but might not be a tack driver.

    This problem is compounded with the lighter 9mm. The heavier .45 ACP will more easily hit the minimum force to get the pistol to function with most ammo. However the 9mm will require a better selection of ammo to function reliably. Hopefully a few hundred more rounds will break it in a bit.

    Over all I'm pretty impressed with the gun. If you are looking for a good target gun I highly recommend it.

     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  2. lincen

    lincen Member

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    I bought a slightly used Springfield RO compact in 9mm for a very good price last year. Had a problem with the extractor and replaced it and did some adjustments to it, first time by the way, and it has been flawless every since.

    I'm sure you'll get it running smoothly !
     
  3. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I have one also and got it new and unfired. It has not and will not see factory ammo in it. My loads are light to maybe 85% and all function just fine. Check out joes1911magmania on eBay for mags. I got a 5 pack of 9 rounders for 79 shipped and they are identical to what it came with.
    No problems with the gun or mags so far, other than a few stovepipes, but I think I have it figured out, yours should be the same. It does have a tight chamber so you need to insure your rounds will chamber if you reload, otherwise you won't have a very good range day. You may look into sending it back to have it gone over and send in a detailed description of what it is doing, how it is malfunctioning, and that it is repeatable. They should fix it up for you. After they get it running smoothly I'd add a mag well and change the front sight.

    Good luck and keep us up on how it is evolving.
     
  4. lpsharp88

    lpsharp88 Member

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    Mine is awesome. Only issue was with my weak reloads. They have just enough force to have the slide on my Glocks cycle, but not reliably with the RO. I'm talking 115gr ammo that barely hits 1000 FPS. So I had to change it up a bit. Other than that, it's perfect. Sent it back to have an ambi safety installed and got some Tripp mags for it. Going to be an IDPA gun for me.
     
  5. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    My newest carry gun is a 9mm RO compact. The only issue I have is that tries to strip the second round when it feeds the first. Never had a double feed, but if you drop a partial mag the half fed round just sort of plops loose out of the well.

    Reliability has been flawless. I usually shoot 147 gr Remington at the range. Accuracy is astounding out the 4" barrel. I'm thinking about picking up a full size down the road to really crank out the accuracy.
     
  6. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Fiv3r, just bought a RO Champion (light weight frame) in 9mm and it does the same thing if I drop the mag.
    Great gun, accurate and pleasant to shoot. I'm hoping it gets less finicky with some break in. Factory ammo runs just fine but my target reloads aren't 100% yet.
    I bought mine before the end of June so I could take advantage of thier gear up promo. I'm supposed to have 4 free mags coming.
     
  7. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    In my book, "finicky" and "good" do not belong in the same sentence.

    You can certainly have finicky and accurate, but a "good" gun must be able to digest a wide variety of ammo.

    The problem with the 1911 is that to increase accuracy, factories simply tighten up everything, messing with the timing and other things because they simply can't spend the time and skills it would take to make a GOOD, reliable, accurate, tight 1911.

    Springfield found out at their own expenses that you can't mass-produce such a racehorse, when they tried to do that for the FBI.

    So, if you want a "good" tight 1911 right out of the box, more often than not you have to climb up on the ladder, and go for one of the smaller and more expensive makers.
     
  8. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    I don't know if I would expect a target pistol to preform with a wide variety of ammo. I spend quite a lot of time working up loads for my rifles and pistols. I don't expect my target guns to work with anything cheap. I wouldn't want to run cheap ammo threw them anyway. Especially with rifles since most of them I want fire formed brass that fits the chamber perfectly.

    Now there are workhorse guns that I would expect to eat anything my H&K G3, VZ58, AK-47, and Glock should be able to eat anything but that's what they are designed for. However I'm not expecting the extream accuracy out of them that I would from a trarget gun.

    Even the very expensive custom guns have to walk the line of tight tolerance vs accuracy. Good example is a tight chamber improves accuracy however it requires very consistently sized and clean ammo. My M1916 berthir has a chamber so loose that the cases look deformed after they are fired. It was designed that way to improve reliability in the trenches. Not no great when it comes to accuracy. My Swiss k31 is the exact opposite. Tight tolerance but no so forgiving on ammo or dirt.
     
  9. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    This is a concept brought up on a lot of forums, but the reality is that a lot of guns are designed to function with a specific cartridge load - and the military is the foremost in that. It's a system, the gun and cartridge are designed to be compatible under harsh use to function reliably, and substituting a half dozen other loads that aren't suited for combat use is just asking for trouble. Note carefully that is exactly what the military provides - a very small number of carefully tuned loads which must work in both 20" and 14.4" M-series guns. There isn't a half dozen of whatever the soldier might like, it's take it or leave it.

    When the design is tuned to work, reliably, with a particular powder load and bullet, then saying it should also work with a variety of other powder loads and different bullet weights doesn't necessarily follow. Engineering concepts of some guns simply don't accommodate it, any more than saying a vehicle should make the same power whether fueled by kerosene, diesel, or 110 octane racing fuel.

    If you are running light loads at 85% of the required power level - which is what could be expected from some of the least expensive ammo that just happens to have the same number on the box - then what you get is all the reports we read on forums about FTF, FTE, etc etc from it. Guns do not operate with large envelopes of performance - it takes a minimum of force to retract the slide and chamber a round reliably. So much so it's part and parcel of the self defense carry gun market to prove your gun can and does perform reliably with that load consistently, and has for hundreds of rounds before it can be trusted.

    Even then things go wrong.

    For the most part, no, a gun should not be able to just shoot whatever you shove in the chamber. That might have been the convenience of the revolver days, but it doesn't wash with self loading arms. That was proven back when the 9mm was fielded in Europe - ammo wasn't consistently loaded to a standard power and it created issues with reliability in the field. They found that the only way automatics could be trusted was to load the round to minimum power level and just live with it - exactly the same as the 1911. It was either full power and round nose or you had a large paper weight you could throw at the enemy.

    Same with the M16, feed it NATO pressure rounds or deal with it jamming - which exists to this day as the number one complaint by new owners. It won't break in shooting cheap junk meant for bolt actions and function without issues. Its not like an auto shotgun with compensating valves and variable porting. It's got one fixed size port, the gas length mandated for that barrel, and requires a minimum set power load to cycle the action.

    All self loading guns require it, and it's a fallacy to insist otherwise.
     
  10. John G C 1

    John G C 1 Member

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    How is the trigger on the RO? The one I tried in my local store seemed heavy. Just asking cause everyone seems to like the RO and I have thought about getting one.
     
  11. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    In my experiences, RO triggers are all over the place. I've looked at a few new ones with seemingly "good" triggers, and a few with gritty/heavy triggers. I wasn't impressed with the lack of consistency with them, but I know a lot of people who shoot RO models and like them a lot.
     
  12. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    Accuracy comes more from the barrel bushing fit than slide/frame tolerances in my opinion.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The Range Officer is not a "high end" gun as you say in the video. In fact it is the least expensive SA with adjustable sights.
    It is mass produced with pretty wide tolerances and you got a "tight" gun, "finicky" on ammo, but "accurate." There are numerous reports of loose guns, flexible guns, wild shooting guns. It is just the luck of the draw.
    If you want to shoot cheap ammo, Perhaps the SA warranty clerk could take care of it, if not, the Custom Shop or an independent gunsmith could.
     
  14. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Mine isn't the best trigger I've ever pulled on a 1911. Oddly enough, my Citadel felt better than the SA Loaded I used to have. The RO pulls fine, but it seems a bit gritty upon return. Gritty enough that I have short stroked it a few times. Still, I shoot it better than any polymer gun.
     
  15. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    The trigger on mine is middle of the road or a little better. Not gritty, a little heavy but breaks clean with no creep.
     
  16. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    I'd have to agree on the trigger. It's not bad but nothing extraordinary. I'm having mine worked on by a gunsmith that specializes in 1911s. Trigger job on a 1911 is a little more than I want to do at home.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    If he ran in a sharp spec chamber reamer, it would probably get to be less "finicky" too.
     
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  18. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    Your right it would but I'm not to concerned so long at it runs with my reloads. I don't plan on running the cheap stuff threw it anyway.
     
  19. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    I bought one when they first came out. {6 months out or so} I bought the 45 version early on also. Definitely accurate. No grit in the trigger, but it does have some creep in it. I did shoot a box of Federal 115 gr through it. The rest has been all hand loads. I have recently run some Rainier 124gr HP plated through it. Never has skipped a beat yet.
     
  20. John G C 1

    John G C 1 Member

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    Thanks for trigger comments. Sounds like it would be good to buy from a place where a person could pull a few triggers and choose one he liked. Of course, I guess that is pretty much always true. Thanks again, j
     
  21. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I don't mess with finicky guns. I don't want a gun built to fire only one particular load. The most important aspect of any gun is that it go "bang" every time I pull the trigger. Everything else is a secondary consideration.
     
  22. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    I picked up a used 5" 9mm RO some years back and the trigger on mine is awesome. I've pulled a fair number of 1911 triggers and I probably got lucky but mine is very nice.
     
  23. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I can confirm that my RO Compact feeds and fires American 124gr fmj very well. Probably the most accurate off the shelf plinking load so far.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on reliable self defense ammunition that the RO will feed? I know every gun is different, but I hate to spend a ton on different flavors of SD ammo if I can help it. Thanks!
     
  24. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    Fiv3r, I don't know if this will hold true in the 9mm 1911s, but from what I've read and tried in my Colt in .45 ACP, the Remington Golden Saber feeds very reliably. The .45 version seems to mimic the profile of hardball fairly closely. I may have some 9mm Golden Sabers on hand to compare to the standard 115/124gr FMJ ammo for nose profiles.

    Sharpie, I did post on your thread on TFL yesterday (I'm P-990 over there). It occurred to me today to suggest finding some Speer Lawman to try for break-in ammo for your Springfield. Just by seat of the pants, the 115gr variety feels like it's loaded fairly warm; my Walther PPQ twists and snaps quite noticeably with this ammo. If you can find the Winchester 124gr 9mm NATO load, that should run a 5" 1911 slide briskly as well. Both are clean, consistent ammo, with the bonus for the Speer cases being ready to reload after the first firing.
     
  25. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll grab a box from Academy today:)
     
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