Springfield 1911s

This is a discussion on Springfield 1911s within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hey everyone, looking to get my first handgun soon. One of my choices was a Springfield 1911, but I'm having trouble figuring out the differences ...

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Thread: Springfield 1911s

  1. #1
    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    Springfield 1911s

    Hey everyone, looking to get my first handgun soon. One of my choices was a Springfield 1911, but I'm having trouble figuring out the differences between all the different models.

    I think I would go with the GI or Mil-Spec as they seem like good, basic, cheap models that run in the $500 range (correct?). But what am I missing out on if I go with the Mil-Spec and not spend the extra $200-$400 on another model ?

    Also, if for some reason down the road I would want to change out the sites on the GI or Mil-Spec to night sights or adjustable sights, would I be able to ?

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    You would indeed be better off to get a Loaded if your even thinking about then upgrading the gun later. Because the price to have it properly done will outweigh the cost upfront to get it. The $200 spent will quickly turn into $400 if you don't.

    Thats my 2 cents.

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    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    what features does the Loaded have that the Mil-Spec doesn't ? In like basic terms, cause I checked the Springfield website and I don't know half the stuff they are talking about

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Beaver tail for one, Skeletonized adjustable trigger, Lightweight hammer. the Combat sights are both in milled dove tails, front and rear.... and depending on what models they can be adjustible target already if you want that. But easy to change to more options if not as they are dovetailed into the slide. Sometimes Ambidextrous safety if you want that. It varies from model to model of Loaded but thats a sort of overview.

    The issue being is you have to take a non dove tailed slide and mill it to take replaceable sights then you not only pay for the milling but then a refinishing of the slide. So a simple set of sights can set you back a good deal with milling and refinishing thrown in.

    The Mil Spec at least has milled rear sight slide and the lowered tapered ejection port that the Loaded has already. And at least one milled sight receiver so it is closer to being a loaded than the GI is.

    But you can see there is a list of things above that Mil Spec that would have to be considered if you ever were to want them. And if so it still would amount to more than the savings if you did them.

    The advice I got from many when I asked this question was to not buy lower expecting to then upgrade later as it will cost you more. However there is nothing wrong with doing that. It just is not as cost effective unless you want to have some specific set up that you cannot find already in an existing model and don't care about that overall cost. So I am just passing that along. It is probably good advice.

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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    The loaded comes with either target or combat sights. Combat sights are also called "low mount" sights. They are pretty snag resistant as opposed to the std mil sights which stick up like billboards and have sharp corners.

    The loaded comes with an ambidextrous safety instead of a single-side safety (the safety can be operated from either side of the weapon instead of only on the left side). You also get better grips than the stock plastic ones.

    The loaded has also been internally deburred and checked. It has a stainless barrel or match barrel (depending on which model) and a better fitted barrel bushing. All in all, it's a better weapon because better care was taken during its mfg and assembly and it has better parts. It is not a "basic" or "cheap" handgun and has a better appearance and future resale value.

    Changing sights is usually very easy. Most mfg's use industry standards when cutting the slide for sights. However, the mil-spec doesn't have the extra slide cuts needed to mount either target or combat sights in the rear. This means that if you want to change the rear sight in the future you'll need to have the slide machined for them. This could be more than the difference in price between the mil-spec and the loaded when you also add in the cost of the new sights and any other gunsmith charges on top of the machining costs (like for rebluing/parkerizing the slide after machining.)

    Unless you are a retro military buff, buy the loaded. You'll be happier with what you get.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    The loaded comes with an ambidextrous safety instead of a single-side safety (the safety can be operated from either side of the weapon instead of only on the left side).
    Not all of them do. My Black and Stainless combat didn't and doesn't. However it was one thing I did not want so it was good. One of the few exception I think though for the Loaded series is this combat model. All and all a good assessment though and a few things I had even forgot!

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    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    Ahh, you guys explained it very well, thanks

    I will be going with the Loaded as it seems it's a better and nicer model, and I like the combat sights too.

    Should by choices be between a Mil-Spec or Loaded ? Or are there different models besides those two I should be looking at too ?

  9. #8
    JD
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    Well, it all depends on what size gun you want, there's the regular loaded which has the 5" bbl, there's the Loaded Champ which has a 4" bbl, the Ultra Compact which has a 3.5" bbl and a smaller frame, and the Mico-Compact which has a 3" bbl and small frame...all of different frame materials.

    The MIL-Spec is nice, but it's still pretty basic, I'd suggest to stick with the loaded family.

    Now of you want a railed 1911, you need to go to the "Operator" line of Springfields which include a 5" steel framed gun, a 5" alloy framed gun, or a 4" alloy framed gun.

    I prefer a 5" all steel 1911, but many like the 4" alloy frame gun for lighter carry, a faster draw and easier concealment. Some like the smaller guns, but I find the recoil to be unpleasant after a long day of shooting and I like to shoot my carry guns a lot.

    I hope I didn't confuse you more.

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    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    haha no you're good, I get it

    Tomorrow is the gun show, so I'll be sure to try to handle as many 1911s as I can and get a feel for the weight and all.

    How much of a price difference we talking with the Loaded and Operator ?

    I've always wanted a gun with a light on it

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