Springfield’s New XDS

January 18, 2012

Springfield Armory announced a new pistol in the XD lineup.This small pistol is a very compact XD in .45 acp. It holds 5+1 rounds in it’s single column magazine.The pistol is also thin with the width right at one inch.Right now it’s only available in .45 acp with other calibers coming down the road.The empty weight is only 29 ounces.

Springfield just added a web page to the XDs over the weekend! Springfield XDs

More updates to come from SHOT!


Springfield 1911-A1

   I was in my new favorite gun shop the other day and ran across a Springfield 1911that caught my eye. What I noticed was it had some features that were not stock for the period this 1911 comes from. As it turns out the person who traded this one in sent it off to Novaks for some custom work then pretty much stuck it in a gun safe and left it there. It’s had about 100 rounds fired through it since it was purchased in April of 2000. The information came from the previous owner who lives close by. He had Novak put some of the standard Novak sights which are the best sights you can have on about any pistol. They also did a complete reliability package and trigger job which measures 3 1/2 pounds. I bit light for carry for some folks but it’s just about right for my preference. It sure is smooth and crisp and just feels great! The trigger as well as most of the internals were changed and fitted with precision from they way they look. Novak also added a beavertail grip safety and a match trigger as well as an extended thumb safety. A full length two piece guide rod was also installed. Basically they did the works on this pistol to make it an ideal carry piece. The trigger feels as good as some $2000 full custom 1911′s i’ve shot.
  The markings on this one have 1911-A1 on the left side with Springfield Armory on the other with the company logo in the opposite location from where they place them now. I contacted Springfield who as always was very helpful and by the serial number dated it’s manufactor date to January of 2000. The way it came from the factory it had GI sights and hammer and just pretty much a plain jane 1911. This early model also is pure series 70 without the series 80 safety system which is another reason the trigger job turned out so well. This is one premium 1911 and yes it came home with me:-) These days if you wanted to have this much work done on a 1911 it would cost you darn near $1000 just for the custom work so for $600 it’s really a bargain especially since it’s almost new from a use standpoint.

   As many of you know I used to buy all my guns from Cott firearms and had a link up for them. Well as things often happen the owner decided it was time for a change and moved very far away closing the shop. The new shop is in Cairo,Missouri and is owned by a very nice couple named Ron and his wife Konda. Their shop is called K&R firearms and I couldn’t recomend them more. They also order guns for customers and will do transfers to you FFL. I’ll create a page with more details later. The best part is they have very reasonable prices unlike many shops these days. They can be contacted at 660-295-4446. Besides they can’t be bad folks they both carry 1911′s at the shop when they are working!
   I’ll be posting some targets from the range shortly but right now a few mags is about all I can handle with 12 degree temps. My range session started at 7 yards to establish a point of aim point of impact to ensure the sights were adjusted correctly. The sights were right on the money so with that done I backed up to the ten yard line well at least as close as I could since the yardage markers are under 8 inches of snow:-) My first mag resulted in a group of 2 inches with subsequent mags reducing the group size to 1 1/4 inches. Not an easy task for me when wearing gloves. I backed up to 15 yards and fired two mags which gave me groups of right at 2 inches again with the gloves on. I’m sure when it gets warmer and I can shoot without gloves I can reduce the group sizes especially the way this 1911 is tuned.

   I’ll be posting additional information and range results hopefully next week. As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to comment and I’ll respond right away.

Update:
As promised here is an update from my range session yesterday. It was a bit more comfortable outside and the results showed it. Novak did in fact do some accurizing on this pistol. I set the target and backed up to the 10 yard line. My very first round obliterated the red dot bullseye of this 5 inch Birchwood Casey target. It couldn’t have been more dead center if I had measured it. The second round went perfectly into the first with the third round doing the very same! I’m impressed! I backed up to the 15 yard line and you can see the results below.

10 Yard Target

After these very pleasing results I moved back to the 25 yard line and fired two mags of Winchester 230 grn. flat nose target loads. Here are the results below.

25 Yard Target

This the most accurate 1911 I own now or ever really. It just goes to show what a person who knows what they are doing and does what is really fairly minor fitting can achieve with a 1911 platform:-)

  

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Springfield Armory XDm

January 25, 2010


The XDm with case and included accessories

   I recently traded for this Springfield XDm in 9mm. This is a real value considering the quality of the pistol as well as the nice case with the included accessories of a holster, mag pouch, loading tool, extra magazine and extra backstraps. One interesting thing about this setup is that many of the items have a Picatinny rail built in so that accessories can be attached to other accessories. For instance the loader can be attached to the mag pouch to reduce the space taken up on your belt. You just push a button and the loader releases for use. The side of the main case has a rail also so that any other accessory can be carried on the outside of the case.

   The pistol itself is a definate upgrade to the standard XD. It’s not only about the “M” or Match build but the change in the grip ergonomics as well as the ability to change backstraps to fit your hand. The M also has a 4.5 inch barrel which I look at as a perfect size for this pistol. The 4 inch just seemed to give the pistol a look I wasn’t that fond of. The changes made as well as the two tone finish make for a handsome pistol. The longer sight radius is also a plus. The frame cuts allow for good indexing as well for your trigger finger whether shooting left or right handed. Of course it also has what has become standard on most pistols and that’s the light/laser rail. The mag release is also ambidextrious. The one problem I saw with the magazine release is that when you have a full 19 rounds in the mag it’s almost impossible to release the mag. It’s just to tight to push the button and release the mag. You have to load 18 rounds for the mag release to work properly. I don’t really look at this as a big problem but it should be noted. I doubt this is an isolated case rather a problem with all of these. I can certainly live with 18 plus one rounds:-) The loader is also a handy item since getting to about round 15 it gets pretty hard to add rounds to the mag. As mentioned the barrel and fitting of the barrel to the slide is match grade. The barrel is marked match and can be seen in the photo above. Believe me it shoots match quality groups! Another issue to mention is with the grip recontoured it’s much easier to conceal even though the size accomodates the large magazine. I’ve not had a chance to measure this grip width againest a standard XD but I believe it’s a bit narrower. The slide has also been recountoured so that the base of the slide is the wider portion with the top of the slide narrower.

  
   On to shooting:-) I set a target up and shot from 10, 15 and 25 yards. I used a combination of Remington flat point as well as Winchester white box and PMC “Brass” 9mm. The grip feel is better than the older standard XD. I changed the grip backstrap and found the medium strap to be the best for me. The trigger pul is also refined from the standard XD. Trigger pull is 5.4 pounds with a travel length of what I would compare with a 1911 and is crisp compared to the mushy trigger of many polymer pistols. Groups at 10 yards using a 5 inch Birchwood Casey target made one hole of 1 1/4 inch with all brands of ammo firing one magazine of 18 rounds. Moving back to 15 yards the groups opened up a bit with the Remington ammo achieving the best group at 2 1/8th inches standing unsupported. At 25 yards the Remington ammo again gave the best results with groups of just a hair under 3 inches kneeling resting with my elbow on my leg and taking my time. This pistol certainly shoots better than most and better than any other polymer pistol. I’m sure the match setup contributes to the level of accuracy I experienced. Is it a tuned match 1911 well no but this is a combat pistol not a true match pistol. In this role it excels.
  The pistol is a good natural pointer and comes on target fast. The sights are good with enough light on both sides of the front sight to help accuracy and speed. To be honest I’ve never been a big fan of polymer pistols especially Glocks. Ok don’t beat me up that’s just my take on them not a universal condemnation. This polymer I like very much because it feels and shoots more like a standard all steel pistol. Another feature I like is the ambi mag release. I prefer to release the mag with my index finger of my shooting hand because I don’t have to adjust my grip as much or at all. When all is said and done this is a good buy and a worthy contender for a daily carry pistol as well as local competition.
  Any comments or questions? Feel free and I’ll get back to you pretty fast usually. Be safe and enjoy our sport!

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Springfield Armory Compact 45 ACP

   As to often happens I run into a pistol I hadn’t really planned on buying. I was shopping for a pistol but not another 1911. Well if you read this blog much you know how much I love 1911′s! This Springfield is a bit rare. They were made in the early 90′s for a few years. This one was made in September 1993 according to Springfield. Why they discontinued such a handy pistol is beyond me. It has a Commander slide and an Officers size frame. With the new magazines out these days you don’t suffer any lose of ammo capacity since they now make seven rounders. This one came with only one magazine which from the follower indicates it’s a Metalform (rounded metal follower). I purchased a used like new Mc Cormick which was all the gunshop had and ordered a Kim-Pro mag with baseplate buffers of two sizes. One nice addition this pistol came with was a set of Trijicon night sights. Something I like about the Trijicons is the front sight has a larger white ring around the Tritium vial. This is helpful in low light to make sure you don’t line the dots up wrong.


Trijicon Novak Type Night Sights

   When I bought it it had the thick rubber grips which some shooters like but I just don’t care for. Nothing wrong with them at all but we all have our preferences and I found these grips to be a bit to “tacky” and hang on clothing when you draw. I ordered a set of McCormick Cocobolo thin grips which are sent with the shorter grip bushings and short grip screws. A nice touch that saves you some money by not having to buy the bushings and grip screws as extras. Mc Cormick makes high quality parts as well as grips and other accessories. The thumb safety was a type I hadn’t seen before. Narrow but very short surface area which makes it hard to use. I also ordered an STI extended thumb safety which I did have to do a small amount of fitting to operate smoothly. The pistol also had an early GI type short trigger. I prefer a longer trigger because of my hand size. I already had a longer trigger in my parts bin which required no fitting. Now I have this fine carry pistol just how I wanted it.


With the rubber grips and original safety—Kim Pro Tac Mag with buffer pad

   The frame is marked as being made by Imbel as are almost all Springfield Armory 1911′s. While some look on this decision with disdain I don’t. Imbel has made very high quality weapons and parts for gun makers all over the world and continue to do so. In fact they make one of the best Fn-Fal’s made. The finish is a taougher one to figure out. It’s not a blued finish nor is it parkerized. It appears to be an early hi tech finish. Very pleasing to look at and after all these years has held up very well since this pistol had no wear whatsoever. It hasn’t been used much anyway but as years go by any gun picks up little dings here and there.

On to the range:
  
   It was very cold so my range trip was fairly short. In fact I haven’t posted a lot lately because our weather in Missouri this winter has been pretty harsh:-)
   I set my targets and placed a Brirchwood Casey 5 inch stick on target in the center mass of the target. The results can be seen below. I fired one magazine of 8 rounds slow fire at 10 yards. All but one round made one hole about an 1 1/2 across. As you can see I did throw one round:-) It happens no excuses and my fault completly. Obviously the pistol is very accurate.


Five Inch Target At Ten Yards

   This second round was to the head of the target which has a 3 inch circle which can be seen in the outline. I fired two full magazines with the results shown in the picture. I did pickup the pace and fired a round about every second. The results turned out very good with all rounds within the 3 inch circle.


Three Inch Circle  Target

   That was the extent of the shooting for that day. It was about 14 deg and enough is enough! I shot to get an idea of how this pistol will perform and it did very well!
    This Springield Compact will make a very nice carry pistol. With the Officer frame the edge of the grip doesn’t show nearly as much under clothing as the full size frame and coupled with the Commander slide your sight radius is perfect for the distances a 1911 or any defensive pistol is used. This is the first one of these Springfields in this configuration I have seen since the early 1990′s and because production was fairly limited if you find one of these give it a second look. It will fill your defensive needs very well.

  

  

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This is a variation of the 55BN holster modified to fit the Springfield Operator 1911 with a rail system. The holster will also work on most railed 1911′s. The size of the holster isn’t much different than the original 55BN. If you look at the back of the holster you’ll notice it has two loops for a belt to go through. This is the same setup the old Bianchi Askins Avenger holster used. This holster holds your 1911 closer to your body than any other holster ever made. It’s very comfortable to wear for long periods of time and fits the gun like a glove which is typical of all Milt Sparks holsters. The mouth of the holster is reinforced so that reholstering is straight forward and very easy to perform. The holster is available in an FBI cant (butt slightly forward). The materials and construction of this holster is top notch all the way around. You may purchase this holster from Milt Sparks directly or you may find one in stock at http://www.lightningarms.com/products.htm. Craig and Audrey own this company and are fine people to deal with. I’ve been able to get two of my Milt Sparks holsters from them which were in stock and received within 5 days.

This is an update from last months post on my new M1A. I decided that as much as I love wood stocks I wanted to try a synthetic stock. I bought a USGI synthetic in OD green. For this project I wanted to see how the stock would turn out using regular automotive type paints. I checked my local hardware store that just happened to have spray cans of all the colors I needed to make a woodland camo pattern. These paints were made for painting hunting trucks, ATV’s etc. The stock itself was like new and cost $75.00. When I finished buying sandpaper,paint and a spray can of matte clear sealant I’d spent about $25.00. Now that’s an economical project!
I started out by lightly sanding a few minor spots that needed smoothing. I put a base coat on in a light tan. After drying I used each individual color allowing each coat to dry before going on with the next color. I had no particular pattern in mind when I started and just kinda eyeballed the places I thought the paint pattern would look the best. After finishing with the application of the paints and allowing time for drying I sprayed two coats of the clear matte polyurethane coating to seal it and provide some protection from wear and scratches.
I think it turned out pretty well at minimal cost. Try it, you’ll enjoy yourself and have a stock you can use for hunting or just taking out and shooting without worrying about scratching and denting that nice wood stock:-)

Springfield Armory Operator

January 28, 2007

Operator

This is one Springfield I’ve wanted for some time. I picked it up and immediately went to my small range. Wow, talk about an accurate 1911. I’m sure the 43 ounces helps with fast follow up shots but it’s been put together well. Very good fit of the slide to frame as well as a smooth and crisp trigger pull of about 4.5 pounds. The Novak night sights give an excellent sight picture as always. The ambi-safety is crisp and sure. One thing I appreciate about Springfields guns is that depression of the grip safety is never a problem to depress. With some brands you have to really get a firm grip to make sure you depress the safety. With the Springfield and a high hold with my thumb resting on top of the safety I release it without problem. Nothing is as frustrating as trying to pull the trigger and you discover the grip safety is still engaged.
You might think that at 43 ounces it would be a real bear to carry concealed but with a Milt Sparks “55BN” holster it really isn’t. I carried it for several days and found it to be very easy to carry. The Sparks holster is a special order item to accomodate the rail.
At the range I paced off 15 yards and fired 50 rounds. You want to shoot more but at under 20deg you tend to change your mind pretty fast. I set a 5 inch target up and from a standing position put all 50 rounds into one hole about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches. Not to shabby for an unfamiliar gun when your getting used to the change in trigger and weight. I normally like to shoot at least 200 rounds before I write anything about a new gun but with the weather in northwest Missouri–well you understand. Even with just 50 rounds I had no malfunctions of any type even though after getting home I found the gun devoid of any lube to speak of. All the brass fell within about 2 feet of each other. This a picky point with me. An extractor that isn’t very well adjusted will toss brass all over but not this gun. That means somebody at Springfield was paying attention to their job. That’s nothing unusual for this brand of gun.
This is the first gun I’ve purchased an Insight Technologies light/laser combo for. Outside of driving our cats nuts with the laser it does serve a purpose:-) If you want to keep this gun handy for home defense you won’t find a better accessory. With the included hex wrench all you have to do is adjust the laser at 10 to 15 yards to rest at the top of the sight picture. This is easily done with the Novak night sights doing there job. So, in pitch black with the sights glowing and a laser you’re pretty well assured of hitting what your aiming at. Add to that a 125 lumen white light and it’s just one handy piece of equipment. The laser/light combo weighs only 3.5 ounces so it doesn’t add any heft to speak of.
This is a fine gun that I’m adding some of Mil-Tacs fine grips to. That’s really all I need to do to have a really great gun for competition, defense or just enjoying time on the range.

MilTacMil


Springfield Armory 45 in the two tone OD green with black slide. It also comes standard with Novak night sights, a match trigger with a 4 1/4 pound pull. You would think accuracy would suffer with a shorter barrel but not in this case. With the bull barrel it locks up very tight and accuracy is on a par with the full size government model. This is the lightweight frame model. You also might think that recoil would be a problem especially on fast followup shots but it’s far from it. With the dual spring recoil guide rod the recoil is reduced considerably. This is one 1911 you can carry all day and be comfortable. A great carry gun!

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