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Guest regularjoe
First, go here...XD Talk 1911 Forum. (The XD section is also a great source of info for one of the finest semi-auto handguns out there (guess what I own? :thumbsup:)).

Anyhow, if you are happy with the XD and are looking for an great entry-level 1911, have you considered the Springfield M1911 GI?

image004.jpg

Great looking gun (classic military look), excellent performer and reliable as hell. I picked one up and love shooting it. There are a lot of good 1911s out there, but considering Springfield's excellent reputation and quality products, I would highly recommend giving them a look.

Cheers! M2

I can second that owning both the XD series in 9,40,45 as well as the Springfield "GI" version of the 1911 in stainless, excellent weapon for reasonable price. I got my at a gunshow used for $400 and you wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't new if I didn't say so. Shoots great, reliable, and solid.

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M2, I am a member of the xdtalk forums and they are amazing. I have looked at getting a GI but don't really want to start with one, it is a little to basic for my tastes. If I could find a gently used Springer 1911 Loaded I would jump on it as that is basically what I want but I an not to excited about dropping 800+ for a new one on a college kid's funding.

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I paid under $500 for my GI, and it is an excellent platform for upgrades later when you can afford it. I've kept mine stock as I can shoot pretty damn well with the short sights and it is just such a wonderful weapon stock that I really don't feel the need to mod it too much. I would rather buy another Springfield 1911 down the road and keep this one the way it is. I consider it to be one of the essential items every red-blooded American male should own...

Cheers! M2

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Guest Matt Damon
I paid under $500 for my GI, and it is an excellent platform for upgrades later when you can afford it. I've kept mine stock as I can shoot pretty damn well with the short sights and it is just such a wonderful weapon stock that I really don't feel the need to mod it too much. I would rather buy another Springfield 1911 down the road and keep this one the way it is. I consider it to be one of the essential items every red-blooded American male should own...

Cheers! M2

I have had a different experience with my 1911 GI. I am glad that you like yours but my story has been a bit diffrent. I got it in April of 2006, and haven't really liked it at any point. I got it because it was an entry level 1911 and was cheap. The biggest problems that I have had with it is reliability, and overall performance. To start I have had some jams with various ammo; mainly stove pipes. It will also pinch some of the brass as it is ejected (~20%) so reloaders won't like that. The low-profile sites are a constant pain, if you intend to use them to shoot quickly forget it (ie. self-defence/CCW). It is very hard to distinguish between the front and the rear site, they are very small I would say about half the size or less of a traditional 1911. Also the trigger is stiff as hell (sts), you would need a trigger job to lighten it if you want it to shoot as nice as some other off-shelf 1911s. All in all I believe that the gun was made to loose tolerances and it shows. I had a very bad experience with mine on a hunting trip in the fall of '06 out in west Texas. Since then I have sold it to a friend, he knows how I feel about it but I gave it to him for a price.

On the other side of the coin it is a traditional looking 1911 which drew me to it in the first place. I also understand that there are very few 1911s or other handguns that don't need work out-of-the-box, this one needed too much in upgrades and I would of been better off buying a Kimber from the start. BTW, I have nothing to say bad about Kimber's handguns.

But I am partial to the European handguns mainly Heckler & Koch and Glock. But I would not suggest that someone unfamiliar with firearms first buy a Glock (I have my reasons). Finally, remember that Jack Bauer shoots a HK USP!

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It is very hard to distinguish between the front and the rear site, they are very small I would say about half the size or less of a traditional 1911.

The GI is a "traditional" 1911 -- more or less the way John Browning designed it and GIs carried it for 70 years.

The Springfield is a very mixed bag. I own one and like it, but only because I "de-Springfield-ed" it. They have messed with the internal spring ratios to make the pistol "California safe" without adding the Series 80-style firing pin block that others use. They also added that "ILS" mainspring housing so that the gun can be locked.

Springfield decided to make the firing pin thinner and out of titanium to minimize its mass, then put it against a very stiff firing pin spring to make it damn near impossible to move forward if dropped. To overcome that stiff firing pin spring, they had to make the mainspring stronger. Because the mainspring stiffness changed the timing of the slide, they had to change the radius of the bottom of the firing pin block and the power of the recoil return spring. All of that results in a pistol whose insides are all out of standard spec in which the 1911 was designed. It works for the most part...but it is just not correct.

The first thing I did after buying my Springer GI was replace the firing pin with a standard steel pin, replace the FP spring with a stock weight, replace the mainspring (and MSH) with a stock unit, replace the firing pin stop, and replace the recoil spring. I've literally never had a single misfeed or jam with that thing since, probably a couple thousand rounds.

1911s work as designed when they are configured as designed. It's when you start f*cking with them they you get problems.

I also understand that there are very few 1911s or other handguns that don't need work out-of-the-box, this one needed too much in upgrades and I would of been better off buying a Kimber from the start. BTW, I have nothing to say bad about Kimber's handguns.

No 1911 needs "upgrades" to be an accurate and reliable piece -- it simply needs to meet the tolerances under which it should have been made. Again, the 1911 was a dead-reliable pistol made by numerous manufacturers for the military for 50+ years. There would have been mutiny if GIs were whipping out the ol' Colt '45 and it was jamming on them every 3rd round.

This idea that the 1911 needs work to work is very much a post 1980s idea when people decided that 1911s needed to be "tight" to be accurate -- which is also a fallacy to the extent that many think. There are now so many companies making the design, and with their own ideas on how to make it better and/or cut costs, that you almost never know what you're going to get with a particular brand of gun.

If you want a 1911 to work correctly, you simply need to (or have a gunsmith do it if you don't feel you have the skill yourself) grab the Kuhnhausen 1911 shop manual, a micrometer, and a small metal file. Go over that thing from stem-to-stern and make sure the damn thing is built within tolerances. If it's not, then file off a few thousandths or hundredths to put it in the correct tolerance. Then grab a scale and make sure your springs are of the correct weight and specified number of turns. Replace them if they aren't -- but only with the weight specified in the manual -- no "extra power" springs or any of that crapola. Don't forget to look at the magazine, as that is the source of many problems with the 1911. Make sure the follower is the correct shape (with the dimple), and that the mag spring is correct.

The pistol will work great if it meets specs. Part of the problem is that you can never be sure which manufacturers are going to have guns that meet spec. If there were 25 different makers of "Glocks", you would have the same issue. Even buying a good name is no guarantee. Personally, I have nothing for Kimber unless it's one of their Series 1 guns. I have seen just as many poorly built Kimbers as I have anything else. Hell, I've even seen some Colt's that are all messed up in very embarassing ways. Unless it is a Dan Wesson or Les Baer or one of those hand built pistols, it is always going to be a mixed bag in the current market place.

On the other hand, if you buy a stock USGI model, I can almost guarantee you that it's going to run like a Timex with no tweaking.

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Matt

Haven't had one issue with mine, and I have well over a thousand rounds through it. You mentioned reloads, are you shooting them? I only ask because I know a lot of people who have the SA GI and have never had a problem with it; but a lot of FTEs I have heard about have been from folks who use reloads.

As I own an XD, I rarely carry the GI for self-defense; but that doesn't mean I don't trust it. It has proven to be a very reliable and accurate 1911 and an outstanding gun for the price. Now, that doesn't mean that Springfield doesn't produce a turkey every now and then, it happens. However, they have excellent customer service and if you were having problems with it the first thing you should have done is contact them and let them resolve it for you. I have heard nothing but praise for S.A. backing their weapons.

Cheers! M2

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I don't have statistics to back me up, but am I correct in assuming that enough crimes happen at night that the effectiveness of the factory sights at night has to be taken into account?

Do you guys buy aftermarket fiber optic type sights or something? I'm assuming that this is a carry gun, so you can't put a flashlight on the rail, as you might be able to in the case of home defense.

Edit: me no type good

Edited by Port Dog

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Hey Port Dog,

A buddy of mine in the Marines is building me a 1911 right now and he mentioned that if you're serious about using it for home defence, the fiberoptic sights are close to useless. He said having a rail on the slide and just putting a flashlight on it would be much more worth my while. If you're ever in a serious home defence situation, checking on something going bump in the night, you're probably not going to be taking the time to sight in. Pulling the trigger at whatever's illuminated by the flashlight is a much more likely scenario.

my $0.02

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Hey Port Dog,

A buddy of mine in the Marines is building me a 1911 right now and he mentioned that if you're serious about using it for home defence, the fiberoptic sights are close to useless. He said having a rail on the slide and just putting a flashlight on it would be much more worth my while. If you're ever in a serious home defence situation, checking on something going bump in the night, you're probably not going to be taking the time to sight in. Pulling the trigger at whatever's illuminated by the flashlight is a much more likely scenario.

my $0.02

Or, if your pistol doesn't have a rail, you can just use a tactical flashlight, place the flashlight in your left hand, gun in your right, and cross right over left and have a pretty good night setup for self defense. Works especially well for clearing rooms when you come home and your apartment is the only one with the power out in the whole building and you think somebody is waiting for you on the inside. Not that its happened before!

I hear tritium night sights work quite well in the dark. When I buy my Sig or XD .40 cal with my tax return or rebate, they'll have these sights on them.

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Or, if your pistol doesn't have a rail, you can just use a tactical flashlight, place the flashlight in your left hand, gun in your right, and cross right over left and have a pretty good night setup for self defense. Works especially well for clearing rooms when you come home and your apartment is the only one with the power out in the whole building and you think somebody is waiting for you on the inside. Not that its happened before!

I hear tritium night sights work quite well in the dark. When I buy my Sig or XD .40 cal with my tax return or rebate, they'll have these sights on them.

On the advice of the of both M2 and the local gun store owner, I'm going with an XD .45 ACP, so I will have a rail for lighting in the case of home defense. Let me know how the tritium sights work.

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Port Dog, congrats on the XD45. I love mine. I lack the night sights on mine but the gun will shoot where you point it so at a close distance in a fight sights wont be an issue. Of course it is only there to fight my way to my 870 Tactical with a Streamlight M3 mounted under the mag tube extension.

If you have questions take a look at www.xdtalk.com; lots of answers there and here from those of us who have XDs.

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I have an internal guide rod laser sight from LaserMax, doesn't add anything to the outside of the gun and is near perfectly aligned with the projectory of the bullet according to laser bore sight I have (slightly below POA, as expected. They are permanently aligned from the factory for center-of-mass accuracy at 20 yards).

LaserMaxXD45Service.jpg

In anything but bright sunshine, it allows for faster target acquisition as in most stress situations a majority of people become binocular-dominant, that is, your brain wants to receive as much visual input as possible and as such, you may not be able to close one eye to aim, losing the ability to have near sight vision. In other words, you may not be able to focus the sights. With a laser sight, you can concentrate on your target, and the blinking red dot makes that a helluva lot easier and faster. Plus, as many law enforcement agencies will attest, the obvious fact that they have been targeted, indicated by the blinking red dot on their chest, subdues many criminals.

They are also very useful in training at the range; but they ain't cheap--the LaserMax cost almost as much as the price of the gun. But much like a parachute it is something you don't really appreciate until you need it.

Cheers! M2

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I've seen that internal laser, but haven't added it yet due to the price (yikes!). For now, I keep a LED flashlight handy.

They're cheaper on eBay, I got one of the first ones made and there was no negotiating the price. Still, I think it is well worth the money; but yes, it wasn't cheap!

Cheers! M2

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I know there have to be some gun nuts on this forum. My only firearm that I own right now is a Glock 21 and I'm mostly familiar with handgun pricing not rifles. I was sent an offer today that the local gun club is selling a few Mosin M44's for $100. That seemed really cheap to me. Anybody have one of these? I don't really need a rifle but $100 hits my "impulse buy" threshold. I see its a 7.62x54 cartridge and those seem a little more expensive than the 7.63x39 rounds. It's only real use would be taking to the range and having fun with, I don't hunt and I don't think my neighbors in the townhome next to me would find it a good home defense caliber. Are there other/better rifles I could get for around $100 or is this a pretty good deal?

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Guest MizzNav

If it's in goood condition, i'd pick it up. 100 bucks for a rifle thats fun to play with, and if you can get some cheap surplus ammo it would be cheap to shoot as well. I have shot a few of those, and they are good guns to take to the range and shoot a few times.

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If you have Big-5 store around your location, those rifles cost around 80$. Surplus ammo costs around 100$ for 1000. Just be careful, once you start you can't stop. (I have M91/30, M44 and Mauser)

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M44s, Mausers, etc. are fun guns to shoot at the range. $100 is a good price as long as it's not a POS and about to fall apart. Check the action, crown, barrel, etc. for obvious damage/excessive wear and then buy it! Especially combo'd with surplus ammo as Sim said, you can't lose.

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I have an ex-sniper M91/30, and it is a high quality firearm. I put a modern manufacture PU 3.5x siderail scope on it, and it is super accurate. The whole thing cost me around $250 to do. Make sure you buy from a reputable seller, as there are some shifty ones out there. Some of these rifles were imported from countries that don't have the same standards of weapons care that we do.

I would not recommend buying a "normal" 91/30. Stick to an ex-sniper, but check the barrel to see if it's been shot out. The Russians hand-picked rifles off the line and tested them for accuracy before they were turned into snipers. Quite a few of them were modified but never used before the end of the war, mine being one of them. They were then de-modified back to line rifle configuration and put into long-term storage. There are websites out there that can help you find the proper markings on the receiver for an ex-sniper.

I have a scoped K98k also, and it shoots really well, too. It uses a siderail mount with an Oigee 4x scope.

The ammo is a little more pricey than the standard hunting calibers, but these rifles are practically indestructable. Both were made in 1940, and probably have at least 50 more years of shooting life in them if cared for.

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It's for sale at a Rifle & Pistol Club on an Army base. I emailed the contact I was given there to see about getting some more info on the rifles and I'm going to try to find the time to get down there this weekend and take a look at them if I can.

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The Russians hand-picked rifles off the line and tested them for accuracy before they were turned into snipers. Quite a few of them were modified but never used before the end of the war, mine being one of them. They were then de-modified back to line rifle configuration and put into long-term storage. There are websites out there that can help you find the proper markings on the receiver for an ex-sniper.

If you have markings of sniper factory, then it was made with special care....not a normal way. Cherish that rifle...in CA they cost around 500$.

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Thanks for all the info guys. I was mistaken about the location of the gun club selling it. For those familiar with GA I thought it was at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta but its actually at Ft. Benning. So I would have to add about 5 hours and 250 miles of driving to get the rifle, which is about another $30 in gas. Plus I would have to join the club (which I was planning on doing if it was at McPherson so I didn't include that in the cost of the rifle) and I'm not joining a club that requires that long of a commute to go shooting. So maybe I'll pick one up later but I won't be getting one of these ones.

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Guest Jimmy

It depends on the country of origin too. Some of them tend to be used. Polish-made ones among others were never used and were put into storage right after manufacture, and those are in pristine condition most of the time, but they're getting kind of hard to find. I have one and it's wicked accurate. The recoil is absolutely insane since it's such a tiny rifle firing a full-sized cartridge comparable to a 30-06. The fireballs coming out of the muzzle are something to behold, even in broad daylight. It's definitely a fun rifle, and it will turn heads at the range.

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