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In praise of the lowly Mil-Spec

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Jim S., Jan 2, 2011.

  1. I like a basic bare bones 1911.
    I am a traditionalist who shy's away from the more modern versions of the 1911's with their added features and frills that I really have no use for.
    I do have a couple of customized Colts back from the old days but my favorites right now are my two Springfield Armory Mil-Specs.
    I do a few things to them to fit my liking such as getting rid of the ILS main spring housing and replacing some key parts with the Bullet Proof parts and using good quality springs throughout.
    I always "fluff andf buff" the metal to metal contact surfaces and I clean up the triggers a bit to be a crisp 4.5 to 5 lb break with very little overtravel.
    I shot these two guns yesterday and put 300 rounds through each.
    Here is the praise part.
    I have quite a few rounds through these guns but they have been all good quality FMJ rounds.
    Yesterday I took along a bunch of hollow points to see how these basic bare bones guns did with what would normally be a problem for a lot of 1911's.
    I started out with Winchester PDX-1's and they fed and shot and ejected without a problem.
    I thought they would because of the nose profile being fairly close to a FMJ.
    I then went to some older Corbons starting with the 200g "Flying Ashtrays" which I'm sure plenty of you older guys will remember.
    These were the ones to use back then and most 1911's needed some work to feed these rounds reliably.
    They fed and shot and extracted without a problem.
    I went through several boxes and several different bullet weights from 160g to 185g and the 200g. They all did great in both guns without a failure.
    I ended this test with the Corbon 185g +P DPX which has the biggest hollow point and the most extreme nose profile of the rounds I have in stock.
    I was quite please to have both guns feed, shoot and eject these guys without a problem.
    So, I will stop rambling now but I want to say that these cheap 1911's that I consider a good beater type of gun that can be treated rough, because that's how I am about my carry guns, handled it well and I now consider them reliable enough to carry with whatever ammunition I feel like putting through them.
    Nothing fancy about these parkerized Mil-Specs, and with just my version of prep work being done to them, they are good dependable guns.
    Nothing wrong with the fancy expensive 1911's to be sure.
    Just not the only route to go if you want a 1911 and don't want to spend a lot of money on them.
    Anyone considering a 1911 should look at these guns before thinking you need to buy an expensive version to have a good 1911.
    Wow, I don't normally ramble that much. Thanks for listening.
  2. This is mine from Teddy Jacobson and Stephen Camp's first Project Street Gun class in 2005...a buddy of mine had this for awhile and felt it had shot better than his very nice but stock early TRP he carries for duty...


    ...the SA Mil-Spec is quite serviceable out of the box, the idea of Project Street Gun was to take a serviceable 1911A1 and make it run like a custom with reliability as a high priority but slick like a higher dollar custom pistol...sort of following the "everything you need and nothing you don't..." philosophy...mine has been flawless...

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011

  3. TKR Reptiles

    TKR Reptiles Thread Killer

    Oct 19, 2010
    Norman, OK
    Mil-Spec's are great guns if from a reputable company... They go bang every time, and hit what you point them at... The only thing I don't like is the no beaver tail... I know it is the traditional style, but I just love how the beaver tail looks, and feels...
  4. drc767

    drc767 Navy CSAR

    Dec 30, 2007
    Teddy sure does love his jeweling, huh? I have a very early serial number Sig GSR that I sent him years ago that has the same jeweling throughout the whole pistol.
  5. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX
    I like the Mil-Specs too.

    I'm having Springfield's custom shop build me a Mil-Spec from the ground up.

    I know it doesn't make any sense, but that's what I ordered...
  6. Actually it makes perfect sense to me.
    Because I like the traditional 1911, I too make a Mil-Spec into a slightly better gun than what comes out of the box.
    I usually change out the mim parts or anything that is not what I call good quality.
    You can go pretty far with that type of thinking but I do like to keep them looking stock.
    Better parts doesn't change the gun into something else but it does make it "better".
    I've learned plenty of helpful tricks that can easily be done to a 1911 by anyone with a tad bit of mechanical skills.
    I fell that I am just helping them out a bit.
  7. RMTactical

    RMTactical CLM

    Oct 7, 2000
    Behind an AR-15
    I have a milspec that I really like. My only regret is not getting it in stainless.
  8. Flashbang1063


    Nov 30, 2010
    I can't seem to part with my "beater" 1911

  9. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon

    you need to start building your own 1911s (it's fun!)
  10. SHOOTR13

    SHOOTR13 G30SF Owner

    Jan 7, 2009
    My favorite milspec 1911a1 is an Auto Ordnance PKZSE. Sweet shooter with FMJs...never fed her any HPs, as she is just a range gun.

  11. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    Good write up Jim. :)
  12. There is nothing lowly about the Springfield Mil-Spec, IMO. It is an excellent 1911 that has every thing you need and nothing you don't. Mine has been ultra-reliable to the tune of over 6000 rounds.
  13. I too have a mil-spec with a few customizations though, like a 3 hole trigger with a smoother and lighter trigger pull, wilson safety and things like that. Awesome gun, never a failure of any kind. Type of gun that you don't mind beating up but will always do exactly what it's supposed to.
  14. Captain Bligh

    Captain Bligh

    Sep 9, 2001
    It sounds as if most posters here were more lucky than I. My Mil-Spec has significant reliability problems. It is back in Illinois now getting worked on by the Custom Shop to see if they can get it to run right. While it's there I am having some custom work done...long trigger, flat mainspring housing, and defense package. I hope it comes back a gun that I can like.
  15. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    For the most part I like a basic, stock 1911a1 too. Only things I really change is the main spring housing(I like a flat one) and either bob off the hammer a bit or install something that won't bite the web of my hand when I shoot. A better set of sights are always a plus too but other then that I like the stock slide release(don't use it to drop the slide anyway so why change it) and stock thumb safety.
  16. just sent my gi champ to sacs for my idea of the perfect 1911. i've never spent this much on a pistol so i started with the cheapest. but now i want a full size stock. maybe a trigger job. thats it. i have no problem carrying speer ball ammo.
  17. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas
    +1 :wavey:

    I'm the same way.

    I have a SA GI .45 that's perfect in every way.
    I wouldn't trade or sell it for anything.
  18. I change the slide release because of the stress that this piece goes through when firing. I want a good tool steel part over a Mim part when it is this important and takes this kind of abuse.
    The bullet proof is not much different than the stock part only made of billet tool steel.
  19. FM12

    FM12 I need AMMO!

    Jun 17, 2007
    I have the G I model, shoots anything you feed it, especially my favorite handload, a 185 grain JHP from zero with a healthy dose of Unique. Never falters. Love it!!
  20. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    That would make sense. :supergrin: