My wife made the unilateral decision that we "needed" a very nice full sized .45 on the 1911 platform. She came home from a days shopping trip with a blue box that held a used, blued steel Springfield "Trophy Match". Understand that each of us have a "carry Kimber". Mine and older Compact Stainless, hers, and" Utra Raptor II Custom shop" (She just loves saying the whole thing as written). She had learned the joys of the 1911 based .45 from me and had probably gotten tired of hearing about my first Colt series 70 purchased in my youth. It may seem strange to some but we owned no full sized 1911s until the day she bought the Springfield. They just didn't fit into our needs really. We have other .45 acps and our Kimbers for carry and other full szed service pistols in other calibers. I had just rid myself of a full sized frame I was going to build up "someday" but a purpose never really arose. My wife, on the other hand, was really curious about exactly how accurate a full sized could be and wanted something with a similar "OS" to her Kimber to practice with. Well, the Springfield followed her home and I told her that we could keep it, ain't I a nice guy? So, this sent me down memory lane. Explaining to her the differences between my earlier gun and this one, and what I did and had done to my first 1911, got me to thinking. It became a challenge to me to try and remember all of the details and, more important, the money I finally had wrapped up in the pistol I bought, when in high school all the way back in 1976/77. (I can't remember if I bought it just before or after New Years Day). At any rate, I decided to dredge my brain and pull up some memories so I could help folks put today's offerings in some kind of perspective by comparing what we went through 35 years ago. I will work my way from the "butt" up. The stock Colt Series 70 was $195 No extended "chutes" were available. One 'smith was messing with "Flaring the frame" but most of us settled for a bevel job either DIY or done by a 'smith for $15 The joys of the flat mainspring housing had been rediscovered. Mil surps were available if you looked hard for about $8 There were no factory Beavertail grip safeties. You had yours re-shaped and built up and it wasn't cheap $65 Of course you had to have a Commander hammer to go with the new grip safety $19 Only Armand Swenson had a pre-made extended thumb safety, your 'smith would weld one up but the Swenson was a bargain at $45 The factory grips of that era stunk on ice. No checkering and just ugly. Herrets" Shooting Stars" $18 Front and rear sights were "rudimentary" by our standards and replacements were "limited" to be generous. you could go with a National Match but is was cheaper to go with a higher profile fixed set. It took a 'smith to attach the front since they were all staked back then, no dovetails except on the rear. $80 You had to have the ejection port lowered of course $15 You simply had to get rid of the "collet barrel bushing". They did break and really tie up the gun, just often enough to make you concerned. A NM bushing $19 Why bother unless you were going to upgrade the barrel at about $60 There were a couple of aftermarket triggers at the time, plus GI surplus in different lengths, or factory NM. The cool kids went with the NM or a top aftermarket $30 All of the safety work and the trigger engendered a "trigger job" and the "smith would throw the parts in, fit them and "do" the trigger, for $45 Throating and feed ramp $20 Now you had a gun that looked like Dr. Frankenstein's scrap pile, but I won't even go into re finishing. $439 or so are the damages on top of the $195. It would be years before "Guide rods" or checkering the frontstrap would be options. So a young man working a part-time job, (no "self serve" stations in my State) as a "Petroleum distribution facilitator" (pump jockey) was making minimum wage. $2.60/hr. If he worked hard he might have it all together in one summer. Of course he then ran into a stark fact. Back in 1977 nobody was shooting anything like IPSC within hundreds of miles. To add injury to expense, no one was going to let a bunch of high school kids start their own IPSC chapter. My first 1911 stayed with me until I was 24 and there was still no IPSC in the area, I was married, had other things to do and got a chance to swap off and end up with a "National Matched" M-1. M-1s of any kind were hard to find during those years(I still have THAT gun) I look at this Springfield, and I am convinced that THESE may well be "The good old days" Wanna kill these ads? We can help!