I got a Mil Spec 1911 because I wanted a “combat 1911”. Something that had a tough finish, had less “race gun” features, would carry easily ( smoothed and rounded edges and controls ), but wasn’t a G.I. configuration. I wanted a series 70 type 1911. Springfield discontinued their line of G.I. 1911’s and replaced it with the Mil Spec. They are the perfect all around 1911 for me. It has a parkerized finish, and a ton of premium features that don’t come with a G.I. model. This pistol looks and feels like something a Secret Service Agent or FBI Agent would carry. A business gun. I want to look at the features first because there are a lot that people really don’t realize and take credit from this pistol for.
Springfield Mil Spec – Nothing G.I. about it. It’s very close to a series 70 Colt. This is Springfield’s new “bottom of the line” model. But even then, it’s durable, reliable ( 100% ), accurate ( .75″ at 15 yards – better than some match weapons ), and has a ton of premium features. Don’t get your mind wrapped around this being a G.I. WW2 replica. It’s a modern combat 1911. Made for hard use, carry, duty, or whatever you want to throw at it minus making it a race gun.
3 dot high viz sights. Beautiful slide to frame fit. After 200 rounds ( with 100% efficiency ) it does loosen up but this is what you want with a combat 1911. You want it loose for reliability. A tight weapon will be more likely to fail when lots of heat and dirt are thrown into the mix.
Stainless barrel and lowered and flared ejection port.
.45 ACP. One complaint – The recoil spring that came with the weapon was semi-weak. I threw in a wilson combat 16 pound spring and it is perfect now. *Note, the darkness on the tip of the barrel is gone as you will see in the last two pictures. It has something on it but a very light scotch pad and some Blue Magic metal polish cleaned it right up.*
Loaded Chamber Indicator
Comes with plastic or wood ( cocobolo ) grips. The beaver tail isn’t standard G.I. It’s actually extended out a little further than the standard A1 grip safeties to get rid of hammer bite – and it does. Arched mainspring housing helps with my big hands, and the short style trigger is a beautifully crisp 5.5 pounds.
Polished feed ramp and barrel throat. I painted ( with testors gloss white enamel paint ) the front sight. The sights are nicely done with white paint, but the color of the paint is almost cream in some low light. I wanted it to pop.
Standard controls. Very low profile with rounded ( carry beveled ) edges. Makes this a much more carry-able weapon. Also has slanted slide serrations and beveled magazine well. The thumb safety some might call “hard” but it’s nice and crisp. Heavy is appropriate for a combat 1911. The grip safety doesn’t have a memory hump but I haven’t noticed an issue with that.
Same hole accuracy! I had Pachmayr wrap around grips on for the shooting tests. The wood grips are beautiful but don’t provide much purchase. They’re better for carry. And the plastic grips while very aggressive don’t give the look I’m after.
I didn’t need to change much with this weapon but I had some things that I needed to upgrade.
Change #1 – I removed the standard grip screws and put in EGW torque screws, and an EGW magazine latch. The standard flathead screws strip out much faster than these torque screws. Not to mention they’re made of a better steel so they are much more corrosion resistant.
Change #2 – Wilson Combat mags. The feed beautifully and give a higher round count. I keep 8 rounders in it, but keep a 10 rounder on standby. My current setup with the weapon.
Change #3 – On the left is the stock spring, on the right is the Wilson combat spring. The wilson has tighter and more sturdy coils, it’s longer, and stronger. If you want to eliminate feeding issues get a good tough spring.
Overall this weapon is my kind of 1911. Simple and reliable. I love the in-between that this weapon is. It’s not a G.I., but it’s not a race gun. It’s Mil Spec. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
UPDATE: Thought you guys might enjoy some pictures of the Mil Spec in what I call “Combat Mode”. The wood grips that I keep on it most of the time are for a classic series 70 “FBI” look. But they don’t have much purchase. If I want a tactical “combat/fighting” 1911 I go with my Pachmayr wrap around grips. They’re rubber panels with deep sharp checkering and a front strap wrap around that not only gives VERY good purchase on the front strap of the grip, but also increases the diameter of the grip overall. And for my big hands that’s a plus.
Mods to the weapon – Pachmayr combat wrap around grips, EGW torque grip screws, EGW Magazine release latch, Wilson Combat 8 and 10 round magazines, Wilson Combat 16 pound high performance recoil spring, and re-painted the front sight with Testors Enamel gloss white paint.
The Springfield Armory Mil Spec is an extremely reliable, durable, and accurate weapon and platform. At the time of these pictures being uploaded I’ve put about 450 rounds through this weapon in COMBAT courses. Very few slow firing drills. It’s been carried, and used hard and has performed 100%. A weapon I can hang my life on.