Springfield MilSpec Problem Child: 2012 Edition

This is a nice new Stainless Springfield MilSpec 1911-A1. According to internet prattle, these guns are in limited production and are becoming scarce. The owner recently handled my Nickel Rock Island and decided he wanted a shiny 1911… they can do that to you. He eventually traded into this one, which was tagged well over 700 bucks.

The external finish is superb for an un-polished stainless gun. All markings and serrations are perfectly executed and it has Springfield’s very decent 3-dot fixed sights. The trigger wasn’t bad for a new 1911 and the thumb safety operated positively, if a little hard. It looked to be a well turned-out 1911.

There was only one problem- it refused to feed, even with ball. I tore the gun down and immediately noticed jacket chips on Springfield’s new, innovative and top-secret two stage barrel ramp. You can see it at the top of the barrel ramp/bottom of chamber. What the photo don’t tell you is how sharp it was. You could file your fingernails on either edge.

Top of chamber at the hood was also rough, as was the frame ramp. Test firing with Winchester USA 230 FMJ resulted in ‘Boom-Choke-Boom-Choke-Choke’. This fixed it.

A  100 round Test Run proved the fix and the gun ran flawlessly whether ball, wadcutter or JHP were loaded in the mag.

Somebody should have caught this. For crying out loud, they are getting over 700 bucks for these things.


4 Responses to Springfield MilSpec Problem Child: 2012 Edition

  1. Gabbar Singh says:

    Hmm, that’s pretty bad. Definitely no QC done on that barrel, and it sounds like maybe the thumb safety needs some attention as well, if you don’t want to F up the sear. My late 2011 Mil-Spec was flawless out of the box. I’ve been considering picking up a “Loaded Target”, but you might have scared me off in favor of a Kimber.

    • Sarge says:

      Mr. Singh,

      The better Springfields have one-piece match barrels of excellent quality. At one time, these better-grade barrels appeared to be Storm Lake- an excellent barrel. I do not know which models of Springfield have the better barrels these days. I would recommend you simply contact Springfield and ask them directly.

      It is also worth mentioning that even entry-level Colts have excellent barrels.

      I do not recommend Kimber because of their Swartz Safety and proliferation of MIM parts, which in the worst case, act in concert to render your pistol inoperable. The early Kimbers did not have this and I would go out of my way to buy one.

      Whatever you buy, I hope it works out wonderfully for you. Please let us know.

  2. Mity2 says:

    At least original owner could have sent this back in to Springfield on their dime, and they’d fixed it.
    But I agree. This should have never left springfield the way it was

  3. Sarge says:


    I have another article up on an earlier, parkerized Mil Spec I purchased new in early 2005. That one had a bad barrel too. Springfield was good enough to ship me their best-grade barrel in exchange; the one they used in their Trophy Match & TRP pistols, at the time. It worked out OK and I was lucky. Springfield will often insist on having a gun returned when a simple parts swap would suffice.

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