Springfield 1911 Pistol Review

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on May 29, 2008 at 12:01 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Gun and Accessory Reviews > Springfield 1911 Pistol Review

The Springfield 1911 is a semiautomatic pistol that has achieved near legendary status in the eyes of many people. This is due in no small part to its design and reliability. Although I prefer modern polymer framed pistols such as the Springfield XD, I also appreciate the Springfield 1911. My review of the 1911 is below.

Springfield 1911 Pistol

The Springfield 1911 is a short recoil operated semiautomatic (autoloading) pistol. The full name of this pistol is the Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1. The 1911 was developed during the first decade of the 1900’s by Colt, and officially adopted by the United States military as an official side arm in the year 1911, hence the name. It was originally chambered for .45 ACP only, however it is now available in a variety of other calibers as well (though .45 ACP remains the most popular by a wide margin). The Springfield 1911 combines a metal frame, a proven effective caliber, and a dependable design with safety features such as an innovative grip safety. [To clarify, the 1911 was designed by Colt, and is produced by many companies, both now and in the past.  I happen to prefer the Springfield models, and so I refer to them most often.]

Build Quality & Features
The Springfield 1911 is a finely constructed pistol. It is available in a variety of models, whose prices can range from just over $500, to well over $2,000. Regardless of the model selected, the buyer will have a high quality pistol whose parts fit together well and look great. It is no wonder that this design has endured for nearly 100 years, and been copied by many manufacturers.
The 1911 also features an innovative safety, located on the back of the pistol grip. When the gun is held normally, the grip safety is automatically disengaged, and the gun can be fired. When the gun is not being gripped by the shooter, they safety is automatically engaged, and the 1911 cannot be fired. This unobtrusive safety can go a long way to prevent unintentional discharges of the gun.

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The 1911 is a durable handgun, with a strong metal frame. It will fire round after round after round for years to come. A well cared for Springfield 1911 that was produced in the year 1911 can still be used today, and most people wouldn’t even notice age of the gun. I have yet to experience a failure to feed or failure to fire, nor do I know of anyone who has experienced one that was the fault of a 1911, rather than bad ammunition.

Effectiveness of the .45ACP
The .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (.45ACP) cartridge, which was developed right around the time the Springfield 1911 was introduced, has been proven effective for self defense. Although I personally prefer .40 S&W, I have plenty of respect for the .45ACP. Since the 1911 has a relatively heavy metal frame, the recoil from firing a .45 ACP round from the 1911 feels softer than firing a (much smaller) 9MM round from a lightweight polymer framed handgun, such as a Glock or subcompact Springfield XD. Indeed, a co-worker of mine was able to handle a 1911 within a few minutes of firing a gun for the first time.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, I’m a more fan of polymer framed pistols, such as the Springfield XD. However, having fired many rounds from a few Springfield 1911 models, I would highly recommend this pistol for those who prefer metal framed pistols with exposed hammers, instead of plastic pistols with internal strikers. The 1911 is a proven design, with great functionality, ergonomics, safety, and reliability.

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The Springfield 1911 can be purchased online here.

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  • http://none Don Dutton

    Regarding your review of the Springfield pistol, you give the impression that the 1911 was born with the name Springfield. That is factually not the case. The 1911 began life as the Colt's Patent Model 1911 pistol, manufactured for the USG by Colt as the Government Model, and also in a commercial version. I don't ask or expect you to take my word for the aforementioned information. I would suggest you research "history Colt's Patent Model 1911" on the internet to obtain verification and additional information from

    the various sources found there. I only bring this up because I am impressed by your dedication to the cause of self-defense and would not like to see you unintentionally diminish your overall credibility by citing incorrect information as fact.

    Keep up the good work!


    Don Dutton

  • https://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com


    Thanks for the comment.

    I'm aware of those aspects of the 1911's history, and didn't mean to give the impression that it started life as a Springfield product. I guess I just happen to prefer the Springfield 1911's, and think of them the most (Although I would really like a Singer 1911, circa WWII, if I had the $ to buy one!)

    In any event, I've modified the article to make that clearer.

  • http://none Don Dutton


    BTW, we here in TN are presently celebrating an overwhelming override of our Gov. Bredesen’s veto of a bipartisan bill to allow those w/a Handgun Carry Permit(the equivalent of other states’ CWP) to carry in restaurants serving alcohol, providing the permittee does not drink while in the establishment. The legislation stipulates that owners/operators of establishments desiring to ban the possession of firearms in their (private) establishments may still do so by the appropriate posting @ all entrances, with uncontrolled, public-access parking lots requiring separate postings at their entrances if that is the intent of the proprietor. Bredesen chose to emphasize his objection to the bill by a direct veto rather than just allowing it to become law without his signature, as TN law allows. Of course, he could have signed it into law. Nevertheless, we prevailed.

  • Jim T.

    Some of your statements are very misleading. The "Springfield Armory" that you refer to and claim to prefer wasn't founded until 1974 and bears no relationship to the government owned armory of the same name. So there is no way that they were producing a pistol in 1911 although the government owned armory was producing guns for WWI in 1913.



    • tyler

      have you people who keep questioning his knowledge even read his whole review it clearly says that it was originally a colt model and that there are many companies that produce the model hes just saying he prefers the springfield as so do i

  • https://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com


    I never said that the Springfield (as in the one that makes my current favorite pistol, the XD) made 1911's in 1911. Instead, my point point was that I tend to prefer the 1911 pattern guns made by Springfield. Indeed, my comment (#2, above) should have clarified that. In any event, thanks for the comment, which I'm sure further clarifies this for anyone who may have been confused.

  • Armed and Liberal

    Don't you think it might be a little more accurate to specifically credit John M. Browning with designing the 1911, rather than a general reference to Colt?

    • https://www.learnaboutguns.com The LearnAboutGuns.c

      My goal in writing this review was to discuss my favorite (the Springfield) version of the 1911. I didn't set out to write a book on the 1911's history.

      That said, I believe Browning to be an amazing man for sure.

  • The Old Man

    …….AND THE FELLA WHO WROTE THIS Very Fine Article about the SPRINGFIELD 1911 45 ACP. A Break ..Sheesh……….

  • The Keen One

    Thank you "The Old Man"! Well Said!!!

  • Jeff

    Hey Guys- I own a Springfield LW Operator 1911 .45, and it's one of the most accurate pistols I have EVER fired! The
    wood to metal/metal to metal fit is OUTSTANDING—I'M A VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMER! I ONLY HOPE MY KIMBER

  • Papa

    Thank you for the article. I like seeing some honest feedback and reviews on weapons. I am thinking about buying one of the springfield 1911 models soon. Couldn't make up my mind betwen this an others. Readig these reviews helps me make a more informed decision. Thanks formakingthe time to write this.

  • Earl

    I was torn between 3 -"45s" / Kimber,Springfield & HK USP. Glock is so "hyped up" as is Kimber that they washed thierselfs out. Not trying to degrad or put down those Comp's. Just don't like the "I'm the best !" Ads etc. Had a "1911" in the service & felt naked with out it on myself.
    The Kimber is a fine weapon but way over priced. (real steel is a+) Tried a Glock but I believe it to have safety issues a manual safety is a must. ! Needless to say ,the Springfield has all the quality you could ask for & priced fairly,(for an old man on Soc.Sec.) Took me a year of
    beans & oatmeal to save the $$$ Got the "Springfield TRP" 300 rounds later & no malfunctions .I will pass it on to the grandson PROUDLY !!! My "SF" may have saved a life in VietNam.Your artical should be helpfull to our new generation. PPK/S Rules I've had one for 20 yrs.& it even says prayers with me on Sunday "SEMPER FI"

    • Security

      Hello Earl, I have a Hi-Point .45 ACP and she goes to bed with me every night. After prayer, I say Amen, rack a round, and off to sleep we go, side by side. Get personal with your Springfield, hopefully the day may never come where she has to stand her ground.

    • Chuck

      I had a safety installed on my glock for $115–works great!

  • Wes Rutherford

    I also have a M1911 .45 handgun made in 1915 by the United States Springfield Armory under the Colt contract and issued to the U.S. Army. Its a wonderful gun and wouldn't sell it for the world or at least $3000. I would love to have a Singer or North American Arms 45 also but they are way out of my price range. Good article and I love both Colt and Springfield products.

  • H C Aford

    Not an expert on pistols. Carried Army issure 45 in WWII. Fired a lot on range'; hauled in in combat with Armored Division across Europe in WWII; Luckily never shot anyone, though I was afraid I might have to on various occasions. Has lots of good qualities. Here's what I DID NOT LIKE. Not double action–had to carry cocked (and locked). Prone to accidental discharge. Led groups into cellars etc. Didn't know what was in front. Knew what behind was a soldie wiht a 45. Was JUS as apprehensive of one as of the other. Most of us liked the Gernans; P38 better, except you knew pretty well that the 45 would stop anyone you hit most anywhere. Slow bullet but powerful.. Heavy, awkward gun, horrible holster, limited capacity.