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Posted: 5/9/2003 5:46:11 AM EDT
Looking for my first 1911 pistol.  I'm going for an entry level Mil-spec version.

The price of the Springfield and Auto Ordnance are about the same.

Which is the best choice?
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 6:00:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 12:42:18 PM EDT
Auto Ordinance.  You get a real barrel (not 2-piece) and it is closer to a GI 1911

These have the older style rounded spur as opposed to the SA flat-sided hammer and AO has the lanyard loop MSH.

Auto Ordinance is a quality gun made in america (not from Brazil parts).

And I've heard the new ownership of auto ordinance is really putting quality work into these (they are supposed to be pretty accurate guns)

Go to the site there are 5 reviews that you can read.

Link Posted: 5/9/2003 12:49:24 PM EDT
Isn't the SA frame forged? while the A-O frame is cast?

Besides, I thought mil-spec was supposed to have the flat hammer.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 1:02:50 PM EDT
The hammer on GI guns is Rounded like the pic above

the flat hammer is a cheaper thing that Colt and SA started (I think it was after the war.) My friends Vietnam issued 1911 has the rounded spur.

If the AO frame is cast don't buy it.  I haven't found out yet

If it is cast I reccomend niether.

Ive gotten 2 SA guns recently and been burned twice they are not what I would call a reliable source for quality guns.

Link Posted: 5/9/2003 2:49:39 PM EDT
Yes, SA uses a two-piece barrel. They still are the better gun of the two, IMO.

My SA is a Govt model that I had a Wilson NM barrel installed. Shoots likes a Gold Cup now.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 5:08:37 PM EDT
Thanks for the info.  Regarding the "cast" issue, this is a cut and paste from the Auto Ordnance website:

"Auto-Ordnance currently produces three Government Model guns, the Model 1911PKZ, Model T1911 and Model 1911WGS (a Commander-length gun may be introduced in 2002). All have 5" barrels, fixed sights, bar stock slides of 4140 steel and 4140 investment-cast frames."

So, I understand don't buy a 1911 with a cast frame?

Link Posted: 5/9/2003 7:05:55 PM EDT

So, I understand don't buy a 1911 with a cast frame?

You can, it really more of a preference thing, if you ask me. Most 1911's on the market are cast but there are a few that are forged.

IMO, forgings make a better platform to build onto and have higher (IMO)quality. Someone else can elaborate further, but that is a decent start.

Here are a few links which might help you out:

I hope that helps.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 7:55:20 PM EDT
Have you looked at the new Colt?  I am sure the price is higher, but they are forged top and bottom AND Colt seems to be making a solid effort to built a good to great gun at a reasonable price.  besides its a Colt, in my neck of the woods it aint a .45 (or .38 super) unless it got a pony on it somewhere.  Would probably have better resale too.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 8:19:17 PM EDT
Get a Springfield, they have a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service from Springfield.  The fit and finish of Springfields are a whole lot better than the Auto Ordnance.  You really cant go wrong with a Springfield.  I've owned a Loaded Stainless, Mil-Spec, Mil-Spec Operator, and Loaded Operator.  All have been 100%
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:20:11 AM EDT
Springfield. Their recent guns are of good quality & they have a lifetime warranty. Also a good base if you want to upgrade it in the future.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 10:48:57 AM EDT
I'd say right now, it's really a draw.  I have a Springfield Milspec Parkerized, and love it.  I just love the old military look.  The AO was my second choice, almost got one, as the local gunshop didn't have any SA Milspecs, but had an AO, but it turned out it was NOT the WWII Parkerized model, so I passed, and waited, and got my SA at a gunshow.  

The AO might have the advantage of being a little less $$, and having all of the parts made in the US.  I'm not sure if the cast frame is REALLY that much of a negative.  

Two peice barrels in the SA a problem?  Never heard of any problems.  Maybe not accepted to be as accurate as one peice barrels, but I can't tell a difference.  Most people won't be able to.  

I think price, and warranty should be the big kickers.  I know some time in the future, I want to get an AO to check it out.  

Link Posted: 5/12/2003 2:03:42 AM EDT

Check out a Rock Island 1911 before you decide to spend more money than needed for a GI style.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 2:45:35 AM EDT
I have both Springfield and AO pistols. Both are older models and both work fine. The Springfield is a little nicer in the finish department. Dont waste your money on the Springfield Loaded model. It was the last Springfield I bought and it has been nothing but a pain in the ass. It wouldnt feed hardball when I got it, and after swaping out a bunch of parts and having my gunsmith go over it, its basicly a fancy Mil Spec. The newer Springfield frames are bigger in the grip than the spec 1911's, at least the ones I've seen. The frontstap isnt relieved enough.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:00:35 AM EDT
The SA milspec is the best choice, I have owned a few and never had any problems unlike the one and only older model mil-spec? AO .45 I had.
The 2 piece barrel argument is irrelevant, I have a master card and can't tell a difference.
Sure the SA frames and slides are forged in Brazil but they are made by Imbel which has been making military 1911's and FAL's for a long long time ....
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 11:18:18 AM EDT
The AO hammer is the rounded older style like the original 1911. The SA is a 1911-A1. The A1 model was adopted in the 1920s. That's the difference.

My SA Mil-Spec has an arched mainspring housing like an A1 model, whereas the AO has a flat mainspring housing, like the original 1911. My SA also has a lanyard loop. Do some Mil-Specs not have a lanyard loop? I'm not aware of that.

AO Made in America? Sure, the tag says that, but AO frames and slides are investment cast in Santander, Spain before being machined and assembled in the US. Not saying that's a bad thing, just that you should be aware of the facts. I have had Star pistols made in Spain that were very good. If I had my druthers, I'd choose forged over cast.

So I'd say SA is the better buy.
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