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Posted: 3/16/2011 6:01:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2011 7:06:17 PM EST by Thorgrim]
Today I bought a new Springfield Armory Range Officer.

Upon delivery of the pistol, I was happy to find the finish even and uniform on the slide and frame, however there is what I take for rough casting marks and finish imperfections on the high protruding edge of the grip safety- but this is a production gun and I intend to shoot it- so this does not bother me too badly. The ass end of the extractor is also not blended into the slide like you might find on a higher end piece. If I had paid up into the thousand plus dollar range, I might have something more to say about it. The rollmarks on the slide were deep and crisp. No discernible slide/fame slop. Upon racking the slide it feels as if it is on ball bearings. Very smooth and yet very tight. The barrel bushing seems on the verge of needing a wrench tight, but I have yet to strip the pistol after shooting so I cannot comment yet on that or the specifics of inner machining marks/etc. I had my gunsmith fit a Caspian ambi safety. More on that in another long post.

I put a quick 100 rounds of PMC Bronze 230gr FMJ, 100 rounds of Remington UMC 230gr FMJ, and 40 rounds of 230gr Gold Dots downrange this afternoon, and everything functioned and fed flawlessly. Expended brass flew into the next county however, and felt recoil was a bit more harsh than expected which leads me to believe that a new recoil spring in the 17-18lb range is in order. Input is appreciated on this. All rounds wanted to impact low and right, but not severely so...Is this SA's new trademark? Some was undoubtedly shooter error, but I want to try some 180gr stuff as soon as I can and I did utilize the fine adjustable sights to correct some of this. (I practice dry firing with snap caps OFTEN, and I know about my own problems) The groupings were impressive however with my best landing right on top of one another from a rest at 25 yards. The trigger from the factory had a nice break and felt lighter than the one on my old Loaded Model, but that's far from scientific. I'm happy with it.

As others have mentioned, you may want to get used to using the slide release/stop as a RELEASE again if you want these adjustable sights, as the tactical overhand slingshots will shred your mitts -so beware. I did not notice the sights poking my fat as a problem when I tucked the thing in my waistband before I went into the grocery store after my range session however so that's a good thing.

A note on these VZ ETC Black G10s here. Nice, Nice grips but let me tell you something: On the website they say that they eliminate the cheese grater effect- I don't know what kind of kevlar these people have for skin but these bastards are GRIPPY on the checkered portions, like enough to shred your love handles right off. A couple swipes of some super fine grit sandpaper on the fat contact side eased them right up with no noticeable cosmetic effects. The ambi cut on the inside panel required a bit of chiseling as the dog leg of the safety lever was dragging heavily when the grip was tightened, and I had to remove a hair of material from the upper edge so that the beefy Caspian lever would clear it totally upon engagement. No biggie, and they look fantastic. All I can say is, if these are their most 'mild' offering, I'd hate to try and conceal a gun with a set of Aliens! I like the subdued black, but now I'm thinking I should have gone with the Black Cherry for a classier look...Hmmmm.

Long post, I know but the bottom line is that I'm happy to have this quality unit in my home for the long run. No front serrations for the WIN!
Now pics of the gun in dirty, just home from the range condition:





Link Posted: 3/16/2011 6:25:12 PM EST
Love the gun, hate the sights.



Good write up!
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 6:47:42 PM EST
on the 1 of 500 marked models the extractor sticks out a mile. I think they forgot this step in the manuf of the RO.

I ditched the grip screws for Slotted type and replaced the grips with G10 Diamond Backs.

Springers recoil spring is 16# wich for me works great on my reloads of 200 gr ldswc that prob make 170 PF.

the SA thumb safety has just as many sharp edges as the rear sight, and it will draw blood on any type of slide malfunction clearing.

Mine shows some slight holster wear and is dripping a bit more with oil.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 7:04:09 PM EST
Sweet pistol, thanks for taking the time to do a write-up
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 7:04:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
on the 1 of 500 marked models the extractor sticks out a mile. I think they forgot this step in the manuf of the RO.

I ditched the grip screws for Slotted type and replaced the grips with G10 Diamond Backs.

Springers recoil spring is 16# wich for me works great on my reloads of 200 gr ldswc that prob make 170 PF.

the SA thumb safety has just as many sharp edges as the rear sight, and it will draw blood on any type of slide malfunction clearing.

Mine shows some slight holster wear and is dripping a bit more with oil.


Your reloading voodoo speak confuses and frightens me. Does this mean I should not worry about the recoil spring?

Never noticed the thumb safety issue on my other SAs, and this ones a Caspian.

Holster wear and oil spooge are good things.

Link Posted: 3/16/2011 7:32:20 PM EST
SA uses a 16lb pound spring which is fine for standard factory 230 grain ammo. I get a spare as in the past for me SA recoil springs get weak fast. Anything in 16 to 18.5 will be fine for factory ammo.

I use something called a bill drill to see if I have the right recoil spring for the main load I am going to be shooting. I swap different poundage recoil springs till I find one that give me the smallest roundest group.

Link Posted: 3/16/2011 8:05:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 3:27:06 AM EST
I noticed the sharp edge on the rear of the factory thumb safety as well. With a high hard grip, it really digs in the web of my thumb and needs some dehorning. Mine shot low out of the box as well, easy to zero and accurate.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 3:31:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2011 3:31:43 AM EST by DoubleARon]
Is the barrel bushing beveled? I know it doesn't really make much difference, but it's a nice touch.

Canvas Gatorbacks are nice for carry. Grippy, but not abrasive.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 4:47:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By 19119640:
Love the gun, hate the sights.



Good write up!


This
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 6:18:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By DoubleARon:
Is the barrel bushing beveled? I know it doesn't really make much difference, but it's a nice touch.

Canvas Gatorbacks are nice for carry. Grippy, but not abrasive.


My guess would be no as it is not needed on a competition gun, the RO intended market.
AFGK
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 6:30:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
Originally Posted By DoubleARon:
Is the barrel bushing beveled? I know it doesn't really make much difference, but it's a nice touch.

Canvas Gatorbacks are nice for carry. Grippy, but not abrasive.


My guess would be no as it is not needed on a competition gun, the RO intended market.
AFGK


No, it is not. After a strip, clean and lube I can say also that the bushing fits nice, but is not wrench tight.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 7:01:23 AM EST
now on mine I need a bushing wrench and have to use the barrel to tap it out.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 7:36:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By Thorgrim:

As others have mentioned, you may want to get used to using the slide release/stop as a RELEASE again if you want these adjustable sights, as the tactical overhand slingshots will shred your mitts


Yep. You learn real fast after a couple times. Thanks for the writeup and pics.
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