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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/23/2005 7:35:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 7:40:03 AM EDT by vanilla_gorilla]
Picked up my parked Loaded model on Wednesday, spent yesterday evening and this morning wringing it out.


Initial Meeting
Taking it apart is a bitch due to the full length guide rod, the first I've ever dealt with. After that, it's a breeze. Broken down, lubed up and cleaned prior to shooting, it felt great in the hand, like a 1911 should. I'm no fan of aluminum frames, and this steel frame balances just like it's supposed to. The grips are nice cocobolo scales with deep checkering, not too sharp. Feels like somebody knocked them down before finishing them. The Springfield humped grip safety doesn't feel quite natural to me, and will likely have to go unless I can get used to it.

The trigger was set very well, with almost no travel and a hint of overtravel, feels good, if a bit heavy. I guess probably set around 6 pounds, maybe a little more. Not bad, but I prefer closer to 4-4.5 pounds. Safety was ambidextrous, easily large enough to catch with the thumb in a hurry, and had positive engagement and disengagement without being excessively heavy.

The gun was supplied with two keys and a lock in the straight mainspring housing, which effectively locks up the weapon and keeps the hammer from being moved from the down position. Locked very strongly and positively, too. That's nice, now I'll take it out.

The mags that came with the gun don't look bad, everything appears to be in spec, and they lock securely, but with the slightest bit of side-to-side play at the bottom. I think this is normal, but I'm not sure. The Novak nightsights are every bit of what I expected, and easy enough to pick up any time of day or night.

Shooting the Bigmouth
Yesterday turned out to be a horrible range day, and I'm thankful that the firing line was covered, for the lot of good it did us with the rain blowing in from the side. Shots were taken at the fifteen yard line, with only limited checking of targets close up, since the monsoon season was apparently upon us.

The gun digested everything I gave it, including light and heavy handloads, factory target loads, and Speer Gold Dot carry loads, having no difficulties even with mixed rounds in the same magazine. It functioned perfectly for nearly two hundred rounds, right up until the time I said, "Wow, I expected it to be hell breaking this thing in." Two rounds later, "click." The factory magazine had allowed a round to nose dive and lock up between the breech face and the feed ramp. Tap, Rack, and Bang, we're back in business.

Groupings were great, if a bit low. In fact, 4-6 inches low, using 230 grain rounds. I don't know what can be done to address this, but I'm working on it. I would rather my weapons shoot to the point of my aim. Most groups at fifteen yards were in the 2 inch range, normal for me, considering it was defensive stance and rapid fire. I'm sure it would do much better from a rest. Ejection was good, most rounds flying just over my right shoulder and about 5 feet to the rear

A return to the range this morning with some McCormick Power Magsproved equally fruitful, with many more mixed magazines going through it, including some as-yet untested handloads. All shot well, but still far too low for my liking. Another 250-300 rounds today, with one more FTF, this one from a handload with an A-Merc case. Typical problem child that I must have missed in my culling process. All those cases go in the trash, since they tend to FTF in both my Sig and my old Kimber as well. Seems to be reliable enough, factory mags and horrible ammo notwithstanding.

The McCormick Power Mags were not expected to work, since they would not lock the slide back when cycled by hand. On the range, they performed their duties admirably, and locked it back perfectly.

Close up, rapid fire shots from simulated defensive situations out to seven yards proved that the gun was still more than adequate for protection, with rounds going exactly where I wanted them to, time after time. The gun points well and the dots on the sights seem to draw my eyes to them.

Impressions
As stated before, this thing just feels right in the hand. The wood grips look so at home on the gun that I haven't yet decided to whether to replace them or not. This is to be a defensive carry gun, so the whole thing about not shooting to point of aim bothers me, but it can be fixed.

The parkerized finish is smooth and really uniform, and appears damn tough, part of the reason I chose that skin. After the limited use it has seen though, already the parkerizing under the travel area of the safety is showing some wear. The serrations are cut well, not too deep, and not too sharp, easily grippable even with wet or sweaty hands. Springfield touts this model as having a "carry-bevel," but if mine had it, I sure couldn't tell.

The Loaded model could probably benefit from an enlarged magazine well, but it's not too big a deal for me, an extended magazine release would also be welcome. A necessary addition though would be some sort of checkering on the smooth frontstrap, which would probably be difficult to hold with slick or sweaty hands or gloves.

I don't exactly know what the purpose is supposed to be for the full length guide rod, but I intend to find out. It better be a good one too, to make it worth the hassle when breaking the gun down. I was told to keep the allen wrench used to screw and unscrew the guide rod nearby, but in nearly five hundred rounds, it was not needed. In fact, there was no loosening of the guide rod at all.

Overall, I certainly would feel adequately armed with this weapon for the defense of my home and family, though it does have its issues that need to be addressed. This is my re-entry to the 1911 platform, and I find nothing so far to indicate I have made a poor choice of weapons.


Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:48:47 AM EDT
It would seem others have the same "low" problem with SA's. I think some have sent them back to SA to be adjusted. Look around for some posts here about that concern.

Nice write up.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:51:26 AM EDT
Yep, the 9109 is a great pistol. Good value and good performance. Mine tends to throw the brass about 15' to the right and 5' back, it seems a bit excessive. I guess I'd rather have them fly far than not far enough. So far, I've had 0 malfunctions with mine including handloaded hollowpoints. I'm still using the factory mags but I need to get some good carry mags. If it keeps shooting low, send it back to Springfield, they'll replace the front sight with a lower one and it'll bring you right up to POA. I must be one of the lucky ones, mine hits POA with everything. The 9109 sure isn't a Sig 220, but it gets the job done. Enjoy it, it'll serve you well. MJD
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:58:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By highwayman:
Yep, the 9109 is a great pistol. Good value and good performance. Mine tends to throw the brass about 15' to the right and 5' back, it seems a bit excessive. I guess I'd rather have them fly far than not far enough. So far, I've had 0 malfunctions with mine including handloaded hollowpoints. I'm still using the factory mags but I need to get some good carry mags. If it keeps shooting low, send it back to Springfield, they'll replace the front sight with a lower one and it'll bring you right up to POA. I must be one of the lucky ones, mine hits POA with everything. The 9109 sure isn't a Sig 220, but it gets the job done. Enjoy it, it'll serve you well. MJD



I'm curious, what does the 220 do better?

The carry gun that's sitting in the safe because of this one is a 220ST, which has absolutely no problems, but for the DA trigger, while I greatly prefer a single action. Accuracy (groups) appears to be about the same for both the 9109L and the 220ST.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:14:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

Originally Posted By highwayman:
Yep, the 9109 is a great pistol. Good value and good performance. Mine tends to throw the brass about 15' to the right and 5' back, it seems a bit excessive. I guess I'd rather have them fly far than not far enough. So far, I've had 0 malfunctions with mine including handloaded hollowpoints. I'm still using the factory mags but I need to get some good carry mags. If it keeps shooting low, send it back to Springfield, they'll replace the front sight with a lower one and it'll bring you right up to POA. I must be one of the lucky ones, mine hits POA with everything. The 9109 sure isn't a Sig 220, but it gets the job done. Enjoy it, it'll serve you well. MJD



I'm curious, what does the 220 do better?

The carry gun that's sitting in the safe because of this one is a 220ST, which has absolutely no problems, but for the DA trigger, while I greatly prefer a single action. Accuracy (groups) appears to be about the same for both the 9109L and the 220ST.



My 220 is an older model, built in '97, and just works so much better for me. The 220 is lighter, shorter, almost as thin, easier to conceal, and is better balanced in my opinion. Mine's the standard alloy version, not the ST. I put a Hogue wraparound finger-groove grip on it, recently upgraded to Trijicon night sights, and run Novak/ACT mags. I can't jam it no matter how hard I try. I don't know if it's me or what, but my 9109 is not as accurate as the Sig. I like the takedown better on the Sig and I greatly prefer the lack of external safety. Shooting is instinctive with the Sig. I can literally close my eyes, draw, put 5 shots into a target, open my eyes, and see 5 holes in an 8.5x11 piece of paper. I guess it's just a comfort thing, I feel better and shoot better with the Sig, that's why I prefer it. MJD
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 11:10:51 AM EDT
My primary range gun is an OD loaded Springfield. Well over 4000 trouble-free rounds down range in the last couple years, and counting.

I exchanged the FLGR with Ed Brown USGI parts. IMO, they don't serve much of a use at all.

As you noticed, AMERC brass is out of spec crap.

My Springer shoots pretty much dead-on, but a friend of mine bought a pistol exactly like yours which also shot low. Springfield replaced the front sight under warrranty.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:57:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 12:59:46 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:58:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
Great post, ditch the FLGR and replace with USGI. Send it back to Springfield for a new front sight, then bring it over and we'll "adjust" that trigger.



Just let me know when.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 2:58:46 PM EDT
Sent mine to Novak's several years ago, and it came back dead on. I prefer white dots anyway. At one time I also owned a P220, and I liked everything about it except the overly fat grip. Seemed to have the same feel as the 226 which has a double stack mag. I don't know why Sig doesn't slim down the grip on the P220. If they did I wouldn't hesitate to get another.
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:33:56 PM EDT
I just picked up another S/Field Full size and it shoots about 6-7 inches low at 25 yds.
Way too low for me to be satisfied. It came with night sights but looks like I'm going to have to send it back or just replace either the front or rear sight myself.

It has shot everything that I've put thru it without a hitch though.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 10:44:34 AM EDT
I have seen a fair number of guys report this same issue on the board, in addition to my friend's problem. What gives with that? You'd think that Springfield would recognise a problem when enough customers contact them about it.

Link Posted: 9/25/2005 3:22:26 PM EDT
The Loaded trigger is okay out of the box, but if you get a trigger job, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! I got a Wilson A-2 sear, Videki medium trigger, a Wilson Ultralight hammer, and ditched the ILS system and put in a 23# mainspring. It dropped the trigger down to 4lbs, it is light and crisp, and has no creep. The Wilson commander hammer is much better than the sorry MIM "delta" hammer SA puts on the Loaded.

The full length guide rod and 14# spring is not worth dealing with IMHO. I took it out of my SS Loaded and installed a GI-style rod and plug, as well as put in an 18.5# Wolff spring. Now its just the way I like it and I love taking it to the range and blasting away with it. It's a sweet lead-thrower now.
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