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Posted: 12/16/2004 6:32:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2004 8:28:24 AM EDT by Jmolden87]
I’m looking to get my first 1911.  So far, Springfield seems to be the best deal for a reliable gun.  

I was thinking about getting the standard GI, but I think I’d be losing money because I’ll be customizing down the road.  So the Springfield Hi-cap 1911s caught my eye.  Are they as good as they seem?  Any down side to having a Hi-cap 1911?  I assume the frame is bigger for the wider mag?  Do they feel awkward in the hand?  Sorry if these questions are dumb, but this will be my first semi-auto handgun.  Also, the hi-cap 1911s seem to be even cheaper then the regular loaded 1911s; is there a reason to this???  The hi-caps are considered ‘loaded’ too, right??  Overall, I'm looking for a 1911 that's reliable, and can be accurate too.  Any help would be appreciated for this confused newbie.


Edited for spelling
Link Posted: 12/17/2004 5:58:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2004 5:59:00 PM EDT by BobCole]

Originally Posted By Jmolden87:
I’m looking to get my first 1911.  So far, Springfield seems to be the best deal for a reliable gun.
 I agree, I own 3 of them.

I was thinking about getting the standard GI, but I think I’d be loosing money because I’ll be customizing down the road.
Ahem, it's spelled "losing".   But, no, you shouldn't lose anything, why would you? New sights, new barrel, new trigger & you're good to go, IMO.

Are they as good as they seem?
Too soon to tell, IMO.

Any down side to having a Hi-cap 1911?  I assume the frame is bigger for the wider mag?  Do they feel awkward in the hand?
They're not for everyone. If you don't have large hands, it may not be a good fit. BTW, Para Ordnance also makes a double stack.

Also, the hi-cap 1911s seem to be even cheaper then the regular loaded 1911s; is there a reason to this???
I haven't priced them because they don't fit a need for me but it seems like I remember they're the same price or so, IIRC.

The hi-caps are considered ‘loaded’ too, right??
Depends on the make & model. Some are, some aren't.

Overall, I'm looking for a 1911 that's reliable, and can be accurate too.  
We're all on board for that eternal quest.    I would suggest visiting ranges & talking to some double stack owners & see what they tell you. Keep reading the boards in here for general info as well. Bottom line will be what fits your hand & balances best, IMO. For me, that's a single stack 1911 but YMMV.
Good luck!


Link Posted: 12/18/2004 8:32:50 AM EDT
Well, I can get a ‘GI’ Springfield 1911 for just over $400 while I can get a loaded hi-cap Springfield for a little over $500.  So I think it would actually save me money getting the loaded model.  
So you've handled a hi-cap and the balance was off?  I heard that the hi-caps were more reliable.  Is that true?
Thanks for your help.
Link Posted: 12/18/2004 8:40:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/18/2004 4:41:14 PM EDT
The main difference feature wise bewtween the single stack loaded and the loadeed high-cap is that the high-cap has standard sights, if we're talking about the full size model.  Get ready to spend another $100 on up for Lo-Mount novaks machined into your slide.  The single stack loaded model has them already.  I had a high cap, and machined it for a Novak rear and had a gunsmith friend install a Heinie front, and also did a trigger job, and a few other little things.  There are no aftermarket triggers for these, though a little tweaking on a Para trigger will work.  The reason I got rid of it is because the grip was a little too big for me, and it is slightly bigger than a Para.  Quality wise it was VERY nice.  This was it before I got rid of it.

Link Posted: 12/19/2004 4:23:41 PM EDT
Hmm....

Looks like the search continues.  I think I might go with the loaded hi cap if I can find one for around $500.  If I can't, I think I'll get the GI 1911.  

BTW:  What’s the difference between SA’s ‘Mil-Spec’ 1911 and ‘GI’ 1911???  Also, it looks like Springfield stopped making the hi-cap 1911?
Link Posted: 12/20/2004 5:33:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2004 5:44:28 AM EDT by hobbs5624]

Originally Posted By Jmolden87:
Hmm....

Looks like the search continues.  I think I might go with the loaded hi cap if I can find one for around $500.  If I can't, I think I'll get the GI 1911.  

BTW:  What’s the difference between SA’s ‘Mil-Spec’ 1911 and ‘GI’ 1911???  Also, it looks like Springfield stopped making the hi-cap 1911?



The G.I. 1911, otherwise known as the WWII, has vertical cocking serrations, small G.I. type 1911-A1 profile sights, and different grips (older ones have brown plastic, which gave way to walnut double diamond, which then gave way to walnut double diamond with an emblem of "US" in the middle).  The gun is completely parkerized, including the barrel hood.  It can be had in stainless also, as well as an O.D> green coating.

The  Mil-Spec is almost the same gun.  The main differences are: slanted cocking serrations, higher profile sights, no lanyard loop on the mainspring housing, and usually black plastic grips.  This gun is almost always parkerized, though I have seen some blued.  The barrel is usually left in the white, though I have seen blued with an in the white barrel hood.  This one can also be had in stainless and O.D.  

There are a few other subtle differences.  Most Springfield Armory 1911's, including the Loaded models, have a thicker dust cover (area of frame forward of the trigger guard and under the slide) than that of the original 1911-A1.  They also have a higher cut radius to the frontstrap of the grip under the trigger guard.  The frontstrap itself is thicker and less radiused, so that there is more material left if the frontstrap is to be checkered at 20 lines per inch.  The thicker dustcover is to accomodate drilling for scope mounts.

The Mil-Spec has the thick dust cover, higher cut radius on the frontstrap, and the thicker frontstrap.  The G.I. 1911 has a standard 1911-A1 profile to the dustcover and frontstrap in order to keep with the G.I. theme.  
Link Posted: 12/20/2004 5:50:15 AM EDT
I just saw this in the EE handguns forum.  If I did not have so many 1911's already, I would buy it.  It's an O.D. G.I. , and the price is good at $383.  The pic this guy has is of the wrong gun (he has a pic of an O.D. mil-spec), so I would clarify that before buying if that's an issue to you.

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=88&t=242240
Link Posted: 12/20/2004 9:32:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
I just saw this in the EE handguns forum.  If I did not have so many 1911's already, I would buy it.  It's an O.D. G.I. , and the price is good at $383.  The pic this guy has is of the wrong gun (he has a pic of an O.D. mil-spec), so I would clarify that before buying if that's an issue to you.

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=88&t=242240



Hey.  Thanks a lot.  I sent the guy an email.  

But, I'm thinking about just saving the extra money and getting a loaded model, either hi-cap or single.  I'd really like to have the type of sights that they put on the loaded model.  The extended beavertail safety and commander hammer seem nice too.  
Are the sights tricky to swap on the GI or mil-spec models?  Thanks for that information on mil-spec vs. GI too.
Link Posted: 12/20/2004 9:43:19 PM EDT
Hey.  Thanks a lot.  I sent the guy an email.  

But, I'm thinking about just saving the extra money and getting a loaded model, either hi-cap or single.  I'd really like to have the type of sights that they put on the loaded model.  The extended beavertail safety and commander hammer seem nice too.  
Are the sights tricky to swap on the GI or mil-spec models?  Thanks for that information on mil-spec vs. GI too.


Well, I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about the sights.  The G.I. and Mil-Spec models have a dovetail cut for the rear sight, and a staked in front sight.  The rear sight dovetail is a standard dimension for a 1911-A1.  The front is a different story.  It is staked on (there is a stem that goes into a slot in the slide, and is swaged on the inside of the slide).  There are basically two widths for the tenon (stem) on the front sight.  Springfields are actually in between these two standard dimensions, and only a few manufacturers offer the medium tenon for the Springfield, though a wide tenon can be milled down to Springfield dimensions.

There are sights that are made to fit into standard dimensioned rear dovetails, and they are simple to replace with some basic tools.  Then there are rear sights that require the slide to be altered, or machined.  The sights on the loaded model are Novak Lo-Mount, and require a bit of machining.  Unless you have some experience with a milling machine, I would not attempt it.  Putting on rear sights like the Novak usually requires the serivces of a gunsmith, and I've seen people charge from $40 to $120 for the machining.  

The front sight is a similar situation.  If you want to change it, it's fairly simple, but you will at the very least need a 1911 front sight staking tool.  If you want the same type of sights as the loaded model, you would again be looking at machining the slide and paying out some money.

The reason that the loaded models are so popular is that they come standard with the beavertail, Novak sights, an extended safety, a commander hammer, an aluminum trigger, and an extended safety, as well as forward cocking serrations.  If you were to add these features through the services of a gunsmith, you're looking at a few hundred dollars to have the work done.  The price for intallation of the sights in the pic above runs $120 at my friend's shop, and the sights are another $55 or so.  If you like the features on the loaded model, you will save money by buying one, rather than trying to customize a mil-spec or G.I. model.  

Bottom line, if you like the beavertail and the Novak sights and you can afford the loaded model, buy it.  You will save a bunch of money in the long run.
Link Posted: 12/21/2004 8:15:21 AM EDT
Thanks.  I think I can get a used hi-cap with the loaded features, minus the Novak sights, but with the raised sights, for a little over $400.  I’ll post pics when I get it!

Link Posted: 1/6/2005 4:55:13 PM EDT
Hey... I think ya left off one of the answers...he also axed if SA was still making the hi cap 1911....that's my question.  It's not on their website any more (that I can see), but one local dealer has one in stock, new.

I'd snatch it up, but:  If they're no longer made, what can we expect for parts availability?  I had a P14 once upon a day, and was surprised how much isn't interchangeable back to the originally single stack 1911.  With the SA....does it use std 1911 parts? para parts?  Does it have that goofy slot filler thing on the grips where the trigger bow slides?  I do remember that when it first came out, Leatham said it would use 'existing' magazines.  Does that mean PO?  If so, why is the SA a 13 round (in the mag) and the PO is 14?

I discovered long ago how important standardization is...when I had my baby eagle, and further refined that understanding when i had an IAI square trigger Commander.  Anyone have any hints?

jp
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 6:28:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jpusk:
Hey... I think ya left off one of the answers...he also axed if SA was still making the hi cap 1911....that's my question.  It's not on their website any more (that I can see), but one local dealer has one in stock, new.

I'd snatch it up, but:  If they're no longer made, what can we expect for parts availability?  I had a P14 once upon a day, and was surprised how much isn't interchangeable back to the originally single stack 1911.  With the SA....does it use std 1911 parts? para parts?  Does it have that goofy slot filler thing on the grips where the trigger bow slides?  I do remember that when it first came out, Leatham said it would use 'existing' magazines.  Does that mean PO?  If so, why is the SA a 13 round (in the mag) and the PO is 14?

I discovered long ago how important standardization is...when I had my baby eagle, and further refined that understanding when i had an IAI square trigger Commander.  Anyone have any hints?

jp



I noticed that it was not on their site.  I know that you can still get them new, but if it's not on their site, my guess is that they just dropped them.  Next to nobody was buying them.

So, to answer your other questions in no particular order:

-It does take Para mags.  I have no idea why the SA are only 13, but I can tell you this.  The SA mags I've come across have been unreliable (I've had a total of 3 of these guns in the past few years, and every mag I ever had had different length springs, with different numbers of coils, and a couple had ddifferent followers).  I used nothing but Para in mine, and never had a problem.

-Like the Para, there are a few different parts, and a few that are different due to it being a hi-cap.  Here's what's not standard 1911.  The trigger, the plunger tube, the grip, grip screws, slide release, thumb safety, mag release, and mainspring housing (ILS, which can be replaced by a standard mainspring housing).  

-Of the above parts, the slide release and thumb safety can be replaced with standard 1911 stuff.  The slide release has a wider shelf because the frame is milled froma forging, and the area by the slide release is wider than a Para or standard 1911.  The thumb safety is relieved under the pad to clear the plunger tube, which is a little wider than a standard 1911.  

-The mag release appears to me to be the same as a Para.  I interchanged them on my guns with no problem, but I no longer own one, so I cannot say for sure.  The trigger is different than a Para, and is proprietary to this gun.  A para trigger can be easily modified to fit this gun, however.   The grip screws are prorpietary to this gun.  The head is bigger in diameter, like a Para grip screw, but the thread pitch is the same as a standard 1911 screw.  It's also shorter.  I know of nobody making aftermarket grips for this gun.

-It does have that "goofy slot filler thing" in the grips.  

In summary:

-The parts that are unique to this gun are: grips, grips screws, trigger, plunger tube.
-The parts that can interchange with a Para are: mags, mag release (or so I think on the mag release).
-The parts unique to this gun but that can be replaced by standard 1911 parts are: slide release, thumb safety.

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:09:53 PM EDT
Great Hobbes, thanks!

Your personal experience...three SA high caps in the past few years, but none now?  Are you a habitual trader, like I used to be, or were you dissatisfied with their performance?  Sounds like SA was still trying to figure out how to tune the mags, given the mishmash of configurations you ran into,  Did your pistols go bang when they were sposed to?

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:18:30 PM EDT
I have a Springfield Hi-cap. Love it. Used it through two IPSC seasons. Had one problem, sent it back to the factory. They had it back to my door within 10 days.

Don't expect to find any aftermarket grips for it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 7:27:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jpusk:
Great Hobbes, thanks!

Your personal experience...three SA high caps in the past few years, but none now?  Are you a habitual trader, like I used to be, or were you dissatisfied with their performance?  Sounds like SA was still trying to figure out how to tune the mags, given the mishmash of configurations you ran into,  Did your pistols go bang when they were sposed to?

   



Habitual trader and admitted gun whore.  I was very satisfied with their performance.  The only problem I had was with the grip size.  When shooting real fast, I found that no matter what I did the gun would twist in my hand.  I've had many Paras too, and I could keep those still under fast shooting if I checkered the frontstrap.  I do have little woman hands though.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 7:29:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jpusk:
Great Hobbes, thanks!

Your personal experience...three SA high caps in the past few years, but none now?  Are you a habitual trader, like I used to be, or were you dissatisfied with their performance?  Sounds like SA was still trying to figure out how to tune the mags, given the mishmash of configurations you ran into,  Did your pistols go bang when they were sposed to?

   



Habitual trader and admitted gun whore.  I was very satisfied with their performance.  The only problem I had was with the grip size.  When shooting real fast, I found that no matter what I did the gun would twist in my hand.  I've had many Paras too, and I could keep those still under fast shooting if I checkered the frontstrap.  I do have little woman hands though.
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