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Posted: 11/24/2002 1:15:44 AM EDT
This is the continueing controversy over the type ( caliber/size ) extractors that S.A. uses in their guns which I believe is a detriment to the safety of Users of S.A. 1911 handguns because of the possibility of SEVER reliability issues. The original topic was titled "anybody else having trouble with Springfield?" and can be referred to on the ar15 forum page. That was my bad starting it over there.

To continue

Please recall that I was told by a FACTORY representative AT THE FACTORY that S.A. uses the 9mm "size/Pattern" extractor in ALL of their 1911 guns. Now, that may not necessarily mean it is so. A few other smiths and guncranks have told me that S.A. just throws whatever they have lying around into their guns. Working in a factory myself, I doubt that is quite the case; BUT when a stock of certain parts runs out ( 9mm extractors, let's say ) and there is another part that can perform the same function as well or better, then what CAN happen is the bill of material for the weapon can be temporarily changed with what we call a "deviation". A "deviation" allows the traceability (manufacturing records) to be modified in a proper and professional manner. You see this practice in all forms of industry and it is very normal. So if S.A. accidently runs out of their standard pattern extractor then a bill of material with an attached deviation will allow them to use a substitute extractor ( in this case a "proper" 45 caliber/pattern).
Also, it is possible that this pratice is somewhat new and part of a current "money saving program" for the 9mm extractor is indeed smaller than the 45 caliber one and it does appear a bit simpler to make at the hook end, though this is purely specualtion on my part. I will post the comparitive measurements of a 9mm and 45 extractor in a subsequent post. This could account for some of you having normal extracotrs in your 45's and others having the cheaper replacement extractors in theirs.
Now, if you think that a company won't put your safety at risk to save a buck I guarantee you are wrong. I know for a fact that a company will take certain calculated risks with you life if it saves them money. Long term profit may outweigh the cost risk of a couple of lawsuits. I am taking too much room up to get into the logistics of it...but it's not too hard to take a guess as to the hows and whys of it all. I work for one of the largest defense/computer/auto suppliers in the nation and I see them skimp out every single day in order to make the company "look" like it's making money. It is called "cooking the books" and it is done by thousands of companies every day. Think ENRON.
Back to the matter at hand...I have checked out about five different S.A. pistols at different shops in the Mesa, AZ area and EVERY one has the 9mm pattern extractor in it.
I do not doubt that beerslayer's 45 has a 45 extractor at all...in fact that is what it SHOULD have and there should be no other reason that he has a 45 extractor than for the simple fact that he has a 45....and MINE should be the same way....but it ISN'T and neither are a heck of a lot of other S.A. 1911's and it is causing PROBLEMS that S.A. won't acknowledge. That is a fact.
I shall post the measurements of my original extractor and my Wilson replacement soon.
I would also like to let everyone know that I USED to be one of S.A.'s biggest fans and long and often reccommended them to MANY, MANY folks. I now feel like a snake oil salesman and I feel that I need to stand up on this issue for all of you who put your hard earned money into one of these guns only to have it fail miserabley.

desertmoon
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 1:52:53 AM EDT
MEASUREMENTS of extractor ( original and replacement ) for S.A. 1911A1 Armor Kote , early 02 manufacture sn. N433XXX :

9mm pattern extractor ( the one that was originally in my gun ) :
Tapers from .170 in. at the start of the spring arm ( nearerst to back of the slide, in front of F. pin stop groove ) down to .149 in. at the extractor hook.

45 caliber Wilson extractor ( replacement that was fitted to the weapon) :
measures .170 in. from the start of the spring arm with NO taper and concludes at .170 in. at the extractor hook.

conclusion: my original extractor is .021 inches SHORTER in height than the Wilson Combat replacement and has a spring arm that tapers to the extractor hook. The Wilson replacement has NO taper and is NOTICEABLY dimensionally larger at the extractor hook and in the spring arm.

also: note that the replacement was fitted to the weapon proper as this is not a "drop in" component. Subsequently the extraction failures noted in the earlier disussion CEASED.


I think that it would be VERY informative if everyone who can ( and would like to ) posted the measurement of the height of the spring arm and the height of the extractor hook on the extractors of their individual 1911's. Please note the manufacturer and the caliber of the weapon, also the approximate year of manufacture, if possible. We could all learn something form this that may benefit our fellow shooters or ourselves.

desertmoon
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 6:11:39 AM EDT
Going to go tear mine appart right now. I'll let you know what I find.

W
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 7:37:02 AM EDT
The Extractor is definatly tapered. I don't have the means to measure it but it's visually tapered. The only problem I've ever had with the weapon is it will occasionally tear a case mouth, after the round has been fired and I assume upon extraction. don't know why or how this is happening. Any thoughts on the extractor having anything to do with this?

W
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 1:34:20 PM EDT
mine is definantly a .45 extractor based on the measurments you stated. Also as i said it is exactly the same as the one in my kimber gold match. Although the SA seems to have beeter machining than the kimber.

mike
Link Posted: 11/24/2002 9:58:56 PM EDT
This is getting very interesting...I am not even sure what to think quite yet...I would love to get more data on this from others.
Warlock...it SEEMS to be my experience that the 9mm pattern extractor is adjusted very tightly in some guns. I also think that the smaller surface aqrea of the smaller extractor concentrates a lot of force on a smaller area of the case...maybe so much so that in some instances it could be enough to rip a casehead out. Hmmmmm.....
I would be interested to see what might happen if you fit an after market extractor to your pistol. Also, I wonder if your chamber is properly dimensioned or rough....it could cause enough resistance during the ejection cycle to rip out a casehead....maybe.
Notice that Beerslayer has a 45 type extractor and his weapon gives him no trouble. Yet you and I had / have the smaller pattern one and we seem to get quite a bit of grief.
I say start with a new on and go from there.

Keep me posted.

Well, I am at work so I gotta go but I want to add some more to this and I want more people to join in with this....it is just beginning to get interesting.

also I will post my letter to Springfield here very soon.

desertmoon
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 5:00:33 AM EDT
3 month old S.A. Custom Loaded - PX9109L

The extractor matches a standard .45 extractor.

No problems with the gun. Feeds FMJ and JHP fine.

Av.

Link Posted: 11/25/2002 5:23:34 AM EDT
7 SA 1911's over the years. Had 4 up till a few weeks ago. Down to 3 (current production) now.
0 failures with any of them except my very first back in 94, but it was only an accuracy problem. All .45 extractors. All reliable. All sound. No problems at all. No FTF. No FTE. No nothing.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 5:47:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2002 5:48:35 AM EDT by desertmoon]
Ahhhh, more data.....this is goood. So we are finding that there ARE indeed 45 extractors in current issue Springies....and there are small pattern ( 9 mm ) pattern ones also. Well, at least one other that is reported here plus the ones I have seen in various places in Arizona. After my experience with switching to a proper extractor my problems in that particular malfunction department went away. Well, let's hope for MORE DATA. I would love to get to the bottom of this matter.

Thank you , EVERYONE, for your replies!!!!!!

desertmoon
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 6:27:41 AM EDT
This does not address the issue of proper...or improper...heat treatment of extractors. Maybe they are better nowadays, but older SA extractors used to be notorious for being very soft. Doesn't take too much experience to figure out that a 9mm extractor in a .45 will, eventually, cause some problems.

ALL...repeat, ALL...manufacturers will cut corners and skimp on quality of parts, etc. NEVER, EVER, assume that any firearm (or any other piece of equipment either) is as it should be "from the box". Check it yourself, or better yet, spend a few $$$ to have a really good 'smith "blueprint" the gun for you if your life and/or the lives of your loved ones are at stake. No, you don't need a bunch of high-speed, low-drag modifications, just a good, basic gun that works...correctly...first time, EVERY time. Several 'smiths can do this work and one of the best is Wayne Novak.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 10:06:29 AM EDT

ALL...repeat, ALL...manufacturers will cut corners and skimp on quality of parts, etc. NEVER, EVER, assume that any firearm (or any other piece of equipment either) is as it should be "from the box".


You really belive that? When I buy a peice of equipment, or a firearm for that matter, I expect it to work right out of the box.

I should NEVER have to have a smith look at a new gun.

Av.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 11:27:24 AM EDT
Very interesting. I just picked up a used 1911-A1 Hi-cap. I put 100 rounds thru it last week and did not notice any extraction problems. I did have problems with the side sticking (cycling), but found that the gun was bare dry after running 100 rounds. I hear that with the parkerize finish, you have to really lube the slide/inner frame or use a hi lube grease. Not crazy about the finish, I am having the gun re-finished as we speak with a Teflon base finish. When I get it back I will check the extractor. My gun was was manufactured between 1997 -1998 I belive.

Could there have possible been a issue with the wrong part call out in the b.o.m? I have seen this before in my profession. I work on equipment in the semiconductor field. I have worked for a few equipment manufactures early in my career. This a was quite common problem. These tools (equipment) rand anywhere from $400K to $2 Million. More complexity, but a known issues in a large scale manufacturing environment.

Where do you shoot in AZ? Out in the East Valley? I normally shoot at Ben Avery or North of Lake Pleasant
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:25:23 PM EDT
Avalon1;

My friend, if you believe otherwise, I can only envy you your bright-eyed view of the world. As for me, with over five decades of living under my belt, 2/3 of them carrying a handgun for serious use every working day and most days I was off, attending numerous armorer's schools, training seminars, etc., not to mention training lots and lots of men and women to use their issue firearms, I not only "believe" it, I absodamnlutely KNOW it.

Why do you think all major law enforcement agencies require that a Dept. armorer inspect and approve ALL firearms to be used...even those that are personally owned? There are some very good reasons for this policy, and one is that no factory can be trusted to never build a lemon, or not to have made changes to a design of materials without telling their customers.

The gun business at the very tip-top of the manufacturing ladder...not the really good guys down lower...has about three more whores than Babylon did in its' heyday! I'm sure most here do not recognize names like Lester Limerick,(Old FBI) Jim Behanna (FBI / Sig) or Drew Ursin, (Beretta) but when guys at their level(s) speak, you would do well to listen...they know whereof they speak.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 12:51:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2002 12:51:53 PM EDT by Avalon01]
Ikor: My philosophy is if I buy anything, it should work out of the box. No modification necessary.

When I spend $600 on a new S.A. 1911, it should feed 230 gr. FMJ reliably, finish should be new and the gun should be accurate. If it is not, it goes back to the factory, not to a smith.

Why settle for something that does not work and needs to be fixed? I do NOT expect .25 MOA out of the box, if I want that I would buy a match gun. HOWEVER, it should live up to the manufacturers advertising.

That would be like buying a TV only to send it to a TV tech to adjust it. Why buy the TV?

Not looking to argue, but damn, that's a pessimistic view of things.

Av.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 1:10:46 PM EDT
Avalon1;

No arguement from me...I totally agree with your philosophy. Unfortunately, the realistic view of things is a little different. There are certainly companies that do very good jobs and those that routinely produce shit.

As an example, whem LAPD first approved semiautos for on duty use, they hedged their bets by trying a "pilot" program for two years (As I recall, it did not last that long before they finally adopted Berettas). Their armorers consider anything other that a routine cleaning or sight adjustment to be a "repair", (so you know what the parameters were) and any/all repairs to brand-new guns are duly noted on the pistol card. Approved models were S&W hi-cap 4-digit 9mm's and Beretta 92F's. The "rate of repair" ran about 50% for the S&Ws and about 2% for Berettas. Obviously, the Berettas were better, but even they were not perfect.

I'm not saying you should HAVE to take a new gun to a gunsmith for it to work. I AM saying that if you are damn serious about your weapons working...first time, every time...if your life or that of your loved one may depend upon it...you should have them "blueprinted". Actually, this is best done, usually, by the factory who built the gun, or less often, by someone trained by the factory with access to lots of parts and support. Won't cost you an arm or a leg, either, but it ain't as sexy as some "custom" trigger job or snazzy grips.
Link Posted: 11/25/2002 11:15:22 PM EDT
I agree with both of you.
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 3:11:13 PM EDT
Not that it would help, Desertmoon, but my SA was built in the'90's (it's a series '90) parkerized, two piece bbl, bare bones.
I have never ever had any problem at all with it. All hollowpoints worked 100%.
From what I remember hearing, the original SA company used GI parts until they were exhuasted.
Then who knows where they came from after that?
Mine even "sports" a lanyard loop in the mainspring housing as reason to believe the story on GI parts.
It is also quite accurate too, BTW.
Link Posted: 11/26/2002 9:35:20 PM EDT
Ya know, the more I find out about this extractor issue the more confused I get. The factory TELLS me one thing but my research and the testimony of a lot of the guys here tells me another. It's quite a web, lemme tell ya.
I hear a lot of guys say the two piece barrels are crappy and shoot poorly...this may be true for many of them. Oddly enough, the one thing my Springie does is, it is phenomenally accurate. Despite the fact that it has a two piece barrle. I have a 2.5 inch 15 yard group with 153 rounds in it...no flyers.
I just wish it hadn't destroyed all of my magazines before I finally licked the problem. Sigh.....
Link Posted: 11/27/2002 5:14:10 AM EDT
Still waiting to see the letter you are giving/gave Springfield and their response.

Av.
Link Posted: 12/1/2002 11:03:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2002 11:30:47 PM EDT by desertmoon]
Here is a copy of a letter I have sent to cusotmer service regaurding the magazine issue. I will also post the previous letter to the president of S.A.
This concernes magazines destroyed by my pistol and my final gasp at getting Springfield to replace them. You will notice I am not kind here. Why should I be?

This is only a taste. Names, numbers and other pertainent materials have be omitted



Springfield, Inc.
420 W. Main St.
Geneseo, IL 61254


Attn Customer Service
Rma # :


Dear Sir or Madam,


Enclosed are eight magazines that I have already returned to your company once for replacement. These magazines were severely damaged by Springfield Armory Pistol s.n.( N ). The pistol had been remitted to your company for warranty work under an earlier RMA# ( ) because it had been failing to properly extract fired cartridges. These cartridges were being pulled in between the feed lips of my magazines. This severely bent the feed lips out of proper alignment. After the pistol was returned to me it STILL continued to malfunction in this manner despite being “retuned” by your company. I sincerely doubt any work was done to the pistol at all as far as the warranty work is concerned. At the time that I returned the pistol for that warranty work I also requested that your company replace all of the affected magazines. Springfield replaced only one Wilson magazine and told me all of the other magazines were gauged as “ok”. Upon taking my pistol to the range it ( as I have said ) proceeded to tear up all of my magazines in the same manner as before, destroying the new replacement magazine along with tearing up the other magazines even further.
Realizing that returning the pistol and magazines to your company had gotten me nowhere and that getting warranty satisfaction from Springfield was probably not going to happen I consulted with several gunsmiths and learned that Springfield purposely uses a 9mm pattern extractor in all of their 1911’s. All of these gunsmiths have seen problems associated with this practice. I had a gunsmith fit a Wilson Combat series 70, .45 caliber extractor to the weapon and the malfunction that your company COULD NOT FIX disappeared immediately. The only problem I have now is that ALL of the magazines Springfield chose not to replace (and the subsequently ruined replacement magazine) have an early release problem causing MORE malfunctions with my pistol. Now, if I use brand new magazines, the pistol feeds and extracts flawlessly. In fact I have tried two each of four different brands of magazines and several types of ammunition and haven’t had a malfunction in over fifteen hundred rounds. Incidentally, that malfunction count starts at the exact same time that I had your cheap extractor replaced with the PROPER COMPONENT and also had all of the cheap, light springs you use replaced with serviceable heavier duty springs. Yes, when I had one problem fixed, others showed up, but once the springs were replaced all has been well.
After stewing over this magazine issue for some time now, I called P***y in your customer service department on the 27th of November. After talking with P***y and telling her my story she asked me to send these magazines in for replacement. She was very nice and EXTREMELY helpful. If you have any questions about this issue please see her as I have requested she liaison for me on this issue.
It is my firmest opinion that ALL of these magazines should have been replaced the FIRST TIME (even though your pistol would have still destroyed them again) as the damage to them was OBVIOUSLY visible. I am truly angered by the lack of decency that Springfield has shown in this manner. To NOT repair a pistol specifically returned for warranty work and then to send back components that were visibly ruined by it without replacement then telling me there was nothing wrong with them is simply fraudulent. Period.
It is my hope that Springfield will at least make some attempt at regaining my confidence by replace ALL of these magazines in the manner that I prescribe. My instructions to you are as follows:

1. Replace the four Wilson magazines that have been remitted in this package. Two are eight round magazines and two are seven round magazines. Replace them ONLY with other WILSON COMBAT magazines. You may substitute seven round magazine for the two eights if you would like as I will no longer be using eight round magazines.

2. Replace the two factory Springfield Armory magazines with your standard magazines.

3. Replace my Chip McCormick Shooting Star eight round magazines with C. McCormick eight round or seven round Shooting Star Magazines. I prefer seven rounds but whatever you have in stock or can get will be fine. If you do not carry McCormick magazines, please contact their company and have them ship the replacements as soon as possible.

4. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCE is Springfield Armory to charge me any amount whatsoever for any of this replacement. Your company shall rightly bear the responsibility for the following:

A. turning out an inferior product ( your 1911A1 pistols)
B. not doing the repair work requested ( or doing a POOR job of it) and returning to me a malfunctioning firearm
C. not replacing the magazines that had been ruined by your pistol in the first place
D. with malice of forethought, assembling your 1911A1 pistols with improper components and endangering the lives and safety of Springfield Armory’s customers
E. turning me, a once unabashed proponent of Springfield Armory, into one very angry, dissatisfied, disappointed, disgusted former customer.


Please remit my replacement magazines to the address I have given above. If you have any questions please feel to contact me at home at your leisure.


Very Sincerely,

Link Posted: 12/1/2002 11:56:46 PM EDT
oh guys, here it is...my piece de resistance...the 2point something page letter to Springfield....this is the original, the classic, the letter that started it all...(well...it actually has another revision or two yet...but I am almost there) this letter contains just all all of the stuff any of you may have wanted to originally know about. So here we go:


December 2, 2002
Springfield, Inc.
420 W. Main St.
Geneseo, IL 61254

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing in regards to the quality of two firearms I have purchased from Springfield, Inc. recently. The first was a 1911A1 Armor Kote model in .45 ACP. The other is one of your limited edition M1 Garand rifles. In both instances, I have been deeply disappointed in the quality and the workmanship of your products. In this letter I have documented the issues that I have incurred with both weapons.
The 1911A1 would not function straight out of the box. It had numerous extraction and ejection issues that damaged several of my magazines. The pistol would extract a cartridge from the chamber but instead of ejecting the cartridge it would drag the spent case in between the feed lips of the magazine and under the ejector. This spread the feed lips apart severely and damaged them. The malfunction required quite a bit of work to clear and I am surprised it did not damage the pistol in some way. Because I could not determine the cause of the malfunction I ended up sending the weapon back to Springfield for tuning. The tuning that was done hardly sufficed and the weapon continued to malfunction often. Since your company could not solve this issue I went to a few of the local gunsmiths around town and asked for their advice. I subsequently learned that Springfield, Inc. uses 9-millimeter caliber extractors on ALL 1911A1s produced, regardless of caliber. I was shocked to hear this and made phone calls to a couple of reliable sources to confirm it. After discovering that, indeed, Springfield purposely uses the incorrect component in the .45 caliber 1911A1; I purchased a Wilson .45 caliber extractor and had it fitted to the weapon. After replacing the offending component, the malfunctioning ceased. COMPLETELY! I have since learned that this is a common fix for Springfield guns in Arizona (probably elsewhere, too) and that many of the smith’s around here attend to the same problem frequently. I personally believe that most folks would rather take their weapon to a smith for a fix that trust it to UPS or FED EX. This may be why Springfield rarely hears of this issue.
In regards to the magazines that I sent to Springfield for replacement, Springfield replaced only one magazine. The bill of lading returned with the weapon stated that all of the other magazines were gauged “OK” and were returned “as is”. This was done despite the fact that one of the magazines still has obvious damage incurred by the use of the malfunctioning pistol. I will again briefly describe the nature of the malfunction: said pistol was failing to eject cartridges and was dragging the empty cases between the feed lips of the magazine instead of ejecting the spent cartridge. This severely stretched the feed lips out of shape. I personally believe the integrity of all magazines involved was compromised and firmly believe each of these magazines should have been replaced regardless of how they gauged. In fact I have confirmed that ALL of the magazines in question were indeed compromised. Every magazine that Springfield returned to me as “ok” fails to release cartridges correctly. During the chambering sequence the slide will end up just shy of being in battery with the extractor sitting against the base of the cartridge instead of gripping the rim of the cartridge. At some point the cartridges are not slipping into the extractor groove during the chambering sequence, they are popping out of the magazine ahead of the extractor. This malfunction also occurs with the magazine that was supposedly “replaced”. Now, when I use magazines that I have borrowed from my friends, this problem goes away in EVERY instance. When I switch back to my magazines the problem returns. I believe that sums up the fact that ALL of the magazines that I said were ruined ARE indeed RUINED and were ruined by the firearm in question.

Another problem with the pistol was that the rear sight continually shot loose. It would almost fall right out of the dovetail after just a few magazines. I stripped, cleaned and then installed the sight with loctite but that didn’t help at all. I did this again but I also peened the rear dovetail but to no avail. I had your repair department deal with this issue also when I sent the pistol in for “tuning”. After the first thousand rounds all was well, then low and behold, I noticed yesterday that the rear sight had shot loose yet again! It flops back and forth almost as bad as it did the first time. This is utterly inexcusable. I have a Browning High Power with aftermarket Wilson sights installed and they have never shifted, let alone shot loose. This particular pistol has over ten thousand rounds through it and the sights are perfectly tight.
Another issue that occurred with your pistol also happened within the first two magazines that were fired. This malfunction could have easily cost someone his or her life. During those first few rounds the over travel screw worked its way into the trigger mechanism so deeply that the pistol could not fire. My main question on this issue is this: what business does an over travel screw have being on a combat pistol in the first place? I have since had the offending screw peened into place so that it cannot shift.
Recently, as I have worked with the weapon further, other issues have begun to manifest themselves. For instance, the dust cover of the slide had begun to show lateral wear marks through the finish and into the metal. It turns out that there was a large amount of metal inside the dust cover of the frame that was not removed before final finishing. It had begun to wear a very nice groove into the slide. I this issue resolved also (very, very carefully) so that there won’t be any further damage to the slide. Of course the damage has already been done and any sharp-eyed 1911 aficionado can tell that my pistol was poorly made. Another fitting problem I have noticed concerns the safety. The thumb pad is so poorly shaped (geometrically) that it rubs against the plunger tube when the safety is released. It has also started to tear a nice chunk of rubber right out of the left grip panel. I am sure it is only a matter of time before another new problem surfaces.



Link Posted: 12/1/2002 11:59:19 PM EDT
part II

An interesting aside to the previous issues is that this pistol is phenomenally accurate, I have put 150 rounds into a single group with this pistol many times off the bench. Of course this is as long as the sights stay put. The only issue with the accuracy is that this pistol shoots 2 inches low at 15 yards. This can easily solved with a taller rear sight. It is a testament to John Browning that, despite the poor job Springfield did assembling and updating this weapon, that the old 1911 can still perform in at least one manner with efficiency.
I am most deeply troubled by the fact that Springfield, Inc. has the audacity to build a 1911A1 pistol with the WRONG component in it as a matter of business. In saving a meager few cents by purposely using the wrong extractor you jeopardize the lives of people who very well may need one of your pistols to defend their life or the lives of their family members. How can you do such a thing in good conscience? If you need to raise the price of your pistols ten dollars to make sure they go out the door in good working order, do it! If you have to raise the price fifty dollars, do it! Don’t proclaim to be such a great company then turn around and crank out junk…. The High Point Arms Company does that job just fine.
Sadly I am not finished with my grievances with your company. Before understanding the full scope of the problems with my 1911A1, I also purchased one of your lovingly “handcrafted” M1 Garand rifles. The shop I purchased the Garand at is a nice shop but a bit dim as far as light is concerned so I did not notice the defect in the rifle until I got home. Upon returning home with my new purchase, I discovered that the front sight was not an arsenal refinish or good condition, old production sight but an arsenal REBEND! I must say that the workmanship was pathetic. There are claw marks and hammer marks all over the front sight. In fact it looks as if someone ran over it with a tractor and then tossed it into a wood chipper for added effect. I feel like a fool for missing such a blatant defect. I cannot fathom why one of your “distinctive limited-edition firearms” should have such an obvious flaw. This is not the only flaw, either. Inside the op rod on the camming hump there is a section of the op rod that is either SEVERELY corroded or has been chewed on by mice suffering a terrible iron deficiency. I can imagine this part of the op rod cracking over time and leaving me with a broken gun. I really do not like the idea of one half of the op rod dismounting the weapon in mid cycle. The latest discovery I have made is another “winner”; whilst removing the stock metal (in order to seal the stock) I noticed that my front hand guard has NO liner in it. That is some real icing on the cake.


This brings me to the point of my letter: I would like an explanation as to the serious deficiencies in the overall quality and workmanship of your weapons. For many years I have owned Springfield M1A rifles with pride and I am very disappointed to find that the other weapons your are producing are of such low quality and reliability. I can no longer recommend Springfield, Inc. to my friends and associates. In fact, I have begun to tell folks NOT to purchase your weapons. I feel terrible doing this but more so I feel betrayed by the management of Springfield, Inc.
On a positive note, I do wish to mention that the customer service personnel at Springfield, Inc. are very nice people. They have always tried their very best to help me out and make me a satisfied customer. Though I am very disappointed with your management and quality practices, your customer service and technical staff are always ready to lend me a hand. Please pass my thanks on to them.
I must tell you that I cannot allow any of my friends or associates to purchase any of your 1911A1pistols due to the terrible manufacturing and quality standards you have in place at this time. I believe that Springfield Inc. is willingly and negligently putting people’s lives at risk by purposely using an incorrect component in order to save money. I find this practice abominable and will do everything in my power to have it changed.
I strongly recommend that Springfield Inc. review and mend any and all faulty manufacturing methods and quality practices. The product you are turning out is POOR!!!!! It will be only a matter of time before these negligent practices catch up with your firm and you begin to lose business and garner a poor reputation. As a repeat customer I urge you to reconsider your present business methods and change them soon. I would prefer to be a happy Springfield customer and I would welcome the day that I could once again recommend your products.

Sincerely,

Link Posted: 12/2/2002 7:19:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2002 7:21:29 AM EDT by anothergene]
DM, brevity may not be your strongest point.
Let me play SA for a minute, ok?
Why would you install magazine after magazine if you knew they would be destroyed? (trying to think like they would)
Early on, you were told about the 9MM extractor, which could have led you to a solution, before it got this far along. (again, playing SA)
Anyway, I wish you the best in resolving these issues.
Update as needed.
BTW, my Colt series '80 extractors drop in the SA slide...and fall back out, inverted upward.
And they all look tapered the same.
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 9:57:48 PM EDT
yeah, hee hee, what I can say in ten seconds I will spend a week writing about. Thank you for the critique....
As far as the mags ending up toasty...indeed it was, in a sense, my bad. I do plead innocence as far as that goes. I am used to SA turning out top notch products and being a very easy company to deal with. In all honesty, I went totally against my better judgement and blamed everything but the gun at first. You name it, ammo, mags, the flippin tide...I couldn't believe SA would turn out a bad product and then NOT fix it.
Guess I learned my lesson there.
Link Posted: 12/6/2002 11:37:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/6/2002 11:39:49 AM EDT by Hawkeye]
I have spoken with Debbie in the SA custom shop on a few occasions and find her to be VERY knowledgeable on SA pistols. Here is what she has said about the issue when I asked her over at 1911forum.com.


Springfield does not use 9mm extractors in the .45ACP pistols. If there is someone out there who has a 9mm extractor in their .45ACP pistol, it may have been installed by mistake or changed after the pistol was shipped. And we do have some new customer service representatives who are just learning about our products and may have misunderstood the question about the 9mm extractors.

Springfield does use the 9mm firing pins in all of our 1911-A1 pistols, except the Professional models.

As always, if someone is experiencing problems with one of our firearms, they can contact our factory to return it for inspection and repair if needed.

Deb, Custom Shop Coordinator
Springfield Custom
Springfield Inc.
customshop@springfield-armory.com
800-680-6866, ext. 920

Link Posted: 12/8/2002 10:22:40 PM EDT
This should be a lesson to us all. I have talked to THREE of the girls in customer service who have ALL told me that 9mm extractors ARE used in all their 1911's. Of course I have proven this is not the case, either...but for the sake of argument let me quote for you:

ME: " ...blah, blah, blahgunsmith tells me that you use 9mm extractors in some of your guns and I am wondering if this is what's causing the problem with mine..."

S.A. CUSTOMER SERVICE REP"...um, actually sir we use that extractor in all of our guns"

unquote
Now, someone else is saying they don't use the small pattern extractor. Mind you, I have SPENT HOURS on the phone with these people and NOT ONLY that but I have PUBLISHED THE DATA (near the top of this thread) THAT PROVES that S.A. DOES USE 9mm ( or "small pattern" ) extractors.

From this point on I will refer to them as "small pattern" only because I admit it would be very easy for S.A. to cop out by saying their is no such thing as a 9mm extractor...only part number XXX or YYY. Technically they would not be lying either.

I am not saying that anyone there is lying to any of us. What I AM SAYING is that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing over there.

Tell ya what, I have had d*b coordinate stuff for me before also, I will call her this week and ask here myself.

Stay tuned....

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