Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #4

17-Aug-12 – 20:23 by ToddG
8,568 rounds 4 stoppages 0 malfunctions 0 parts breakages
3 mags deadlined

It’s been two weeks since the last report because the test gun was back at the Springfield Armory Custom Shop for about a week. Primarily, the gun was sent back to get a couple of spare extractors fitted. While it was there, Springfield checked the gun and re-tuned the installed extractor for good measure. I’d also sent along two of the Metalform magazines that were associated with previous stoppages and as expected, SACS suggested that the mags needed stronger springs.

With just shy of two thousand rounds through the gun since it came back, it’s experienced one stoppage. However, it was completely unlike the previous stoppages: a genuine failure to eject.

stoppage at #7,956

That stoppage was with one of the Wilson magazines. Ammo was CCI/Speer 54882, their mil-spec (124gr @ 1,230fps) lead free round. I received 50,000 rounds of this ammo and it’s definitely hot. Multiple people have shot it side by side with either Federal Champion 115gr FMJ or Winchester White Box 115gr and the difference is noticeable.

I did have to deadline another Metalform magazine. This is the third one that stopped locking the slide back on empty (which is almost certainly the sign of the spring becoming too weak).

From a shooting standpoint, my reloads are coming along but still need work. First I got the mag drop (mag catch) working, then I focused on the mag insertion. Now, the thing I’m fumbling most is the slide catch. The other focus for my practice is multiple shots to low% targets. I’ve been doing well on the draw, but follow-up shots have been too undisciplined.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

You can also follow and discuss via the pistol-forum.com 2012-2013 Endurance Test thread.

Previous Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test posts at pistol-training.com:


  1. 13 Responses to “Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #4”

  2. So far what I’m taking from this is that even though the gun is pretty reliable as 4 stoppages in about 8,000 rounds isn’t bad, there’s no reason to spend custom 1911 money, unless you just want to by preference. It appears an HK45 is still the superior platform of all tested pistols so far. Can’t say I’m surprised…..something about ze Germans engineering. Of course at this point the $500 M&P (9mm, which is probably the worst caliber problem wise to get the M&P in) had no stoppages and even the cheapest of them all the Glock 17 had fewer stoppages. Makes me think maybe we’re all a little to worried about current production pistol quality as all of the ones tested appear to be pretty reliable and more so then a multi thousand dollar 1911. Seems to be a good time to be purchasing guns.

    By Mark on Aug 18, 2012

  3. Y’know if you bought a Glock you wouldn’t have to deal with different extractors and such… What? … Oh… Never mind.

    By Motor-T on Aug 18, 2012

  4. Much as I love the endurance test, I’m more intrigued by this: “Ammo was CCI/Speer 54882, their mil-spec (124gr @ 1,230fps) lead free round…it’s definitely hot”

    Tried to search that part number on the Speer site and I couldn’t find it. Is this available retail? ‘m trying to find a commercial load that matches Speer’s 9mm 124 +p Gold Dot loads, but even their Lawmen cartridges don’t seem to have the same energy/velocities.

    By NWGlocker on Aug 18, 2012

  5. Which thumb are you using to hit the slide release? Just curious.

    By F-Trooper05 on Aug 18, 2012

  6. NWGlocker — It is not commercially available to the best of my knowledge.

    F-Trooper — my left (support hand) thumb, because I cannot reach it with my right (shooting hand).

    By ToddG on Aug 18, 2012

  7. Given my experience w/ SA guns, I would suggest looking at your slide lock/thumb safety spring. It migh have a very stiff Wolff spring in it. That tends to make the SA guns overly sensitive to mag spring strength. Just food for thought.

    By blr on Aug 19, 2012

  8. Maybe it went to Smyrna by accident and they fitted the extractor?

    By Steve B. on Aug 19, 2012

  9. Todd – don’t worry about your indiscipline, its a .45 cal. You won’t need follow up shots, hahaha! As Claude Werner always says, “Ancient religion.” It’ll be interesting to see where this stands after 50k rounds. No matter how the Gen 4 G17 performed, I see this as being substantially worse if it gets to 50k without major problems. I’ll be pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong.

    I’m also not sure about the efficacy of buying a gun that costs around $2k and needs to go back to the factory for “tuning” at between 6k-8k rounds…or at all. A gun isn’t a status symbol, its a tool. People want a tool that works well that is as inexpensive as possible, especially today in this economy. Its like hybrid cars. A recent survey found that most owners would not have bought them if they didn’t have a plate on the side that identified them as a hybrid. In other words people get them not b/c of what they do, but what they say about their owners, “Look at me, look at me!” I put the 1911 in that category. As a well known 1911 expert who is a good friend of mine once told me, “The 1911 isn’t for everybody or every day. It’s an aficionados gun.”

    By John Taylor on Aug 21, 2012

  10. John — The gun didn’t need to go back after 6-8k rounds. It was sent back, as explained above, because SACS needed the gun to fit spare extractors. Re-tuning the installed extractor was just done as a courtesy to help stave off the time when I’d need to replace it with one of the spares. There’s no evidence that any of the problems experienced before (or after) have been related to the extractor.

    By ToddG on Aug 21, 2012

  11. Ironically enough, there are plenty of reasons to think that WRT reliability you actually would have been better off with a 400 dollar Llama or Firestorm 1911 rather than a multi-thousand dollar tack-driver. Not sure about the 9mm factor, but with a .45ACP the less tuned ones tend to be more reliable, what with the lower tolerances. In terms of over-all reliability and endurance you’d probably be best off with a Colt Government Model. The high-priced 1911s are tuned for accuracy and pleasant shooting, not reliability. The tolerances are a LOT tighter than what you’d see in a Government Model, a Glock, an M9, an HK, or any other practical combat pistol.

    By chimptastic on Aug 22, 2012

  12. Hey Todd, quick off subject question. Have you considered testing a Beretta Px4? I’d be interested to see how the rotary barrel holds up.

    By Romans9 on Aug 24, 2012

  13. Chimptastic-

    There is nothing to prove or even suggest that anyone would be better off with a Llama or Firestorm or any other cheaply manufactured 1911. The SACS guns have an excellent track record and I recently did a “4,000 Round Challenge” with my Jardine-built Colt that is extremely well fit.

    What matters isn’t how loose or tight the gun is. What matters is that the quality parts (with correct geometry) the gun is comprised of are fit right.

    Todd- With regards to mags, I have found that CMC Powermags (the older ones not the “plus”) are by far the best for the 1911 platform. I don’t think they make them in 9mm, but they make a 38 Super mag now. If you call them they may be able to work something out for 9mm.

    By KevH on Aug 26, 2012

  14. KevH,

    Of course there is! Okay, the Llama might be a bit of an exagerration, but after both Colt and Savage failed the Army’s service tests, the 1911 design was modified with looser tolerances in order to acheive the level of reliability demanded by the Army. Then it was perfectly reliable. Granted, those modifications primarily compensated for inexact and inconsistent manufacturing issues. I readily admit that it is totally possible to have a tight 1911 that is perfectly reliable, but it’s much harder to pull that off than having a loose one that is reliable. Both the 1911A1s and modern combat pistols are all much looser than the tight custom 1911s, and there’s a reason for that.

    By chimptastic on Aug 28, 2012

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