The Omega Man : Springfield's Lost German 10mm

  1. chriseger
    So if you contend that 9mm is just too small, .38 Super is just too old school, and .45ACP is just too slow, odds are you are a 10mm Auto kinda guy. Well Springfield knew about the 10 milly back in the day and even made a 1911 framed pistol to accommodate it. We aren't fooling around here. In fact, it was the Omega.

    These guns were old school 'Pre-90' series guns with a 5.04-inch barrel (a hair bigger longer than standard 1911s) that were made from a West German-US partnership.
    Say what?

    Yes, the top half of the gun was made in Germany by a custom pistol maker, then shipped to the US where it was married to a loaded frame built here and sold in the elegantly crafted blue and white cardboard boxes that Springfield was known for at the time.

    The sold for about $838 retail when it was introduced in about 1986. Today their collector price is upto twice that if you have a nice one with some spare barrels.

    What do we mean by spare barrels? Keep reading.

    Design

    The top half of these guns were made by Joe Peters of the firm Peters, Stahls GmbH in Paderborn, West Germany from early 1980s into the early 1990s. He used a link less design on the internals like that of the SIG P-series guns rather than the Browning 1911 style. The slide also features a double-extractor. Stahl's bit was in designing multiple caliber guns to comply with German gun laws that only allowed a gun owner a single pistol.

    sa-omega-63.jpg
    (Observe the very different internals from a standard 1911: no barrel bushing, twin extractors, one-piece full length guiderod, no swinging link on the barrel..)

    Thus the 1911s his firm made could be swapped out to fire 9x19mm, 10mm Auto, .38 Super, .38 Wadcutter or .45ACP in the same frame, just by swapping out the barrel, recoil spring and (in some cases) the magazine. The gun came in either a 5.04-inch or a 6.03-inch barrel/slide length.

    omega-6-59.jpg

    They were big. Bigger in fact than a standard 1911. And they were heavy, spec'd out at over 47-ounces unloaded-- but hey, it's a half German/half American 10mm Auto longslide, what do you expect?

    springfield-duotone-omega3-62.jpg
    These guns had optional "integral vent ports" as shown.


    omega-note-the-extractr-58.jpg
    (notice the long extractor lever on the slide? An Omega has one on both the left and right)


    springfield-duotone-omega2-61.jpg
    (Internal view of the extractor. Also note the enlarged ejection port in the slide when compared to stock GI 1911s)

    To help tame the heavy 10mm auto round the barrels used polygonal rifling while the heavier than normal slide created through a blend of CNC machining and hand craftsmanship was dual-ported in both the barrel and slide. The good news is that the lower is more or less stock 1911 and commercially available parts can be made/fitted for it. Colt 10mm mags even fit these guns fine. It's the German made loaded slide that has the unique parts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgESUFxTaKE

    Big Daddy Hoffman having 9:30 mins worth of fun with his great shooting Omega.

    Trouble in paradise

    Well at some point the relationship between Peters and Springfield soured and they stopped the Omega partnership in its tracks. Springfield started making a very, *very* similar gun that they billed as the "Linkless" while Stahl switched to having their guns imported by companies that ranged from Euro-Imports, to Swiss Trading GmbH, to Peters Stahl, U.S.A (for two years) and finally by Franzen International as the Model Millennium, 07 Multicaliber, High Capacity Trophy Master, and other names. The company never had more than twenty employees from what we can tell here and was largely a personal enterprise of Herr Peters.

    springfield-linkless10mm-60.jpg
    (Ah the SA Linkless, very similar to the Omega, but slightly different. All Linkless pistols are US-made without anything to do with Stahl and have fixed sights. Omega's all come with adjustable ones)

    Here is the bad news. Even though they had a lifetime warranty when sold, and that warranty is still honored by Springfield Armory, the parts just may not exist to ensure that if your Omega goes south, it can ever be resurrected again. Peters-Stahl folded up shop in 2009 and their website has long been taken down, replaced by one with a similar name that is a German shooting blog so don't get confused.

    springfield-omega-10mm-64.jpg

    The failure point on these pistols all seem to be the guide rod assembly, so if you have an Omega and plan to shoot it, be sure to stock up on these if you can.

    With that being said, SA may offer a comparable replacement if you have an Omega that goes kaput-- but there is no guarantee the collector's value will be there on whatever they offer.

    For more info on the Omega, try the excellent Bren Ten website, keepers of the faith of all things 10mm.

    And by all means, if you have an Omega, please share with the forum below!

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