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Looking at a full size RO 45

7600 Views 37 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Dpapa
I'm thinking about a RO full size in 45, from the folks that own them what can you comment on + or -? Trigger, sights, accuracy overall fit and finish....?

Thanks, Steve
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Hi Steve, and welcome to the forum.

Springfield makes exactly ONE off-the-shelf 1911. All the SA 1911's are essentially cosmetic variations of the MilSpec. The RO is the businesslike upgrade that comes with the extras that most folks consider necessary for range work, and does it at a price that would be impossible to meet doing the upgrades yourself.

The absolute minimum requirements for an off-the-shelf gun are a closely fitted slide, frame, and barrel (including the bushing). Everything else is gravy.

You should expect a trigger that breaks cleanly somewhere around 5 pounds. The sights are excellent, and are up to the task of precise paper shooting at 50 yards. You should find the frame and slide fit nearly perfect, though potentially somewhat tight until you have cleaned and oiled the gun and then cycled it smartly 20 times or so by hand, at which point it should be perfect. At lockup, sticking your finger in the muzzle and waggling it up and down should betray little movement.

With the magazines supplied with the gun, it should feed anything without a hiccup.

Finish should be very good, with few machining marks visible anywhere. The Parkerizing should be smooth and deep black.

Now for the bad news. Notice that I say "should" an awful lot. One of our forum members, who will I hope come and reply to you as well, had a very bad experience with his RO. So, you do need to realize that lemons do exist. For that reason, I would recommend buying the gun at a local walk-in store, and taking a good critical look at the gun before walking out with it. If the store gives you any grief over racking the slide and dropping the hammer on some snap caps, go elsewhere.

By the way, never slam the magazine home on any gun that does not belong to you. Magazines and mag catches need to be fitted, but seldom are, and you run the risk of scraping up or scratching somebody else's mags. Depress the mag catch button and slide the mag home gently.
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Thanks for the reply pokute,

I would suspect that if the gun were to be a "lemon" Springfield would make it right. Am I wrong to expect that? You mention magazines, is there a problem with Chip M. mags or Colt mags in this handgun? I have a Micro compact in 45 ACP and it functions with Chip M. mags just fine, it's also pretty accurate for close up work.

Thanks, Steve
Chip's mags are among the best. I think Chip's, Tripp's, and Mec-Gar are the best. I fell for the Wilson Combat sales job and bought some of those... Ordered the same stock number and got different mags 3 times. No more Wilson's for me.

Most people are completely unaware that mags need to be fitted to a properly fitted mag catch, don't worry if it's not a problem. Very few smiths know how to do the job. EGW sells a special catch for those who want to fit it.
How about accuracy, with the slide fitted to the frame as you say and a "match" barrel and bushing can I expect accuracy to be above par?

For the money it seems to be a pretty good deal if it shoots well. I just hate to get involved in a gun that is supposed to be something the company swears is the next best shooting invention and it's just par.

Buy it...you will not be disappointed...SA 1911's are amongst the finest fit finish and shooters of any that I've handled ...experiences with colt rock island sig and Kimbers...all great guns have own qualities but SA did it right and according to this service rep that I spoke to for the lifetime that I own the gun if I ever have a problem they seem to be willing to make it right
If the full size shoes anywhere near as good as the compact then you're in for a treat
How about accuracy, with the slide fitted to the frame as you say and a "match" barrel and bushing can I expect accuracy to be above par?
First, let's kill off the "match barrel" myth. There's no such thing. If there is, you tell me what it means.

What is required for accuracy is that the frame, slide, and barrel lock up in the exact same position relative to each other every time. In order for that to happen, the barrel must fit the frame and slide, and the bushing must fit the frame and barrel.

There are two ways to accomplish this fit. One is to file, and sand, and hone (or mill - Alan Tanaka dials in and mills everything - Scary!) for hours, days, more days. The other way is to control the manufacture of all parts and strive to make them all identical so that they fit together within narrow tolerances.

I own a couple of recently manufactured SA 1911's, and I have shot and 'smithed a few more, and I can tell you that SA factory fit is as good as most custom fit.

I can also tell you something totally sacrilegious - A combat loose gun can be made to shoot with competition level accuracy by simply installing a Dwyer Group Gripper (Sold by Wilson).

I can also tell you that there are smiths who can improve your RO. You will be without your gun for at least a year, and your wallet will be lighter by $2k-$4k.

If you are at all handy I can tell you something else. If your RO doesn't already demonstrate surgical accuracy, you can often tighten up your groups by going to a stronger recoil spring and a link one size larger. It will reduce the life of the gun somewhat, but it's one of the tradeoffs that you can take advantage of to pick up a little extra accuracy.
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If the full size shoes anywhere near as good as the compact then you're in for a treat
He's not talking about shoes! This is not the Springfield Loafers forum!
Pokute...Lol that's what I get for speaking to txt and not proof reading
As a follow up, what is it that makes a TRP or Trophy match different, better, than a RO. besides the SS?

As a follow up, what is it that makes a TRP or Trophy match different, better, than a RO. besides the SS?
Purely cosmetic. I'm not trying to be critical, just factual. They are certainly very good looking, well fitted, highly finished guns. They are classed with the other semi-custom guns, like Les Baer, Nighthawk, the higher grade Kimbers... But none of these are truly custom guns.

Guns from the Springfield Custom Shop are a whole other animal, and are priced accordingly. If you ever get to handle one, you will understand the difference immediately.

Here's my one fully custom gun (A Jim Hoag Mastergrade):


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here is a copy of the things I found unacceptable with my RO and when I sent it in, I got it back and all they did was put more tension on the extractor, but did not replace any of the defective parts. I have tried by email to get them to call me and tell me why none of the sloppy fitting parts are not covered under warranty

will have to say that I might have got a lemon it is real disappointing after all the good things i have heard about the RO , I will list the things that in my opinion have room for improvement .
#1 when they engrave the last three numbers of the serial number don't put it where the disconnected path is, mine was so rough it cut groves in the end of disconnector. I smoothed the slide where the engraving was.

#2 the center leaf of the sear spring should be smooth at contact point of disconnector, mine was sharp edge and had all ready gouged the disconnector just from people playing with gun at gun show. I smoothed both ends of disconnector.

#3 don't use a sander to remove burrs on breech face around firing pin. mine is not flat.

#4 the J cut on breech face should be same depth a the rest of face, mine had a step, I scraped it to remove step.

#5 should barrel to bushing fit should be less than .0030, barrel measured .5802 bushing measured .5832

#6 should bushing to slide fit less than .0030 the bushing measured .6975 to .6978 and slide measured .7005 to .7013

#7 the plunger for the slide stop was rough on end and to long there, on mine there was no way push slide stop in with out a tool to push plunger in with. I smoothed it up think it is still to long.

#8 the extractor is to long and is gouging the brass where the end is hitting angled surface before brass is flat against breech face.
extractor is also clocking be cause firing pin stop is to loose

#9 the firing pin stop also has .006 gap be tween stop and slide I would think it should be slip fit.

#10 slide stop had parting lines on both sides was .004 out of round I smoothed up.

#11 when they put the grip screw bushing in if they bugger one up change it out before putting wood on. I sanded burr off.

to say the least I am not very happy with Quality of RO
can I get any of this fixed under warranty?

Thank You from
Richard Cox
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I found a used RO, NIB, a couple of years ago. I had been looking for a new one, and they were in short supply at the time. My local "drug" dealer had taken it in on a trade. I cleaned it, took it to the range, and ran about 100 rounds through it the first time. It was accurate beyond what I expected for an OTS gun. The slide-to-frame fit was very good, and the other parts were well fitted, and it ran both hardball and HP ammo with no failures.

After about a year, I decided something needed to be done about the front sights. My aging eyes had a bit of trouble picking up the font cleanly, especially when light conditions got to be variable. I solved the "problem" by buying and installing a Dawson Precision fiber-optic front. The difference was noticeable immediately.

Since changing the front sight, the gun is even more fun to shoot. It has fed everything I've put through it. While I like the standard grips, I did add a set of ivory polymers to it, simply because they look darned nice on it.

For me, it would be hard to find more gun for the money. It's very much a "finish follows function" type of gun. Everything I need, and nothing I don't.
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Deerspy, you need to buy my custom MilSpec.
Derspy.I can totally understand how it's disappointing when you spend that much money on something brand new however the beauty of the 1911 is that you can do anything you would like to it after owning mine for 3 weeks have fully disassemble the frame and there's nothing to it maybe use this as an opportunity to read up on the weapons platform and build it the way that you would like to but really not quite as expensive if you do the work yourself but make sure before you do that you have a full understanding of the function of each piece as it truly takes a lot more than just reading a manual to fully become a gunsmith although I've noticed there are minor things that we can do as novice to get our feet wet
Just do it...it's quite fulfilling just like catching your own dinner out of the stream I used to do a little bit of auto mechanics and worked at a couple of shops is a low grade technician but my own garage I built my own motors while racing motocross and drag racing so I naturally have a interest in these things just a suggestion though and be careful it's addictive once you start doing it today marks the third day that I've disassembled it thanks to oPokute..who finally convince me that oil is much better on the smaller more intricate internals of the gun so I had to clean out the grease and soak them in a oil


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I will have to replace most all of the parts just don't have the money right now I think about making a wad gun with red dot and try again later for a EIC gun
It doesn't seem to be too expensive I think the actual gunsmithing work would cost the most if you were to send it to someone else but if you go to Wilson Combat.com you can actually find things such as the sear disconnect air hammer safety mainspring ETC.and to me it seems like none of the pieces individually are going to run much over $50 apiece... It appears the seer you can get for under 30 the disconnect there can be had for under 30 the hammer would probably be one of the most expensive pieces however I'm sure there's no need to change your hammer I would assume you could have all brand new internals for less than 150.
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