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First impressions:

I finally got to the range around 10am today with my new Springfield SA-35.
I wondered if the gun was going to turn out as good as I hoped it would be.

First 10 rounds or so were rather wild, until everything settled in. The sights gave no indication at first as to where the hole was likely to be in the target, but this settled down, and after a dozen or so rounds, the (fixed) sights appeared to be very accurate at 15 yards. Was very pleasantly surprised to find this.

I discovered that if I clamp the gun VERY firmly in my hands, as I thought I observed Hickok45 doing, the rounds were controlled better.

If I carefully picked up the gun with one round, placed it perfectly into my right hand, then wrapped my left hand around the gun as my friend Dave Salyer suggested long ago, the shots were most likely to be good. If I loaded more than one round at a time, the holes were less controlled, I suspect because the gun shifted in my hands each time it fired.

As was posted in one of the magazine articles, good results today were with Wilson remanufactured ammo - but my Magtech ammo was also excellent. I can’t say for sure one is “better” than the other.

Wilson: 9mm 135gr HBFN Remanufactured 950 FPS 5” Barrel RA9-135-HBFN

Magtech: 9mm Luger 7,45g (115 gr) FJM (9A) BS0630 L-1299


Towards the end of the day, I shot this target, loading one round at a time, with the Wilson ammo:

White Black Air gun Trigger Gun barrel


My impressions - the gun felt very light in my hands. I was expecting it to feel much heavier.
The trigger felt perfect. I’m no expert, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
I expected the gun to feel “fat” in my hands, but the gun fit my hands like a glove, actually vice versa.
People talk about “hammer bite”, where the top of your hand gets cut by the hammer. No such thing happened.
Everything worked perfectly. No issues at all. The iron sights were awesome! Much better than I anticipated.
In my other 9mm gun, there was a lot more “felt recoil”. With the SA-35, not much recoil, and the amount the gun moved in my hands was inversely proportional to how hard I tried the “crush” the gun in my grip.

Any future improvements will be me, not the gun.

I find it difficult to believe that this is a $699 gun. I think a more realistic price would be closer to $1,000.
 

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While disassembling, I had to use a plastic/brass mallet to "nudge" the slide pinout. It is tight.
Same here, using finger pressure alone, it wouldn't budge, but once I moved it just slightly, it came right out.

I left the original lubrication as-is. Most of what I have is expensive recommended stuff, and maybe the lube from the factory is designed to let it wear in?

Did you get to shoot yours? Any results you can post?

My range has a rule, we can only load up to five rounds at a time in a pistol (six in a revolver). I suspect that the more I shoot it, the more it will loosen up.

Reminds me of something - Hickok45 holds the gun in one hand and the other hand slides the slide back and forth seemingly without any effort. He does that with all his guns. Maybe he's got very powerful hands, as I sure can't do that. The more I shoot it, the more easily I think the slide will move back and forth. Also, when he shoots, the gun remains quite still. I can't do that (yet). Again, I think he has more powerful hands. He will go through 15 rounds like it was nothing. I struggle to maintain my grip ever time I fire. Maybe some day I'll be able to buy a pair of the "sharks-skin grips" for the SA-35.
 

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Same here, using finger pressure alone, it wouldn't budge, but once I moved it just slightly, it came right out.

I left the original lubrication as-is. Most of what I have is expensive recommended stuff, and maybe the lube from the factory is designed to let it wear in?

Did you get to shoot yours? Any results you can post?

My range has a rule, we can only load up to five rounds at a time in a pistol (six in a revolver). I suspect that the more I shoot it, the more it will loosen up.

Reminds me of something - Hickok45 holds the gun in one hand and the other hand slides the slide back and forth seemingly without any effort. He does that with all his guns. Maybe he's got very powerful hands, as I sure can't do that. The more I shoot it, the more easily I think the slide will move back and forth. Also, when he shoots, the gun remains quite still. I can't do that (yet). Again, I think he has more powerful hands. He will go through 15 rounds like it was nothing. I struggle to maintain my grip ever time I fire. Maybe some day I'll be able to buy a pair of the "sharks-skin grips" for the SA-35.

I'll get out the next day or two. I'll post what I do, if I'm not to embarrassed. My range you can shoot full mags so I'll have no problems going thru the full mag. (with the only mg they give us).
 

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with the only mg they give us
They wanted to sell it for $699, so just one magazine. I think extra magazines are around $35 each, for high quality mags. I want to buy one more. If I ever use this gun in our club bullseye competition, two magazines make life much easier, each one being loaded with 5 rounds as per the rules.

If you only shoot 10 rounds at your target it will be easy to score.
 

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The disassembly of the Browning is very similar, if not the same and the majority of 1911, and 2011 pistols, as is the functionality. Some cost a great deal more than the SA 35 but you always only get what you pay for. Accuracy has little to do with a strong grip, but more the placement of both hands. Also, recoil is what it is, if fired from one pistol or another. A great trigger, crisp around 2-3lbs is excellent and the pistol balance. An absolute must for a pistol must be adjustable rear sights, and ambidextrous safety. It is the person holding a good pistol that hits the bullseye, and having a better pistol like a Wilson Combat or STI makes no difference.
 

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Accuracy has little to do with a strong grip, but more the placement of both hands. ........ A great trigger, crisp around 2-3lbs is excellent and the pistol balance. An absolute must for a pistol must be adjustable rear sights, and ambidextrous safety. It is the person holding a good pistol that hits the bullseye, and having a better pistol like a Wilson Combat or STI makes no difference.
In Bullseye shooting, with a precision gun made for that purpose, perhaps an S&W Model 52, everything else being equal, all I can say is I get smaller groups when I use a "strong grip"

Regarding placement of hands, this video seems to demonstrate what you wrote, and tilting the support hand downwards is something I need to try.

For Bullseye, adjustable sights, or even a red dot sight, would be extremely helpful. For the SA-35, it would be a nice option, and if available, I would certainly buy one - but watching Hickok45 shoot the SA-35, he does quite well - far better than I can even dream of being. And by watching the gun carefully as he shoots, the gun barely moves in his hand when he fires. I've thought that was because of his very strong grip - maybe you have a better explanation?

I would agree with the last thing you wrote, that "it's the shooter", rather than "it's the gun", but a good shooter with a good gun would be best, at least in Bullseye handgun competition.


More importantly, going to this page SA-35 Series Handguns - Springfield Armory implies to me that this is just the first of a series, and Springfield is likely to introduce other versions of the gun, with additional features, and almost certainly at a higher price. They're likely to have an enhanced version for sale once they get caught up with the current model, and maybe I'll buy one of them eventually, but for now, I'm very pleased with what I got, even though I had to pay more than the $700 to get it.


Thanks for your post - if I get to the range tomorrow, I want to try out some of those other ideas.
....and I would love to buy a set of "sharkskin" grips for my gun, when/if they become available. The standard grips are beautiful, but very smooth. I prefer grips that dig into my skin.


you always only get what you pay for.
Curious, if someone were willing to pay more, which Browning Hi Power guns are currently "the best"?
Maybe that's not what you meant?

I think this list of videos is from a custom shop that enhances these guns, but I haven't yet found a page showing what can be bought, or what work they can do to an existing gun.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-IpEHrajIiEWM-2efORLw/videos
 

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They wanted to sell it for $699, so just one magazine. I think extra magazines are around $35 each, for high quality mags. I want to buy one more. If I ever use this gun in our club bullseye competition, two magazines make life much easier, each one being loaded with 5 rounds as per the rules.

If you only shoot 10 rounds at your target it will be easy to score.
For some reason I can't seem to make a new post, so I'll piggyback on yours. Went to the range and shot 100 rds to see how this thing goes. I don't like the front sight. For me, it is hard to pick up and the dot is real small. Second, the trigger. Strange, but sometime during rapid fire it seem to fire two rounds close together (like an automatics?). I haver a Kimber 9mm does the same thing. Gotta watch it (my finger placement). Recoil is minimum; shoots just fine. Mag is hard to load after 12 rounds and could not get the 15th in a couple of times. I WAS NOT satisfied with my session. Maybe it was me but I shoot a lot better. Picture1 is what I do with a Kimber Ultra Carry .45 cal. I am a .45 nut and carry it as often as I can. Well, enough, now the photos. Like I said, the first one is 45, various distances from 3-20 yards. The rest are with the SA and again, various distances.

Not to shabby for an old timer at 84 yrs. Guess gotta practice more.
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Not to shabby for an old timer at 84 yrs.
Wow, what an understatement!!!!! Pretty durn good!!!

I don't know which shots are from which distance, so I don't fully understand what you've posted.

Feel to add on as much as you want to this post - the more, the better.

My club, and my matches, have bullseye competitions, as well as many others. Officially, I ought to be shooting one handed at 25 and 50 yards, but for now I'll be content with 15 and 25 yards. I always load 5 rounds, and usually shoot 10 rounds at a target, then stop, and score.

Maybe the reason your front sight dot is less visible is because of your eyes? I had cataracts repaired in both my eyes, and I had three sets of glasses made up, one for 24" from eye to front sight, one for 30", and another set that focuses on "infinity", meaning the targets and/or my red dots from those sights. I tried the 24" glasses, and the front sight was perfectly clear, with a somewhat blurry target and background behind it. This was in daylight - might be different indoors.

If you can verify that it is shooting "double", give Springfield a call - maybe they'll send you replacement parts, or maybe they'll want to do the work themselves. If you load fewer rounds, it will be more obvious if the gun is doing this.

I can't comment on the magazines - I only have one, and I only load up to 5 rounds at a time. Do you do this by hand, or with one of those UpLula magazine loaders?
UpLULA® – 9mm to 45ACP universal pistol mag loader
I gave up on doing it by hand - the loader makes things so much easier.

You're either VERY consistent, or those last two targets are the same. :)
 

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For some reason I can't seem to make a new post, so I'll piggyback on yours. Went to the range and shot 100 rds to see how this thing goes. I don't like the front sight. For me, it is hard to pick up and the dot is real small. Second, the trigger. Strange, but sometime during rapid fire it seem to fire two rounds close together (like an automatics?). I haver a Kimber 9mm does the same thing. Gotta watch it (my finger placement). Recoil is minimum; shoots just fine. Mag is hard to load after 12 rounds and could not get the 15th in a couple of times. I WAS NOT satisfied with my session. Maybe it was me but I shoot a lot better. Picture1 is what I do with a Kimber Ultra Carry .45 cal. I am a .45 nut and carry it as often as I can. Well, enough, now the photos. Like I said, the first one is 45, various distances from 3-20 yards. The rest are with the SA and again, various distances.

Oldtimmer, your target shooting at any age is outstanding, and you would put many to shame. well done. With regards to putting rounds into a magazine, and many have trouble doing this i would suggest you try using a loader "Uplupa" they make it easy, most use them. Or what i prefer is if i have trouble fitting the last few rounds into a magazine i cut 1/2 or 1 coil off the magazine spring. All the best, and keep it up.
 

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Wow, what an understatement!!!!! Pretty durn good!!!

I don't know which shots are from which distance, so I don't fully understand what you've posted.

Feel to add on as much as you want to this post - the more, the better.

My club, and my matches, have bullseye competitions, as well as many others. Officially, I ought to be shooting one handed at 25 and 50 yards, but for now I'll be content with 15 and 25 yards. I always load 5 rounds, and usually shoot 10 rounds at a target, then stop, and score.

Maybe the reason your front sight dot is less visible is because of your eyes? I had cataracts repaired in both my eyes, and I had three sets of glasses made up, one for 24" from eye to front sight, one for 30", and another set that focuses on "infinity", meaning the targets and/or my red dots from those sights. I tried the 24" glasses, and the front sight was perfectly clear, with a somewhat blurry target and background behind it. This was in daylight - might be different indoors.

If you can verify that it is shooting "double", give Springfield a call - maybe they'll send you replacement parts, or maybe they'll want to do the work themselves. If you load fewer rounds, it will be more obvious if the gun is doing this.

I can't comment on the magazines - I only have one, and I only load up to 5 rounds at a time. Do you do this by hand, or with one of those UpLula magazine loaders?
UpLULA® – 9mm to 45ACP universal pistol mag loader
I gave up on doing it by hand - the loader makes things so much easier.

You're either VERY consistent, or those last two targets are the same. :)
Should have explained my shooting. The silhouette are 3-5-7-12-15 yards for the 45. The 9mm were 15 and 20 yards (hate 20 yrds). The bullseye targets were 5 and 10 yards.
Yes, I'll have to watch that "double tap" and see if it the weapon or me.
 

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I went to the range today with two objectives - shoot lots more rounds, to help my new SA-35 break in, and loosen up, and to try out several ideas I read about improving two-hand shooting.

The ideas on how to do better were a joke. Rounds went all over the place, like I never bothered to aim. So I gave up on all of them, and did what I tried last time - lock the gun between my two hands, and clamp down on it as if I was pretending to be a machinist’s vise. That worked splendidly, in my opinion. The gun no longer squirmed around in my hands, and all 25 rounds went into an acceptable (to me) group.

The gun did loosen up slightly, but it’s still quite “stiff”.

All rounds were shot using what Dave Salyer taught me about “area aiming”. I sort of tried to keep the sights lined up with the bullseye, applied steadily increasing pressure to the trigger, and at some point, the gun “surprised me” by firing. There was no desire to flinch, or blink, or anything really - just apply pressure smoothly until the gun fired. It probably sounds silly when I write it here, but shooting with the SA-35 sights feels as easy as using a red dot - at least when I’m shooting as I did today. I suspect with a red dot, I would do better, but for now, I’ll shoot it the way it comes.

Ammo was a mix of Wilson 135 gr ammo and Magtech 115 grain ammo. I stopped paying attention - after shooting the last round, just loaded five more, and went at it again. None of this was “careful aiming”; if anything, I was shooting fairly quickly. I didn’t time anything, but I think it was close to how I would shoot rapid fire - which is a pleasant surprise, as I didn’t think I could shoot rapid fire with iron sights! I’ll use a Bullseye timer next time - I’m curious now.

The gun is starting to look slightly dirty, but until I find out otherwise, I plan to shoot it like I did my Les Baer - keep shooting, the more the better, and then gun parts will start to work smoothly with each other.

The gun still hasn’t made a single “error”; it does what I want it to do, when I want it to do so. No jams, no feeding problems, no nothing - load 5 rounds and shoot.


My range friend Bob convinced me that I should be able to adjust the windage in the sights, which I didn’t think I could do. I’m not going to do it yet, but it’s nice to know it’s possible.


My new ‘grip’, based on what Dave Salyer told me to do, is to hole the gun in my left hand, and wrap my right hand around it, placing the bone at the end of the thumb up against the back of the gun, then wrap three fingers around the front of the gun, with the trigger finger pointing to the front. When that was done, I placed my left hand up next to the gun, so my hand “filled in” the empty areas of the stocks, with my top finger pointing forward. I then “clamped” my hands around the gun as tight as I knew how. As I got them tighter, the gun stopped slipping in my hands as I fired. I was rather astonished to see that I could keep firing into my group, with not even one “wild” shot - this is a first for me. With Dave’s technique for holding and gripping the gun, I could put the gun down after 5 rounds, re-load, and the following five rounds went just where I expected, into my group.

For better or worse, my group is about 4.5” at 15 yards. Maybe the more I shoot, it will improve.

I have no idea how much the SA-35 is capable of. For that matter, I don’t know what I’m capable of, using iron sights. It’s not a “bullseye gun”, and I suspect there are lots of little things that can be done to improve it, but I’m mostly going to plan on shooting it until it’s “broken in”, and see if the gun and/or I create a tighter group.

(I also need to try to shoot it one-handed, which was part of the plan for today, but never happened.)

Photograph White Air gun Trigger Line
 

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Same here, using finger pressure alone, it wouldn't budge, but once I moved it just slightly, it came right out.

I left the original lubrication as-is. Most of what I have is expensive recommended stuff, and maybe the lube from the factory is designed to let it wear in?

Did you get to shoot yours? Any results you can post?

My range has a rule, we can only load up to five rounds at a time in a pistol (six in a revolver). I suspect that the more I shoot it, the more it will loosen up.

Reminds me of something - Hickok45 holds the gun in one hand and the other hand slides the slide back and forth seemingly without any effort. He does that with all his guns. Maybe he's got very powerful hands, as I sure can't do that. The more I shoot it, the more easily I think the slide will move back and forth. Also, when he shoots, the gun remains quite still. I can't do that (yet). Again, I think he has more powerful hands. He will go through 15 rounds like it was nothing. I struggle to maintain my grip ever time I fire. Maybe some day I'll be able to buy a pair of the "sharks-skin grips" for the SA-35.
 

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Same here, using finger pressure alone, it wouldn't budge, but once I moved it just slightly, it came right out.

Still having problems removing the slide stop. Well, taking an idea from those folks that chamfered the edge on the slide stops for 1911s. I releaved it a bit around the indent where it fits in the recoil spring. No more banging, just some pressure and make sure the stop isn't resting on the frame (if you all know what I am trying to say).
 

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I stopped posting, because I got too frustrated. Loading 5 rounds at a time, and shooting with a rest
First 5 - not too bad
Next 5 - ditto
Next 5 - group got larger

By the firth magazine, holes were all over the target

By the 7th magazine, holes were all over the backing board.

By the next magazine, they rounds went beyond my backing board, so I stopped shooting.

Wiggled the very hot barrel in the even hotter slide - it there had been a barrel bushing, which the gun doesn't use, it felt like it fell out. The barrel rattled around in the slide.

Disassembled, re-lubed, inspected, re-assembled, by which time the gun had cooled.

I tried again, which was a repeat of the above experience.


Called Springfield, they sent me a pre-paid shipping label, returned the gun, and got it back a couple of weeks later with a note that there was nothing wrong.

Repeated the above shooting experience, no change, same problem - as I see it, the slide might have had a crack that was opening up as the gun got hot.

Sent back gun again, same story, nothing wrong.


I told the tech support people that my gun has a major problem, and the technicians who tested the gun never tried to repeat my written instructions on how to shoot it (as I did) and see for themselves something was broken.

Fast forward a bit - I told them I do not want them to send that gun back to me, S/N #HP5267. I either wanted my money back, or a replacement gun.

It's now October 15, and about two weeks ago they finally got in whatever parts were missing, so they could build a gun to send me. I can't get to the range for another three weeks or so, but as soon as possible, I want to try the new gun out, and verify it works properly. I fully expect it to do just that. Something in my original gun was broken, but that's not what bothers me - I sent them specific instructions on how to make it fail (like what I posted up above) and they never even tried. To me, that's inexcusable, but at least they replaced it with a new gun.
 

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Any advice on this? Which is better - to take a new SA-35 out of the package, and head to the range, and start shooting?

Or, to disassemble the gun, clean and lube it myself, and only then take it to the range to shoot?


On my first gun, I did what the Springfield technician suggested - take it right to the range, and start shooting it. I think with my new gun, I'll disassemble, inspect, clean, and re-lube.
 
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