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New SA-35

11215 Views 81 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  MikeMyers
SA-35 Handguns - Springfield Armory (springfield-armory.com)

Been checking out some videos on Youtube regarding the new SA-35. Looks pretty sweet!
At this juncture the only thing I wish they might have done is made the front sight fiber optic.
Might have to add one to the collection sometime down the road.
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Found it - thanks! Not sure why I didn't notice it before.
I guess I'll take the gun with me tomorrow also, along with an S&W Model 14 with 8" barrel.
Went to the range yesterday with the SA-35 and an S&W Model 14. Other people found the SA-35 to have no real grouping, and according to one fellow who used to own one, the trigger pull was the main problem, but he never got is gun to shoot well. He shot my gun, and got the same results I've been getting. After swapping 9mm guns for a few minutes with a friend, I got disgusted, and left to see my gunsmith, Frank, at "Only The Best" gunshop. He has worked on the SA-35, and thinks he can correct whatever is wrong with my gun.

I don't think I will ever be accurate with a 7 or 8 pound trigger pull, because the gun always seems to move in my hand as I fire, no matter how tightly I grip the gun. I guess I'll find out. I still suspect the only way I will get a 9mm that I like is to find on based on a 1911..... but I'm willing to wait for Frank to work his magic.
invoke the warranty and send it back to the factory what is the Ser # BTW? HP???
invoke the warranty and send it back to the factory what is the Ser # BTW? HP???
Serial Number: HP 9646

Send it back? I have zero confidence in the ability of Springfield's service technicians. First, they sold me a defective gun, that not only didn't they fix it, they never tried what I told them to do, to replicate the problem. If they had any ability, my replacement gun would have a 5 pound trigger pull, like everyone else's.

I've wasted too much time and money on this gun already - if my gunsmith can't get it to shoot the way I want, I'll sell it and buy a 9mm 1911.

If this gun gets repaired and shoots well, I'll enjoy using it, but I will never again buy a Springfield.

(On the previous gun, it went back to Springfield twice, with a specific thing they could test to see the problem for themselves, and a list of what was wrong with my gun - which I am pretty sure had a cracked slide, as that's the only plausible explanation for what it was doing. By the time I had shot 25 rounds, the gun was too hot to touch, the barrel wobbled around in the slide, and the holes at 15 yards were mostly no longer even hitting the backing board, let alone the target. No complaints about the service technicians who answer the phone when I call - they were good to talk to, and they understood what I thought the problem was, but the guys who do the work, in my words, were incompetent. The fact that it is an inexpensive gun is irrelevant. After almost a year now, the gun is still useless. Grrr.... OK, off soapbox, not sure why I am stubbornly trying to get this gun to work properly, when I have guns from S&W, Colt, and others that work properly. I should have simply bought a PM9 from Dan Wesson. )
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Just change out the recoil and hammer/main spring and reduce the rating by 3,4 or 5lbs. It makes a massive difference and reduces muzzle flip. Springs are easy to obtain and change out, no problems. Rear sights i find if adjustable fix most shot placement issues.
Thanks, but the gun is already with my gunsmith. Maybe that's what he will do.

Perhaps I should have bought a Springfield 9mm Range Officer when they were available.
Gunsmiths will never, ever change out a recoil;l or hammer spring without the owners expressed say so. They fix issues with worn parts or factory parts which can be polished to make certain the parts in the pistol function as they should or replace them when worn. Most firearms by ALL manufacturers under say $700-$900 are made to a price. Most pistol in that price range and even above have parts internally which instead of being smooth have rough edges or are just not the right fit. My XD had a trigger that was just wrong, 8-9lb and so i replaced it with an after market 4-5lb trigger pull, now it's fantastic. All the best and lets hear what you gunsmith found. PS, Glock may be the only exception to what i rote, but even they improve with a recoil spring reduction.
Thanks; the gunsmith is supposed to call me later this week with his suggestions.

I already have a Springfield 45 made into a "wad gun". Perhaps I should have just bought a "Range Officer" in 9mm.
It's just for fun shooting, not competition, but I would rather I be the limit of how well I shoot, not the gun.
As i have written often it is NEVER ever the Firearm once it is sighted in that shows how accurately a person shoot.
IT is always and will remain so that it is the person pulling the trigger, period. In top ranked shooting most competitors use much the same firearm, like a CZ, or other well known brand and there are few pistols that we know perform well and are not to expensive. They are used because the person using that particular pistol can shoot faster, more accurately and consistently than a less experiences person.
I got my SA-35 back from the gunsmith. He cleaned and lubed it, but is still 7 to 8 pounds trigger pull. He told me the springs in my gun are too stiff. He strongly suggested a trigger job. For a bit over $200 I can buy the BH Spring Solutions kit, and about $100 more for him to install it. I think that would be insane. After all the trips back to Springfield, the first gun was defective, and I think since they were in a hurry to send me a gun, the assembler used the wrong parts. Nobody test fired it.

Anyway, I went to the range, and borrowed a gun rest from one of my friends. I took one shot at center hold, then decided I could be more precise if I used 6-o'clock hold. The results are shown below. There is no "group". I shot better with my 1911 45, hand-held, than this gun on a "v-rest". Nobody at the range can shoot it any better, and the gunsmith tells me it has the wrong parts in it.

I must really be an idiot, as I bought a nice Springfield 1911 9" SS gun today from GunBroker. My buddy who is an expert thought that would be a perfect gun for me, and the auction ended today. Bullseye shooters consider the old Range Officer guns to be excellent for bullseye - my 45 Wad Gun started off as a Range Officer. Technically, my new gun is a "Springfield Armory Range Officer Target".

I don't know what to do about the SA-35, other than to ask Springfield to send me a shipping label, and not send the gun back to me until it has no more than a 5 pound trigger, and comes with a test target so I can see for myself it shoots acceptably.

For Voltaire - the fellow who won a recent bullseye match at my club tried my gun, and gave up. He has lots of guns, is up near the top of every match, and I believe he knows what he is doing. I agree with what you meant, but I would hesitate to use the word "NEVER". On the other hand, my gun never got to be sighted in, and even the elevation is off. I can center my "pseudo-group" by moving the sight to the right, but I might as well be shooting with my eyes closed!
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I hope the following is helpful to others - it seemed to have worked for me.

I called Springfield Customer Support and insisted I send the gun back, yet again, and they either fix it correctly or refund my money. A few weeks later I got this, and 3 test targets with different types of ammo:

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The gun feels great. They replaced the front sight that wasn't properly seated, they replaced the new barrel, no idea why, they tuned the trigger, and tested it. Trigger pull immediately started at 6 pounds, but after a few dry-fires it went down to only 5 pounds, which is what I wanted.

Most importantly, the trigger action is now excellent - no more roughness. It's as good as what I have on my other guns, and better than many.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I already bought my Springfield 1911 Range Officer Target, 9mm, in Stainless, and it is on its way back from my gunsmith who made it perfect for Bullseye Shooting, so I don't really need the SA-35 any more..... but it is now exactly what I hoped for - even better, actually. I guess when forced, Springfield can find some qualified individuals to make the gun the way it should be.

Again, I think there are two versions of the SA-35, magazine-review edition, and bolted-together-edition.

I don't know what else to say here - I'll get to shoot it early this coming week, and I expect it to be everything I wanted, and more!
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Good deal, stick to your guns pun intended!
MikeMyers, from what I've read I'd guess you are
not familiar with double action revolvers or the
Browning HP or 1911A1 triggers as issued by the

Revolvers traditionally in DA have 8 to 10 pound
trigger weights, the HP around the same and
it was common for the 1911A1s to be about 7 pounds
or possibly more.

Seems to me Springfield Armory gave you a top
notch trigger job which was not factory standard
after you complained.

I suggest you now read up on how not to abuse a
tuned action firearm.
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Seems to me Springfield Armory gave you a top
notch trigger job which was not factory standard
after you complained.
I think what I just quoted is correct. I saved all those old reviews, and even a few new ones.

I also think that is true for the guns sent to various magazines for reviews, which apparently had 5 pound triggers or better, and none of which had an 8-pound trigger. I think it was reasonable for me to expect this.

If I accept your opinion, then I never should have purchased an SA-35 in the first place, as the only purpose I use the gun for is target shooting (Bullseye), and I based my actions on what I read in the numerous reviews.

You are also correct - I know nothing about a "Browning HP", and I'm aware that most 1911A1 triggers can be greatly improved by a gunsmith - which I solve by buying quality 1911's to start with. I now have a Colt Combat Commander, a Baer Premiere II, a custom "Wad Gun" based on a Caspian frame, and two Springfields. My standard Springfield Range Officer Target is a reasonably priced 1911 with most of the features I needed, and none of the features I did not want. It came with a 6 pound trigger (which Dave Salyer changed to a 3-pound trigger) for Bullseye Shooting.

I wish I had met you, or discussed this with you, before I bought my SA-35. In that case, I never would have bought it in the first place.

Please do elaborate on "I suggest you now read up on how not to abuse a tuned action firearm." After having the gun modified by one of the best 1911 tuners in the country, I expect to shoot and clean and use the gun like I do with my other tuned 1911's. I'm very curious as to what you're referring to??????

But back to this topic, you're reinforcing my thoughts that I never should have bought my SA-35. I finally have what I expected, and what I read about, and think I'll end up keeping it because it's now "perfect" for most uses. To improve it for target shooting, I wish it had a fully adjustable rear sight like my 1911 Springfield Range Range Officer. Or, I can mount a red dot mount on the rear dovetail - but not now. I plan to use it just the way it is for a while, and enjoy it for what it is, rather than hate it for what it isn't.

Uncle Ed, thank you!!!!!
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I guess the SA-35 wasn't really designed for target shooting. Maybe I'm just one of the people foolish enough to have thought it would be reasonably precise. The more people I discuss this gun with, the less I think of the gun, but then again, there are others (such as YouTube's "Hickok45" who make it look fantastic!

Can any of you who do shoot targets, please post a photo of your results, and the distance you shot at?
Can any of you who do shoot targets, please post a photo of your results, and the distance you shot at?

How did your range session go after you got it back from SA?
How did your range session go after you got it back from SA?
I spent most of my time with my Springfield Range Officer 9mm Target. Very pleased. My limitation there is how well I can work with the open sights.

For the SA-35, I took 5 shots at the first target, to get an idea of where the gun was aimed. The sights need to be adjusted to move the POI to the left. Then I took 10 more shots, but my hand "jerked" for one of them, which is way too low. All these were shot sub-6-o'clock hold at 15 yards.

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I set up to shoot two last targets, but a friend of mine showed up with his Les Baer 45 Monolith (very heavy), and I shot 10 rounds with that gun - first target to blow out any dust in the barrel, and ten more to see how well I could do. My friend thought the target was great. I was thinking "but this is only at 15 yards". I guess his gun is my limit of what I can "see" with open sights. Of course, the SA-35 was never intended for Bullseye, and my friend's gun had the special guarantee of placing 5 shots into a 1.5" group at 50 yards.

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This is what I was able to do with my Springfield Range Officer Target 9mm:
Just one "oops", which I re-shot.

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Back to the SA-35, I don't know what to think. If it will put 10 rounds into "the black" at 15 yards, I guess I'm rather pleased with it, but I want to shoot several more targets until I'm convinced this is possible.

Other thoughts - I like the SA-35 in many ways. While my friends tell me the trigger has a little "creep" they all thought it was quite good. I'm sure it would benefit from a trigger job, and the things that BH Spring Solutions provides. It was easy to shoot - 5 pound trigger felt good, and for an all-around gun, I don't think I want it to be a 3# trigger. 4# would be great. It's easy to shoot, and I'm slowly getting used to the sights. The Range Officer sights are far, far better, but it's made for target shooting.

The wood grips on the SA-35 look good, and feel good, and while I'd prefer something "rougher" the stock grips will do for now.

I need to get a lot more experience shooting the gun, before I can really say what I think about it, but at a minimum, I think it is now "acceptable", and it's up to me to make it better - maybe switching from 115 grain ammo to 147 gain will help.

The single biggest thing I need, to shoot it better, is a red dot sight, or at a minimum, a good set of adjustable open sights like what comes on the Range Officer.
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Regarding Hickok45 he is a very accomplished shooter and nearly
all his guns are fixed sight just like the BHP. In his test of the SA-35,
keep in mind it was not his first rodeo with that model. He also has
shot extensively actual BHPs issued decades ago.

Buying a "combat" fixed sighted gun was perhaps a mistake for you.
As issued by SA, I doubt that company every claimed it would be a
"bullseye" gun.

I suggest you shoot it extensively and train with it as a defensive pistol
with targets not beyond 15 yards except occasionally. When the 1911
and BHP were first envisioned, they were not seen or expected to be
target guns. True, the BHP has had tangent sights on it and rather
ugly FN sights stuck on it.

As you probably know, the BHP was easily the most used and issued
pistol around the world in dozens of countries for decades including
just a few years ago.

But when you see Hickok45 popping away, remember most of his fast
and "deadly" shots are within the 15 yard marker. And when he goes
beyond that, he slows down and employs the so-called Kentucky windage.
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Buying a "combat" fixed sighted gun was perhaps a mistake for you.
As issued by SA, I doubt that company every claimed it would be a
"bullseye" gun.
In retrospect, yes, I agree it was probably a mistake. But the majority of my guns are not "bullseye guns". That doesn't mean that they aren't reasonably accurate, and all of them have been used for shooting at targets.. I'm also aware that the "weak point" is almost certainly me, not the gun.
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