I have a Springfield Ultra Compact that has been shot extensively. Never had any malfunctions or problems. I highly recommend it. Fit and finish are good. Most of my shooting has been alongside my buddies Kimber compact and I think both are fine firearms.
I have a Springfield 1911A1 Limited that I shot a couple a thousand cast loads thru. Only problem I've ever had with it was the front site came loose, it's at the gunsmithy gettin' fixed right now. Real ankious to get it back, I feel naked without it.
Being an IPSC/USPSA shooter for approx 8 yrs I have had a lot of experience with 1911's and have found the Springfields to have exceptional quality out of the box. Springfield slides are very hard therefore tightening is not an everyday occurance. My own 1911 Mil Spec has aprrox 80,000 rounds through it and besides 3 extractors and new recoil spring the only " major" part that has been replaced is the sear. Wish I could say that about some of my professionally built 1911's.
I agree with Duane on the Springfield quality level, but if it's in the budget, I would go with the Loaded package unless you want the look of the 1911-A1 military type. I haven't put 80,000 rounds through any particular pistol, but that speaks volumes for the durability of the main components. The Kimber I purchased ran like a top out of the box and still does with excellent accuracy. The reason I bring up the Custom Kimber is that for $900-1000, they are an excellent value. I can't tell you how many times I've spent more than that to have a pistol accurized/customized and had an end product that was inferior to the Kimber, and don't forget the cost of the modified pistol to start with. The more money that you can afford to purchase the pistol up front, will save you a lot of money and time, and time without your pistol, down the road to make it the way it should have been to start with. I don't advocate the Kimber over the Springfield, it's just that that is the experience I have. I will say the Custom Eclipse is one Hades of a pistol for the money, right down to the low profile adjustable tritium sights, checkered front strap, great trigger right out of the box. Those mods alone, to a standard 1911-A1 will cost you more than the pistol I bought.
My friend as a Springfield that he has put many rounds through with no problems. I have a Kimber that I have put approx 5,000 of various ammo through with no problems. I also agree with earlier comments on either the Kimber or the Springfield to buy as much of a custom job up front as the budget will allow.
My friend who is more knowledgeable about guns than I said he thought that the Springfield and Colt's ( I'll say the older ones ) are from a harder metal and would take use and being upgraded to the 45 Super better than others. I have the springs and Starline 45Super brass and plan to try a few in my Kimber when I get the time just to see what it feels like.
Go with either one get the most custom work for your money that you van get.
I had a Springfield 1911 MilSpec several years ago. It was the best out of the box 1911 I have ever owned. No failures of any kind.
I made a couple of changes, the biggest was installing a smooth long trigger in place of the little short one.
This gun fed anything I could fit in the magazines. It was throated from the factory.
Trigger pull was fine, sights were fine, extractor, ejector were all fitted properly.
We lived in AZ then and my wife and I would go out to the desert and take turns loading magazines for each other as we shot it.
I will buy another. I wish I still had the one I had.
I have no need for those 1911's loaded with all sorts of gee-gaws. They arn't necessary, and don't add one thing to the overall usefullness of the original design.
I have had a loaded stainless Champion for four years now and wouldn't hesitate to buy another Springfield. A bit of advice, unless you are buying the mil-spec for a specific reason, spend the extra hundred dollars and buy a "loaded" model. You will eventually spend the money on the mil-spec to buy things you could have gotten with the loaded. Sean
I'm going to have to disagree with J Miller on this one. Adjustable sight are useful, rounded, combat style sights are useful, beavertail safety is useful, lowered and shaped ejection port is useful, full lenght guide rod is useful. These are just some of the things that the "loaded" model has over the mil-spec, except the adjustable sights. Oops, I almost forgot the long trigger. Lets not forget the hammer that matches that beavertails safety so you don't have to have a trigger job done twice if you later to decide to do a beavertail on the normal gun. Ambidexterous safety if you're a southpaw or shoot action type matches. Thre front and rear cocking serrations on the slide are also very nice. I do prefer the nicer Kimbers, but the only thing I have to compare to it as far as stock guns go, is my Springfield loaded, which is a bargain any day of the week.
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