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GUNS Magazine Digital April 2011 - Page 44

I MASSAd AYOOB PHOtOS: ROBBIE BARRKMAN t’s geared for maximum performance at minimum price, particularly for competitive action-pistol shooting. Match-tested and bench-tested, it lived up to its promise. Lots of 1911 makers are offering commemorative guns this year, some in the original format of 100 years ago. Springfield Armory has just introduced one that’s a retrospective, not all the way back to the years before WWI, but to the golden years of this pistol’s renaissance in the latter 20th Century. In the ’70s, “the hot setup” in a 1911 had evolved into the following: The chamber would be throated to feed a bull’s-eye shooter’s stubby semiwadcutters, or the Hensley & Gibbs No. 68 200-grain lead bullet favored by the “martial artists” of the 1911. There would be the big, easy-to-see sights that Jeff Cooper mandated, fixed on a combat gun; and for competition, probably the fine adjustable BoMars that were already established on “hardball guns” in the bull’s-eye game. A decent trigger pull, a manual safety easy for the thumb to find and maybe the beavertail grip safeties that were gaining popularity, and you were good to go. If you’d paid to have it customized to those specs (and how 44 HOt WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2011 else were you going to get it?), you felt cheated if it wouldn’t group five shots in 2" at 25 yards. If “combat shooting” was on the menu, the magazine well would probably be beveled, too. That pretty much describes the newest Springfield Armory 1911-A1. “I believe you’re the first one outside the company to get one,” Springfield Armory’s Chad Dyer told me in October 2010. Chad added, “We have nailed down everything for the 1911 you have. We are calling it the Range Officer (RO). It was designed to be an affordable 1911 that would be perfect for people interested in getting into competition. It is designed to the same specifications and tolerances as our Trophy Match and TRP models. We removed all of the ‘extras’ to keep the costs down and the quality up. It will

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