Springfield Armory Range Officer 1911 9mm: Halfway there

Last night I ran the Springfield Armory RO through another 350 rounds of ammo, bringing the running total to an even 1,000. As usual, I shot Dot Torture at 5 yards to open up, and because I was feeling speedy I tried to shoot it fast; ended up dropping 3 shots for a 47/50. What I’ve established with Dot Torture is that when I take my time and shoot it for max accuracy with this gun I can clean it on command. When I speed up and try to shoot it quick…things start to fall apart. It’s always in the same place, on the strings with transitions.

In order to work on my transitions, I spent the end of my practice time working on the iHack. This drill is hard, you’re shooting at tiny-ass little targets with a relatively tight par time. Even when you delete the timer and just try to self-pace yourself for a balance of speed and accuracy, it’s easy to mess this drill up. As you can see in the video, on three consecutive runs from the Safariland 1911 ALS I’m using I went 6/9, 8/9, and ohmygodwhy/9 on the final run. The best way to work up through this drill is to start aimed in on the targets, and if you can hit the par time from there, go to whatever ready position you use, and if you can hit the par time from there, go to the holster. Right now my skill level is in between low-ready and holster; I can pass the drill routinely from the low ready, and I’m about 50-60% from the holster. My issue is I’m slow on the first shot, so I then tend to rush the transitions to make up for lost time, and things kind of fall apart when you do that.

The gun itself had another malfunction on round 800something. This was a failure to return to battery during a SHO string of fire I was doing. Ammo was PMC 115 grain 9mm, corrective action was to spank the magwell like it was naughty. One of the things I’ve noticed about the RO is that it’s very sensitive to running without adequate amounts of lubrication, and for whatever reason this gun likes to have a lot of lubrication on it. Everything about this gun is, for lack of a better phrase, tight. It seems like this gun is the kind of 1911 that I’ll need to establish a regular lubrication cycle for. No points off for that, but -1 one point for the failure to RTB. Currently the gun’s at 85/100 with 1000 rounds left to go.


  1. Still digging these 1911 range reports. This past Monday I had an opportunity to handle one of Colt’s new 9mm competition pistols or what ever they are calling it. You know the one with the blue grips and blue fiber optic sight. Of course I didn’t get to shoot it, but overall not bad looking. Undercut trigger guard was a nice touch. Finish is a dull black and a little rough, but nothing out of line for this price range. Dry fired a few times, trigger is typical 1911 and no doubt with a little work could be real nice.

    Looking forward to seeing how the Colt stacks up against the Springfield.

    1. I to am interested in the new Colt Competition pistols, especially since they look all the world like the Colt CCG that I tested extensively in 2013.

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