Springfield Armory RO 9mm 1911 malfunction

The 100 round challenge is a function test I came up with a while ago to see how well a gun would operate if you got it, well pretty hot. Shooting 100 rounds through a pistol as fast as you can load is a good way to do that, and it can also be a fun test of your endurance. Here’s video of the me running the Springfield Armory Range Officer through the 100 round challenge…which it failed.

At 3 minutes into the video I experienced an unusual malfunction, where the gun returned partially to battery, but not all the way. When the trigger was pulled, the hammer fell to the half-cock notch, causing me to believe I’d had a light primer hit. It wasn’t attended I attempted to clear the gun and it was locked up tight that I realized I had something else entirely. The round in question had the correct dimensions, and successfully chambered and fired after clearing the gun. This was the second time that range session I’d had issues with the gun not returning to battery. After conferring with a well known 1911 expert, he let me know that this problem is commonly caused by a slide stop that isn’t quite correct, and the best fix is to replace it immediately. I’ve ordered a new slide stop from Brownells, and as a precaution some additional recoil springs as well.

However, because this is part that needs to be replaced at the armorer level; it is a -5 deduction for the gun. That brings the 1911 RO’s current score down to 78/100, which is still a respectable C+. With just a bit over 500 rounds left in the test, we’ll see where things go from here.


  1. Well, that can’t be good!!

    What in the Slide Stop Fail??

    Was it a bad barrel fit in the Feet??

    I’ve never seen that malfunction, and I’ve had my fair share of them over the past 21+ years of USPSA.

  2. Thank you for your efforts, Caleb.

    As I understand matters, the RO is marketed as having a focus on “everything you need, nothing you don’t” for matches, and that most of the efforts in that regard go into doing a good job fitting a good barrel.

    To hear about a slide stop issue on this pistol, then, is surprising and concerning. Would you be able to go into any further details regarding the problem?

    A C+ is respectable, but is also a bit lower than I thought the RO would score. Kudos to you for the thoroughness of your evaluations in including extractor tests and 100 round torture tests, I think that we as your audience are gaining more insight into the 9mm 1911s on the market than we could find anywhere else.

    I wonder what the factory costs of doing a high-quality job of fitting an extractor, slide stop and barrel to a 1911 do to the rest of the production budget of a gun that’s not “semi-custom” or otherwise high end.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the slide stop replacement, and to seeing what the ejection pattern of the RO would look like if exposed to the 500 round torture test.

    Finally, I’m interested to see what a Colt would do in going through this kind of an evaluation.

    Thanks again!

  3. Caleb, I’ve seen a few different reports regarding accuracy issues with the Springfield RO in 9mm. Specifically, that Springfield’s so-called match grade 9mm barrel gives really bad accuracy for the majority of commercially available mass produced 9mm ammo, i.e., a .355 diameter bullet. It is said that handloads of the larger .357 diameter 9mm ammo perform much better in terms of accuracy. Have you encountered this issue? What are your thoughts at this point in the 9mm RO testing?

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