My First 1911
My first 1911 was a Springfield Mil-Spec that I purchased new for $469. That was a chunk of change for me back then, and it still is, I suppose. I had been at the range with my son, and I had shot his Colt Compact M1991A1. I was amazed by my ability to instinctively shoot my son's pistol. I had been a wondernine devotee for almost a decade. That was over. I had at last found shooting nirvana.
As we left the firing lanes of the indoor range, I spotted this Mil-Spec for sale, new, at the gun counter. It was a plain Jane black plastic gripped pistol, and the salesman touted the NM prefix of the serial number as being somehow special, a "national match" pistol. He did not need to spread the bullshit that day, I was sold on a 1911 before I reached his counter. I bought the Springfield Mil-Spec, and thus began a journey into the ever deepening crevasse of John Moses Browning's creation.
Over the years, I have developed a distinct preference for Colts, but I still hang on to my first Springfield 1911. It has been a reliable performer from day one, and with a King's bushing, it became a very accurate pistol. Over time, the Mil-Spec has metamorphasized as I honed the skills necessary to customize my pistols to my liking. Today, it is not a flashy pistol, it is all business. Most of the changes are so subtle that they go unnoticed. The front sight was lowered a bit to match up with a McCormick rear sight. A plain Colt long trigger fills the triggerguard. The King's bushing makes certain the barrel returns to a firm, consistent lock-up. A checkered mainspring housing replaced the stock unit and thus eliminated the internal locking system. An Ed Brown ambi safety locks a wide spur hammer back. I kept the original Mil-Spec grip safety. Kim Ahrend made the cocobolo grips.
There were times that I thought about installing a beavertail, a full length guide rod, and a holey trigger. I am glad I resisted that urge. This is not a cookie cutter pistol, it is unique. As the frame of this parkerized pistol transitions to a greenish patina, I am well satisfied with it's looks, it's performance, and I suspect I will never sell it. It was my first.