Colt M1991A1 and Springfield GI45 Comparison
"Xavier, What is the real difference between the parked Colt 1911 and the Springfield GI 45?"Well, not much really. The Colt has the Series 80 firing pin safety, but the Springfield comes from the factory with an integrated locking system. The Springfield's lock can be easily removed by replacing the mainspring housing. A shim can be obtained from Brownells to remove the Series 80 firing pin mechanism. However, a gunsmith I highly respect advises against using the shim long term.
Little things like lanyard loops and such make up the bulk of the difference. The Colt does have more visible sights. The Springfield has a two piece barrel in contrast to the Colt tube. A used Colt M1991A1 with the old style rollmark and parkerized finish is generally priced a bit less than a comparable new Springfield GI45 with a parkerized finish. The Colt will hold resale value better, but the real difference is in the shooting. Or is it?
I took my Springfield GI45 and my Colt M1991A1 to the range for a comparison. Each pistol has some bits and pieces that were added by myself, but each one retains the original sights, barrel and bushing. Neither pistol has been tightened. Both have trigger jobs.
I shot at ten yards, alternating between the two pistols. The Colt target is on the left, the Springfield target is on the right. The accuracy of the groupings is about equal. The Colt was pretty much on target for me. The Springfield shot a bit high. I attribute that to the Springfield's arched mainspring housing. I learned long ago that I shoot better with a flat mainspring housing and a long trigger. My Springfield GI45 is set up to resemble a military pistol, while the Colt is set up to my preferences. I suspect a swap in parts on the Springfield would put me in the ten ring.
I have owned and regularly shot my Springfield GI45 since 2003. The two piece barrel (which I think may be a Storm Lake barrel) has been a non-issue. The pistol has been durable, reliable and accurate. The Colt is new to me, but frankly, I don't envision it being any different. The fact that many top notch 1911 'smiths keep a Colt barrel in a custom 1911 instead of routinely replacing it with a Barsto speaks volumes for Colt's barrel quality.