Springfield Armory has expanded their Garrison line of 1911s to include two models in 9mm. They are available with either a hot salt-blued finish or a bare burnished stainless steel frame. Having an MSRP of $850 for the blued and $900 for the stainless, these should be solid options in the mid-tier 9mm 1911 market.
One of Springfield’s goals with the Garrison line was to create a handgun with modern components, materials, and features without straying too far from the classic aesthetics of the 1911. This can be seen in their intentional mix of old and new. The skeletonized hammer and extended safety are balanced by the natural wood grips and exclusion of an accessory rail.
The weight of this firearm along with its chambering in 9mm makes for a long and slow recoil impulse that is easily manageable even with the lack of checkering along the front of the grip. Both models share the same five-inch match-grade barrel.
This pistol includes an extended beavertail which is great for someone with larger hands that wants to get a high and tight grip on the gun without having their hand chewed on by the slide. The safety is also extended. This makes the motion of manipulating the safety a little more natural because it extends the safety lever forward so it can be operated by the knuckle of your thumb vs the fleshy section between the joints.
Sights are a standard three-dot that sit low on the slide. They are adjustable for windage but not elevation. Although they are low profile, they are still quick to pick up and provide a good sight picture.
The trigger is well machined with about three millimeters of light take-up before a clean break at just over five pounds. Overtravel is minimal and can be easily adjusted via the set screw recessed in the trigger face. One of the two pistols I was loaned for this review came with quite a bit of overtravel, but it only took me two minutes and an allen wrench to get it exactly where I wanted it.
Both models ship with a single nine-round magazine. They are sturdy and well finished. They had no issue reliably feeding but I would have appreciated it if Springfield had included more than one.
I had no trouble making decent groups at ten yards with this gun. I saw similar performances from a variety of bullet weights, brands, and types.
I did have an issue with one of the pistols while at the range. About 60 rounds in, the stainless pistol had a failure to fire. The hammer dropped but the primer on the cartridge was not struck. I chalked this up to my grip putting pressure on the slide and preventing it from going fully forward so I continued shooting. Five rounds later the trigger froze and would not let me fire. It felt as if hadn’t fully depressed the grip safety but that wasn’t the case. After further investigation, I found that the disconnector was stuck, and it would require full disassembly to resolve. This probably wouldn’t be an issue for an experienced 1911 owner with a few tools, but it is disappointing to have problems with a new gun.
The overall fit and finish of this handgun are excellent. The slide glides smoothly on the frame without excess looseness. in other words, it’s a tight but smooth fit. The safety firmly clicks into both positions. The skeletonized hammer flows with the clean lines of the frame and slide. While I doubt much hand fitting went into this gun, the tight machine tolerances found here are certainly adequate for its price range.
You can follow this LINK to Springfield’s website if you want to see the full specs sheet.