Springfield Armory just added to their 1911 lineup with their recent release: the Garrison chambered in .45 ACP. Available in blued or stainless steel with checkered thinline wood grips, the Garrison aims to take a modern spin from an heirloom-quality construction. The forged steel slide, barrel, and frame give the platform a rock-solid construction designed to provide a lifetime of operation.
The model I have been testing features hot salt blued carbon steel. This blued finish is classic and flawless where applied whereas the machined rounds throughout this platform utilize a smooth matte finish. Springfield incorporated modern touches to this classic platform through an extended thumb safety, low profile sights, thinline grips, skeletonized hammer, and match-grade stainless steel barrel.
Out of the box, this 1911 was well oiled and ready to go. The slide was smooth and the trigger crisp. Having little experience with 1911’s before testing this and being a huge proponent of polymer striker-fired pistols, I didn’t know what to expect. I can now say I understand the love so many people have for this platform. While it may not be able to hold near as many rounds as the polymer handguns I am used to, the Garrison is a thing of beauty for the price. It fits great in my hands, feels solid, but more importantly is both a solid and well-built pistol.
The slide is smooth, and I can’t notice any wobble. When shooting everything performed flawlessly for the duration of my 200 round test. While the slide serrations work well, they aren’t as deep as I would prefer. However, the angle at which they are cut provides an aggressive contact surface which works well.
The low-profile sights are seated deep in the slide of this pistol and seem to be very durable. These classic three-dot sights are easy to pick up and use.
The Garrison I received has a great trigger. I found it to have a smooth and buttery take up, and the tiniest bit of creep before getting what I would call a clean break. This creep comes after hitting the wall, and is a movement of probably 0.05” before the trigger breaks, but the creep is consistent and noticeable when testing the trigger at home. The reset is tactile and puts you out just a little past the wall ready for your next shot.
The form is fantastic, but between the thinline grips, and extended beavertail, the Springfield Garrison just feels too good to set down. Personally, it fits my hands great, and I can’t help but pick it up every time I’m near it. The checkered wood is timeless and effective.
The machined frame provides adequate roughness to maintain a solid grip when firing.
While not being ambidextrous, the safety is easy to activate for me being a right-handed shooter. I find the slide release to be a little far forward making activation tricky without shifting my grip, but it can be done.
The Springfield Garrison comes with one flush 7 round magazine. During my testing, the magazine performed without issue. It was easy to load ammunition and reload the gun even without a flared magwell.
Throughout two different range trips, and 5 different types of ammo, I had zero issues with the Springfield Garrison. Everything cycled just fine with zero malfunctions. The recoil impulse was smoother than I was expecting from a 45, so follow-up shots were still pretty quick.
The image below shows some of my groups from my first range day at around 7 yards. These were shot standing up unsupported in the cold and windy weather. While my groups were not that impressive, I believe this pistol is much more capable than I was that day. I think all the shots landed where my sights were when I pulled the trigger, and I was just getting shaken around by the wind. Primarily using red dots and not shooting much lately due to ammo issues I was a bit rusty with iron sights.
This next image is from my second range trip with warmer and calmer weather. Again, my groups aren’t impressive, and I believe this 1911 is capable of much more than I was able to showcase. These self-defense rounds from Hornady performed flawlessly. Both the 185gr FTX, and 230gr XTP pack some serious knockdown power and seeing the Garrison cycle through popular carry ammo was something I wanted to try for myself.
The Springfield Armory Garrison did not disappoint. From straight out of the box to the field, this 1911 performed well and looked good doing it. I had no reliability issues, and the Garrison powered through all 5 different types of ammo I threw at it. Currently, this pistol has an MSRP of $800, and you can read more about it on Springfield’s website here.
CALIBER: .45 ACP
BARREL: 5″ Forged Stainless Steel, Match Grade, 1:16
SLIDE: Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
FRAME: Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
SIGHTS: Low Profile Combat 3-Dot
RECOIL SYSTEM: GI Style
GRIPS: Thinline Wood
MAGAZINES: (1) 7-Round
WEIGHT: 37 oz