In the world of 1911 pistols, there are all sorts of makes and models, each with their own specifications and features that make them unique. It can be a tough decision figuring out which one to purchase. Enter the Springfield Armory "Loaded" 1911 - if you need a reliable, accurate handgun with everything you could want in a 1911 (and more), look no further. For this article we will be looking at the standard Loaded 1911, model PX9109L.
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The Loaded series from Springfield is a culmination of years of standard upgrades that users have implemented into their 1911s. Springfield named this series Loaded because it is "loaded" with improved parts over the standard 1911. Some of these upgrades include:
- Low Profile Night Sights - The three dot sights make for smoother targeting no matter the situation. The night sights ensure accuracy in low light conditions, and the low profile is compact and has softer edges than a standard 1911 sight for less chance to snag on clothing or coming out of a holster.
- Match Grade Barrel - The match grade 5" stainless steel barrel is a significant upgrade for increased accuracy over standard 1911s. This high-performance barrel improves groupings and gives you the confidence to know your rounds are going to hit where they need to.
- Extended Ambidextrous Manual Safeties - The extended safety make for more straightforward manipulation over the small GI style safety, and it also doubles as a great thumb rest for increased control during shooting. If you are left-handed, or a righty shooting with your weak hand, the ambidextrous control will be a welcome addition.
- Extended Beavertail Grip Safety - Have you ever shot an old spur-hammer pistol with no beavertail? You may have experienced "hammer bite," when the spur of the hammer makes contact with your hand during firing. The extended beavertail on the grip safety eliminates any chance of hammer bite and provides comfortable ergonomics.
- Angled Front and Rear Slide Serrations - The slide serrations on the Loaded 1911 have a more modern, angled design to fit your hand better than the traditional vertical serrations. They are slightly wider with a more aggressive texture for effortless control. Serrations have also been added to the front of the slide to provide the shooter with more options in manual slide control.
- Lightweight Hammer - A major improvement over the traditional spur style hammer, the lightweight hammer found on the Loaded 1911 is rounded off to reduce sharp edges. Overall mass has been reduced to provide a quicker hammer fall allowing the pistol to be fired as fast as the trigger can be pulled.
- Lightweight Trigger - Like the hammer, the overall mass of the trigger has been reduced. It has a short travel and crisp reset, which is excellent for accurate shots and for staying on target during rapid fire shooting.
- Features - You get a ton of features on this pistol for the price. If you were to purchase a base model 1911 and upgrade all the parts on it to match the specs on the Loaded you could easily spend hundreds of dollars more. The combination of night sights, match barrel, and extended controls make for a great 1911 without spending a ton of money. It certainly doesn't have every upgraded feature you could want - and extended magazine well or front strap checkering for example - but it is still an incredible value.
- Reputation - Springfield Armory has been making 1911s for the civilian market for a long time and stood by their products. All of their pistols are rugged, they offer tons of models so you can find just what you need, and when you hear "Springfield Armory" you know it's a reputable brand.
- Accuracy - The combination of steel frame, match grade barrel, and lightweight trigger make for a very accurate pistol. No matter if you are a recreational shooter, are trusting this pistol for home defense, or want to put it to some serious competitive use, you will be pleased with the tight groupings this pistol provides.
- Price - The base Loaded model has an MSRP of under $950 (and can often be found cheaper than that) you're getting an incredible pistol without the high-end price tag. Some of the other variations do cost more but you are still getting a great value no matter which model you choose.
- Foreign Made? - I have a question mark here because this has been a gray area for Springfield. For years the parts for the Loaded 1911s, and the manufacturing were all handled in Brazil. These were still high-quality weapons but it came as a surprise to some. In recent years Springfield says they have been making these pistols in the United States, however, I have been unable to completely confirm that the parts are all US sourced. May not be a deal breaker for most, but some may like to know exactly where their pistol is being made.
- Break-In Period/Reliability - Some shooters may experience a longer than normal break-in time - don't be surprised if you run into some malfunctions during this time frame. It may take you upwards of 500+ rounds to full break in this pistol to the point of complete reliability. Do not trust your life to any pistol before completely breaking it in!
- Lack of Smoothness - In my experience the feel of the loaded 1911 can be a little gritty and rough straight out of the box. The feel of the slide racking back will not be very smooth, and the parkerized finish typically has a rough texture. While the slide will smooth out over time, there may always be a hint of the original feel present.
The Springfield Armory Loaded 1911 is a fantastic pistol. It has every feature a majority of users could ever want or need on a 1911. The cost is extremely reasonable for the features included, and Springfield is now making a variety of models in the loaded range with different features including light rails, different finishes, and a lightweight option. If you are looking for a high-end style pistol without the high-end price, the Loaded 1911 is definitely worth your time.