This video is all about the Springfield Range Officer 1911. I’ll give it a full review and a comparison to another 1911. If you’re considering picking one up for yourself, I hope this review helps you to make a more informed purchase. But, if you just love guns, well, you’re just like me and I hope you enjoy the vid.
Starting with the grips: the Range Officer has diamond checkered cocobolo wood grip panels, which make the overall grip about 1.25in wide. It’s a full size forged steel (frame and slide) pistol, so there is ample grip space for a wide range of hand sizes. It weighs in at a hefty 2lbs and 5.6 ounces. Also, the RO has rear strap checkering, but a smooth front strap.
This Springfield features a skeletonized trigger with a serrated face. The pull is crisp with a short travel and a clean break. The pull measures in at just under 6lbs. Not bad for a stock trigger out of the box.
Looking at the slide: the Springfield Range Officer is designed for target shooting and precision and the target sights reflect that. The rear sight is adjustable for both elevation and windage. The sight picture is a black notch on a black blade, which can make for somewhat slower realignment between shots.
The Range Officer has rear strap checkering only, but the tooth is responsive enough that I don’t have a problem racking the slide with two fingers and a thumb. When actioning the slide, I notice that it seems to fit the frame tightly. The slide houses a 5″ match grade barrel, which helps improve its accuracy.
Other features: The Springfield Range Officer is a single stack 1911, and as such is somewhat limited in capacity; it carries 7+1 and comes with two blued magazines in the box. It also features a grip and manual thumb safety. As this gun is designed for entry level competition shooting, I don’t find issue with the grip style safety, but because when I shoot one handed, I prefer to shoot lefty, I note that the right hand operated manual safety as a slight drawback (over an ambi safety).
Comparison to the Springfield Armory 1911 A1 Loaded: The first difference that I noted after putting 6k-7k rounds through the A1 and 600-700 rounds through the RO was that, with a lot less experience, I was able to be notably more accurate with the Range Officer than with the A1 loaded. Aesthetically, this A1 and RO are different because the Range Officer features a parkerized finish, compared to the A1’s stainless finish. However, the A1 is also offered with the parkerized finish, if you prefer. I’ve noted that this parkerizing isn’t the hardiest finish I’ve come across for steel pistols. It is prone to getting scratched, but I still think it looks nice. Another notable difference is the sights: the Range Officer features adjustable target sights while the A1 loaded features low profile combat 3 dot fixed sights. Something that isn’t a visible difference is the barrels: they’re both 5″, but the Range Officer’s is a match grade barrel (the A1’s isn’t). Size wise, they’re pretty much identical. The Range Officer and A1 are both 8.5″ long, 5.5″ tall, and (with the stock cocobolo wood grips) about 1.25″ wide (note: this particular A1 features a Hogue wraparound style grip in replacement of its original diamond checkered wooden panels). They also way nearly the same with the A1 measuring a mere .3oz heavier. Both pistols also feature lowered and flared ejection ports, reversible magazine releases, and skeletonized hammers and triggers.
The MSRP on the Springfield Range Officer is $977. It’s a bit pricey. But, then again, it’s easily possible to spend anywhere from $2k-5k on a competition ready 1911. For those who want to up their game and get started with precision shooting competition, such as NRA bullseye shooting without wanting to make such a huge investment, the Range Officer has appeal.
When taking the Range Officer out to shoot, some of the things that make it a great target pistol are the fact that it’s a heavy full size pistol, so there’s ample room for a full grip and a couple pounds of steel to help soak up recoil. One of the biggest things I expected to see from an entry level target 1911 is improved accuracy, and the Range Officer delivers. While I can pretty much put the rounds where I want when shooting with the A1 loaded (this one in particular as it belongs to my dad and was the first 1911 – and the first .45 – I ever shot, so I have a good deal of history with it), it doesn’t compare to the Range Officer’s performance. This 1911 is a tack driver.