1911 Talk (formerly Colt Government Talk) Everything about 1911 model pistols and their derivatives and knock-offs! Get advice about the Colt Government pistols, post items about your experience with these pistols and accessories for these pistols.

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Old 05-10-2007, 04:39   #1
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Springfield and Brazil?

Hi all,

I posted this on another site, but I would really like to get as many opinions as I can. I know this may seem lame to some, but bear with me as I am kind of new to pistols.

First, I just bought a Springfield Armory 1911 "loaded" model pistol. It had all of the bells and whistles except an adjustable sight. I was fairly happy with my purchase until I got home. I was logging the serial number down in my log book as I do with all of my guns and there it was. In big huge letters it was stamped, "MADE IN BRAZIL". I nearly fainted. I thought Springfield Armory was a well respected American gun maker from Illinois, but here in my hand was something different. After staring at the wall for a minute or two, I supposed I came back to a conscious state and looked again at the frame. As my eyes drifted toward where I had thought I had seen the name of a foreign country stamped on my new pistol, I chuckled to my self for thinking such a thing. But it happened again, only this time, it seemed more prominantly marked. Brazil. I though for a minute I had brought home the wrong pistol so I checked the slide and the name of the manufacturer. Sure enough, it said Springfield Armory. Without having to look again at the frame, (the letters seemed to be getting bigger, I kid you not) MADE IN BRAZIL was stamped and was getting bigger. Somehow, I bought an American pistol that was made in Brazil! Surely there had to be a mistake I thought. I checked their web site and looked at each and every pistol they show and sure enough, none say anything about Brazil. I emailed the company and received a quick (albeit curt) response that simply said that "all of our frames and slides are forged in Brazil and sent here for fitting and assembly. If a pistol is more than 50% made in Brazil, it is stamped as such". Ok I'm sorry about the long winded rant( I do feel a little better though), but once again, I thought I was buying an American made pistol. So here (finally) is the first question. Do I have a right to be ticked off?

The second and third questions have to do with Colt pistols. Since I feel was burned by, taken advantage of and a victim of false advertising by Springfield Armory, I think I am going to cut my losses on the pistol and buy a gold cup. So my second question is, What is the difference in accuracy potential between a Series 70 and a Series 80 pistol? Question number 3 is, What is a Gold Cup "Trophy" model and is it better than the other Gold Cup models?

Thanks in advance.

Doug Gordon
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:47   #2
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I fail to understand your belief that you've somehow been swindled by the fact that Springfield Armory's 1911s have their frames and slides made in Brazil.
If the pistol has crappy workmanship, sub-standard parts or indifferent quality control, Then, you have the right to feel ripped-off. I'd suggest you take your 1911 to the range and try shooting it before getting too angry with the manufacturer. I bought a Springfield Mil-Spec .45 awhile ago and found it a good reliable sidearm, at least the equal of my Series 70 Colt Government Model.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:35   #3
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Brazil

I bought a new Massey Fergason tractor about three years, same thing. Got it home and was admiring my new toy and there is a made in Brazil stamp.

Semper Fi
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:08   #4
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Springfield ARSONAL was a proud Americian gun maker operated by the US goverment.
Springfield armory is a maker/importer of knock off "clone" firearms. Some models they make here, some they contract out completly, and the rest fall somewhere in the middle.
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Old 05-10-2007, 15:55   #5
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Originally Posted by surbat6 View Post
I fail to understand your belief that you've somehow been swindled by the fact that Springfield Armory's 1911s have their frames and slides made in Brazil.
Well, I suppose I just took it for granted that the guns were made in America because each and every picture on their web site shows guns with no Brazil stamp. I guess I just feel it is kind of false advertising. Now, if the guns they show on the site had the Brazil stamp, then I would certainly know ahead of time that this thing is made in Brazil. If I wanted a Brazillian gun, I would have bought a Taurus and saved a couple of hundred bucks! At least they don't hide it.

I suppose this is a classic case of Caveat emptor (however you spell it).

Thanks all for your input.

Doug Gordon
Proud owner of a Brazillian/American pistol.
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Old 05-10-2007, 16:11   #6
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South American steel is nothing to turn your nose up at, they make forgings that supply many countries military's. The quality of the steel is very good and the price is right. I've got a loaded model as well with the same stamp-yet to have a problem (after break in of 300 rnds.) in over 2200 rnds. so far. You could pay more for a 1911 with a cast or polymer frame instead you've got the strength of a forged frame I know what ya mean about being made in USA, looking close at various parts on my Mercury sable I see made in Mexico.... not what you'd expect on something you believe to be all American. Shoot your 1911 and enjoy it, trust me you won't be sorry. Kimber, Colt, S&W, Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer are some examples of USA made 1911's. I own some of these as well....
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Old 05-11-2007, 03:57   #7
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Unhappy

ifishbaja. Not trying to be too cynical but are you sure Colt "manufacture" the 1911 in USA? Their "reisue" percussion revolvers were Uberti parts assembled by Colt in the States.
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:24   #8
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
ifishbaja. Not trying to be too cynical but are you sure Colt "manufacture" the 1911 in USA? Their "reisue" percussion revolvers were Uberti parts assembled by Colt in the States.
I don't know anymore who makes guns in the USA...except Ruger. They have a shotgun factory not to far from my house. In light of this Springfield Brazil thing however, I suppose they could really be plucking chickens in there and sending their guns out to be made in some foreign country.

I suppose I should do more research into companies products before buying instead of just looking at pictures and expecting to get one like the picture. I guess it is inmature to see a picture, buy a product like the one in the picture and be ticked when it isn't.

Doug Gordon
proud owner of a BA 1911 pistola
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Old 05-11-2007, 13:54   #9
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Sorry that you got suprised but don't fret too much about the Brazil thing unless you really are a "buy in USA" guy. I have had a Brazil made SA for 4 years now and never regreted it. I also have 2 USA made 1911's (Colt series 80 Commander & SW1911) that are great but cost quite a bit more than my SA. That model you bought will hold up fine, when you wear out the OEM parts you can replace them with custom USA parts and feel better BUT it is going to take a long time to do that!!
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Old 05-11-2007, 14:39   #10
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
ifishbaja. Not trying to be too cynical but are you sure Colt "manufacture" the 1911 in USA? Their "reisue" percussion revolvers were Uberti parts assembled by Colt in the States.
Yes the Colt 1911 is made in the US. Uberti does make the colt and other replicas of vintage guns. I could be wrong but my understanding was that they bought the rights to reproduce the colt model revolvers without the help of colt in the manufacturing of them.
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:28   #11
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I hate to have to say this, but over the years I have become disgusted with Springfields 1911s, particularly their "entry level" models, they are some of the clunkiest things I've ever handled.

The biggest shock came not when I discoverd they werent being made in the U.S. anymore, but the fact that they had the gaal and disdain for their customers to actual make a cheap two-piece, YES I SAID 2-PIECE, soldiered barrel for their entry level guns, a gun writer nearly got seriously injured a few years ago when Springfield started this cheap b.s. while he was testing a new model for a magazine artical. When he contacted them they blew him off and said they havent been sued yet over any serious catastrophic failures so they werent going to be changing anything at the moment.

Springfield like other poor quality 1911 manufacturers I.E. Auto Ordanance, etc, has gone through many ownership changes over the past several decades and this allways seems to result in cost-cutting and quality problems.

The funny thing is their U.S. custom shop where they make all their high end guns they supply competitive shooters and agencies with make great top end guns, but most of you average Joe's will never get your hands on one of their "good" guns.

As for Colt series 70 and 80, the 80 series has a firing pin safety, the 70 series doesn't and has a slightly different barrel/bushing fit compared to most other models.

I would go with Kimber nowadays for a good reasonably priced 1911, Colt has issues too, they still make their guns with the 80 year old sloppy slide rail tollerances of the WW-I era, and their customer service is non-existant if you arent gov't or L.E..

Best wishes and good luck.
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Old 05-19-2007, 20:36   #12
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Originally Posted by surbat6 View Post
I fail to understand your belief that you've somehow been swindled by the fact that Springfield Armory's 1911s have their frames and slides made in Brazil.
If the pistol has crappy workmanship, sub-standard parts or indifferent quality control, Then, you have the right to feel ripped-off. I'd suggest you take your 1911 to the range and try shooting it before getting too angry with the manufacturer. I bought a Springfield Mil-Spec .45 awhile ago and found it a good reliable sidearm, at least the equal of my Series 70 Colt Government Model.
I agree, i have a commander and full size springfield gi, both made in brazil. both great pistols. and a base model springfield and col differ in price but a decent amount. probably because gi and milspec springfields are made in brazil. i also have a couple of colts that are nice. my best 1911 is a para ord. a canadian pistol.

go ahead and get your gold cup and enjoy it, but dont get overly concerned with where the pistol comes from. we could start another thread how all american colt REALLY is. the fact that youre working with 1911s is what matters.
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:31   #13
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I recently built a 1911 out of parts laying around, of which the slide was Brazilian. I found the slide to be made of very good steel, and well heat treated. I had no problems at all with it.
As an aside, My .38 Super which was a series 70 Colt, and proudly manufactured by the UAW, and was filled with tool marks, inside the slide and frame, and took many hours to remove before I could begin accurizing. It was also worth it, as the .38 Super is probably the most accurate pistol I own.
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Old 05-23-2007, 22:35   #14
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ifishbaja,

Probibly 80% of the 1911's out there are made in South America, the Philippines, or Spain.

Springfield, Llama, Charles Daily, Rock Island, Armscor, Auto Ordnance, Shoters Arms, Taurus, Etc. All made in other countries.

Charlie
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Old 05-23-2007, 23:38   #15
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Actualy Auto Ordanace are made in America, Kahr bought them and totaly re-tooled them with new state of the art equipment, funny thing, all the Auto Ords I have tried lately are the same clunky pieces of junk the old ones were under Numerich.....funny how things allways stay the same, just like Ruger's re-tooling of the mini-14 line.
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Old 05-25-2007, 22:51   #16
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I own a Colt Government Model that's at least 30 years old, and a Springfield Armory, Inc 1911A1 Government Model about 10 years old. Forged in Brazil and marked as such. The Springfield is parked, but the fit and finish was better than the Colt's by quite a ways. I don't feel shortchanged a bit. I'm keeping the SAI bone stock and using the Series 70 Colt for my tweak gun, adding better sights, polishing where required, funneled mag well, etc.
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Old 07-07-2007, 13:50   #17
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Interresting that Taurus PT1911 is made in Brazil as are all of their firearms and now we hear that Springfield is using Brazilian made parts.... I wonder if Taurus is a supplier for Springfield now??
Also I understand that some of the 1911's (Rock Island, I think) come out of the Phillipines.

I own a Springfield XD 45c with made in Croatia boldly stamped on the side!!! Awesome firearm, by the way.

Just makes you say, HUH!!

Rick
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Old 07-07-2007, 14:45   #18
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Not all of TAURUS firearms are made in Brazil. I have a few that are clearly marked 'made in the USA'.
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Old 07-07-2007, 15:37   #19
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Originally Posted by NWO View Post
Not all of TAURUS firearms are made in Brazil. I have a few that are clearly marked 'made in the USA'.

I didn't know all were not and I stand corrected .... Thanks for that.

I have read however that the PT1911 is manufactured and assembled 100% in their Brazilian factory..... I hope my info is accurate on that.

Thanks again for the correction ,
Rick
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Old 07-07-2007, 18:06   #20
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I know Springfield's 1911 and the old SAR-48/4800 were made in Brazil. I don't know about anything else though.
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Old 07-08-2007, 15:12   #21
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I believe their frames and slides are made by Imbel
Thanks, Ron
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Old 07-08-2007, 20:42   #22
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Thats it. Brazil.
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:05   #23
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Fishbaja, I can't blame you for being shocked to learn--after your purchase--that the SA 1911 was made in Brazil. The maker is happy to capitalize on the Springfield name connection, but turns to offshore producers for their actual products. I think they ought to rename the company "Rio De Janeiro Armory" or something like that.

As far as I can tell, SA doesn't publicize this offshore manufacturing. I searched their website for the word "Brazil" and got no hits, and they certainly don't mention Brazil on their "About Us" page. Conclusion? The whole issue is basically something the want to hide. Good thing the guns themselves have to be stamped with the country of origin.

All this is completely aside from the question of whether your SA 1911 is a good gun or not. For your sake I hope so. There's no guarantee that a U.S.-made gun is better, but that's what you wanted and that's what you should have.
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Old 11-30-2007, 13:02   #24
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I'm going to make an assumption: that most of us here are not made of money, and that most of us generally don't want to shell out $2,000, or $3,000, or even more for a custom 1911, in most cases. Usually, we just want a functional 1911, reasonably accurate and reliable, and we want some value. Most buy 1911's that are worth well under $1,000. That is true of most if not all the "loaded" models at Springfield.

Now given that most customers want value, Springfield is trying to give you that. In order to make those $500 and $600 Milspecs and GI models, and those $800 loaded models with all the bells and whistles, they HAVE to do it offshore in order to give you that many features for such a low price. They really only have two chocies, to make these low-end pistols: make them offshore using some MIM parts. Or, use MIM parts, plus create an automated factory so you can churn out buku models, then flood the market here, trying to make profit on doing a massive volume (as Kimber does). Those are your two choices, if you want an inexpensive 1911. There is simply no other way they can make pistols with that many features for such low prices, given the American costs of doing business including wages.

I don't think Springfield is trying to hide anything. If they were, they wouldn't have the Brazilian maker stamping "Made in Brazil" right on the side. They're not making a big deal out of it on their site, nobody does. Why should a business intentionally stir up a sensitive political issue and attract attention to themselves, when none of their competitors does? But, just because they don't make a big deal out of it, doesn't mean they're hiding it either.

If you want a truly "made in America" pistol, you can get one from Springfield any time. You can get one in their custom shop, which WILL be made in America. But it will not be one of these $600 to $800 jobs, you will have to pay the going rates for custom work, probably starting $1600 to $2000, and going on up.

Springfield is still doing all the following items in their American shop, to my knowledge:

* Creating the product designs and engineering.
* Providing the service on all their products.
* Doing all the customization, even on the low-end models.
* Building all the high-end custom models.

I want to give them credit: I think they are doing what any other good and competitive business is trying to do: survive and make a profit, and keep employing as many Americans as they can. They are offering good products across the whole price spectrum, from "value" priced, to high-end, and you can buy anywhere on that spectrum that you wish. If they could make low-end models in the U.S. and make a profit, I'm sure they would, but I don't think that's an easy thing to do right now, as I see VERY few companies making low-end 1911's here at home.

I would love it if all products could be made in America right now, but the fact is, we have a competitive, worldwide economy. And if you don't want to pay 2K or more for your 1911, and yet you still want some features, I don't see what's the problem with getting something that is made in another country. I'm sure if most of us had to choose between getting these $600 1911's made in a foreign country, versus not having any 1911's available at ALL in this price range (since no American company can afford to make them in this price range), we'd choose to still have the inexpensive options available. And besides, it doesn't seem so bad. Most owners of these Springfield Milspecs and other value-price models are quite happy with them, and they seem like great quality for the money. I'd rather have them providing these models in this price range, than to have them ONLY providing high-end, expensive models, such as the custom makers like Ed Brown. Having the offshore-made models gives us consumers more choices.
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Old 11-30-2007, 13:30   #25
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whats wrong with Brazil?? Brazilians are smart capable people and their major cities are just as modern and no different than our major cities if anything their cities are cleaner. sure wages are lower there but that doesnt mean their craftsmanship lacks to be honest you are probably getting higher quality workmanship than you would get from lazy American factory workers. the lower wages in Brazil in comparison to our wages are actually good wages to a Brazilian. also its not like you are getting second rate steel the steel still has to meet springfields standards besides the steel brazil buys is the same steel the US buys since it all comes from asia these days. If ya take a minute and think about it alot of first rate products come from brazil. so dont be too upset about parts coming from Brazil. shoot most of your high dollar after market safeties, beaver tails, and slide releases and many other after market parts are also made in brazil. it could be worse those parts could be made in the Philippines.
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