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  #1  
Old 08-15-2009, 08:31 PM
Jeff H Jeff H is offline
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Springfield Commander?




Did Springfield at one time make a commander length pistol?

I don't see any on their website, but there is one at a local gun shop that I was at recently. It was rather old looking, fairly well used but in good shape and bare bones- crappy GI sights, RH safety etc, but looked very serviceable.

Anyone know much about this gun and what it might be worth?
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2009, 08:34 PM
Asylum Keeper Asylum Keeper is offline
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Springfield's "Commander" length pistol is called the Champion, and it is technically a 4 inch barrel, instead of 4.25 inch.

edit: sounds like a G.I. Champion. which they still offer http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=16
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Last edited by Asylum Keeper; 08-15-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2009, 09:00 PM
Gdirty5 Gdirty5 is offline
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yea, the champion is the "commander" length SA 1911, but like the previous poster said, it's 4 inch instead of 4.25, and also it uses a bull barrel instead of a barrel with barrel bushing.

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  #4  
Old 08-16-2009, 02:03 AM
THE OPERATOR THE OPERATOR is offline
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springer made 4.25" commanders a few years back, but not anymore. all 4" now.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:34 PM
SGT45 SGT45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdirty5 View Post
yea, the champion is the "commander" length SA 1911, but like the previous poster said, it's 4 inch instead of 4.25, and also it uses a bull barrel instead of a barrel with barrel bushing.

I was thinking about getting a GI Champion-there is one at the LGS. I like the looks of it, kinda like it should have been some kind of "special " Officers or Generals .45 (at least that's the story I'm sticking to if I get it). Some questions-

Can the bull barrel be worked to make accuracy better? How do they hold up? Any complaints with this model? I had 2 Colt defenders , at different times, and had all sorts of problems with them (don't get me on my Colt rant now, had a lot of QC problems w/ the ones I bought. I am thinking about getting back into 1911's and going to SA). Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2009, 04:41 AM
jsimmons jsimmons is offline
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I read somewhere that the Champion requires a tool in order to field strip it. Is that true?

I've got a full-size G.I., and I'm looking for a steel-framed carry gun. It's a tossup between the Champion and the Compact (3-inch GI). If the 4-inch requires a tool to strip, it's out of the running. The small guns sure are 'spensive...
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2009, 05:49 AM
russel5150 russel5150 is offline
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the "tool" thats required is simply a paperclip. with the bull barrel there is a full length guide rod. there is a small hole in the guide rod so that when the spring is compressed you can "capture it" so the guide rod comes out of the slide.

so yea, it takes a tool, but just a paperclip. it only adds about 3 seconds to the take down time.

very easy to do, i wouldnt take it out of the running for just a paperclip, i dont have a champion, but the compact 1911's (some) require the same thing and its really not an issue.

good luck

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  #8  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:07 AM
azimuth azimuth is offline
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I get excellent accuracy from my Loaded SS Champion and I have not had a single failure of any type with this pistol. It was one of those spur of the moment purchases and I have never regretted it for a second.

As for requiring a takedown tool, I believe they shipped these pistols with a plastic collar of some type to use on the guide rod during disassembly. I haven't used any tools and find that the Champion is the easiest of any of my 1911's to disassemble.

I'd like to add that the Champion doesn't require a paperclip and doesn't have the takedown hole in the guide rod to my knowledge. I have a full-rail TRP that requires the paperclip and it IS a bit of a pain, but nothing I can't live with.

Last edited by azimuth; 08-18-2009 at 07:11 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:31 AM
Gdirty5 Gdirty5 is offline
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I have a loaded champion, and don't use any tools to take it apart.... Maybe there's something i don't know, but it takes apart a lot like my ruger. Pull the slide back, pull out the take down lever/slide stop, then slide come out. Once slide is out, pull off spring and slide out barrel.... NO tools
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:48 AM
ElrodCod ElrodCod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff H View Post
Did Springfield at one time make a commander length pistol?

I don't see any on their website, but there is one at a local gun shop that I was at recently. It was rather old looking, fairly well used but in good shape and bare bones- crappy GI sights, RH safety etc, but looked very serviceable.

Anyone know much about this gun and what it might be worth?
The early ones were 4" and marked "Commander" on the slide. I'm not sure how long they were made but I'm thinking it wasn't very long. I see them occasionally at gun shows in about the condition that you've discribed. There not considered "collectible" & therefore, don't come with a premium price tag.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:58 AM
RMLamey RMLamey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElrodCod View Post
The early ones were 4" and marked "Commander" on the slide. I'm not sure how long they were made but I'm thinking it wasn't very long. I see them occasionally at gun shows in about the condition that you've discribed. There not considered "collectible" & therefore, don't come with a premium price tag.
Ive been looking for one of those for years, if anyone ever sees one available please email or call me. All my contact info is on my web site (sig. line).
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2009, 03:21 PM
jsimmons jsimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT45 View Post
I was thinking about getting a GI Champion-there is one at the LGS. I like the looks of it, kinda like it should have been some kind of "special " Officers or Generals .45 (at least that's the story I'm sticking to if I get it). Some questions-

Can the bull barrel be worked to make accuracy better? How do they hold up? Any complaints with this model? I had 2 Colt defenders , at different times, and had all sorts of problems with them (don't get me on my Colt rant now, had a lot of QC problems w/ the ones I bought. I am thinking about getting back into 1911's and going to SA). Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!
What is "LGS"?

BTW, I found a rockin' deal on GI Champions (they're currently out of stock). I will disclose after I've ordered mine.
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2009, 04:39 PM
JohnConnor JohnConnor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsimmons View Post
What is "LGS"?

Local Gun Shop I believe.
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2009, 05:15 PM
Magus Magus is offline
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I wish they still made the Champion in a 4.25 configuration. The 4 inch barrel they use now just makes the pistol look disproportionate to me.

I had a Champion many many years ago and it was a total lemon sadly. It's kinda soured me on anything less than a full size 1911 since.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Agent Clark Agent Clark is offline
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Were the older "Compact" models (cco's) 4.25" long? I thought they were bushing barrels?
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:13 PM
Swenson Bobcat Swenson Bobcat is offline
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I just checked my Night .45 CCO 9(circa 1996) and it has a 4 inch barrel with the barrel bushing. Great gun.
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:52 PM
chiefjefe chiefjefe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azimuth View Post
I get excellent accuracy from my Loaded SS Champion and I have not had a single failure of any type with this pistol. It was one of those spur of the moment purchases and I have never regretted it for a second.

As for requiring a takedown tool, I believe they shipped these pistols with a plastic collar of some type to use on the guide rod during disassembly. I haven't used any tools and find that the Champion is the easiest of any of my 1911's to disassemble.

I'd like to add that the Champion doesn't require a paperclip and doesn't have the takedown hole in the guide rod to my knowledge. I have a full-rail TRP that requires the paperclip and it IS a bit of a pain, but nothing I can't live with.
I have the same gun and it did come with the plastic collar that goes onthe guide rod. Very easy to disassemble. Mine has functioned great so far.
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2009, 10:29 AM
lance22 lance22 is offline
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I use a tool to take apart my Kimber, don't let that stop you. Champion is great little handgun.
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:00 PM
Hacker15e Hacker15e is offline
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Here's the only photo I've been able to find of a Springer Commander -- this was snapped from the latest Gun Values book:

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  #20  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:45 PM
1911 Operator 1911 Operator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefjefe View Post
I have the same gun and it did come with the plastic collar that goes onthe guide rod. Very easy to disassemble. Mine has functioned great so far.
i tried using that little plastic collar on my champion operator-it's pretty much useless as it doesn't hold the slide far enough back to line up the the slide stop with the notch in the slide.

...if they only made it 1/8 inch longer.

it's not difficult to disassemble without it (but would sure be easier if it i could use it!)

sti makes a clip that fits the springer guide rod and is the correct length, i'm gonna call them and order one soon.
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  #21  
Old 08-21-2009, 07:05 AM
ftchmup ftchmup is offline
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What about an Lt weight operator. Also a 4" barrel.

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  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 11:28 PM
Rightside Rightside is online now
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So I can break this thing down without the little clip? I guess the clip keeps the spring from flying out? Just got it and not broke it down yet.
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2009, 10:23 AM
Cloudpeak Cloudpeak is offline
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[QUOTE=1911 Operator;2297683]i tried using that little plastic collar on my champion operator-it's pretty much useless as it doesn't hold the slide far enough back to line up the the slide stop with the notch in the slide.

...if they only made it 1/8 inch longer./QUOTE]

I used two of the Springfield clips when I had my LW Champ and it worked well.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2009, 02:49 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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I have a S/A SS Champion Loaded it is a very accurate weapon, function has been very good. It takes 2 of the clips on the guide rod to disassemble. The down side is that it has the dual spring recoil system and you can't replace the springs, you have to buy a new dual spring recoil assembly for $35.00 plus shipping from Springfield. I just replaced mine with an EGW single recoil spring guide, yeah it costs more $50.00 plus shipping, but now when the spring needs replacing I just buy a new spring for $8.50. The reason I replaced it was I found some peening marks on the slide stop pin from the lugs hitting on the pin. I took this as an indication that the springs were getting weak, so time for a change. I also had heard that dual recoil spring systems (Recoil Master) are not IDPA legal in full size 1911s so I figure it most likely wasn't legal in a Champion either. Not that I shoot in sanctioned matches, just monthly club matches. Don't know what National has against better mouse traps, like Recoil Master recoil systems and bull barrels on full size 1911, but they do. Go figure.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2009, 05:49 PM
DevilDave1911 DevilDave1911 is offline
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I still prefer my vintage champion with barrel bushing....I never warmed up to the bull barrels models. In fact, you guys are only a little bit away from my reveal of my full house custom champion built off this old GI setup champ. Its going to make its way to shot show as well......so mitts off!!! LOL

FWIW, those Springfield Combat Commanders ARE collectible (depending on how nice they are of course). They were given a "cease and desist" from Colt when they came out with it and only a small number were made that way and using that name since colt had it locked down. My local gunshop owner has about 3 or 4 of those in his personal collection that he clearly will NEVER part with...just gorgeous blued commander Springfields. If you find one, get it!!
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