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  #1  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:26 PM
Marcruger Marcruger is offline
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SA Loaded 1911's with NM serial numbers




Hi Folks,

My dad is contemplating a Springfield Loaded, either Novak style sight or adjustable. I have seen some threads here about the NM serial number guns being possibly better quality than others. Is this something we should worry about, or just go with any that look well fit? I really appreciate any advice from the experts. God Bless, Marc
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:30 PM
Brother Michigan Brother Michigan is offline
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NM serial-numbered pistols are finished and fit here in the US and so are perceived to be of higher quality. My Loaded was finished in Brazil and is still wonderfully put together, so I don't think you have much to worry about. If you can find an NM serial, go for it, but I wouldn't fret too much over it.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:35 PM
skipsan skipsan is online now
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There are those who feel that the "NM" guns are preferred because of better fit and finish, than their "N" brothers. I have "N" and "NM" examples with no difference that I can see between them. Others report the same conclusion, however still others report that there is a difference. Take your pick. If you had examples side-by-side the question could be answered, but you wont have that choice. There isn't any difference in price at the retail level, although used, the "NM" examples could command a small premium.

Others prefer the "NM" variants soley because of the U.S. content. Can't argue with that--matter of personal choice.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Ichiban Ichiban is offline
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But, but, but.... What about my Loaded with a "WW" prefix?
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2010, 04:05 PM
usurp31 usurp31 is offline
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FWIW I have more N than NM and I can't see any difference.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2010, 04:11 PM
skipsan skipsan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichiban View Post
But, but, but.... What about my Loaded with a "WW" prefix?

If all of the SA serial number info posted on the internet is correct, then what you have is a Springfield G.I. Model, upgraded (aftermarket) to Loaded specifications.

I've never seen the "ww" prefix used with anything other than G.I. models which means only that I've never seen it, not that it doesn't or hasn't existed.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2010, 04:18 PM
old-lefty old-lefty is offline
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I have not seen any difference in NM versus N prefix pistols - many here will say different - what is most important is the warranty - so as you said go with what looks good in fit and feels good in the hand.

All the target models SS are on NM frames - can not remember is my Blk SS target loaded is on a NM frame - I think not. but I have mil specs in NM and N - as well as loaed models in NM and N frames - all shoot the same in accuracy and function

Now when you go the Trophy Match or TRP lines - than you get a semi custom fit pistol that is a different story.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2010, 05:12 PM
Assy Mcgee Assy Mcgee is offline
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the NM's have better machining, without question. i've seen numerous examples to convince me.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:22 PM
Brother Michigan Brother Michigan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assy Mcgee View Post
the NM's have better machining, without question. i've seen numerous examples to convince me.
Don't all of the parts (regardless of serial) come from Brazil?
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:37 PM
Assy Mcgee Assy Mcgee is offline
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Originally Posted by Brother Michigan View Post
Don't all of the parts (regardless of serial) come from Brazil?
That's the popular theory. Although, I've never asked SA myself. The fitting is much better on the national match frame ones. I'm waiting till I find an NM mi spec to buy one.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2010, 08:12 PM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is online now
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Like others have stated above, I've got several of each dating back to the 80s including two Champions from 06 N and an O8 NM and I can't tell the difference. The 06 N is a much smoother and more accurate gun than the 08 NM. We've all seen or heard of lemons coming from both places and SA seems to support them all the same.

Definitely not something that I worry about anymore.
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2010, 12:05 AM
af22raptor af22raptor is online now
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NM can be better fit than N serial number

Both of my Springfields my Custom Shop Tuned Loaded and Mil-Spec are NM serial numbered pistols. The NM serial numbers states that more than 50% of the final assembly is done here in the US. The Pistol Smith in Illinois are very well trained craftmen that take their time and do a better job specially in the details of finishing the 1911. The NM usually have better Slide/Frame and Barrel lug and bushing fitting than N serial pistols. The Trigger pull seems to also be set lower than N I have seen N series at 7 to 10 where NM are 5.5 to 4.5 depending on model.

It took me almost 11 months to find my NM Mil-Spec since Virginia at the time was only getting N serial on both Mil-Specs and Loaded and I wanted a Mil-Spec to upgrade myself. Stick to your guns and wait till you find a NM anad you will not be disapointed
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2010, 12:14 AM
scottl scottl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assy Mcgee View Post
That's the popular theory. Although, I've never asked SA myself. The fitting is much better on the national match frame ones. I'm waiting till I find an NM mi spec to buy one.
NM in the serial does not mean the frame is national match.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2010, 01:04 AM
brindlpitt1 brindlpitt1 is offline
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I had a NM loaded stainless that I had picked from the local gun shop. They were nice enough to bring 3-4 out of the safe to let me choose from.
To make a long story short springfield had to replace it under warranty after about 750 rounds.
The replacement was not a NM and was clearly not as nice a pistol as the NM had been.
After one more trip back to springfield it is as nice a pistol as you could ask for springfields customer service is second to none.
The main thing I didnt like about the N pistol was all the hard chrome parts. I bought a stainless pistol and I wanted stainless parts which the NM had very few if any hard chrome parts .
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2010, 11:08 AM
buck-boost buck-boost is offline
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I can't speak for the loaded series...

But my N milspec is very nicely fit and finished and tight for the price. If I found the right N OR NM loaded I would have a hard time passing either up.
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2010, 12:57 PM
machinegun74 machinegun74 is offline
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FWIW Ive been shopping around and checking 1911s out lately. Ive come across a few of the lower priced guns with N prefix numbers. They looked like hell. Frame sticking out of the back of the slide and extractors sticking out. Plus when you push on the barrel hood you get definite movement, more so than usual in 500 dollar 1911s. Toolmarks in the frame cutouts behind the trigger. Just not what Im used to seeing from Springfield in any of the models. N or NM prefix.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2010, 01:01 PM
Assy Mcgee Assy Mcgee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinegun74 View Post
FWIW Ive been shopping around and checking 1911s out lately. Ive come across a few of the lower priced guns with N prefix numbers. They looked like hell. Frame sticking out of the back of the slide and extractors sticking out. Plus when you push on the barrel hood you get definite movement, more so than usual in 500 dollar 1911s. Toolmarks in the frame cutouts behind the trigger. Just not what Im used to seeing from Springfield in any of the models. N or NM prefix.
yep. i've also noticed the slide are not centered in the frame properly and there's a LOT of side to side play.

also, i noticed on the N ones, the MSH's do not fit flush with the bottom of the grip. it's like their cnc machines are out of spec at imbel, and they won't recalibrate them.

no thanks to N models. i'm waiting for a NM mil spec to come along.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2010, 01:37 PM
hatidua hatidua is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assy Mcgee View Post
i'm waiting for a NM mil spec to come along.
If you wait for one to come along, you might have to wait a while. If you actively want one and are willing to search, they aren't all that hard to find.

I wanted a pair of them as base guns for some custom work. It took me less than two weeks to find two NM-prefixed SA Mil-Spec's.

Wait, or look, your choice
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2010, 05:10 PM
scottl scottl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assy Mcgee View Post
yep. i've also noticed the slide are not centered in the frame properly and there's a LOT of side to side play.

also, i noticed on the N ones, the MSH's do not fit flush with the bottom of the grip. it's like their cnc machines are out of spec at imbel, and they won't recalibrate them.

no thanks to N models. i'm waiting for a NM mil spec to come along.
But aren't all made on same cnc machines?
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2010, 05:19 PM
Assy Mcgee Assy Mcgee is offline
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Originally Posted by scottl View Post
But aren't all made on same cnc machines?
i don't know. either way, the fitting is definitely different, as well as the machining quality.

maybe they just machine blanks in brazil, and the final machining is done in IL with cnc's.

you can call SA and ask, i never really cared enough to bring it up with them.

check out N and NM one's when you find them at shops. there is a difference in quality, and for the same price, i'll wait for an NM one
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2010, 05:43 PM
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DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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On WW serial numbers -- This prefix is on all GI models that I've ever seen, brand new, from the factory.

On the N vs. NM thing... Because the finish machining, fitting, and assembly is done here in the US by the same folks who do the TRP and the Pro, it's possible that these guns are better fit than some of the brazilian N guns, just by sheer virtue of how many are cranked out down south vs. in Illinois allowing for more eyes-on time in illinois.

Is there an absolute quality difference? No. Each gun is unique based on the wear on the cutters used to cut it, the person inspecting it, and a whole number of other factors. Whether NM or N, there is NO guarantee that the gun will be perfect from one and not the other.

It behooves a wise gun buyer to function check and inspect ALL guns before purchase.
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  #22  
Old 07-11-2010, 07:06 PM
jtsjc1 jtsjc1 is offline
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I have a 1995 N serial# 1911 I bought in 96 and the quality is excellent. Its not a new gun obviously but it has a nice tight slide to frame fit and shoots very nice groups. I've heard both sides of the N or NM argument but after shooting this gun for almost 15yrs I would have no hesitation about buying another.
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2010, 02:28 PM
G. Freeman G. Freeman is offline
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The NM's are better IMO. The frames are machined nicer, especially at the frame rails. The fit it usually better, and they will come with a one-piece stainless barrel that is also fitted better. They are also usually handled with more care at the factory.

I've seen N serialed guns with dings here and there, dings and gouges in the frame rails, ejector pins going through the disco hole in the frame, very loose barrel and slide/frame fits, etc.

Now the NM's are never perfect, but I feel more at ease purchasing one, especially sight unseen. I wouldn't mind purchasing an N serialed gun, but I would have to inspect it very well before the purchase. However, my 1st preference is for an NM gun.
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  #24  
Old 07-12-2010, 03:30 PM
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DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. Freeman View Post
The NM's are better IMO. The frames are machined nicer, especially at the frame rails. The fit it usually better, and they will come with a one-piece stainless barrel that is also fitted better. They are also usually handled with more care at the factory.

I've seen N serialed guns with dings here and there, dings and gouges in the frame rails, ejector pins going through the disco hole in the frame, very loose barrel and slide/frame fits, etc.

Now the NM's are never perfect, but I feel more at ease purchasing one, especially sight unseen. I wouldn't mind purchasing an N serialed gun, but I would have to inspect it very well before the purchase. However, my 1st preference is for an NM gun.
While I get this, I do sometimes think that 1911 owners are overly picky or, more to the point, expect a LOT more out of a basic 1911 than they would have back in, say, the 50s before the idea of match-grade 1911s came around, when fitment was looser and the like. I know that SA will back me up on the gun, and I can live with a few minor cosmetic defects. And if I'm buying a $500-1000 1911, I'm expecting a lower-end gun that's service-accurate and serviceable, not necessarily expecting super-tight, ultra-accurate performance.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:57 PM
BoyScout BoyScout is offline
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I recently picked up an NM that has been worked over by John Harrison. Now I wonder if the excellent slide to frame fit was there at the start or if it was added through the custom work. It is tight and flawless in operation. I'll post some pics soon.
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