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Old 03-19-2001, 01:18 PM
Mute Mute is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Diamond Bar, CA
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2001 Springfield Armory Champion

After a great deal of anticipation, I finally had a chance to go to the range with my new toy. Here are the results:

Function test:

I went to the range with 100 rounds of PMC 230gr. FMJ. The gun was 100 for 100 with these ball rounds. I had tested with both of the factory supplied 7 round magazines and 2 Mag Pac 8 round magazines. Not one FTF.

I also had 8 rounds of Federal 230gr. Hydrashoks in one of the 8 round magazines. These were the old profile Hydrashoks with the squarish mouth. Loaded the magazine and relased the slide stop. The cartridge stopped dead on the feed ramp. I removed the magazine, reseated the cartridge and tried loading it again. This time it loaded. Fired, next round stuck on feed ramp and again on third shot. A light tap to the back of the slide would know the slide into battery both times. After that the next 5 shots went without a hitch. I'm not sure how this is affected by the fact that this is a ramped barrel and not the traditional setup. No previous experience with ramped barrels.

Conclusions. The gun seems absolutely reliable with 230gr. FMJ. I will need to run another 150-200 rounds of 230gr. Hydrashoks through it before I can determine if there is a problem or if things will start to smooth out after some time.

Now as to the magazines. The guns were perfect with the factory mags, but the 8 round Mag Pacs would not lock the slide back after the last shot. I tried inserting an empty magazine and pulling the slide back. Same thing. Now I've never had any problems with these magazines in my other 1911s so I decided to pull out the slide stop on a SA Mil-Spec that I had with me. Comparing the two stops it appears that the new one does not extend into the slide quite as deep as the mil-spec stop. When I put the mil-spec stop into the Champion and used it with the 8 round magazines...you guessed it, no problem holding the slide back. I'll do some more tests in the future with some 8 round Wilson mags. If the problems holds, I'll ask Springfield to send me a new slide stop. That or I'll just replace it with an aftermarket one.


Since I didn't use match rounds or a Ransom Rest, this is a test to see if the accuracy level is at least suitable for self defense.

Off hand at 15 yards, the gun shoots to point of aim with POA sight alignment. I don't usually use 6 o'clock alignment. Five shot groups would be in large ragged cluster with all the holes touching. Occasionally, a round would be thrown about an inch to the right of POA. This is probably shooter error as I was able to call the shot. I'm used to a short trigger. The Champion comes with an aluminum match trigger (long). So the trigger length was giving me some problems. The trigger reach was much longer than I am comfortable with. So this will likely be the first thing to go.

Overall, the gun seems quite accurate. It will probably shoot better than I can hold. I'm very satisfied.

Handling and shooting:

I've always been a fan of Commander sized 1911s. I find them to have a better balance than the full size and more forgiving in recoil and muzzle flips than the smaller 1911s.

The Champion comes with a 3.9" barrel (as claimed by SA). That about cuts the difference in length between a true Commander sized (4.25") and an Officer's (3.5"). Muzzle flip was very close to a full size. No noticeable difference. Recoil actually feels less. Perhanps the smaller, lighter slide and the 22lb recoil spring contributes to this. I could be wrong, but just my impression.

In spite of the slight difference in size, the balance is very reminiscent of Commanders I have handled in the past.


As this is intended to be a carry gun, I will stick with 230gr. ball rounds for now, until I've had a chance to put more hollowpoints through the gun and determine it's reliability with HPs.

The gun shoots and handles just like I expect a Commander type 1911 to. Given it's good accuracy, and reliability so far, this one is definitely a keeper. If you are looking for a 1911 of this style, you should definitely give the Champions some consideration. With the added features of the 2001 models (Night sights, beveled mag well, dovetailed front sight...etc.), it's shaping up to be one of the best deals on the 1911 scene. I'll post some pics when I have a chance.

Now, who should I call to do some minor work on this thing? I know, it's fine and I still want work done on it. Sick huh?

[This message has been edited by Mute (edited 03-19-2001).]
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Old 03-19-2001, 01:57 PM
Posts: n/a
Originally posted by Mute:
Now, who should I call to do some minor work on this thing? I know, it's fine and I still want work done on it. Sick huh?
Guys who can leave well enough alone shoot Glocks!

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Old 03-19-2001, 07:12 PM
swampgator swampgator is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Gatorville, Florida
Posts: 1,087
Congrats, sounds a lot better than when I bought my Champion back in '96.

Now, why in the world are they putting a ramped barrel in a .45 anyway?


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Old 03-19-2001, 09:04 PM
JSP JSP is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 798

Congrats - Glad to hear you like it.

I was able to spend a little time shooting a friend's Compact Lightweight (2000 model) that has the ramped 45 barrel. It would not feed Hydrashocks or Starfire hp's - they would bite into the top 1/16" of the alloy ramp just below the barrel ramp. Different mags made no difference with that design.

Silvertips would feed but the mouths were deformed in the process (only other hp's we tried). 230 gr ball and 200gr LSWC fed perfectly however and the pistol was fun to shoot. Like you say, the recoil didn't seem much different than a full size.

If you find a HP design that feeds well, I'd like to hear so I can pass it along.


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Old 03-19-2001, 10:52 PM
Sarge Sarge is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 17
I just put 50 rounds of Remington 185gr hollowpoints through my new S/A compact. Fed all of them perfectly.

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Old 03-20-2001, 11:10 AM
Mute Mute is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Diamond Bar, CA
Posts: 1,947

Actually there are things I would like to have done on my G19. Just don't carry it enough to put money into it.

I can't understand the ramped barrel either, but after the first few rounds of Hydrashoks it did start to feed. I put a couple hundred more with the new rounder profiles and see if it keeps feeding cleanly. Keep your eye out for an updated report.
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Old 03-21-2001, 09:04 PM
gyp_c gyp_c is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: C/S, CO. USA
Posts: 1,987
Welcome to the Champ club!

I had the same hang initially with JHP as well...Buffed it with the "unmentionable" and put a lil' grease on it...Feeds Cor_bon and Hydra_shoks with no problems...It's OAL issue...I tried it with Gold_dots and the ones I have are too short...The Cor-Bon at 1.210 are the shortest I can go...That's a 230 JHP and they definitely "rock"...

Anyway...hope you're as happy with it as I am with mine...

ps...Shoot the crap out of it!!! They do love that HB!
>>>>>>>>>>g2<< <<<<<<<<


[This message has been edited by gyp_c (edited 03-21-2001).]
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Old 03-21-2001, 09:13 PM
JiminCA JiminCA is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,765
If I remember correctly this was the one from Tuans? It has a bull barrel, right? Where did you shoot - La Puente?

I'm tempted to get one.
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Old 03-21-2001, 09:40 PM
CMC CMC is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Panama City , FL , USA
Age: 61
Posts: 560
Mute I had a problem with the Hydrashocks and silvertip. My P-13 (Standard barrel) works flawlessly with remington golden saber.
The bullet profile is closer to a round nose.

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Old 03-22-2001, 10:37 AM
Mute Mute is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Diamond Bar, CA
Posts: 1,947

Yep, that was the one you saw at Tuan's. Did the testing at La Puente.
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