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  #1  
Old 03-08-2020, 08:43 PM
Scruff Vette Scruff Vette is offline
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New Defender 1911 - Wow!

I'm not new to 1911's having owned Colt, Remington, Wilson and Dan Wesson.
Disappointed with all (except the Wilson) so I took a break from the 1911 platform. Had no intention of jumping back in until I saw a new SA Defender series for $499 and asked to handle it.

First I could not believe how tight the slide to frame fit was with no perceptible play and it racked smoothly. Better, the trigger had a little take up and then broke cleanly at what felt like 4-5 lbs with with absolutely zero creep/crunch. Barrel felt like it was fitted well with solid lock up and the feed ramp was beautifully polished. Thumb safety was very stiff engaging, but manageable but figured that's an easy fix if it doesn't loosen up. The wood grips feel and look great. With no obvious cosmetic defects (never owned a Parkerized gun before), I bought it on the spot.

Went straight to the range from the LGS. Barrel looked clean so I oiled up the frame rails and proceeded to put 75 rounds of American Eagle and Federal Champion 230 gr FMJ ammo through it. At 30' it shot point of aim. Fed and ejected perfectly. Got home and field stripped it for a good cleaning, which revealed just how well these guns are made. Slide stop was a PITA to get back in, but that should get better. Trigger measured a hair over 4 lbs.

At $499 for an American made 1911 with a forged frame and slide, this gun shot as good or better as 1911's costing double. Unbelievable value.

Not so great cell phone shots:



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  #2  
Old 03-09-2020, 05:03 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is offline
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SA slide stops are a pain. I have found the plunger to be a bit too long on my two SA 1911s. A credit card to depress it helps. Also if you are dextrous the Logman slide stop mod may work. I chucked the plunger in a drill and shortened it with a more rounded shape.
Joe
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2020, 04:10 PM
D Williams D Williams is offline
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I dehorned the grip and thumb safety on mine and cold glued them. Other than that and a pair of pach grips it's stock and I'm using it as a carry gun. Love it for the money!
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2020, 07:19 PM
Deyomatic Deyomatic is offline
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Scruff- your review is spot on with my experience. My thumb safety is a bit stiffer it sounds, though. It feels like it has loosened up a little bit though. The barrel bushing in mine was TIGHT, too. I thought I was going to need a bushing tool but I finally got it.

My slide stop was also a pain so I did what I usually do with Colts- bought a replacement from 10-8 but this one didn't fit right. Oh well. I'll deal with it.
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2020, 07:36 PM
Captain H Captain H is offline
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It looks like the ejector is pinned also. Nice 1911 congrats. Talk about a best buy bargain right now with these.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2020, 10:41 AM
MikeB 1911 MikeB 1911 is offline
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I’ve had the exact same issue with my slide stop as well. It was so bad I ended up taking it to my gun smith and have that “log” method done ( he just shaved a bit off the side lock so it was easier to click into place without getting stuck on that metal plundger ).

Only other issue is it shoots really low. So I’m probably gonna have new sites put on anyway to fix that.

Other than that, it’s a fantastic pistol. Out of all the 1911’s I own, this is the only one they has NEVER had a single malfunction of any kind.

Last edited by MikeB 1911; 03-10-2020 at 06:32 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2020, 04:21 PM
fallenangelhim fallenangelhim is offline
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Now I want one
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2020, 09:03 PM
Billy1911 Billy1911 is offline
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One of the best values on the market today . Glad to hear your enjoying yours
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SA Lipsey's 9mm Combat Operator /SACS-RO Champion / SACS -Mod Longslide / SACS TGO-1 / SACS Professional w/rail / SA TRP / Wilson CQB / Kimber CDP II / HK P30L / DW Target .
Lots and Lots of plastic army men with a Guns of Navarone play set / A huge Star Wars Clone Army fighting with the Jedi Pre-order 66
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2020, 10:27 PM
Captain H Captain H is offline
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I keep coming back here to look at your pics and I am going to buy one of these in the next week. This $499 deal for these is great. I am afraid if I don't jump on one of these, it will be one of those "I should of bought one of those Norincos or Springfield Armory GI models when they were available" moments.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:20 AM
Distant Thunder Distant Thunder is offline
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I got one of these myself and am impressed with what Springfield has been able to offer in this platform. I see quite a few more people becoming 1911 fans because of this gun. Geez, even those of us who already own higher end models can be attracted to this one ... just like I was.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2020, 10:05 AM
bp52 bp52 is offline
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been away from 1911 for a while but what is the big difference in defender and mil-spec, I think now they are 100 or more in price difference. thanks
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2020, 03:32 PM
Dogbone38Super Dogbone38Super is offline
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Defender comes in a card board box. With one magazine. Same gun otherwise. I bought two. Great shooters.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2020, 05:02 PM
Scruff Vette Scruff Vette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogbone38Super View Post
Defender comes in a card board box. With one magazine. Same gun otherwise. I bought two. Great shooters.
Also, the wood grips are different. Not Cocobolo with the SA logo, but they are real wood. The checkering is nicely done, feels good and grain looks fine to me.
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2020, 08:25 PM
flashhole flashhole is offline
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The Defender was/is my first 1911. Your description was spot on, you described my gun exactly, except mine doesn't shoot low. I picked mine up for $499, heck of a deal. Now I'm trying to convince the wife she needs one too.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2020, 01:21 PM
K0025xx K0025xx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bp52 View Post
been away from 1911 for a while but what is the big difference in defender and mil-spec, I think now they are 100 or more in price difference. thanks
The Defender has features that really disqualify it from being a true "mil spec" even though it says so on the slide. 3 dot sight, lowered and flared ejection port, match barrel, flared magwell...but clearly best bang for the buck winner. Got mine for 475.00.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2020, 01:22 PM
K0025xx K0025xx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruff Vette View Post
Also, the wood grips are different. Not Cocobolo with the SA logo, but they are real wood. The checkering is nicely done, feels good and grain looks fine to me.
They're wood, but they're a laminate which, personally, I like better than solid wood.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2020, 02:10 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Very nice !!!

Super pistols.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2020, 05:07 PM
Billy1911 Billy1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruff Vette View Post
First I could not believe how tight the slide to frame fit was with no perceptible play and it racked smoothly. Better, the trigger had a little take up and then broke cleanly at what felt like 4-5 lbs with with absolutely zero creep/crunch. Barrel felt like it was fitted well with solid lock up and the feed ramp was beautifully polished. Thumb safety was very stiff engaging, but manageable but figured that's an easy fix if it doesn't loosen up. The wood grips feel and look great. With no obvious cosmetic defects (never owned a Parkerized gun before), I bought it on the spot.



So the next 1911 you need to step up to in the modern 1911 world
of feachures is , checkering , magwell , way better sights , Nicer
trigger , custom hammer and sear , Black T finish , Custom match
barrel and bushing . The Springfield professional at only 2500.00
more then the Defender . A steal from SACS I will also say a much
better looking pistol as well .

Or an ACW that will also blow your socks off
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SA Lipsey's 9mm Combat Operator /SACS-RO Champion / SACS -Mod Longslide / SACS TGO-1 / SACS Professional w/rail / SA TRP / Wilson CQB / Kimber CDP II / HK P30L / DW Target .
Lots and Lots of plastic army men with a Guns of Navarone play set / A huge Star Wars Clone Army fighting with the Jedi Pre-order 66
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2020, 06:26 PM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruff Vette View Post
Thumb safety was very stiff engaging, but manageable but figured that's an easy fix if it doesn't loosen up. Slide stop was a PITA to get back in, but that should get better. ]
On the thumb safety take a look at the detent the plunger engages. I had one that looked like just a round crater and it could be difficult occasionally. Another gun that had better feel had taper the bottom of the detent and resembled an upside down teardrop. I chamfered the bottom of the detent on the first one a small amount and all is well. Don't know if this is your issue or not.
For the slide stop look up the log man modification, easy to do and it works.
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  #20  
Old 03-31-2020, 07:35 PM
Deyomatic Deyomatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
On the thumb safety take a look at the detent the plunger engages. I had one that looked like just a round crater and it could be difficult occasionally. Another gun that had better feel had taper the bottom of the detent and resembled an upside down teardrop. I chamfered the bottom of the detent on the first one a small amount and all is well. Don't know if this is your issue or not.
For the slide stop look up the log man modification, easy to do and it works.
If the issue you describe IS the problem, that may also be causing the slide stop to be much harder to press in, too, right?
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  #21  
Old 03-31-2020, 08:18 PM
drail drail is offline
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Look closely at the slide stop lobe to see if it is pushing the plunger out of its way or running into it and stopping. A few strokes with a
file will fix it if it is hitting the plunger and hanging up on it. It's exactly like adjusting a door lock bolt and striker plate. Or you can do the Logman slide stop mod and file a small groove in the stop's lobe for the plunger to ride in. It's in the stickies here.

Last edited by drail; 03-31-2020 at 08:22 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:30 PM
Tercel89 Tercel89 is offline
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So what would you guys say the Defender's main problem would be out of the box ? Slide stop or something else ?
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:41 PM
MikeB 1911 MikeB 1911 is offline
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For me the only issue I’ve had with the Defender was putting the slide stop back in. It would keep getting hung up on that little metal spring from the thumb safey. Had to have the slide stop filed down so the little spring wouldn’t get stuck in the slide stop notch on the way in.

Funny, I have two Colts and they BOTH have the same issue with the slide stop going back in. They keep getting hung up on the plundger ( took a pic of the issue of the slide stop getting stuck in the notch. I have to take a credit card and depress the plunger and pull the slide stop back out. Major PITA)

Funny thing - all my cheaper 1911’s ( ATI military 1911, and a RIA ) have never had this issue.
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2020, 07:50 AM
Scruff Vette Scruff Vette is offline
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Quick update. The stiff thumb safety now works as it should and does not require any special attention. Other than working it more when field stripping and cleaning I didn't touch it. The slide stop is still a PITA. I've found that I have to start it having the very top of the lobe against the bottom of the pin (and use more force than I'm used to) to press it in without using a credit card. Either the plunger pin is too long and/or not rounded enough or the slide stop lug needs a few stroked of the file to increase the angle. I'm going to order a Wilson plunger pin (less than $2) and try that before filing the slide stop lug. Either way this is not a big deal and will get fixed.

I've had quite a few 1911's some of which are considered high end. Every single one including a Wilson CQB, a Dan Wesson and several Colts required some type of tuning or adjustment out of the box. The Wilson was the only one that ran 100% once dialed in. All cost double or more what I paid for this SA Defender which in my comparison is built as well and in some cases better than any of them, with the exception of the CQB.
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  #25  
Old 04-01-2020, 04:04 PM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deyomatic View Post
If the issue you describe IS the problem, that may also be causing the slide stop to be much harder to press in, too, right?
No. Two issues.
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