This morning I want to discuss Springfield Armory’s WW2 Commemorative GI 45. I bought one of these to add to my WW2 gun collection, most guns I have in that section of my collection are originals but this was a nice piece and priced right. A little over $500. In the end I wanted a functioning example is all, so it fit the ticket.
Out of the box I was very happy with itthe GI 45. Nice parkerized finish, wonderful wood grips marked with a “US” on them. Gorgeous grips!! Everything about the gun just about is GI all the way. I would have liked to have seen the older WW1 style safety but whatever, they said WW2. The thing is solid and quite attractive. Right down to the fact the ejection port is original specs and not lowered and flared as most of us are accustomed to seeing on new 1911’s. The only thing that you might notice is the gun can be turned “off” with a little key in the main spring housing, must be some lawyer thing.
The range: As I would expect from Springfield the range was a total success. No malfunctions of any kind after now roughly 350 rounds. The sights are adequate which is to say they certainly could be different and bigger but then the “GI’ness” is gone. I’ll leave her as is. The trigger is neither bad nor great. Again, government all the way. These old girls lasted more than 80 years in our arsenals, it’s not broke so don’t fix it I think could be said here with this gun. She totally fits what I was after, the whole nostalgia thing. I started on the 1911 in boot camp back in the day but by the time I hit the FMF the 9mm Beretta’s were showing up. All in all if you want a fine military style reproduction that works great, look no further. You can also get a “commander style” 4 inch and a sub-compact little tiny one, all in 45 acp.
Defensive use: Well it’s hard to argue with this guns track record, could it be made better with some modern upgrades? Sure it could but would I feel shorted or in trouble if I had to use her as is? Absolutely NOT!! It was good enough for 80 some years worth of Marines from Belleau Woods, to Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir and into Vietnam and it’s good enough for me. If I were going to upgrade though, 1st would be sights, then a longer adjustable aluminum trigger after that a bevelled drop in mag well and some 8 round mags with bumper pads. Going further, an extended safety, a drop in beavertail grip safety and a few other changes I would consider. None of that requires a refinish and all parts will drop in if you buy the drop in parts from say Wilson Combat for example. Like I said though, mine stay’s as is.
Customizing: I mentioned above a few of the changes I would make if I were going to build one up for more modern use. I also wanted to mention on this. There is the 460 Rowland kits, 44 mag power in a 1911 and ammo is getting easy to get. A 9 round 44 mag semi-auto the size of a 1911 is pretty damn tempting. The kits are readily available and while they can be built on alot of guns this Springy would be a SUPER good choice because it has a forged slide and frame. It’s all the strength you will ever need for that conversion. This is a well made steel gun and ideal for that purpose, think about that if you were ever thinking “magnum 1911”.
Summary: Well I think you get the point, I love it from a history point of view and as a functional good shooter as is stock. I won’t change mine but the sky is the limit with a platform like this to build on. If I were going to build my dream 1911 I might start with this very model and do it myself.
Thanks for reading.
By: Cary Kieffer