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Old January 14, 2013, 10:05 PM   #1
My Toy
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Two piece barrel on Springfield Armory 1911?

Question for anyone that owns a relatively new Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded: is the barrel constructed of two pieces welded together at the juncture of the chamber and barrel? I bought a new stainless SA 1911 about 18 years ago and that is the way the barrel was constructed. I eventually replaced the barrel with a new colt barrel and a new bushing. I was wondering if that is the way their barrels are still constructed?
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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I would hope not
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Two

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Question for anyone that owns a relatively new Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded: is the barrel constructed of two pieces welded together at the juncture of the chamber and barrel?
Yep...but they're not welded together. They're heat-shrunk, and if not properly done, they can separate.
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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Browning HP had two piece barrels brazed together.Never heard of a problem.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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One question.... Why?? It has to be a cost play, surprising this would be cheaper though
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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Maybe they want different metallurgical properties (breaking out the SAT words today) in the chamber and in the barrel? i.e. springier chamber and stiffer barrel.
I'm most definitely not sure on that, but that's the only thing I can think of aside from cost - and cost does seem like it would be a toss up.
I"m sure someone knows exactly why they do them that way.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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There must be a Zillion Springfield 1911s out there. Anybody ever experience a failure of this barrel construction. This construction seemed like a bad idea to me -that is why I replaced the barrel on my SA 1911 eighteen years ago with a colt barrel. Do you think I wasted my time and money? Anybody ever get a straight from the horse's mouth explanation from SA as to why they do it this way.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Do you think I wasted my time and money?
Guess you better freak out on all the MIM parts Springfield uses as well and replace them with forged... So, to answer your question; yes.

I checked mine. Yep, two piece. Problems? Nope. Not after several thousand rounds, anyway...
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Old January 15, 2013, 11:46 PM   #9
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It is a matter of cost. Without the rear with the lower lugs, the 1911 barrel is just a tube with a couple of lathe cuts. So the first ones had the rear part cast (not MIM, at least at that time) and the front part turned down and sweated in. Because of the smaller chamber, the idea worked better for the BHP than with the 1911, but if the casting is well done the result is OK, though I don't consider it optimal. (FWIW, the Army rejected the idea of using that system in replacement barrels.)

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Old January 16, 2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Toy
There must be a Zillion Springfield 1911s out there. Anybody ever experience a failure of this barrel construction.
I haven't experienced it, but I also have never owned a Springfield 1911. This mode of failure does get reported periodically in the "Gunsmithing" area of the M1911.ORG forum, and there have been actual photos posted.

Can it happen> Yes.

Does it happen? Yes.

What are the odds of its happening to you? Small. (Feel better now? I wouldn't.)
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Old January 16, 2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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I think only the cheapest, G.I. pistols had two-piece barrels. I had a G.I. hi-cap with a two-piece, but my Mil-Spec had a one-piece stainless.
I have another 1911 with a cast barrel, and no problems with it.
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:09 PM   #12
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A cast barrel?

Rick, I know you've been around for awhile and know a bit about 1911s, but I've never heard of ANYBODY using a cast barrel, in any firearm. And I can't believe a cast barrel would last more than a few shots.

Would you care to disclose the make and model of this engineering vunderkind?
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:16 PM   #13
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It's an early Detonics Combat Master, circa 1980. I've spoken with a guy who worked at the plant, essentially ran the plant when the HQ was in Seattle and the guns were made in Bellevue, and he confirmed that the barrel is cast from an extremely hard stainless alloy that was chosen for its ability to withstand the sort of "radial" pressure that you get within the chamber of a barrel.
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:43 PM   #14
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After seeing this thread, I'd be looking elsewhere for a 1911. There are other manufacturers using better quality components and materials for less. Too bad... been a big fan of SA, just seems like there are better options.
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Old January 16, 2013, 09:49 PM   #15
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around 3k rounds through my newer springfield loaded,,,no problems,,,,,,,probably closer to 10k through my older one.......zero problems .....really like remingtons offerings lately though, little cheaper and a great product IMHO 400 rounds down range with zero problems ( only had a month so only time will tell)
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Old January 17, 2013, 12:06 AM   #16
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Rick, I am not sure what you mean by "the cheapest G.I. pistols." No Government Issue M1911 or M1911A1 pistol ever had a two piece barrel; they were all machined from forgings. If a G.I. pistol has a two-piece barrel, it was put in after the pistol left service.

Jim
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Old January 17, 2013, 05:04 AM   #17
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Springfield

Just for the record.

Not long after Springfield started offering their "GI Mil-Spec" pistols, I got a new one in trade from my ex-stepson who'd gotten it in trade for some landscaping work.

MIM and castings aside, I decided to see how close to GI spec that it really was, and proceeded to put it to the 6,000 round torture test that the Army Ordnance Board did back in 19-aught-eleven....and even took it a little further...to see what it would take to break it.

The only real problem that I had with the gun was wild ejection that required a new ejector to correct.

It had the dreaded 2-piece barrel, which components are heat-shrunk...not sweat soldered. I know that much, because when I installed a Kart barrel a few weeks later, I separated the two parts and saw no evidence of it. This was one of the early ones, so that may have changed.

I also changed out the fire control group and thumb safety after the test...just because.

Part of my torture test involved firing the pistol until it overheated, and dunking it in a bucket of water to cool it...and resumed firing.

The barrel never separated, even with the 6,000+ rounds of hell that I put it through...punishment that it would never see in 50,000 rounds of normal use.

While I understand that one example isn't to be taken as representative of all the pistols that Springfield fielded with 2-piece barrels, and that there are occasional reports of barrels separating...it does tend to allay some of the largely unfounded concerns.

And the more recent Standard Mil-Spec as well as the Loaded Model both come in with the same 2-piece barrels.
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:29 AM   #18
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OK,fears allayed but the question still remains :why?
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
the question still remains :why?
Cost.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:53 AM   #20
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IMO, if you are buying a rock island or that ilk, these cost cutting measures are to be somewhat expected. They don't necessarily translate to a deficiency but lets face it, they arenot confidence builders and are not representative of high quality. Springfield is a level (or was) above rock island, I have different expectations for a gun from Springfield, else I'll buy the rock, its cheaper. Frankly, para seems to be going the other way, they are introducing more quality components, ion bond finishes, forged frames and slides, certain models with parts by quality manufacturers like Dawson, brown, C&S etc.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:39 PM   #21
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Quality

Quote:
IMO, if you are buying a rock island or that ilk, these cost cutting measures are to be somewhat expected. They don't necessarily translate to a deficiency but lets face it, they arenot confidence builders and are not representative of high quality.
Oh, they could use higher quality barrels easily enough. It would add cost to the finished product, and that's always passed on to the buyer.

Springfield and several other producers of 1911 clones and variants understand that the average buyer probably won't shoot the gun more than a thousand rounds in a lifetime. The hard shooters will either opt for the higher-cost models, or upgrade the entry-level pistols as a matter of SOP.

Meanwhile, there's still a market for an inexpensive 1911 pistol "Just like the one that grandaddy carried ashore at Iwo" and...as long as the gun will fire and function...they're happy with it and will never likely see a problem with it.
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Old January 17, 2013, 02:39 PM   #22
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That's my point 1911tuner, for the cost there are other manufacturers products that are better or equal to sa and are cheaper. I feel for what you get there are better options. It didn't used to be that way. Sa used to be a better balance of quality and price.
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Old January 17, 2013, 04:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Rick, I am not sure what you mean by "the cheapest G.I. pistols." No Government Issue M1911 or M1911A1 pistol ever had a two piece barrel; they were all machined from forgings. If a G.I. pistol has a two-piece barrel, it was put in after the pistol left service.

Jim
The topic of discussion is two-piece barrels on modern, commercial Springfield Armory pistols. The least expensive pistol in Springfield's 1911 line-up is the "G.I.", ergo, "cheapest G.I. pistols".
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Old January 18, 2013, 09:54 AM   #24
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I've not had any new model Springfield guns in the shop so I'm not sure what they are using when it comes to barrels.

I also heard that as of lately they were only using the two piece barrel in their least expensive model the GI model, however I believe Springfield has discontinued this model.

I will say in all my years of smithing the 1911 I've never had anyone bring a Springfield pistol to the shop because the barrel came apart, I don't even know of anyone that had this happen.

I will say this, if it does happen, Springfield Armory has one of the best ( in my opinion the best) customer service reputations in the business, so I'm sure the problem would be taken care of at no cost to the pistol owner.

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Old January 19, 2013, 01:54 AM   #25
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I've seen a photo of a separated Springfield two-piece barrel, but otherwise never heard of problems with them.

And Ruger has used cast barrels on autopistols for quite a while.
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