View Full Version : Springfield barrels

February 16, 2000, 08:05 PM
I bought a Springfield over the weekend. I have heard negative things about there barrels. What is the scoop? Not "solid" or "laminated steel" or something, right? Importantly, how well do they perform and how long can they be expected to last? Thanks in advance.


February 16, 2000, 10:57 PM
If you are referring to Springfield Armory or Springfield Inc. 1911 barrels, you should have no problems outside of the occasional lemon that anyone can have. Their barrels are mil spec, two piece. Many contractors built barrels for the government in two piece format during & after WW2. I've never seen one fail due to that. Most say don't use these expecting match grade accuracy, but I've found that with a little work, they can give excellent accuracy.
HTH, BBBBill :)

James K
February 16, 2000, 11:12 PM
Hi, Erik,

What "Springfield" do you mean. Rifle, pistol, Springfield Armory (government) or Springfield Armory (commercial)?

The rifle barrels are certainly one piece. Perhaps you are referring to Damascus barrels, which have not been made in years.

BBBBill, Can you provide a little more info on those two piece 1911 barrels? How are the two pieces put together? Who made them and how can one identify them? Which makers currently use two-piece barrels?

I have seen WWII barrel forgings and they did not seem to be made in two pieces.


February 17, 2000, 12:42 AM
Oops...I bought a new loaded 1911A1 pistol. Sorry about the missing info.


Joe D
February 17, 2000, 07:02 AM
Jim, As far as I know Springfield is the only major manufacturer that uses them. They are easy to spot. There is a visible seam where the chamber is joined to the barrel tube. I have never heard of one failing. The first thing I do with most 1911s is to chuck the barrel and put in a Kart barrel.

February 17, 2000, 09:07 AM
Hi Jim,

Take a look at the Kuhnhausen book on the Colt 45 Automatic Pistol, which I'm sure is a part of your extensive library. Kuhnhausen goes into the two piece barrels there.
Believe SA (the newbie) is the only one currently using 2 piece bbls. The gum't may have bought some 1911A1 replacement bbls from a contractor that were 2 piece. I don't think any of the original pistols had two piece bbls, either. HTH

o I raised my hand to eye level, like pointing a finger, and fired. Wild Bill Hickok
o If you have to shoot a man, shoot him in the guts... Wild Bill Hickok
o 45 ACP: Give 'em a new navel! BigG
o It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. Justice Robert H. Jackson
o It is error alone that needs government support; truth can stand by itself. Tom Jefferson
o When you attempt to rationalize two inconsistent positions, you risk drowning as your own sewage backs up. BigG

February 17, 2000, 10:53 AM
Springfield is the only current firm using 2 piece barrels as far as I know. Their barrels are probably made in the same Brazilian factory that makes their frames & slides. The seam on old military barrels may or may not be visible, depending on exactly where it is. I've seen a couple or 3 variations. Sometimes it was just ahead of the locking lug slots, sometimes at the forward edge of the full diameter area, & sometimes behind the lug slots. If you see it, it will appear as a thin line around the barrel. I'm not sure who the manufacturers were. The reason for this, according to my sources, was limitations on available machining equipment. The barrel blank chamber end was turned down. A pre machined sleeve with the proper breach contouring was pressed/silver soldered on & the chamber reamed for the round.
Just for an experiment, I welded one up & refit the old fashioned way. I packed the chamber with heat control paste, welded the hood & bottom lugs, & refit to a parts gun. Rem-Rand slide,Essex frame, who knows what else out of the parts box. Used standard accurizing proceedures. I won't tell you how it grouped because no one would believe me. I'll just say that it's the most accurate .45 out of the Ransom Rest that I have ever built, no matter whose match barrel/parts that I've used. :eek: It was also extremely reliable. I was stunned by the results.I built this gun with a recently retired Master Gunny who wanted to learn about building/accurizing these guns. We chose the parts just for economy, expecting only to teach/learn without risking expensive match grade parts.He has seen his share of the "elephant" as an ANGLICO Marine. It is now his carry gun.

James K
February 17, 2000, 07:23 PM
I spent a couple of hours examining WWII barrels by Hi-Standard (who supplied Remington-Rand, Ithaca, and US&S) and Colt, who were the major maufacturers in WWII. I do not have barrels by Flannery, Singer, or Springfield, but perhaps those who do could look for evidence of two-piece construction.

I can't find any evidence of two-piece construction on HS or Colt barrels. If there are lines, they are well hidden and the tooling marks do not bear out two-piece construction.

If anyone has further info as to the maker and markings on those WWII two-piece barrels, I would appreciate your passing it on.

As to making barrels that way, it is done now by several makers, and post-war BHP barrels are two-piece. There is nothing wrong with the technique and the maker can start with seamless tubing, a much less costly system than forging or turning from bar stock.

I do note a story on Kimber which has pictures of barrel forgings, so they don't use two-piece construction.