Our first range test with a Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911 produced mixed results. We decided to give it another go to determine if the gun had significant problems or just some minor break-in issues.
Episode One Redux
If you read the first article Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm (Should You Bet Your Life On It?) in this series or watched the video on YouTube, you will recall the Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911 we acquired in order to conduct ballistic tests on 10mm cartridges didn’t turn in a stellar performance. It left us with some doubt as to whether this pistol would make a reliable self-defense tool for bear country.
The gun struggled with its first rounds at the range. It suffered numerous failures to feed with some PMC brand, 200 grain full metal jacket rounds we had left over from the early 1990s.
The Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm managed to pull a modest victory from what seemed certain defeat when it digested two different bear loads from Buffalo Bore with aplomb. We concluded the gun could work, but resolved to test it further before we carried it for serious business.
The Ronin Strikes Back!
In the quest to find ammunition this particular Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911 did like, we sourced some Remington 180 grain FMJ from a local gun store and went back to the range. The Remington load is rated by the manufacturer at 1150 feet per second at the muzzle. This is about 100 fps faster than the average watered down range ammo which the industry passes off as 10mm these days. We didn’t confirm this with a chromograph, we’ll do a full review on the ammo at a later date.
Prior to this test, we did apply some extra oil to the Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911. 1911s like more lubrication than modern polymer framed guns. Our previous test had proved this pistol would run right from the box with the factory lube, but we wanted to give this one a fair chance in our second test.
We handed the gun and ammunition over to our ace tester, Nigel, the slightly better than average Ninja to see if it would work better than in Episode One.
Things started off well. Unlike the PMC before, the Remington slid right up the feed ramp and into the chamber when Nigel racked the slide on the first round. Nigel discovered the gun would feed when he pressed the slide release as well.
As a bonus, Nigel reported the Remington load produced enough recoil to make him believe the velocity claimed on the box. It felt peppy.
Nigel hammered his way through all nine rounds in the Wilson Combat magazine without a single hiccup. He then sent the factory supplied magazine’s contents down range, again without drama. The Remington ammunition seemed to have solved the Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911’s issues, or did it?
On the Other Hand…
The Ronin had ceased its antics for the most part and we wanted to gather more data on the Buffalo Bore bear loads which saved the day in Episode One. We loaded one 220 grain hard-cast lead round in the magazine followed by five Remington 180s to preserve our limited Buffalo Bore supply, and topped the stack off with three more hard-cast. This allowed us to test the Buffalo Bore both from a full magazine and as the last round in the mag, something we didn’t do in the previous test due to time constraints.
Unlike Episode One, the first hard-cast Buffalo Bore round did not chamber when Nigel racked the slide. However, it did chamber when Nigel dropped the open slide on it after he cleared the jam. He then fired off three Buffalo Bore without drama.
Then Nigel hit another glitch. The first Remington in line filed to fire. The hammer had fallen, but no, “Bang.”
Nigel gave the potentially hot round a few moments to discharge. When no such thing occurred, he opened the action and retrieved the dud. Visual examination showed the primer had not received a solid hit.
Nigel reinserted to round in the mag and again the Ronin refused to chamber it off an open slide. Stoppage fixed, Nigel pressed the crisp, single stage trigger and this time it fired. The subsequent Remington rounds did likewise, as did the final Buffalo Bore.
A Win is a Win
What did we prove here? The Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911 demonstrated it is a reliable pistol if fed ammunition it likes. This is the norm for 1911s, and didn’t surprise us. Although, we had higher expectations given the Ronin’s improved feed ramp configuration and Springfield’s modern manufacturing techniques.
We decided it is reliable enough for use as a bear defense gun, if you do a few things to set it up for success: keep it lubed, feed it proven ammunition, and carry it cocked and locked, not chamber empty.
The next big challenges for this Springfield Armory Ronin 10mm 1911 are to determine both if it will feed hollow points and what caused the failure to fire during this test. Tune in for Episode Three in the Ronin 10mm Saga.
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