Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 Review (Hollow Point Cage Fight)

Is the Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 unreliable with modern ammunition?

We tested the Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 back in December 2022 with a brief range session to see if it would work right from the box.  You can watch Part One HERE.  We just ran standard 230 grain FMJ ammunition through it.  Although the gun digested the mil-spec ammo just fine (you’d expect this from a gun named the “Mil-Spec”), we didn’t test it with modern hollow point ammunition.

This situation bothered us for quite some time.  While unsophisticated by current 1911 standards, could the Mil-Spec function as a legitimate self-defense handgun?  We had doubts based on prior experience with older 1911s produced by Colt in the 1980s.  We found 1911s with the original feed ramp configuration designed by John Browning often refused to feed hollow point bullets.

The original design uses a ramp cut into the frame in conjunction with a shallow one machined into the barrel’s chamber mouth.

Original 1911 feed ramp system (Photo: LJ Bonham, 2024)

This design worked fine for the ammunition in use in the early 20th century: round nosed bullets with a full metal jacket.  Browning could never have envisioned the hollow points now used for civilian and law enforcement self-defense.  He discarded the two piece feed ramp system in his next, and last, pistol design which evolved into the P35 Hi-Power.

The Hi-Power’s feed ramp is machined into the barrel.  This feed ramp configuration (see photo)  has become the standard for almost every pistol which came after the P35.

P35-style feed ramp used in almost all modern pistols.

Thus, we vowed to perform a follow up test on the Mil-Spec to see if it suffered from the same malady as our old Colts.  While we were at it, we decided to include a more comprehensive review for this pistol.  Sit back and watch the cage match between the Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 and the 1911’s nemesis the hollow point.

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