There is something about a stainless-steel firearm that says rugged reliability is inherent. Those of us who live in the Southern United States also realize the advantages of owning and carrying stainless-steel firearms, as they are less prone to the effects of moisture and high humidity.
For those who prefer the 1911-based pistol as their EDC, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) answers the call of duty. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is a full size 1911 pistol that falls into the “Government Model” class of 1911-based pistols that is manufactured in stainless-steel.
Let’s take a look at it!
Specifications for the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is shown below:
- Caliber: .45ACP
- Recoil System: 2 Piece N.M. Full Length Guide Rod
- Sights: Low Profile Combat, 3 – Dot
- Weight: (with Empty Magazine) 40 ozs.
- Height: 5.5″
- Slide: Forged Stainless Steel, Matte Rounds with Polished Flats
- Barrel: 5″ Stainless Steel Match Grade
- Length: 8.6″
- Grip: Type Cross Cannon™ Double Diamond Cocobolo
- Frame: Forged Stainless Steel, Matte Rounds with Polished Flats
- Magazines: 2 – 7 Round, Stainless Steel
I have carried a 1911-based pistol for the majority of my shooting years both as a LEO and private citizen to include full size “Government” models with 5-inch barrels, “Commander” models with barrel lengths of in and around 4.25 inches, and “Officer” models with barrel lengths in and around 3.5 inches. While I have interspersed my 1911 carry with other firearms, I have always returned to the 1911-based pistol as the firearm of choice for counter-offensive carry. I also have more 1911-based pistols than I can shoot with two hands.
Toward the bottom of my 1911 bucket list was the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L). I do have a Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model PX 9109L) Parkerized version with Trijicon night sights (you can read my review of the PX 9109L @ Springfield 1911 Loaded (PX1909LP) Review: http://guntoters.com/blog/2015/11/22/springfield-1911-loaded-px1909lp-review/) and it is a wonderful shooter, but the stainless-steel model PX 9151L was more desirable. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) was so desired, in fact, that I decided to trade a Springfield Armory XDm 3.8 in for it (a review of the XDm 3.8 can be found at Springfield Armory XDm 3.8 Compact 45: http://guntoters.com/blog/2016/05/22/springfield-armory-xdm-3-8-compact-45/).
I had carried a Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 in .45ACP for several months. And, while it is a fine pistol, especially with 13-rounds of quality .45ACP ammunition at hand, it was more cumbersome for me to conceal it and a couple of spare magazines than a full-size 1911-based pistol because of the width of the pistol and magazines. I am 212 pounds and 6 feet in height and can easily conceal most full-sized pistols in IWB mode. The Springfield Armory XDm 4.5 just didn’t feel right against the body as compared to the slim design of a single-stack pistol with enough cartridges in the magazine to satisfy my minimum requirement. Also, carrying 4 single-stack magazines of 8 rounds is more comfortable than carrying 2 double-stack magazines with 13 rounds each – especially IWB.
I am currently carrying a Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical as my EDC (see Rock Island Armory (Armscor) 1911 FS Tactical (2nd Generation) – Owner’s Review: http://guntoters.com/blog/2015/12/05/rock-island-armory-armscor-1911-fs-tactical-2nd-generation-owners-review/). While the pistol is nothing to write home about, it has proven itself to be utterly reliable with few changes to make it that way. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is more of a nicety than a necessity and it simply met a desire for a quality 1911-based pistol to close out my 1911 bucket list.
The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L), as compared to standard 1911-based pistols, seems somewhat cluttered in appearance. With front and rear serrations on the slide, the extended ambidextrous thumb safety, and highly-textured wood grip panels, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) lacks a sense of unity in its design. However, the look also conveys that this pistol is all business. By some, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is considered an “entry-level” 1911-based pistol. But, I would have to ask, where do you go from here? The Springfield 1911 TRP is a fine pistol and the price reflects just how fine a pistol it is.
The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is not a custom pistol, but yet has features that would be found on a custom pistol and yet these are features that we, as 1911 owners, have come to expect in a modern 1911 pistol. The manufacturer’s job, or custom builder job, is to make the features meet the purpose of the features yet provide the owner of such pistol with some degree of pride in ownership. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) provides quality features, a solid appearance, and excellent performance at a decent price. That works for me.
FIT AND FINISH:
The finish of the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded in stainless-steel is excellent; polished where it needs to be and contrasted by a bead-blasted finish where you would want it to be.
The fit is tight when new. There is absolutely no play between upper and lower assemblies.
The slide is adorned with a three-dot NOVAK, drift adjustable for windage, sight system, which is different from the Parkerized version that is equipped with Low Profile Combat, 3 – Dot Tritium sights. Unlike the Range Officer, no provision for adjusting elevation is provided, and I found that for the most part no adjustment is needed.
While the top of the slide is bead-blasted to cut glare, the sides of the slide is nicely polished while the under barrel shroud continues with the bead blasted finish Ten nicely formed serrations at the rear and 8 serrations at the front of the slide makes manually operating the slide very easily. The font of the slide above the barrel shroud sweeps upward toward the muzzle at an angle that compliments the shape of the ambidextrous, frame-mounted thumb safety.
The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is based on the “80 Series” of 1911 pistols, which means that a hammer block safety is incorporated into the slide (and lower, of course).
The polished extractor end slightly protrudes past the rear of the slide, but not so much as to consider “unsightly.” Why this is, I don’t know. Normally, the extractor base is flush with the rear of the slide.
The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) utilizes a feature that many words have been expounded upon; a two-piece full length guide rod. I have no issue with them, although some would quickly exchange this system with a standard guide rod system. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) simply takes a Hex-head wrench (provided) to remove the forward portion of the guide rod before disassembly, and I am alright with that as long as it works. My personal preference, if a full-length guide rod is used, is to have a one-piece full-length guide rod such as that found in Rock Island Armory 1911 pistols. If the one-piece full-length guide rod is used, and it is cut to the proper length, the pistol can be field-stripped as one would normally field strip the pistol.
The 5-inch match-grade barrel and well-mated barrel bushing demonstrate the close-fit that Springfield 1911-based pistols are known for.
The right side of the frame contains the Springfield name, location of manufacture, and the serial number of the pistol.
The sides of the frame are polished while the underbelly through the grip front strap is bead blasted. The left side of the slide is adorned with the nicely laser etched MODEL 1911-A! Cal .45, while the right side of the slide bears the Springfield Armory logo and name.
Serration work on the front grip strap is non-existent while the main spring housing exhibits cross-hatching. The mainspring housing also houses a trigger lock that can only be activated and deactivated through the use of a small wrench that is also provided with the pistol. The brush-finished metal mainspring housing is flat, which appeals to a lot of 1911-based pistol shooters.
The bead-blasted grip safety is well-formed and incorporates a memory bump that is more commonly found than not on modern 1911-based pistols.
An ambidextrous (and polished) thumb safety is oversized for easy manipulation and is well-tensioned for ease of use. I normally ride the thumb safety when shooting a 1911-based pistol and found that the safety on the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) does not interfere with my trigger finger as some do.
The grip panels are nicely worked Cross Cannon™ Double Diamond Cocobolo panels. However, the grip panels on a 1911-based pistol are the first things changed by me for a ‘carry’ pistol; a Hogue Wraparound Rubber Grip with finger grooves was fitted, which not only provides (for me) a better grip but also compliments the stainless-steel of the pistol while aligning in color with the sight system.
The roiled and serrated combat-style hammer provides an excellent surface for manually cocking and de-cocking the pistol.
Among other controls are the polished slide lock lever and magazine release, which are not only highly functional but also add a contrast to the look of the pistol.
The ejector and side plunger housing are, as with most 1911-based pistols, are staked units (the Ruger SR1911 side plunger housing is integral with the frame).
The magazine well is slightly beveled to aid in inserting a magazine into the pistol. Magazine lock-up within the pistol is very positive as is the magazine’s free-fall from the magazine well when the magazine release button is pushed.
Each magazine (2-each provided with the pistol) holds 7-rounds of your favorite .45ACP ammunition while 8-round magazines with bumper pad work just as well.
Range day with the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) came and went without a hitch. The Hogue Monogrip with Finger Grooves made the pistol much more controllable in my hand than standard 1911 grip panels; the Hogue grips is my favorite “go to” for many of my 1911-based pistols.
All of the fodder run was of the 230-grain variety and included cartridges from Monarch, Perfecta, and a magazine full of Sig-Sauer Elite Performance V-Crown. The V-crown ammunition was, by far, the most accurate ammunition of the lot. Because of the V-Crown’s accuracy, I now run it in my EDC, a Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical pistol, which has proven reliable enough to carry for over a year now.
While some may consider the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) to heavy to pack on a daily basis, the payoff comes the pistol is put into action. With a combination of the Hogue grip and riding the safety lever as I do, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is very controllable and quick to get back on target.
I use the sights to get me in the general vicinity of POA and then let the pistol do the rest. Running a “Mozambique Drill” at a fairly good pace resulted in some very effective hits on the target at distances from ten to fifteen yards. At twenty-five yards I was a bit off my game, but it definitely was not the pistol’s fault; old eyes, a few cups of coffee, and some rushing the shots on my part resulted in some off-center head shots. With that said, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is quite capable of making good head shots if you are.
As with the Parkerized version of the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded, I came away with a renewed appreciation of what Springfield Armory does to the 1911.
A FINAL TALLY:
Fortunately, and unbeknownst to me until I was made aware of it, I was able to participate in Springfield Armory’s “Gear-Up” program that provides a holster, magazine pouch, and 4 magazines for any new Springfield Armory® 9MM, .40SW OR .45ACP pistol purchased between February 1 – June 30, 2017.
At 40 ounces (2.5 pounds) unloaded, and 8.6-inches in length, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is a full-size 1911-based pistol. A substantial gun belt and holster combination, for IWB or OWB, is needed to bear the weight of the pistol should one decide to carry one, and a spare magazine or two, for the purpose of self-defense. With that said, the reason to like a heavy pistol is when you shoot it.
The 1911-based pistol is not an “every man’s” pistol, but I can also say that about many pistols on the market today. It just so happens that the 1911-based pistol works well for me over many others, regardless of caliber and capacity.
There are many 1911-based pistols from which to choose from these days. From inexpensive to highly expensive, the world of the 1911 is wide open to you. In my opinion, the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is not only an appealing pistol, but it is also a workhorse. I have operated several “range rental” Springfield pistols that have had thousands of rounds put through them with no maintenance, cleaning or otherwise, and they all have shot well.
I think that the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is worth a look whether you are looking for a 1911 pistol for the first time or are an experienced shooter who has a penchant for wood and steel.
As for the 1911 pistol in general:
- You either love 1911s or hate them. If you love them, there is a whole lot to love with the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L).
- A large and heavy pistol. I did mention heavy, didn’t I?
- If you like the feel of a 1911 in your hand, firing it is a pleasure. If not, you’ll find it’s a whole lot of gun and you will go back to your wimpy ways.
- As long as you don’t limp-wrist it, the gun runs…and runs…and runs, no matter what. It’s the Energizer Bunny of semi-autos.
- Sights, lights, silencers, lasers, you name it and you can get it for the 1911; one of the most customizable pistols on planet Earth.
- There’s a reason why the Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) is one of the most popular handguns made. And this one is about the best you can get, short of spending the big bucks on a custom job.
DON’ JUS’ TAKE MY WORD FOR IT:
At this point in the review, I provide links to other reviews (videos) that you may find worth watching. The Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded (Model No. PX 9151L) has been available for quite some time and the following only reflects a smidgen of reviews available for it.
- Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded Stainless Part 1/4 – Firearm Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWxGubfe1HY
- Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded Stainless Part 2/4 – Field Stripping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iQ-vnFnfjQ
- Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded Stainless Part 3/4 – Magazines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CllxtW2j-RQ
- Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded Stainless Part 4/4 – Holsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm0Fk5KKGvc
- Springfield 1911 Loaded Review and shooting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxNYC1DsI_g
- Springfield 1911 A-1 Loaded Stainless Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGHwjuQIm0A
- Gun Review: Springfield Loaded 1911-A1: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/03/brad-kozak/gun-review-springfield-loaded-1911-a1/
1911 Loaded .45ACP: http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/1911-loaded-45-acp/#PX9151L