Springfield Armory

 

Of all the firearms manufacturers that we discuss, there is none with a more prestigious and storied reputation than Springfield Armory. The company is one of the largest in the world, and the leading producer of the famous 1911 pistol. However, they also continue to innovate and create pistols for modern times. Read on to learn more about Springfield Armory’s distinguished history, read a brief overview of their product offe

As is the case with most companies, the history of the Springfield is more complex than it would originally appear. The company was founded in 1777 by George Washington in Springfield, MA. At this time, fighting was just beginning in the Revolutionary War and the United States was in desperate need of guns and ammunition. Initially, the Springfield Armory was just that, a storage place for guns and ammunition that the U.S. “confiscated” from the British. Yet, in the 1790s—after the Revolution was won—the Springfield Armory moved from an arms warehouse into and firearm producer.

The Springfield Armory was instrumental in the development of a distinctly American gun. In its early years the company standardized the production of muskets. Muskets—the firearm of choice in the late 18th century—were all hand-made of non-interchangeable parts.[1] Springfield Armory created an early form of the production line, which allowed parts on muskets to be interchangeable, and which made them easier to produce and maintain.

Springfield Armory did not just stop at innovating musket design, they also created some famous military firearms throughout history, including the 1903 Springfield (1903), Krag (1892), Garand (1930s), and M14 (1961).[2] Because the Springfield Armory was owned by the U.S. government at this time, it was important in the development of many other firearms for the military.

The original Springfield Armory was closed in 1968 by the U.S. government because of budget concerns.[3] The original building is now a historical landmark that hosts tours and a museum that shows off the company’s most important guns. Yet, right after the original company was closed, Elmer C. Ballance bought the Springfield Armory trademark. He quickly began producing

 

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firearms using the famous name, but not from the same facility. The modern Springfield Armory is headquartered in Geneseo, IL.

 

Ballance sold the company to the Reese family in 1974, who have shrewdly released firearms that recall the original company’s most famous designs.[1] Some of these new “classic” gun releases include the M1A (a civilian version of the semi-automatic M14 released in 1974) and the 1911-A1 (Springfield’s take on the classic pistol design by John Moses Browning). Springfield Armory continues to produce new models of both the M1A and 1911.

 

Not all of the offerings from the modern Springfield Armory are nostalgic. In fact, the company continues to be on the forefront of firearm innovation and design. In this the modern Springfield Armory closely resembles the old Springfield Armory. Both companies blended tradition and innovation in their firearms. For example, Springfield Armory’s adoption of the Glock polymer frame and trigger safety illustrate their willingness to change while also staying loyal to the Springfield Armory heritage. Throughout its over three-hundred-year history, Springfield Armory has created uniquely American firearms for a unique American audience.

 

Different Models

Springfield armory focuses on providing the highest quality firearms by making only eight distinct series of guns. This a much smaller number than most of their competition. However, the small number of firearm lines guarantees close attention to detail in all of their products. Below we offer a quick glance at each series of gun that Springfield Armory offers. See our breakout articles for a more in-depth look at each.

           

            XD

Springfield Armory’s response to Glock’s G17. The XD series has a polymer—and therefore light—frame like the Austrian maker’s groundbreaking pistol. To the Glock-inspired frame, Springfield Armory added the 1911’s grip angle, which made the XD their own design. The Company offers the XD in a large variety of sizes (sub-compact, compact, full size, and tactical) and calibers (9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP).

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The original XD series was released in 2001, and in 2014 re-vamped it for a new decade by releasing the mod.2 series for all of their XD pistols.

 

            XD-M

In 2007 Springfield attempted to improve on their extremely successful XD design, and they were very successful. The XD-M uses the same polymer material and grip angle as its predecessor, the XD. It also comes in a variety of sizes (Compact, Full Size, and Competition) and the three standard calibers (9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP).

 

The addition of the “m” in the XD names alludes to the “mega-lock frame texturing” that Springfield added to this pistol. This ultra-aggressive material ensures that any hand—no matter how wet—will keep a secure grip. The intense texturing also appears in the slide serrations.

                       

            XD-S

Here’s yet another pistol that Springfield built on their XD polymer frame. This series, released in 2012 uses a single-stack magazine instead of the more usual double-stack. The company specifically created the XD-S as a conceal carry weapon (CCW), and so focused on the slimmest design possible.

 

The original XD-S release only included two sizes, both sub-compacts. One has a 3.3-inch barrel and the other has a 4-inch barrel. They offer 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP varieties. Springfield has only released their 3.3-inch barrel in .45 ACP model in mod.2.

                       

 

Springfield XDE

 

            XD-E

Springfield Armory has not sat on their laurels but continue to release new pistols almost yearly. One of their most recent offering begins the new XD-E series and was released in 2017. The XD-E, “e” for “Point & Shoot Ergonomics,” will create another line of sub-compacts with slim grips—this one just over an inch wide. Springfield like many of their competitors is responding to the large call for civilian and police quality concealable self-defense weapons.

 

The only XD-E to be released at the moment has a 3.3-inch barrel, single-stack magazine, and comes in 9mm and .45 ACP calibers.

 

            SAINT

The Saint refines the AR-15s form into the ultimate personal defense rifle. The design was released in 2016, but the company continues to produce firearms in this line. The most recent being the 2017 release of the Saint Edge, an updated version of the original Saint rifle, but at 6 lbs., significantly lighter.

 

In addition to the Saint Edge, Springfield also offers the Saint in a traditional rifle style, with a free float handguard and as stock free pistol. This line is affordable—especially considering the AR-15 design—and reliable and offers one of the best self and home defense firearms on the market.

 

            M1A

When the Reese’s bought Springfield Armory in 1974, they immediately began re-releasing some of the company’s classic designs. The M1A was the first of these to come out. It is still one of the hallmarks of the company’s brand.

 

The M1A is a civilian legal version of the military’s M14. This rifle is extremely versatile, and can be found in shooting competitions, with tactical teams or on the hunt. Springfield currently makes eight models of the M1A, each of which illustrates how well the purpose-built rifle functions.

 

            911

Another new offering, this one released in January 2018, Springfield’s 911 series is the smallest the company produces, and is designed as a pocket pistol. It is also the only line of Springfield pistols that shoots .380 ACP ammunition.

 

With the 911, Springfield has created an everyday pistol that shoots like a larger gun but uses an aluminon frame for the lightest weight possible. The light weight and small footprint of the pistol ensures that it will be easy to carry all day every day.

 

            1911

Springfield Armory’s 1911 put them on the map in the late 1980s. They remain true to the classic design of Browning’s 1911 pistol, but also add in newer features and model types. The 1911 more than any other firearm Springfield makes exemplifies the way they combine traditional design and modern innovations in all of their firearms.

 

There are more models of the 1911 than any other gun that Springfield offers, a total of fourteen. These models range widely in size and features. We go into more detail about all the 1911 options in our breakout article for that model. But, suffice it to say, that any 1911 you may want, you can find in Springfield’s catalog.

 

Reliability

Because of the high-quality materials and flawless designs, Springfield Armory’s firearms have a reputation for excellent reliability. Even their 1911 performs well on almost every shot, and that gun design infamously can have many mechanical issues. Across Springfield’s firearm offerings there are few reports of defects or failures. When there is a problem with one of their guns, as there was with the original XD-S release in 2013, Springfield will fix the problem at no cost to the customer.



Warranty

Springfield Armory offers a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner of the firearm. Thus, your gun will always be covered under the warranty as long as you remain its owner. The limited warranty covers defects in workmanship and material.

 

Springfield indicates the three steps you have to follow to receive you warranty benefits on their website. We’ve reproduced them here for your convenience.

  1. Notify us by phone, email, fax, or mail
    If You discover a defect in material or workmanship. You must notify us by telephone, email, fax or mail at one of the Warranty Service Contact Points. (See below)
  2. Write a brief description of the defect
    Please write down a brief description of the defect and how YOU experienced or discovered the defect.
  3. Follow the return instructions you receive from Springfield
    Once we receive Your notification for warranty notice at one of our Warranty Service Contact Points, we will provide You with a shipping coupon (so that we can pay for the shipping) and instructions on how to return Your Product for service. You must follow the shipping instructions once You receive them.

Springfield has a great reputation for honoring their warranty, which can sometimes be a problem for the customer. This only further illustrates how much pride the company places in selling good and reliable products.

 

Conclusion

There is a reason that the Springfield Armory brand has lasted over three hundred years. The company’s proven track record of high quality, reliable firearms continues to bring in new customers. Since they took over in 1974, the Reese family has striven to retain the original Springfield Armory’s philosophy and heritage. By paying homage to their past Springfield Armory continues to carve out a successful future.

 

Because of their focus on both innovation and tradition, Springfield provides extremely unique offerings among large firearms manufacturers. They may only have eight series of different guns, a significantly smaller number than competitors, but this ensures that what they do, they do well. As is probably evident from this article, Springfield Armory is most known for their rifle and pistol offerings. They may not have the police and military contracts of Glock or the Original Armory, but their high quality and accurate firearms have found a home in the competition and civilian market.

 

One final element that sets Springfield Armory apart from their competition is their focus on making models that use .45 ACP. Especially for smaller, polymer framed pistols, .45 ACP caliber options do not appear often. Most manufacturers focus on the smaller and more common 9mm and .40 S&W. Yet, .45 ACP has a large number of fervent followers who will only shoot that caliber. By adding a .45 ACP option for almost all of their pistol models, Springfield can take advantage of a potentially lucrative market and further their reputation for making stand-out firearms.

 

In all, if you want a great gun from a great company, then you should look hard at Springfield Armory’s products. If you are confused about where to start, we recommend checking out our smaller breakout reviews that look at each Springfield Armory pistol in more detail.

[1] Karan Moses Robinson, “Springfield Armory History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came to Be,” Newsmax (April 27, 2015), https://www.newsmax.com/fastfeatures/guns-springfield-armory-gun-history/2015/04/27/id/641049/ (accessed 3/5/18).

 

[1] BearingArms.com Staff, “The Springfield Armory: America’s Gun History,” Bearing Arms (May 22, 2012), https://bearingarms.com/ba-staff/2012/05/22/the-springfield-armory-americas-gun-history/ (accessed 3/5/18).

 

[2] BearingArms.com Staff, “The Springfield Armory: America’s Gun History,” Bearing Arms (May 22, 2012), https://bearingarms.com/ba-staff/2012/05/22/the-springfield-armory-americas-gun-history/ (accessed 3/5/18).

 

[3] Karan Moses Robinson, “Springfield Armory History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came to Be,” Newsmax (April 27, 2015), https://www.newsmax.com/fastfeatures/guns-springfield-armory-gun-history/2015/04/27/id/641049/ (accessed 3/5/18).

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