The Springfield Range Officer is a solid, dependable 1911 with a classic feel. It lacks a lot of extra features and the price reflects that. The original idea behind it was competitive shooting, but Springfield also had the hobbyist in mind too. The Range Officer is something that can be upgraded as time and finances allow.
The Springfield Range Officer
I like generally 1911s so the Range Officer was a shoe in (even though I do not shoot competitively) when I saw it. There are a number of nice things about it that I find appealing, but mostly I just respect the high level of quality put into the gun—quality I expect from Springfield Armory.
You can see it when you look the gun over. You can feel it when you racked the slide. And you know it in your bones when you pull the trigger, feeling it break smoothly and the gun cycle perfectly.
The Range Officer is a well-made gun and has a sturdy construction. The frame and slide are both forged steel, something that’s generally considered a good thing and a sign of greater care when manufacturing a 1911. This is a process that, although relatively simple, requires expensive machinery and molds—more of an investment in quality.
The Range Officer has low profile and an adjustable steel target sights. Behind the hammer is a ‘beavertail’ to prevent hammer bite, and it has a combat style hammer. Inside, it uses a stainless steel, match grade barrel. Nice lightweight speed trigger with a crisp five- to six-pound pull. Attractive Cocobolo wooden grip panels. An oversize thumb safety. And the weight and overall dimensions are typical for a full sized M1911, meaning 8.5-inches in overall length, 5.5-inches in height and weighs about 40 ounces with an empty magazine.
This is a gun suitable for most guys like me, who want a quality 1911 from a reputable manufacturer, who may use it just for target shooting or maybe get a taste of competition. But the quality to price ratio really takes the cake. It’s reasonably priced going for $700 to $800 new.
Once you have it, you could decide to upgrade this or that to make it even slicker, even more personal, but you don’t have to. And upgrading it won’t change the fundamental quality, since that is already excellent.
My only problem with it is, well, it isn’t sexy. It shoots well—as well as I would expect from a higher end M1911 .45 ACP—but it is not exceptional. It comes with the standard guide rod. The thumb safety is only on one side, not ambidextrous. There is no front serrations on the slide. You get two standard seven-round blued magazines.
None of these are that big a deal, however, because you can upgrade all of them pretty easily. Springfield Armory makes good guns and they stand behind them.
So if you are on the prowl for a versatile M1911 .45, the Range Officer would be an excellent choice. It’ll serve you well, and probably retain value if you decide to move up to a nicer model. Chances are, unless you get into competitive shooting in a serious way, you’ll be happy with the Range Officer for as long as you care to shoot a 1911.