Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

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Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by cypress on Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:33 pm

I'm looking at getting my first 1911 and would like some advice.  Generally, I want a pistol that's accurate for informal target shooting and occasional bullseye matches without jumping in for over $1000.  The Springfield Range Officer seems to fit that niche quite nicely.  Except for the fact that I'm a left handed shooter and would prefer an ambidextrous safety.  I don't intend to use this as a carry gun and I realize that I can have it changed later if I want.  Then I noticed that the Loaded Target model has an ambidextrous safety and might work just as well for me.  I read lots of praise for the Range Officer but haven't seen much good or bad in comparison for the Loaded.  Would I be missing anything as far as accuracy if I go with the Loaded Target model, or would I be better off in the long run going with the Range Officer?

I haven't decided to go with 9mm or .45acp yet, that's another consideration.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by LenV on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:07 pm

It wouldn't cost you any accuracy to go with the "Loaded Target". It will cost you quite a few more dollars. A couple of things you might think about is how easy it is to add an Ambi safety and if You really plan on shooting Bullseye then the last thing you need is the safety. It has to be on the pistol. You just never have to use it. When on the bench the slide has to be back and flag in place. When the command load is given you release slide forward (your preference how) and you are shooting about 12 seconds after that. You could put in on safety if there was some delay (like a shooter not being ready) but if you do then you won't remember to take it off safety when the commands start again (voice of experience). If you are really more interested in plinking or possibly carry then you would want the ambi safety.

Len
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by mspingeld on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:16 pm

Recommend 45 over 9mm as full Bullseye matches require a 45 (which can be used for the center fire match as well)

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by cypress on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:23 pm

Yes, looks like about $300 difference.  I currently shoot .22 bullseye so I'm familiar with the course of fire and range commands, and I agree, I never actually need the safety, but it would be nice to have.  I'm sure once I got familiar with the platform, it probably wouldn't be a big deal to change it out.  Thanks.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by james r chapman on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:13 pm

I have a 9mm loaded. I'm left handed. for ppc, or carry, you want the ambi safety. as stated, for bullseye you don't need it.

When I got my loaded it was $975 shipped.

I'm not sure what the prices are at now.
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by weber1b on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:45 pm

I have two Range Officers, one for regular Bullseye with a dot on it and the other is my ball gun. I have never used either safety so I don't see that as a big deal at all. The lack of it is part of why the RO is better priced. I say go for the Range Officer and enjoy.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by bdas on Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:36 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that the loaded target adds more than just the ambi safety.  It also adds front cocking serrations to the slide (if you prefer that), and it has a serrated front strap (smooth on Range Officer), and possibly other differences that I'm not aware of.  Also, Kentucky Gun Co. has the Loaded Target (in stainless steel) for $849 (https://www.kygunco.com/Springfield-1911-A1-Loaded-Target-45-ACP-5%22-Barrel-7-1-1994) right now, so the price difference is certainly less than $300 if you shop around.

If the extra $ is still an issue, get the RO, put skateboard tape on the front strap, and add the ambi safety later if you need it.  On the other hand, if money is tight, you'll save a lot more by shopping carefully for ammo, using websites like AmmoSeek.com and WikiArms.com, than you'll save by choosing the Range Officer instead of the Loaded Target.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by dronning on Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:51 pm

Go with the 45 if you decide to start shooting matches you need a 45.  Go with the RO, it's just as accurate and skateboard tape is a cheap fix for the smooth front strap.  Take the money you save to buy ammo or better yet do a trigger job.

- Dave
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Chris Miceli on Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:38 pm

james r chapman wrote:I have a 9mm loaded. I'm left handed. for ppc, or carry, you want the ambi safety. as stated, for bullseye you don't need it.

When I got my loaded it was $975 shipped.

I'm not sure what the prices are at now.
Yay another lefty.    



I also recommend the RO,skate tape,change our mainspring housing spring and cap
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by james r chapman on Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:09 pm

I believe you'll need skate tape on the loaded as well. Given the choice, I'd suggest the r.o. I only got the loaded because r.o wasn't made in 9mm at the time
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:26 pm

My loaded target had a smooth front strap. I believe you need to upgrade to Trophy Match to get a checkered front strap.
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by orpheoet on Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:37 pm

One more vote for .45 RO and skateboard tape. Mine is stock and shoots great. Now my ball gun.
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Jon Eulette on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:02 am

Go RO! Good to start with and can be built to near perfection. I've built a couple recently that turned out excellent. Skate board tape works good too! Can always have it checkered later.
Jon
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Bigtrout on Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:31 am

I have a 9mm 5" RO and am fairly happy with it.  I do not shoot competition but like to try various load configurations to seek accuracy improvements.  I did return it to SA for accuracy issues and they refit the slide to the frame, installed a new barrel and new rear sight.  I've bent the disco/sear spring leafs to achieve a 3 lb. pull vs the 5.5 with which it came.   A Burris FF3 3MOA dot sits in place of the rear sight and I installed a custom EGW bushing.   $1100 later I've got a reasonably accurate 9mm.  All that said, I'm really "toying around" rather than trying to shoot competitively, except for friendly "coffee matches" at the local club range.  Very few 1911 enthusiasts around the area, especially in 9mm.  Good luck with your choices.
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RO - with replacements

Post by Mac2 on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:12 pm

When wife and I prepared for center fire (CF) bullseye (outdoors) from 22 indoors, everyone we consulted urged Range Officer (RO).  To reduce recoil, we chose 9mm.
One of the ROs came new with the very worst trigger I have ever felt.  However, everyone had indicated that everyone replaces the MIM internal parts anyway for bullseye so I was not concerned.  Red-dot sights are needed and proved to be more difficult to mount because of the non-typical rear sight cut of the RO.  The red-dot ends up higher than desirable.  9mm is also a little less expensive to reload than 45ACP.  However, as others have said, a 45ACP can be used for CF and 45 day.  If we ever get to Camp Perry (if CP even still exists) I have an old Colt Gold Cup for 45 day and a ball gun put together by a smith in Hawaii as a favor to him long ago.
So:  consider what you wish to reload as lots of ammo needs to be shot and its cost tends to dominate the cost of RO + parts replacement.
Tell up what you end up doing and why.   Lots of teaching/learning here.   Mac isolated by lots of snow.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Jon Eulette on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:25 pm

9mm takes a lot of velocity to shoot well. Trade off is recoil. 45 is forgiving to shoot/reload and will have less recoil than the 9mm once you get it figured out. If mounting a scope is a concern, I make a mount that goes in place of rear sight; so no ugly holes if you put rear sight back on. 
Jpn
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by spursnguns on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:32 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:If mounting a scope is a concern, I make a mount that goes in place of rear sight; so no ugly holes if you put rear sight back on. 
Jpn

A great mount....check it out.

Jim
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by LenV on Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:38 pm

9mm or 45?   Yes.. Can I get 2 votes for the RO. I also agree with skateboard tape. A lot of skateboard tape. I set the .45 up with a full rail but I am waiting for one of Jon's mounts to finish off the 9.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by cypress on Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:53 pm

Wow.  Thanks for all the replies.  Seems everyone is really positive on the RO, even the lefty shooters.  I had the chance to hold one yesterday and pull the stock trigger.  Even the stock trigger seemed sweet compared to my Buckmark that I use for .22 bullseye.  I'm leaning toward the 45 because of the broader range of matches that it could be used for.  I already reload for 9mm, so I'm sure I can find a comfortable load in 45 as well.  And I'll probably be looking into that dot mount also.  Appreciate all the support.

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Springfield Range officer .45

Post by SW-52 on Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:20 am

i dream always with a Colt Gold Cup National Match serie 70 .45 and MKIII .38 midrange national match,but i think the Range officer is a Great Pistol for the price. with a delicious and crisp trigger job,makes a real Precision Machine. my next buy will a Range officer. the unique problem i have with springfield armory is the warranty,because they don't cover Puerto Rico(i Don't know for what...)
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by bdas on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:29 pm

Bigtrout wrote:A Burris FF3 3MOA dot sits in place of the rear sight and I installed a custom EGW bushing.

Bigtrout... What mount did you use to put a Burris FF3 in place of the rear sight?

Jon Eulette... Where can I find out more information about the mount that you make (price, pics, what it's make of, what dots can be mounted on it, height, etc.)?

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by bdas on Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:00 pm

cypress wrote:Wow.  Thanks for all the replies.  Seems everyone is really positive on the RO, even the lefty shooters.  I had the chance to hold one yesterday and pull the stock trigger.  Even the stock trigger seemed sweet compared to my Buckmark that I use for .22 bullseye.

I have the reverse situation... I wish my RO trigger was as nice as my stock Buckmark trigger.  If you're not happy with your Buckmark trigger, have you tried improving it with the Heggis Flip or by using a "silhouette" sear spring, or any of the other common tricks?  Here's a recent thread over at RimfireCentral about various ways to improve the Buckmark trigger... http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635265

As for my RO trigger, it was both rough and heavy when new.  I got very noticeable improvements in smoothness by taking it apart and lightly touching up some rough spots (mostly on the trigger bow and on the frame where the trigger touches it) with some 2000-grit sandpaper and a fine India stone from Brownells. To lighten the pull weight, I used a C&S Light Pull Sear Spring (http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/trigger-group-parts/sear-parts/sear-springs/1911-light-pull-sear-spring-prod79956.aspx).  It's not like a real trigger job, but it's a huge improvement over what it was (and only cost $9 for the spring and $11 for the stone and a couple buck for the sandpaper).

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by weber1b on Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:42 pm

I have a Burris FF3 mounted on my Range Officer. When I asked Burris which of the three 1911 mounts would work on the RO, they told me none of them. They directed me to Evolution Gun Works for the Optima/JP/DP mount, part number 49410-49424 and to JP Enterprises for the Arredondo Doctor to JPoint Mount adapter, part number ARR-JP/DR. I order both on line and have been using them for over two years.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by cypress on Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:14 pm

bdas wrote:
I have the reverse situation... I wish my RO trigger was as nice as my stock Buckmark trigger.  If you're not happy with your Buckmark trigger, have you tried improving it with the Heggis Flip or by using a "silhouette" sear spring, or any of the other common tricks?  Here's a recent thread over at RimfireCentral about various ways to improve the Buckmark trigger... http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635265

Yes, I have done the Heggis Flip and it was a great improvement to the trigger. It still has some take up and a little bit of creep before the break but only about 2.5 lbs pull weight.  That flip is the best free trigger job you can do for your Buckmark.

I guess the RO that I was handling must be a good one though, it feel very crisp and light, it felt good to me.

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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

Post by Bigtrout on Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:46 pm

weber1b wrote:I have a Burris FF3 mounted on my Range Officer. When I asked Burris which of the three 1911 mounts would work on the RO, they told me none of them. They directed me to Evolution Gun Works for the Optima/JP/DP mount, part number 49410-49424 and to JP Enterprises for the Arredondo Doctor to JPoint Mount adapter, part number ARR-JP/DR. I order both on line and have been using them for over two years.
bdas, what weber says.  No drilling, fussing or mussing.  You have to put 1 angled shim under the sight to get zero which are also available from JP.  Mine has been on since early last spring and no loss of zero has occurred in 1500 rounds.  Blue Loctite is necessary for the sight mounting screws.  The Burris-supplied 6-48screws are too short, the longer screws supplied by JP are 6-32 as are the EGW mount's tapped holes.  The countersink does not match standard flatheads but I used button heads with good success.  Sorry for not responding earlier but I've been away.
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Re: Springfield RO or Loaded Target?

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