Lipsey’s Springfield Vickers Master Class 1911

by Matt Olivier

photography by Matt Olivier

November 4th, 2020

Click pictures for a larger version.












Simply Rugged "Cuda" holster, stag grips by Tyler Gun Works.



Simply Rugged "Cuda" holster and mag pouch with green Mojave rattlesnake inlay.





Born out of an initial conversation between Larry Vickers and Jason Cloessner, head of Product Development at Lipseys, and a subsequent collaboration between Larry, Lipsey’s, Wilson Combat, and Springfield Armory, the new Vickers Tactical Springfield Master Class 1911, chambered in the venerable 45 ACP, has hit the market. 

Leveraging Larry’s past experiences with the 1911 during his time in Delta Force, along with his close relationship with Wilson Combat, this new Master Class pistol is designed and built in the Springfield Custom shop with key parts from Wilson Combat, which have long proven to be of high quality.  The pistol, chambered in 45 ACP, features a single side extended thumb safety, beavertail grip safety, Wilson Combat tool steel hammer, sear and disconnector, Wilson Combat medium length solid trigger, high visibility orange/red front sight by Pro Glo and a Vickers Tactical U-notch rear sight which has the popular 90-degree angle for cocking the slide one-handed, if needed.  The gun is an all steel gun, finished nicely in a black T finish, and appointed with Mil-Tac OD green Vickers Tactical G10 grips.   It comes in a cardboard box, with a black zip up case, a lock, the usual instructional paperwork, and 2 Wilson Combat 8-round Vickers Duty magazines.  As part of this new Master Class package, Springfield introduced a new serration pattern that is present on the front strap, slide cocking serrations, as well as the mainspring housing.

I had the opportunity to first shoot the pistol during a 3-day private event held at Gunsite Academy, in Paulden, AZ.  What better way to test out a new 1911 than in one of Gunsite’s shoot houses, using frangible ammunition which has a historical reputation for being finicky and inducing feeding issues?  My first 10 rounds through the pistol were absolutely flawless.  The sights were spot on to point of aim and the gun handled extremely well.  I continued shooting the gun the rest of the day, through various Gunsite school drills and it performed perfectly.  Since it is a standard, non-railed, 1911, it fit in one of my great leather holsters by Simply Rugged Holsters, and I used that set up the entire day.

Upon my return home from Gunsite, I took the pistol to my local range where I proceeded to test it out further with various different 230-gr ball ammunition made by Double Tap Ammunition.  The gun performed just as perfectly with all of the ball ammo as it did that first time with the frangible ammunition.  I shot it on various steel targets set up from 15-45 yards, and also tried various targets of opportunity (aka rocks) out to 95 yards and the sights proved to be spot on each and every time.  If I did my part with executing on the “front sight, press”, this fine pistol did its part very reliably and consistently.

About a week or so later, I had the opportunity to further test the pistol during a media event in which we were shooting a different style gun each day.  Day 1 was double action revolvers, Day 2 was 1911 pistols, and Day 3 was for single action revolvers. I used this Vickers Tactical Springfield Master Class gun with good success during 1911 day.  As the event was being held at Gunsite, the day was fairly full of typical school drills.  These drills almost always require multiple reloads, or at least the possibility of multiple reloads, so, along with the 2 factory Wilson Combat Vickers Duty 8-round magazines, I used some of my personal range magazines, which are a mix of standard Wilson Combat 7- and 8-round mags, Chip McCormick Shooting Star mags, Colt factory magazines, and Mec-Gar mags.  One of the surprising findings during this shooting session was that the gun tended to not feed the first round out of my fully loaded range magazines and required malfunction, or failure to feed, clearance.  This seemed to happen with my personal magazines and not the Vickers Duty magazines supplied with the gun.  While this could certainly be more related to the gun being dirty, as it was a hot, dry, dusty and sweaty Arizona summer day on the range that day, or the gun potentially needing to be lubed, those failure to feeds happened more than once and are noteworthy. 

Other than the above-mentioned feeding issues, the gun performed great throughout all of the different shooting sessions in which I used it.  I found the new serration pattern on the front strap to work quite well in providing a good grip, especially paired with the factory Mil Tac G10 grips.  Even in the hot and sweaty Arizona desert, I had no problems getting, and keeping, a firm grip on this pistol.  Springfield used the same serration pattern as on the front strap for the rear slide serrations and I also found those to work quite well when manipulating the slide, either for charging the pistol, press checking it, or clearing it.  The thumb safety was easy to manipulate and provided for very crisp and positive engagement both in the upward and downward positions.  The Pro Glo sight was very bright and quick to pick up.  Mated with the U-notch Vickers Tactical rear sight, it made for quick, reliable and repeatable target acquisition.  The medium length trigger should prove to be a good compromise for all hands.  I have fairly large hands, with long fingers, and usually prefer a longer trigger, but found this one to work well for me.  I also liked the practicality of the beveled magazine well, which is always helpful especially when performing speed reloads, especially under some stress.  Lastly, I found the ball cuts on the front of the slide to be a nice touch, and very esthetically pleasing.

Overall, I came away quite impressed with this pistol.  It feels good, is easily to manipulate, provides for a quick and clear sight picture, is reliable, and just plain looks good too!

MSRP as of this writing (November 2020) is $1495.  It is available exclusively from Lipsey’s, so contact your local gun shop and have them order one from you, you will not be disappointed.

To find a Lipsey's dealer in your area, click on the DEALER FINDER at:

Springfield Armory:

Vickers Tactical:

Wilson Combat:

Gunsite Academy:

Simply Rugged Holsters:

Tyler Gun Works:

Matt Olivier

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Matt clearing the "Fun House" at Gunsite Academy.



Matt executes a Speed Reload.