Springfield Armory's® NEW 1911 "Garrison" 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol

by Boge Quinn

April 22nd, 2022

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The NEW "Garrison" 1911 45 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol from Springfield Armory®

by Boge Quinn

November 15th, 2021

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John Moses Browning's iconic 1911 pistol design has been with us for well over a century, for one very simple reason: it WORKS. The function, ruggedness, utility, balance, and beauty of the 1911 design has kept the old warhorse among the world's most popular pistols throughout this time. While fashions and fads have come and gone, the 1911 pistol has soldiered on, remaining as relevant today as at any time in its long and storied history, and is currently being offered by more large-scale factories and small-scale custom shops than I care to count.

Among the most prolific and most respected makers of 1911 pistols today is Springfield Armory. Located in Geneseo, IL, Springfield Armory has positioned itself over almost five decades at the forefront of modern firearms design and manufacture, as well as a premier maker of time-proven designs such as their M1A® rifle series and their various 1911 pistol offerings. Springfield Armory's 1911 series spans a large gulf; from their dandy little EMP® 9mm compact pistol, to Mil-Spec 1911 models, to their custom Professional series models, Springfield Armory offers a 1911 pistol perfectly suited to any desire or any budget.

In order to offer a budget-friendly, all-forged-steel 1911 that offers upgraded features desired by today's 1911 aficionado, Springfield Armory introduced their 1911 Garrison 45 ACP pistol in November of 2021. Occupying a position just above the Mil-Spec series in price, the Garrison represents an even better bargain than the Mil-Spec, as it features significant upgrades in several areas, all for a nominal cost increase over the basic Mil-Spec model.

Now, as a companion to the 1911 Garrison 45, Springfield Armory has expanded the 1911 Garrison line to include a 9mm version. The 1911 Garrison 9mm includes the same features as the 45 version, and sells for the same price as the 45 version. Also, like the 1911 Garrison 45, the 1911 Garrison 9mm is available in either blued-finished forged carbon steel, or in corrosion-resistant forged stainless steel. My sample of the 1911 Garrison 45 was the stainless version, while my sample of the 1911 Garrison 9mm is the blued-steel version.

The Garrison features, as noted, a forged carbon steel slide and frame, with a very nice hot salt blued finish, which is an upgrade to the Mil-Spec model's parkerized finish. The flats of the slide and frame are polished, while the rounded areas of the slide (top and bottom) and frame (front and back) are matte-finished; this yields a very pleasing appearance, but more importantly, having the top of the slide matte-finished means that reflected glare is all but eliminated. This allows a greatly-improved sight picture, especially in bright lighting conditions.

As for the sights themselves, again Springfield Armory has upgraded the Mil-Spec model. Consisting of a steel single-dot squared-post front sight and a steel drift-adjustable two-dot rear sight, the sights on the Mil-Spec model are already an improvement over the plain rounded front sight blade and tiny plain rear sight found on GI 1911 pistols. The Garrison improves on the Mil-Spec's sight system even further, with a steel serrated post single-dot front sight that is dovetail-adjustable for windage, and a steel two-dot Novak-style slanted rear sight that is dovetail-adjustable for windage and equipped with a set screw. The resulting "three-dot" sight picture is rightly the most popular among today's shooters, as it offers a quick, easy, precise, and repeatable sight picture.

The Garrison's barrel is match grade, 5 inches in length, made from forged stainless steel, and features a fully-supported ramp. The barrel's fit to the slide is superb, allowing no slop or play either fore or aft when the pistol is in battery. Coupled with the excellent sighting system, the quality of the barrel and the precision of the barrel's fitting combine to create a pistol capable of excellent accuracy.

Like the Mil-Spec model, the Garrison uses the tried-and-true GI-style recoil system, consisting of a recoil spring and plug underneath the barrel. Full-length guide rod recoil systems have been quite popular for decades, but there is nothing wrong with the spring-and-plug system as originally designed. I own many pistols with full-length guide rods, but I do have a preference for the original system's design. If it was good enough for John Browning, who am I to argue?

The Garrison's hammer is rounded and skeletonized, which allows for faster lock time, thus further aiding practical accuracy. The hammer perfectly nestles into the extended upswept beavertail grip safety, effectively eliminating hammer "bite" while properly positioning the hand high on the grip for a low bore axis. The grip safety also features a prominent "memory bump" to aid in its deactivation; this is a very useful feature for many shooters who, like myself, sometimes have trouble consistently deactivating the grip safety when maintaining a proper high grip and keeping the right thumb on the thumb safety.

The Garrison's thumb safety is right-hand only, grooved, and extended just the right amount for easy operation without getting in the way. The safety is perfectly fit, and it clicks on and off easily and positively.

Further aiding in a proper and comfortable grip is the mainspring housing, which is steel, flat, and checkered, as is favored by many shooters, including myself.

The grips are both attractive and effective; I greatly prefer thin-profile grip panels, and the thickness of the Garrison's grip panels are perfect. The grip panels are made from nicely colored and figured rosewood, and are checkered in the classic "double-diamond" pattern with an etched Springfield Armory "crossed-cannons" logo.

The trigger on the Garrison is a long, skeletonized aluminum unit, with three holes to further reduce weight. The face of the trigger is vertically grooved, and an overtravel adjustment screw is included, which did not need to be adjusted on my Garrison.  The trigger's action is very nice: after 1/10" of takeup, the trigger releases at an average pull weight of 3 pounds, 2.4 ounces as measured on my Lyman Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge.

Specifications - Springfield Armory® "Garrison" 1911 Semi-Auto Pistol

Part # PX9419 (Blue - AS TESTED) / PX9419S (Stainless)
Caliber 9mm (Parabellum, Luger, 9x19mm)
Finish Blue
Frame Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
Slide Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
Barrel 5" Forged Stainless Steel, Match Grade, Fully Supported Ramp, 1:16 Twist
Recoil System GI Style
Grips Thinline Wood, Double-Diamond Checkered
Sights Low Profile Combat 3-Dot, Drift Adjustable for Windage
Trigger Lightweight Aluminum Skeletonized, with Overtravel Adjustment
Trigger Pull, Average 3 Pounds, 2.4 Ounces
Hammer Rounded Skeletonized
Grip Safety Upswept Beavertail with Memory Bump
Thumb Safety Extended, Right-Hand Only
Mainspring Housing Flat Checkered Steel
Overall Length 8.6 Inches
Overall Height 5.5 Inches
Weight, Unloaded 38 Ounces
Magazine Capacity 9 Rounds
Magazines Supplied 1
MSRP as of April 2022 $849.00 (Blued) / $899.00 (Stainless)

A holster design I have long admired is Bill Grover's "Texas High Ride" revolver holster. For those who are not familiar with Bill Grover, he was the founding genius behind Texas Longhorn Arms, which was a small but respected revolver manufacturer back in the the late 1980s through the late 1990s. Grover was a thinker, an inventor, and a Shootist. I had always wanted to meet him, as I had long admired his work through the writings of my friend (and founder of the Shootists) the great gun writer John Taffin, but alas, I was not fated to meet Bill Grover on this side of the River. As it happened, Grover was too sick to attend the annual Shootist Holiday by the time I was invited to join the Shootists, and he passed away in 2004.

Bill Grover's "Texas High Ride" revolver holster was an ingenious two-piece configuration consisting of a belt slide and holster body. The design was both beautiful and functional, allowing the sixgun to be worn either strong-side or cross-draw, in either right-handed or left-handed configuration. The original holsters are even more rare than the Texas Longhorn Arms sixguns, but those who know, KNOW.

Back in 2010, Galco Holsters started making their version of the Grover design for medium/large-frame revolvers (the "Wheelgunner" and later the improved "Wheelgunner 2.0") and later followed-up with a semi-auto version (the "Ironhide"), making some significant improvements on Bill Grover's original design. The Ironhide pistol holster is available to fit a wide variety of pistols, and carries the pistol in a high position and close to the body, making it easy to conceal. While Grover's original revolver-holster design used a simple hammer-thong retention strap (a feature which is shared by Galco's Wheelgunner), the Ironhide and Wheelgunner 2.0 use a reversible snap-closure retention strap with a polymer tab that makes the snap easy to use with gloved hands. As with Grover's original design, both versions of the Wheelgunner and the Ironhide are quickly and easily reversible for left-hand use, and can be worn either strong-side or cross-draw in either hand, making it one of the most versatile holster designs in existence. The Ironhide's retention strap is also configured so that the pistol may be carried in Condition One ("Cocked and Locked", with the hammer cocked, thumb safety on, and a round in the chamber), Condition Two (hammer down on a loaded chamber) or Condition Three (hammer down on an empty chamber). The 1911 pistol is designed to be carried in Condition One, but some less-experienced shooters are uncomfortable with the idea of carrying a pistol with a visibly-cocked hammer; the Ironhide's retention strap can be positioned either behind or over the hammer, as the shooter prefers. Another neat feature of the Ironhide / Wheelgunner holster is that the holster body and pistol may be easily unsnapped from the belt slide, if the wearer wishes to temporarily disarm without removing the belt. The Galco Ironhide holster is made from premium Steer Hide, is available in tan, fits 1-3/4" belts, and sells for $84.00.

The 1911 Garrison 45 and 9mm pistols currently occupy a middle-ground in Springfield Armory's 1911 pistol line: a Mil-Spec 1911 pistol with upgraded sights, trigger, and controls, offering many features that the 1911 shooter wants, at a price that is not much higher than the basic Mil-Spec model. The 1911 Garrison 9mm's purchase price includes one nine-round magazine (additional magazines are available from the Springfield Armory Store, as well as many other sources), box, zippered nylon gun rug with Springfield Armory logo, manual, and Allen wrench sized to fit the rear sight set screw. Nicely made from forged steel and quality components, and proudly made in the USA, the 1911 Garrison pistols from Springfield Armory represent a great value on today's market.

Check out Springfield Armory's extensive line of quality firearms at: www.springfield-armory.com.

To Find a Springfield Armory Dealer Near You, Click on the DEALER FINDER at Lipsey's: www.lipseys.com.

To Order Springfield Armory Products Online, Click on the GUN GENIE at Davidson's Gallery of Guns: www.galleryofguns.com.

Galco's "Ironhide" Holster: www.galcogunleather.com.

Order Ammo Online at Lucky Gunner: www.luckygunner.com.

CCI Ammo: www.cci-ammunition.com.

Super Vel Ammo: www.supervelammunition.com

Buffalo Bore Ammo: www.buffalobore.com.

Lyman Products: www.lymanproducts.com.

Boge Quinn

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Springfield Armory 1911 Garrison 45 ACP.











Galco "Ironhide" holster.