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I have owned 3 STI Rangemasters in 9mm, all were great reliable  guns.  Currently have STI Targetmaster and a custom NRA Action Pistol gun built on a Rangemaster...both in 9mm and both reliable. Hornady HAP, Zero Comp and Winchester 115 bullets at 1.095" all feed great. Metalform 10 round magazines with the removeable base are super reliable.

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  • 3 months later...

Wilson Combats (Classic, Tactical Elite, compacts) with Wilson mags  have all worked well for me with few to no failures with 115/124/147 loads.

Edited by Week3
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I have had two DW 9mm 1911s. My first one had a few issues and went back to DW. 2 weeks later I had it back and it ran perfect since. My second is a PM9 and it has been flawless. 

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Another Springfield Loaded Target user here, works excellent but I think it's more of a function of the ramped barrel than anything else. My Colts without ramped barrels were always finicky about mags and bullets. 

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1 hour ago, gnappi said:

My Colts without ramped barrels were always finicky about mags and bullets. 

Same here. 

I think the ramped barrel is key, beyond that it’s mostly personal preference. 

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I bought a Fusion 9mm a few years ago.  It was a waste of money and now sits in my scrap bin.  Poorly made guns give the platform a bad name.  It's a shame that 9mm, sub $800, is the starting point for many into the 1911 platform.  Though, I've since had a range officer that seemed fine.  Because they can be finicky, I'm hesitant to recommend the 9mm to shooters interested in 1911s.  If they're collectors, my next question is why they don't have a 45 in their assortment yet.


I've had multiple Valors and a Trojan.  Excellent guns, but still had minor issues to be worked out.  Most of it has been said here, but my experience:  


1)  130 to 135 PF with heavier bullets.  It's tempting to go lower (125 PF), but the platform just seems to like more oomph to get that heavy slide moving.

2)  17 or 18# mainsprings to keep slide velocity up.  I haven't had issues with ignition at 17# but I keep a 19# handy just in case.  YMMV.

3)  Run ~11 or 12# recoil springs, despite temptation to go lower.  Measure them regularly and replace prior to feeding malfunctions.

4)  Run good mags and throw the rest away.

5)  FMJ will feed smoother than lead/coated, but I'm cheap.  As such, I have to stay on top of other variables to make this compromise.

6)  Extractor fit, tension, and geometry needs to be right.  Again, for smooth feeding.

7)  STI replaced the barrel on my 9mm Trojan, acknowledging that their earlier guns had bad ramp angles.  Not all ramps are created equal.

8-  Chambers finish reamed to higher end of spec helps with feeding/chambering.  Getting your crimping and belling right so that the case mouth is smooth and free of bullet shavings/lube/coating will also help feeding/chambering.

9)  Longer ammo helps, but you get annoyed if you can't run it in other guns with short throats...especially when those other barrels are hardened and difficult to lengthen.

10) Wilson ETM mags sit higher than Tripp and Metalform.  Make sure they clear your ejector if you choose to run them.

11) EGW has a mag catch that holds the mag higher.  It may help feeding issues if you have the ejector clearance and can stand the extra effort to seat full mags on tac reloads.

12) Smooth slide to frame fit helps conserve available recoil energy for feeding.  Polishing the underside of the slide where it rides against the top round helps too. 

13) Slide lightening is probably a good thing for slide velocity.  IE, the flat top on the Trojan or the rib on the pointman.

14) Cleaning the crud, especially breechface and chamber buildup will help with feeding.  I keep a rag, oil, and nylon chamber brush in my bag and clean halfway through matches.  


My opinion is that the 9mm is at the limit of energy required to make the 1911 run well.  You can compromise on a few of the above but too many and you ask yourself why the gun seems to not be feeding well.



Edited by johnmyster
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Jumping on the bandwagon endorsing the Springfield Armory Range Officer. Mine runs flawlessly with factory mags and with Dawson Precision mags. Only thing I’ve done is add the Dawson magwell and mag bases.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • 3 weeks later...

Springfield Loaded Target functions fine after a new firing pin, adjusted tension on extractor, modified the slide stop and had a pistol smith work on the trigger. Too loose to be accurate but it does function.

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Springfield Range Officer, Tripp mags.  Reliable as an anvil.  Bayou 145's.  Was reliable before I hot rodded it, and equally reliable now.  EGW guts.  Trigger currently at 3.5 lbs, will work it down lower during the winter, too busy playing with it now.

Edited by Polaris13
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