My love affair with 1911s began in my youth when I was shown a classic WWII Springfield. It simply felt like magic in my hands. From that day on I have had a passion for these classic guns. Fast forward a bit and I now have the glorious opportunity to shoot and review many of these great guns. I felt like I had come full circle recently when I was tasked to write a piece on a new pistol from the good folks at Springfield. The newest addition to their popular 1911 line is the Garrison 1911 9mm.
Garrison 1911 9mm Foundation
The gun is built on solid Springfield DNA. In Springfield’s words, “Tasked with a special mission, the Garrison bridges defensive and custom pistols delivering a bold and capable addition to the Springfield Armory family of 1911s.” Featuring forged materials and heirloom-quality construction, the Garrison 1911 combines modern materials and design with a heritage spanning back more than a century. Available with classic hot salt blued carbon steel or rust-resistant stainless-steel construction, the Garrison is a rock-solid 1911 that gives you a host of modern upgrades along with the strength to provide a lifetime of service.
The gun comes with low-profile three-dot sights which are quick to acquire yet reduce snagging issues. The hammer is skeletonized to improve lock times. As you would expect, the gun comes with a very nice barrel. The 5-inch barrel on the Garrison is forged from stainless steel and is machined to competition standards. To help with strength and durability the barrel features a fully supported feed ramp. Grip texture-wise, the Garrison has nice wood thin line grips. They are a perfect balance of texture to provide a good purchase without being harsh. The gun also has some other solid features including an extended thumb safety and extended beavertail to reduce hammer bite.
Garrison 1911 9mm or 45ACP Availability
Springfield was kind enough to send me a Garrison to test drive. The gun is available in both 9mm as well as .45ACP. My blaster for this test came in 9mm which I love with a 1911. I soon packed everything up and headed to the range. A little pre-shooting lube up and test shots to see what my point of impact would be, and we were off to the races. Trying to talk about muzzle rise on this gun is a moot point because it barely exists. This combined with a nice trigger and its short take up let me really put the pedal to the metal. Mag after mag of focused speed shooting produced a grey fist-sized impact zone on my freshly painted targets. I will be honest and say it took me a minute to get accustomed to the lack of movement on the gun. I believe the fact that the gun still has some heft to it allows it to soak up a lot of the recoil. The trigger mixed with a match grade barrel made accuracy a simple task. The sights were easy to pick up and clear. As with any gun that shoots this tight, I felt obliged to shoot it at distances it was never intended to do. For better or worse, the range I was on maxed out at 100 yards. Even at that distance though I was still able to punch center mass on a 2/3rd size IDPA steel silhouette with little effort. This has absolutely no application in the real world, but it is a good way to test trigger control and the overall accuracy of a gun. And yes, it is fun.
With good ammunition, good magazines, and proper lubrication this gun has the bones to be almost unstoppable. I mention lubrication because it is essential for a 1911 to run. From watching it happen in countless classes and in other training, the biggest cause for 1911 malfunctions is the lack of lubrication. At which point the shooters blame the gun which they neglected to maintain. That rant is for another article.
In the operational category, the gun was nice to shoot. There are no sharp edges on it anywhere and it was easy in and out of the holster. When the day came that I had to pack the Garrison up and ship it back to Springfield, I reflected on everything I had experienced with the gun. It was comfortable to shoot and absolutely accurate. I was reminded once again just why I enjoy 1911s. They are not only classic guns but exceptional shooters as well. I consider the triggers on these guns to be the gold standard. If you have only run striker-fired triggers in the past, you are missing something. The Garrison is a solid addition to the Springfield 1911 lineup. If you are ready to make the jump to the classic realm, the Garrison is a good choice.