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Thread: Range Report: SA MC Operator 1911 .45 ACP

  1. #1
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Range Report: SA MC Operator 1911 .45 ACP

    Well, I traded my SA Milspec 1911 for the MC Operator. It is a better made gun, and from what I understand, the MCO is made in America rather than Brazil. At any rate, took it to the range and put about a 100 through it. Had a little bit of a twist to begin with and was a bit concerned as my first two shots out of the box (red box Federal American Eagle value pack 100 rounds) split the casing. Had to dig the casing out of the chamber on each occasion. The first shot went off, but the slide did not completely cycle. I inspected to gun to find that the casing did not eject, so I pulled the brass out, inspected the chamber and thought "huh". So I inserted the mag and took another shot. Same thing! So I pulled the case out, promptly unloaded the remaining bullets from the mag, closed the box and bought two boxes of Summit (don't really like it but it was all the range had). Pistol and ammo performed flawlessly. I took the FAE ammo back to Academy and they allowed me to exchange the box for another brand under the circumstances (I appreciated that!).

    At 25 yards I was very accurate with the pistol. I shot decent groups both aiming with one and both eyes open, but a little more accurate with one eye focused shooting. With the focused shots I placed three in the throat with each hole touching right to left, one about 1.5" above, one about the same distance below. I was pleased with that.

    With both eyes open, I was able to place all five shots in about a six inch circle. I was pleased with that! At the closer distances it was only more accurate, and I did pretty well with speed shooting as well. I didn't feel any less felt recoil, however. Maybe that was b/c the pachmayr grips are larger, and I can't grip the pistol as well as I can with the standard wood grips, but I'll put some VZ G10s on and have the front strap checkered soon. I can tell it is tighter than the mil spec. The slide is harder to cycle, and the pistol just feels tighter all the way around. The trigger is a little more crisp, and the sights are significantly better than the standard three dot white sights.

    All in all, I am very pleased with my choice. I would definitely like to get my hands on the TRP, and I saw hicock45 do a review on the SA HRT Operator (apparently the 1911 the FBI HRT uses) which runs around $3000, I'm told. Granted it isn't a DW or WC, but I think this MCO is a fine offering for someone who wants real quality without hunkering down for $2000. Good quality starter gun for a more serious 1911. It is supposed to be Springfield's civilian offering for the Colt CQBP (M45A1), and I guess it could be, but regardless, I like it. I paid $1089 for it, which I thought was not too bad. The TRP was $1499 but it is stainless.

  2. #2
    rustygun is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Glad to hear you are happy with your new gun. You do know it shoots .45 ACP. Might have to check one out. My LGS had a CQBP in the case I just couldn't justify the 2 g price tag.

  3. #3
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah, I had never had that happen before. Federal American Eagle has been very reliable for me, but I doubt I'll get the bulk box like that again. I'd like to shoot the CQBP. I hear they are really nice from the Marines that I know who use them.

  4. #4
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is online now Senior Member
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    congrats on the new gun
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  5. #5
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Fyi the MC Operator predates the Colt CQB45 buy about 10 years.

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    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Fyi the MC Operator predates the Colt CQB45 buy about 10 years.
    The MC Operator, or an earlier Operator version? I've learned there are several that aren't even listed on SAs site.

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  8. #8
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    The MC Operator. Those have been around a long time.
    Well, I wonder if this was SAs attempt to compete for that contract. I read where it was made to those specs, but then it could be that the one reviewing the gun doesn't know what they're talking about also.

  9. #9
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    I can't find anything stating when the "MC Operator" was produced, but here is a little bit if history on it.

    A source request was sent out to Springfield Armory and the Springfield Operator, based on the FBI's TRP pistol was built.[12] Due to wear and tear of the MEU(SOC) pistols and increasing numbers of Marine personnel in Marine Force Recon and MARSOC, the U.S. Marines are looking commercially for replacements. Marine Corps Systems Command announced February 17, 2005, that it was going to purchase 150 Springfield Armory Professional Model pistols for use as MEU(SOC) pistols.[13] This is the same pistol used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation SWAT and Hostage Rescue Teams; however, it had previously been rejected for adoption as the ICQB. Despite the planned purchase of the commercial pistols, Marine Corps Systems Command has continued to solicit parts to build additional MEU(SOC) pistols.[14] In 2010, requirements were once more issued for an off-the-shelf system to replace the custom-built pistols. Three pistols were offered to the USMC as a replacement for current M45 Pistols. Colt offered a modified version of their O1980RG (Rail Gun) pistol, which is derived from their existing XSE line of 1911-style pistols with a desert sand-colored surface treatment and Novak night sights. Springfield Armory entered a variant of the full-sized Loaded MC Operator M1911A1 pistol with a military-standard 1913 rail, tritium night sights and finished with a two-tone black slide with an olive-drab green frame. The third entry from Karl Lippard Designs, a Colorado Springs-based arms maker, was called the Close Quarter Battle Pistol: an M1911A1-style pistol, built using S7 tool steel and a large number of proprietary components including accessory rail, grip safety, and sights.

    On July 20, 2012, the Colt 1911 Rail Gun was selected and won a contract to initially deliver 4,000 pistols for MARSOC and MEU (SOC) forces.[15] The pistol was redesignated the M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol (CQBP) and up to 12,000 will be delivered.[16] The Colt design is considered an upgrade of the previous pistol, not an entirely new design.[17]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEU(SOC)_pistol

  10. #10
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Glad the gun shot well for you.

    I have owned the TRP and the MC Operator. I personally preferred the MC Operator over the TRP.

    The MC Operator I had was just as tight as the Nighthawks my local shop had - a few years ago when I had one. It is a nice gun. To me, I like the looks of the rubber grips over the ones I have seen with the front strap checkered, but keeping the green frame color.

    As for where it's made - all the frames and slides are made in Brazil. But, the NM marked serial numbers means that the gun get final assembly here in the USA. All the MC Operators have get this. They don't do as many of the loaded models this way as they used to, from what I can tell.

    Great gun!
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  11. #11
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    Glad the gun shot well for you.

    I have owned the TRP and the MC Operator. I personally preferred the MC Operator over the TRP.

    The MC Operator I had was just as tight as the Nighthawks my local shop had - a few years ago when I had one. It is a nice gun. To me, I like the looks of the rubber grips over the ones I have seen with the front strap checkered, but keeping the green frame color.

    As for where it's made - all the frames and slides are made in Brazil. But, the NM marked serial numbers means that the gun get final assembly here in the USA. All the MC Operators have get this. They don't do as many of the loaded models this way as they used to, from what I can tell.

    Great gun!
    Thanks! I really like it. I can tell that it is tighter than the mil spec. I like the Pachmayr grips, but I may put some VZ g10s on it. The checkering on the front strap of the TRP was VERY aggressive. It almost cut my hand, and although my hands aren't quite weathered leather, they're not baby butt soft. I can have some checkering done to it, but I wouldn't go quite that aggressive with it. It is a smooth shooter and very accurate even with me shooting it!

  12. #12
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Yes, it takes several trips to get used to the TRP checkering.

    I too like VZ grips now. But prior to discovering the double diamond pattern of VZ grips with my 1st Dan Wesson - I used to get the pachmeyer grips on all my 1911s. Even had them on the Ed Brown I owned a few years back, as well as that Custom Shop Springfield I had. Those used to be my favorite grips - despite not looking the best on some 1911s

  13. #13
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Weee they the wrap-around or just the panels?

  14. #14
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCBHM View Post
    Weee they the wrap-around or just the panels?
    The pachmeyers? I like the wraparounds. I don't think they even make just the plain grip panels of that style for a 1911 anymore. I looked.

    The VZ grips I have now are just panels, though. Had I not d"discovered" the VZs with the purchase of my 1st Valor in July, I'd still be rocking the pachmeyers
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    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    What would you think of using a WC 8 round mag in the MCO?

  16. #16
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCBHM View Post
    What would you think of using a WC 8 round mag in the MCO?
    They will work fine. I previously had several Wilsons in the past.

    This time around, since getting 3 1911s since July - I only buy Tripp Cobra Mags. I had some of these mags back when I had my Springfield Custom. They are nice.

    I have some Dan Wesson mags because they came with 2 mags each. And, one Ed Brown mag. But, now I have 4 Cobra Mags. Plan to get 1-2 more. So, no plans to buy any Wilsons now.

  17. #17
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    I've looked up the Cobras and will order some. The local GS had some wilsons, and I know they are pretty good. Was just curious about the 8 round capacity functioning properly. I'm pretty sure it's fine, but just thought I'd get your opinion.

    Tks!
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  18. #18
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Yes, the 8 rounders worked fine for me. I have seen posts here and there over the years of some people having failures or problems with Wilson mags. I've NEVER seen anyone complain about a Cobra mag.

    I ordered 2 more Fri night - and they came in today. In fairness, the company is like 90 minutes away from me, though

    Some places resell them for the same price, but I order them straight from Tripp. The 8 rounders.

  19. #19
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCBHM View Post
    Weee they the wrap-around or just the panels?
    Here is a pic of the two 1911s I previously had - yes, they were ugly on $5400 worth of two 1911s, but I love those Pachmeyers!



    But, I am glad I found an alternative now with the VZ double diamonds. I have help other VZ grips in the past and did not like the feeling. So, that is the only kind I will use now... Have them on these 3:

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  20. #20
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    I'll definitely be getting some of the Cobra mags, and those are some really beautiful guns.

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