I once undertook a minimalist approach to modifying a stock Series 80 Colt. Just the basics like Novak sights, beavertail, burr hammer, long trigger and an extended safety. The result was a very nice and shootable pistol for not a lot of money. I remember thinking it would be even nicer to buy such a pistol readymade, with everything you need (okay, everything I need) and no more.
The Springfield Armory Range Officer is exactly such a pistol. The fact the designers agree with me on what features are essential just proves what clever people they are. Actually, if the pistol on consignment is typical, they went a little further. The slide/frame fit is excellent and accuracy is outstanding — as in equaling some of my match pistols costing three and four times as much.
The base gun is a classic, full-size 1911-A1 .45 ACP with 5″ barrel. There’s a ramped, serrated-post front sight. The fully adjustable rear sight, made by Springfield, is virtually identical to the (no longer made) Bo-Mar BMCS. The sight is low-mounted in a dovetail cut for the classic “buried” look.
There’s a beavertail grip safety, extended manual safety and long trigger. The flat-mainspring housing is checkered. The Range Officer has match grade, stainless steel barrel and bushing. It uses the “original” recoil spring guide, magazine release and slide stop.
Otherwise, the pistol is notable for what it doesn’t have. There are no front cocking serrations, no magazine loading chute, no frontstrap or triggerguard checkering, ambidextrous safety or fancy 2-tone finish.
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