The beauty of stainless: springfield's new 1911 Range Officer®

Posted by Rob Leatham

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Jan 10, 2016 12:00:00 AM


If you love the look of stainless firearms and the tarnish- and rust-resistant features of stainless steel, the finish is now readily available in the Springfield Armory® 1911 Range Officer® (RO) pistol line.


Now we call stainless a finish, but, in this case, it is the actual material of the gun - stainless steel - unlike Blue or Armory Kote™ finishes.

Stainless is not a new material to Springfield - we use it in most of our pistol lines. But it is new to the RO pistol line. The stainless 1911 Range Officer® brings the durability and look of this popular material to the essential RO pistol lineup. 

The new stainless model is based on the same specifications as the full-size 1911 Range Officer® models and offers the same performance and value that has made the RO a hot product for us.


The RO’s base specs are impressive and, more importantly, competition-ready.  Here are a few of my favorite features:

  • Precision-fit, steel, match-grade barrel
  • Fully-adjustable rear sight
  • Beavertail grip safety
  • Extended lightweight trigger
  • Flat mainspring housing
  • 41 ounces (just less than the maximum 43-ounce limit for competition)

These basic elements contribute to the exceptional accuracy, reliability and durability of the entire RO series. 

And the new Range Officer® is only enhanced by the addition of stainless steel as the base manufacturing material. 


The attraction for me, hands down though, are the looks. Many of you may love the appearance of chrome or nickel guns. I sure do. My favorite finish for a 1911 frame is actually hard chrome-plating. Not specifically due to its corrosion resistance or anything like that - I just really like the look. 

However, hard chrome-plating, nickel and chrome coatings are expensive and are very involved to produce. Stainless steel can offer that same sweet appearance without the cost and trouble of:

  • Meticulously prepping the gun
  • Additional time spent sending the gun somewhere to be coated


Which brings me to some other benefits for you gun tinkerers:

  • When you decide to add a mag well, checker the front strap or put your own personal little touches on your gun, you don’t have to refinish it.
  • If you scratch it up and it needs a little finish work, you can do it yourself.

This won’t matter to the majority of owners, but the RO pistol line was designed as an entry-level competition gun, one that you can gradually upgrade as your budget allows and/or needs dictate.  


Now, due to the durable stainless “finish,” we expect and want you to shoot this model a lot

Stainless by definition, though, is resistant to tarnish and rust, which is why you should also wipe down a stainless gun after shooting it (and then store in a dry location).  

Even in Arizona, where we rarely have humidity worth mentioning, I wipe all of my guns down when done shooting. Or I imagine wiping them down. And then I plan to wipe them down... tomorrow. Or sometime before the next big match.

In all seriousness, stainless is considerably easier to keep looking nice - much easier than any other finish because, wait for it… the gun is the finish. 


Our new Stainless 1911 Range Officer®  is ready to go in both 9mm and .45ACP chamberings. In my opinion, this gun offers great off-the-shelf value for the plinker, aspiring competitor or gun-owner who plans on future upgrades.

Price, performance, reliability and, now great looks and rust resistance - the Stainless RO may be one of the best do-it-all 1911s around.

Topics: 1911 Handguns

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.