Springfield Loaded Model PX9109LP 45 ACP, $1035
In our first review of handguns suited for the SASS Wild Bunch categorynamed in deference to the Sam Peckinpah movie, The Wild Bunchwe covered five traditional GI-type handguns from Springfield Armory, High Standard, and Colt. Prices ranged from $500 to $1000, a fairly large spread.
In the "modern" class of 45s we tested, quite a few SASS members probably already own such a handgun, and interested shooters from other disciplines may jump in to shoot Wild Bunch matches. The handguns legal for use in this category are middle-of-the-road pistols. High-visibility sights without night inserts are allowed and so are forward cocking serrations and full-length guide rods. Checkered grip straps are not allowed. Your Springfield TRP and Kimber Gold Match are not legal.
We eliminated a number of capable 1911 handguns in the same price range because of the frame checkering and stippling limit. Getting something for free is an advantage, but in this case the advantages were "illegal" for competition.
We tested the Springfield Loaded Model PX9109LP 45 ACP, $1035, which was more than a GI pistol with good features. The pistol featured Novak sights, an ambidextrous slide lock safety, a full-length guide rod, forward cocking serrations, and checkered wood grips. All controls were clear and crisp in operation.
The trigger showed a compression of 5 pounds and our testers commented on its smooth feel. There were no malfunctions of any type during firing. The sights were well regulated for elevation with the 230-grain load, but windage was off by several inches. We loosened the set screw in the Novak sights and carefully bumped the sights to the right until the sights were on the bulls eye. Accuracy was credible, with groups ranging from 2 to 3 inches.