March 2006

Lightweight .45s: The Bi-Tone Looks Great and Shoots Great

We would choose Springfield Armory’s $900 Service Model 5-inch Lightweight Bi-Tone pistol over Smith & Wesson’s pricier 1911SC and a previously tested Kimber Tactical Custom II.

In this report the Smith & Wesson 1911SC will be matched head to head with Springfield Armory’s Service Model 5-inch Lightweight Bi-Tone pistol. We will also reflect upon our recent test of the Kimber Tactical Custom II and bring our findings of the three pistols up to date. The ammunition used to test-fire the Springfield Armory and Smith & Wesson pistols was the same selection used in our test of the Kimber published in the November 2005 issue. The Kimber was re-chronographed along with our current two pistols to account for the change in temperature between test dates. consisted of Winchester’s 230-grain FMJ and JHP rounds plus 185-grain JHP rounds from Black Hills Ammunition. Test distance was once again 25 yards from a bench rest. Since each of our guns was priced above $900 MSRP, we expected tight groups without malfunctions or breakage. If each gun came through as expected would we be able to make a clear choice? Only the shooting will tell.

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