9mm 1911’s – RIA, Springfield, and Dan Wesson shoot out!

What makes a better day at the range than 3 different 1911’s sitting on the bench?

I’ve recently purchased my dream gun, the Dan Wesson PM9, plus a project gun, the RIA 1911 Tact 2.  At the same time my friend ordered a Springfield Range Officer, all in 9mm.  This makes the perfect scenario for a 9mm 1911 shoot out!

So first and foremost, pictures!

RIA 1911SA Range Officer DSC05051

The RIA ($560), Springfield Range Officer ($800), Dan Wesson PM9 ($1480) * big thanks to Jonathan M for lending his RO

There are way too many detail about the fit and finish between each gun, but who wants the nitty gritty details?  Let’s cut through the chase and start shooting!

For this barely accurate and non-scientific test, I was bench shooting at 25 yards with a simple $35 bench rest


Ammo used are reloads with the following recipe:

  • 5.8 – 6.2gr Power Pistol (in 0.2gr increment)
  • Berry’s 124gr RN hollow base bullet
  • OAL 1.093″


The RIA has a short throat so all the bullets were made to 1.093″. The Dan Wesson can have bullets seated at 1.14″, but for this test we kept all ammo the same length for consistency.

Let’s start with the 5.8gr ammo


(Note that I haven’t even dialed in the iron sights yet)

I felt like I had a flier with the RIA, but we’re looking at around 2.5″ groups for all 3 guns, next was the 6.0gr bullets


And the Dan Wesson surprised me again.  Somehow the PM9 loves this recipe and had a 1.1″ group.  The RIA and Springfield didn’t seem to like this load at all, producing 5, 6″ groups.


At 6.2gr, the groups were not impressive on all the guns.  RIA had 4.5″ group, Springfield had 3.5″ and DW had 2.5″

What does this all mean???  Well I’ve proven that there is a recipe that the Dan Wesson can excel at.  Much like last week when a completely different recipe on the PM9 also got me one inch groups with 115gr bullets.  While both the RIA and Springfield, being sub thousand dollar guns, have trouble finding a load that can hold small groups.  That doesn’t mean that those two guns aren’t capable of getting there, it might just mean that I need to play around with a wider range, and MAYBE better results will happen.

But for now, it is easy to see why I’m head over heels over my PM9. 🙂  Time to make a lot more of that ammo and see if I can tweak it for even better accuracy!


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