Review: Springfield Armory’s MC Operator 1911
Pat Cascio 08.08.16
The MC Operator was originally designed for the U.S. Marine Corps rapid deployment forces that are housed on aircraft carriers. The MC Operator was spec’d to what the Marines wanted, right down to the Pachmayr grips. So there ya go. The MC stands for Marine Corps, but keep it a secret. Not many folks know this.
During my testing, the MC Operator was boring to shoot. It just put every bullet right where I wanted them to go. I used the following ammo:
- Black Hills 230-grain FMJ
- Buffalo Bore 160-grain Tac-XP HP +P
- Buffalo Bore185-grain Tac-XP HP +P
- Buffalo Bore 230-grain FN FMJ +P
- Buffalo Bore 230-grain JHP +P
Before accuracy testing, I swapped out the 16-pound factory recoil spring for an 18.5-pound extra power recoil spring and extra-power firing pin spring. Those +P loads from BuffaloBore are pretty hot and can take a toll on a standard recoil spring.
There were no malfunctions of any type in all my shooting. Accuracy testing was from 25 yards over the hood of my SUV, with the gun resting on a sleeping bag. In all, I probably fired more than 300 rounds in my testing. Group size ranged from 2 to 3 inches, depending on the ammo and my abilities that day. I got the best overall accuracy from the Buffalo Bore 200-grain JHP +P load, which is fast becoming a favorite of mine.
The MC Operator retails for close to $1400.00. Is it worth it? To me it is. It’s as close to a custom 1911 as you’ll find in a non-custom model. They are hard to find, so expect to pay close to retail if you find one in a gun shop.
Over the years, I’ve owned some custom 1911s from big name custom builders and I’ve built more than my share of custom 1911s myself, but none impressed me more than the MC Operator did. Yeah, you can pay more for a custom gun or another brand of 1911 with the same or similar features, but I don’t think you’d be getting more gun for your money.
It’s no wonder that you rarely see an MC Operator in a gun shop or at smaller gun shows. When they do become available, they are snapped up in short order. So if you’re in the market for a super 1911, take a close look at the Springfield Armory MC Operator 1911. I think you’ll be impressed.