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Is the SA-35 Suited for Modern CCW? An Undercover Cop’s Perspective

wmg1299

Professional
I normally love these articles, but I simply cannot agree with the author's take on this one. I haven't worked in enforcement for a few years now, but it has been fewer years than I can count on one hand, and I've got experience with numerous styles of duty carry.

I'm an SA-35 owner and generally a Springfield fan. From my personal experience, the SA-35 is not reliable enough for duty or EDC use. Mine has gone down from one malfunction every 7 rounds to around one malfunction per every 50 rounds (after about 500 rounds and a trip back to Springfield). I love the way the gun shoots, and it is amazingly accurate. Unfortunately, it's reliability pales in comparison to guns like the Glock 43/48 series, the Sig P365 series, the S&W Shield/Shield Plus series, and the Hellcat series.

As far as ease-of-concealment, the SA-35 also falls significantly behind many other models. My department's undercover guys were issued S&W Shields (I assume that has or will change to the Shield Plus), but could carry anything they could qualify with. The Glock 43x seemed to be the most popular choice for officers carrying their own guns last time I checked. Literally all of the new "stack-and-a-half" micro-9's, even the larger "XL or Pro" models are smaller and thinner than the SA-35.

I know that Springfield advertises the SA-35 as not being a "Safe-Queen". Given my experience, the gun can only really serve as a safe queen or range toy. Luckily, the gun is an excellent range toy or safe queen. I just cannot in good conscious recommend it for EDC/CCW use.
 

Talyn

Ronin
Founding Member
Pertaining to the article, the original magazine disconnect is a small metal piece with a spring that's easily & commonly removed by folks in the original BHP design so deleting this isn't some big upgrade.

It's literally a 10 min job by those that are skilled in working on the BHP. Once removed the trigger is improved on all BHPs/replicas that initially have it. My original Mk.III, and prior BHPs, always had a much better pull once it was removed.

As per other posts, any handgun can be suited for CCW/general carry if it's reliable and able to be carried comfortably and effectively. It's up to each of his/her own to determine what that is.

Also, the articles' author mentions the use of +P ammo. The BHP is a nearly 90-year-old design, and one shouldn't assume that it's OK to feed it +P ammo, compared to modern designs, without more wear & tear.

Prior to 1994 all "original" BHPs had a forged frame, and the BHP expert, Steven Camp, cautioned the use of +P ammo in those since they were not as strong as the post-94 Mk. IIIs that had a stronger "cast" frame that was carried over from the .40 S&W versions' introduction. BHSS also recommends that if one is going to give a BHP a regular diet of +P that a stronger recoil spring needs to be used.

Since we don't know the frame composition of the SA-35 I would treat it like a pre-94 original BHP regarding ammo use.

Hopefully, with the pause in production of the SA-35, SA will be able to take care of the SA-35s idiosyncrasies that it's had since it hit the market last December.
 
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Kcboats

Alpha
Started my LEO career with a Colt 1911 that had so much play in the bushing alone it sounded like it was falling apart every time you moved. Then a Beratta 96, then a Glock 23 and finally a Springfield 1911. My back up/vest gun was always a little .38 snubby Taurus my parents bought me (still have it and now my pops carries it edc). I loved my Glock but it did not hold a candle to my 1911 - but that was my opinion. I loved that Springfield and practiced with it constantly, took a basic armour course, and put thousands of rounds thru it. My best friend carried a Browning Hi Power in 9mm and loved it as much as I loved my 1911 - but he put the same amount of training, care and time that I did into that gun. You train and care for your tool and understand its strengths/weakness the SA35 will work great as an edc.
 
This thread was a surprise. I'm new to Springfields and recently purchased a SA-35. I only have about 300 rounds thru it due to impulse buying a Prodigy about two weeks later, and the 35 has been mostly put away while working out with the Prodigy. The SA-35 has been accurate and reliable with no issues relating to operation (sharp edges). With polymer guns I usually put 500 rounds through one before considering them duty ready. The looser tolerances make most of them pretty much good to go out the box.

With metal framed 9mm pistols, 2000 Rounds of Gunsmithing was usually the standard. Given the Hi-Powers reputation for reliability and ammo prices, I was considering 500 enough, but I'm currently reconsidering that number.
 
My rule is 500 with zero malfunctions. Regardless of what gun.
If the new gun was similar to what I was carrying, especially in polymer, striker fired guns, 500 or a little more was fine. But if going from a DA/SA decocker SIG to a Smith 1911, or a H&K P30, 2000 let me get familiar with the quirks and characteristics of a totally different pistol as I transitioned.
 

Bassbob

Ronin
If the new gun was similar to what I was carrying, especially in polymer, striker fired guns, 500 or a little more was fine. But if going from a DA/SA decocker SIG to a Smith 1911, or a H&K P30, 2000 let me get familiar with the quirks and characteristics of a totally different pistol as I transitioned.
For sure train with it until your comfortable. I am speaking specifically about the reliability of the gun. 500 rounds, zero malfunctions, gun is reliable AFAIC.
 

Tonopah

Operator
There are a ton of 9mm pistols available now a days that are of excellent quality and are suitable for every day carry. That was not the case years ago and in the 1960s through the 1980s the P-35 was really a fine choice. Today is it probably more of a fun curiosity and certainly can be an EDC pistol if yours is truly reliable.

For me, the CZ PCR (DA/SA decocker) is a better choice and there is nothing wrong with a P-365, Hellcat, or EMP either. I do have an SA-35 on order but they just don’t seem to be available yet. I look forward to playing with an SA-35 when one finally arrives but it is not the perfect answer to EDC given the fine alternatives now available.
 

Talyn

Ronin
Founding Member
Plus, there are three reasonably priced Girsan MC P35 models, as well as some reasonably priced originals.
 
Second article in a month or so but still unavailable for purchase.
I wonder if anyone from Springfield can give us an idea when the SA-35 will actually be in production and for sale.
 

DoubleAgent

Operator
Second article in a month or so but still unavailable for purchase.
I wonder if anyone from Springfield can give us an idea when the SA-35 will actually be in production and for sale.
I found 2 for sale in 30 seconds online. We all agree production has not been up to snuff but they are out there.
 

Talyn

Ronin
Founding Member
Second article in a month or so but still unavailable for purchase.
I wonder if anyone from Springfield can give us an idea when the SA-35 will actually be in production and for sale.
From an SA representative on Arfcom.

SpringfieldArmory
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Link Posted: 9/18/2022 11:03:33 PM EDT

I have been told due to some QC issues, we halted production for a few months and then we moved into a new facility that this delayed production as well. In a meeting last Wednesday we were told production was to continue this month.
Steve Horsman
Springfield Armory
Marketing & LE Specialist
Former USMC
SWAT, Sniper, Retired Law Enforcement
Master Class USPSA and IDPA Shooter
 
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