Springfield Armory, Inc.

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Springfield Armory, Inc.
Industry Defense
Founded 1974
Headquarters Geneseo, Illinois, USA
Products Firearms
Website springfield-armory.com

Springfield Armory, Inc. is an American firearms manufacturer based in Geneseo, Illinois, founded in 1974. It is one of the largest firearm companies in the world.[citation needed] The company is a four-time recipient of the National Rifle Association (NRA) American Rifleman's Golden Bullseye award.[1]


After Springfield Armory – the United States' first armory (established under authority of General George Washington as a major arsenal early in the Revolutionary War) – was closed by the federal government in 1968,[2] Elmer C. Ballance began using the name "Springfield Armory" through his company (LH Manufacturing) dedicated to the first civilian production of the M14 rifle, calling it the M1A. Ballance began in San Antonio, Texas, and soon after moved to Devine, Texas, where the company gained momentum and popularity. In 1974, Ballance sold the company to the Reese family, who had a well-established production shop in Illinois and experience base. The company then expanded its market into pistols, notably the M1911. After further success, the company began to branch into other types of firearms. The company, now run by Dennis Reese and Tom Reese, manufactures and imports dozens of different firearms in many styles and models. A motto used by the company, "The First Name in American Firearms" (alternatively "The Oldest Name in American Firearms"), is a homage to the first U.S. national armory and namesake, the original Springfield Armory.[3] There is no other connection between the company and defunct federal armory.


The company's main products are M1911 pistols, and the M1A rifle series. It has been importing the Croatian HS2000 pistol as the XD ("X-Treme-Duty") series since 2002. Previously the company offered clones of the M1 Garand, Beretta BM59, FN FAL, HK 91, and M6 Scout. They have also imported Tanfoglio and Astra semi-automatic pistols under the Springfield name.

Springfield Armory also has a well-known custom shop, where full-custom M1911A1s and semi-custom XD pistols are built and modified. The custom shop's most famous product is the Professional Model (formerly known as the Bureau Model), an M1911 variant. The Professional Model was one of only two guns to pass the controversial trials set forth by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a new pistol for its Hostage Rescue Team and SWAT teams. The head gunsmith is David Williams. The first two directors of the custom shop were Les Baer and Jack Weigand.[4]

Rob Leatham has been the captain of "Team Springfield", the practical shooting team, since its inception in 1985.[5][6][7][8]

Political involvement[edit]

Springfield Armory, Inc. has played a major role in vocally opposing former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed assault weapons ban that threatened to ban firearm manufacturing in Illinois. Co-owner Dennis Reese responded to the proposed legislation by saying "if this passes, we're out of town."[9]

On July 13, 2007, at the 100th anniversary of the National Matches held at Camp Perry in northern Ohio, Reese announced that the company would provide $1 million towards the NRA's "Competitive Shooting & National Championships Endowment" and challenged other firearms manufacturers to donate to the endowment.[10]

On May 1, 2017, Springfield Armory, Inc. published a press-release attempting to explain their trade association's support of Illinois Senate Bill 1657, which would implement significant new gun control measures in Illinois.,[11] the bill also would hurt local gun shops and limit the ability of the people of Illinois to only buy guns from big box stores. The following day, May 2, Springfield CEO Dennis Reese released a statement announcing the "decision to sever all ties with the [Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association], effective immediately." Reese also accepted "full responsibility for [his] failure of oversight" regarding actions taken by the IFMA to withdraw opposition of SB1657 and provide paid support of known anti-gun Illinois state senators.[12]


  1. ^ NRA Gun of the Year Awards, 2006
  2. ^ "Springfield Armory History & Culture". Springfield Armory National History Site. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  3. ^ "About Springfield Armory". Springfield Armory. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Jack Weigands' Profile". Weigand Combat Handguns, Inc. Retrieved October 6, 2015. Former Custom Shop Director, Springfield Armory; Professional Member of Team Springfield Armory 
  5. ^ "TGO's Titles". Official Web Site of Rob Leatham – professional action shooter. Leatham Enterprises LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2015. Captain, Team Springfield since its inception in 1985 
  6. ^ McHale, Tom (May 18, 2015). "12 Competitors to Watch at the 2015 NRA Bianchi Cup". Shooting Sports News. OutdoorHub. Carbon Media Group LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2015. Rob Leatham last won the Bianchi Cup back in 1985. He could very well take the title again this year. 
  7. ^ McHale, Tom (April 25, 2012). "Springfield Armory’s Rob Leatham Discusses Wayne Gretzky, Jackie Gleason and Getting Whooped By His Sister". Shooting Sports News. AmmoLand. Retrieved October 6, 2015 – via My Gun Culture. We had the opportunity to catch up with Springfield Armory Team Captain Rob Leatham at the recent NRA Annual Meeting. 
  8. ^ Fitness News Desk (November 2, 2012). "Springfield Armory's Rob Leatham Achieves Eighth IPSC World Championship Title" (Press release). Geneseo, Illinois: Wisdom Digital Media – Broadway World, BWW Fitness. PR Newswire. Retrieved October 6, 2015 – via Springfield Armory. Springfield Armory would like to congratulate its team captain, Rob Leatham, on winning his 8th world champion title at the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) World Shoot XVII, held at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, Fla. 
  9. ^ Erickson, Kurt (March 3, 2006). "Gun makers say they'll leave state if weapons ban OK'd". Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Springfield Armory to Provide $1,000,000 to Support NRA’s Competitive Shooting & National Championships". The National Rifle Association. Archived from the original on July 1, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ Springfield Armory Statement Regarding Gun Dealer Licensing Act (SB1657)
  12. ^ Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese Statement Regarding IFMA and Gun Dealer Licensing Act (SB1657)

External links[edit]