Rock Island 1911 question


October 1, 2005, 08:37 AM
I own several 1911's most of which are Colts but yesterday I was in my favorite gun store to pick up a few things when I saw this 1911 in the display case. I found out that this pistol is made in the Philippines and looks a lot like the Colt 1991 model. Anyone here have any experience with this pistol? Oh yes, the price was $425.

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October 1, 2005, 10:40 AM
Yes, lots of experience. I'd suggest running a search.

$425 is way too high! You should be able to find one around $300.

October 1, 2005, 10:52 AM
For that kind of money forget it.

October 1, 2005, 10:54 AM
For $425 you could get a SA 1911 or maybe a nice used Colt 1911A1. The RIA 1911 are pretty good. I had one and my friend has a Commander sized one. He got his new for $330 without even shopping around. If you pay more than $350, you are getting taken.

I think they are good guns and worth the cash (if you pay the average price and not $425). If you want a 1911A1, they work and look good. The finish is actually pretty nice on these. It is a dark Park with is even and smooth, looks better than many other park jobs I have seen on more expensive pistols. Bottom line is, they are not junk like Llama or something but they are not Colts either.

October 1, 2005, 12:43 PM
I like mine, it's been reliable.
$425 is way too high.

October 1, 2005, 02:32 PM
I agree that the price it too high. I paid 300 out the door for mine about a year ago. No modifications at all, and I have about 1500 rounds through it. No FTFeeds, FTFire, FTEject yet, using unmodified Novak Mags.

A while back at the range, a friend made a comment about it that convinced me that it is a great gun for the money.

His 1957 Colt M1911 A1 was having trouble feeding 230 gr. hardball. Both commercial and my reloads. After shooting mine and asking how much I paid, he handed back to me and said "You spent less for this than I have spent trying to get mine to function properly. And yours works." :what:

It's a keeper. :)

October 1, 2005, 06:42 PM
I paid $320 for mine a month ago. So far it has been boringly reliable and as accurate as I am, which ain't saying much. The trigger is even quite nice. I'm one of those few who like the GI sights, although the grip safety will probably be switched out for a beavertail eventually. It doesn't bite me, but it bites some of my shooting buddies.

October 1, 2005, 06:57 PM
Thanks all for the feedback, I'm a little surprised this gun store has it marked up so high if a fair price is $350, but then this is Maryland. :rolleyes:

As I said before I have several Colts including a 70 series Gold Cup that is still almost mint, but I kinda like the looks of this Rock Island 1911.......gonna see if I can talk him down on the price.

October 1, 2005, 07:01 PM
$350 out the door. Otherwise, just pick one up at the nest gun show - do they still have them in the PRM?

October 1, 2005, 09:57 PM

I've been to On Target recently as well... :)

My suggestion would be either to get directly in touch with Armscor (the importers of these) or find a good deal someplace online and then run a little down 175 to Jessup Pawn. John is a really nice guy and the best deal in town for an FFL transfer.


October 1, 2005, 10:10 PM
I've been to On Target recently as well...

Deker, actually I haven't been to On Target for some time.......I found this at Scott's in Glen Burnie. Thanks for the tip about Jessup Pawn......I'll check it out. :)

October 2, 2005, 05:34 AM
The Rock Island is made by Armscor in the Phillipines as is the Charles Daly. I have the compact version Daly and it is a good gun.. If you cant get the proper deal on the Rock Island look for the Daly.. Both made by the same company.

October 2, 2005, 11:00 AM
Basically true but....

I believe the Charles Daly guns are made from Armscor parts that are assembled by KBI/Charles Daly and service is by KBI in Harrisburg PA, whereas the RIA and Armscor labled guns are made in PI an serviced by API in Pahrump, NV. I've recieved very good service for minor issues from both companies. RIA had slide lock lever that failed to lock back with most magazines, CD EMS had extractor break after ~6200 rounds, and the right side ambi safety lever broke internally after ~7000 rounds so it wouldn't work making it effectively a non-ambi gun until the replacement part arrived.

I think KBI/Daly had some problems going up the "learning curve" My first (4" EMS model) had some minor issues out of the box, my second (3.5" CS) has been 100% for the first ~1000 rounds so far (recoil spring swaped at ~800 rounds because ejection was getting very violent) whereas Armscor went up the learning curve on guns mostly not exported to us.

I've three Armscor made guns (RIA to which I added a J-point dot sight; 5" FS model Springfield "loaded" features at a bit under "GI" prices; and the 5" 9mm widebody P18 clone) and two Charles Daly guns already mentioned above. I've been very happy with all of them and shooting them at the range alongside my Kimbers I'm not giving up much if anything in terms of accuracy or trigger pull.

Use the search, I've posted threads about my detailed experience with these guns.

Basically if you plan on changing the GI sights on the RIA, look at the Daly/Armscor guns first as you'll get much better "Novak's style" sights for a good bit less than buying 3rd party sights and getting them installed. I got the RIA specifically to mount the J-point because the low GI front sight would not visible to distract me from the dot. Worked out very well indeed -- except the J-point and its mount cost durn near as much as the gun!


October 2, 2005, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the information. While I live in VA, my hometown is near H-burg. If I ever had to 'send it in' that would be convenient. I have seen some pretty good features on the CD guns. BUT... is the metallurgy sound? I see so many posts from 'non-CD' guys criticizing them, yet I also read posts of some who like them better than their Colt or Kimber, etc.

I am contemplating another 45 next year, and was thinking of a Ruger, but if I knew a CD would be accurate and reliable over the long haul, I might think about another 1911...

October 3, 2005, 01:15 AM
Is the 7500+ rounds of mostly Wolf FMJ I've shot thru my Daly EMS indicative of "good metalurgy"? I think so!


Zach S
October 3, 2005, 06:46 PM
For $425 you could get a SA 1911 or maybe a nice used Colt 1911A1.
Probably not in the same store, but, yeah, $425 is way too high. I think they go for about $330 at the store I frequent.

A buddy of mine recently got one. As a matter of fact, he got the one I was looking at. It had some (unknown to me) issues when new, but they cleared up about 100 rounds later. I fired it this weekend, those tiny sights really suck IMO. He put about 195 rounds or so through it this weekend without a problem. It didnt have any problems with the 5 or so that I fired through it either...

October 3, 2005, 09:28 PM
Saw an ad for them in the newest Shotgun News for $295. I think it might have been Sarco that was offering them for that price.

October 3, 2005, 11:29 PM
I bought one and I'm very happy with it. I did take it to a local gunsmith to get an ambi safety installed, other than that I'm keeping it stock. Mine came with an 8 round Novak magazine, which I'm going to purchase two more of, and worked right out of the box.

October 4, 2005, 11:55 AM
Just to point out for those seeking Novak magazines. Those mags are made by Mec-Gar and then stamped with the Novak logo. You'd be better served buying the Mec-Gar mags. They're usually cheaper.

October 4, 2005, 12:38 PM
Ah didn't know that. I did notice that a Mek-Gar 8 rounder also fit in my 1911. Go figure.

October 4, 2005, 03:30 PM
Sarco has them for $284.50,and Sarco is a great company to do business with.I had purchased about $100 worth of drop-in parts to upgrade my Sistema,Sarco had advertised they were interchangable but none would fit.They gladly gave me full credit for some mags for my Star PD.

Bad news for you though,a quote from the Sarco Rock Island page-"Not for sale to MA and MD"-so maybe the higher price is due to some upgrade that makes them compliant with your states law... :confused:

October 5, 2005, 10:38 AM
The reason the guns aren't on the MA or MD approved list is the lack of a "Series 80" drop safety. These guns are stock original 1911A1. From discussion on various boards, interchangeability with standard 1911 "drop in" parts can be hit or miss. I picked up an RIA 1911 5" version last week to use as a project gun. Have a few parts on order at this time. I'll let you know just how drop-in they are when they arrive.

October 7, 2005, 02:34 PM
Wow - funny that I see this thread now. I was JUST IN Scott's yesterday holding that exact 1911. :eek:

Seemed pretty nice.....there was a few other 1911's in there too. Great store; I really enjoyed just kicking back, petting the dog, handling different guns and talking with the fella' in there.

October 7, 2005, 06:05 PM
I agree, they are great guns, but the price is just too high. I won't pay >$350 for one.
I have an Armscor and Charles Daly, both are utterly reliable and fairly accurate. In my expereince, all Colt parts dropped in, except for the MS housing.
Go here for more firsthand info

October 8, 2005, 01:44 AM
i have one on layaway for 275(used). it's supposed to be mil-spec, so it should be serviceable w/ mil-spec replacements. i plan to get an ambi safety as i'm a lefty. i'm buying it to be able to retire my sistema (as a shooter )which would be a great choice for that kind of money-if one can be found.i can't wait to try it out and hope it is as accurate as the sistema, which has had a trigger job, and, of course, an ambi safety. after shooting it, i may opt for a trigger job on it, too. it probably would be cheaper to find a ffl in your area who would order one directly and charge a $25 service fee.

October 8, 2005, 10:07 AM
Hi :)

There has apparently been a change in subcontract manufacturer for both Novak and Armscor magazines. Older ones were made by Mec-Gar.... but the newest ones I've seen are made by their crosstown rival ACT-MAG.

It's a good thing replacement mags are cheap ---many of the new ACT-MAGs don't seem to be up to the quality of the old Mec-Gars. Hopefully some recent issues have already been resolved over in Brescia (by ACT-MAG).


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