Rock Island or New Taurus 1911


November 19, 2006, 10:28 AM
I have always been a revolver shoot but lately I have had thoughts of crossing over into the semi-auto zone for a new experience. I may be looking for an entry level 1911, Rock Island or the new Taurus as these seem to be nicely priced for my interests.
Does anyone have any experience with these pistols and can report on reliability, accuracy, etc.. or overall opinion?
I know everyone has an opinion, but I'd like to hear from some of you.

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November 19, 2006, 10:58 AM
I haven't had a chance to play w/ a Taurus 1911 yet but the RIA that I recently played with was very nice...tight lock up, safety had no overtravel, felt pretty good in had. Might be a nice base for a project gun ;)

November 19, 2006, 11:05 AM
Well, I do know the Rock Island frame is cast, I believe the Taurus is not. Theres also the Taurus lifetime warrantee. Im happy I got the Taurus, I couldn't find the Rock Islands cheaper then $370, If I had, I might have gotten one. You really do get a lot for $449 in the Taurus.

November 19, 2006, 11:24 AM
The RIA is a basic iron-sights GI 1911. The Taurus has about $2000 of racegun work for less than $500. Depends what you want out of it.

November 19, 2006, 11:40 AM
From what I've read, not from what I have experienced first hand, between these two, I'd get the Taurus.
Please note that I have owned neither pistol.
Here's Michael Bane's report on the Taurus. (

It looks like Taurus finally answered the age old question of why can't they build a quality 1911 for the price of a DA semi-auto.

November 19, 2006, 11:46 AM
I owned a A RIA officers model and after closer inspection I found the internals to be very cheap parts and changind one thing lead to have to change another. For instance I wanted to put a commander style hammer on on it and found that no hammer I tried would work with the supplied sear so that all had to me change as well as the plunger and trigger to make it all fit for a smooth trigger pull, that was realiable. I was putting the MSH back in and the pin broke and I checked all the other pins and all were very cheaply made and had to be replaced, so I just replaced the springs as well. I guess it depends on what you plan to use it for but i had intended it for a carry weapon and I decided to sell it and just cet a LW Colt Commander for carry. I am not saying I wouldnt buy another RIA, because i would, but Just saying that to make it a realiable package you will have to spend some money on it unless they have changed the QC in the last 6 months. Maybe i just got a lemon!

November 19, 2006, 12:21 PM
If you're in no hurry, you might want to wait until the new Spartans come out:

November 19, 2006, 12:29 PM
I'll probably never alter or customize either gun, but with the exception of wood grips. So, maybe the Taurus would be the better value with all the factory custom 'smithing.

November 19, 2006, 01:48 PM
RIAs have a lifetime warranty and superb customer service to back it up;) RIAs and Hi-Point something in common. Snobby gun owners seem to knock RIAs before trying them because of their price.

November 19, 2006, 02:12 PM
It depends on what you want.
A RIA is a basic, no-frills 1911. Mine has been absolutely reliable for a couple of thousand rounds.

The Taurus, as others have mentioned, has a lot more bells and whistles. It is also a couple of hundred dollars more.

IMO, either one will give you good service. The Taurus will have better sights and has a lot more parts that can go wrong.

November 19, 2006, 03:11 PM
Taurus all the way.

I like beaver tail grip safeties and functional sights.

My Colt Combat Commander never gets shot due to the horrible GI sights and the occasional hammer bite.

November 19, 2006, 03:20 PM
From the words of a poster ( on my forums:

The billboard it the giant writing on the sides of the slide. On the forums a guy had a Rockwell hardness test and a metallurgical exam. IT turns out it is over 30 rc and well forged steel. A great base gun, equal to a springer. All forged. So, the gun is worth the money in my book. The fact I could not jam it speaks wonders.

IIRC, he's put over 5,000 rounds through it already as well, and it's favorite out of all his 1911s now. IIRC he also said that he'd not cleaned it for several thousand rounds without a problem.

The thing about guns like RIA is that, supposedly, the lower cost means you're not paying for the consistency of product as you would with a more expensive gun; they cut out a lot of QA and as a result drop the price. There's not likely much of a difference, but there is a higher likelyhood that you'd get a dud.

However, from all that I've read of the Taurus PT1911, I would get it before the RIA 1911 without even thinking about it twice. The Taurus seems to be much more 'standard' in it's milspec-ness, it has more features, and seems to be better made - for roughly the same price.

Also IIRC, the RIAs come from the same Argentinan factory as one or several other 1911s out there. I'm not sure which - I want to say that Wilson is one of them. So they're not necessarily cheap 1911s - they're just not as thoroughly checked to not suck.

November 19, 2006, 03:22 PM
The Taurus 1911, if you can find one. If you see one grab it before it is gone. I bought one and it is great, you can't beat features vs price. The piece will cycle any bullet profile thrown at it. It is also very accurate, and extremely attractive. The finish is not as good as I would like, but with maintenance (oil) is ok. I'm waiting for the SS version, I want that one also. :D

November 19, 2006, 06:37 PM
The article by Michael Bane is very impressive for the Taurus. Looks like it'll
be AFTER Christmas before I can get one. I know where two are right now, I want one and my brother-in-law wants one also.

the pistolero
November 19, 2006, 06:45 PM
I know where two are right now, I want one and my brother-in-law wants one also.

Might wanna put it on layaway before it gets away. :D I saw one a couple of months ago at one of the local gun shops here and was going to put it on layaway, but when I went back a couple of days later it was gone. Friday I saw another one when I went to pick up some ammo. Would that I did not have to get the fender replaced on my truck, she'd have come home with me...

November 19, 2006, 09:02 PM
The Taurus has about $2000 of racegun work for less than $500.

The Taurus is a nice gun for the asking price. I hope Taurus sells a lot of them. However, it is not even close to being a $2,000 race gun.:cool:

My answer to the original question is the Taurus over the Rock Island every time.

November 19, 2006, 09:58 PM
Call it whatever you like. This pistol is hot. If you and bro in law each want one and two are around, maybe he can lend you the cash till ater x-mas. Then you can both go and play with your new toys before the holidays. They fly off the shelves as others have mentioned here.:cool:

November 19, 2006, 10:03 PM
I'd say Taurus if you don't want to bother with tinkering with the gun at a later date, RIA if you want a good base gun and maybe are planning to "make it your own" later on. Either way I think you can't go wrong.

November 21, 2006, 09:17 AM
I have 5 1911's, all of different makes, and except for my Bobtailed Scandium Smith & Wesson Commander, my Taurus is the best of the bunch. I have no experience with the RIA.

November 21, 2006, 09:46 AM
RIA are about to release the new tactical model. Upgrade sights, Front serrations. Combat hammer, ect for about the same price as the Taurus (I think). The Dist should have the first batch very soon. Although I don't have anything bad to say about Taurus I carry my RIA 1911 everyday and even after 5000 rounds she is flawless.

The customer service is second to none. Ivan and even the President of Armscor US reply on daily and have jumped on any issue that has come up.

I don't think you can go wrong with either one but customer service goes a long way with me. Pick up a Rock!!!

November 22, 2006, 05:48 AM
Buy one (or more) of each...............:p

Seriously though, they are different animals, the RIA is a basic 1911, no bells and whistles, the Taurus has all the bells and whistles on it already.

I have a RIA and like it (will likely get another to tinker with).
I plan on getting a Taurus (at some point), probably in Commander form when they are available.

November 22, 2006, 09:28 AM
I have a Charles Daly 1911. Armscor makes both the Daly and RIA guns. It has been a good gun, I have around 10K rounds, but it has not been completely reliable. Enough that I trust it, theoretically yes, but the fact that I haven't loaded it for home defense in over a year should say something I guess. I like it, I'm happy to have it, it is mostly reliable. However, it does give occasional issues and it rattles quite a bit (it didn't when new, but it does now).

My experience with Taurus handguns has been good. My Taurus auto, a Milennium Pro, has been 100%. The reputation of their metal guns- the PT911/940, PT945 and the Beretta based PT92/99 and PT100/101- is enviable. From all I read these new Taurus 1911s are every bit as good as the best of the Taurus autos, and maybe an improvement.

If the Taurus was available in MD (it isn't on the MD State Police approved roster yet) I'd get one in a heartbeat. I'd love to get a commander sized aluminium Taurus PT1911. Since it isn't available here yet I've put a commander sized S&W 1911SC on layaway, but I would have probably bought the Taurus instead if it was available.

Short version- get the Taurus.

Cocked & Locked
November 22, 2006, 10:32 AM
I might buy a Taurus 1911 someday...if they come out with one without the serrations, grooves (or whatever) in the front of the slide, and if they drop the ambidextrious safety.

November 22, 2006, 04:24 PM
For the amount you get in a Taurus vs the RI, I'd suggest the Taurus.

Handled both and the Taurus is the better bang for the buck, no pun intended.;)

Cocked & Locked
November 22, 2006, 04:58 PM
Bling-Bang (blang) for the Buck RIA :uhoh:

November 22, 2006, 07:52 PM
I think would enjoy shooting the Taurus more than the RIA. Taurus.

November 22, 2006, 10:12 PM
I have both guns and they're both awesome. In stock forms, the Taurus will beat the RIA hands down. The RIA is an excellent base gun, spend another $150 bucks and replace the recoil spring, beavertail grip and hammer and now you have a different gun. With the current mods I have done to my RIA, I now prefer it over my Taurus. Look at the m1911 forum and read about the write-ups on RIA ... I guarantee you'll be sold on getting the RIA. In this forum, you'll see over a thousand positive posts on the RIA, look at Taurus's forum, there's about 50 posts:D Again, I love my Taurus as well, especially since it took me almost 2 months to locate one, they're hard to get, but the Rock Island Armory ROCKS!!!

Combat Controller
November 23, 2006, 02:50 AM
Howdy Caimlas! I heard a little bird saying may name.

I got an early one, and I have been banging the hell out of it, put it up against my TRP and my Kimber, a Caspian custom, and various others I have in the safe. For the money you are getting a whole lot of gun. I shot it almost 2k rounds without cleaning and not a single misfire or jam of any kind. Color me suprised, my kimber jammed a bunch before I felt comfortable, and still has a problem every once in a while. I am tweaking it, as I have a bunch of 1911's, and thought "why not?". I love to torture the heck out guns, and the Taurus suprised me. I think hands down it is the better value.

November 23, 2006, 04:42 AM
Everyone should have more than 1 1911. I intend on having at least 3, 1 blue Taurus I have already, 1 stainless Taurus, in the future and 1 RIA in the future. Now if I could only grow a third hand or maybe shoot with my feet...:cool:

November 23, 2006, 09:22 AM
Ahh but you are missing the required COLT 1911 in your stable.... A 1911 collection is not complete without a COLT....

November 23, 2006, 10:27 AM
Cocked and Locked that's one gorgeous RIA.

But remember, no one pimps a gun like Taurus. :) Right now the product is conservative - probably so as not to offend the traditional 1911 crowd. This is a good thing. It may take a couple of years, but one day there'll be the gold finish controls and simulated pearl grips. After all, a 1911 is like a blank piece of paper, there's so much that can be personalized.


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