RIA 1911 Tactical


November 25, 2007, 08:09 AM
A friend of mine recently purchased a Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical. He's currently studying gun smithing with another gentleman and needed a project gun.

After handling this pistol for a few minutes it got me to thinking they might be a viable option. They also cost less than $500.

Anyone with real world experience? What's the word on the street? Are they reliable enough for everyday carry?

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MSgt B
November 25, 2007, 10:04 AM
Mine never gave me anything but trouble.

I put it in the back of the safe and bought a Ruger P345. ($450)

Been smilin' ever since.

November 25, 2007, 10:19 AM
I've had great luck with mine. Over 11000 rounds (mostly Wolf) thru my oldest RIA.

Other than grips and a refinish, what needs changing on the Tactical? Its got Novak's sights, beavertail, ambi safeties, and much better than average trigger out of the box.

RIA has very good customer service. Take than gun out of the safe and send it in to Parhump, NV and they'll fix you up.

Go to 1911forum.org they have an RIA sub-forum there where you can talk to the RIA representatives.

Most RIA initial issues are a combination of too strong a magazine spring for the recoil spring used. Some fail first time out but are fine next time if the mag is left loaded between outings to "take its set".


November 25, 2007, 10:22 AM
I've had experience with 3 or 4--they all ran flawlessly right out of the box.

I don't own one myself...yet.

November 25, 2007, 10:25 AM
Not apples and apples, but I have used a couple. I bought two lowers to use dedicated .22 conversions on. They required fitting for a beavertail extention (of course) and some minor work to get all the rails straight and even... really minor. I am very happy with mine.

Here is the Marvel Conversion:

The Lone Haranguer
November 25, 2007, 10:33 AM
I've got my eye on one. I long for a 1911 that will shoot all day without every little blasted thing having to be "just so."

Mine never gave me anything but trouble.

I put it in the back of the safe and bought a Ruger P345. ($450)

Been smilin' ever since.
I dislike malfunctioning guns as much as anyone (and have had some), but have you given them a chance to straighten it out? One gun (different one) that had to be sent back was repaired and is now one of my favorites.

Prof. A. Wickwire
November 25, 2007, 11:14 AM
A Rock Island Arsenal 1911A1 Tactical is my everyday carry piece. If I couldn't trust it to function properly, first time, every time, it wouldn't be.


Prof. A. Wickwire

November 25, 2007, 02:05 PM
I had a few failures to go into battery until I got some advice and tips on adjusting the extractor from 1911 Tuner and Wally. now it runs like a charm with most any ammo including my cast bullet reloads. A good pistol at a very good price.


November 25, 2007, 03:57 PM
It amuses me that people, usually with expensive 1911s, put down the RIAs. Yet, a vast majority of the owners sure seem to be satisfied.

I don't think they are immune to problems but they sure are a heck of a lot of pistol for the price. A great option if you're looking to get into a 1911 but don't want to (or can't) spend a lot.

I borrowed one for a few days, just to see if I would feel the magic and fall in love with the 1911. The trigger was great of course, as was the accuracy, but I haven't felt the obsessive urge to purchase one yet. If/when I do, I certainly won't eliminate the RIA from my list. Great pistol at a great price as far as I'm concerned.

November 26, 2007, 12:21 AM
I own 4 Armscore 1911's. A High Standard GI, A RIA GI 45, A RIA 45 Tactical & a RIA 38 Super 1911. I will buy more. :) I learned from experience that a 1911 dosen't have to cost over $800.00 to be any good. :uhoh:

November 26, 2007, 08:11 AM
Bought a RIA GI a while ago for $380 new. Shot just fine. I love it and I'm sure the Tactical will be fine too.

November 26, 2007, 08:56 AM
Here's the story of a guy who got a bad RIA. Seems you can buy with confidence:



MSgt B
November 26, 2007, 07:36 PM
Awright, awright.

I may have given up too early on my RIA POS.

I'll try getting in touch with the guys in NV. Thanks for the advice.

P.S. - I still think the Ruger P345 is the bomb-diggity.

November 29, 2007, 02:36 PM
I've been looking at purchasing a 1911. I'm new to the scene but i've heard some good things about the RIA. Any input would help. THX.

November 29, 2007, 05:51 PM
my basic RIA 5" has had 600 rounds through it now, and one bobble.

500 through it, then went on a hunting trip with it as my side arm in a Blade-tech kydex holster....it got bump plenty and a bit of muddy water on it from riding the 4 wheeler. got back to camp and decided to how she does in such conditions....i got tired of loading magazines so only 100 flawless rounds went through her before a cleaning.....

P.S. i should add that the my gun has an after market arched MSH and an 18 pound recoil spring as the only mods to it.....

November 29, 2007, 06:48 PM
This is my piece of the Rock, I've had it for a year and a half and it's functioned flawlessly:


November 29, 2007, 10:18 PM
I've heard that the mags are junk. Is this true? If so, wat would you reccomend replacing them with?

November 29, 2007, 10:39 PM
Don't believe everything you hear.

My RIA guns have no trouble with any of my 1911 mags -- genuine GI surplus, cheap GI forgeries, Colt, Kimber, CMC Shooting Star, Mec-Gar.

The ACT/Novack mags that came with my RIA have worked fine in my other 1911s too.


November 29, 2007, 10:40 PM
Duplicate deleted.

November 29, 2007, 10:43 PM
The mags are not junk.
In fact they are better than other factory mags (ie Kimber).
The mags are Novak's/ACT and are good quality.

HOWEVER, 1911s can be finicky. Just cause the Novak's is a good mag doesn't mean it will work well with every 1911.

Good aftermarket mags include Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick Powermags, Metalform, Kimber's Tactical mags, and the list goes on and on...

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