1911-rock Island Armory Vs. Kimber Tactical?


June 25, 2008, 05:25 PM
OK, I have a line on a used Rock Island Armory 1911, I inspected it today, it appears to be in good shape, not too much wear. The new owner (read Pawn Shop owner) does not know how many rounds it has seen.

The cost of that pistol is set at about $400.00. I know nothing about Rock Island Armory. Are they good to go?

I am not a match shooter, this would be for an all around gun.

While I am there, he shows me a couple of Kimbers, of course the prices are much higher. These are all new guns.

He has a base model @ $700.00, and of course they go up as the features get better.

The two that caught my eye were Tactical models.
They are 4 and 5 inch models, and were about $800.00
He says they have alloy frames, and may not last as long as an all steel, but he shoots his (a 4 inch barrel) alot, and it does fine for him.

Should I bite the bullet and go for one of the Kimbers? or will the RIA be ok for me as I will not be wearing out any of these guns?

Hold out for a Colt? GI?

I will check back later for input, and thanks in advance.


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June 25, 2008, 05:36 PM
You should go to 1911forum.com as they have plenty of information you should see.

June 25, 2008, 05:37 PM
Tough call, have both and enjoy both. Either will serve their purpose well.

June 25, 2008, 05:46 PM
Hold out for a Colt? GI?

Why hold out? At $700-800 you can get a Colt 1911 or a Commander.

For $500, you can get a Springfield Armory GI-45.
For $700 you can get the SA Loaded gun.

Frankly speaking, $400 for a used RIA sounds really high (if it is the base version), especially since a new one costs about $450.

June 25, 2008, 05:51 PM
I paid less than 400 for my NEW RIA 1911, see if you can talk him down some.

June 25, 2008, 05:53 PM
The RIA is overpriced.


June 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
The RIA is well worth $400, but as strat81 has posted your used sample is overpriced.

Get an RIA and use the saved cash to buy ammo or reloading supplies.


June 25, 2008, 09:58 PM
I have RIAs in 45 and 38Super. Solid, reliable, brass-tacks 1911s. I have higher-end .45s, but the RIA gets carried more out in the woods more than the rest.

June 25, 2008, 10:21 PM
Get a RIA but get a new one or talk him down a bunch

June 25, 2008, 10:54 PM
I agree $400 for a used one is way too high, you can find them for $400 new.


June 26, 2008, 12:00 AM
I have three RIA's, and I'm not giving ANY of them up. Great pistols, IMO. I highly recommend that you look at the RIA Tactical model. It's only about $50-60 more than the standard GI, but has lots of features.


June 26, 2008, 02:41 PM
Folks, I thank you all for the input. I will check further into the RIA, and see what it is. I am pretty sure it is a standard model, so I will check them out.


June 26, 2008, 02:47 PM
RIA Tactical!!!

June 26, 2008, 02:51 PM
looks like a nice gun for around $400. I've got a kimber custom II, I just liked the fit and finish better on the kimber. Not to mention it's made in america from forged steel.

June 26, 2008, 03:00 PM

June 26, 2008, 03:04 PM
the RIA can be had for $329 plus shipping and FFL.

if you decide you like RIAs then either buy it new, or print out a bunch of places on the web with the listed selling price. i wouldn't pay more than $275 for a used, unknown RIA. make sure you take a bic ballpoint pen with you to verify the firing pin works, etc. just put the butt of the pen in the barrel, cock the hammer and fire. pen should launch out of the barrel. i once checked a used 1911 at a show like that and suprise! the firing pin doesn't work. the guy wouldn't even let me take the slide off to inspect it. he was asking $600 on a frankengun - para double stack lower with colt upper. what a rip.

July 23, 2008, 06:16 PM
So I took the input from here and went back to buy the RIA.

I talked him down and got it for $300 out the door. I am happy with the price.

The gun has some wear on it, looks like holster usage. As far as the insides go it is immaculate! The bore is great, and everything else looks good.

The gun came with some Pachymeyer? grips with finger grooves, and it handles like a dream.

I took some crappy pics with my cell, as the digital camera is in California with my honey, she is at visiting her Mom which equals plenty of range time for me!

The gun has been flawless in operation. I am very happy with its performance.


It is very accurate as well, although I am still adjusting to shooting the 1911 vs my SW 686 revolver. I tend to push it a little right.

This is a great gun!

Thanks for the input.

Eric F
July 23, 2008, 06:23 PM
I cant see the pic as work here blocks almost all pictures, funny because some times I can see them in other threads I guess it depends on how you attach them. Any way I feel like you did ok not a great deal for the record books but you did ok. Unless its a tactical model then youve scored a great deal.

July 23, 2008, 06:37 PM

You aren't missing much with the pic. It is really bad, can't even read the rollmark on the slide. It is a GI model 5 inch.

I think the deal was ok. I did see a couple of RIA's new for a little more but I liked the grips and the pawn shop owner is a stand up guy. I have bought other guns from him, so the 280 or so plus taxes was fine with me, especially as he would take the gun back if there was a problem.

As it turns out, the gun is really well broken in. I cycled a couple of the new RIA's and the slides were a little stiff. Per a prior suggestion, I checked out M1911.org, and the customer service sounded great, so I went for the RIA.


July 23, 2008, 07:05 PM
300 used us a fair price, not a GREAT deal..but a fair price...you most likely did better then my recent Hi Power purchase :p

enjoy it.

July 24, 2008, 01:01 AM
I like my Rock...but I love my Kimber!


July 24, 2008, 01:12 AM
Damn, TNT, who chromed your Rock? That thing is gorgeous.

July 24, 2008, 01:48 AM
They don't make a RIA in a "Commander" size, do they?

July 24, 2008, 05:18 AM
Scotticus:They don't make a RIA in a "Commander" size, do they?

Yes, they do.
They make them in full-size, commander, and officer.

July 24, 2008, 02:13 PM
TNT that is one beautiful gun. I would be afraid to even check it out in case I put one of those knucklehead marks on that treasure.

I must say I bought the used Rock for that reason. This will be a working gun for me, into the truck, into the woods, etc. Get some scratches? meh. Yours is simply beautiful.


July 24, 2008, 03:50 PM
I have a Rock GI model that I "converted" into a Tactical clone by putting the parts on it, then had it polished and blued. That puppy came out really nice too, but that chromed one is gorgeous!

July 24, 2008, 04:01 PM
Get the RIA but for a better price. Like:


July 24, 2008, 04:45 PM

Is Sarco able to sell now, I remember reading somewhere that they couldn't sell, maybe it was out of state?

Centerfire also has some decent list prices, I am now looking at a 4 inch "commander" RIA to go with the full size.


July 24, 2008, 05:49 PM
Sarco is in court right now and can not ship anything out of state until their hearing is over. Been waiting to get a pistol from them for awhile. Everytime I call and ask if they are shipping out of state yet, they tell me not yet and to call back in a couple of weeks. The calling has been going on since April. Last phone call was 2 weeks ago and they said to call back around the end of July.

Centerfiresystems would be a good place to order from if they have the gun in stock.

Bellshireguns on GunBroker also has decent prices.

July 24, 2008, 05:58 PM
I'd take the RIA over the Kimber, personally.

In fact, I'd take two of 'em.

July 24, 2008, 06:34 PM
I've got both, and I don't think uou can put them in the same class. Kimber has a lot better quality. RIA is a good gun for the money, but it is not a Kimber, Springfield, or Colt. I'm sure that you willl get a lot of Kimber haters on the internet, but, if you have the chance, shoot both. You will see the difference. I know that I have just invited the flames of hell, but, whatever.:neener: They are both good guns, but Kimber is a lot better. If anyone doubts me, they can shoot my Kimber and my RIA.

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