I've made my decision...


February 12, 2009, 12:00 PM
Well, I've been going back and forth between the taurus pt 92/99 in 9mm, or a rock island armory 1911. I went looking at both models today... again. Looked at the pt-99 with wood grips, nice gun but REALLY big! Especially for a 9mm. Almost unwieldy feeling. Then I picked up the RIA. It's a 1911-a1 (can anyone tell me more about that, I'm a newbie to 1911's) like all the pictures here. Nice gun period. Feels balanced in my hand, smooth, tight fitting action. I'm sold. As soon as I get the money back that I so kindly loaned uncle sam last year, it will be mine. $499 new at Gander mountain, but there's 2 gun shows coming up between this month and next, so I'll look there first. What kind of price should I look for? Somewhere in the $400 range right?

Also, are the parts available for upgrading the 1911's compatible with the RIA 1911-a1? I asked the guy at the counter if the .22 conversion would work in it, said he didn't know. I'm more concerned with trigger parts, barrels, grips, etc.

Thanks for all the help in this ongoing personal debate of mine! I'll post picks when I get it home.

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Thomas Garrett
February 12, 2009, 12:22 PM
Halfed, YES, that's the reason for it being the A-1, All Colt series-70 parts will fit. There are so many "Custom" Parts manufactures out there to mention. Have fun!

February 12, 2009, 12:24 PM
Most 1911's (unless highly customized) are all Mil Spec meaning that they meet a standard and will be interchangeable. You should not have any difficulty in finding spare parts; Midway USA, Numrich Gun Parts Corporation, Brownells, and others.

February 12, 2009, 12:31 PM
Price compare with GunBroker.com, I've been seeing them on there NIB for about $375. Of course there is shipping and FFL transfer fee. Doesn't hurt to do the math and evaluate the costs between local and Internet purchases.

February 12, 2009, 12:38 PM
So all the parts are mine for the tinkering?!? I think I might need a paper towel! :what:

So when I look for parts, they are listed as Government, Commander, etc.; which parts are going to fit the model I'm getting?

Also, which parts are "drop in"? As in I don't need a gunsmith to adjust anything or install anything. And I don't want to sit at my table cursing for 2 hours trying to figure out where everything goes (or do I?).

And last but not least, I'm sure NOBODY has any opinions on where to start with this little project? I like the skeletonized hammer and the triggers with the holes in them, another technical term, I said I was a newbie!

February 12, 2009, 05:35 PM
Government will be the 5" barrel/slide.
Commander will be 4.5-4.25" barrel and slide with the full size grip.
Compact/Officers will be a shorter grip with a 3"-3.5" barrel/slide.
A RIA for $499 should ba a Tactical model.
It has the major upgrades most people do, beavertail grip, bobbed/commander hammer, novak sights, ambidextrous safety.
I would recommend getting a tactical over the base GI model if you plan to upgrade it any at all.


Thomas Garrett
February 13, 2009, 10:41 AM
Halfed, I'd recommend the Tactical 5" also. It has both the skeletonized trigger and the see through hammer "stock", also ambi. safety, novak sights, extended beavertail standard.

Try it you'll like it! Ask Mikey.

February 13, 2009, 11:14 AM
Almost nothing you can buy for a 1911 is truly a drop in part - some fitting is almost always required. You're generally better off buying the gun with the features you want than buying a base gun and doing it yourself - cheaper as well. This is especially true with sights. The base guns use a stake-on front sight and getting a dovetail cut eats up any savings you may have enjoyed.

I ruined the first safety I installed by making one to many file strokes. Ordered another and did it right the next time...

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