PT1911 vs. Para GI Expert vs. RIA


October 6, 2009, 11:12 PM
What would you pick and why? Pros and cons are welcome.

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October 6, 2009, 11:19 PM
I can't speak for the others, but I own a PT1911 as a daily carry piece. The gun comes with a lot of features; I wouldn't buy into the claim that it's the equivalent of a $2600 custom gun as Taurus might have you believe, but it's certainly a good deal.

The gun feels very solid and the trigger is crisp. It has easily digested about a dozen different types of ammo I have tried through it, and I haven't had one FTF, FTE, etc. yet. The ambi-safety is nice, as is the beaver tail grip safety. From what I understand, the components are rated for .45 super out of the box, but I can't say I have verified this definitively. My only complaint is the cheap factory grips, but if you buy a 1911, you need to have grips that suit your personality, anyways.:neener:

It's a good gun and I highly recommend it.

October 7, 2009, 12:19 AM
+1 for the Taurus PT1911. I had one and it functioned flawlessly. This was a few years ago, so I don't recall why I traded it in for whatever I got instead.
After several years of Glocks for duty I've returned to the fold. recently purchased a Rock Island Armory M1911A1 parkerized. It functions equally flawlessly and shoots tighter groups than the Taurus, but not by much.
The RIA is a fine weapon and I recommend it highly, plus they have very good customer service (as I've read).

I might add that in today's market the Rock Island is cheaper by about a hundred bucks.

October 7, 2009, 12:50 PM
I have a PT1911 and I really enjoy it. It will shoot the ten ring out of a target at 10-15 yards if I do my part and it has never failed in any way. I originally was going to buy a RIA but after my order was on hold for 3 months I canceled it and got the Taurus locally. I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. My only problem with the Taurus is the straight 8 Hienie sights. I would prefer regular 3 dot.

October 7, 2009, 01:14 PM
I have a PT1911 that is the 1911 I carry. I have had it for about 3 years, several thousand rounds of all kinds of ammo, and zero problems. That obviously is my first choice of those you mentioned.

I am looking at a GI Expert. Not to replace anything but to augment my accummulation.

October 7, 2009, 05:05 PM
A fine gun at a good price. I recently upgraded to a Springfield, but plan to keep shooting both of them.

Taurus gets trashed a lot here. It shouldn't, in my opinion.

October 7, 2009, 08:05 PM
Well I guess I'll be the first vote for the RIA, absolutely love mine. If I had to do it over again, I would buy the Tactical model first instead of fitting all of the pieces myself.

October 7, 2009, 09:13 PM
PT1911 here also.
Mine required a new Wilson 47D mag and cleaning up the extractor with a file and readjusting it.It has about 850 rounds threw it and id say its held up well.
Had i caught the extractor adjustment being off in time,it wouldn't have needed the file work.
I carry my PT1911 IWB daily as my ccw,its definitely not the best choice due to its weight and size.But its reliable and works so i don't mind those things.

October 7, 2009, 09:16 PM
I will throw another vote for the RIA. Great gun for less money.

October 7, 2009, 09:23 PM
I will throw another vote for the RIA. Great gun for less money. I know id like to own one of the compact RIA's those look great for ccw work.

October 7, 2009, 10:53 PM
RIA best bang for the buck, especially their "Tactical" model.

About 15,000 rounds through my oldest.


October 7, 2009, 11:26 PM
Wally, I'm impressed. I don't think I've ever put 15K rounds through any gun I've owned, but you're my role model. I'm going to try harder. Especially with my RIA as it's the most accurate gun I own (and the most fun to shoot as well).

Recently picked up a Ruger LCP. My worst nightmare would be shooting 15K rounds with it!

October 7, 2009, 11:38 PM
I'll vote for the RIA tactical as well. Mine has about 10,000 through it (I'm guessing). Heck, for a $1000, you could get two!

October 8, 2009, 04:56 AM
I don't own the Taurus or the Para, but I do own a Rock Island Tactical.

My RIA Tactical has 2,500 rounds through it. I purchased it through Sarco for $385 (plus 15 shipping) in December.

It is my favorite gun and it is ridiculously accurate. At 20' I can put an entire magazine into a .75" hole. At 50' 1.5-1.75" groups. At 75 feet the accuracy trails off a lot for me to about 5", but that is on me and not the gun. If I were willing to invest the time and money into some optics, I think that it would do significantly better at distance. It is not a bullseye gun, but it can impress with the right ammunition.

I do have some reliability concerns with it. I have to detail strip the slide every 150 rounds or so and scrub the heck out of the extractor. I only shoot lead reloads (which are fairly dirty). After 150 rounds of crud builds up I start to get 3 point jams. I think my extractor needs a little polishing, but frankly, I am afraid to take the dremel to it. As long as I keep the gun clean it is perfectly reliable. It just seems like without fail I get failures after 3 boxes of reloads. I don't think the magazines that ship with the gun are very good (but I know Taurus ships the same magazine, as does Smith and Wesson).

The Taurus and the RIA both have lifetime warranties. You should check out and read the specific sections for Armscor (which makes Rock Island), Taurus, and Para. The general feeling is that Arnel at RIA will take fantastic care of you if you have problems. But when I read the Taurus board they mostly dump on the customer service.

The Para is kind of an X factor because the model is so new. I haven't been able to find one in a store yet. The Taurus is the prettiest (at least in some models). But the RIA has a real nice quiet dignity about it.

October 8, 2009, 05:20 AM
Another Vote for the RIA tactical. I absolutely love mine. got it for $415 from Bellshire guns on gunbroker. great person to deal with. Great deal.

October 8, 2009, 08:23 AM
I have owned all three. For range use, I would buy the Taurus. For carry use, I would buy the RIA/Citadel Tactical.

The Taurus was the most nicely finished, but I never trusted it simply because of all of the breakage/QA issues they have had. The frame was pretty in-spec, from what I could tell, but the integral lock and the variability in the quality of the internal bits was a turn-off. For non-critical use, where a part breaking wouldn't make my day go too badly, the fit and finish of the Taurus makes it appealing.

Ditto with the Para. The Para had an impressive slide-to-frame fit, but some dimensions were non-spec and in general I could not shake the concerns that it was going to suffer some odd parts breakage (as Paras have been known to do). If you wanted a more basic range toy, the Para would be a fine choice. I still have my GI ExSpurt, but I've preemptively replaced a lot of bits in it.

The RIA Tactical seems to be doing well for me, and it would be my choice for a carry gun. The finish is the poorest of the three, but mine have been surprisingly accurate and reliable. My range-beater Tactical has been shot a fair bit now over the last year, and it is the 1911 that I usually shoot best. I did replace a few bits out-of-the-block on the RIA, specifically to remove the ambi thumb safety (I don't like ambi safeties on a carry gun) and tailor it's fit to my taste (long trigger, arched mainspring housing).

All three come with crap magazines that should be sold and replaced with proper Colt 7rd tapered lip magazines.

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