Springfield GI 1911 or Rock Island Tactical


January 15, 2011, 10:17 PM
I am looking to buy my first 1911. I have a max budget of $500-550. I know this isn't much to spend on a 1911 but I am not going to wait and save up. I have been really looking at a Rock Island compact tactical but I was thinking of getting a Springfield GI Champion.

I know the Springfield has less features but I am looking at reliability and quality. I don't want a gun that is finicky with ammo and mags. I do not plan on doing many upgrades other than grips.

I decided to get a "officer" or a "commander" size 1911 vs the full size govt

If you enjoyed reading about "Springfield GI 1911 or Rock Island Tactical" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 15, 2011, 11:01 PM
Either model in the 5" government model is the most comfortable & accurate to shoot. However, it is also the most difficult to carry in anything except an out-of-the-pants holster or an inside of the pants such as a milt sparks summer special.

The commander size is a full-size frame, but with a slide about 4-4 1/2' . The officer model has a shortened slide & frame. It is the easiest to carry & conceal, but it is also the most difficult of the 3 sizes to master.

Conclusion: The commander size is the "goldie-locks" model to choose---it is just right !!!! Not too big & not too small.

Considering your $$$$$ budget, get the "rock island armory" version of the colt commander model & be sure the frame is steel & not aluminum alloy, as it wears out sooner with sustained shooting.

30 years exp with this genre of pistol & no charge for the consultation---what a deal dude !!!!!!!!

January 15, 2011, 11:04 PM
Thanks Guru 1911. I don't think rock island makes a Commander Tactical model, only a GI. They do make a compact 3.5" tactical though. I would save maybe $30 if I bought the Commander GI but will not have all the other features of their tactical model

January 15, 2011, 11:20 PM
RIA does NOT make a 4" Tactical. That was one of the reasons that I went with the American Classic Commander. I paid $425 OTD, My father found one for $440 OTD. Great guns, 4.25", Bushing Barrel, beautifully blued.

I own 3 RIAs, by the way. I love them, but was not willing to settle on the 4" with a bushingless barrel and in a GI only configuration.

January 16, 2011, 08:03 AM

If I went with RIA I would go with tactical compact since they do not make a 4" tactical.

Also forgive my ingnorance but what is a Bushing Barrel? Why is that better? Does RIA tacticals have a bushing?

January 16, 2011, 05:05 PM

I have the Compact Tactical and it's great. It has a Bull Barrel, no bushing. There is a cone on the end of the barrel. As far as I know, there are no 1911s less than 4.25" that have a bushing. RIA used to do it, but started using the Bull Barrel due to the high number of bushings breaking. When I was looking for my commander, I called Armscor and asked this question directly and that was the answer given.

For me, a barrel with a bushing was more desirable in a commander-sized pistol so that if I had to, I could get an after-market bushing to tighten up the slide-to-barrel fit.

The only RIA Tacticals that have the bushing are the 5" models. all if their 5" and most 6" models have a bushing.

January 16, 2011, 09:05 PM
woops, i voted for the RIA before seeing that you had ultra compact following the GI. i vote for the ultra compact but if you cant go to that price range then stick with the RIA tactical.

January 17, 2011, 07:16 AM
I'd not do the shortened barrel but of the choices would take the Springfield for the warranty.

If you enjoyed reading about "Springfield GI 1911 or Rock Island Tactical" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!