Rock Island Armory


September 15, 2012, 03:08 PM
Just looking for opinions on the Rock Island Armory 1911's. They seem to be well made for the price they ask, but how about performance and reliability? I'm looking at a used RIA 1911 double stack 45ACP at a local shop-he's asking $500 OTD. I've seen other RIA 1911's for less, but this being a double stack-thought I'd ask B4 I go any further.

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September 15, 2012, 03:16 PM
Great guns for the money. Excellent customer service.

Check with Centerfiresystems or Sarco for prices and availability.

September 15, 2012, 03:43 PM
Really good guns for the money. Not the slickest or the prettiest, but they shoot. I hear that customer service is excellent too, although I've never had a single reason to call them.

September 15, 2012, 04:06 PM
great guns for the money - make sure you know what magazines you'll need to feed it, once you leave the singlestack .45acp world things get less standardized

searching this site via google will reveal a great deal of threads with your exact question ... I suspect that people are surprised to find something decent for less than what the big names charge (mostly they're charging for the rollmark)

September 15, 2012, 04:28 PM
I've been carrying an Armscor/RIA 1911 CS (compact) for 2 years. I've added Novak Trijicon night sights and better grips. The gun has fire about 3000 rounds to date of JHP, FMJ, Lead WC and JHP +P ammo without a single problem. It has been a real winner and their CS is the best I've ever had period.

September 15, 2012, 04:46 PM
I vote for the rock ! Own 3 a gi 2 fs tacs all are edc worthy

Derek Zeanah
September 15, 2012, 04:50 PM
I bought one and took it to gunsite where I ran it for ~ 1200 rounds with no malfuctions that weren't my fault...

September 16, 2012, 08:43 AM
I have the Match in .45 and it has been 100% reliable. It even cycles handloads that my Regent 1911 and Sig P250 wouldn't cycle.

September 16, 2012, 12:32 PM
My officer size had to be sent back because it was flawed at the factory. 8(

My return officer slide has ran perfecly since then. 8)

September 16, 2012, 01:40 PM
Nushif - lemons make it out, and RIA/Armscor is really good about fixing those lemons.
I also can't remember an account of a gun that needed replacement that didn't reveal itself in what I would call "initial break-in" or "reliability testing" ... other than Armscor replacing a few guns that were simply worn-out.
And I can't determine if Armscor has a higher percentage of lemons, because I don't have the sales numbers OR return numbers, I just see the occasional complaint over on the FB page Martin maintains rapidly corrected.

If you don't mind me asking, what was borked in your CS, and how did it reveal itself?

For what it is worth, my Citadel CS (Armscor made with a Citadel rollmark) is reliable with almost all ammo and any decent magazine, while the "almost a CCO" I had built on a RIA CS frame is reliable and a bit more pleasant to shoot.

September 16, 2012, 01:56 PM
Well, for casual shooting it was just fine. Then I took it to a 250 round course and in the four hours it took it jammed a lot and there was a significant amount of galling where the slide stop meets the slide on lockback.
I called RIA and they said to send it in, on their dime. Two weeks later I got a call and they said it had left the factory "out of specc" and they sent me a new one. On their dime. These days that frame has an American Classic 4.25 inch slide or an Advantage Arms kit on top and serves as my only gun I really shoot. 8)

September 16, 2012, 07:43 PM
I have two RIA 1911's a .45 tactical and a mid length 9mm. Aside from a broken slide stop the .45 has been near flawless for six years. I bought the 9mm recently, second owner. It had extraction problems. RIA fixed it. All shipping was paid by them and communication with the gunsmiths and shipping dept. was A+. I'm a believer.

September 16, 2012, 09:05 PM
Every Rock I've owned has been nothing but a perfectly functioning shooter. They aren't as pretty as a Colt but IMO more accurate out of the box.

September 16, 2012, 10:12 PM
love my 2011 tactical. i consistently shoot better with my RIA than my two friends with kimbers that cost twice the price.

September 16, 2012, 10:16 PM
I have 3 RIAs. Two were flawless, the other had an issue. RIA fixed it for free and paid shipping both ways. Great company to deal with...

September 16, 2012, 10:21 PM
i have a GI RIA 1911 it about 7 years ago for $340 OTD.....its been exceptional even with hollow points. many high end 1911s fail to work prperly out of the box....this is the not the case generally with stock RIA full sized guns.

September 17, 2012, 11:20 AM
I have a 9mm FS and its great.

September 17, 2012, 11:28 AM
$500??? No no no. Check centerfiresystems. $449 new. Rock island makes an excellent 1911. More reliable than any kimber ive ever had.

September 17, 2012, 12:11 PM
Lol, these replies all remind me of that car commercial...

"is your car reliable?"

"Hell yes its reliable, its got an excellent warranty, 10 years!!!"

" are saying that the warranty is reliable...not the car"

I count 4 or 5 out of 20 or so replies that have had reliability issues. Thats a 20% failure rate!!!!! The fact that RIA has been excellent at fixing them says nothing about the fact that unreliable guns are slipping through QC.
I've had a RIA. It was far from the most reliable 1911 I've had, although not annoyingly or drastically so, just unimpressively so. It also shot about 2' low at 20 yards.
There are plenty of other options out there if you look, and I'd really read between the lines....When people tell you their pistol is awesome because the factory fixed everything wrong with it, no questions asked and no charge, I question the factory's ability to consistently manufacture a design the first time that is 100+ years old and WELL UNDERSTOOD.
The bottom line: With RIA, you do get what you pay for. It was great for me because it was cheap to buy, and I was able to see whether I liked 1911's without dropping $1k+. Many other manufacturers could do well by studying RIA's CS.

September 17, 2012, 12:33 PM
The RIA double stacks take Para Ordinance mags which bring with them all the Para mag reliability issues.

I've had best results with the Mec-Gar Para mags although you lose one round capacity.

My Para mags have all needed fresh Wolf custom fit extra power springs to be reliable (both pre and post ban) and must be cleaned a lot more than normal mags in both my Para P14 and RIA double stacks.

I've got four RIA 1911s over 12000 rounds .45 single and double stack and 9mm single and double stack, so I'd say they are very much worth the price!

September 17, 2012, 03:23 PM
The only thing I don't like about them is their slide rollmarking. I am really jonesing for a Compact Tactical 9mm.

September 17, 2012, 04:01 PM
I wouldn't carry it, but I think at that price range, it's a nice range gun if you want a 1911. I'd also consider an STI Spartan for a bit more money.

September 18, 2012, 10:06 AM
I wouldn't carry it, but I think at that price range, it's a nice range gun if you want a 1911. I'd also consider an STI Spartan for a bit more money.
FYI The STI Spartan is the same gun as the RIA's and Citadel's.... the only differences between them are purely cosmetic. There isn't a thing wrong with carrying any of them. They all work just as well and in most cases are more reliable than a Kimber Carry or a Colt Officer etc. etc... All 1911's have more reliability issues than say a Glock or Springfield XDM so if reliabilty is the 100% overwhelming factor in deciding on a carry piece your are far better off with a Glock than any 1911 period. But if you are more interested in a gun in .45acp that is accurate with great shootibility that is easy to conceal and is reliable 99% of the time a 1911 may be for you and an RIA CS would be a fine choice.

September 18, 2012, 11:10 AM
It's not that I was saying anything bad about the RIA guns. I've thought about picking one up myself actually. It's just more that I wouldn't recommend carrying a 1911 in that price range at all.

September 18, 2012, 03:38 PM
My GI had some teething issues that went away when I started using decent magazines and stopped using gun show reloads. It is my primary carry piece.

September 18, 2012, 04:49 PM
FYI, The STI Spartan is the same gun as the RIA's and Citadel's...

No, Armscor makes them to STI specs, using STI internals, then STI QC's them when they arrive stateside. I also believe them to be different materials used for the frame, or slide, but I could be wrong.

I've had the pleasure to shoot a couple Armscor products. A 5" tactical, and a Citadel CS. While no bullseye guns by any stretch of the imagination, they're were fairly accurate, and super reliable. The Tactical hadn't been cleaned in almost 1500 rounds, and the CS hadn't been cleaned in 600 rounds, and neither hiccupped.

September 18, 2012, 08:31 PM
I have a RIA Tactical which has run great out of the box, now looking to get another one or two.

1911 guy
September 20, 2012, 01:52 AM
I've got one with well over 10,000 rounds through it. Swap recoil springs every 2,000 rounds and it runs like a swiss watch. It has far exceeded what I expected when I bought it. I'd buy another if I needed an inexpensive 1911 for range or CCW. To be fair, you can't compare the work that goes into a higher end gun with these, but they are, in my opinion, an exceptional value for the money.

To make an absurd comparison, I also have a custom built 1911 that ran me in excess of $2,000. You can tell the difference in the two at a glance. Finish, fit, crispness of internals, proper polishing, etc. Everything about the Springfield is better. But, that "Philipino beer can" has tossed a lot of lead and the accuracy isn't anything to sneeze at.

September 20, 2012, 08:11 AM
The Rock Island is what it is and well serve most users fine as long as they use it as a budget priced 1911.

You get what you pay for. Some of the issues are the exterior suface of the frame is uneven (it is cast). It not noticable with dull blue/black finish but shows up if the frame is refinished with silver colored finish. Other problems are slightly out of spec holes such as for the grip bushings which makes grip fitting a problem. Consider that custom gunsmiths use the Springfield Armory as their base gun not the Rock Island.

I consider trying to customize a R.I. like to putting plaid pants on a pig. After you are done all you have is a mad pig only now it is wearing plaid pants! Follow Guru Coopers advice with good trigger, good sights and good feeding of ammo and I think you have a winner.

As I am interested in a 9mm 1911 I have been considering a R.I. based on cost as I am unwilling to pay over $1,000 for one. (But I will not be putting any plaid pants on it).

September 21, 2012, 01:01 AM
Good gun. Is it as tight or finely finished as a higher end gun? No. Do they run reliably? Sure do.

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