Entry level 1911 Which one?


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stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 02:01 PM
There are two I see of interest. One is the Rock Island Armory .45 ACP 1911 Tactical which has dovetail sight, spur hammer and trigger with holes in it for $550

The other is Para-USA 1911 A-1 GI for $599.

Which gun has a better track record for reliability from jamming and better customer service if you need it?:confused:

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HOOfan_1
October 12, 2012, 02:05 PM
Aren't those Rock Islands Armscor?

I've heard some good things about the Armscor guns. I've not heard much good about the Paras...but that is internet chatter, and I know for a fact that Internet chatter is only worth the effort put into typing it.

roccoracer
October 12, 2012, 02:06 PM
Have you considered the Remington R1? I have one and I would highly recommend it.


Thank you for looking
Scott

Derek Zeanah
October 12, 2012, 02:13 PM
I had pretty good luck with the Rock Island 1911A1-FS (http://www.shootingreviews.com/rock-island-armory-1911a1/) which might be the one you're talking about. No experience with the Para competition though.

bds
October 12, 2012, 02:17 PM
Last year when I bought my Sig 1911 TacPac, a friend bought a RIA Tactical (like this one (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411539799)) which I suggested after I shot several models that produced very accurate shot groups. To be honest, the RIA produced shot groups at 7-15 yards were on par with my Sig.

Both pistols have reliably fed/chambered various factory FMJ/JHP ammunition to 185-230 gr FMJ/JHP, plated and lead SWC reloads. Friend's RIA Tactical has looser tapered chamber with fairly generous mouth so feeding/chambering even when dirty has not been an issue. We have been running Chip McCormick 8 round PowerMags through both pistols.

After several thousand rounds, RIA is still producing comparable shot groups with the Sig but I have noticed the 15 yard shot groups are a bit larger than the Sig now.

I would gladly suggest the RIA Tactical for an entry level 1911 for accuracy. If you want to spend a little more, there's STI Spartan.


Here are sample targets shot at 7 and 15 yards off my range bag from my initial range testing of tumble lubed SWC bullets (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=145690) (although these were shot with my Sig, RIA produced comparable shot groups):

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=173051&stc=1&d=1349626865

bikerdoc
October 12, 2012, 02:22 PM
One of my 1911's is an ATI Military, full size 1911. I am impressed with this weapon and at around 425 it is a good value. Made by Sporting Arms in the Phillipenes, I am impressed with the function, and accuracy.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 02:56 PM
Aren't those Rock Islands Armscor?

I've heard some good things about the Armscor guns. I've not heard much good about the Paras...but that is internet chatter, and I know for a fact that Internet chatter is only worth the effort put into typing it.
Yes it is made by Armscor Rock Island Armory Made in Phillipines.

cyclopsshooter
October 12, 2012, 02:58 PM
an R1 isn't any better than a Rock Island, save your money and get the Rock

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 02:59 PM
Last year when I bought my Sig 1911 TacPac, a friend bought a RIA Tactical (just like this one (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411539799)) which I suggested after I shot several models that produced very accurate shot groups. To be honest, the RIA produced shot groups at 7-15 yards were on par with my Sig.

Both pistols have reliably fed/chambered various factory FMJ/JHP ammunition to 185-230 gr FMJ/JHP, plated and lead SWC reloads. Friend's RIA Tactical has looser tapered chamber with fairly generous mouth so feeding/chambering even when dirty has not been an issue. We have been running Chip McCormick 8 round PowerMags through both pistols.

After several thousand rounds, RIA is still producing comparable shot groups with the Sig but I have noticed the 15 yard shot groups are a bit larger than the Sig now.

I would gladly suggest the RIA Tactical for an entry level 1911 for accuracy. If you want to spend a little more, there's STI Spartan.


Here are sample targets shot at 7 and 15 yards off my range bag from my initial range testing of tumble lubed SWC bullets (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=145690) (although these were shot with my Sig, RIA produced comparable shot groups):

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=173051&stc=1&d=1349626865
I had an interest on the 1911 Sig but it's too expensive and it doesn't feel good in my hand like the Para-USA 1911 A-1 or the RIA Tactical.
If I did buy a Sig it would be the P-220 but still too expensive. I have been hearing that the RIA 1911 .45 has been performing just as good as guns costing twice its price. Right up there with Kimber.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:03 PM
I had pretty good luck with the Rock Island 1911A1-FS (http://www.shootingreviews.com/rock-island-armory-1911a1/) which might be the one you're talking about. No experience with the Para competition though.
Yes that is the exact model of the RIA I am referring to. It's one notch above the entry level RIA for $499.
The Para 1911 $599 actually is more similiar with the base standard RIA GI 1911 that has plain fixed sights, no holes in trigger, or spur hammer, no double sided safety that's on the RIA Tactical.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:06 PM
Aren't those Rock Islands Armscor?

I've heard some good things about the Armscor guns. I've not heard much good about the Paras...but that is internet chatter, and I know for a fact that Internet chatter is only worth the effort put into typing it.
I have also heard that Para-USA formerly Para-Ordinance has very poor customer service
and they own Kahr now.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:07 PM
Have you considered the Remington R1? I have one and I would highly recommend it.


Thank you for looking
Scott
Never heard of this.

Keaner
October 12, 2012, 03:14 PM
I have the entry level Rock Island Government, and other than having a worse trigger than higher end ones (a little bit of a polish could be in order!) it has been awesome.

I will say that I had a pretty serious issue with my Rock Island, but the factory fixed it extremely quickly. I wouldn't hesitate to work with them again.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:16 PM
Another thing I find puzzling about this 1911 is why does it have a following? Is it because it fits the hands so well? I know it's single action and preferred carry is cocked and locked so each trigger pull will feel the same which is suppose to be a plus:confused:
But like with a revolver or a Glock all you have to do is pick it up and fire. It's ready to go with no safeties to worry about or get in the way. The first shot will require more trigger pull than the 1911 on the first shot but is that so crucial in personal protection situations? It might be in competition.
There is no safety to fumble with on Glock or revolvers. Is that why I hear that one needs more training with a 1911 because of that thumb safety to enable safer carry in cocked in locked mode?
Then I also hear that if you don't have a 1911 in your collection you need to have at least one. So what is the mystic about the 1911? To me it fits my hand like a glove.:D

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:17 PM
I have the entry level Rock Island Government, and other than having a worse trigger than higher end ones (a little bit of a polish could be in order!) it has been awesome.

I will say that I had a pretty serious issue with my Rock Island, but the factory fixed it extremely quickly. I wouldn't hesitate to work with them again.
Is it a lifetime warranty?

bds
October 12, 2012, 03:20 PM
If you are looking at the RIA M1911A1 FS Tactical (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411546682/ARMSCOR+PRECISION+M1911A1+FS+45+TACT+5) model with fixed rear sight/wooden grips, how about considering the 2011 FS Tactical (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411550731/ARM+M1911-A1+45ACP+FS+TACT+2011) model that comes with VZ grips, ambi safety, mag well, fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight BUT you are fast approaching STI Spartan price range of $635 (http://www.brazoscustom.com/sti_guns/sti_spartan.htm). But Spartan doesn't come with a rail so if you are looking for a railed 1911, it would be hard to beat the RIA 1911/2011 prices.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/411550731.jpg
Another thing I find puzzling about this 1911 is why does it have a following?
I think it may be due to that for some time, entry level 1911s were rough, had poor triggers and did not shoot well with quality/control issues. When RIA initially sold for $325-$400 few years ago, I handled some and said "no thanks". Then people I shoot with started buying the Tactical model and I got to shoot them. I was surprised with their accuracy. Last year, when I was actively pursuing Dan Wesson PM7 and ended up buying a Sig 1911 TacPac, a friend was in the market for an entry level 1911 and we got to shoot various 1911s (Colts, SAs, Kimbers, Paras, etc.) along with several brand new/out of the box RIA Tactical models some at the range bought. They "ALL" shot consistently very accurate with my lead RN/SWC reloads and I suggested to my friend he buy one (he has not been disappointed and happy with the purchase).

I think the popularity of RIA pistols grew over the years as they were essentially the best shooting 1911 at the entry level price range and customer service has been good as reported on various gun forums.

Now that their retail prices have started to increase, they are facing growing competition from various manufacturers but they seem to have a solid fan base.

9mmepiphany
October 12, 2012, 03:27 PM
I have also heard that Para-USA formerly Para-Ordinance has very poor customer service
and they own Kahr now.
Actually they don't.

Para-USA is a Canadian owned, while Kahr is Domestic.

You might be thinking about Kahr owning AutoOrdanance

mgmorden
October 12, 2012, 03:32 PM
I have also heard that Para-USA formerly Para-Ordinance has very poor customer service
and they own Kahr now.

You've got some facts mixed up there.

Para-USA was the US subsidiary of Para-Ordnance (which is a Canadian company). Para-USA still exists but was sold from Para-Ordnance to the Freedom Group (which own several other companies - including Marlin and Remington).

Para Ordnance still exists as a separate Canadian company. They do not own Kahr. You may be confusing them with Auto-Ordnance, but in that case Kahr owns Auto-Ordnance, not the other way around.

But like with a revolver or a Glock all you have to do is pick it up and fire. It's ready to go with no safeties to worry about or get in the way. The first shot will require more trigger pull than the 1911 on the first shot but is that so crucial in personal protection situations? It might be in competition.

There is no difference on the first pull of a Glock or a revolver and all the subsequent shots. You seem to be thinking of DA/SA hammer-fired guns (where they DO have a heavy first pull and lighter subsequent) but neither revolvers nor Glocks work like that.

silicosys4
October 12, 2012, 03:37 PM
at $550 you are kind of out of the "entry level" 1911 field and into the used colt 1991A1, Sig Sauer, and used Kimber range. I paid $650 for a factory new Sig TacPac railed 1911, and it runs circles around the RIA 1911 I had. I also paid $550 for a used 1991A1 that runs circles around the RIA I had. I would much rather buy a used mid-level 1911, from colt or sig than a new RIA, for the same money.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:37 PM
If you are looking at the RIA M1911A1 FS Tactical model (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411546682/ARMSCOR+PRECISION+M1911A1+FS+45+TACT+5) with fixed rear sight/wooden grips, how about considering the 2011 FS Tactical model (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411550731/ARM+M1911-A1+45ACP+FS+TACT+2011) that comes with VZ grips, ambi safety, mag well, fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/411550731.jpg
No this isn't the model. The Tactical model I was looking at has wooden handles and it's fine just as it is. It's one step up from the standard GI model that has those terrible tiny sights.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:39 PM
at $550 you are kind of out of the "entry level" 1911 field and into the used colt 1991A1, Sig Sauer, and used Kimber range. I paid $650 for a factory new Sig TacPac railed 1911, and it runs circles around the RIA 1911 I had. I also paid $550 for a used 1991A1 that runs circles around the RIA I had. I would much rather buy a used mid-level 1911, from colt or sig than a new RIA, for the same money.

A new Sig 1911 (doesn't feel good in my hands) costs $800 plus. The Sig doesn't have the classic look or lines of the original 1911 style maybe that's why it doesn't feel as good in my hands as the RIA or the Para USA models.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:41 PM
You've got some facts mixed up there.

Para-USA was the US subsidiary of Para-Ordnance (which is a Canadian company). Para-USA still exists but was sold from Para-Ordnance to the Freedom Group (which own several other companies - including Marlin and Remington).

Para Ordnance still exists as a separate Canadian company. They do not own Kahr. You may be confusing them with Auto-Ordnance, but in that case Kahr owns Auto-Ordnance, not the other way around.



There is no difference on the first pull of a Glock or a revolver and all the subsequent shots. You seem to be thinking of DA/SA hammer-fired guns (where they DO have a heavy first pull and lighter subsequent) but neither revolvers nor Glocks work like that.
ok thanks this is what the person at Bass Pro told me.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 03:42 PM
Actually they don't.

Para-USA is a Canadian owned, while Kahr is Domestic.

You might be thinking about Kahr owning AutoOrdanance
Again that's what the sales person at Bass Pro told me. Thanks for the clarifcation.

tarakian
October 12, 2012, 03:45 PM
Para did have some customer service/quality issues. They have been working very hard to eliminate those since about the first of the year. Right now they even tend to go a bit overboard to make things right if there is a problem. Made in the USA and lifetime warranty, I would go with the Para. I recommended that same model to my brother and he is very happy with his.

Keaner
October 12, 2012, 03:46 PM
Is it a lifetime warranty?

As far as I know it is. They don't publish it, but it is more of an 'effectively life time' in that if you send one back, they'll fix it for nothing. They didn't ask me for any proof of purchase or anything.

bds
October 12, 2012, 04:06 PM
No this isn't the model. The Tactical model I was looking at has wooden handles and it's fine just as it is. It's one step up from the standard GI model that has those terrible tiny sights.
OK, then you are looking at the regular non-railed Tactical model (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411539799/Rock+Island+Armory+1911+Tactical+45+ACP+5%22+Parkerized) which my friend bought and we range tested. My friend paid around $475 for his but I think they are $500+ now.

zoom6zoom
October 12, 2012, 04:15 PM
I've got one of the Cimarron 1911's in high polish blue. Very reasonably priced, and the fit and finish rival or exceed any Colt I've owned. Functioned flawlessly right out of the box. It's also one of the Philippine guns.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 04:33 PM
OK, then you are looking at the regular non-railed Tactical model (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_876/products_id/411539799/Rock+Island+Armory+1911+Tactical+45+ACP+5%22+Parkerized) which my friend bought and we range tested. My friend paid around $475 for his but I think they are $500+ now.
Yes that is the RIA gun and model. It even has the RIA label across the whole gun. It is about 499-550 here.

stinger 327
October 12, 2012, 04:35 PM
I've got one of the Cimarron 1911's in high polish blue. Very reasonably priced, and the fit and finish rival or exceed any Colt I've owned. Functioned flawlessly right out of the box. It's also one of the Philippine guns.
I have never heard of Cimaron 1911. Is it identical and comparable to RIA Tactical? Price on it?

USAFret
October 12, 2012, 04:55 PM
Bought a Rock Island Tactical last week and took it to the range yesterday. Dead on accurate right out of the box. Good fit and finish. Has a full length guide rod that makes takedown a bit difficult so a shorter guide rod is the only mod that I'm currently thinking about. All said, I'm very satisfied with the RI.

highpower
October 12, 2012, 05:06 PM
I have two Rock Islands and have never had a problem with either one. I bought the GI version first and liked it so much that I bought the Compact a month later.

tarosean
October 12, 2012, 05:41 PM
*
Another thing I find puzzling about this 1911 is why does it have a following?

Price point.
I thought about one just for ha ha, for half a second since they are so cheap. However, fit and finish were too lacking for me..

jogar80
October 12, 2012, 05:49 PM
Never shot one, but I've handled the Cimmaron high polish blue 1911.... VERY NICE. Looked and felt very well made, and the blueing is the best I've seen in a looooong time! Awesome price too

Spammy_H
October 12, 2012, 05:59 PM
Have you considered a Springfield GI or Mil-Spec? They are in the general price range that you are contemplating. Springfield has top notch CS.

Mr.Revolverguy
October 12, 2012, 06:25 PM
Rock Island has top notch customer service also and the RIA tactical non rail is a very good buy EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. The sights look like they are dovetailed in but they are not the standard size. For some reason Armscor used a slightly different size but here is everything you need to know about it's size.

Having said that I have an RIA tactical now for about 3 years and no problems. Considering I am over the 1000 rounds mark with it, might be time for a review on my web sight.

CountryUgly
October 12, 2012, 06:26 PM
Everyone is going to have an opinion one this one so I might as well too :) . I've said it time and again, RIA is the absolute best bang for your dollar PERIOD! I've owned both guns the OP has mentioned and it's a no contest. The RIA wins hands down. I'll even go as far as to say I'll buy an RIA over any other 1911 under $1k. Para I've had so so luck with. They are "nice" (more attractive so to speak) than an RIA but when it comes to reliabilty and accuracy out of the box RIA wins again. Heck RIA's have performed better for me than the Springer, Colt or Remington Mil-specs. I haven't got a hold of a Ruger yet so I can't comment there though. Buy the RIA or even a Citadel or STI Trojan if you want to spend a dollar or two more and would like a few more features and flare. Off my soap box now.

Mr.Revolverguy
October 12, 2012, 06:45 PM
Good post countryugly. That is the one thing I forgot if you are close to spending what a ruger cost I would surely get the ruger and here is why.

Ruger Range Review With Pictures (http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1612)

Ruger 1911 Shot From a Ransom Rest (http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1660)

CPshooter
October 12, 2012, 08:56 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Springfield Mil-Spec. That's what I would go with in that price range.

*edit*

Nevermind. Looks like someone beat me to it.

peacebutready
October 13, 2012, 05:45 AM
I have the Para. I urge you to do research into both the specific model and the company in general. Para's quality has been down the tubes in recent years, although they appear to be making a bonafide effort to improve.

My 2010 GI Expert has been a lemon, though the factory serviced and improved it, at least. In the past 275 rounds it jammed 4-5 times. 3 times with the new OEM magazines (ironically) on the last round only and 1 or 2 times with flush-fit 8 round Checkmate mags. It has functioned perfectly my extended tube 8 round Checkmate mags.

Captcurt
October 13, 2012, 09:31 AM
American Classic impressed me. I sold several of the Deluxe models and two GI's. Very smooth and all had good triggers. Not crazey about the grips but I can change those. Next step up would be a Springfield.

joshf128
October 13, 2012, 10:15 AM
Another vote for RIA Tactical. I have the one with the rail on it. Cheaper than Dirt just got them back in stock for $507 I think. Great gun. No issues through 2000ish rounds. Very accurate. Capable of 5 shot 1 hole groups at 10yds freehand when I do my part.

tonytor58
October 13, 2012, 11:02 AM
I have a Para Gi expert and I like it. It has functioned flawlessly and is a fun shooter. I got a great deal on it and it was used. Havent had a single failure yet in just over700 rounds. It does have a nice GI look and feel I dont think I would have paid full price for it at $599 it does seem a bit high? For that price i would look for some used better options. Get what u want, and like you will be ok either way its a 1911 and they are an amazing gun to shoot!

rbernie
October 13, 2012, 11:13 AM
I've owned three (3) Para's, and I've been cured of the desire to ever have one again. Their small part quality is frankly appalling, and their adherence to standard 1911 dimensions and tolerances is, um, liberal. I still own one (GI ExSpurt) but it was the only keeper of the bunch, and only with work.

I am reasonably fond of the Armscor offerings, although I have found that they, also, trend towards liberal dimensions. At least in their instance, the guns are solid enough that you won't feel compelled to do much bits-swapping and run into issues as a result. As shipped, their guns just pretty much work and will likely continue to work for a reasonable time. Can't really say that's been my experience with the Para's.

If you want a gun to which you can readily fit 'standard' replacement bits, I have found that you really need to move up-market into at least the Springfield/Kimber/Sig range.

smalls
October 13, 2012, 11:31 AM
The RIA's are pretty hard to beat for the price. If you can afford to spend a few extra bucks I'd check out the STI Spartan. You get a better fit/finish, and what not, But for a "beater" gun, the RIA's can't be beat.

coyotemoon
October 14, 2012, 09:55 PM
Wouldn't trade mine for any other pistol.

doggy1953
October 14, 2012, 11:15 PM
RIA 45 ACP 1911 GI model. Basic but just like the one boys carried in every conflict since 1911.:)

HKGuns
October 14, 2012, 11:58 PM
My RIA GI has been flawless. Highly recommended.

Hondo 60
October 15, 2012, 12:34 AM
Several months ago "American Handgunner" magazine had an article entitled "Beer Budget 1911s"

One of the guns they reviewed was the American Classic from Metro Arms.
It's a Philippine-made 1911.

Anyway, the bottom line was the writer said of the guns he reviewed , he liked the AC the best (he bought it).
I have one as well & got way more gun than I expected.
It runs flawlessly with $5 magazines, doesn't care what ammo I feed it & hasn't given me a lick of trouble.

But I do, VERY STRONGLY recommend replacing the awful grips.
Mine felt like they were sanded by a gorilla, too much in one area & not at all over the rest of the grips.
Got these grips from http://altamontco.com/experimental/products/pistol/1911/#1911_Premier.php

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/ACII.jpg

bannockburn
October 15, 2012, 07:44 AM
I worked on a friends RIA M1911 and I was impressed with the overall quality of fit and finish on an entry level M1911. Also was quite pleased with the reliabilty and accuracy of the gun as well.

Hit_Factor
October 15, 2012, 08:53 AM
Have you considered the Remington R1? I have one and I would highly recommend it.

Having seen and handled several of these I would recommend almost anything else as an entry level 1911. Ruger's 1911 is a bargain at $800 msrp. STI Spartan is another $800 1911 that works well and is tough enough to survive competitions.



Sent by someone using something.

bigfatdave
October 15, 2012, 09:20 AM
My Armscor guns are good quality and affordable.
A RIA tactical (any size) or one of the Citadel offerings would be a good choice.

The Lone Haranguer
October 15, 2012, 09:34 AM
I've owned three (3) Para's, and I've been cured of the desire to ever have one again.
Once was enough for me. ;)

daybreak
October 15, 2012, 08:11 PM
Roommate has a Remington r1 and its been a jam o matic. My rock island was excellent. I trust ARMSCOR.

daybreak
October 15, 2012, 08:13 PM
Oh ands once someone mentioned ruger, I scored a ruger sr1911 for $699 last week. I also recommend one if u can find one.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/10/16/7ezyhubu.jpg

History.Doc
October 15, 2012, 08:39 PM
I've seen and shot quite a few RIAs at the range here. They seem fine. I would be nervous about the Para guns because Freedom Group just bought them out. (http://www.americanrifleman.org/blogs/para-usa-bought-by-freedom-group/)

If what happened to Marlin is any indication, you might want to buy a new one fast, an old one, or wait until they work out the kinks. At any rate if it were my money I'd go with the RIA. Take this internet chatter for what it's worth, of course. I'm just another anonymous guy on an internet forum :)

HKGuns
October 15, 2012, 09:19 PM
Having seen and handled several of these I would recommend almost anything else as an entry level 1911. Ruger's 1911 is a bargain at $800 msrp.

Glad I wasn't the only one thinking the Remington was a bit pricey for entry level. I don't consider Ruger entry level either though.

But I do, VERY STRONGLY recommend replacing the awful grips.

Yes, absolutely.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v25/p257666243-5.jpg

Nice choice in grips BTW:

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v4/p563220214-5.jpg

grock5k
October 15, 2012, 09:53 PM
I picked up my Rock Island 1911 Compact for $380. It's great, it shoots anything I put threw it without a complaint and with around 1500 rounds I haven't had a problem yet.

BHP FAN
October 16, 2012, 04:09 AM
Rock Island [on top]

http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af11/hut-man/45s2.jpg

Jed Carter
October 17, 2012, 05:57 AM
I have owned a Para GI Expert, magazines were problem matic, too much paint on the feed ramp and frame/slide rails. New magazines, polished the ramp and rails and it functioned ok but had a horrible trigger, never warmed up to it, traded it on an old Colt series 70. I don't miss it at all. For under $500 Metro Arms/Bersa American Classic is a great shooter, with a good trigger, nice finish. Of your two choices I would not consider the Para, and not expect too much from the RIA. For just over the price of the Rock, Taurus has a forged frame and slide, real Novak sights and a 3# trigger. http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=59&category=Pistol&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=19

highpower
October 17, 2012, 08:45 AM
delete

gb6491
October 17, 2012, 04:13 PM
I own three of what might be considered entry level 1911s (let's say sub $650 guns). I think they all are worth consideration in regards to what the OP is looking for

My least expensive is a 90's Edition Springer (today's Mil-Spec) that I bought used. It's been a good, solid gun. It did not like to feed the top round from eight round magazines (seven rounders worked fine), but a little feed way work fixed that. The front sight came off at some point, but I staked in a new replacement that continues to soldier on.
http://i45.tinypic.com/29fb2o1.jpg
Next is a RIA Tactical in 9mm. This is also a good, solid gun. It shot a little high for me, but I fixed that myself (I'm sure the RIA folks would have taken care of that; I've dealt with them several times and they are good to go). The ambi thumb safety was a bear to remove so I replaced it with a single side one I had. My biggest complaint with the RIA was that it would sometimes nose dive (actually quite often with 147 gr. bullets). Happily, switching to Metalform 9 MM 9FRS-794 magazines solved this issue. I wholeheartedly recommend this magazine if you get a 9mm 1911.
http://i50.tinypic.com/2i6flds.jpg
Last, but not least is a Remington R1S (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpTYBSZfbbg). It's my favorite of the three. It has fed reliably from the get go (I can't remember a single stoppage with it). BTW, accuracy has been good with all three of these guns. The R1S did shoot a little low for me and I read that Remington will send a shorter sight out, but I just filed mine down some and enlarged the front dot while I was at. Now, it's right on. As a member noted previously about the RIA sights having somewhat odd size dovetails, the same applies to the R1S front sight dovetail. I really like this pistol.
http://oi45.tinypic.com/256r0qg.jpg
Regards,
Greg

daybreak
October 18, 2012, 08:11 AM
Having seen and handled several of these I would recommend almost anything else as an entry level 1911. Ruger's 1911 is a bargain at $800 msrp. STI Spartan is another $800 1911 that works well and is tough enough to survive competitions.



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I agree. Was not impressed by the gun at all. My buddy's was a jam o matic and I am not impressed with the features you get (basically a GI model) for the price.

PabloJ
October 18, 2012, 08:44 AM
There are two I see of interest. One is the Rock Island Armory .45 ACP 1911 Tactical which has dovetail sight, spur hammer and trigger with holes in it for $550

The other is Para-USA 1911 A-1 GI for $599.

Which gun has a better track record for reliability from jamming and better customer service if you need it?:confused:
Some weeks back I looked over something promising at LGS. It was arsenal-refinished Sistema 1927 for reasonable sum of $500. I would take that over anything entry level made recently. I did not buy it only because I have no need for second handgun.

Hit_Factor
October 18, 2012, 09:03 AM
I did not buy it only because I have no need for second handgun.
That kind of thinking will get the rest of us in trouble with our wives. ;)


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scythefwd
October 18, 2012, 11:43 AM
Ive got the one linked to in this thread, not the Tactical, but same thing without the rail. I actually like it MORE than my colt 1991a1 I had. Its solid, gets you a lot of nice features, but the sights require a smith to install. THey are novak type cuts.. angle of the dovetail walls is like 5 degrees off from the novak cuts.. and you can modify novak sights to fit. I also believe they may be shallower cuts. I'm not sure if its a 70 series design, or the original 1911 design, but its definitely not a series 80...

powder
October 18, 2012, 06:46 PM
Neither, go with the STI entry from Dawson Precision...

1madss
October 18, 2012, 07:09 PM
I picked up a RIA Tactical a few weeks ago from Bellshire Guns for <450. I believe the have them on GB for right at 450 with free shipping.

I'm only at ~300 rounds so far, but not a single FTF, FTE or otherwise, even with the dreaded ProMag magazine :) My only complaint would be the sharp edges on the thumb safety.

Zalinth
October 18, 2012, 07:27 PM
I dont know much about handguns, but you might check sti version of a 1911, i think it is called sti spartan. My friend has one and it is very sweet gun. His was 9mm, not sure if they make them in .45 though.

ljnowell
October 18, 2012, 09:25 PM
I have owned a Para GI Expert, magazines were problem matic, too much paint on the feed ramp and frame/slide rails. New magazines, polished the ramp and rails and it functioned ok but had a horrible trigger, never warmed up to it, traded it on an old Colt series 70. I don't miss it at all. For under $500 Metro Arms/Bersa American Classic is a great shooter, with a good trigger, nice finish. Of your two choices I would not consider the Para, and not expect too much from the RIA. For just over the price of the Rock, Taurus has a forged frame and slide, real Novak sights and a 3# trigger. http://www.taurususa.com/product-det...crumbseries=19

No way I would buy a taurus over a RIA. I have owned both and the taurus was junk. Safety fell apart while shooting, grip safety failed, extractor faioled, etc. My uncle bouight one at the same time I did, his experiences were eerily similar. The RIA is much more solid gun.

KTXdm9
October 18, 2012, 10:29 PM
Of your two original choices, I'd go with the Rock. They seem to have consistently good feedback. The Para, not so much.

What is your budget? Are you considering used? I would look at the Spartan, Springfield Range Officer, and the Ruger SR1911 too. I am extremely happy with my Ruger.

gb6491
October 18, 2012, 11:41 PM
I agree. Was not impressed by the gun at all. My buddy's was a jam o matic and I am not impressed with the features you get (basically a GI model) for the price.
We seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to opinions on the Remington 1911 (mine being my R1S has performed without issue, while your's is that your roommate's R1 was a "been a jam o matic."). That's all good and not without precedent as quality can surely vary between individual pistols. For example, Ruger's SR1911 is generally well thought of, but the first one I bought had a slide that looked like it's top had been machined by a drunk using a draw knife; fortunately, the replacement gun was much better. All said, folks should hear the good and the bad.

Now, you may not be impressed with the features of the R1 (and that's also OK by me), but I think Remington's intention was to give it "GI" look by using vertical slide serrations, a GI thumb safety, GI grip safety, and a long spur hammer. You might even call those features because not everyone wants a 1911 as many come today with swooping grip safeties and extended control levers. Different strokes for different folks.
While I like an adjustable over travel trigger on a target gun, it's not something I necessarily want on a field gun.
The R1 does have a lowered and flared ejection port like many 1911's today, but it could be argued whether that is a necessity or not.
I think the R1's sights, being of the three dot, dovetailed in place variety, are an improvement on the old GI guns. I actually think they are better than those on the aforementioned SR1911 as they could be used to manipulate the slide if the need should arise.

Good shooting to you:)
Regards,
Greg

Furncliff
October 18, 2012, 11:54 PM
I have two RIA 1911's. The .45 is about 5-6 years old and runs very well, is accurate and feeds all my reloads without complaint. I replaced the slide stop early on. I put a Pachmayer grip on it because I thought the factory grips were too slick.

I got to know the customer service dept. at Armscor when I bought a used 1911-9mm that would not extract. It took two trips but they got it fixed, they paid all the shipping and communication was excellent.
\
They get 4 stars from me.

harmon rabb
October 19, 2012, 11:46 PM
For budget, can't beat RIA. Very good quality control, and great warranty if you do have an issue. I have a RIA tactical of unknown vintage (horse traded for it) that has never malfunctioned, despite my mistreatment of it.

KF5RMX
December 17, 2012, 01:43 AM
As a Para-USA owner, I thought I would chime in.
Mine is a single stack full size .45acp. With ceramic coat, match barrel, skeleton hammer/trigger, ambi safety and full length guide rod made in Pineville, NC.
I've had some problems. Fail to feed since day one.

I called them and explained that it would 3 point jam if I loaded 8 rnd.
Btw nickel mags were sorry inside.
They shipped me two of the black ones. No hassle.
I worked on the wall and follower of the first ones, so I had 4 mags that still jammed often on full mag.

Called again and they sent me a different more traditional extractor no hassle. Now I don't have to drop the mag on a 3pt jam, so it's better but still jams too often. The new extractor doesn't rip a burr in the case lip like the old one.
Now that I'm casting lee TL452-200-SWC that are too short (last round pops up and locks slide open as an empty mag), I am getting better markings on the case on 3pt that show me where on the throat/integral ramp I need to work on.

Last note, the ummm firing pin retainer plate thingy must have been installed with a sledge hammer. To replace the extractor and clean firing pin assy, I gave up. Took my local gun shop 5 minutes of cursing. I ran it over a sharpening stone until I was able to get it close to position without brute force.


Next one will be Colt.

TennJed
December 17, 2012, 02:28 AM
Have you considered the Remington R1? I have one and I would highly recommend it.


Thank you for looking
Scott
this

peacebutready
December 18, 2012, 03:57 PM
I've owned three (3) Para's, and I've been cured of the desire to ever have one again. Their small part quality is frankly appalling, and their adherence to standard 1911 dimensions and tolerances is, um, liberal. I still own one (GI ExSpurt) but it was the only keeper of the bunch, and only with work.


I have the GI Expert. It has been reliable since it got back from servicing, but only with very good mags. The stock Mec-Gars still cause a jam periodically despite the piece being broken in. If I use the very good mags I mentioned, can I rely on it for HD? Or should I replace certain small parts? If some small parts need replacing, which ones? Mine was manufactured late in 2010, FWIW.

Thanks,
P.

smalls
December 18, 2012, 04:21 PM
Mec Gars are considered good mags.

Okiegunner
December 19, 2012, 01:00 PM
Mec-Gars, are some of the best magazines made.

haslethandgunner
December 19, 2012, 06:26 PM
I own a Taurus PT1911 in SS and it is very accurate and reliable. I thought I was having extractor issues so I sent it back and they replaced the extractor without questions. It has a lifetime repair warranty and after a good clean and lube it runs great and eats anything I feed it. I know Taurus got a bad rap for a while but this pistol is well made and goes bang everytime.

At the time I was fairly new to handguns and decided on Taurus PT to try out the 1911 format. I'm now a convert and will be adding to my 1911 collection very soon.

peacebutready
December 20, 2012, 04:51 PM
Mec-Gars, are some of the best magazines made.


The feed lips on my Mec-Gars are parallel. It appears I need to have tapered feed lips for my GI Expert to run well, with the possible exception of Chip McCormicks. That's despite it being back from the factory for servicing and broken in. I guess that is telling of my GI Experts quality.

Roadking Rider
December 20, 2012, 07:13 PM
I have a basic as you can get RIA Gi 1911. That pistol is pretty remarkable for what you pay for them. The finish is not the greatest on it but that really doesn't bother me in th least, as it's a GI model and any scratches or marks on it just give in character. Since round #1 that pistol has never, and I mean never failed to load, fire,or eject any round I've ever fed it. That includes value pack ammo, Reloads, and HP's. For pure 1911 enjoyment I'll take the Rock everytime. I know it's more accurate then any 1911 I ever shot when I was in the service.
IMO there a great entry level 1911.

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