Rock Island vs Rock Island Tactical


PDA






JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 01:36 AM
hey guys I've been searching for what the difference is between the Rock Island 9mm and the 9mm Tactical besides 40-60 bucks? I know that the regular is a cast frame, does the tactical have a forged frame? Thanks for any info.

If you enjoyed reading about "Rock Island vs Rock Island Tactical" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rondog
December 23, 2012, 02:08 AM
I didn't know they offered a Standard 9mm, but I'm not surprised, just haven't seen one. I have a 9mm Tactical, and it has the upgraded hammer, trigger, dual safeties, beavertail, and better sights. It's a helluva deal compared to a Standard 1911 model, considering the minor difference in prices. RIA's are a great value.

RIA's and other Armscor-made brands are ALL cast frames, not forged. Don't sweat the cast vs. forged frame "controversy", it's not likely you'll EVER shoot a 1911 enough to wear out or break the cast frame. Generally considered a non-issue except with the ultra-anal/ultra-snobbish.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20handguns/DSC_0038.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20handguns/DSC_0040.jpg

Sam Cade
December 23, 2012, 02:16 AM
I know that the regular is a cast frame, does the tactical have a forged frame?

It is a non issue.

You know those super nice Caspian frames frequently found on custom raceguns?

Cast.


CZ are cast.
BHPs have been cast for decades.

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 02:56 AM
nicer sights
nicer trigger
nicer hammer
bigger grip safety
sights are more easily changed out (dovetail slots)

same frame - and you're unlikely to wear out a modern cast frame. If you do, Armscor will fix it, probably by giving you a nicer new gun tuned up by their excellent 'smith department

Essentially, you'll be getting a gun that you'll be less likely to want to modify, and if you do modify it, it will be easier to do the sights. (I am always amused at the "custom" guns that have a new safety lever, new trigger/hammer, super-duper grips, a silly magwell ... ... and the stock GI sights sitting on top

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 01:06 PM
thanks everyone

Jed Carter
December 23, 2012, 07:20 PM
He who hesitates or vasilates, finds the pistol has been bought by someone else. A choice of neither one may be yours if you waited until now to decide. A quick search of three online sales websights shows both pistols are not available, but it may be at a local gunshop. I have 2 - 9mm 1911s and they are amazing shooters.

bainter1212
December 23, 2012, 07:29 PM
The only reason I'm telling you this is because I can't buy one here in CA (not on our "big boy toy" DOJ list). Sarco has the Tactical 9mm in stock. Have fun.

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 07:43 PM
The only reason I'm telling you this is because I can't buy one here in CA (not on our "big boy toy" DOJ list). Sarco has the Tactical 9mm in stock. Have fun.
thanks for the heads up, they have good prices. What is sacros shipping prices like?

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 08:09 PM
Heres another question. Is the differences in the standard vs the tactical worth the extra money to a relatively new handgun shooter with little experience with the 1911 platform?

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 08:24 PM
the sights alone are worth the money
not getting hammer bite alone is worth the money (matters on your hands)

matrem
December 23, 2012, 08:44 PM
IME: the not getting hammer bite is the biggest advantage for "relatively new handgun shooter[s]"
The sights alone are also worth the difference.

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 09:02 PM
thanks for the info

viking499
December 23, 2012, 09:13 PM
Sarco is good to deal with. Shipping is very reasonable.

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 09:27 PM
you say that the upgraded sight on the tactical is worth the extra money, and I believe you. But its still not adjustable right? What if the gun doesn't shoot straight, which I've heard in a few threads around the net, happens occasionally with RIA. What do you do then? Fit a adjustable on the gun? I've pretty much made up my mind to get the tactical, I'm just running possible problems now.

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 09:38 PM
it would be MUCH easier to fit an upgraded adjustable rear, and it would work with the larger front (might not with the little bitty GI front)

a drift adjustment would still be possible, a front sight swap to raise/lower POI would be easier

most Armscor guns shoot fine out of the box anyway, and you're unlikely to be needing super-fine adjustment as a newer shooter (don't take that as an insult, I just see a lot of new shooters get all worked up about mechanical accuracy when they have not yet mastered the fundamentals of pistol shooting ... hell, I've done it myself a few times, only once was the problem the gun and not me)

wally
December 23, 2012, 10:42 PM
Is the differences in the standard vs the tactical worth the extra money to a relatively new handgun shooter with little experience with the 1911 platform?

IMHO worth it for the better sights alone, the other stuff is basically just cosmetic, but unless you are in your 20s the GI sights can be pretty hard to use effectively.

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 10:44 PM
it would be MUCH easier to fit an upgraded adjustable rear, and it would work with the larger front (might not with the little bitty GI front)

a drift adjustment would still be possible, a front sight swap to raise/lower POI would be easier

most Armscor guns shoot fine out of the box anyway, and you're unlikely to be needing super-fine adjustment as a newer shooter (don't take that as an insult, I just see a lot of new shooters get all worked up about mechanical accuracy when they have not yet mastered the fundamentals of pistol shooting ... hell, I've done it myself a few times, only once was the problem the gun and not me)
I didn't quite follow Dave, do you mean it would be much easier to fit a upgraded rear sight on the tactical or the standard?

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 10:45 PM
IMHO worth it for the better sights alone, the other stuff is basically just cosmetic, but unless you are in your 20s the GI sights can be pretty hard to use effectively.
I've got about 8 more months of 20's and then no more, lol.

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 10:45 PM
...to the tactical, which uses a dovetail very close to a Novak cut

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 10:47 PM
awesome dave thanks. Things are starting to stack up in favor of the tactical for sure.

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 10:56 PM
Here's the deal, with details, in layman's terms:

Tactical models have front and rear dovetail cuts in the slide, which the sights mount to. Those tactical sights are larger from the factory, and a closer match to more aftermarket sights.

GI models have a smaller dovetail for the rear sight, and the front sight is staked on, essentially the front sight is on a post that goes in a hole in the slide, then the post is deformed to keep the GI front sight in place.

You can change sights on a GI gun, but it will require more work. I have a GI 4" slide mounted to an officer frame, Arnel @ RIA mounted night sights to it using the smaller dovetail and the front stake-on point. With basic tools, I (or you) could swap Tactical sights, if needed. It takes more specialized parts&tools for GI sights. Given a choice, get the easier to upgrade setup, having dovetails milledin your GI slide is expensive ... unless you have a mill at your disposal it will be more expensive than getting the Tac model over the GI model is.

This doesn't mean the GI isn't a good gun, it is just a bit more challenging to shoot well.

bigfatdave
December 23, 2012, 11:04 PM
awesome dave thanks. Things are starting to stack up in favor of the tactical for sure.
didn't see this until I posted the big one above

you're welcome, and I was right where you are not too long ago as far as 1911s go

My first 1911 was an Armscor gun (Citadel) and I bought it because I liked it and wanted something like it. At that point I didn't know an officer size from a government size, and actually bought the Citadel compact (about the same as a RIA CS Tac). That little gun was the start of a lot of reading and research, and was also something of a "gateway gun". The Armscor 1911s keep multiplying, I'm at 4 and will probably order #5 after the holidays.

I will point out that if you want a doublestack 9mm 1911, the TCM pistol is a superb gun in either caliber, and I finished out last fall shooting mine in competition as a 9mm gun. The trade-off is that you end up needing special magazines from Armscor and it is rather wide for carry (oh, and an afterthought, it doesn't take standard grips and the stock plastic grips are sort of minimal)
But you'd get all the upgrades of the Tactical line and a pretty good capacity increase.

Unless you want a re-enactment gun for zoot shoots/wild bunch shoots (or unless you're making a "tribute gun" to match an issued sidearm from family history)... get the Tactical or TCM - it has most of the modern upgrades you'll want in the long run.

JBrady555
December 23, 2012, 11:06 PM
thanks, I would have never thought that the sight cut would be different on the two. I just thought they had different sights with the same mount design.

viking499
December 23, 2012, 11:21 PM
For the price difference, the Tactical is the best buy.

Stringfellow
December 23, 2012, 11:24 PM
I had the Tactical, but sold it to buy a GI Colt.

1) Tactical functioned perfectly, never had a FTF of any kind.
2) It was actually very accurate and comfortable to shoot.

but

3) Its fit and finish were not that great--i.e., it had a lot of rough/sharp spots that really needed dehorning. But unless you are pursuing higher end pistols, that really doesn't matter compared to the important things.

4) My Colt is GI, and although very happy to have it, I missed the upgrades on the Tactical, and ended up having to pay to retrofit them. The biggest thing is the beavertail--if you have big hands, the beavertail tang is NOT a luxury. There is something to be said for having a factory-blended beavertail vs. the gaps that you invariably get with aftermarket drop ins (unless you are willing to pay $$$ for a gunsmith to blend one).

Get the Tactical, shoot it, and be happy!

bigfatdave
December 24, 2012, 02:14 AM
thanks, I would have never thought that the sight cut would be different on the two. I just thought they had different sights with the same mount design. one of the random things I learned along the way

http://www.fusionfirearms.com/catalog/Sight%20SET%2070%20series%20Tritium%20Ramped.jpgGI style

http://www.fusionfirearms.com/catalog/Sight%20White%20dot%20NVK%20FIXED%20Set.jpgNovak cut

Hunterdad
December 24, 2012, 06:09 AM
I have the Match, which is an upgraded tactical with adjustable sights and all hand fit. It was definitely worth the extra $$ for me.

wally
December 24, 2012, 11:39 AM
I have the Match, which is an upgraded tactical with adjustable sights and all hand fit. It was definitely worth the extra $$ for me.

Absolutely, I also have the Match "long slide" extremely good pistol for the price, if you can find one!

bigfatdave
December 24, 2012, 06:46 PM
Absolutely, I also have the Match "long slide" extremely good pistol for the price, if you can find one! I've been looking for one since October - no luck
Might order the 5" version instead.

1911 guy
December 25, 2012, 09:57 PM
For fifty or so dollars, go with the tactical. Unless you are in the market for something retro or minimalist, there's no reason to go with a G.I. model.

RIA guns are rough in the looks department. Not garishly so and obvious blemishes, they just don't look as nice when side by side with higher priced guns.

They don't skimp on performance, though. I have owned two and still have one. Shot a few owned by other people. They are up in the rarified air of reliable out of the box pistols. Slap in a magazine of hardball and go to town. The one I had but sold was finicky about HP, but fed fine with all manner and manufacture of roundnose, be it lead or FMJ.

I'm a fan of them, but am also not going to B.S. you about the fit and finish. It's by no means terrible, but don't expect it to match what you find on guns costing twice as much. All that becomes moot when you put a few years of holster wear on it, though. I can show you pic of a $400 Charles Daly (Made by Armscorp, same as RIA) and a custom gun costing nearly $2,000 with base gun, parts and smith labor. After nearly a decade of carrying, they look remarkably similar.

wally
December 25, 2012, 10:11 PM
they just don't look as nice when side by side with higher priced guns.

Yes but, after ~16000 rounds my oldest RIA has a look money can't buy, its a very beuatiful pistol to me! :)

The sights are on the slide, so the only fit and finish that really matters is the barrel to slide consistency of lockup.

Side to frame fit is mostly a red herring with only a second order effect via the link and slide lock lever cross pin -- using it as a figure of "quality" is why the 1911 has lost its reputation for reliability. A well functioning 1911 is supposed to have a bit of rattle if you shake it side to side.

Coldfinger
February 28, 2013, 11:03 PM
Im sorry to intrude, I have recently purchased a Rock in 9mm. I already have a higher end 1911 that ran me a K. I wanted the rock because I want to tinker with it not a pistol that could be a mortgage payment. By tinker I mean make it look good, look unique, make it mine. I dont mean become a garage smith. So I pose the question what are some things one would drop in besides grips to change the appearance? Ideas?

Fishslayer
March 1, 2013, 04:02 PM
Heres another question. Is the differences in the standard vs the tactical worth the extra money to a relatively new handgun shooter with little experience with the 1911 platform?

Absolutely. Especially for a new shooter who just wants an out of the box shooter. The Tactical has all the good upgrades you'll probably want and no way would you be able to have them done for $60.

bds
March 1, 2013, 04:20 PM
I can't buy one here in CA (not on our "big boy toy" DOJ list)
Not true. RIA 1911s are listed under Armscor Precision and definitely for sale in CA - http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/safeguns_resp.asp

These models are currently approved:

Rock Island 1911 A-1 CS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 3.5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-1 GI MS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 4" .45 ACP
M1911-A1 (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
M1911-A1 Tactical / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
RIA M1911-A1 FS Match (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
RIA M1911-A1 Target (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-1 G.I. (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-2 GI FS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
RIA 1911 (Nickel) / Steel Pistol 5.16" .38 Super
RIA 1911 (Parkerized) / Steel Pistol 5.16" .38 Super

As to OP, definitely recommend the Tactical over the GI model. Our LGS carries them and last year, I got to handle/shoot several brand new Tactical models and they shot very well. A friend bought a Tactical model and after 5000+ rounds, no breakage of parts and maintaining very good accuracy.

they just don't look as nice when side by side with higher priced guns.
With the money you save over other higher priced 1911s, you can always have your RIA coated (Cerakote/DuraCoat) :D - http://www.acoating.com/index.php/products/pricing

Fishslayer
March 1, 2013, 04:23 PM
But no 9mm. Personally, I would go for the .38 Super but that's just me.

As I understand it it's not a big thing to convert the .38 Super to 9mm. Just takes $$$. ;)

Not true. RIA 1911s are listed under Armscor Precision and definitely for sale in CA - http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/safeguns_resp.asp

These models are currently approved:

Rock Island 1911 A-1 CS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 3.5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-1 GI MS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 4" .45 ACP
RIA M1911-A1 FS Match (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
RIA M1911-A1 Target (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-1 G.I. (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
Rock Island 1911 A-2 GI FS (Blue) / Steel Pistol 5" .45 ACP
RIA 1911 (Nickel) / Steel Pistol 5.16" .38 Super
RIA 1911 (Parkerized) / Steel Pistol 5.16" .38 Super

bds
March 1, 2013, 04:40 PM
OK - I didn't read page 1. :D
Rock Island 9mm

Well, you could still buy the 9mm RIA models through the SSE process if you are in CA (OP is in FL) - http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=383692

Buck13
March 2, 2013, 03:23 PM
But its still not adjustable right? What if the gun doesn't shoot straight, which I've heard in a few threads around the net, happens occasionally with RIA. What do you do then?

If it doesn't "shoot straight," the FIRST thing you should do is get a couple of other, more experienced, pistoleros to shoot it. If everyone is consistently off to one side, then you can work on the sights.

If everyone else is grouping on center, you need to work on you, not the pistol. Don't adjust the sights to compensate for your errors of technique!

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