Rock Island 1911 - a good choice?


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socalbeachbum
June 27, 2013, 12:14 PM
my local gun shop has Rock Island 1911's for a decent price and they look nice enough. The gunsmith there suggests I buy one then simply drop in a Wilson Combat barrel and bushing, and have a very nice piece.

or KKM barrel. or Bar-Sto.

Are the Rock Islands pretty good quality?

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Goblin
June 27, 2013, 12:18 PM
I've been told on other sites that they are good value for the money....

Babarsac
June 27, 2013, 12:21 PM
Got to try out both the .45 and 9mm flavors. Good price, no hiccups I could see, and it's USGI to boot. I say enjoy as is or customize to your hearts content.

I'd say spend a little more for the tactical model with the better sights then the rest of your $$$ on ammo.

Southside830
June 27, 2013, 12:25 PM
Rock island's are excellent. I've had Colts and Sig 1911's and my Rock Island was more accurate than both of them. The use more MIM parts and there frames are cast but for the price there great. They seem to feed hollow points well.

hardluk1
June 27, 2013, 12:47 PM
Nothing wrong with RIA 1911 that changing to a Wilson barrel and bushing would help. Except cost you more money and increase his profit margin. Might as well buy a 800 dollar pistol at that point. My RIA tactical , no rail, is a reliable accurate low cost 1911 with nothing needed to make better. Also cost 460 bucks at our general store new.

Hacker15E
June 27, 2013, 01:31 PM
Got to try out both the .45 and 9mm flavors. Good price, no hiccups I could see, and it's USGI to boot.

A RIA 1911 is most certainly not "USGI".

Babarsac
June 27, 2013, 02:16 PM
Bad wording on my part. Most aftermarket 1911 parts will play nice with the RIA platform but some fitting my be required in some areas (IIRC sights are funky). As mentioned above it really depends on what you want to do with the pistol. If you want a real tack driver it may be worth it to spend a little more money up front on a different brand. If you're looking for a plinker then I say get the RIA and load up on ammo.

Fiv3r
June 27, 2013, 02:31 PM
I love my RI 1911CS. Basically, it's their Officer's model. Compact, packs a punch, easy to shoot, very accurate, and didn't break the bank. The RIA customer service is absolutely fantastic.

After 300-400 rounds, the slide wouldn't lock back on the final shot. No biggie, really, but I shot an email off to them. They promptly sent at absolutely no cost to me a new slide release and magazine release as well as some bumper stickers (hey, the stickers were a neat touch. Everyone likes free swag).

After I replaced the parts, the slide would lock back on the last shot but the release made it IMPOSSIBLE to release the slide. It was crazy tight. I emailed RIA again. They promptly (within a couple of hours) sent me an email apologizing and gave me a link to print out a next day air shipping label as well as the RMA sheet to send with the gun.

Within 2 days of shipping the gun I had an email back that told me what parts they had replaced as well the UPS tracking number to know when the gun would be back in my possession. About 4 days later it showed up. The list of parts that they had replaced were notated. They also sent me some more complimentary stickers, one of those "coins" with their logo, and a nice RIA pin that's going on my motorcycle jacket. On top of that, they completely tuned and lubed the gun. The action is butter smooth and the feed ramp is polished to a gloss.

How does it shoot? Like a dream:evil: It might be my favorite handgun in my collection.

For the money (even if you have an issue or two like I had), the RIA 1911's are fantastic values.

socalbeachbum
June 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
wow, nice to hear! I think I'll grab one up!

Babarsac
June 27, 2013, 02:57 PM
How much are they running in your neck of the woods?

joecil
June 27, 2013, 02:58 PM
I have the Armscor/RIA 1911 CS model (3.5" barrel). I bought it new for $450 + 6% sales tax over a year ago. Do to not putting it back together properly the first time I chipped the Recoil Spring reverse plug. I called customer service which they promptly sent me a FedEx label to ship it back on their dime. They then connected me with their gunsmith Arnel who asked a couple of questions at which time I told him if I found it dependable it would become my carry gun. I also asked about putting in Novak Trijicon night sights. He ordered me the sights which is all I paid for at the same cost I would of paid from Brownells for them. Got the gun back 6 days from the day I shipped it with the gun tuned to handle every ammo I've ever tried, recoil spring, extractor and firing pin replaced as well as the sights installed, gun sighted perfectly and from sight matching the front of the gun perfectly. I've since put close to 3000 rounds through it with out a single hiccup. Total cost was the price of the sights which I was also informed are now covered under full warranty by Armscor Precision for the life of the gun. Love the gun and soon after sold my Springfield Arms Loaded model as this gun was every bit as accurate as it, and handles everything better including +P loads.

Oh and picture below is with old holster as it is now carried in a Cross Breed Super Tuck.

socalbeachbum
June 27, 2013, 03:10 PM
wow they have gone up! :mad:

just made a call the SoCal price is $689

our chain of stores, Turners would probably have them for 599 and on sale days, 549 probably

Trunk Monkey
June 27, 2013, 03:45 PM
I paid 410.00$ for mine 3 or 4 years ago. RIA customer service is top notch and the only issue I have is that the parkerized finsh is somewhat prone to rust

gunsablazin
June 27, 2013, 03:53 PM
I picked up a RIA GI last week, it came out of the box running like a top, and looks to be a well made pistol. Rock Island has a good reputation for customer service when there is a problem, so I think they are good choice for a bargain 1911. I don't think I would change the barrel and bushing, the ones the pistols come with are fine, my gun shoots to point of aim, and is probably more accurate than I can hold as it is.

tnelson31
June 27, 2013, 03:59 PM
I like mine a lot, it is a 9mm Tactical without a rail.

I wish they made a blued version, or hard chrome. Or even better, stainless.

Moondoggie
June 27, 2013, 04:00 PM
I have a plain jane RIA 1911 that is very accurate and runs like a dream. no complaints at all. I bought mine ftf from a British ex-pat who wanted to part with it. Gave $130 and it had Houge rubber grips. Deal of a lifetime in 2009.

BillBloggins
June 27, 2013, 04:15 PM
Joecil, that is one nice rig you have there. Good choices all the way.

silicosys4
June 27, 2013, 04:23 PM
a RI 1911 GI was my "do I like 1911's?" piece.
It was a decent shooter at $300, but I wouldn't pay any more than that for the GI model and only slightly more for one with better sights and trigger. I had enough issues with mine that I haven't had with my other 1911's that I personally would look elsewhere than RI if I were looking at a 1911 for sub $500. There are a lot of options in sub $500 1911 manufacturers these days that there weren't a short time ago, competition is good.

Mine shot way off POA by feet @ 20 yards, and had frequent FTF's not related to magazines. Others have had great experiences, however.

firesky101
June 27, 2013, 04:53 PM
wow they have gone up! :mad:

just made a call the SoCal price is $689

our chain of stores, Turners would probably have them for 599 and on sale days, 549 probably
If you ever find your self in the templeton area, I stopped by a store there that had a nice 5" with ambi safety and upgraded sights for $499

OcelotZ3
June 28, 2013, 12:43 AM
Wow, I paid $360 (included shipping) about 6 years ago... Things really go up.

rondog
June 28, 2013, 01:13 AM
I have three of 'em. No....wait, four of them! Forgot about the 9mm Tactical. They've been outstanding for me.

792mauser
June 28, 2013, 05:43 AM
I can vouch for em being good reliable pieces. My 5" 38 super, 5" gi .45acp and my 3.5" officer's size have only given me issues when the recoil springs on em have gotten weak.

bannockburn
June 28, 2013, 07:19 AM
The RIA M1911s are still a good value for the money, even though like everything else they have gone up a bit in price over the last few years. Solid, well built guns which can use most aftermarket parts with little or no fitting required. I would wait and see how accurate and reliable the gun is before I would buy a new barrel set-up for it.

Olympus
June 28, 2013, 09:18 AM
As a dealer, I'm seeing RIA's quality start to slip noticeably lately. Out of the last 5 that I've recently bought, 4 had to go back for warranty work.

If you get a good one, they are excellent guns for the money though.

Grunt Medic TXARNG
June 28, 2013, 09:29 AM
I like mine a lot, it is a 9mm Tactical without a rail.

I wish they made a blued version, or hard chrome. Or even better, stainless.
SARCO shows a RIA chrome 1911 in 9mm in their multipage 6/20 Shotgun News ad - http://www.sarcoinc.com/6-20-13.pdf Look on page 7.

SimplyChad
June 28, 2013, 12:15 PM
I love mine. CS model IIRC Eats anything, accurate, and my most used CC.

rondog
June 28, 2013, 05:39 PM
This one customized nicely for me. This wasn't a Tactical model, this started out as a basic GI model.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20handguns/DSCN1365-1.jpg

And this one readily accepted a bunch of WWII Colt parts, with just a little minor fitting of the hammer and thumb safety. Also started out as a GI model, I just made it a little MORE GI looking!

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20handguns/DSCN3627-1-1.jpg

Both are great shooters.

non2os13
June 28, 2013, 06:13 PM
Wow that looks good blued.

Sent from my H866C using Tapatalk 2

CPLofMARINES
June 28, 2013, 10:38 PM
Nice to hear, especially about the customer service (if needed)
I wish they made a nickel or stainless in a commander.
Something I'd like to own, but don't want to spend a lot
Of money on one.

g_one
June 28, 2013, 11:45 PM
Although mine isn't technically a Rock Island, it's a Citadel - which is made by Armscor (the same company that manufactures Rock Island). I couldn't be happier with it. Excellent slide-to-frame fit, not one FTF, my only complaint is that they didn't give me another one to match it when I bought it.

I got it hard chromed and had a few parts swapped out, but not because there was anything wrong with the factory configuration - I'm just a little picky, and I knew I was going to be keeping it for a very long time.

Factory:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/559934_731112782658_1441607658_n.jpg

Now:
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/s720x720/306007_741443604608_6999501_n.jpg

KTXdm9
June 29, 2013, 12:52 AM
I've heard many good things. I say go for it.

smalls
June 29, 2013, 01:45 AM
I've shot a couple, and I was fairly impressed for what you pay. It's no Baer or Brown, but it's also not a $2500 piece.

You have to first understand that to get them at that price point a few corners were cut, though. If I put 50,000 rounds a year through my guns I wouldn't buy one. They just won't last that long, by the time you're done replacing broken parts you could have gotten something nicer. But for most shooters, they're perfectly fine guns, and they run good. I hear their CS is pretty damn good, too.

lhartman89
June 29, 2013, 07:54 AM
I really liked my RIA 1911. It was fairly accurate and I didn't have any problems with it.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-dEgEcxeujSc/Uc7KtxayL6I/AAAAAAAAAwA/-4EIzYhzjXI/w577-h385-no/IMAG0761-1.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Rydp-fuZJ9Q/Uc7KsDt-TsI/AAAAAAAAAv4/aY-qPkiGWhg/w587-h385-no/IMAG0760-1.jpg

Furncliff
June 29, 2013, 01:27 PM
OP, install a "better " barrel if you like. I don't think it's necessary unless you are a real ace. The targets bellow are marked, top one is Win White Box, the second are handloads using semi wad cutter lead bullets and Bullseye powder. All shot from a rest at 10yds. Top one shot when I first got the gun in 2008 the second shot in 2012. All with factory sights.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7446/9166337983_61f68c8db3_z.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7382/9166369199_a547f23bb4_z.jpg


I liked this pistol enough to buy another, a used 1911-9mm in commander length. I got to know about RIA CS because the gun came to me with problems Armscor/RIA stand by their products I am completely satisfied by the way they treated me. This one does not seem to be as accurate as the .45 but I haven't finished testing loads.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8334/8120590232_0705f36d64_z.jpg

hacksaw
June 29, 2013, 02:41 PM
My RIA tactical has about 2000 rounds through it, more or less. NEVER had so much as a hiccup. Eats hollow points like a fat kid eats cake.

Fiv3r
June 29, 2013, 04:16 PM
I've been really pleased with the accuracy out of my little CS. It's got the most rudimentary of GI sights, but it'll point shoot just about wherever you want the bullet to go.

Plain ol' cheap hardball will blow out the red at 7 to 10 yards without must effort. Even with the 3"ish barrel.

CZguy
June 30, 2013, 01:39 AM
I paid 410.00$ for mine 3 or 4 years ago. RIA customer service is top notch and the only issue I have is that the parkerized finsh is somewhat prone to rust

Just a thought, but Parkerizing doesn't prevent rust, it's porous surface allows it to hold oil, which is what prevents rust.

Just wipe it down with an oily rag from time to time.

Trunk Monkey
June 30, 2013, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the tip.

skoro
June 30, 2013, 12:46 PM
I got the compact model several years ago and the only thing I changed was the grips. Accurate, cycles reliably, I think it's a good piece for a low price.

CZguy
July 1, 2013, 12:11 AM
Accurate, cycles reliably, I think it's a good piece for a low price.

I agree. I don't own one but I've shot a couple, and am impressed.

highpower
July 1, 2013, 08:54 AM
I think that most of the complaints that you hear about the Rock Islands are from those who had really early production models. Those made in the last 3 years or so seem to be pretty trouble free.

I bought a GI model and after shooting it, I went and bought a CS model too. I don't keep a count of how many rounds I shoot through my guns, but both have been shot a lot. Triggers on both of them are as good as the trigger on my Colt 1991 Government model, and I feel they are a tremendous value for the price.

http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Rock-Island-45/i-pVZJSNb/0/XL/IMG_1583-XL.jpg

Olympus
July 1, 2013, 09:35 AM
The current production models are also seeing a lot more problems. There are many that believe that RIA is going through growing pains right now and that they are trying to introduce too many new models, new calibers, and an increase in their commercial ammo production and their quality control is starting to slip. I've seen it in the last 4 guns I've bought from them in the last couple months. 3 of the 4 had to be sent back for warranty work.

Here is a photo of the last RIA that I got in a few weeks ago. Several others on forums have also reported seeing this on new production. Don't know if they're trying to cut corners to increase production or if this just for missed in quality control. These heavy chatter marks are deep enough to catch your fingernail on. When the disconnector slides across these chatter marks, it makes the gun sound like a small zipper when you rack the slide and gives a bumpy feel that can be felt through the trigger.

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy151/brownscustomgrips/20130621_154542_zpsf735d711.jpg

Creature
July 1, 2013, 10:02 AM
As a dealer, I'm seeing RIA's quality start to slip noticeably lately. Out of the last 5 that I've recently bought, 4 had to go back for warranty work.

Thanks for the heads up, Olympus. And that photo is very telling. I will think twice about a RIA and look elsewhere for now.

Olympus
July 1, 2013, 10:40 AM
They still make a good gun, if you get a good one. I had a 2011 VZ Tactical a few weeks ago and it was nicely fit and finished. Just be sure to look the new RIA guns over carefully. And their customer service has always been great, so even if you end up having to send the gun back for warranty work, they usually take care of the issues for you without question. Just don't have high expectations right out of the box.

socalbeachbum
July 1, 2013, 10:45 AM
I guess I would look one over pretty carefully before choosing it. Most of the dealers in my area that carry these seem to have 3 or 4 of the same model to select from.

Paul7
July 2, 2013, 01:11 AM
I had one a few years ago that never did run right, even after going back to the factory twice. They gave up on it and sent me a new one, which I sold. The parts didn't seem compatible with normal 1911 stuff, my gunsmith (a good one) tried to install an arched MSH but he couldn't make it fit.

rondog
July 2, 2013, 02:35 AM
my gunsmith (a good one) tried to install an arched MSH but he couldn't make it fit.

Wow, a shadetree hack like me can customize TWO of them, one with WWII Colt parts, but a "good gunsmith" couldn't even install an arched MSH in one? Something's wrong with this picture.

Beach Nut
July 2, 2013, 12:22 PM
I bought me a slightly used Rock Island GI model last year and I have been very
pleased with it. There may be better looking and more accurate 1911s out there
but my Rock Island digests everything I feed it and the accuracy is acceptable.
(especially considering the sights which are the thing I like the least about this
gun) I paid under $ 350.00 for this gun and that leaves me more money to buy
.45 ACP.

gym
July 2, 2013, 02:43 PM
Not for 550.00 which is what my LGS had them for today, "For the officers, or compact model", for 400.00 they are a good value. Then you can put a couple hundred into it and have a nice gun. I would just but a R1 for &650.00, $700.00 for stainless todays price in my town. Those shoot well with just a mag change. Once you cross the $600.oo line you may as well go for a better gun. Off topic that 239 that sig makes was calling my name all the way home. You should be able to pick up a Colt for $850 used.

silicosys4
July 2, 2013, 03:48 PM
Not for 550.00 which is what my LGS had them for today, "For the officers, or compact model", for 400.00 they are a good value. Then you can put a couple hundred into it and have a nice gun. I would just but a R1 for &650.00, $700.00 for stainless todays price in my town. Those shoot well with just a mag change. Once you cross the $600.oo line you may as well go for a better gun. Off topic that 239 that sig makes was calling my name all the way home. You should be able to pick up a Colt for $850 used.

My thoughts exactly. My RIA GI was $300 out the door and it was a GREAT value at that price.
But I picked up a nice used Colt 1991A1 recently for $600, and paid $650 for a brand new Sig nitron railed tacpac here not too long ago. The RIA can't compete at $550, IMO, and at that price I personally would recommend people find a used, higher quality gun or spend a little more to buy something nicer than the RIA for that kind of coin.

Fishslayer
July 2, 2013, 08:24 PM
wow they have gone up! :mad:

just made a call the SoCal price is $689

our chain of stores, Turners would probably have them for 599 and on sale days, 549 probably

If yer down San Diego way I saw a Tactical model at American Shooting Center today at $529.

Not affiliated etc etc etc

socalbeachbum
July 2, 2013, 09:36 PM
thanks, I may be in San Diego this weekend will check it out

Olympus
July 3, 2013, 01:04 PM
my local gun shop has Rock Island 1911's for a decent price and they look nice enough. The gunsmith there suggests I buy one then simply drop in a Wilson Combat barrel and bushing, and have a very nice piece.

or KKM barrel. or Bar-Sto.

Are the Rock Islands pretty good quality?

1911 barrels and bushings are not considered "drop-in" parts. And considering the cost of the components and the labor for the gunsmith, you could have just bought a better gun from the start.

rfwobbly
July 4, 2013, 10:31 PM
My son picked up a full-size basic model in 38 Super for $460 that shoots as good as my Kimber Target II in the same caliber. I paid more than twice that for the Kimber, but you can see a big difference when you open them up.

For a truck gun or 'plinker' the basic RIA models are unbeatable. Check out the Sarco web site for sub-$500 prices.... http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/

I understand that the base STI models are made by RIA.

bdb benzino
July 5, 2013, 01:38 AM
Over the last 5 years I have owned all three sizes that RIA offers, the 5'', the 4'', and the 3.5'' officer sized 1911. All three ran flawless and shot great. Great entry level 1911's for the money.
I still have the 4'' mid sized 1911, it is smooth and nice shooting. I liked it enough that I had it Bobtailed and added a few Colt parts in higher stress areas. My experience has been outstanding in all sizes, and I often regret trading my officer sized tactical model.

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