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Entry level 1911 Which one?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by stinger 327, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    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:
  2. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. roccoracer

    roccoracer Well-Known Member

    Have you considered the Remington R1? I have one and I would highly recommend it.

    Thank you for looking
  4. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

    I had pretty good luck with the Rock Island 1911A1-FS which might be the one you're talking about. No experience with the Para competition though.
  5. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Last year when I bought my Sig 1911 TacPac, a friend bought a RIA Tactical (like this one) 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 (although these were shot with my Sig, RIA produced comparable shot groups):

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  6. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    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.
  7. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    Yes it is made by Armscor Rock Island Armory Made in Phillipines.
  8. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    an R1 isn't any better than a Rock Island, save your money and get the Rock
  9. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    I have also heard that Para-USA formerly Para-Ordinance has very poor customer service
    and they own Kahr now.
  12. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    Never heard of this.
  13. Keaner

    Keaner Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    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
  15. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    Is it a lifetime warranty?
  16. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    If you are looking at the RIA M1911A1 FS Tactical model with fixed rear sight/wooden grips, how about considering the 2011 FS Tactical 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. 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.

    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.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Actually they don't.

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

    You might be thinking about Kahr owning AutoOrdanance
  18. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    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.

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