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First 1911 Poll. STI Spartan, RIA, Taurus

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Juna, Jul 25, 2008.


Which one for a first 1911?

  1. STI Spartan

    50 vote(s)
  2. Taurus PT1911

    28 vote(s)
  3. RIA Government Mil Spec

    17 vote(s)
  4. RIA Tactical

    35 vote(s)
  1. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    So I've been reading some of the prior threads on here. I'm leaning toward a Spartan, but I've read really good things about the RIA (which is cheaper). My issue is, I'd want a beaver tail grip safety and a few mods to the RIA, which would drive the price up. The STI comes with everything I'd want on it. The Taurus does, too, but may be more expensive. Plus, I've read spotty reviews of the Taurus.

    Which one would you recommend? Are the STI and Taurus worth the extra money? Or should I just get an RIA mil spec and upgrade it? Or an RIA tactical (which gets closer in price to the other two)?

    I've shot Kimbers and Para-Ordnances, but never any of the above 3. Nowhere around me rents them. I love 1911s, but I haven't gotten one yet for financial reasons. These are more in my ballpark. I won't be getting a Nighthawk Custom any time soon ;).
  2. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Well-Known Member

    Although I’m fighting the urge to suggest a 1911 not on your list as a first 1911…

    I’d go with the RIA Government Mil Spec.
  3. chbrow10

    chbrow10 Well-Known Member

    I have a tac. It rocks.
  4. Sagetown

    Sagetown Well-Known Member

    :) I favor those that are close to the original, like the RIA, but if you want the little extras, the TAC is a whole bunch cheaper than adding them on later.
  5. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Well-Known Member

    I love my Spartan. In this thread I'm asked to compare it with a Springer Loaded. Not the same as the OP, but it may shed some light.
  6. dogmush

    dogmush Well-Known Member

    I have both a Tac and an upgraded GI. It was cheaper to gust buy the Tac then upgrade the GI, if you want those features.

    I like all my RIA's (4) they've been good guns. The Tauri that I've held were not as well fit as my Rocks, and cost slightly more. So I wouldn't buy one of those over a Rock. I don't have any pesenal experience with the STI, but I've heard good things from folks that have.

    FWIW If you want the Beavertail and other options, get the RIA or STI. The STI with it's more "snaggy" sights might be more suited to range use then carry, but you never know.
  7. loop

    loop Well-Known Member

    Get the gun that has what you want. Upgrading is much more expensive.

    I've got a pile of 1911s and even though I do all the work myself it still costs a lot more to upgrade than to get what you want.

    That said, considering what you want I'd take a look at the Charles Daly, I think it is the EFS. It has the beavertail, extended thumb safety, extended slide catch and a few other nice features that are nice to have. Even though I'm kind of a 1911 snob I'm thinking I just have to get one because most of what I'd do to one is already done.

    I do not recall which, but it is either the people who make the Armscor or the Daly also make the STI Spartan. It is still a Filipino import.

    I'm also not sure if either is mil spec so that drop-in parts actually drop in. I'd avoid the Brazilian guns. SA is far from mil spec (no matter what they say). The Taurus guns are pretty, but because they come with most premium-style parts I don't know if they have the same quirks as the SAs (use a 9mm firing pin on the .45; ejector isn't pinned, but glued and is way off mil specs).

    Main thing is buy a gun that has everything you want to begin with so you don't waste time and money making it what you want.

    CD and RIA have great customer service. Taurus customer service has some real negative comments here and there.

    I will add one more thing about SA. I've been shooting IDPA and IPSC for more than a decade. I've seen more SAs fail in matches than any other five brands combined. I've even seen a guy throw his SA at a target after becoming frustrated at its constant malfunctions (he was banned from the range for a year and his membership was revoked).

    Keep doing your research. Just don't waste your bucks on a gun that isn't what you want.
  8. jetrecbn

    jetrecbn Well-Known Member

    RIA Tactical and STI Spartan are the same frame and reciever. The STI has better ignition parts, adjustable sights, and FO front sight. I would be content with either one.
  9. Hoffy

    Hoffy Well-Known Member

    I like my Taurus. However, I would give the RIA tactical a hard look as well since I've heard so many good things about them.
  10. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

    this comes up every so often and I have seen it too many times to recall which is truth. But I think the slide and internals are provided by sti and the frame is Armscor/RIA No matter though.

    Get the STI all in all its the best value for your money.
  11. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Well-Known Member

    If you are going to make upgrades, just go with the RIA TAC or the STI. I have an RIA GI model and the upgrades have not been cheap.
  12. dracphelan

    dracphelan Well-Known Member

    I own a RIA Government and have a friend who owns the Spartan. I voted for the Spartan. My order of preference would be:
    1. Spartan
    2. RIA Tactical
    3. RIA Government
    4. Taurus

    I've seen to many problems with Taurus semi-autos.
  13. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    RIA Tactical, best bang for the buck! Get the STI Spartan if you are willing to pay a bit more for a brand name.

  14. Samuel Adams

    Samuel Adams Well-Known Member

    Get a Dan Wesson or a Colt.
  15. MAKster

    MAKster Well-Known Member

    The frame, slide, and barrel of the STI Spartan are made by Armscor and are the same as the RIA. STI ships the other internal parts to Armscor for assembly in the Phillipines.
  16. kmbrman

    kmbrman Well-Known Member

    RIA Spartan Taurus

    The fact that the RIA and STI Spartan are made in the Phillipines is no reason shun these pistols. STI is not going to risk their reputation on an unreliable gun. The FO. front sight and the adj. rear on the Spartan is a good option considering the cheap price STI is getting. Picked up a Spartan at a friends gun shop and may have been infected!
  17. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I had read a lot about RIA GI models, and was leaning that way, but then I read about the Spartan. I guess at this point I'm leaning toward the Spartan unless there's a strong enough financial incentive to get the RIA tactical. Not sure what the price difference is.

    Anyone know about the price difference between:

    1) STI Spartan
    2) RIA Tactical
    3) Charles Daly (someone mentioned this above).

    How does a Charles Daly compare to a Spartan or an RIA Tactical in terms or quality and price?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  18. Sagetown

    Sagetown Well-Known Member

    ARMSCOR makes no bones about Rock Island Armory, Charles Daly, and STI as being their partners. Prices are continuing to go up, but in this area the price for an RIA Tac is as low as $415 upwards to $440. The other two models run about $100 +.

    PS The RIA GI is going for $365 and up.
  19. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    I am THRILLED with my STI Spartan. It was my first 1911 and it is the most accurate handgun I've ever shot. Aside from some bad reloads, I had 1 jam with it on it's first outing and none since. It's approaching 1k rounds and it's sitting in the nightstand until the SP-01 arrives.

    It is made by Armscor using some STI parts. The frame, slide, barrel, and bushing fit together solidly, much better than any other 1911 I've handled in that price range.
  20. USMCDK

    USMCDK Well-Known Member

    Well I agree with what some of the others have said and get what you are looking for right up front and not try to upgrade to it.

    I have officially step into the 1911 world as of only this weekend so I don't have alot of experience with them, but however I love the hell outta my SIG GSR1911 C3

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