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Narrowed my new 1911 purchase down to three please help

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by michael88, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. michael88

    michael88 Member

    I am on the verge of purchasing my first 1911. this is a huge step for me, bc i grew up in a "nothing beats a glock" family. this will be primarily a house saftey/fun at the range gun. i am at a place in my life where i can only afford around 500 for the gun. a little more is not going to kill me, that is just the round about budget. so to get to the point after researching for about 2 weeks i have it narrowed down to a springfield armory, rock island armory, and a taurus. i want to know which one to go with based on A. reliability, B. Warranty/customer support, and C. looks/options. of course this is within the given budget. if you happen to know the cheapest place to get your recommended 1911, i would greatly appreciate the link. thanks for all the help and expertise.
  2. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, it sounds like you came from a good family. I'm looking forward to hearing others respond, because I am in the same boat.
  3. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    All 3 are good choices.
    Taurus generally has issues with warranty work, not always... but usually.
    RIA has the lowest price of the 3, all mine have functioned perfectly and are way more accurate than I am, and hes the best factory support I have ever seen.
    My EDC is a RIA Duo-Tone Tactical.

  4. Thingster

    Thingster Well-Known Member

    I have experience with taurus and RIA.

    I have personally handled and shot 3 RIA GI's- they were all mechanically sound, accurate, and very "positive" in the hand. You knew something was there, but in a reassuring way. They all had some sort of flaw finish from light parkerizing on the front of the grip (my gun), to an uneven rollmark and very thin parkerizing over 1/2 of the slide.

    My experience with taurus has been mixed. to me they don't have the "positive" hand feel. I don't know what causes this, but they feel like they're made of plastic (probably has to do with the plastic grip panels that are VERY thin). I've handled one that fuctioned well, but upon tear down it was NOT pretty. Any "hand fitting" was horribly rough and not precise at all- but again, the gun was 100% reliable.

    I have a firend that just bought a Taurus and it has that same not positiive feel in the hand, and then on his the thumb safety is "mushy". It disengages pretty well, but to engage it only moves up about half way and then has a dead spot where it feels like you're pushing it through snot, and then it engages.

    The thumb safety isn't sweepable, you have to be very intent on engaging or disengaging it and it takes a while. My ria snaps over with a reassuring "click" on the sweep, both up and down.

    But the gun has fed 100 rounds so far without a hiccup at all- he likes it and that's all that matters.

    As for customer service, I've never heard a single negative comment bout RIA's customer service- I can't say the same for SA and Taurus.
  5. benderx4

    benderx4 Well-Known Member


    That there, my friends, IMHO, is the best deal on a new 1911 that you can find anywhere.

    It is a Springfield Armory (only Colt has made 1911s longer than these guys) 1911 GI Mil-Spec in Stainless Steel for $532, no tax. (Unless you live in TX) $30 for shipping.

    I know you'll be happy with this gun, and when the time comes to upgrade (which it will), this gun will blow the other two you're looking at out of the water in terms of RESALE value.

    Good luck and happy shooting!
  6. Evenflo76

    Evenflo76 Well-Known Member


    Quickly, before they sell out! :)

    Also, The Springfields are not "Mil Spec" They are great guns! I own a LW Operator. I LOVE IT! but, the RIA's are true to the 1911A1 design. Drop in parts will fit them. Springfields have the ILS mainspring housing. Also, some other internals have different dimensions that are not true to the original Colt/Browning design. I can not speak for the Taurus as I have never even held one. However, for the price, the RIA is the best deal going. Mine will be here tomorrow...
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  7. ToadPS

    ToadPS Well-Known Member

    Had a blue Taurus 1911 I gave to my son after I bought a stainless Taurus 1911. I shot about 1500 rds through the blue with no problems, no require maintenance other than cleaning.

    I have about 500 rounds through the stainless with no problems, just cleaning.

    Both accurate, both will eat any kind of ammo.

    All the nice stuff I wanted was already on the Taurus and I've had zero problems with either one. They fit my hand very well.

    So, I'm a happy owner.
  8. Riss

    Riss Well-Known Member

    Have held and shot all of the makes. Seen $2000 Kimbers miss and jam like a $200 Norinco. Have not had a problem with my Springfield. Fit and finish is that of a $500 gun, not a $3000 custom, BUT is well worth it. No plastic parts like I have seen on Colt's. RIA and Taurus are both also nice guns, but I still prefer my SA.
  9. jonc

    jonc Well-Known Member

    springfield has the best customer service in the business. Also the mil-specs do not have full length guide rods as stated above.
  10. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    sti makes a gun called the spartan that I believe is a RIA or armscor with fancier guts. they're affordable.
  11. Evenflo76

    Evenflo76 Well-Known Member

    jonc, thanks for the correction.
  12. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    If he could come up with $550ish that would be my vote. Of the 3 listed, I've had several of each come through. I've helped ship 2 Taurus guns back. One owner was OK with the service, the other eventually gave up. I'd go with RIA or Springfield, no real preference.
  13. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    I had a RIA Match, which was the same pistol as the STI Spartan, except for the fire control parts.
    As a shooter, it is as good as I have seen... but not the greatest for carry.

  14. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    The basic RIA is solid and reliable, but it's finish quality is a bit spotty and the USGI-design sights suck. The Taurus has better sights and farkles, but their QA/QC leaves a lot to be desired and I would not consider a Taurus for carry duty. The Springfield MilSpec is solid and has better sights than the RIA.

    In the end, it comes down to which sucks more - the RIA's sights or the Springer's ILS.

    I would choose the Springer, because swapping out the ILS mainspring housing takes about 5 minutes and a few parts, but getting better sights on the RIA is more complicated.

    Of course, you could just get the RIA Tactical, which is still under 5 bills but comes with the sight and farkle upgrades that you might want. It is, IMO, the best deal in a 5" 1911 right now.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    isn't it fun to have so many good options?

    God Bless John Moses Browning
  16. Quack

    Quack Well-Known Member

    in no particular order:
    Springfield mil-spec
    RIA tactical
    STI Spartan.

    it all depends on what features you are looking for.

    I have Springfields (TRP, EMP, 9mm Loaded & used to have others), and a STI Edge. i also had a plain RIA, but didnt care for the sights.

    My advise is find a gun that you like, and if its out of your price range right now, save up to get what you WANT.
  17. j1979

    j1979 Well-Known Member

    Mil-Spec, forged frame and slide, great CS, all smiths work on them
  18. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    The RIA tactical is the way I would over the GI or the Match.
    I dislike the GI sights, and the Match sights were not for me... for carrying.

  19. jonc

    jonc Well-Known Member

    that is a great looking pistol, I really like how it has all the loaded features but doesn't have the foward cocking serations. It looks good.

    here is a picture of my second springfield 1911. It is the enhanced gi hi-cap. My first was a milspec.

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  20. Mitch from LA

    Mitch from LA Well-Known Member

    I'm a taurus fan.

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