How reliable would a converted RIA 1911 9mm be?

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Dec 27, 2006
The bug is definatly going around for 9mm 1911's. If I converted a Rock Island Armory 1911 38 super to 9mm by changing the extractor and barrel, what kind of reliability can I expect? I need a pretty reliable firearm since I shoot mostly steel matches. I would upgrade other components as I go along and as my budget permits.

Any experience with this? I can reload 9mm copper jacketed ammo for the same price of reloading 45 lead. It would be worth it for me.
Reliability can be very good. The main items to tend to would be extractor tension and magazine quality. But then, this applies to any 1911.

I did a RIA 38 Super to 9mm conversion and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have also converted a Colt in 38 Super to 9mm. Talk about a fun, soft shooting platform!! Someone (RIA ?, Tuarus ?) needs to offer an "affordable" 1911 in 9mm. There is a huge hole in the market for such a pistol.

Few people want to pay nearly $1,000.00 for a 1911 in 9mm.
If you don't change the slide, neither the extractor nor the ejector will work right and reliability will be zilch.

The feed ramp might work OK, but it could give trouble also.

Jim said:
If you don't change the slide, neither the extractor nor the ejector will work right and reliability will be zilch.


With all due respect, I have not encountered this. The Colt I converted uses the original 38 Super slide and ejector. I did go to a Caspian Arms extractor because it provides more area of engagement on the 9mm case rim. This was not necessary, just something I prefer.

Parts lists for 9mm/38 Super 1911's show the same part number for the extractor and ejector. I even used the original Colt 38 Super mags to feed 9mm in my conversion with great success.

I wanted to use a lower cost pistol (RIA) and higher end pistol (Colt) to compare the results. Both worked very well.
Armscor (they make RIA) did sell a 9mm 1911 for a while. It is double stack but a great shooting gun. I picked this one up for just over $400 with 4 mags. There's a lot of talk about RIA bringing them in again and Armscor already has made them so it's just a matter of time...

Yes the Armscor 1911-A2 are great guns, I've one in .45ACP, .40S&W and two in 9mm, one with a J-point Red Dot sight.

But they are not "standard" single stack 1911s in the grip.

Commander would be OK, but full sized is IMHO better for what it would be -- range gun to shoot cheap ammo as practice for the real 45 1911.

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