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my new Rock Island 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by project5k, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. project5k

    project5k Member

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    Just a couple months ago i picked up (well traded for) my new full size RI 45acp. I traded in a ruger pd91c or something to that effect, 40S&W, 1000's of rounds through it, and about $100 for this NIB RI.

    well, what prompted all of this was i used to go to IPSC with a dear friend of mine, and he had a sweet colt 1911 that he let me shoot a few times. I absolutely fell in love with the 1911 style/system. but the colt is just outside my income, but he allways told me to get into the 1911 format, the RI was a great way to start. so i made the leap. we(the wife and i) went straight from the store to the range where i proceded to put about 200 rounds through my new baby. I'm very impressed. Its not quite as smoothe as my old ruger, but this RI has a much better feel, balance, and just over all like-ability, not to mention that the ammo is considerably cheaper.

    I dont have time to go to IPSC any more, but i do get out to the range ocassionally just to stay "frosty". I plan to get my ccl in the near future, and will probably carry this.

    long story shortened.... 99.9% of the time this is my "nightstand" gun, its easily in reach and stays loaded with hydrashocks. and there are no kids in the house.

    my question is this, what mods can i do to this to make it more effective for home defence? I dont see any mounting rails for lights or laser pointers, so i'm just wondering, am i stuck with open sights in the dark?
     

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  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I am sure there are any number of clamp-on mounts that can hold a flashlight, laser or whatever. What I would do is keep a flashlight next to the gun. The backwash from a bright light will illuminate your sights, such as they are. There are also any number of aftermarket higher visibility sights available, including tritium night sights. AFAIK, this gun can accommodate standard 1911 sights. The front is staked to the underside of the slide and the rear is in a dovetail-shaped groove made to standard dimensions.
     
  3. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    Congrats on a nice 1911. After more than a few headaches with my first 1911 (kimber custom target II) I recently picked up a RIA in 38 super, and sometimes wish I had bought the RIA first. It is a fantastic and reliable 1911 lacking many of the locks and redundant safetys in just about every other one out there.

    I opted for a nice set of checkered grips and ditched the plywood factory ones, and put in an arched Main spring housing. (points more naturally for me). For a HD pistol, I would probably replace the sights first and foremost. The front sight is staked, and can be a little tricky for the home gunsmith. Outside of those three simple mods I would leave it alone, as it is dead reliable as is, and more mods introduce potential problems that may need to be worked out to get back factory reliability. I suppose you could drill and tap the dustcover for a tac rail, but a light throws off the balance and takes some getting used to, more so on an already heavy 1911 than a slide heavy platic pistol., and a light held in crossarm fasion helps to illuminate the target and sights, which I personally prefer. I like the factory trigger, it is crisp with little travel and weighs in at about 5lbs, perfect for a combat pistol, If I were to regulate it to target work, I might do some stoning and lower the spring rates a little.
     
  4. CDignition

    CDignition Member

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    Very nice... they do make good customs too.. heres one i did a few years ago..:)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    My $.02

    I would stick with it as-is for now and use the money for ammo and continue the break-in process to varify reliability.

    The reason I say this is RIs need a good break-in. I have one; I speak from experience. I've got about 400-450 rounds through it. A good cleaning & careful oiling helps, but I still get the occassional failure to return to battery. From what I've learned over on the forum.m1911.org page, it s a common thing that cleaning & use eliminates.

    So spend the mod money on ammo for now and wear it in good & proper.

    Use the hand-held light suggestion that was offered. Try it out (w/empty pistol) one night in the garage and see how it works.

    As far as trying to mod it out, perhaps consider laser grips - since you don't have a tac rail, that might be a good option.

    I'm a southpaw, so I spent an extra $50 and got the RI Tactical w/ambi thumb safety and Novak (type) sites. If you shoot well either-handed, might consider an aftermarket ambi safety.

    It handles CCI Blazer Brass very well, and that runs between $9-13 at local Wal-marts. Good target ammo.

    In short, shoot it. Love it. Carry it. It'll take care of you.

    Q
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  6. bigdaveaz

    bigdaveaz Member

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    CD what is the finish on your frame?
     
  7. crankshop1000

    crankshop1000 Member

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    That's a 1911A1 RIA just like mine!! The finish is parkerized.I added a stainless beavertail and Crimson Trace laser grips.I had a problem with the tiny military style sights and added better sights..If I was buying again (which I might) I'd get the RIA tactical as it has all the typical add ons already installed.I'd recommend using LSA mil surplus weapons oil on the moving parts. I love mine.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. BigO01

    BigO01 Member

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    Quoheleth if you really want to correct those return to battery issues , replace the factory recoil spring with a new Wolf one in the 16-18 lb range .

    The ones that come with them are suppose to be rated at 16 but if you had immediately bought a #16 Wolf when you bought the gun you would have seen the one that it came with was a little weaker .

    I replaced mine on my Charles Daly "made by Armscor" after several hundred rounds with the occasional FTRB and it stopped the problem cold with factory rounds . I still get about a 1% failure rate but only with my semiwadcutter reloads .
     
  9. bakert

    bakert Member

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    I had a few problems of not returning to battery with mine. According to Mr. 1911 Tuner the tension on the extractor on some RIs has to be relieved a bit. Might talk to him or a gentleman named Wally for details and how to do it. Here's my Tactical along with my Ruger P97.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    Bingo on the extractor tension.
    I had to tune my but now it works perfectly. It'll feed anything...well at least it feeds the stuff I've tried.
     
  11. Gunner4h1r3

    Gunner4h1r3 Member

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    Congrat on buying a RIA!!

    I got one after coming back from a 7-month deployment and I love it.

    I bought it for $380 and took it to the range. I got nice groups in the center-mass at 75 feet using the tiny G.I. sights that came with it. I have no problem with feeding either FMJs or JHPs in it.

    A good gun. I plan on getting some hogue grips for mine.

    best of luck

    gunner
     
  12. Gunner4h1r3

    Gunner4h1r3 Member

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    CDignition

    who made the compensator for your RIA custom?
     
  13. project5k

    project5k Member

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    I'm glad to hear that so many people love this gun, i was a little nervous giving up something that i knew so well for something that i was unfamiliar with, but so far i've been very happy..

    break-in, got it, thats the easy part for me.. i love to go to the range, and have an uncle with 60 acres thats a gun nut just like me, so i have lots of options and opps to go shoot...

    I'll have to try the cross arm holding my surefire flashlight.. can someone point me towards a good description or picture of this stance? i think i understand it, but some instructions would be good...

    i dont shoot so well left handed, i'm a righty, allways have been. I've tried left handed, and it just didnt turn out well for me...
     
  14. sb350hp

    sb350hp Member

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    Buy a good surefire light ( I am against rail mounted lights jmho. and put some crimson trace grips on it.

    Done deal for a about $350. You now have a great flashlight, awsome grips on a reliable gun for less than most spend on just the gun.
     
  15. project5k

    project5k Member

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    yea i love the surefire lights, thier pricey, but for what i want a flashlight for, they suit my needs wonderfully. i carry the e2 daily, and have a M2 that i'm thinking of keeping in the night stand...

    here's a picture of what i'm understanding about how to hold the flashlight and the gun.. does this look about right?

    crossing the wrists, flashlight hand on top?
     

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  16. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    "Harries Technique"

    [​IMG]
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/imagea29.pdd.jpg

    This holds the light pointing the same direction as the gun and gives you some of the recoil control of a full two-handed grasp. Be sure to position the gun first and bring the light up under it second, or you can sweep the muzzle across your arm.

    With a small light that has a tailcap-mounted switch, you can also grasp it like a syringe (i.e., the body held between the first and second fingers with your thumb on the button) and hold it alongside the gun.
     
  17. project5k

    project5k Member

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    ok, so flashlight arm under gun arm then.. alrighty.. yea my surefire lights are all tailcap switches, so the syringe style is how i hold it...
     
  18. combatantr2

    combatantr2 Member

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    Most NIB RIAs require 2 things to be address to make them work right out of the box, but these may not apply to all.

    1. Tune the extractor
    2. Change recoil springs to 18lbs.

    Most NIB RIAs have a failure to return to battery.

    These issues have been going on for year since they came out to them market, but ARMSCOR & twin pines never made any corrections to these. What gives?
     
  19. MJZZZ

    MJZZZ Member

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    I bought a RIA from Sarco for $306 and put about 200 rounds through it. The safety would not engage about half the time, so I sent it back to Nevada. While it was being repaired I asked them to install a commander hammer and beavertail. The gun ended up needing to be replaced, but they installed the items I had asked for on the new gun and sent 2 extra mags, no charge. The new gun had 2 FTRB's, so I put in an 18.5lb Wolff recoil spring and it has been perfect since. I also put on a set of black Hogue thin grips. It's not as accurate as my Kimber, but for 1/3 the price it is awesome. Mike
     
  20. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    lots of options already mentioned about making it more effective as a HD gun.

    I am just repeating here, but spend the gadget money on ammo. It's a better investment in the long run. Remember, a flashlight can't shoot back. You can.

    Also, as I recall, the RI had some pretty horrible sights. If this is so, you would be far, far better off investing in sights you can see. If you like 'em, great, but if not, I would personally make that my first purchase.

    My guess is that the gun simply needs a break-in period. I personally will tolerate (but obviously not trust) a gun that needs up to 500 rounds to break in, but past that it's an issue that I won't stand for. It's not that big of a deal (if thats what it is) as Kahrs are famous for needing a break-in period. They even say as much in thier manuals.
     
  21. combatantr2

    combatantr2 Member

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    Frankly I dont buy the excuse for a gun to work out NIB 'a break-in is required.' These break-ins is definitely an excuse for companies with low quality control measures. Break-in seems to be giving the 1911 a bad rep. However my NORC is super reliable from day one.
     
  22. powwowell

    powwowell Member

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    I will soon be coming up on my first anniversary of owning an RIA. I have changed the plane jane grips to checkered ones. I've used finger nail polish to paint the sights white. I anticipate replacing the sights with three dot ones of some kind, in the near future.

    But, I have not replaced any springs. Not have I tuned my extractor. I may have been very fortunate in getting the pistol that I did, but I have not had any issues with it. If I do develop return to battery problems, it's nice to know that a simple spring replacement will fix the problem.

    There is no better value in firearms that the RIA. The Charles Daly American Hi-Power might be close though.
     
  23. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I like the RIA's and have been tempted to get one a number of times. If I hadn't already purchased a PT1911. 1911's are lots of fun!

    [​IMG]
     
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