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RIA 1911 for $279 is a heck of a bargain!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Snowdog, Dec 24, 2005.

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  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I received my Rock Island 1911 yesterday morning from my local friendly pawn shop ($10 fee for use of his FFL, regardless of item or price) and stripped it down to give it a good look over. I will say that it's not quite the looker that my Kimber Classic has become, but it definately proved itself a solid specimen.

    I took it and the Kimber to a buddy's house (lucky dog's fortunate enough to have several acres of land and neighbors who shoot) to run a few rounds of plated 200gr SWCs shipped in from Georgia Arms through each.

    Here's what I found:

    The RIA 1911 shoots every bit as tight a group as my Kimber despite having a slightly heavier trigger.

    Though I only had time to put one "bag" of fifty G-A SWCs through each 1911, the Kimber hung up twice with failures to feed while the RIA fed without a hitch.

    I did notice however that the Kimber was generally more "pleasant" to shoot. Though the recoil from relatively mild load was nothing even approaching uncomfortable, I did notice the recoil was perceivably milder with the Kimber.
    I'm going to assume the recoil spring in the RIA is a bit lighter than the Kimber (both stock) which should be a relatively easy fix. I also plan to replace the rather chunky wood grips on the RIA.

    I still need to run a few more rounds through this pistol, but so far I'm quite impressed with this pistol (and did I mention it cost me all of $279? NIB :D )!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2005
  2. Bill B.

    Bill B. Member

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    I know the owner of a gunshop who also really brags on this 1911. I have seen some groups he shot at 25 yards that I found at first unbelivable. From comments I have heard other's make about the Rock Island apparently I was wrong. He has also used one of these pistols for platform for a custom 1911. He had a lot of mod's done but the one telling thing he mentioned was that they used the barrel that came with the Rock Island. they did not feel it could be improved on! :scrutiny:
     
  3. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    A good friend of mine who is an officer in the Drug Intradiction Force here in Texas has used an RIA for over 2 years now. During his annual qualifications on the gun range he was ridiculed by some of the other officers who either carried Springers or Kimbers, but by the end of the qualifications they has all changed their tune. Keep in mind this fellow comes from a well to do family and could literally have any 1911 on the market. Money is not an object here.

    The gun is a real looker. Has one of the nicest and smoothest finish I have seen. I think he told me he paid $299.00 new and all he has done is changed grips and added a beavertail grip safety and bobbed the hammer.
     
  4. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    You know Snowdog, there are only a few of us that gives a "rats-behind" about your good fortune. You know why so few? Many have paid anywhere
    from 6 to 1,500 dollars for theirs and they don't want to see, hear, or read about any pistol for under $300 shooting even comparably to a Kimber..They rather gush over their pistol that can be found on a nice color spread photo in these propaganda magazines. You mentioned the "Holy Grail" of pistols...Comparing a RIA to a Kimber? What blasphemy!:fire: The Kimber misfired and the RIA did not? How can a RIA where conjured images of half-starved, sweaty Phiipinos produce a pistol of this quality?:(
    You see Snowdog, my prime directive is to scour pawnshops, gunstores, Gun Shows, newspaper ads looking for $2-300 pistols..When I find them, everyone thumbs their noses at the Llamas, Daewoos, Chas Daly, RIA, etc..regardless on how well they fire. After reading so many posts, I am convinced that the reason why there is an absence of pic's is not because they don't have a digital camera: they don't have "jack-crap"! :banghead: Pure fantasy..:mad:
    P.S. How about a pic?;)
     
  5. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    LOL, amusing post, Mad Magyar. :D I was considering posting an pic of the RIA next to the Kimber (Classic Custom, series 1 with EABCO electroless nickel finish, a real looker). I will say that though the RIA may not be as "fancy" as the Kimber, I did find the parkerized finish respectable. I think a nice set of walnut or cocobolo grips, slightly heavier recoil spring and a beavertail grip safety might be all it needs and all it'll ever get.

    I still love the Kimber, but I think I'll put the miles on the RIA and allow the Kimber to reign supreme in the safe.
     
  6. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Enjoy your pistols Snowdog...BTW, speaking of cocobolo grips, if you see any with the curved fingers: let me know. Looking to put some on a recent bargain, such as yours, in the near future. Forgot to mention that Georgia Arms is quality ammo with a good price..:)
     
  7. wally

    wally Member

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    I'd bet that most of the percieved recoil differences is the RIA GI grip safety vs. the Kimber's very nice beavertail.

    I was very impressed with the trigger on my RIA and the way it shoots out of the box. I've a J-Point red dot optic on mine and shoot the crap out of it on the steel plate rack. The link on mine broke after ~3500 rounds, over 1000 rounds on the replacement link so far without any other issues. I've already spent a lot more on ammo thru the gun than I did on the gun (not counting the J-Point and its mount that was was darn near as expensive as the RIA!)

    I think Armscor is making a very good 1911 for the money.

    --wally.
     
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The true worth of a pistol (or for that matter, any firearm) is not determined by its purchase price, but rather by how well it works, how dependable it is, and for how long it stays that way.

    In the lower priced lines, some folks are going to get guns that go like gangbusters, and when they do they will brag endlessly about them. Others will be posting threads desperately asking Tuner for help. The same could be said about some of the more costly examples. I find RIA guns to be like Norinco’s – which is to say that quality is usually good but sometimes inconsistent. Unfortunately the same can be said about some of the more popular (and expensive) makes on the market. In other words it’s a crap shoot, but we seem to be hearing from the winners today.

    Which proves that there are winners... :D
     
  9. Jeff Timm

    Jeff Timm Member

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  10. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    words of wisdom
     
  11. 3006mv

    3006mv Member

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    [​IMG] Here's mine, over 3k rounds through no problems, takes all mags and ammo, mostly reloads.
     
  12. bigcozy

    bigcozy Member

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    Are these cast?
     
  13. VWTim

    VWTim Member

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    Sure are, just like every BHP in the last 15? years.
     
  14. Texfire

    Texfire Member

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    Well put me in the winner column with my RIA 1911. I paid just over $300 for mine and had a gunsmith "drop in" an ambi safety. I changed the grips to a slimmer set of rosewood double diamond style grips. That's it. And I love it. The only gun I have that I love more is my FN Hi-Power I got from CDDN.

    Tex
     
  15. Navy87Guy

    Navy87Guy Member

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    Damn you all! I thought I was over this...and now you have me thinking about a 1911!!

    The RIA looks nice...and I'm all about a nice shooting pistol. I noticed that the Sarco site includes an RIA double-stack (14-rds). Has anyone tried that?

    It's a good thing I was very nice to my wife for Christmas...she might kill me over this one!

    Jim
     
  16. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    how are the stock sights on the RIA's? and are they hard to change out to something else?
     
  17. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    279, what a bargain

    The more I read these boards, the more I find that some of the bargain basement guns are worthy after all. I've read some good first hand reviews of high points and now rock island.

    I'm especially tickled with the cheapie (no offense) gun running better than the high dollar Kimber. What is it with these expensive products not offering the reliability that you should get for paying the extra money? Guess that nice finish cost 3x as much to produce. Or, like so many retail items, how much of your purchase price is paying marketing instead to enhance the image?

    I can name several high end products that are "high" end due to marketing and sales pitches, not product performance.....Bose, IPOD, any german wundercar, and a plethora of snowboarding products, as well as nearly all of the Midwest mega beers that claim to rule the roost. All stuff I've actually had my hands on, so don't start a flame war over this, please, just sharing my opinion, nothing more.

    I like products that speak for themselves, not the other way around. How about the rest of you? So what does the Kimber jammin twice in only 50 rounds and the RIA not say to me....VOLUMES!!!

    Ooh, a 1911 in my price range, cool, maybe I'll snap one up. I want value in my purchases, not clever marketing gimmicks. Although, I have to admit, I've purchased some high dollar items that DO live up to their hype, just not that many. I like products that sell themselves, reliability sells me products, not marketing gurus.



    jeepmor
     
  18. boofus

    boofus Guest

    The sights are terrible. They are low profile just like the old WW2 USGI.

    At $279 these guns are a bargain if you get one that works. I got one from SOG and put some McCormick rosewood grips on it and it looked really nice. Too bad it jammed 2-3 every mag. My friend's Rock Island worked perfectly though.
     
  19. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Recently retooled

    I think I read recently that Armscor has upgraded their manufacturing in the last year or so and is cranking out some good 'uns lately. I may have to add another Philipino Beer Can to the safe. :D
     
  20. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

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    Rumor has it that Armscor will be introducing an American-made pistol at the SHOT show. I have also heard that Armscor is going to be offering some semi-custom pistols from a shop in Nevada.

    Who's going to SHOT? If you are, see if you can find out more!
     
  21. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Member

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    I picked up a RIA and paid $308 OTD from a local dealer (Missashot picked one up, too). Hers is stock, except for some purple grips that she installed, and since I plan on shooting mine until it breaks, I've slapped some Hogue wrap-around rubber grips, Wilson Combat drop-in beavertail and combat hammer, and painted the stock sites. After about 500 rounds, I haven't had a single failure and the gun shoots as well (if not better) than my Colts. It's a pleasure to shoot, and I'm not concerned about wearing the finish, scratching it, or breaking it in any way (two of my three Colts have sentimental value). I bought the RIA to be a shooter, and shooting it is what I am doing. I'm glad I got a "beater" gun that is reliable and shoots some nice groups. I'd almost be tempted to pick up another one. :eek:
     
  22. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    Mine has been fine, though it gives me hammer bite though that is easily fixed. Part of the reason besides the money why I have not gotten guns like a Les Baer or a high end Kimber is I can't see myself spending so much when I have had guns costing half or a third less that were the same or just a little less accurate.

    For example, though I admit it jammed a lot, I once had a Chinese Tokarev that was just about as accurate as my Sig Sauer P225.
     
  23. Navy87Guy

    Navy87Guy Member

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    3006mv -

    What mods have you done to the gun - sights, beavertail? Anything else?

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  24. Seven High

    Seven High Member

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    I read somewhere that all parts interchange with u.s. made parts. Has anyone checked to see if they all really do interchange?
     
  25. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    I need to get all my gun layaways paid up and then I can see about getting one of these. Nice to hear all the good imput on these 1911s.
     
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