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Rock Island 1911 vs. Taurus pt1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by densecity, Apr 15, 2009.

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  1. densecity

    densecity Member

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    Hello -
    I am planning on buying my first 1911 in the next week or so. I am stuck between purchasing the RIA or a Taurus. I want to spend less then $600 and later mod it if i choose to / have more $.

    I like that the Taurus 1911's are a little more attractive, and I could find a nice SS version, however I have heard great things about the RIA's and the price is unbeatable.

    Another quick question - If i bought an RIA 5" GI model, could I "drop in" such things as a beavertail and extended safeties without serious mods?

    Can anyone comment on the functionality/accuracy of both? I am interested in hearing any opinions, especially if someone owns both.

    Thanks
     
  2. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Member

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    There are drop in beavertails available. I have a RIA GI and I'm trying to decide if I want to go the drop in route, mod the frame to fit a std beavertail, or leave it as is. I don't know how well the drop in types work, but they aren't too expensive.
     
  3. Thomas Garrett

    Thomas Garrett Member

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    I'll only address the RIA. Sarco is the answer first of all. Cheapest prices. Now, Just make the move to the "Tactical" model, you get all the additionals that you want. Like $20.00 difference. But still under $500.00. i own 2 of thieir "tacticals". love'em both, great shooters. Nothing wrong with the Taurus's, the only thing (Heard) is their customer service, don't personally know though. But, one thing to consider, there are more modifications available for the RIA, being a 1911-A1 platform.

    PS. Welcome to THR.
     
  4. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Go with the RIA Tactical from Sarco, you won't be disappointed! See if they have the satin nickel finished model, those are sweet.

    I took a RIA GI model and put my own Tactical parts on it. The hammer and trigger dropped right in, but the beavertail required a LOT of grinding and filing on the frame to make it fit nice, then I had it blued. It turned out gorgeous, but a stock Tactical is far more practical.

    I'm not a Taurus fan.

    The RIA Tactical in satin nickel....

    [​IMG]

    My homebuilt Tactical.....

    [​IMG]
     
  5. SWC Bonfire

    SWC Bonfire Member

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    I have the RIA tactical, it handles very well, shoots great and has good sights/trigger pull. It is probably worth it over the base model. I bought it used, but even the new prices were much cheaper than a taurus when I checked.

    If you are looking for something to hotrod later, you might be better off finding a used Norinco; from what I've heard they are made from P20 tool steel and very good cantidates for a custom gun starting point.
     
  6. spiroxlii

    spiroxlii Member

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    I say it in every 1911 thread, and I'll say it again. I was in the market for my first 1911. I actually wanted one with NO bells and whistles. I wanted something as close to the ones that were issued in the 1940s as possible. I was going to go with a plain RIA 1911 when the guy at the shop managed to talk me into a slightly more expensive Springfield Armory GI.45 model.

    The "GI.45" from SA is actually closer to mil-spec than the SA "Mil-Spec" model is. Weird. Anyway, the thing didn't work right out of the box. It wouldn't feed ANY JHP, and it would fail to return to battery quite often with FMJ. After sending it to SA (great customer service, btw), all the issues are fixed; HOWEVER, the finish on this gun (mine is grey parkerized) seems cheap, and it's already wearing off in some places.

    I wish I had purchased the RIA.
     
  7. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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  8. Thingster

    Thingster Member

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    I have a buddy witha PT1911- he loved it until he shot my RIA. He proceeded to sell it off and get a Tactical.

    The PT1911 was more aesthetically refined than my RIA A1, but the RIA was more mechanically refined. Better trigger, more positive safety feel, and a better feel in the hand.

    My RIA also fed more reliably. His wouldn't process a SWC for anything.

    The tactical has the aesthetic refinement of the PT and the mechanicl refinement of the A1.

    Just remember, if at all possible handle the exact gun that you will be buying prior to buying it. See if it really is what you want.
     
  9. powwowell

    powwowell Member

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    This is another vote for the RIA Tactical.

    I have no beefs with the PT1911, but I think the RIA Tactical is the better value. If you need it, customer service is great. So I've heard. I've never had to call on Ivan.
     
  10. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    +1 on the Rock Island *Tactical*

    -1 on Sarco.

    Check Bellshire Guns (aka Bellshire Hardware) on Gunbroker. He's slightly more expensive ($25-50), but he'll ship it out of his store the next day. I ordered a RIA Compact 1911 from him via GB. Had it within 72 hours of clicking "Buy Now."

    People who ordered their Compact from Sarco two weeks before me are still waiting...they saved about $30, but I'm endulging in immediate gratification :D

    Q
     
  11. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    38 Super

    I have been thinking real hard about getting the 38 Super version myself. The reviews seem to mostly be great and the prices are great.
     
  12. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I've also heard those are great, but you'd better check on ammo availability first. .38 Super isn't very common, might cost more than you'd like too. When WWB .45 auto was common, WalMart had stacks of it for $29.98/100. Never saw any .38 Super there.

    But, everyone says that 1911's in that caliber are awesome shooters.
     
  13. rdhood

    rdhood Member

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    I just got the RIA Tactical from Sarco (like... day before yesterday). I haven't taken it shooting just yet.

    Anyway, the Tactical is about $50 more than the GI at Sarco. For $50, you get a beavertail/hammer, a skeletonized trigger, upgraded sights. That's easily more than $50 in upgrades if you made them yourself, and well worth it. I paid $426 shipped with an extra magazine for the Tactical model substantially similar to rondog's.
     
  14. HZOX221

    HZOX221 Member

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    Neither

    Go with an STI Spartan
     
  15. EHL

    EHL Member

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    Boy I'm gonna be in the minority here, but I'd opt with Taurus. Forged frame and slide as opposed to cast frame and slide offered by RIA? For me it's a no brainer there.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly care for either one, but I'd opt for forged over cast anyday.
     
  16. Hammerhead6814

    Hammerhead6814 Member

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    Warning about Rock Island Armory 1911's:
    In my experience, the safety is EXTREMELY stiff. Every single RIA .45 I've held before at a gun shop (new RIA's), had this feature.

    I don't know if that is just a certain model, or if a new RIA can be cured of this with a break-in, but the safety, out of the box, is very, very stiff. It took me and the guys behind the counter at Show Me Shooters two hands each to disengage it.
     
  17. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    I've got 3 RIAs, never had a problem with a stiff safety.
     
  18. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Huh? Never seen that one before.
     
  19. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Here we go again....RIA slides are milled from barstock, not cast. And show us a cast frame that's failed, please.

    No telling what the problem was, if any. Probably just needed a little breaking in. Snap it a couple dozen times and I bet that would be gone. Anyway, you don't want a 1911 with a loose, floppy thumb safety, otherwise it'll be going off-safe when you don't want it to.
     
  20. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    We have have a rule here where I live....Friends do not let friends buy taurus.
    Go with the RIA.
     
  21. Searcher1970

    Searcher1970 Member

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    I'd go with RIA. I had one and loved it, like a idiot I traded it away. I plan on getting another though.
     
  22. densecity

    densecity Member

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    ok sounds like RIA it is. anyone have the satin nickel in stock? gimme.
     
  23. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    RIA TAC vote from the Deltaboy
     
  24. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    I own a PT1911... Obviously.... was my second gun purchase and I have been more than happy with it... it will shoot anything and everything I feed it, shoots more accurately than my springfield 1911 and kimbers that I have had the opportunity to shoot. first thing I did was change the grips as the black rubber dont do the gun justice, then added an extended slide release....now, I am trying to think of what to next, but there really isnt anything.. it has everything I could want already... I am impressed... and, seeing as I got the straight 8 sites, I love that variation as well...
     
  25. Texastbird

    Texastbird Member

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    Well the PT1911 gets a lot of bashing around this forum, but I still am very happy with mine. Its not a $1000 Kimber, but neither is the RIA. I like the idea of the tactical Rock a lot better than the GI one, since you are probably going to want some of the upgrades later on if not sooner. If you get the Taurus, there is nothing to add on except for the custom grips of your choice.
     
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