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Rock Island Armory 1911...any good??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CarbineKid, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. CarbineKid

    CarbineKid Member

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    Im in the market for a 1911. I really want a bare bones classic 1911. It will be used as a base gun, that I may or may not upgrade later(first 1911). I already know about the Springfield GI series, and Im just considering the other options out there(plus the RIA is less$). SO does anyone own, or have any info on RIA.
    Thanks
     
  2. VinnyT

    VinnyT Member

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    Yes. Go to www.forums.1911forum.com. All the way at the bottom is the "Other 1911's" forum. Check that out. MANY positive threads on this pistol. I have one and is it very accurate. There is even a member "blackdragon" that is an employee for RIA. He is also a huge help in any questions you may have. V.
     
  3. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    There's a few threads here at THR on these guns, but the bottom line is YES, they are decent guns.

    Certainly not Kimber quality, but if you want an entry level 1911 to see how you like it, it's a good choice.

    Mine had a few failure to feeds in the first 100 rounds but has gotten near perfect since. The factory magazine is junk; I replaced mine with a Chip McCormick (thanks to a gun loving brother - Merry Christmas to me!)


    Now prepare yourself for the deluge of "But you can get a Springfield for like $100 more!" attacks. :neener:
     
  4. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Don't own one, but...

    My carry gun is a Charles Daly, also made by Armscor. Several years old, several thousand rounds, not one single failure of any kind. Not a tackdriver, but good enough to hit a torso sized target at 25 yards.
     
  5. Frenchy

    Frenchy Member

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    I purchased one and it should be arriving today or tomorrow. I was also interested in a "Vanilla" GI design.
     
  6. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    Yes they're quite good and I don't regret spending $320 on mine. You will probably want to make improvements eventually. The stock GI hammer setup gives a lot of people hammer bite and the smooth wood grips are nothing to write home about. But those are a GI problems not a RIA problems.
     
  7. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Member

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    Mine shoots surprisingly well and is very reliable.....

    [​IMG]

    I've added a Wilson Combat drop-in grip safety, hammer, and Hogue grips on it.....and painted the GI sights.
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    RIA

    Recently I had the opportunity to look at a pair of new RIAs that a member and his wife bought for range use. Hers had a minor failure to go to battery issue that was corrected in about 20 minutes, and they report that all is well with both guns rockin' and rollin' as intended, along with decent accuracy that won't win any bullseye matches, but is fully up to informal target practice and the ritual Sunday Afternoon Ringing of the Steel.

    The guns are made up almost entirely from cast (not MIM) parts, including the frames and slides, so they probably won't be as durable under long-term hard use as machined steel...but the castings appeared to be good quality with no flash on the small parts...smooth and nicely finished...and only a hint of flash here and there on the frames...mostly on the underside of the grip safety tangs.

    Compared to the old Thompson Auto Ordnance 1911s of the early 80s, the
    RIAs are much better as to function, fit and finish...and not a bad deal for the money if somebody is looking for an entry-level 1911 clone. Of course,
    as with anything else that is mass-produced, problems are bound to crop up on occasion...and these two pistols can't be taken as assurance of being representative of the line...but my impression was favorable, with all applicable caveats in force. I may even pick one up at some point to wring out just to see what they're made of...and to save some wear and tear on my Colt beaters that are gettin' a bit long in the tooth. Of course...If anybody has one that they'd like to donate for a torture test in the name of research, I'm happy to oblige.:cool:
     
  9. Helstrm

    Helstrm Member

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    Mine came with a Novak mag that is great. I even ordered 3 more navaks for it. 500 rounds and not one malfunction. Can't say that for the Kimber or even the Delta Elite.
     
  10. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    I bought a RIA compact that I had very few problems out of. Mostly just break-in stuff. If has been 100% reliable for the last 450-500 rounds. I have added some extras like a BT safety in SS and to round out a 2 tone look a SS slide stop, thumb safety, and hammer. Internally I swapped out the disconnect and the sear. Now the trigger is so crisp and, well, perfect.

    Now I'm thinking of refinishing the slide and frame in Dura Coat.
     
  11. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    Used three of them so far--best deal for the money I know of.

    I don't have one yet (I'm a DA sort of guy and have an 8045), but will definitely be acquiring one to fill my 1911 "need".
     
  12. satx40

    satx40 Member

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    Hey all,

    I've got one and have about 2500 rds thru it. Not the first sign of problems. Accruacy is better than my Springer GI. Will get another one next gun show that's in town.
     
  13. wally

    wally Member

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    I've got about 5300 rounds on mine. The link broke at about 3500 rounds, use the search I posted photos. No problems since replacing the link with a $5 Wilson. I've been carefully inspecting it after every outing and see virtually no wear since taking the photos at 3500 rounds.

    IMHO great guns for the money, but if you plan on changing things from GI config, take a look at the Armscor (makers of RIA and Charles Daly) "Enhanced" 45 where for about $50 more you get Springfield "loaded" creature comforts. Again use the search, I posted a thread with photos when I first got it.

    --wally.
     
  14. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Sweet....I wasn't so lucky. Maybe mine is older/newer and they changed mags at some point?

    I may give the old mag a try again now that the gun has some mileage on it.

    The factory mag spring feels really weak though, and that's what I attributed a lot of my early troubles to, although possibly incorrectly.


    Oh well, I needed a spare mag anyway.
     
  15. wally

    wally Member

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    Needing 200-300 rounds to make your new Kimber reliable would not be unusual.

    A Springer GI may be only $100 more but does any gun come with uglier grips? :neener:

    --wally.
     
  16. NateG

    NateG Member

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    Which ones, the Springer "US" grips, or the plane-jane smooth RIA wood grips?

    I kind of like the Springer grips. But no one would accuse me of having "sophisticated tastes."

    I fell for the "only $100 bucks more for a springer" ($75 to be exact), but couldn't be happier with it. So far no failures to feed, eject, fire, or otherwise not work properly. The factory magazine works fine (a few of the cheapo mags I picked up at the show were complete junk... wouldn't even advance a round when the previous was removed. I had to shake them to get the rounds back out), and it eats everything I've fed it. (Lead, FMJ, hollowpoints, SWC)

    I know you didn't ask about the Springfield ones, but it's somewhat related: I considered the two, bought the springer, and love it. I imagine I'd be saying something similar had I picked the RIA, I just would have had a few more boxes of ammo through it already, or another holster/grips/whatever.
     
  17. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Slight update:

    After putting another 75 rounds through it a few nights ago all feeding problems seemed to have gone away (this is great news since I haven't cleaned the gun yet since I bought it).

    The factory mag worked 100%, EXCEPT that it was a little slow to feed the first round in the mag. The first round would hang for a split second before allowing the slide to completely move forward.

    Seemed to happen after the first fifty or so rounds.

    So maybe I was a little too critical of the factory mag at first. I checked - it is a Novak mag.
     
  18. 38snapcaps

    38snapcaps Member

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    I bought the full size and am delighted with it. I was amazed at the accuracy and the crisp trigger. I can stand back from the dirt berm and whack clay pigeons from 45 ft. with one shot. The tiny GI sights take a couple of mags to adjust to, but after that you find they force you to really concentrate on the sight picture, with wonderful results.

    I have fired a friend's Gold Cup and honestly I believe the RIA's accuracy is just as good and, for me, the RIA trigger is better.

    I felt like I was taking a chance, being it only cost $320, but now I'm quite pleased. I had it refinished to give it the dark gray WW II look.

    So, I would highly recommend the Rock Island Armory line of pistols.
     
  19. Frenchy

    Frenchy Member

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    Here's mine sporting original "Coltwood" USGI grip panels.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Helstrm

    Helstrm Member

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    I love my Rock
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Texfire

    Texfire Member

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    +1 on RIA 1911.

    Tex
     
  22. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    Thats how I have mine set up too and I put the original RIA grips on a Colt 1991a1 of all things.
     
  23. Frenchy

    Frenchy Member

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    My original grips are attractive...I'll have to save them for another gun.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. wally

    wally Member

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    I think the stock RIA grips are much nicer than the woodburned "GI" grips on the Springfield bottom of the line. But the grips are the place to save on manufacturing cost as no matter what you do, a significant fraction of your customers won't be happy with them.

    --wally.
     
  25. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Member

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    My RIA is on the far right, in the attached pic. I'm just over 1000 rounds, most of it Wolf. Shooting some of the dirtiest ammo on the market, I've had it function flawlessly even with 2-300 rounds before cleaning. The only thing I've done with mine was to swap the wood grips for a used set of cheap rubber ones.

    [​IMG]
     
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