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Rock Island Armory worth buying as 1st 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by joepa150, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. joepa150

    joepa150 Member

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    I was thinking that my next gun purchase will be a 380 pocket pistol to act as a BUG to my Glock 19. I always wanted a 1911 but I do not have the money for one and will not for a few years at least.

    As far as a budget 1911, Rock Island Armory has the cheapest. It also seems to get great reviews as far as reliability but might not be the fanciest out there.

    Are there any other options?

    For this price range, would you buy this 1911 or just go with a pocket 380 for now and get a 1911 in a few years?
     
  2. bgeddes

    bgeddes Member

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    I have two RIA 1911s. Both run flawlessly. I did a tad of polishing on the ramps but other than that they are both stock. They will eat anything I've tried to run through them. I'm considering buying one in 9mm. The guns that are the 'bare-bones' are not as nice as the fancier models, IMO.

    I have a pocket .380 too (LCR). They are great for carrying when you might not otherwise, It disappears into nearly any clothes.

    After owning and shooting 1911s, I can not get enough of them.
     
  3. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    1911. The RIA is a great choice for a first 1911. As time goes on, you can add a "nicer" 1911. That is what I did. No regrets here.
     
  4. joepa150

    joepa150 Member

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    How much are these RIA going for?

    9mm would be nice but I don't own a 45.
     
  5. bgeddes

    bgeddes Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Tactical version, which has a few added features, is still less than $500. Where in PA are you?
     
  6. docnyt

    docnyt Member

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    You might actually get spoiled with a Rock Island as your first 1911. You may begin to think "why are these high end 1911s so expensive when my RIA works just fine?".
     
  7. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    +1. I have fired high end 1911s and could afford one but see no reason to ditch my RIA tactical for one.
     
  8. denster

    denster Member

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    I have a number of expensive 1911s. About a year ago I bought a used RIA Officers model at a gun show on a whim because someone had fitted it with express night sights and it was cheap. It is now my EDC the thing is accurate, 100% reliable and has a great trigger. Go figure.
     
  9. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Depends on what you want... if you want reliability then the RIA and many others will give that to you... if you want fancy maybe not... although I really like the looks of the tactical.
     
  10. brandon_mcg

    brandon_mcg Member

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  11. joepa150

    joepa150 Member

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    I want reliability first and beauty is nice but not essential.

    I was planning on just getting the cheapest one BUT I didn't realize there were so many options.
     
  12. 230therapy

    230therapy Member

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    Sure, if you don't mind the mainspring housing looking like it was installed by a monkey with a chisel.

    I almost bought an RIA, but the shoddy workmanship turned me off.
     
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I kept my Rock and gave my WWI Colt to my son. I love my GI RIA. That's it on the left.

    45s.jpg
     
  14. mrdoublestak

    mrdoublestak Member

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    buy a RIA add some mods later and use the extra cash for ammo who wants safe queens
    i have a axe she aint pretty but she can sure the hell chop!
     
  15. dusty14u

    dusty14u Member

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    I think it was this guy.

    monkeyGun.jpg
     
  16. Florida Cracker

    Florida Cracker Member

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    I just bought an IAC Regent R100 for ~$385 plus tax (IAC is merely an importer). The gun will be under $450 out the door with three extra mags. The gun is made by Trabzon in Turkey and it's supposed to have better construction and finish than the RIA (made in the Phillipines).

    I'll post a range report as soon as I get it and take it to the range.
     
  17. joepa150

    joepa150 Member

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    My gut tells me to get the standard RIA 1911 for my first 1911 because of the price and the looks. I do like to carry my guns so I was thinking of maybe the compact but then again for maybe another $80 I could get the tactical.

    What does the tactical offer over the standard GI?
     
  18. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Tactical offers better sights, beavertail, commander hammer, skeleton trigger and ambi safety.

    The sight cuts are novak cuts IIRC but I could be wrong. This will allow you a greater variety of sight upgrades down the road without having to pay for sight cuts.

    The tactical should only cost you another $40. Centerfire has them for $419 + Shipping + transfer.

    They are perfectly fine first 1911s just understand their limitations going in and you will be fine. Armscors tooling is very close to the orginal Colt stuff they just do not spend a lot of time fitting and finishing the guns so they are not as nice in terms of craftsmanship but the run well. Good utilitarian choice.
     
  19. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I feel the RIA 1911s are excellent starter .45s, especially if the new shooter wishes to learn to do a bit of at home gunsmithing on their pistol.
    You can learn a lot taking a cheap .45 apart and putting it back together and replacing parts with something better as time and funds dictate.
     
  20. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    I have some nice 1911s. I was at the gun show this weekend and got to handle some RIA 1911s. Full size and compact, regular and tactical, .45 and 9mm.

    The full size tactical 9mm looked like a good starter. It's not .45, but then how much .45 can you afford to shoot?

    I really enjoy my 9mm 1911,but you can buy four RIAs for what I have in mine.
     
  21. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    The RIAs are good starter guns as long as you understand what they are. Just be ready to either have the gun refinished or keep it constantly wiped off to prevent rust. The finish is pretty thin and will wear pretty quickly around all your moving parts such as around the slide stop, around your thumb safety, and the sides of your grip safety. And if you plan on taking it in and out of a holster, then you'll see finish wear pretty soon around the muzzle and on the sharp edges of the gun. There are a lot of posts about RIAs developing thin films of rust, especially if carried in damp or humid conditions.

    It all depends on your taste and if you can do without what I call "the finer things in life". A RIA vs high end 1911 debate is essentially the same argument as Hyundai vs Cadillac. Both get the job done reliably, it just comes down to how important the "finer things" are to you.
     
  22. franco45

    franco45 Member

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    It appears that all those who own RIA 1911's swear by them. I am among this group. I bought an RIA tactical in 45 acp with the intention of trading up. Now my intention is to buy an RIA 9mm tactical. I did a lot of research for many months because I thought the reviews were too good to be true. Never once did I see anyone complain of a thin film of rust. But then again I keep all my guns clean and wipe them all down with a silicone towel regularly. I do not carry my RIA so I can not speak to holster wear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  23. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    A lot more information can be found at the specific 1911 forums in the subsections for RIA guns.

    There are also more and more threads about customer service slipping.
     
  24. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

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    I have a RIA Tactical. Can't beat it for the price. If you want a reliable 1911, don't care about looks so much, and don't want to spend a lot of money, the RIA is for you.
     
  25. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Well said.
     
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