Rock Island Armory 1911s

This is a discussion on Rock Island Armory 1911s within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Airedale If you want (or need) a prettier pistol, go for it. Read threads in the various manufactuers forums on the 1911 ...

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Thread: Rock Island Armory 1911s

  1. #31
    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airedale View Post
    If you want (or need) a prettier pistol, go for it. Read threads in the various manufactuers forums on the 1911 forum. You'll find a much higher problem rate in the more expensive pistol forums than you will in the RIA forum.
    For the $429 I paid, this is really a very nice 1911. I detail stripped and all the internals look pretty good. The only problem was I could NOT get the extractor out of the slide. Pushed the firing in in and the back plate, pin and spring came out just fine. Hope the extractor doesn't need any tuning/tweaking.

    One thing that surprised me was how good the frame fit the slide. It's as tight and smooth as my Kimbers. I've always heard how loose RIA 1911s were. I even had a friend who said his was as loose as a Thai hooker. Sounds like he got ripped off or doesn't "fill the bill".

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  3. #32
    Member Array ScotWarrior's Avatar
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    shellback -

    i've seen two do that - one was due to overly tight grip screws and it felt a little sticky - that may have only been my perception, but i cleaned it just to be sure. the other was the mag itself. easily changed. i've learned that no matter the manufacture, i use the factory mags as a last resort. i CARRY only wilson or mecgar mags when out and about. wilsons are nice but very pricey.

    mags dropping free shouldn't be part of the break in process, but i can see how it might be later on. RIAs are good guns, i just prefer springers. for a milspec or GI format, either are great, especially at the price you can get them for. just run PREMIUM mags through them if you intend it as a carry. incidentally, if you have a lot of FTF issues, it's rarely the gun itself, but usually the mag - unless you're running JHPs through it. the throat on the milspec isn't quite the same as the gussied up versions.

    bottom line: springers have a better fit/finish, and a slightly nicer parkerized coating, but both are great and if the RIA is your thing, snap it up! everything you mentioned is very easily fixed, but you might find a slightly better example if he reorders for you.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined" ~Patrick Henry

  4. #33
    Member Array doctruptwn's Avatar
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    Mine have been great and they have been great. They also offer amazing customer service.
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  5. #34
    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightrider View Post
    Is all RIAs SA only?
    Yes. All true 1911s are SAO.

  6. #35
    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Anyone know approximately what it would cost to have a GI style 1911 slide fitted for aftermarket sights with Novak style dovetail cuts or the like?

  7. #36
    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    I have had 2 RIA Tacticals. The first was perfect, the second gave some trouble, needed slide stop, extractor, and breech face work, and then it was perfect.
    Healthy children will not fear life, if their parents have integrity enough not to fear death.
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  8. #37
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotWarrior View Post
    bottom line: springers have a better fit/finish, and a slightly nicer parkerized coating, but both are great and if the RIA is your thing, snap it up! everything you mentioned is very easily fixed, but you might find a slightly better example if he reorders for you.
    Roger, Copy All
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  9. #38
    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by targus View Post
    Yes. All true 1911s are SAO.
    Thanks
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  10. #39
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by targus View Post
    What does that last part mean? Is it not reliable and/or a good shooter?
    It loves FMJ but hates JHP or lead cast at any length (won't feed reliably). It probably needs throating (again) and some work with the extractor/spring combination. I've tried a lot of different mags and it still has issues. Otherwise, the 4" has been upgraded and should be ready to carry after some more tweaking. The 5", OTOH, is a beast and 100% reliable (2" @ 25 yards off of a rest).
    Tim
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  11. #40
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    It loves FMJ but hates JHP or lead cast at any length (won't feed reliably). It probably needs throating (again) and some work with the extractor/spring combination. I've tried a lot of different mags and it still has issues. Otherwise, the 4" has been upgraded and should be ready to carry after some more tweaking. The 5", OTOH, is a beast and 100% reliable (2" @ 25 yards off of a rest).
    The throat usually isn't the problem. I'd seriously look at the extractor first. Have you thought about just sending it to Arnel and having it looked at?

    If you haven't already, go over to The M1911 Pistols Organization and do some reading on the kinds of malfunctions you are getting.

  12. #41
    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotWarrior
    spend just a little more and get a springfield armory mil spec instead. better metallurgy and fit and finish. we're not talking about much more at all.
    +1. I made this mistake.

    I bought a Rock Island CS In November of last year. My first range trip was uneventful and the gun performed flawlessly through 150 or so rounds. I cleaned and lubed the gun after the trip and decided to take it camping with me 2 weeks later. That's when the problems started. We were fishing on a river and having now luck. I decided to fire a few hundred round for the heck of it and set up a firing lane. After the first 25 rounds I started getting horrible misfeeds. I tried different mags and had the same issue. When we got home that afternoon I field stripped the gun and saw what appeared to be a crack on the feed ramp. After looking at it with a magnifying glass I could see that it was actually a linear imperfection that opened into a huge void in the metal. I could peel back the metal edges and see a massive void opening up under the line. I took my dremel and buffed the ramp a little and several smaller areas began showing signs of having the same "bubble" under the metal. My local gun shop gave me the option of sending it off and having it replaced or accepting an in-store credit for the purchase price. I ended up leaving with a Glock 23 instead.

    I accept that I may have gotten a lemon and may have the only RIA 45 that has EVER had such a problem but for me, once was enough. There are too many other brands to play with.

  13. #42
    Member Array 2c5s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    How do the Kimbers know? Did they hear it from a Springfield?
    LOL!!

    My $390 RI compact outshoots and out feeds my buddys $1,200+ compact Kimber all day long. Another one of those best buy pistol secrets.

  14. #43
    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    They are a very good starter 1911. I had one and liked it. I did have a problem w/it not feeding 200 gr RFN bullets and I found the weight for CCW a little too heavy. Change the sights too and you'll be happy.
    " Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." George Washington

  15. #44
    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbabbler View Post
    I accept that I may have gotten a lemon and may have the only RIA 45 that has EVER had such a problem but for me, once was enough. There are too many other brands to play with.
    You definitely got a lemon. I hand racked the SNOT out of mine with snap caps for an entire evening and blew through a 250 round yellow box of PMC with zero issues. Also fired off a few mags of old 185 grain +p Hydra-Shok carry ammo. No problems with that, either. I tore it all down again (detail, not field strip) and everything still looked new. The only thing that bothers me is I cannot get that effin' extractor out of the slide. I hope I never need to replace it because it WILL take a hammer to get it out.

    I like my little $400 1911. It has a nice home now alongside my $1000+ Kimbers.

  16. #45
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbabbler View Post
    +1. I made this mistake.

    I bought a Rock Island CS In November of last year. My first range trip was uneventful and the gun performed flawlessly through 150 or so rounds. I cleaned and lubed the gun after the trip and decided to take it camping with me 2 weeks later. That's when the problems started. We were fishing on a river and having now luck. I decided to fire a few hundred round for the heck of it and set up a firing lane. After the first 25 rounds I started getting horrible misfeeds. I tried different mags and had the same issue. When we got home that afternoon I field stripped the gun and saw what appeared to be a crack on the feed ramp. After looking at it with a magnifying glass I could see that it was actually a linear imperfection that opened into a huge void in the metal. I could peel back the metal edges and see a massive void opening up under the line. I took my dremel and buffed the ramp a little and several smaller areas began showing signs of having the same "bubble" under the metal. My local gun shop gave me the option of sending it off and having it replaced or accepting an in-store credit for the purchase price. I ended up leaving with a Glock 23 instead.

    I accept that I may have gotten a lemon and may have the only RIA 45 that has EVER had such a problem but for me, once was enough. There are too many other brands to play with.
    The sad part here is that if you send it back to RIA, they'd bend over backwards to make it not only right, but would probably throw in some free upgrades to boot.

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