SA GI champion vs RIA 1911

This is a discussion on SA GI champion vs RIA 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So i found a few people that are interested in trading their 1911 for one of my guys straight across. One is a Spring Field ...

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Thread: SA GI champion vs RIA 1911

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    SA GI champion vs RIA 1911

    So i found a few people that are interested in trading their 1911 for one of my guys straight across. One is a Spring Field armory champion (4" barrel) that comes with 2 mags. The other is a Rock Island Armory full size 5" barrel. The RIA comes with 4 mags and 50 rounds and a holster. Both are in very good condition, but is one an inherently better than the other? This is my first 1911 and it will be my carry gun if that makes a difference.

    Thanks in advance,

    SDG
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    JD
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    What are you trading, what RIA? a 5" GI or 5" Tactical? What kind of holster?

    9 times out of 10 I'd opt for the Springfield...

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Trading an FNP9. The RIA is just the 5", the holster is a kydex holster, nothing special.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    JD
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    Ahh OK.

    Both are no frills 1911s, both have good reputations, Springfield's a more recognized name and they do have forged frames. If I recall the RIA uses cast frames. Some don't care others do but I'll take forged when it's an available option.

    As you're wanting to carry the gun, the 4" might be beneficial, but many people (myself included) have no issue concealing the 5" 1911. The 5" will be a little easier to take apart as the Champion uses a funny little tool to disassemble the recoil spring assy.

    One thing that bothers me is that if I have a problem with Springfield, I go to their website, get the number and call them. With RIA it seems most people deal with the "North American Service Rep" on a 1911 forum....WTH is that about? It's a minor qualm as most people say that they've been taken care of when they needed service, but it just bothers me.

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    Member Array Coltman 77's Avatar
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    If you don't mind my asking, why don't you like your FNP9?
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    I carry a gov't Springer Mil-Spec (the model up from the GI) and love it. The barrels are two piece on the Springfields, but it'll last as long as any barrel would.

    The one thing I can recommend for any 1911 is either the Wilson 47D Mag or the Tripp Cobra Mag. Either magazine is phenomenal and I carry one of each daily (47D in the 1911 and the Tripp on my hip because the large basepad on it is very easy to grab in a jiffy!)

    The other thing to consider is that the Springer uses a titanium firing pin that doubles as a drop safety, while the RIA has no drop safety at all.

    Springfield Armory's customer service and QA are also among the top in the business!

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    Member Array forestranger's Avatar
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    All of my 1911 experience has been with Colts, US 1911A1s and RIAs so no hands on with Springfields but they are well thought of by many. Both the RIA and Springfield have GI sights, the Springfield is little lighter and might be a little more comfortable to carry. Even though I like my RIAs (Tactical and Compact Tactical...had a GI but can't see sights anymore), I'd probably go with the Springfield since it is close to Commander size ( which is my favorite 1911) and is probably worth more $. One thing to consider too, since both are used guns, I don't know about Springfield but RIA will honor warranty on used RIAs.{ Contact is armscor@armscor.net or Advanced Tactical, Pahrump, NV ph#(775) 537-1444 if warranty work needed.} Both are considerably heavier than FNP9 ( have two) so good holster and belt might be more important. Be good if you could shoot both first, then decide?

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coltman 77 View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, why don't you like your FNP9?
    Finally ready to move up to the .45. FNP 9 was great, but i figured this was an easier way to get into the 1911 world. Thanks for all the advice folks.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    I have a RIA 5" GI model 1911 and I really like it. The Springers are generally considered nicer (price and finish), but from a functional standpoint the RIA seems to hold its own with them. I like the 5" model and have no problem concealing it. It's a great shooter and was an inexpensive step into the 1911 platform for me. I would consider the value or price paid for the FNP9 compared to the value of the Springer and RIA. You can get values online pretty easy.
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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I carry a RIA compact; think officer's frame with a 3.5" barrel and I own a 4" RIA full size. I've also owned a Springfield Mil Spec.

    Forget the ammo part of it; Ammo is an expendable thing; comes and goes. You'll likey be keeping the gun for a while

    Holster; depends. If it's a high quality holster well suited for concealed carry then it would be a value added; but if it's a thick or cheaper hoslter better suited for range only then forget it.

    Now to the gun. Springfield is a better gun than the RIA but the RIA is nipping at it's heel. I like the thumb safety better on my RIA then on the Springfield. Forged vs cast on the frame is a big deal if you're going to put 10,000 rounds through it but for the average guy this will never be an issue and cast isn't necessarily bad if it's done well.

    The fit and finish on the Springfield probably edges out the RIA and if you do ever trade or sell this gun the Springfield will definitely hold the advantage.

    Based on all of this I would lean towards the Springfield. It's a slightly better base gun and if you do ever decide to customize it, I think it's a better starting point.

    Having said that, the RIA is a good solid gun. When I decided to get back into 1911's I went with RIA for the overall value vs price.

    Another thing; in the Springfield GI 4" size, there's a lightweight version and then there's an all steel version. The lightweight is much better for carry but you'll feel more recoil. The all steel is heavier to carry day in and day out but will feel better when shooting. And in my opinion, one inch on the barrel can make a BIG difference in comfort of carry. If you're a tall big guy maybe not so much so, but if you're slender built, then the one inch can make a big difference when sitting down.

    Also, on the mags, the RIA stock mags are "okay" but for either gun I'd highly recommend Wilson Combat mags. They simply help the gun run better.

    So that's my two cents.

    Enjoy.
    Gideon

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    I have a RIA 5", carried it for a few years and used it in IDPA and USPSA. The gun just runs and shoot great. I prefer the 5" to the 4" myself. The only SA 1911 I had was a problem child-ed, it was used and not sure if someone had "tweaked" on it before I got it.
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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    Both good guns, but from a purely materialistic standpoint.....the Springfield is the better "trade".

    While they may both be great guns, the RIA is PERCEIVED as a "cheap 1911", and the SA has a somewhat more "affluent" reputation.
    Whether or not it is deserved is beside the point, that is the perception.

    Also, the shorter barrel lengths tend to be easier to move, and often command a slightly higher price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsclaw View Post
    Both good guns, but from a purely materialistic standpoint.....the Springfield is the better "trade".

    While they may both be great guns, the RIA is PERCEIVED as a "cheap 1911", and the SA has a somewhat more "affluent" reputation.
    Whether or not it is deserved is beside the point, that is the perception.

    Also, the shorter barrel lengths tend to be easier to move, and often command a slightly higher price.
    I would not consider the SA as "affluent" it would be more working class if you ask me. Though there is nothing wrong with the RIA, I think the SA is the way to go for many of the reasons that others have posted.
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    While either would likely be fine, if you end up deciding the 45 isn't your cup of tea you would likely do better on resale with the Springfield.

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    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    I have a RIA 5" GI model 1911 and I really like it. The Springers are generally considered nicer (price and finish), but from a functional standpoint the RIA seems to hold its own with them. I like the 5" model and have no problem concealing it. It's a great shooter and was an inexpensive step into the 1911 platform for me. I would consider the value or price paid for the FNP9 compared to the value of the Springer and RIA. You can get values online pretty easy.
    I agree from a functionallity standpoint they are equal IMO.
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