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CA357 11-27-2008 05:07 PM

First Impressions RIA Tactical 1911
My first impressions of this RIA Tactical are mixed so far. I field stripped the pistol and gave it a thorough cleaning and lube.

1. The pistol was full of dirty oil and gritty/miniscule metal particles. The oil mixture looked the dregs in the bottom of an oil pan. So, not impressed.

2. The barrel was absolutely filthy. It was dirtier than a barrel after 300 rounds. I had to really scrub it out with a bore brush and a bunch of Hoppe's Elite. Remember, this is a new pistol. Two down, still not impressed.

3. The right side cutout for the beavertail safety looks like it was gnawed out by a deranged hamster on crack. Number Three, not only not impressed, but looking over my shoulder for a drug crazed hamster.

4. Number four must wait until I shoot this thing, sometime in the next few days. A range report will then be forthcoming.

All I can say after my initial impressions, is that it better shoot the nuts off a gnat.

I bought it as a beater/shooter, and it looks like that's exactly what it is. If it shoots accurately and reliably, I'll be happy with it.

I took the stock smooth wood grips off and installed Hogue double diamond grips. I had to do a bit of trimming on both grips to acommodate the ambi extended safety.

Dillinger 11-28-2008 01:57 AM

CA - Thanks for the truthful, and complete, first impressions of the weapon. Nobody wants to admit to buying something they are not happy with, but your review was truthful, and you left an open for the overall performance of the pistol to save itself. Which, for your case, I hope is the case.

There have been plenty of 1911 battles around here lately concerning if you get more gun for more money.

As the RIA is more a budget model, I, for one, will be interested in your truthful and thorough range report.

Good luck Brother -


dragunovsks 11-28-2008 02:08 AM

Wow, it was that dirty new? I got mine (full-size government) about 2 years ago and it was a year old at the time and had only been fired a few times. Except for an "Idiot Scratch" between the trigger and slide lock it was in perfect condition. I can hit a standard size post-it at 20 yards with all factory parts.

I know a guy who also has one with some more expensive parts: full length guide rod, match grade barrel, competition trigger etc. He's very impressed with his.

CA357 11-28-2008 05:54 AM

I currently have a Dan Wesson CBOB, had and sold a Baer TRS that was stellar and also had a Springfield Mil Spec that I sent to Springfield Custom and Novak's for some tricks.

So, I have a reasonable basis for comparison. I bought the RIA strictly for knocking around, BOB use and keeping in the truck. So I really don't care in the least about its cosmetics. In fact, for my purposes, the uglier the better. (I think it looks meaner ;))

BTW, I already found out that it doesn't like Baer or DW mags.

I'll be taking it to the range Saturday morning and will post a report after.

If the pistol ultimately doesn't get it, I'll just sell it and buy something else.

Life's way too short to waste a bunch of time polevaulting over mouse turds.

Dillinger 11-28-2008 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by CA357 (Post 52902)
had and sold a Baer TRS that was stellar .

Say it isn't so CA?!?! :eek:

In the immortal words of Brain - "Pinky, if I could reach you, I would hurt you." ;)

That hurts just a little bit inside.... I fear I might need a moment of silence....


matt g 11-28-2008 05:41 PM

You sold the Les Baer? I hope you at least turned a profit on the sale.

CA357 11-29-2008 01:50 AM

A man's gotta' do what a man's gotta' do. ;)

CA357 11-30-2008 01:31 AM

Well, I took it to the range, but only managed to put three magazines through it. It shot accurately.

We had guests to instruct and I didn't have time to do any shooting. It was great fun though. My buddy, his girlfriend, her 14 and 16 year old daughters and her ex sister in law were there. We had a ball.
The ex sister in law is an LA liberal and she didn't have a good time for some reason. :D

Back to the RIA... The slide won't hold open on the last round with any mag other than with the one factory supplied mag.

So far, it doesn't work at all with Les Baer or Dan Wesson mags. It will operate with Kimber mags, but won't hold open when the last round is fired. :rolleyes:

I emailed Ivan at Armscor about the dirt/grit and poor safety cuts in the frame and he said to send it to them. I'll now add the magazine issue to the list and ship it off to Nevada come Monday.

I'll keep you posted.

Dillinger 11-30-2008 02:15 AM

^ Definitely keep us posted. It will be interesting to see how it performs once the "repairs" have been made.

On that report, I am inclined to give that particular model a thumbs down from the JD center of the world. Not worth the risk in a true Life or Death situation with that poor of performance, regardless of how it shot when it did cycle okay. A broken watch still being right twice a day sort of thing.

Thanks for the report CA - best of luck with the repairs...


CA357 11-30-2008 02:27 AM

I don't know if I'll ship it back. I think I may just clean it and sell it. I'll pick up something else.

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