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Hot Sauce NARC 09-14-2009 05:02 PM

Rock Island Armory
I went to a local gunshop this past weekend and after i payed for a scope mount the guy fronted me 2 weeks ago i got to looking at his stock. He had 2 Rock Island Armory 1911's one was a bare bones GI model for $514, and th other was a "tatical model" with ambi safities and combat sights for around $590. I have been thinking i would like a 1911 to tinker around with, customize a little, but i dont think that would be a good idea to try out on my kimber. So i guess what i am asking is what is your experience with Rock Island, whats their quality like, how easy are they to customize. what do you think of the prices?

NGIB 09-14-2009 05:10 PM

I've owned a couple and they're decent guns with cast frames. Both prices seem a bit high to me as I've seen the Tactical at around $500 locally. The Tactical has better sights (dovetailed) and most of the bells & whistles folks want so you won't have to do any upgrades. Bang for the buck, the Tactical is a good buy...

Dillinger 09-14-2009 05:11 PM

Rock Island is a pretty good company. They quality is "good" but I definitely wouldn't say they are above average.

They do use MIM ( Metal Injection Molded ) parts in their low end pieces, so I would plan on changing out a few of the internals if the piece you buy has them.

$514 for the GI would be a "decent" price, but I have seen the GI models for as low as $440.

This would be a good project gun for you and an excellent way to learn your way around the 1911 platform. The RIA platform should be all steel frame and slide, and you can build a great pistol starting with those two components...


Dillinger 09-14-2009 05:13 PM

NGIB - Is that true? I thought RIA was producing a true steel frame and slide, not a cast version. I thought that was one of their "selling' points.

Not arguing, I am honestly curious, because I had read otherwise.



NGIB 09-14-2009 05:21 PM

As far as I know, they still use a cast frame vs the forged frame - and this is why some folks dislike them. I would avoid the GI model as the first thing everyone wants to do is upgrade the sights. The Tactical has dovetailed front & rear sights and this is worth the price difference alone IMHO.

When I bought my Guardian last month I examined a Citadel "Tactical" model (also built by Armscor) and it looked very nice. I prefer the matte black finish on the Citadel to the parkerized finish on the RIAs. The price on the shelf was $509...

rifleman1 09-14-2009 05:57 PM

i own a R.I.A. standard g.i. model nothing fancy but it's worth every bit i paid i got mine for around 500 out the door but i would have paid a little more not much more though. i bought mine for a winter project, gonna add as many upgrades as i can afford this winter ,thinking about sending it off for a finish from HOME PAGE they've got some pretty cool looking stuff.

Hot Sauce NARC 09-14-2009 06:15 PM

Thanks for the info. They both looked like decent pieces. but i do think the prices are a bit high. I was thinking i would go with the standard A1/GI ( not sure what to call it im sure cane will be all over my ass for botching the designations) model because it seems like a waste to buy a more expensice model and just junk all the parts anyways. I wonder if i would be cheaper just to buy the tatical model with the dovetail sights and then not have to pay someone to cut dovetails on the GI model?

i was thinking today at lunch that it would be funny to have a gun that was just as reliable as my kimber, but had the look of a cheap chrome knock off.
i think if i embark on this project it will be Known as the "Tijuana Pimp". A 1911 with a mirror finish, and pearl grips. Somthing that is fun to shoot, and also looks awesome.
I stole that name from someone in the 1911 forum

NGIB 09-14-2009 06:34 PM

A friend of mine recently picked up an RIA Tactical in the satin nickel finish and it's a real good looking gun. I put a few mags thru it and it shot well also...

CA357 09-14-2009 09:57 PM

I bought a new RIA Tactical and it was a POS. It wouldn't feed worth a damn. I tried different mags and also contacted the company. They told me that factory mags are the only ones that are guaranteed to work in it. So I bought a bunch (ACT-MAG) and it still wouldn't feed.

After several range trips, I got rid of it for a loss.

I know there are folks who have had no issues and mine may just have been a lemon, but I will never own a RIA ever again.

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