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Daryl Pelfrey 03-31-2009 07:19 PM

what upgrades are practical
When I get ahead with my finances I would like to upgrade the RIA if I can.
What would be some upgrades that will help in making this pistol more reliable and better for fast target acquisition and accuracy? Its the RIA 1911 full size gov model 45acp. It seems to be accurate enough but any improvement will be welcome.

Dillinger 03-31-2009 07:35 PM

Well, that depends alot on you my friend. Congrats on the 1911 purchase - now you have about a GAZILLION add-ons to pick through. :D

Did you have the tuned to a carry weight? Around 3-4#?

I think a trigger job is the #1 thing to do to any pistol or rifle for better shooting purposes.

Next, on the RIA's especially, I would have the feed ramp polished ( or do it yourself if you feel capable ) but having a polished feed ramp is ALWAYS a good idea on a pistol like the 1911. It should be standard on every pistol, but I don't know RIA well enough to say one way or the other. If you can't see a mirror shine, I would suggest a polish job because it will help the ammo load more reliably....

Quality magazines - I can't stress these enough. If you don't have quality mags, the gun could be the best one going, but if the ammo can't get into the chamber, it's not going to be anything more than a 2# club. :D

How's the gun fit YOUR hand? Are the grips the right width? Can you safely reach the magazine release and the slide release without rotating the gun off target??

So many questions.... and so many options. I love the 1911 platform. :D


Daryl Pelfrey 03-31-2009 07:58 PM

The mag release is ok but the slide release I have to rotate a little. I have big hands but it still takes a little effort to release the slide.The mags are good quality. I plan on a couple more though just like the one that came with it.The trigger and feed ramp sound like good things to do. Actually the most annoying thing is the sights. They are real low and combat sights. The width of the rear sight notch is so small it takes a couple seconds to find the sight picture but then I guess if I really need to use it for defense the sights will most likely not be used just point and shoot at a few feet.Mainly reliability is what I want. I dont want any feed problems or ejection problems.I read about short plunger stops and reverse recoil spring something. Cant remember where I read this and didnt know for sure what the guy was talking about.I wide beavertail on the back of the grip would be nice I guess. I like the looks of them but not necessary right?
Thanks Dillinger

Dillinger 03-31-2009 08:15 PM

That's the thing with the Internetz and a customizable platform like the 1911. EVERYONE thinks they are an expert and knows EXACTLY what YOU need.

They don't. I don't. The only person that KNOWS what YOU need on YOUR gun is YOU! All the other sales and marketing and my buddy did this, or I have one and did that, is all bullshit if it doesn't work for YOU.

Example. I got an H & K USP Tactical with the threaded barrel, the 12 round mags, the rubber "shock buffer" for tighter groups and 4 (6?) position adjustable trigger not long after they were released on the market to the public. EVERYONE loves that gun who has never OWNED that gun... LOL I can't stand it. It's a brick. It's bulky. You can't conceal it. The trigger pull is atrocious, even after I adjusted it ( over travel is perfect though - H&K did that part 100% right ) yet it runs flawlessly and I have NEVER had a problem with it. I just don't personally care for it. It doesn't fit my hands right and it doesn't feel right - but you watch, someone in the next month will reference wanting one, or seeing one and loving it... LOL

So, for your 1911, you need to do some ammo tests and see if the damn thing eats what you feed it. Don't throw money at a problem that doesn't exist. If you can buy 6 boxes of different types of ammo, load them up, run them through the gun, cold/hot/dirty/freshly clean, and hit what you are aiming at, you don't have a problem. That's the God's honest truth...

No, if you start getting failures to feed ( FTF ) or failures to eject ( FTE ) - then you have a problem and need to start looking into this further because it's going to be a bitch to pull that bugger out, get off one shot, have a stove pipe and try to remember Emergency Clearing Drills while you are amped out of your gord on adrenaline and the bad guy is getting closer with evil intentions....

From the sound of things, you might want to consider a longer, more pronounced slide release. Here's a model made by Wilson Combat. It says that minor fitting might be required, but it's pretty damn basic, you don't need an armorer's certificate to drop it in and see if it works. :rolleyes:

I personally never use the slide release on my pistols, it was taught to me not to, so I do a hand over the slide rack and roll, unless I am doing tactical reloads in which case no slide work is needed.

As for sights, there are so many out there, you need to find out what you like and get someone to install them for you. I would suggest night sights, because they make a difference in the dark and don't hinder you in the daylight.

However, there is nothing so humbling and infuriating as trying to "tap" a new night sight into place and accidently splitting the base. Yes, I have done it and it sucks.... So have a pro change out your sights unless you have the proper tools...

Other than that very basic advise, shoot the damn thing A LOT and see how she performs. You may have a rock star and not even know it...


Daryl Pelfrey 04-01-2009 02:12 AM

Thanks again
Thanks again Dillinger. Ive always just went with what I wanted and my best judgment and it has not let me down. Your right, I need to just shoot the crap out of it and see what it does.
Thanks again

dragunovsks 04-01-2009 02:46 AM

A friend of mine has a RIA 1911, as do I, but his has been accurized. He told me it has an accurized barrel, full length guide rod and reworked trigger. Of course, it's probably got more upgrades than that but that's all he mentioned to me. He doesn't spend money on it unless it makes it more accurate so it looks factory.

Mine is accurate enough in it's factory configuration that I can put eight rounds in a standard post-it note at 20 yards. Good enough for a $300 handgun.:D

Dr. Marneaus 04-01-2009 04:05 AM

I know there are a few things that can be done to help accurize and increase reliability.

The beavertail would be totally personal preference. I've never been bitten by my 1911, but I've been told that it only takes 1 hit to never want it to happen again, so for the time being. my grip safety is staying the same.

I've also read that the barrel bushing should be a pretty tight fit, (almost to the point of requiring a bushing wrench?) which is something that my stock Springfield is not, it's by no means loose, but i can EASILY remove it by hand in a second. I've ordered a new one from Springfield to get a better fit out of.
Just a thought.

Bighead 04-01-2009 04:40 AM


Originally Posted by Dr. Marneaus (Post 89821)
The beavertail would be totally personal preference. I've never been bitten by my 1911, but I've been told that it only takes 1 hit to never want it to happen again, so for the time being my grip safety is staying the same.

I've got a nice scar from a Series 70 that I used to shoot back in high does suck when she bites you.

Daryl Pelfrey 04-01-2009 04:02 PM

Barrell bushing
Thanks everyone. Dr Marneaus, the barrell bushing in my RIA is hard to remove. Its a tight fit and I have to wrk a little to get it out with my fingers. I thought that was a bad thing, sounds like it is a good thing. I have not shot it much but it sure seems accurate enough.
Dillinger, the feed ramp on my pistol looks like a mirror.From the way I am looking at it I think the top of the ramp could use being rounded off just a little but Im afraid I would mess it up and cause feed problems. I will just shoot it as is for quite awhile and see how she does.I have never tinkered with a 1911 platform so Im hesitant to do anything myself. I have done a few trigger jobs(home tune) on some bolt guns and lever guns but never a pistol.
The trigger is almost light enough maybe 4 to 5 lb but it has some creep.
A lb or so off the trigger and the creep removed would be nice.

matt g 04-01-2009 05:48 PM

Trigger, sear and hammer are the most important upgrades. You can send your pistol into Wilson and have them do a full trigger job if you're afraid to do it yourself. Otherwise, $100 in parts will make you love your 1911 even more than you already do.

After that, I'd replace the sights with some sort of low profile, 2 color tritium sights and some nice, sticky rubber grips.

2k or 3k rounds at this point would be an "upgrade" as it will wear everything in and give you a lot of practice.

After that, I'd go after the guide rod, match bushing, and MSH.

Lastly, I'd go for a match barrel

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