A problematic RIA

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by danf_fl, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    As most know, I purchased one from a member here.
    The 1911a1 has made a couple of trips back to the ARMSCOR repair depot with Fail To Feed problems that seem to get worse as time goes on.

    I received the handgun a couple of months ago and finally got to looking at it this week. Here are some observations.

    Overall appearance is okay. Parkerized finish with plain stocks.

    Manually actuated the slide with 3 rounds - no problems noted.

    Feld stripped the piece and it was dry (but repair slip stated that they (ARMSCOR) lubed the piece. I put a few drops of REM oil in the normal areas.

    Took it to the range. Sights are the small military sights and are not the best for an old timer with trifocals, but I tried anyways.
    Using the Wolf 230gr fmj, I had 1 FTF throughout the session (and I attribute it to the ammo, the primer fell out and messed up functioning.) I have never been "bitten" by any other 1911a1, but this one bit me at the grip safety area.

    Overall, it seems that the problems have been fixed (so far). I plan to shoot another 400 rounds through it, then change springs, and put it up for sale.

    So far, it appears to be a solid device worth the amount paid.
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

    7,143
    1
    0
    Just as an FYI, I've been using Wilson Ultima II lube on my 1911s recently and I'm impressed. The stuff is VERY slick and stays where you put it...
     

  3. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

    1,264
    0
    0
    I'm glad the problems seem to be fixed, and I'm not trying to bash a particular brand because I know many people that are completely satisfied with their RIA, but I must warn people about them: Their quality is hit or miss, the tolerances are all over the place.
    I know this because when I worked for a gunsmith and his gun store I had to completely disassemble and reassemble literally hundreds of them, not for repair but for custom slide re-finish and personalized engraving.
     
  4. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

    876
    0
    0
    I have had the same problem with my RIA. I have not been able to go to the range and really shoot it as hard as I would like to. I have been able to put about 100rd threw it. I have tried loading some Winchester 185gr JHP's and have had a hit and miss. I read that if you polished the feed ramp with some 600 grit or finer sandpaper it would help. I just have not had the time to do it.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    Feed ramp was polished by ARMSCOR on one the "repair" trips, and the problem remained.
     
  6. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

    6,932
    0
    0
    Had the same situation with mine-
    Been fooling with it about 6 months off & on-
    Solved it just yesterday-

    TRADED THE POS OFF!!!!! :rolleyes:
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    I don't think I'll trade it yet.
    This is one mystery I will figure out (should it arise again).

    If I get 1000 rounds through it and not have an FTF (due to gun and not ammo), then it goes.
     
  8. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

    1,490
    0
    0
    I bet the mag/s might've been the culprit.
     
  9. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    19,847
    3
    0
    This was my problem RIA and Dan was kind enough to take it off my hands for a project. I tried Chip McCormick Shooting Star, Kimber, Wilson Combat 47, Act-Mag and Tripp Cobra mags. It had the same problem with them all. It was also clean and well lubricated for every range trip. It was definitely not a mag problem. It went back to Armscor in Nevada twice for the feeding issue and was never fixed to my satisfation, as it never fed reliably.
     
  10. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

    1,490
    0
    0
    That happened with my first RIA, every now & then I'd get a few malfunctions & later gave it to a buddy who knew about the issues. I looked at some willing to try again & saw a few that had incompletely milled slides :eek:. My second one was Rock Island Rock Solid which I gave to my dad for Christmas & his birthday(26th). Come to think of it I never sold a 1911 to anyone.
     
  11. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

    8,590
    2
    38
    I hope it works well for you and you don't have further troubles.

    I have 2 RIA 1911's and never an issue with either. Keep us in the know, if you do get rid of it, give me a shout.
     
  12. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    3
    0
    We all need to agree that ALL gun makers will build a lemon or two.

    The ones with the high numbers right out of the box (we all know which ones I mean) should be avoided. The lower cost doesn't make the owner of a recalcitrant firearm feel better. The ONLY good feelings the low cost gun owner gets is if it runs well.

    The seminal difference with any lemon is that the reputable manufacturers' lemon can be fixed by simply brining it back to design spec. As for the cheap ones, not so much.

    The secondary reason is that the reputable manufacturers' lemon will only cost the owner time to get it running. As for the cheap ones, not so much. Using a SWAG, I’d bet the money the owner is required to spend to bring a cheap lemon into running form may well exceed what purchasing the higher quality, reputable manufacturers' offering from the get-go.

    Yes Virginia, you do get what you pay for!
     
  13. kenhesr

    kenhesr New Member

    347
    0
    0
    I had my dealer order a new RIA 1911A1 a few years ago. I remember that at the time he tried to talk me into spending $50 bucks more and getting the SA GI. I only wanted the frame to put a new Kimber .22lr conversion on, make a dedicated .22 out of it. Slick up the trigger a little, after all, how bad could they be? and I had a buddy that wanted to buy the bbl & slide, so I went cheap and got the RIA.

    My brand new RIA showed up, thought I'd run a few .45 acps thru it, didn't clean it or nothing, just a quick test. Even though I only wanted the frame for the conversion unit this was the first RIA I had ever owned. The fit & finish looked good, for the money I was impressed, thought I might be on to something real good here!

    Everything was fine till I pulled the trigger on the first round. No bang, no dent in the primer, not even a light hit, no mark at all. :mad: Same on the next 5 rds. The hammer pressure was normal.

    When I went to take the firing pin out I had to use a drift pin with all my weight on it just to get it to clear the underside of stop plate. What I found in there kinda ticked me off!

    [​IMG]

    The firing pin looked used and I've never seen a fp spring like that. Pretty obvious they never test fired this weapon, it couldn't fire!

    Stripped it down and put in ALL new springs and a firing pin. Threw the mag away and used some proven High Standards. I ran 50 rds rapid fire thru it and it was a Swiss Watch. Very happy camper?, ya for about a half hour!

    OK, now I mount the Kimber conversion unit, which was the whole point of me buying this RIA anyway. No-go, the slide stop hole in the frame is too low. Not much, maybe .010" but its enough to pull down on the conversion unit and jam it. Tried switching some Colt & SA slides on this frame, same problem, definitely out of specs. The unit fit fine on the Colt, SA frames.

    I didn't want to slot the hole in the frame or unit so I did what I should have done in the first place, bought a SA GI 1911A1.

    [​IMG]

    So I have an out of specs RIA that runs fine. Am I happy with it, I guess so, makes for a good knock-around, cheap, dependable 1911. Am I happy with RIA, no. Would I buy another RIA, don't think so, not after this one. I'm not trying to influence anybody, this is just what I ran into and in this case, yes I got just what I paid for - TWICE! Ken
     
  14. freefall

    freefall New Member

    2,325
    3
    0
    You don't necessarily always get what you pay for, but you NEVER get what you don't pay for.
     
  15. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    I purchased this RIA with the intent of fixing it. This is not my first 1911 platformed handgun.
    How can you fix something that is not broke? I do not have any problems with the other 1911's in the safe, so I needed something to work on.
     
  16. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    1,505
    1
    38
    awwwwww man!!!!!!!!:(
     
  17. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

    6,932
    0
    0
    I could'nt trust it -
    Sides, I've grow real fond of the other & it's been 100% with all 10 of my different brand mags filled with any style rounds-
    Also been really wanting anuther hi-cap 9mm so ----------------
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  18. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith New Member

    259
    0
    0
    The first 1911 I had was an Armscor imported by Charles Daly. It was a POS with a warped frame I could do nothing with.

    I purchased a standard RIA and proceeded to build it into what it is today: a very reliable, accurate weapon.

    Though I won't go into detail, the only things that remain RIA are the barrel, slide and frame.

    The STI Spartan is built using the very same frames and slides.

    I buy cheap pistols knowing that I will end up rebuilding them anyway, so why spend the extra money?

    Even my Mosin-Nagant is modified and more accurate than it has any business being (avg 1.5MOA, better with handloads).

    One man's trash... and all that.

    Josh
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  19. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,369
    57
    48
    Thanks Josh.
    So far, I have not had a problem with the handgun, but knowing the previous owner's problems (and my thinking I am a "hot dog" with 1911's), I plan to see if the "fixes" from ARMSCOR were effective.

    After the 1000 rounds, then come the mods (if I don't trade/sell/give it away).
     
  20. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

    1,490
    0
    0
    The one I gave my dad was the first pistol I ever hit dead bullseye right out of the box with. I regret giving it up to my dad but he loves it. Not being a pistol savvy person he took an old car window, put it in a tree, stood at 75 yards away, & hit it dead center with one shot. I'm sure I could always wheel a deal with him if need be.