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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/10/2005 3:54:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 4:05:20 PM EST by idonutn0]
What does those that own them think of their Rock Island Armory 1911.
Ive never owned a 1911 and thought it would be a good one to start with.

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:01:31 PM EST
Rock Island is generally overpriced, substandard quality, not to specification CRAP. Charles the Gunsmith.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:02:51 PM EST
Mine and my friends work without issues
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:43:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 5:44:43 PM EST by entrefal]
I must have lucked out too..

No problems at all with mine yet..

My RIA has NO play at all in the frame/slide fit or barrel bushing...

I took it to my local smith after getting it to see if he was impressed as I was, and he pulled 5 Kimbers, and one Springfield out of the case and all had some frame/slide play...

The trigger does not feel as nice as a Kimber, but it is WAY better than the SW1911SC I was playing with yesterday..

I would love a Kimber but picked up the RIA real cheap, and am VERY pleased with what I got for the money

That being said...A Kimber is in my near future

Here is a picture of my RIA

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:02:07 PM EST
Check out "The complete book of the model 1911" magazine ("from the publishers of Guns & Ammo) at your local book store..

In the article "Abusing the 1911s for fun" they tested a Wilson CQB, Kimber Warrior, Charles Daly, and a Rock Island Armory..

They degreased them, stripped them, scrubbed them with alcohol, and then sprayed with 1,1,1 Trichlorethane. Baked them in the sun and shot 100 rounds as fast as possible without a single problem..

They buried them in the dirt, dug a hole and threw them in, after digging them back out, racked the slide and shot another 100 rounds with no problems..

5 gal bucket full of dirt, shaken, 100 rounds, no problems...

Next, dig a hole, submerge in mud and silt,shovel on more mud, same thing (although trigger pull got harder...Kimber required two fingers on the trigger to pull it)

Next Talcum powder and sugar in a bucket, another 100 rounds with no problems..

Parked his truck on top of the guns...No problems..

Underwater (do not try this at home!!) RIA cycled about 1/2 the time, Kimber and Wilson about 1/3 of the time.

Hollow points underwater caused a barrel to buldge, but he didn't say which one...(He did say even with the buldge in the barrel the gun still works just fine.)

Even after all that, there was no problems with the RIA

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:19:50 PM EST
None if the above really says anything except short term abuse testing. I think the real key is in multiple gun QC (number of "lemons" that get out) and the quality of the metallurgy in the frames and slides.

Of that.... I dont think they have been producing long enough to get real empirical data.

For the money, they seem like a great first 1911.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:35:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 6:36:05 PM EST by marc1979]
i've got well over 2k through mine, no issues, even used it as a base gun to build on. It was my first, and only 1911 at this time. A lot of people will flame them, but i've had no problems, and all the ones i've sold, and shot on the range have been fine, those that have them like them. Mine is loose and in need of a little fitting for the slide and frame, but i've shot the hell out of it, it's on par with the springers and Para's in the rental case.

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:29:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 7:30:24 PM EST by SGB]
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 8:06:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 2:35:42 AM EST by hobbs5624]
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 3:38:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2005 3:39:25 AM EST by entrefal]
Untill mine fails to go bang, put a bullit where I want it, or I starts showing unusual wear, I will continue to say it's a great gun for the money...
(I only say this because it looks like I got one of the good ones)
But I do agree that an extra $150 or so will get you a new Springfield GI model that would be a better choice if you plan to mod the gun..

J. Kuhnhausen says in his shop manual on 45s that 15% of the accuracy of the pistol comes from slide fit. Heck if I know.. I just shoot them
I did take great care in fitting the frame to the slide when I built the top 1911 in the above photo, just in case
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 4:44:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By entrefal:
But I do agree that an extra $150 or so will get you a new Springfield GI model that would be a better choice if you plan to mod the gun..

Whoa! $150? Here in Texas... the SA GI model is $429 at most of the shows. The RIA's start at $349.

That is more like a $80 difference.... not $150.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 5:01:48 AM EST
New ones around here are $350 RIA and $499 for the Springfield
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 7:51:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2005 7:52:42 AM EST by p-dog]

Slide to frame fit means next to nothing in a 1911, and basing opinion of quality on that is unwise.

+1000. My Colt Gunsite is looser than my "Rock". Guess which is more accurate? (not the Rock)

My Rock took the following to make it work acceptably:

Tune ejector (was too long)
Replace mag catch (broke)
Trim bottom of slide stop (was too long & hung below slide feed rail)

More a matter of taste mine also required:

Beavertail grip safety
King's fixed sights
Cheap black plastic checkered GI grips
Commander hammer
Extended thumb safety

Refinished in cold blue. All parts were cheap & the work done myself.

Frame seems soft (peened around guide rod area). The gun's barrel chrono's about 50 fps slower than my other .45's. The extractor hole is smaller than spec (a replacement won't drop in). I'm sure there's other issues I'm not remembering.

These are "beaters" or to be used by experimenting home gunsmiths. As far as a basis for a custom project, THEY'RE NOT WORTHY. Spend the extra $150 or so, used Colt 1991's can be had in that range.

That said, it's reliable, groups 2.5" at 25 yards, and I do carry it occasionally...
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:42:08 AM EST
I bought a Rock Island Armory from a gun auction website for a total cost of $300 delivered to my FFL dealer. I figured if I liked it enough, I would step up and buy a Colt or a Wilson.
I have had my Rock Island for a year now and have had no problems whatsoever.
I have fed it approximately 2,500 rounds of Wolf ammo, Remington UMC, Blazer, Aguila, Samson and Winchester Win Clean without a single problem.
Not one jam, not on stovepipe, not one feed problem.
Armscor pistols are imported by API in Pahrump Nevada, but are actualy made at the Twin Pines facility in the Phillipines.
I now own two of the pistols made under the Rock Island Armory brand name.
one in .45 and one in .38 super special.
I believe that the gun is made from the colt specs for the model 70 series.
I can only speak from my experience. And so far, it has been a great experience.
I am having so much fun with these that I have not thought about upgrading to the Colt yet.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:37:13 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:05:53 AM EST
They have a noticeable hook when you throw them out.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:38:58 PM EST
The firing pin in mine was apparently substandard material and mushroomed out a bit where the hammer hits it.

I love my RIA. I trust my Kimber. I will probably like my Essex once I get it to feed rounds.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:15:31 PM EST
My two cents. I bought one as my first 1911 so I could see if I liked the 1911 platform. I figured that if I didn't care for the 1911 platform, I wouldn't be out much money. As I am loathe to sell any guns that I buy, I'd rather have a $325 RIA sitting in the bottom of my safe than a $600+ other brand 1911.

I read extensively about the RIA after a guy I know said how much he liked his. The vast bulk of what I read was that the RIA was a great bang for the buck. I also read that the customer support was A1+ and that a factory rep for RIA hangs out at 1911forum.com. (His handle is Blackdragon and he can be found in the "Other" forum)

I also read some of what has been stated here like they are made from pot metal, are soft, etc... but thus far, I haven't seen anyone do a hardness test on one so I can't say if they are or aren't. People have also said that they won't hold up but again, I haven't seen anything to indicate at what kind of a round count that they give up the ghost at. Just assumming that they would break into two pieces at 15-20k rounds, at that point, $325-350 would buy you a replacement. I guess it'd depend on how much you plan to shoot it. Me? I doubt mine will ever see 10k rounds as I bought mine to see if I liked the 1911 and all I cared about is it running 100% with ball ammo in a range environment. For my heavy lifting/self defense needs, I carry and shoot Glock's (Let the stoning of the heratic begin )

So the next time I went to the fun show, I plunked down my money and bought one. I had an issue with it locking the slide back with one live round sitting loose on top of the magazine feed lips that went away after about 150-200 rounds or so and it has been 100% ever since. I currently have about 1,000 rounds through it. The accuracy is also good. I get ~2" groups at 10-15 yards offhand with the tiny GI sights. I'd probably do better with sights I could see

So at the end of the day I have a pistol that does everything I ask of it 100% and meets my personal needs and I got it for ~$325. I have also found out that, yes, I do like the 1911 platform. Would I use mine as a base gun to build up a custom job? Nope. That'll be a from the ground up job someday. Is the RIA in the same class as say a Wilson or any other high end gun? Nope but then again a $350 dollar gun shouldn't be. Keep asking around about them and any other brand you are interested in, weigh the pro's and con's, evaluate your wants and needs, then buy accordingly.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:16:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
This topic has comes up once a month at least. Every time it does, you get a bunch of guys saying they are crap, and an equal number praising them based on a magazine article or their own gun's performance. You also get a bunch of guys who swear the one's they've had are crap. I have no problem with anyone's opinions.

I can only offer some unbiased observations. I have a full time job that does not involve gunsmithing, and I have a family. Before having a child, I used to work on 1911s every weekend. I have a friend who has a full service gunshop that is extremely busy. At any given time there are a 6 - 12 1911s in there.

For ten years I worked on my own guns, as well as helped on his customers 1911s. Though I'm not a full time gunsmith, I have worked on hundreds of 1911s, and seen many more with their fair share of problems. Unlike high end 1911 custom operations, I get to see a lot of low quality guns, like Auto Ordnance, RIA, Charles Daly, Essex, AMT, Safari Arms, ARMSCOR, etc. I also see a lot of decent quality guns. I do everything from customizing to fixing problems caused by home gunsmithing or just bad quality.

I don't care what a gun costs, or where it's made, what shooter or what magazine endorses it. When I see the same manufacturer's guns consistently having the same issues, my simple little mind tells me that it's a clue.

I've seen RIAs that look and feel great, and ones that look like they were machined with a rock and a dull file. However, I consistently see soft slides, very soft extractors, and a host of other problems, like out of spec pin hole locations. Slide to frame fit means next to nothing in a 1911, and basing opinion of quality on that is unwise.

These are the reasons that those in the know will tell you that RIA sucks. You get what you pay for. You can get one that will run fine, and it might actually be reliable and accurate. If you do, that's great. It's like getting a Yugo that goes 300,000 miles. I'm happy for you, but it's still a gun with crappy steel and out of spec pin holes. Sometimes that doesn't matter, sometimes it does. If they have a warranty with good customer service, then you really can't go wrong, as long as your life doesn't depend on it. Anyway, I've now owned 2, and they both sucked. I won't argue with those that swear their's are great. I also do not intend to offend the RIA fans out there. I would much rather spend $50 more for a Springfield GI that doesn't work than have an RIA that does work. At least the Springer is in spec and has good quality steel, and if it doesn't work, it's very simple to fix it yourself if you know how, or send it to the factory. When you get an RIA that doesn't work, there is usually no real help for it, and they are a very poor choice for a custom gun.

HEY!!! Listen to this guy. He knows what he's talking about. Defend the RIA's and older Auto Ordnance and Charles Daly's etc all you want, but anybody who knows 1911's will spend a few more dollars for something else. No offense.

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:51:31 AM EST
I have had three RIA/Armscor guns. I still have one and shoot it on a regular basis. The one I still own has been pretty much gutted and rebuilt with decent parts. It runs good and is accurate but I have noticed recently that the disconnector is wearing a groove in the bottom of the slide. The frame does not appear to have any usual wear (yet) but I keep my eye on things anyway. Total round count through the gun is about 6,500, +/- a few hundred rounds. Granted, that's more rounds than most guys will shoot through all their guns, let alone one single firearm.

RIA is supposed to have a US-made line of 1911's coming out at SHOT. Hopefully they have taken some of the complaints about their guns to heart and will improve the product. As it stands now, Hobbs is spot-on with his posts.

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