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Thread: Rock Island 1911 , how you like?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Rock Island 1911 , how you like?

    Are the RIA GI 1911s reliable and accurate?

    I here they are nice guns , but saw one (1) web site review of some guy from 2015 complaining about jamming/ not feeding, and not very accurate

    Most people say they are good guns , reliable feeding and good accuracy...

    Local fun shop has The RIA GI 1911 FS and compact on sale even less $$


    .

  2. #2
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    DougGuy's Avatar
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    It would take a LOT to create a 1911 that won't respond to the common cures for jams, I don't think anyone has mustered that kind of skill so far. Meaning that with enough diligent trial and error of the various known "fixes" you can get any 1911 to run great.

    Quite often someone comes in here flustered and frustrated with their 1911, and the issues get diagnosed and fixed and their problems are gone.

    RIA are a well made pistol, but you need to take care of the basic issues from the start, find out what brand/maker of magazines it prefers, try a few different but well accepted boolit styles, if you have trouble with COA when you assemble ammo for it, get the barrel throated so you can seat boolits out to wherever you want to. Simple things first will reward you rather quickly with a RIA 1911.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I've had one for about 2 years, like it. Perhaps not bullseye accuracy, but better than G.I. accuracy. Mine doesn't jam. Would buy again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I read some posts on here a year or 2 back about the ATI'S. Bought one and had nothing go wrong yet...

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I'll let you know tomorrow...

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Don’t expect reliability from short overall cartridge lengths and nonstandard bullet shapes.

    The primary rule to follow for 1911s is not to feed it ammo you decide that you want to try. Feed it ammo that the gun is designed to feed. This will save much grief. Think rounded ogives and cartridge overall lengths in excess of 1.200” when speaking of 45 ACP chambered pistols. If the gun will not chamber correctly loaded ammo of suitable length, well, as mentioned above have it altered so it does.

    The gun was designed to function with ammo of a specific length and shape. Stray too far from that and the gun becomes less reliable.

    Some magazines have features that would make the designer of the 1911 roll over in his grave. This does not help matters either. Original 1911 design magazines have their specific shape and features for good reason. This is less well known than it should be.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    The one guy with the bad review , probably couldnt even tie his own shoes


  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy autopilotmp's Avatar
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    Bought a RIA 1911 in 9mm for my wife and that sucker is a tack driver. Loves both the Lee and Lyman 120 tc boolit. It is my backup gun when I shoot uspsa SS division (primary is para gi expert in 45acp). Would not hesitate to purchase again .

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Only one I am familiar with was the target version a friend has. Functioned fine with ball and WC ammo and was accurate. Had adjustable fiber sights but was also available IIRC with adjustable patridge type. Only negative was it had a rough trigger, but a trigger job is not that big a deal. Decide what you want it for, see a lot of folks buy the basic version of a 1911 and then spend $$ to upgrade with aftermarket parts and end up spending more than if they had bought the upper end model with the same features.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I don't have a RIA 1911. I do have a RIA revolver in .38 special. Nothing much to look at, black Cerekote finish.

    But it works, it shoots, and it was under 250$ brand new with taxes.
    I'm happy as could be with it. I'd buy from them again, no question.

    I did not like the rubber grips it came with. Which prevented use of a speed loader.
    But 5 minutes on the RIA site found me checkered wood grips to fit the same model, reasonably priced, and a speed loader.
    For me it shoots better with the wood grips.

    It lives next to my bed with a MTM 100 round box of .38 special ammo. Just in case I want something easier to manuver around corners than a 30" shotgun barrel.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Don’t expect reliability from short overall cartridge lengths and nonstandard bullet shapes.

    The primary rule to follow for 1911s is not to feed it ammo you decide that you want to try. Feed it ammo that the gun is designed to feed. This will save much grief. Think rounded ogives and cartridge overall lengths in excess of 1.200” when speaking of 45 ACP chambered pistols. If the gun will not chamber correctly loaded ammo of suitable length, well, as mentioned above have it altered so it does.

    The gun was designed to function with ammo of a specific length and shape. Stray too far from that and the gun becomes less reliable.
    I knew an old school armorer in the service back in the later 70's early 80's who said to find a length with an fmj that would feed 100%, usually around 1.25", and then when you load HP's or SWC's use the same bullet seater at the setting for those. This will keep the geometry the same through the feeding process. Have followed that advice ever since and haven't had any problems.
    Last edited by str8wal; 03-14-2020 at 10:43 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have 5 rock island 45acp 1911 , 2 in the standard gi and 2 in the tactical ,and 1 in the tactical where whoever owned it added flared mag well and magpul grips along with upgraded sights and then from condition did not shoot it .

    Have also gave son son in law and nephew each a rock island tactical , also have 2 1911 38 super rock islands all shoot good all feed everything I cast , as accurate as any I have shot and they all function like they should , I use mine for carry , I have the standard gi they also shoot and function fine , I prefer the ones with a few extra amenity's better sight ambi safety , beavertail nothing really fancy but worth the little extra , I shopped around to buy mine.

    The last one was used and like I said was bought upgraded parts and then not shot and sold , as the local gun shop owner said it was one of the flavor of the week internet commando who has to have the latest greatest sensation of the moment , buys and has a new interest the next week . My 10 year old daughter likes it and calls it the 911 , my 8 year old son gets so frustrated with her as he likes to say its a 1911 not a 911 , I think those 2 are going to be fine . As to magazines the ones from rock island which are mec gars work fine in mine so do my shooting stars I bought a long time ago.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    375RUGER's Avatar
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    I like the RIA 1911s. I haven't had any problems, I have 2 now, 1 was stolen. I just used one, basically fresh out of the box, to re-qual for my CCW. Not 1 little hic-up with it. They seem to be well built, but I haven't put 1000+ rounds through one yet, so I can't comment on their long term durability.
    They one that was stolen could have used a trigger job for sure. The other 2 are quite acceptable for out-of-the-box.
    I'd buy again.
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H.L. Mencken

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I got to handle an RIA mil spec 1911 the other day and I have to say, I don't like the sights. I would not be able to use them. Way too small for my eyes.
    I do have an RIA 1911 Ultra FS in 9mm with the good, usable sights.
    I had an issue at the start with the first round or two in the mag nose diving. Wilson combat mags fixed that issue and there have been no issues since.
    Accuracy is good. Not quite up to my Springfield Range Officer, but close.
    All in all, a good pistol.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    I has the RIA Ultra FS in 45 ACP. I sent my barrels to DougGuy and had him work his magic on them. They feed anything I put in it. I am still trying to settle on what mags I will be using for them. I would not call it a tack driver but that is because my eyes are not what they used to be. It shoots as good as I can aim. I hope that the more I use it the better I will get. I like the Ultra FS because of the adjustable rear sight.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Picked mine (Standard FS 45) up today and ran some Lee 230 through it. Seems to feed very well, it'll even feed an empty case with no problems. Looks like the extractor is going to need some tuning as I had some failures to return to battery, even through the rounds plunked freely. Also had the slide lock back mid magazine a couple of times so the slide lock might need a look as well. I'll tear it all the way down and check for burrs before anything else. Machining and Park look great. The slide/frame fit is smooth. I was able to shoot 4" offhand groups at 25 yards without trying too terribly hard. Overall I'm pretty pleased. Once I get the few issures sorted, I'm sure it'll ba a good shooter.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    I have a Rock Island 1911 tactical and a Colt Commander for comparison. While the Rock Island has many more features (ambidextrous safety, adjustable sights, etc.), the Colt has always been my favorite carry gun. The reliability and accuracy of the Rock Island is on par with the Colt. Neither will feed rounds reliably with "crappy" magazines or reduced loads, but always feed with quality mags whether factory or reloads. Thus far, I'm impressed with the Rock Island, given the difference in price of the two guns, I find I have a tendency to subject the Rock Island to longer practice sessions than the Colt!
    Last edited by kaiser; 03-14-2020 at 10:50 AM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Now Im looking at features , like better sights, beaver tail, adjustable rear sight, etc.

    Better to get the features than have to spend even more money to up grade a lesser model

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    It is better to get it with what you want ,but do not let that put you off from upgrading or customizing later , the 1911 has a lot of aftermarket parts and it is good to take them down to frame and put back together , I have at one time or another had ones that had been owned and abused and a little time and the cost of parts brought them back .It does help to have some books on them to , the kuhnhausen shop series on the 1911 and I bought the others at the same time .

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSP7 View Post
    The one guy with the bad review , probably couldnt even tie his own shoes


    Similar first thoughts
    Good Judgment comes from Experience, Experience comes from Bad Judgment !

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check