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RIA 1911 - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Charlie_K, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Years ago I owned a 1911 by Springfield Armory. It was their basic no-thrills GI model, because it was available at the time. I really liked it, but I hated the diminutive sights, so I sold it and planned on buying their Loaded version. But that hasn't happened yet because of funding being an issue.

    It doesn't have to be Springfield Armory, as there are plenty of 1911 makers out there. Rock Island Armory is one alternative I'm considering, but first I'd like to hear back from anyone who actually owns one, and see what they have to say. For whatever reason, I keep finding polarized views on the series on various review sites, and depending on who's asked they're either great or terrible.
  2. ghostrider1


    Apr 7, 2005
    No, I had the tactical model. The am I safety kept falling out. Would not shoot JHP for crap
  3. Converge


    Oct 4, 2014
    I've not heard anything bad things about RIA 1911s until I read the post above me. Every maker on earth will put out a lemon here or there, but in the firearm community RIA 1911s are considered good to go for sure. Probably best budget 1911 you can get. Even with that though, I would just save up another hundred or two and get a Springfield or Ruger SR1911. I really like the sr1911 commander. Also the Springfield RO is very nice too.

    You should understand too you can only take "reviews" of certain guns so far. Especially the 1911. There are a ton of purists out there that will tell you any 1911 under $500 must be garbage without ever firing one. Now as for one I would certainly avoid would be the Taurus 1911 if they still even make them. I've definitely heard far more bad then good with that one.
  4. skyrocket22


    May 8, 2013
    A friend of mine has a 1911 in 9mm, he's never had a problem with it. I've shot it but for what he paid for it I think it's a good buy. I have several 1911's and agree, save a couple to three hundred more and get a nicer 1911.
  5. glockman99

    glockman99 Super Moderator Super Mod

    Jun 12, 2000
    I've owned 2 RIA 1911-A1 Tact. .45's...Not bad pistols, but be aware that not all of RIA 1911's are totally mil-spec...Common parts need some "extra" fitting to function at 100%.
  6. cleans up

    cleans up

    Sep 14, 2011
    Yay at the price point. Not perfect but many get really good pistol for very good prices. I've shot several that were accurate, reliable etc with a retail under $500.
  7. jaseman


    Jul 28, 2016
    I've not owned, but shot a few of the RIA's in various configurations, and have to say, have not handled a bad one yet. Some of the overall fit and finish may not be comparable to the higher end 1911's, but for the money, they are hard to beat. I looked at one or two when buying my first 1911, but when I was ready to drop the coin, could not find anyone who had one in stock.

    As for the Taurus, don't believe everything you read. I have one, and have had zerossues with it. I will say, my understanding is that they did have some quality control issues in the first few runs early on. But at this point, they have all been worked out.

    Like the RIA, the Taurus is lacking in some of the overall fit and finish of the higher end 1911's. The biggest issues being the very thin blueing on the frame and slide, and that most of the internals are MIM parts, vs. being forged. The frame and slide are forged though, which gives a great base to build upon. And it offers a ton of features you won't find anywhere in the same price point. FWIW, I've got over 2500 trouble free rounds through mine, with only two failures, both of which were failure to feed issues from some suspect, wad-cutter reloads.
  8. EricV

    EricV Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    I had a GI model a few years ago when they first showed up at my local enabler. Never had a fault with the pistol that wasn't ammo related, but I didn't have it for very long. Had about 500 rounds through it before I decided I couldn't afford to feed it anymore and traded it on for a 9mm Steyr. Might pick one up for a bullseye build down the road.
  9. Midget

    Midget Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Save up and buy yourself another springfield armory. I have the RIA 1911 commander and it is only average at best. The ejector on mine smushed on itself after very low round count. Not sure why, poor heat treat? Just save an extra hundred bucks or so and get the right gun..
  10. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    My RIA GI model is reliable. I enjoy it and have begun to replace certain parts to more closely approximate a Remington Rand M1911A1. Its low price financed some of these original parts, all of which have dropped in easily.

  11. Leftytwogunz

    Leftytwogunz Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 30, 2013
    I first started my love of the 1911 with a Springfield gi model but also hated the sights. I ended with a kimber.
    Save up as long as it takes to get the one you really want.
  12. Dago Red

    Dago Red

    Jun 16, 2008
    Yay. Have/had RI tactical 2, Trp, trophy match, kimber. Other than cosmetics none of the other three had anything on the rock island. My buddy has same model with only one serial number between mine and his. He won't sell me even though I ask every 6 months

  13. Scott321


    Jul 20, 2016
    I feel compelled to add more to this discussion, as I like the 1911 but am completely distraught at the disconnection of the 1911 and the Philippines in modern discussions...

    First, to address the .45 caliber bullet in modern officers handguns... The Philippines was once part of the US. The "Philippine Insurrection" against the US brought about the requests for a DA revolver in .45 caliber over the .38 (issued at the time). These were DA revolvers, meant to replace the SA of the era. This insurrection was a fight for independence of the Philippines, instead of continued sovereign rule (previously from Spain). Many Americans, including Mark Twain, were against the American military fighting in the Philippines for control (starting around 1898, with fighting moving to the southern islands and considered guerilla fighting until around 1913).

    Fast forward to the Colt .45, 1911. At this time, many Filipinos were proud Americans. My grandfather and grand uncles (growing up and living in a small province in Northern Luzon) joined the US military and trained both in the Philippines and in the contiguous US. In fact, my grandfather was sent to France during WWI as an American soldier. When the Japanese came, many Filipinos, including my grandfather joined the resistance. This time the resistance was working with America. My grandfather was taken as a political prisoner by the Japanese, and died fleeing the prison during the American liberation attacks. Even in the southern islands (high Islamic population) the 1911's (and Thompsons') were actually shipped in to the Moros to help them fight the Japanese (1940's).

    Following the liberation and newly declared independence of the Philippines, many US military supplies, such as 1911's, jeeps, revolvers, etc. were left behind and reused by the Filipinos. The American military Jeeps were converted into mini-buses (Jeepney's which are still popular today). The American firearms were maintained, repaired, and copied because of their reliability and availability. This led to many Filipinos becoming 1911 gunsmiths out of their sheds. For decades, many of these gunsmiths all over the country would make parts for repair or complete 1911's and pass on the knowledge (although today, some of these sales are considered illegal).

    Companies like Armscor (RIA 1911's are made by Armscor in the Philippines), bring many of these gunsmith's together in a legal way, with better equipment, facilities, and pay. So, when you purchase a Philippine 1911, such as from RIA, don't just think of it as an American gun made in the Philippines. Think of it as a 1911 whose gunsmith's often trace roots with the American Filipino's who fought against the Japanese during WWII with these very sidearms, and carried on the tradition of hand making the 1911. Reuters did a piece on Philippine 1911's describing the production and hand fitting for one 1911 can take two weeks... although the article had an anti-gun bent.
  14. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Well now, there's something I certainly didn't know before.
  15. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Scot , thanks for that info !
    One basic problem with the 1911 is that it was designed as a military pistol Full loads with 230gr RN ammo. Many then expected it to function very light and very heavy loads with HP and other special shapes ! So an old one may not be an answer. One that has many MIM parts may be a problem. Do research on these things to find a really good one .Don't be afraid to modify if there is a problem or you want better sights etc.

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