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Thread: Rock Island Arms 1911 M1A Review

  1. #1
    Regular Member Irish_Dave's Avatar
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    Rock Island Arms 1911 M1A Review

    Does anyone have any feedback on these pistols? I'm in the market for a 1911 and I don't want to break the bank.

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    All the one's i've checked out/tried out have been very nice. Most folks who've gotten one have been very positive about them. I'm still considering getting one at some point,myself.(possibly in .38super- as an inexpensive way to try out that round) It seems to rank well among the lower-cost 1911s.
    No, it's not a Colt or Sig or whatnot-but neither is it that far behind those makes.
    Makes a good platform to modify/build-up with better parts down the road,if desired.

  3. #3
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    I love my RIA Compact 1911 (3.5 inch)! I have shot 700 flawless rounds through it so far. The frame is steel, though, like a true 1911. Not like the aluminum framed, lighter ones.

    I am in SC, so we can't open carry, so I conceal it with a crossbreed supertuck. It's a tank (heavy), and you know its there. I can't imagine carrying a 5 inch all steel 1911 IWB, as heavy as this compact 1911 is.

    When in the states around me that allow OC, I OC the hell out of the gun OWB with my Blackhawk SERPA. It's great for that. This weight isn't much of an issue for my sensitive stomach when I OC OWB.

    It's the best shooting gun I have every shot, and it's relitively cheap.

    Check out what others have to say in the Rock Island Amrory sections of these forums:

    http://forums.1911forum.com

    http://forum.m1911.org/

    Here are some pics of mine:



    Stock Mag


    Chip McCormick Flush Mag


    Chip McCormick 10 Round Mag



    CrossBreed Supertcuk Deluxe IWB Holster







  4. #4
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    Here's the Clipdraw clip-on that you can use if you want to save some weight and have less stuff stuffed IWB:










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    How does that clip-draw work, for day-to-day moving around,etc.? That looks like an idea there..

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    Regular Member Irish_Dave's Avatar
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    Carsontech,

    Thanks for the info, good pics too. I got to say I'd have to go with the flush mag plate. How does it Handel JHP ammo? I've read that the less expensive 1911's are mostly recommended as Hard Ball only, my preferred .45 carry load is jHP 200+p, will that present a prob?

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    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    How does that clip-draw work, for day-to-day moving around,etc.? That looks like an idea there..
    I don't use the clip draw too much, as I don't want to sweat on my gun. I used it this passed winter a bit and its pretty comfortable, it doesn't move around, and there is no IWB holster to have to put on. Granted the Crossbreed only takes 30 seconds to put on, but with the clip, it's just like shoving the gun IWB and your ready to go, (mexican carry, I think it's called?) but you know it's not going to fall down your pants or move at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Dave View Post
    Carsontech,

    Thanks for the info, good pics too. I got to say I'd have to go with the flush mag plate. How does it Handel JHP ammo? I've read that the less expensive 1911's are mostly recommended as Hard Ball only, my preferred .45 carry load is jHP 200+p, will that present a prob?
    I've shot many boxes of Winchester White Box JHP 230 gr. through it with no problems. I was actually surprised at the value of that ammo. The WWB JHP is definately hotter than most of the ball rounds I use at the range (Blazer Brass, Blazer Aluminum, Federal, WWB FMJ, etc.) I've never shot +P through it yet though.
    Last edited by carsontech; 05-08-2011 at 09:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Irish_Dave's Avatar
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    Good to know, if it can fire 230's good 200+p shouldn't be an issue. Time to start saving some $.

  9. #9
    mattwestm
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    I own both a full sized GI and the compact version. Both have been flawless. Never any kind of failure. I'd highly suggest them to anyone wanting a basic WWII looking 1911.




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    I recently bought a RIA tactical full size and it's comparable in function and accuracy with my other more expensive 1911's, kimbers and springfields.

    I just shot it yesterday and put 200 rounds through it with no issues. The accuracy was fantastic and I had 1 FTF with remington gold saber, the round got pushed straight up after leaving the magazine and didn't chamber at all. I didn't have any problems with the hornaday XTP bullets, so maybe the shape of the gold saber causes some feeding issues with my pistol. I've read that RIA will polish the feed ramp for free if you have any issues, so if I continue to have feed issues I'll call them and see.

    My only other gripes about he gun are the black sights because they wash out in direct light. The plastic grips are pretty lame and the extended beavertail seems like it could have been fitted a little nicer.

    On the other hand, the finish is good, the frame to slide fit is tight, the trigger is nice, less than 4# and overall it's a great value. I'll be upgrading the front sight for a fiber optic one and will probably make a few other changes as I go, but nothing exotic or expensive. When all is said and done I will have put may $150 into the gun to make it exactly how I want it. That means I'll have 2 tone RIA tactical with all the things I like in a 1911 for the same price as a Springfield mil-spec goes for in my area. Sound like a winner to me.

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    Hard to beat a good value when you can find one,eh? Especially something like this, where the minor items are modular and you can always swap em out with better or different items later on. (beavertail,grip panels,sights.) Speaking of, I understand the Novak lo-mount tacticals will direct-swap for the stock tactical sights.(not 100% sure).

    Thread has re-kindled my desire for one...perhaps in .38Super, but also perhaps as a platform to build up a .460 conversion..One interesting aspect of that concept is, one can also get the Mechtech uppers (carbine) in .460 as well,using a 1911 frame.
    This way,one isnt spending $50607080899090 on a high-end pistol,just to re-build it into something else or just use the frame.

  12. #12
    mattwestm
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    Quote Originally Posted by irish52084 View Post
    I recently bought a RIA tactical full size and it's comparable in function and accuracy with my other more expensive 1911's, kimbers and springfields.

    I just shot it yesterday and put 200 rounds through it with no issues. The accuracy was fantastic and I had 1 FTF with remington gold saber, the round got pushed straight up after leaving the magazine and didn't chamber at all. I didn't have any problems with the hornaday XTP bullets, so maybe the shape of the gold saber causes some feeding issues with my pistol. I've read that RIA will polish the feed ramp for free if you have any issues, so if I continue to have feed issues I'll call them and see.

    My only other gripes about he gun are the black sights because they wash out in direct light. The plastic grips are pretty lame and the extended beavertail seems like it could have been fitted a little nicer.

    On the other hand, the finish is good, the frame to slide fit is tight, the trigger is nice, less than 4# and overall it's a great value. I'll be upgrading the front sight for a fiber optic one and will probably make a few other changes as I go, but nothing exotic or expensive. When all is said and done I will have put may $150 into the gun to make it exactly how I want it. That means I'll have 2 tone RIA tactical with all the things I like in a 1911 for the same price as a Springfield mil-spec goes for in my area. Sound like a winner to me.
    Weird. I've shot about 50 rounds of Golden Sabers out of each of my RIAs and have never had any problems. I guess different pistols like different types of ammo. I went with Golden Sabers because the shape is pretty close to ball ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattwestm View Post
    Weird. I've shot about 50 rounds of Golden Sabers out of each of my RIAs and have never had any problems. I guess different pistols like different types of ammo. I went with Golden Sabers because the shape is pretty close to ball ammo.
    Yeah, that was kind of my initial thought as well. I like the gold saber round in a 1911 because of it's profile and consistent performance. 2 of my kimbers loved the gold saber +p loads, my raptor liked the 185+p and my Ten II liked the 230+p. I get the feeling mt FTF was a combination of a so-so mag and the feed ramp needing some polishing. MY RIA wouldn't feed any hollow points till I shot about 100 rounds of fmj through it. Now it doesn't seem to matter.

  14. #14
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I have 2 RIAs, one 4" model and one 5" Tactical Duo-Tone. Both of them are great 1911s. I have had no problems with them whatsoever including replacing parts from a variety of manufacturers. I would recommend getting one if you are looking for a decent 1911 at a good price. I would look into the "tactical" models for a few extra features the GI models don't offer.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    I'd say that the RIA tactical is the best 1911 value around. It's a lot of quality gun for about $500. Mine shoots like a dream and my controlled pairs were consistently touching at 10 yards and I'm not well practiced, yet, at controlled pairs.

    In a direct comparison between my CZ(9mm), RIA(45) and XD(357SIG), I'd say the CZ is easiest to shoot quickly and accurately with the XD and the RIA taking about the same amount of time to get back on target.

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    I am quite pleased with my Rock Island 1911. I have a Springfield 1911 and a Springfield Micro Compact all in .45 Auto. The Rock Island is much heavier-did have a Colt 1911A1 and the Rock Island is heavier than that one too-but it is the best shooting of all of them-by test! Sold the Colt kept the rest!!!
    With the 1911A1 I use the standard 230 gr. Round Nose (Military Round) and of course it is "FLAWLESS" no "Stove Piping Issues" at all!
    Last edited by Cowboy_Rick; 05-11-2011 at 08:07 PM. Reason: more information

  17. #17
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    I have the RIA 1911 5" GI model, bought it for $410 including the FFL transfer fee. It only has ~50 rounds (WWB 230gr FMJ) through it so far, but I haven't encountered any issues. It's my OC/nightstand gun (have an XD40 subcompact for CC), so the size isn't an issue. For me, it shoots better than my XD40 subcompact and a friend's Springfield EMP 9mm.

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