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Thread: Rock Island Armory 1911 GI

  1. #1
    Regular Member The_Pennsylvanian's Avatar
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    Rock Island Armory 1911 GI

    I am SERIOUSLY considering one of these for my every day carry sidearm both open and concealed. It will be the first non-wheelgun I've ever owned. Does anyone here have any input, both positive or negative, about this pistol ? I've read the reviews, I just want to hear from regular folks that have owned one.
    Last edited by The_Pennsylvanian; 12-09-2011 at 03:38 PM. Reason: damned autocomplete.

  2. #2
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    I've never owned a 5 inch RIA 1911, but I've owned 2 Armscor compacts (3.5 inchers), one RIA one Citidel. I never had a problem wit them. They ate any ammo i put in them. I ran anything from TulAmmo to all different kinds of self defense JHP ammo. If the compacts could eat anything, then the 5 inchers should be awesome.

    Right now my primary gun is a Kimber Pro BP Ten II doublestack 1911 (4 inch, holds 14 rounds of .45ACP), I would rather be carrying a 5 inch RIA or Citidel 1911.

    http://forums.1911forum.com and http://forum.m1911.org are good resources for research on 1911s.

  3. #3
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    Dont yet own one, but checked/tried one out some months back. Def. plan on getting one myself, as soon as someone local gets them back in stock. Cant keep em on the shelves for long , it seems. Wish I'd gotten the one I tried out, but didnt have the $$ at the time.
    You will no doubt hear from the brand snobs, some of the typical "well, if it's not a (INSERT BRAND HERE) it will be un-reliable, etc, etc, " types, but most of those will have had little to no handling of one.
    The one I tried, and several others I handled and looked-over, seemed well-enough made. Just about everyone I've heard of who own one seem to love em.
    And, if nothing else, the frame/slide are decent enough to BUILD UP a 1911 with other bits, to whatever level one desires, so,.. good base platform at least.
    Last edited by j4l; 12-09-2011 at 03:54 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I have two RIA 1911s (a 4" model, and a 5" Tactical Duo-Tone.) They have both been completely reliable. They are well-made and reasonably priced. I would recommend them, especially if it is going to be your first 1911.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  5. #5
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    It's a great choice for a first 1911, especially if you want to tinker with it. Stock, it's not great for everyday carry because of the GI sights (tiny and useless). RIA does make models with Novak sights.

  6. #6
    Regular Member The_Pennsylvanian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input , everyone. I am certain now that my first 1911 will be RIA or Armscor ( I know , same difference ) , now to just decide which model . I want the full five inch , so that leaves me the GI or the Tactical . RIA's website doesn't have too much information regarding the differences. I noticed - different trigger , a rounded hammer , and Novak ( I think ) sights .Aren't those all parts that I could purchase seperately and install on a Government model ? If so , would it be cost effective versus just purchasing the Tactical ?

    If I am mistaken , feel free to correct me .

    Again , thanks for all of the information !

  7. #7
    Regular Member Deadcenter45's Avatar
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    The tactical model gets you upgraded sights, safety, as well as beaver tail. I had to have a beaver tail installed on my GI because it would bite me. I still need to upgrade the sights but my .45 is my go to gun and I trust it. Get the tactical version if you can, it's worth the few extra bones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadcenter45 View Post
    The tactical model gets you upgraded sights, safety, as well as beaver tail. I had to have a beaver tail installed on my GI because it would bite me. I still need to upgrade the sights but my .45 is my go to gun and I trust it. Get the tactical version if you can, it's worth the few extra bones.

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    Also, if you go with the GI, I think you would have to have the slide cut for the dovetail notches in order to upgrade ,later ,to the Novaks. I love the Novaks on my 845-worth it, I think, to go ahead and get those.

  9. #9
    Regular Member The_Pennsylvanian's Avatar
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    From what I'm hearing here , I'm leaning towards the Tactical . Hammer bite was an issue for me when firing my Dad's Browning Hi-Power . It was not an experience I'd care to repeat on a regular basis . . . .

  10. #10
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    I bought my 5" GI earlier this year, and it's a great gun for the price. So far all I've fed it are ~200 WWB FMJs and a box of Winchester PDX-1 JHPs, but it's eaten both with no hiccups.

    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    Also, if you go with the GI, I think you would have to have the slide cut for the dovetail notches in order to upgrade ,later ,to the Novaks. I love the Novaks on my 845-worth it, I think, to go ahead and get those.
    There are aftermarket sights (tritium and plain) that fit the GI sight slots. I found them on OpticsPlanet months ago, but I'm drawing a blank on the search terms I used. I'll have to search on m1911.org again to figure out how I found the GI-compatible sights.

    edit: Eh, it seems that even with sights made to fit the GI's slots, the install is iffy for someone without the proper tools.
    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.ph...ighlight=sight
    http://www.fusionfirearms.com/servle...-Combat/Detail
    Last edited by 4angrybadgers; 12-12-2011 at 08:49 AM.

  11. #11
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    If you purchase the tactical, you will definitely spend more now. However, if you purchase the GI, you will definitely spend a whole lot more later. For good quality parts such as Ed Brown or Wilson Combat, you will easily spend way above the difference in cost of the two models for the upgrades. As mentioned, a GI slide would have to be milled to accommodate dovetail sights. If you don't have a phenomenal local gunsmith who does his own machine work, you would have to ship the firearm to someone. FedEx or UPS would require you to ship it overnight which gets major expensive incredibly fast. You could always send in just the slide, but most gunsmiths would tell you that they really need to be able to fire the gun to assure that fixed sights are correctly positioned.

    You could easily end up spending four or five hundred dollars when it's all said and done and still not even have a match-grade barrell. I would get the tactical if it has all the features you desire, and if not, just keep saving. Over the years, I can't count the 600-700 dollar guns I ended up pouring over 2 grand into, 3 or 4 hundred dollars at a time. Last year I finally just started a special savings fund and eventually purchased a Les Baer Custom. I love it and I'm very happy with the gun I got for the money I saved. However, I'm definitely no gun snob and I don't mind saying that I don't want to be shot with a Rock Island any more than I want to be shot with my Les Baer.

    In my experience, I have learned that upgrades 95% of the time cost much more than initially purchasing a gun with the desired features. Just my opinions.

    Carry Safely, Carry Proudly, and Carry ALWAYS

  12. #12
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    The RIA Tactical in stainless or two-tone will cost you about the same as the Ruger SR-1911. The Ruger is probably slightly higher quality control, and has the advantage of the integral plunger tube that can't come loose.

    On the other hand, the RIA is actually available. The Rugers are hen's teeth.

  13. #13
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    That's for sure, I was really looking around locally for a place with a Ruger 1911 to check out, but they've been real hard to find, so far.

  14. #14
    Regular Member The_Pennsylvanian's Avatar
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    I think RIA's website has derped . I can bring up the "2011 Tactical " but little-to-no description , and I could SWEAR a few weeks ago they had a page about the 1911 Tactical . So , is the RIA 1911 Tactical the same as the 2011 tactical . . . .

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    +1 on 2A Pride's post. It is definitely more expensive to add on all the "bells and whistles" later. Unless you need for financial reasons to buy the base model and add things one-at-a-time as you can afford it, the Tactical model is a better choice.

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