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Rock Island Armory

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by glockluver, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. glockluver


    May 4, 2009
    Oxford, N.C.
    What if any experience has any one had with RIA 1911's . Recently purchased one in the G.I. model in 5",wanted to improve the feel and changed out grip safety with a beaver tail ,skeleton trigger @ 3.5 lbs pull and hammer. They were suppose to be drop in parts from Brownell's needless to say they required a lot of work to fine tune them to work properly. When project started figured would easy install realized I was way over head and beyond my skill level. Took to my gunsmith and he knows if i bring him something to work on it must be a a real job because I usually do my own work except machining. Has anyone had problems with drop in 1911 parts with RIA. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  2. 3rdgen40

    3rdgen40 .45 fanatic

    May 3, 2008
    Most "drop in" parts require some final fitting.

  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Honestly, an RIA is not the sort of 1911 I'd look to mess with.
  4. gunsmoke92


    Jul 22, 2005
    Rigby, Idaho
    I have a RIA GIFS, and like you, I used it as a project gun. Can't say that I'm disappointed at all. Mine started like this,


    and now looks like this.


    Drop in parts are rarely "drop in", only parts that are close enough to a standard that they will drop in on some guns, and require minor fitting on others.

    With the Rock Islands, you start with a lifetime warranty, but if you start modifying it, that pretty much goes away. If you talk to the RIA gunsmiths at their service center in Nevada, prior to changing anything, they can talk you through the process, and will even provide the parts to insure your warranty remains intact in some instances.

    Good Luck and good shooting.
  5. robertrwalsh


    Oct 19, 2008
    I have a Rock Island government model in .38 super. Before I bought it I asked my gunsmith about them. He said the several he had examined were very well built and had good quality parts in them. The slides were very flat and the sides of the frame quite uniform, indicating good manufacturing practices. I bought mine and have been very happy with it.
  6. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida
    I bought my RIA to learn 1911 mechanics before going on to 'better' pistols. While I did buy more expensive pistols, I still have my stock (except for the grips) RIA and it performs well. Its reliable and accurate enough for my needs. Plus, I enjoy the old military 1911 appearance.

    A few guys who hang out on the 1911 forum have built beautiful pistols from RIAs. They know their stuff and do their own work, and the results are amazing.
  7. Shepard man

    Shepard man

    May 23, 2012
    I have a RIA 2011 Tactical and I haven't had a single issue with it. It's a ton of fun to shoot.

    That being said I've always been under the impression that 1911's usually require some type of fitting when swapping parts.
  8. Wetrudgeon


    Feb 10, 2001
    Beyond the beyond
    We own two RIA's. Have changed out the MSH on both and observed that one frame is a bit out of spec, requiring considerable filing and fitting of the MSH. Other OK. Good shooters, the both of them.

    We trudge on.
  9. SigFTW


    Nov 4, 2010
    Some parts will require fitting, not all parts are 100% drop-in, even for other 1911 brands.

    If you take all the parts you bought, the GS service and the price of the RIA, you could have bought a nice mid level 1911. However, I can understand if you bought it for a project gun to learn the 1911 platform.
  10. Paul7


    Dec 16, 2004
    East of Eden
    I had a RIA I tried to have an arched MSH put in and the gunsmith tried but couldn't do it, and he knows what he's doing. It also wasn't reliable, even after a couple trips to the service guys in NV.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  11. I tend to agree with bac with this discussion.

    I've owned a variety of Colt, Kimber, and Springfield 5" barreled 1911s over the years (bought my first Colt in 1972). Since I'm a "shooter" rather than a "collector", I whittled my 1911s down to a Colt Combat Commander and a Colt Defender. But I still like to shoot the full size 1911, so a couple of years ago I bought a RIA 1911 A1FS.

    Brand new RIA 1911 A1FS, as it appeared out-of-the-box.

    This gun was detail-stripped, cleaned, inspected, and oiled before ever being fired. My experiences with testing a number of Rock Island pistols for another internet forum had convinced me of the quality of these relatively inexpensive pistols.


    The only changes made to the basic pistol were the Hogue rubber grips, and recoil spring changes, as necessary.

    In spite of the use of many MIM internal parts, subsequent detail strips have shown no unusual wear. This pistol has been 100% reliable (*with proper magazines), and has shot everything from FMJ to Federal 230 gr. HSTs without difficulty.

    The A1FS model is basically a G.I. configured pistol, with the major differences being a lowered and flared ejection port and a flat mainspring housing. Although my 63 year old eyes have some problems picking up the abysmally small G.I. sights, I can still hit what I'm aiming towards, at a variety of different distances.

    * The pistol was initially rather "picky" about the magazines which would reliably work. Since that time, there have been no problems with any of the magazines I own.
  12. glockluver


    May 4, 2009
    Oxford, N.C.
    Finished project.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  13. Third_Monkey


    Apr 13, 2013
    Bought my RIA 1911- A1 MS a few months back. It was my first 1911, and I'm hooked. Knew a little about the RIA, and was not expecting it to be as good as it is. Great gun at a great price!
  14. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

    Sep 12, 2006
    Rocking Chair
    I just ordered one of their 9mm Tacticals so I am hoping they are decent enough. Hopefully it hits my FFL early next week.
  15. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon
    The only true 'drop in' parts on 1911s are grips and springs.