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Rock Island MIL SPEC vs Tactical

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by AmeriMedic21, May 12, 2012.

  1. AmeriMedic21


    Feb 4, 2011
    Hello everybody, i have a question here. I am going to purchase my first 1911. I decided to go with the Rock Island brand, because i dont make a ton of money, and because i shot my buddies and I was impressed. I have narrowed my choice down to either the GI Mil-Spec model, or the Tactical model. I like the GI Mil-Spec model, because simplicity in a 1911 to me is pure bliss, im not big on all the other tricked out features on the 1911, i am by no means bashing the tricked out 1911s, its just not really my style. But the tactical model has the dove tail, raised sights, and the skeletonized trigger and hammer. Thats all great, but i keep hearing people complain about hammer bite. I have shot a couple 1911s that didnt have the dove tail, and i didnt have a problem with it. Does it happen in the heat of the moment? Long story short, could somebody who knows a good bit on 1911s shed some light on this? is the tactical a better model?

    Thanks, Ryan S.
  2. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    I'd got Tactical. I've owned both and the Tactical is prepped for better sights already. Plus it comes with a BTGS and Commander style hammer.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012

  3. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Sunshine State
    I got mine last week. Also my 1st 1911. I got the GI. The front site would need to be ground down on this model. The rear sight is dovetailed. I wanted a GI for my first. I will a have tactical soon, just because. So if the front sight is a big deal, go tactical, everything else you could swap as you want. Totally up to you. I put 50 through it the day I got it, not a single problem. Will shoot it more this week.
  4. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    You can shave about another $20 off by getting an M1911 imported by ATI. It's from the Phillipines too, but made by a better manufacturer.
  5. Camu Mahubah

    Camu Mahubah 9=Fine

    Nov 11, 2010
    Really? Is that popular consensus or opinion? Just asking because I have a Metro. And it has been pretty dang near great. 3 malfunctions out of 500 and none since the first 100.

    The Metro sure is prettier than the ATI or RI.

    What sets the ATI apart from the RI?

    To the OP...make sure the gun you buy has sights you can add tails and grips later...Filippino sights...i'd make sure they were the ones I wanted in the first place!

    Check out the American Classic II by Metro Arms...I've got one and it is really really pretty and shoots just as well as my bud's Springfield Loaded. I'd rather have the Springer as far as resale value and looks(his is stainless) but the Metro sure is pretty for a blued gun.
  6. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Sunshine State
    Do you have anymore info?:dunno:
    *I searched ATI 1911. Looks good to me.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  7. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    More consistent fit & finish. You take a bunch of ARMSCOR (RIA, Cimmaron, High Standard, et al) and compare them side by side. You will see a large difference in trigger pulls and frame fitment, finish coating's even-ness (is that even a word?).

    I have an ATI commander-sized model and I like it a lot. I gave it to one of my cousins last year for Christmas.

    The ATI commander-sized model has two variations, and one of them have a Novak clone set of sights. Check out Bud's Gunshop for some of the listings.

    When I bought the ATI for a lark, I checked out about eight of them side by side ranging from 5" to Officer's ACP size and decided on the Commander size model.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  8. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Sunshine State
    Cool, thanks fn.

    I looked at the Metro site. It seems like the extra also goes to good sights. None of the models on the site had GI sights.
  9. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    The Metro Arms ones seem to have more blings. However, some of the ATIs also have blings too.
  10. I've shot Mil-Spec 1911's all of my life and never experienced hammer bite.
    I had one that the underside of the grip safety dug into my hand but that was because of a sharp edge that was present.
    If you shot your friends 1911 and did not get hammer bite then chances are that you won't with any other 1911.
  11. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I have the GI model and its been great. I also have the Charles Daly EFS, which is the same gun as the Tactical and it also has been trouble free.

    That said, as others mentioned, there are other choices in your price range as well.

    Out of all the 1911s from the Philippines, I like the ATI line the best.
  12. Gary1911A1


    Jun 14, 2005
    Ohio for now
    Coming from you that's high praise!
  13. whiterook


    Mar 24, 2010
    Honey Brook,Pa.
    I picked up a RIA compact 2 months ago & i have to say it's a great 1911 compact for the money! just need to have some night sights put on her!
  14. Walkertl


    Oct 25, 2008
    Spokane, WA
    PreNote: These are just my thoughts and observances.

    I've had three RIAs, two full size and a 9mm Commander, and they have all shot beautifully.

    I picked up a used ATI .45 Commander for a song from an individual that had nothing but problems with it. Primarily ejection and feed issues.

    Sometimes it would eject to the face, sometimes dribble out the port, sometimes forward to the right, an occasional left eject (neat feature) and an occasional proper eject. Stovepipes on live and expended rounds, misfeeds, failure to go into battery, etc.

    The ejector was peened (mushroomed) from hitting the brass, and the hammer was peened from the slide cocking it. Cheap material...

    1. Lowered and flared the ejection port.
    2. Replaced the extractor and ejector with quality ones.
    3. Polished the feed ramp.
    4. Replaced the hammer, and the sear for good measure.
    5. Using Wilson magazines.

    It now ejects strongly to the right rear, occasionally close to the side of the head, but no jam issues on spent rounds. I do get the occasional failure to go into battery and suspect I need to do some extractor/ejector tuning.

    The barrel bushing binds when turning it to remove the recoil spring (slot tolerance issue?).

    Grip bushings had a tendency to come out with the screws. A little Locktite seems to have cured the issue.

    1. The slide and frame appear to be great. I've run 500 rounds through it in testing, and there are no unusual wear patterns. The fit is nice and tight.

    2. Accurate, very....

    Overall thoughts: I wouldn't buy another one. I would stick with the RIAs, I've had better luck with them, and the $20 price difference should not be a factor.

    I will keep this one (even after it cycles and ejects correctly), since I won't send an unreliable pistol to a new home.

    I've had a Kimber, three Springfields, three RIAs, and a Sig 1911. Used, or straight out of the box, I've not had any issues with them.

  15. Catch22


    Mar 18, 2007
    San Antonio
    I have the GI model my first 1911 at that. I changed the the grip safety out my hand just got bit to much. I don't know how much there going for these days I bought mine long time ago in the neighborhood of a little over 350. I would look into a taurus 1911 you get a lot a gun for the money. Heck you would be surprised what you buy a used Kimber or Colt for if don't mind a couple nicks and scatches.
  16. jrs93accord


    Jul 10, 2005
    Pensacola, FL

    I own both of the models in question. I will say that the Tactical would be the way to go. You get a few nice upgrades without much of a price difference. I have never had an issue with hammerbite on the GI model, but I am guaranteed not to get it with my Tactical.

  17. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

    Nov 9, 2008
    I have an RIA GI. I really like it. I have never gotten hammerbite. I think it is an over hyped problem with folks with fat hands. I also own an ATI Commander sized. I like it pretty well too. Between the two, the ATI has much tighter slide fit, but the RIA has a better trigger. If I were to get rid of one, it would probably be the ATI. Sights are not great on either, although I find the ones on the RIA to be a little easier to use. I had considered the Tactical model, but was turned off by the ambi-safety. I just like the lines of the GI better.