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  1. #1
    mesz13's Avatar
    mesz13 is offline Junior Member
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    Rock Island, good or bad ?

    I want to add a 1911 style gun to my collection but dont have a lot of money available right now, Harley Davidson and chrome is another addiction to be discussed elsewhere.

    I have been looking at the Rock Island 45s and they seem very affordable, the question is are they worth the cash your going to spend, im not looking to use this as carry piece, more of a range weapon and maybe around the house for protection. Plan on going with a more expensive model at another time when i can afford the price of a quality weapon. Any thoughts good or bad will be appreciated. FYI I already have a Glock model 30 for carry when i want a heavier load.

  2. #2
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    I don't own one. I have heard and read that they are pretty good considering their price class. Good shooters. I seem to remember that some were less than thrilled with the quality & durability of the finish. They seem to run $400 to $500 depending on model. A Springfield Armory GI or Milspec might be worth a look for only a little bit more if you skip the stainless.

  3. #3
    GReb is offline Junior Member
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    RIAs are fine guns and really good for the money. Plus, they stand behind their product just like Springfield does. I know people who own 3 or 4 RIAs, so that should tell you something...

  4. #4
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    For the most part I've heard nothing but good things, the few problems I have head of have been well handled by their customer service guy in the states.

    FWIW I've had some really nice 1911s but every time I see the Satin Nickel Rock Island Tactical I want to buy it but for some reason find a reason not too.

  5. #5
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    [QUOTE=VAMarineEDIT: FWIW I've had some really nice 1911s but every time I see the Satin Nickel Rock Island Tactical I want to buy it but for some reason find a reason not too.[/QUOTE]

    That's a nice looking pistol. Maybe you just don't want it BAD enuff! I have to shut down my "Gotta have it" about once a week because I like eating and living indoors.
    Regards,
    Eli

  6. #6
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    I have 1 and never had any problems from mine and niether has my daughters or the several friends that own thrm

  7. #7
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    My son bought a RIA new from gunshop. It shot well at first then started having feeding problems. Upon further investigating found that the feed ramp was the problem. Had it ground down and polished and seems to be feeding much better. Almost looked as if they forgot to put a ramp on it at all. But for the price it is a very nice weapon. I would definately buy one if I were looking for a 1911.

  8. #8
    ksblazer is offline Junior Member
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    I have 2 Rocks an A1 and a Compact Tactical.

    Both have been reliable and accurate. One of the bettter buys out there for the $$ IMO.

  9. #9
    Wheeler is offline Junior Member
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    My little brother has one and swears by it. He also has one of my old Kimbers, two Colts (I think it's two) and an old Remington. He's so satisfied with the Filipino RIA gun that he went and bought a Metro Arms American Classic, ATI FX Titan Stainless and an ATI FX Titan Blue. These are also Filipino .45s and he's as happy as a kid in a candy store. Oh yeah, my 'little brother' is a 57 year old retired Army SF SgtMaj.

    My Kimber has had problems too. Probably caused by my 'limp wristing' it, but I can't be sure. The only two guns I've never had a problem with, from the beginning, were my CZ-82 9mm Mak, and my CZ-75B .40.

    The ATI Titan pistols are really nice. Good luck..................

  10. #10
    mesz13's Avatar
    mesz13 is offline Junior Member
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    OK so i got the RI

    Decided based on the good things I have read to purchase a RI, my LGS found me one on this past Thursday and I picked it up that same night.

    I figured with all the grease that it was shipped in, cleaning it before doing anything else was imperative. Since this is my first 1911 I went on U-Tube and watched a couple of vids on field strpping the gun, looked pretty easy so i after reviewing everything I decided to give it a go. Here is where it got interesting, I couldnt get past the first major step, moving the barrel bushing was giving me fits, so after about an hour or frustration and several major cuts from using screwdrivers and other items to help out I gave up and drove back over to my LGS. Luck for me my salesman was in a good mood and said no problem he would give me some help, well he had the same luck i did , so he took a short cut just removing the entire upper, with the barrel and springs intact, this took off a lot of the pressure and made removing the plug pretty easy, however when he went to turn the bushing he couldnt either. soooooooooo after playing with it a bit he took it back to the gunsmiths for help, after 15 minutes he came back and said they figured out the bushing wasnt cut properly and they couldnt even figure out how they got it in the gun in the first place. They did some sanding, buffing and what ever else they do in the back room and got the it apart and back together so it would work like it should. So now i got it home and after cleaning it I am ready to move on to the next step, shooting the bugger. Im hoping It will fire better then it comes apart. Since this is Michigan my options for live fire are a bit limited by the weather but hope to get out next week and see how it fires. Ill follow up with the results and hopefully a few pics. I am planning on adding a Pachmeyr American Legend grip shortly and will follow up with some other custom changes as time and money permits. Hoping I didnt get a lemon and looking forward to a long relationship with my RI.

  11. #11
    Wheeler is offline Junior Member
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    Interesting. I've had .45s where the bushing could only turn one way fully in order to take it out. I know, it doesn't seem to make sense, but I guess that in an odd sort of way, it does. Gets one into a pattern of doing the same thing the same way all the time. Was that the problem?

  12. #12
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mesz13 View Post
    Decided based on the good things I have read to purchase a RI, my LGS found me one on this past Thursday and I picked it up that same night.

    I figured with all the grease that it was shipped in, cleaning it before doing anything else was imperative. Since this is my first 1911 I went on U-Tube and watched a couple of vids on field strpping the gun, looked pretty easy so i after reviewing everything I decided to give it a go. Here is where it got interesting, I couldnt get past the first major step, moving the barrel bushing was giving me fits, so after about an hour or frustration and several major cuts from using screwdrivers and other items to help out I gave up and drove back over to my LGS. Luck for me my salesman was in a good mood and said no problem he would give me some help, well he had the same luck i did , so he took a short cut just removing the entire upper, with the barrel and springs intact, this took off a lot of the pressure and made removing the plug pretty easy, however when he went to turn the bushing he couldnt either. soooooooooo after playing with it a bit he took it back to the gunsmiths for help, after 15 minutes he came back and said they figured out the bushing wasnt cut properly and they couldnt even figure out how they got it in the gun in the first place. They did some sanding, buffing and what ever else they do in the back room and got the it apart and back together so it would work like it should. So now i got it home and after cleaning it I am ready to move on to the next step, shooting the bugger. Im hoping It will fire better then it comes apart. Since this is Michigan my options for live fire are a bit limited by the weather but hope to get out next week and see how it fires. Ill follow up with the results and hopefully a few pics. I am planning on adding a Pachmeyr American Legend grip shortly and will follow up with some other custom changes as time and money permits. Hoping I didnt get a lemon and looking forward to a long relationship with my RI.
    Yikes!! I pulled the trigger on one of these last week -- the 9mm tactical model. I expect it tomorrow. Hoping I don't experience any problems. I've read many, many reviews and opinions on the RIA 1911s. Your post is the second one I've seen that cites any type of issue or concern. Everything else I've read, and people I've spoken with, has been nothing but positive.

  13. #13
    mesz13's Avatar
    mesz13 is offline Junior Member
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    OK just as a follow up, the problem the best i understand it was that the barrel bushing was a tad long, since it sits on a ridge when its depressed there has to be enough room to move it down to that ridge and allow the nut to be turned, mine wasnt trimmed correctly i guess lol. My LGS which is Williams Gin Site in Mid Michigan is very good and has a full time service department. They figured it out and then ground it down to fit correctly. They had no clue how the gun was put together that way but it seems the problem was solved.

    Now for the good news, i took the RI to the range this morning and its sweet, I also took along my Glock 30 (45) for comparison, U expect the Glock to shoot well and it does, accurate easy and very comfortable in your hands. Now this is the first time for me with a GI 45 and wasnt sure what to expect. The gun is every bit as good as the Glock and maybe even a bit better. Very accurate even with the minimal sights that come with it, very easy to fire, minimal recoil and just a sweet shooter. I am very impressed, Now im faced with a dilema, do i keep on carrying my little sig 380 every day or do add the RI to the rotation? I really like it so far, and will add to this if anything else comes up.

  14. #14
    Wheeler is offline Junior Member
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    mesz13,

    Put another two to three hundred rounds down the tube, get comfortable with 'the drill', wear it around the house for a few days, ALL DAY, then decide if you want to carry it as a daily carry. What ever you do, keep that little .380. I carry my .45 often, all day when I do and have gotten quite used to (and comforted by) the heft. I also carry my CZ-82 in 9mm Mak, my CZ-2075 RAMI and my Bersa Thunder .380. Love the little Bersa, it's accurate and reliable. Something else it and the two CZs gives is the DA first round so it can be carried with the safety off, hammer down. With todays technology, just about any ammunition can be had with an effective personal defense capability. Remember, it's the hits that count, not the noise you make that gets the task done.

    All that being said, I carried a full size 1911 for years (I'm 62) and still carry one whenever I might find myself in questionable territory.

  15. #15
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmail65 View Post
    Yikes!! I pulled the trigger on one of these last week -- the 9mm tactical model. I expect it tomorrow. Hoping I don't experience any problems. I've read many, many reviews and opinions on the RIA 1911s. Your post is the second one I've seen that cites any type of issue or concern. Everything else I've read, and people I've spoken with, has been nothing but positive.
    Got it yesterday!! Quickly field stripped, cleaned, and oiled last night. I hope to shoot this weekend. A few initial observations / questions...

    - If felt solid and mechanically sound - good fit.
    - Stripped and reassembled fine... except I really struggled with getting the slide stop back in place. I'm new to 1911s, so maybe it's just a matter of practice and lining up the slide just right before popping that back in. Some edges on the parts were pretty sharp -- some additional polishing may have been in order.
    - Magazine is very tight going in. I really have to push it in hard -- my Glock and Sig magazines slide in nice and easy. It drops just fine. Magazine spring seems a little "sticky", but I don't think there's anything I can do about it. Maybe these are break-in issues.
    - Parkerized finish... not bad, not sure how well it will wear. The wood grips have a couple of small imperfections on them -- I'm knit picking a bit, but I wish they were perfect.

    QUESTIONS -- Replacement magazines... can I go with a Colt 9mm 9 round mag? How about replacement grips (if I choose to do so), can I go with anything that fits a full size 1911? The paperworks says the parts are all interchangeable with the single stack Colts -- should I believe it?

  16. #16
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Replying to my own question above.... I ordered 2 Mec-Gar mags which I understand work great with the RIAs and are quality mags. I also discovered another 1911 forum site out there with a specific Armscor/RIA category of threads. It's a great resource for RIA specific stuff.

    Hope to shoot my new RIA tomorrow!

  17. #17
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Piling on to my own 2 preceeding posts....

    So I received, cleaned and shot my new RIA 1911 9mm Tactical. Put about 120-150 rounds through it. Functioned flawlessly. I got the new Mec-Gar mags in the mail and tried them out as well. The Mec-Gars worked great -- loaded up with 9 rounds just fine, emptied with the slide locked, and dropped fine. The spring in the Checkmate mag that came with the gun was very tight -- it was all I could do to get 7 rounds in it, but it functions fine as well. The gun has a little trigger creep and I don't care for the sights. But it was solid, steady, and felt good. I wasn't sure I'd like the smooth wood grips, but they were great. I don't think the parkerized finish will wear well in the long run, but I kind of expected that.

  18. #18
    Richard373 is offline Junior Member
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    I have had them there ok for price.

    They shoot pretty good for what they are but under stand there not like hollow points becuase they do not throat barrels on there guns. But other than that not bad 1911.

  19. #19
    aryfrosty's Avatar
    aryfrosty is offline Junior Member
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    Rock Islands`

    Don't take my remarks personally....I don't care for them, my opinion, because of the how and the where they are built. All I have ever know that was well made and came from the Rep of the Phillipines was San Miguel Beer and you had to watch that you didn't get green beer when you boutght it. I field stripped a Rock Island once and the ragged tool and file marks reminded me of a Llama. I've been told on good authority that they can even mess up a soup sandwich. If you lived there in the late 60s and early 70s it was a tossup, if you had a dog as a pet, over who was going to eat the dog first; The Phillipinos or the Boas.

  20. #20
    Hawk 3/21 is offline Junior Member
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    Hey, aryfrosty

    Get your head out of your ass....dog tastes good.... Ate plenty in Vietnam and Thailand. Of coarse it could have been cat, still it was mighty tasty.

    Sorry I didn't see your post sooner. So tell me, which arms manufacturer you worked for? So we can avoid them. How do the culinary preferences of 1960 relate to production values today?
    How much time have you spent shooting an RIA? I don't wan't to say you're talking out you're ass, but the fact that your post has no information about the actual product being discussed, nor the manufacterer in general, leads me to believe you're a bigotted POS. Hopefully I'm wrong and you're actually very knowledgable about the RIA tactical. Prove me wrong.

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