Rock Island Armory 45

Damn fine entry-level 1911

Performance

This weapon performs just as a GI style 1911 should. My RIA has so far ingested in the neighborhood of 1200 rounds of the cheapest crap you can buy, including that awlful reassembled stuff you can buy at some guns ranges. In that time, no stove-pipes and only 3 FTFs. The only mods I would recommend would be buying quality aftermarket mags, a 18.5# wolfe recoil spring and different grips (factory smooth grips suck with sweaty hands). As i have made it a point to only shoot garbage out of this puppy, accuracy is very good. Best no-rest group was 3.6" at 20 yards shooting standard wolf FMJs. The GI version I have comes with a dark parkerized finish that has proved very whoop-ass against rust although its starting to show holster wear points from my fobus holster. NOTE: I have to tell you not to do this but, yes I did fire it under water and yes it did cycle at least once.

Features

The pistol is built be Armscorp out of the Phillipines to original 1911-A1 (WWII) specs. The beauty of this is that all of those very cheap random original pieces-parts you find at gunshows more times than not drop right in (try doing that with a Kimber). The sights are GI all the way. A low drift adjustable rear sight and soldered post on the front. There are people who have had their slides dovetailed in the front to install more modern combat sights but as I shoot just fine with the originals...I dont think I'll bother. In keeping to A1 specs, the mag release, slidestop and safety are all original. The only feature found on the RIA not orginal are the grips. They are smooth walnut and while very pretty...just plain suck. I found some checkered walnut grips on www.Cheaperthandirt.com for I think 15 dollars. All in all, this pistol is as plain-jane as you can find.

Appeal

For someone who wants a 1911-A1 but can't afford an original, the appear of this weapon is excellent. Mine has often been mistaken for an original at gunshows. For the tinkerer who wants to customize the crap out of a 1911, the low starting price in the neighborhood of 400 bucks makes the RIA a very good donor for a project gun.

Summary

Headline: 

Damn fine entry-level 1911

Performance Rating: 
9
Performance: 

This weapon performs just as a GI style 1911 should. My RIA has so far ingested in the neighborhood of 1200 rounds of the cheapest crap you can buy, including that awlful reassembled stuff you can buy at some guns ranges. In that time, no stove-pipes and only 3 FTFs. The only mods I would recommend would be buying quality aftermarket mags, a 18.5# wolfe recoil spring and different grips (factory smooth grips suck with sweaty hands). As i have made it a point to only shoot garbage out of this puppy, accuracy is very good. Best no-rest group was 3.6" at 20 yards shooting standard wolf FMJs. The GI version I have comes with a dark parkerized finish that has proved very whoop-ass against rust although its starting to show holster wear points from my fobus holster. NOTE: I have to tell you not to do this but, yes I did fire it under water and yes it did cycle at least once.

Features Rating: 
8
Features: 

The pistol is built be Armscorp out of the Phillipines to original 1911-A1 (WWII) specs. The beauty of this is that all of those very cheap random original pieces-parts you find at gunshows more times than not drop right in (try doing that with a Kimber). The sights are GI all the way. A low drift adjustable rear sight and soldered post on the front. There are people who have had their slides dovetailed in the front to install more modern combat sights but as I shoot just fine with the originals...I dont think I'll bother. In keeping to A1 specs, the mag release, slidestop and safety are all original. The only feature found on the RIA not orginal are the grips. They are smooth walnut and while very pretty...just plain suck. I found some checkered walnut grips on www.Cheaperthandirt.com for I think 15 dollars. All in all, this pistol is as plain-jane as you can find.

Appeal Rating: 
9
Appeal: 

For someone who wants a 1911-A1 but can't afford an original, the appear of this weapon is excellent. Mine has often been mistaken for an original at gunshows. For the tinkerer who wants to customize the crap out of a 1911, the low starting price in the neighborhood of 400 bucks makes the RIA a very good donor for a project gun.

Overall Rating: 
7.95

Low price, the use of cheap repair parts and great reliability make the RIA a tough cookie to scoff at. To date, the only 1911-A1 style 45 other than the RIA offfered is made by Auto Ordinance with a 700 dollar price tag. If ever there was a built to abuse pistol that costs so little as to not make one cringe when you drop in, this is it. If I could afford a Kimber, I sure as hell wouldnt abuse it like I do my RIA. To put it in car terms, if the Kimber where a 70k trailer-queen, the RIA would be that old beat up chevy truck that always performs when needed. What more could somone ask for?

9 Comments

4 years 4 days ago, 3:13 PM

panhead

panhead's picture

Rank:
Master Sergeant
Points:
15
Join Date:
Mar 2009
RIA 1911 Compact

this 1911 is out standing . you need to put a couple of hundred rounds thru it to make it broke in. mine has performed with but a few hiccups such as fte . new mags are a must .and the grips flat out suck, hogue rubber finger grips makes a whole new weapon

stay alert.... stay alive
4 years 4 days ago, 3:24 PM

samD

samD's picture

Rank:
President
Points:
15597
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

Hiccups? What?

Thanks,
samD

3 years 42 weeks ago, 7:49 PM

0331gunsup

0331gunsup's picture

Rank:
Master Sergeant
Points:
14
Join Date:
Sep 2010
Location:
ky
1911 a1

great gun other than the fact my saftey broke in two having fired less than a hundred rounds. quick cheap fix with a new one from wilson combat. only other problem is you cant upgrade the sights without serious millwork

The Browning M2, Protecting Freedom Half an Inch at a time.
3 years 30 weeks ago, 5:56 PM

TexasToasterize

TexasToasterize's picture

Rank:
Private First Class
Points:
2
Join Date:
Dec 2010
GI

My GI has worked flawlessly for/up to 1000+ rounds. I would recommend this firearm to anyone!

3 years 30 weeks ago, 5:58 PM

CharlesW

CharlesW's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
4860
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
Live in the wilderness, Republic of Texas, United States

my opinion not a better side arm made.

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
3 years 25 weeks ago, 7:38 AM

reloader308

reloader308's picture

Rank:
Staff Sergeant
Points:
11
Join Date:
Jan 2011
Location:
strasburg, va., United States
gettin ready to buy

i am gettin ready to buy a rock island 45 govt. will it use the standard g.i. 7 rnd mags even though it comes with a 8 rnd mag? i dont want to purchase magazines that i cant use. any help will be appreciated.

3 years 7 weeks ago, 11:43 AM

wilwhitewidow

wilwhitewidow's picture

Rank:
Brigadier General
Points:
262
Join Date:
Apr 2011
Location:
Pennsylvania

ria makes the 1911 gi parkerized finish that holds 14+1. and im thinking about getting it. what do my fellow ria owners think ?

fear no evil.
3 years 7 weeks ago, 2:11 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

Saint J.M. Browning's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3495
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
The Colony, Texas, United States
RIA Hi-cap

I think if it holds that many, the grip is going to be a lot fatter. You might want to handle one before buying to make sure it feels right to you. That and the extra weight from the additional rounds may make carrying prohibitive. Other than that, there's nothing wrong with having more memory for your computer or more ammo for your sidearm.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon

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