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I expect a high-priced tool to work well; that’s certainly true for handguns. But what I really love to see: an inexpensive gun perform well. That’s probably why I’ve bought a couple dozen Mosin Nagants over the years. Anyway, after our visit to STI, TTAG James69 asked when we were going to see a review of the decidedly lower-priced Rock Island Armory 1911. I’ve been itching to try one myself for a while, so I emailed a request to TTAG command for a base model in .45ACP most riki-tik . . .

I’ve heard good things about Rock Island 1911s, but I’ve never shot one. Dan was kind enough to send me his personal Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS .45ACP, a three-year-old gun with about 500 rounds through it. At first look, well, I was underwhelmed. In general appearance, the RIA 1911 looks more or less like the original World War II GI 1911s. The finish isn’t blued, but Parkerized. The handles are smooth and unadorned inexpensive wood grips. It is missing more than a few wish-list items like ambidextrous thumb safeties, and extended beaver tails.

Dan’s gun had obvious tool marks throughout, including a pretty deep one on the trigger guard. Most of the edges are sharp and rough. But come on, this is a $470 1911 made in the Philippines. It’s not supposed to be pretty. The Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS isn’t a beauty contest winner by any means, but that doesn’t mean it won’t shoot. Does it?

So, a little RemOil and…to the range Batman!

My plan: Shoot about 500 break-in rounds through the pistol, and invite two other shooters to put rounds down range. I had a lot of Winchester White Box, Remington UMC, American Eagle and Blazer Brass 230-grain FMJs along with some Remington Golden Saber hollowpoints. For magazines we deployed the cheap and cheerful 8-round magazine (Mec-Gar) supplied by RIA as well as upmarket STI as Wilson Combat mags.




First up: Shoot it to get a feel for the gun. We expected the 4- to 6-pound single-action-only trigger pull to be solid and it was.




But the feel is painful. Three magazines in and I was getting cut up. Like the rest of the gun, the grip safety is roughly cut and unpolished. The Rock Island GI Standard’s recoil drove those sharp edges right into the web of my hand. Fortunately, I just picked up a pair of Kryptek Gunslinger gloves on the recommendation of a professional shooter. The gloves afforded a good grip from the mainspring housing forward, ideal trigger feel and saved my hands from the ballistic butchery of hammer bite.




Okay. So this RIA GI 1911 has such bad  ergonomics it literally hurts to shoot it. But let’s see how it shoots anyway. Well, it doesn’t, not reliably anyway. The GI made it to round 43 before the first failure to feed. The next failure to feed arrived at round 44. It didn’t get much better after that. Failures happened with every magazine. As far as I could tell, no mag was more or less likely to fail than the others. Changing reloading styles with the magazines didn’t seem to matter.




It wasn’t an ammo issue either. I had consistent first-round failure to feed malfunctions with every type of ammunition I fed the Rock Island GI, and several failures to return to battery as well. At about 200 rounds, I regrouped. A heavy round of RemOil helped a lot. But I still had to push the slide with my thumb to feed the first round with just about every type of ammo, JHP or ball, with the notable exception of the Blazer Brass.




For some reason, the GI model liked Blazer. After the second lube from the bushing backward along the slide to the firing pin, the budget-priced 1911 failed to return to battery once, but just once. The Winchester ammo still had occasional problems. Feeding Remington ammo resulted a first round failure to feed every time.




So appearance, shootability, and reliability are all no-gos. What about accuracy?



The Action Target dueling tree was driving me crazy. I couldn’t reliably hit the 6-inch target standing at 10 yards. Neither could the other two shooters, both competent with a pistol. Shooting off a front bag, the Rock Island GI shot 5-inch groups with Winchester ammo. From my snubby J frame 38SPL+P back-up gun, that’s a good group. From a full-size 1911, it’s unacceptable.




Bottom line: Is this a good gun? This WWII-style gun is no fun to shoot at all and I certainly wouldn’t bet my life on it. The same rough treatment found on the gun’s exterior carries through to the internals. From the bolt face to breach, this gun seems unfinished. It’s pretty clear that Rock Island stopped working on the gun when they were done, not when it was ready for your holster.

There is inexpensive, and then there is just cheap. This is gun is the latter. Oh, and before anyone asks, RIA is free to pull a Cabot: Fly me to the Philippines to fix this gun, take me on a Armscor International factory tour and have me shoot it again. Just sayin’ . . .

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Specifications:

Length: 8.56 inches

Height: 5.5 inches

Barrel Length: 5 inches

Weight: 2.47 lbs. (unloaded)

Front Sight: Fixed, low-profile

Rear Sight: Fixed

Capacity: 8+1

Price: GI Series is about $475 retail (about $419 via Brownells)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Appearance * *

So this gets 2 stars because it’s a standard GI 1911. But the tool marks, the rough edges, and the cheap handles make the gun look ugly. No Parkerized finish looks great, but this one looks like some of the first finishes I did in my garage. And that’s not good.

Accuracy *

At contact range this gun is a tack driver. Beyond that, things get iffy.

Reliability 0 

It’s not.

Overall 0

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. A Government Model 1911 can be beautiful, reliable, and accurate. That’s why I carry one for self defense. But all that comes at a price. Apparently that price is higher than $470. And if you want a GI 1911, buy one, maybe that says Colt on the side of it. You might be happier with an RIA TAC-level model. 

More from The Truth About Guns:

Gun Review: Kimber Stainless Ultra Raptor II

Gun Review: Colt 1911 Government Series 80 .45 ACP

Glock vs. 1911. Again. Still. Forever?

Gun Review: Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Officer-Style 9mm

Hands-On With Beretta’s New 92X Full Size, Centurion, Compact and Performance Models

Gun Review: Rock Island Armory TCM TAC Ultra FS in .22TCM/9mm

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  1. How to purchase a RIA 1911:

    1) Buy gun
    2) Douse gun with oil.
    3) Take gun to range.
    4) Attempt to get gun to run by varying ammo, magazines, shooting grip, and stances (on rare occasions the Crane technique has been known to work)
    5) Go home in frustration
    6) Contact ARMSCOR
    7) Send gun to ARMSCOR for repairs
    8) Wait 2-8 weeks

    Congratulations! When your gun returns from ARMSCOR you will have completed your purchase. Enjoy your new 1911!

    • My 3.5″ Armscor has been back to the Armscor secret Nevada repair shop twice and still doesn’t work right. I can’t get rid of the piece of cr*p as how could I sell it to somebody when it doesn’t work. Anybody in southern Arizona want a shop project for real cheap? If I didn’t like dogs, I’d trade it for a mangy dog and then shot the dog.

      • I have actually been looking for a 1911 to practice my gunsmithing on and I live in Phoenix. How much to you want for it?

      • I have had my Rock Island Armory 1911 GI for about 2 years and I have never had it fail in any way and it will eat anything I throw in it, even Tulla and Wolf without a Hickup. When I purchased it, it came with a factory mag and I also ordered a Chip McCormick mag with it and both do fine. Been thinking about ordering an Aluminum mag but just haven’t cause I figure if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, type deal. It shoots as good as any Colt, Ruger, etc. that I have shot. I am well pleased. Just my 2cents worth.

      • Frank Bull,
        I doubt if you really have a RIA 1911. All you have to do is send an email to Ty at armscor, and he will
        send you a shipping label for free. And in about 5 or 6 weeks you get your weapon back repaired.
        I sent my .22TCM back and got a new one in one month! I am the proud owner of 8 RIA.
        weapons and they all work great! So, your last name says it all, BULL!

        Rog Unita That goes for you too!

    • Never had any issues like that… sounds like you are just ranting, so nobody will by them…
      I think they are great guns for the money… I would gladly purchase another one… It eats any ammo I through at it… shoots as accurate as i can. Matter of fact it shoots close to a colt 1911 that I have… So for a cheap gun it is great… Please don’t buy one, gives me another to choose from…

      1911 lead shooter

      • I’m with you on that comment, i have over 800 rounds through my gi model, and have had zero failures, it eats everything and Russian steel cased ammo.

      • My RIA GI 1911 shoots flawlessly and eats any .45 I throw in it. This guy must have got a lemon. I love mine as good as I do the Colt 1911 I used to have and it was alot cheaper. Just have to remember that anything man made has the potential to have some problems.

        • I fully concur. I bought new nickel plated ones for my son and me 10 years ago for $399. No issues whatsoever. No tool marks, no sharp edges, shoots great offhand. I can hit a B-27 target center mass consistently at 25 yards. We love our RIAs.

      • I have approx 800 rounds through my RIA GI and have yet to have a malfunction. I have used all brands of ammo, and I have four mags, eats all I put through it. And with the basic sights, it’s very accurate.

    • *Notice should be re-titled to>> Gun Review: Used with Unknown Issues, Rock Island Armory FS GI 1911 Standard- an unbiased view of All New Rock Island Armory Products based on this Used Gun, by The Truth About Guns

    • See, this is totally different than the experience I had with my RIA. Granted, mine was the RIA Tactical 9mm model, but the gun, while not surgically accurate, probably shot better than I did (and mind you, I did shoot well with it!) and only, in the time I owned it, had 4 FTE/FTF’s, two of which I know were caused by short round from the Remington UMC ammo I was using b/c it was the cheapest, dirtiest ammo I could find in the Walmart and I wanted to see how my gun would handle it after rapid firing hundreds of garbage rounds through it at one sitting. One of them may have been caused by my wife slightly “limp wristing” it during her first time firing, but other than that, it ran nearly flawlessly. I did have some failures to return to battery at the last round of the mag, but those cleaned up once I polished the edge of the slide stop and angled it a little better. It didn’t chew up my hands while shooting or feel uncomfortable in the least. The only reason I sold it was that I wanted a .357 magnum revolver more than I wanted a 9mm semi-auto. I did buy a couple Mec-Gar aftermarket mags, too, and never had any issue with the gun as far as feeding and loading those.

    • My RIA 1911 is one of the best performing pistols (yes, Glock included) that I have ever purchased. Send yours back. The vast majority of us have no issues at all with the manufacturer or item. It is an awesome firearm !!!

    • I work for a gunsmithing business in Orange County California. I bought my RIA FS the model above the government. I tore it down and gave it a good cleaning and lubed all essentials. I shot it without issue for first 150 rounds. Cleaned it and took it back out again a couple of days later. i could not get through a full magazine without repeated failure to feed.
      I immediately tore it completely apart and carefully inspected the internals. I realized quickly that every spring in the gun was noticeably shorter in length than a “colt” replacement.
      I happened to have a Wolff 1911 spring service pack in stock. This includes all springs that a 5 inch 1911 series 80 model would take. Also knowing from experience that Wolff springs are of good quality as they are primarily what we use for replacements on guns we service.
      I took the gun back on the range and could not get it to stop working. I have since given the RIA an action job, and reduced the hammer “main” spring to a 21 lb. I t breaks at a crisp 4 lbs. I have let many friends and customers shoot it and have had many offers to purchase it.
      I have less than 500 dollars invested in this gun, and we couldn’t tell the difference in grouping at 15 yards between my “cheap” RIA, and a 2,500 dollar Wilson Combat a customer of ours was using.

      • TDJ, Yeah I live in Orange County too, have had many Jamming issues with my RIA GI 1911..
        Bought 2 extra Wilson Combat Mags for it and both jammed consistently, so I returned both mags…Would like to find a good gunsmith in my area to make Gun more smooth operating?

    • I found his article to be 100% accurate. The problem is quality control (and customer service which is awful)
      I have read enough about this gun to know some people get it and have great luck some get it and it is a pos. The feeding problem you talked about is right on. I was having feeding issues with winchester so I go remington and golden bear all had the same problems, they would fire great for a bit then failure to feed after failure to feed. If you send the gun back you have no idea if they received it or not, if you leave an email to find out you get a terse reply telling you they can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to fix the gun. Well it has been 7 weeks and still no response. I would never buy any gun from them again, my colt 1911a1 is a champ never had a single problem with it s&w 40 the same no problem and very reliable, this company should be sued for what they are putting out. I am afraid to fire it again when it comes back for fear something else is wrong with it.


        • Jim,
          Like many others above, I have an RIA 9MM 1911. It eats anything I put in it. My grandson had it for about a
          year, and loved it.
          RIA has a solution for a malfunctioning pistol, it is called email Ivan or Ty at armscor, they will send you
          a prepaid shipping label, and if they cannot fix your weapon, you will get a new one. And I guarantee, they are not slow. Craig Tauson would kick their butts.
          Armscor pistols are guaranted for llife. I have one mfg’d by Armscor with a High Standard name on it.
          Armscor still says if it breaks, it is under warranty.10 Years old and still truckin’
          To be truthful. You guys who rant so much about how bad these guns are, probably do not even own
          one of them. Plus, to the guy who said LEOs were struggling with 1911s on the range, I think you are full of it.
          I know many, many LEOs who swear by their 1911s.

      • I do not understand why some of you are so against RIA firearms. I personally happen to own 7 different
        calibre of RIA weapons and they all function perfectly. I did have to send my TCM back due to a light
        striking firing pin that was off center. Ivan sent me a shipping label, I sent him the gun, and two weeks
        later I got back brand new firearm. And this one shoots like a dream. I have never had a problem with
        the people at RIA/Armscor. They are courteous, professional and always willing to listen. So you haters,
        that probably do not even own an RIA firearm go pound sand!

      • Bruce, you said “If you send the gun back you have no idea if they received it or not,” That is what “tracking numbers”
        are for. Yes, they take a while to return the weapon, but like every gun shop, some times they get busy.
        I have sent 4 different guns back to ARMSCOR/RIA and twice, I got them back in about four weeks.
        1 came almost straight back, and one I got a replacement for, no questions asked. When I emaiil Ivan or ty,
        I get prompt responses.

    • I will say this opinions R like assholes everyone has one. But that article was a misleading and totally false to say the least! I’ve had my 45 1911Rock Island for over a year it has performed flawless. I’ve put over 1500 rounds threw the pipe. Not one hiccup in any way shape or form. It sounds to me like u need to hit the range and stop wth all the nonsence and false testimonials

        • Wow! I just love reading posts that are good and bad about 1911’s. I have carried a Colt for 30 years and I can say for certain that it was not reliable in the beginning as are very few 1911’s. They all require some tuning and they all require break-in. When talking about the number if rounds before reliable – well then PLEASE do not carry a 1911, or really any semi auto. It used to be mandatory that one knew how to clear a stove pipe, failure to eject, failure to feed, and ensure the gun was in battery. Today too much TV has come to the scene where people slap the hell out of the mag (actually a no-no) and when the gun stops they blame the gun. I like my Colt’s but if the mag and and a couple boxes of ammo agree with any 1911 I would not hesitate to carry it. Competition is different. For defense, Learn how to use the tool in this case the 1911 or carry a revolver. All semi-autos require additional training and practice.

    • Took mine out today for the first time. Trigger pull, a bit heavy, but acceptable for a GI 1911. Functioned flawlessly. Does everything a1911 was designed to do. No complaints. Is it less accurate than my Gold Match? Of course. But accuracy isn’t the reason for buying a cheap 1911. The fit is above average. The grips are being replaced, of course. The rest? Can’t say is change a thing. Am I unsophisticated? Nope. I’ve had 30 years of 1911 experience. Can’t knock it for the money.

      • In addition to my good working RIAs, I have a pair of tricked out S/S Metro Arms American Classic IIs. One in .45 and the other in .38 Super Auto. They are the cat’s meow and will eat anything I feed them.
        Some people here have no conception what the old 9mm S&W Model 39s and 59s use to be like. They jammed a lot and I taught the troops how to clear them and stay in the fight. Malfunction drills are part of training and anyone who doesn’t do that is deficient in pistolcraft.

    • Rock island 1911s are junk I owned them before but after a cocked and locked gun goes off in your holster and blows half your leg off is it really worth saving a couple hundred dollars over take some good advice and stay away from them if your determine to carry one when it goes off on you and kills you or someone else remember you were warned carry it with confidence and it will bit you beware

      • Jim,
        There is no documented instance of a 1911 going off while cocked and Locked. Except for one police officer
        who claimed his went off when dropped. But he would not elaborate on it. I believe you are an habitual
        complainer who does not even own a 1911. If so, and it did by some chance go off in the holster, I would
        call it owner error. Sorry about your alleged leg.

    • All you have to do is read the rest of this guy’s reviews to understand that he is a paid troll for the companies that pay for adverts to “The Truth About Guns”. I have had several of RIA’s guns with no issues if you expect to get what you pay for… yeah I have had to clean em and yeah I have had to replace the odd 3 dollar spring here and there to get ’em to feed properly. I also own guns from several other “Reliable” manufacturers and had to work on or send them back as well i.e. Most recent examples… a Glock 19 and 17 that fed brass to face while shooting, a Colt AR that wouldn’t feed after initial cleaning and break-in to save your life, and a S&W model 22 that wouldn’t feed out of the box period. Would I rate any of these a “0”… hell no I took the time to either correct myself or send them back to manufacturer and took each opportunity as a learning experience. Generally speaking, when the SHTF your gonna need to know your guns anyway, so take the time to learn a bit along the way. If you buy a $300 dollar gun don’t expect it to run like a $1000 dollar gun out of the box. Also, I don’t know how many 1911’s you have shot, but I own a couple of $3500 1911’s that will tear your palm up as well… get over it an buy a $20 pair of gloves, anyone that is properly prepared would own some anyway. Geesh.

      • Well stated, Maybe. I agree with you 110%! I own 13 1911s of various calibre, 9 of which are RIAs.
        4 are Ruger SR1911s. and yes, I have had problems with both, but nothing earth shattering.
        Get them fixed and move on. No firearm is important enough to bad mouth because it had the
        audacity to malfunction on me. (Could have been my fault). I had a Llama that I could not shoot at all.
        I was limp wristing the heck out of it. Every body I let shoot it said it was a great gun. So I sold it to
        one of them. He loved it. c’est le vie.

    • I have one of these 1911’s and I’ve never and any problem like that it is a good gun. I think everyone on here thinks there some kind of expert but let me let you in on something just because you shoot a gun doesn’t make you an expert. Also when I first got my gun I put more than five hundred rounds through it and only had one or two mishaps. Plus the break in period for these 1911’s is 500 round give or take so if its been shot here and there and set for three years before you got it then I don’t think this article is very fair or truthful.

    • I just purchased the full size A2 in 9mm. My first day at the range I could not have been more pleased. I bought it to have a 1911 style like i did in my medic days so more for nostalgia, teaching, and fun. I have other pistols better suited for target and self defense.

      First, like mentioned earlier, you have to take it apart and Lube it right just like any other firearm. I to greased the whole thing and reoiled/greased.

      First range trip i brought 6 different types of ammo. Crap to high end defense rounds. 300 rounds later not a single malfunction. Cleaned it up and sent another 100 down. No issues. I was hitting decent groups at 25 yards and given the GI sights, i was ok with the results. 1 minute of bad guy easy.

      I did not experience the discomfort from the beaver tail. Yeah its not so great but it did not affect my desire to fire the gun. The trigger was more uncomfortable but again, it was not terrible. Same with the safety. So if you cant suck up a little irritation and want silk smooth, get a file or buy something else.

      The sights are not great but you should no that going in. If you dont, then shame on you for not doing your home work. These are made for combat and no snagging, not tack driving. Upgrade another model if you meed something else. I put red nail polish on the front sight and it is good enough. Maybe as my eyes continue to age, i will get a fiberoptic dovetailed on the front.

      For 450, I think the gun is great value. Extra mags were 20 on ebay and plenty out there. Since this is a double stack, you need mec-gar p-18 .380 super. They also performed without any issues. The only downside is I need preban for anything over 10 rounds in MA. Prebans don’t exist. No big deal since this is not my carry or self defense.

  2. Where do you get this stuff? I have the 9mm compact version. Wiped off the surface grease/cosmoiline and haven’t looked back. About 1000 through the pipe with only one stovepipe (loose hold by me). Shoot consistently in the X or 9 ring at 30ft (which is enough distance to reasonably expect to safely shoot in an incident).

    The finish is serviceable (and maybe it is cheating that the pistol has the memory pad grip safety and extended beavertail) and the trigger is just remarkable. BTW, bought the gun at a LGS I’d never been to. There was no chance the retailer picked me a special one.

    Of course, the full-size 1911 does closely resemble the original, which always offers slide bite, while the other models offer the beavertail and flared port. Have handled all the top-dollar 1911 pistols, but none offer a reason to move from a $500 gun to a $2500+ gun. I keep looking, but always come back to the RIA…unless I find something really special to buy as a museum/display piece, the Armscor product remains the trusted go-to.

    • Sounds suspiciously like he’s just catering to the “we hate 1911’s” crowd. Nothing in his review reflects the reality of the one I own that’s the exact model he “tested”.

      • I’ll back up the possibility of truth in the review because I’ve seen BOTH ends of the spectrum from identical RIA 1911’s. I even warned him ahead of time on the Facebook post…. Out of the 3 RIA 1911s I’ve had, 2 ran flawlessly and the other would choke on damn near anything at least once per mag. I never could work out the problem even with the help of a local smith so I traded it off for something else. The guy who bought it was SURE he could fix it himself but that’s the last I heard of it.

        I’ve had the same experience with Llamas. I still own the Llama that works flawlessly as well as a good RIA but the others are long gone.

      • I have a Taurus PT1911 and a RIA 1911, and the RIA I have is probably as bad if not worse than the one described here. It is the 3.5″ model, but I have yet to put a single magazine through it without a failure. The Taurus has been flawless, though, through a couple thousand rounds, mostly reloads.

        • I have had the same result with my Taurus PT1911. People like to dis them, but they are great, and inexpensive for all the features.

        • See Tanner, all firearms are finicky. I have a Taurus PT 1911 that refuses to feed the last two rounds
          from any magazine. My gunsmith couldn’t figure it out, and Taurus wanted $65.00 to send it to them.
          (On a supposedly life warranty) It is still a “Safe Queen”. So you see, every brand of firearm
          has occasional problemsI wonder if anybody has Googled Reviews for some of the $2500.00 guns?
          By the way, if you ever go to the Philippines, check out their ” Jeepneys”, all converted WWII jeeps
          left there by the US Army. Almost 70 years and about 95 % still running strong.

      • Hate 1911s? Yup, I hate them enough to carry one every day and I can’t seem to stop buying them.

        To be fair, and everyone that shoots with me knows this, if something can go wrong with a gun, in my hands, it will. I’m cursed and I’ve noted it on this site before. FN, Glock, Ruger, Remington, HK, Kimber, Cabot, you name it, I’ve had problems with them all.

        • We always tell the guy who can break anything that he needs to work in the test department. Have you thought about submitting a CV to any manufacturers? (I’m only partially kidding.)

        • …oh and by the way the fact that you so obviously desperately *wanted* the Cabot to work well for you and were willing to report it didn’t, puts you a cut above the sycophantic fanboys.

        • You must’ve drawn a real lemon this time, man. I’m not the only one whose experience has been the exact opposite of your review – in fact, looking around the comments here, I’d say there’s quite a few of us. It’s been pointed out elsewhere in the comments that RIA has a lifetime guarantee and a good reputation for customer service. You should see what they have to say about this pistol, and what they’re willing to do to make it right. Might surprise you.

    • >Where do you get this stuff?

      Oh, I dunno, maybe from the two RIA 1911s I own? Both have followed this pattern exactly. One is a GI CS in .45 and the other is a GI FS in .38 Super.

      The CS has been back twice because it keeps losing the front sight. I suspect the slot was cut too large, and I’m going to have to find a real gunsmith to cut a dovetail.

      Even my Remington R1, which cost only $100 more, didn’t have these problems. And we all know how bad Remington is!

  3. For nearasdammit $500, I can choose almost any modern polymer gun and get reliability, accuracy, capacity, ergonomics, and weight savings. Or I can get a 1911 which does not work. Why are 1911s still popular, again?

    • Why don’t we all drive Civics?

      “A gun is a tool”

      So is a car, yet they make loads of them and some exponentially more than a civic.

      There is a joy to shooting a full size 45 with a metal frame that is absent from it’s polymer cousins.

      That, and all manner of plastic pistols have about as much personality as a hammer.

      “But CZ makes metal guns that have more personality than their plastic counterparts at the same price point!”

      Game. Set. Match.

      • I would love to see a review of the CZ-97. I think they updated their models a year or 2 back to have thinner aluminum grips and a wider feed ramp for hollow points. I wonder how the recoil would compare to the sr45.

        • The CZ-97 range rental I shot was an absolute fricking tack driver. I shot the best group of my handgunning life out of it.

          But it feed-ramp-jammed 5 times in the box of 50, and that’s with the ammo the range (quite understandably) requires you to buy and use. (Otherwise I’d probably have bought the gun on the spot.) Now given that it’s a range rental, it could have been grunge and/or lack of lubrication, but I will never know. I think it was Jeremy S who said 97s did have a reputation for being finick when I reported this in the thread on CZ’s new 1911. I haven’t followed up on that.

          But… my personal experience with a gun of unknown cleanliness and lubing aside (I should have checked beforehand), I agree it’d be nice to see a review done under more controlled conditions.

      • Camry/4runner. And I like all metal guns(except for the grips). I have a polymer 9 and it works, without fail. But lord that’s one ugly and boring gun to shoot. No personality at all and no real pride of ownership.

        • I can certainly go along with prefering a metal-framed gun esthetically (hence my predilection for CZ-75s and variants). There are certainly cases though, were I forced to chose between specific guns, where I’d go with the polymer one. Such as a Glock over a Cabot, for combat in the next five seconds.

      • I also had a RIA base model and you were spot on in what I experienced. You might not write very well, but you made a good obsevation on a pos. I recently bought a Llama Max I and hope its not a RIA.

    • Why are 1911s still popular? Because Colt and quite a few manufacturers still make them. Because vets who used them are still around. Because fan boys who grew up listening to daddy and granpa’s war stories or watched black n white 40s-50s WW2 movies on saturday TV still wet the bed over them.

      The 1911 blows and there are BETTER performing firearms out there! Own a GLOCK 21 that out of the box with dry lube , pumped 100 rds at range into the 9 and 10 ring at 25 yds on cheap reloads.My buddies Kimber Custom out of the box and after being checked and oiled, CHOKED ON rds 6, 17,20, 31, 42,43,54,57,60,71- yes 1/10 rds! Is nostalgia worth betting your life on??

      I have a G21, Sig 220, and carried a S&W 4506 on duty as a LEO- and noticed all the 1911 guys had to shoot “expert” just to carry them-ironic in that you would expect a police agency to want ALL their officers to shoot EXPERT!

      Every month on required qualification range days, I saw the 1911 guys struggling!!! And the evitable gun FTE and FTFs occuring, while newbie officers fired their dept issued “tupperware” Glocks and QUALIFIED WITHOUT A SWEAT. I myself never struggled with the 4506 in qualifying or ever having a FTF, and things just got better when I transitioned first to my Glock 21- now my HD gun, and then my Sig 220!!

      “Meanwhile”, the Colt and Kimber boys always, ALWAYS had an excuse( “its the break in period”, “the tolerances are too tight”.. )

      The 1911 is a great piece of historical combat weaponry, BUT when their are BETTER modern designs with BETTER out of the box reliability and EQUAL ACCURACY( HK, SIG, even the M&P,XD, and Glock can equal a out of the box Colt or Kimber!!) I think the 1911 fanboys need to grow up and accept reality….

      • True ! My best shooting for me is my Ruger P95, Utility is Glock 19, Favoite Modified Rock Island HiCap 2011,
        Ha ! Fanboy? Grow up? Who in the hell you talking too. Me ? My grandson shoots my RIA 1911 9mm in the 9/10 ring @ 15yrds cold. 1911’s are for Big Boys then. I have a Glock in the 10 ring that shoot like a pellet gun (boring) after shooting the 1911. I guess like a fanboy of Baseball, the 1911 is like putting a weight on your bat and take a couple or swings to make the bat feel lighter when you enter th batters box…Us 1911s Fanboys are enthusiasts, We tinker with them, how to improve it, figure out issues, they’re so much upgrades, so much add-ons, Brushed Aluminium, Stainless Steel and Chrome just to do it. as Classic Car Fanboys, Buy a basic Chevy, Ford or Dodge and fix it up with all the upgrades, Custom Paint/Airbrushed, Chrome. The sky’s the limit . Yup, even it has it’s troubles, Unable to start when it’s cold, for non fanboys (manual choke) what’s that? Sorry. Glock, Toyota, Sig, Nissan.. Non fanboys, Glocks, Sig’s.., Shoot, Clean, Shoot, Clean, Shoot. I’m happy with all of it. When one starts to “Lable” people or groups the they are on their way on becoming “Trolls”.
        MEGA ARMS Fanboy
        ADCOR Fanboy
        Ruger Fanboy
        STI2011 Fanboy
        Savage 110BA Fanboy
        USAF 31yrs Retired/DAV Reality

    • Umm why are Classic Cars still popular again ! ?
      and I’m the bad guy ! ?

  4. Now review one of the dressed up RI models with the VZ grips and we’ll call it a day!

  5. I have this exact pistol and have experienced exactly…none of the problems you describe -including the “sharp edges” that so tortured your hands. Maybe their five-year-old guns are different from their three year old examples, but I kind of doubt it…

    It shoots reliably, has eaten everything I’ve fed it (which is admittedly a limited palate – WWB, Win 1911, and cheap reloads sold at the range) with no malfunctions other than a couple of stovepipes caused by standing too close to the divider in the shooting bay. No FTF’s, no failure to return to battery…

    All I can think is this example must’ve been abused to offer up this many malfunctions. Has it ever been cleaned, or just doused in Rem-Oil and called “good enough”? Something’s fishy here.

    • Cleaned regularly. Shot infrequently. Most ever run through it in one sitting was about 100 rounds.

      • Sorry, Dan, it doesn’t add up. Mine has run flawlessly – granted, it only has about 500 rounds through it, but still not one single failure caused by either the gun, the ammo or the magazine so far. And the finish is decent, with no sharp edges or tool marks I’ve noticed. My only real complaint is the big-ass “ROCK ISLAND ARMORY” logo on the slide.

        Also, I have no trouble hitting targets with it. Even with the GI-style non-adjustable (tiny) sights.

        • Glad yours runs well. It’s like Kel Tecs. You spends your moneys and you takes your chances. I have an ultra reliable P3AT. Lots of people don’t.

          Not sure what doesn’t add up. Bought the RIA at a LGS just like anyone else. It is what it is.

        • You know, this is the second time this thread you’ve stopped just short of calling someone a liar because their gun doesn’t work.

        • What “doesn’t add up” is that you seem to have gotten stuck with a RIA 1911 that doesn’t just have one problem, it seems to have ALL the problems. This isn’t an accusation toward you, it’s more an observation that you seem to have seriously pissed off the gun gods at some point…

        • Are you changing stories Dan? In your article you said you borrowed the used gun from your friend Dan and now say you bought the gun at a store. Sounds like some BS here….

        • John wrote the article. Dan is the one who answered above. John said he borrowed the gun from Dan.

          I was confused too until I saw another post from John below.

      • I’ve put over 400 through my RIA GI in one trip with no issues. Seems they’re hit or miss. Thankfully, I got a decent hit.

    • My RIA 1911 shoots accurately and flawlessly. I am at about 2000 rounds through it over 2 years. Eats up anything I’ve fed it. Mine does however hurt to shoot after a box or so. The web of my hand is red and irritated right now. I came home from the range today and googled “ria 1911 hurts” and came across this thread. I can deal with it, but i guess im not the only one whose had that problem. I still love it!

  6. “No parkerized finish looks great, but this one looks like some of the first finishes I did in my garage. And that’s not good.” I do my Parkerizing in less than a garage. I get many a comment on “How the hell did you make Parkerizing look so damn good?”

    I paid about the same price for my PT1911AR. None of the complaints you have for the RIA, and it’s freakin’ sweet. The only problem is the left side of the ambi safety likes to pop out and make the gun into a brick. Kind of a big deal, but not a problem every one of them has. Sending back to Taurus on lifetime warranty.

    My next 1911 will be an 80%. I have a CnC, why should I fill out a 4473?

    • Cheap 1911=Taurus. I know a couple guys who have one and LOVE them. Is this the lowest rating ever on TTAG?

      • Also suggest considering a TISAS. You can pick them up for under 400 now:

        Had about 700 rounds though one I bought. Came with a Mecgar mag, bought two more with it. With those mags, the last round would fail to feed sometimes. Switched to wilson mags, had zero issues since. Fit/finish just fine, accuracy perfectly acceptable, runs fine with various ball ammo (never tried hollow points). If you want a plain jane 1911 you don’t have to worry about scratching up, but still works fine, it’s worth a look.

        That said, if I buy another 1911 I’ll probably pay more and get a colt.

  7. “And if you want a GI 1911, buy one. It says Colt on the side of it.”

    Ugh, read this and it soured the rest of what I just read. I thought we were past the days of this “the only real 1911 is a colt” way of thinking. It implies a level of snobbery that really makes me question the rest of the review. A dozen companies make great 1911’s. Some a cheap and some are not, but just because it doesn’t say colt on it, it can still be a great firearm.

    • I just interpreted that as “If you want a GI 1911, buy one.”

      Not “Colt is the only one who makes a decent 1911.” He likes other brands don’t he? Wilson Combat and STI? Maybe others?

      • Most GI 1911’s weren’t Colts. The ones considered the best were made by the Singer sewing machine company…they also had the shortest production run and are the rarest examples these days.

        • I thought I’d read somewhere that Ithaca had the shortest run (just a few thousand). Of course, my 1911A1 is an Ithaca, so my memory might be wearing rose colored glasses at this point. 🙂

        • Was fortunate enough to have my hands on a couple of Singers in the ’70s when I was at the Camp Pendleton PMO Armory. Nice Weapons, but those had seen lots of use and abuse. Hard to tell what happened to them when USMC discontined the 1911 as a sidearm. Probablly snatched up by the Brass before anybody knew. At the risk of starting a whole new argument, I have a Taurus PT1911 that operates like a dream. Had hundreds of rounds through it with no problems. Changed out the full length guiderod/spring plug and spring for a Wilson flat wire spring and put on some walnut grips my dad made.

      • Yup. Read closely. I didn’t say GI Style or just 1911. I said GI 1911. If you want an authentic GI 1911 it says Colt on the side of it.

        • During WWII, Remington Rand made twice as many 1911’s as Colt. Ithaca made the same number as Colt. And then there were Union Switch and Signal and Singer (which, as I mentioned above, made the most sought-after 1911 of the war).

          So, no, an authentic GI 1911 does not necessarily say “Colt” on the side. In fact, most of them don’t.

      • Sometimes wonder if I should have picked one up instead of my used glock 23. Still contemplate trading/selling it and getting a cz instead, haha. Would do both but money is tight. In school and all that. 🙂

        • Don’t cry- you got a good gun that won’t fail you in an emergency. Practice responsible gun owner ship and go practice at a local range

  8. That gun looks like junk from the photos. I’ve heard of cheap and reliable RIA’s as well as ones that malfunctioned regularly. I’m not a fan of RemOil, either. In fact I avoid everything Remington makes these days if I can avoid it. Frankly I’m surprised that this gun was so unreliable. I suspect there are parts of this gun still out of spec.

    At least Ruger makes a pretty reliable and cheap .45. It’s not terribly accurate, but it’ll do.

    Hickok didn’t seem to have an issue with his:

  9. So based on both the review and the comments the root issue here seems to be consistency.

    Some are gems, some are bricks, and the only way to find out which you’re getting is to buy it and try it.

    Not my preferred approach, personally.

    On the cost-of-the-gun issue, one thing to remember is that the average 1911 has 1.5-2x as many parts as a modern polymer-frame pistol. So the average part has to cost that much less to make a 1911, all else equal, and that is apparently showing up in consistency of fit, finish and operation.

    Granted that’s not a perfect metric, and we could talk tolerancing and such all day long; but I hope it gives a little insight.

    • Gun snobs are all about boasting about name brands and what it cost to buy in. The internet is riddled with self-appointed experts who use blogs to feed their narcissistic cravings. They are easy to recognize because they’re the ones who create psuedo-reviews that begin with an innate bias and progress toward an inevitably negative outcome. One clear marker of such “reviews” is the lack of apparent interest, or technical background to convince the reader of what they claim. The result is what we have here…a supremely negative review, clearly so-intended from before the first word was typed, that has ignited a shit-storm of blow-back from a world of genuine owners of the product who rightfully take umbrage at yet one more gun snob trying to “pile on” as it were with a total disregard for journalistic integrity.
      See, the way on KNOWS a reviewer is totally FOS, is because they blame the NAME of the product without ever once dissecting the real culprit in any malfunction, which with almost all semiautomatic pistols, are the magazines. No effort was input to present to the reader WHY the gun failed on every count, beginning with not being branded “COLT,” and proceeding through a litany of negatives that scream negative bias.
      I’ve owned many 1911’s. I’ve even built a few dozen from 80% frames, with mix-&-match parts. My very first 1911 built around an Essex frame, had an “authentic” Colt slide on it – but this was WAY back in the day when most of the shooting world cared little about the pedigree of any 1911 pattern pistol. That first gun functioned with 100% reliability when it came to feeding and ejecting. It did have a tendency to drop the hammer (to half-cock) when the safety was released, so I “trained around it” an never snicked the safety off without first doing the off-hand thumb-block to prevent the hammer falling. Then I traded a now classic Dan Wesson .44 to a friend for my very first Colt “GI” model. Well, to be fair back in 1980, nobody else in North America was building 1911 pattern handguns, so ANY 1911 was going to say Colt on the slide, unless one happened upon a military cast-off from the Great War(s). My “COLT” feed “hardball” perfectly…well, that’s because nobody commercially loaded anything else at that time…it was all a-comin’ though. I also had the pleasure of actually being issued a 1911 while in the Army during my time as a mortar gunner, and of course qualified expert with it on basic paper targets out to 75 meters…this with a gun “everybody” who pretends to know something yaps about being so inaccurate. Well, had any of them been down-range within 100 meters of me and that military issue “forty-five” they wouldn’t have been so arrogant.
      I loaned that pistol to my brother who was nice enough to pawn it and pretend he thought I’d given it to him, and soon the world was awash in the wonder-nine craze, followed by the Glock craze which is still going to this day. To be fair, Glocks ARE great handguns that simply work. I know, I own and have owned many, and if I had to restrict myself to one handgun and factory ammo, that gun would be a Glock 20 with “real” 10mm loads. If I could only have one handgun and HAND loads, that would be a Glock 20 or 21 converted to .460 Rowland. The Rowland fired from my Glock long slide has amazingly mild recoil, while pushing over 1,000 fpe per shot, and, in the case of MY Glock conversion, mine works perfectly and has since build day. Having said that, I recently decided to do a little research using my own money…so I converted my Rock Island Tactical nickel plated to .460 Rowland using the Clark kit. Currently I have in it Rowland’s “tougher buffer” guide rod and spring with consists of a two-piece guide rod with flat-wound 20 pound spring, meshed with a shorter segment of 20 pound spring to bump spring force to 40 pounds as the slide nears full travel. Other than that it has a flat bottom slide stop, and close to 300 rounds through it. Probably a few more rounds than my G460R conversion simply because the 1911 pattern pistol in .460 Rowland IS the quintessential melding of compactness, perfect ergonomics (definitely beats Glock), and power! I simply LOVE to shoot it with a variety of factory and hand loads including everything Underwood makes, plus my own eclectic smattering of 120/185/230/260 grain .460R hand loads, plus .45 SUPER loaded in small primer .45 Auto brass just for S&G’s! Now, this is the pistol that “everyone” claims ain’t worth the effort it takes for a dog to squeeze out a steaming turd on a frozen yard! Yet, since day “new” this particular pistol functioned with 100% perfection with all .45 auto loads…mainly my own hand loads. It’s brother – an RIA “GI” model like the one disrespected by the author, has also functioned with 100% perfection since day one…never, not ONE malfunction using the same magazines that came with the gun! I am in fact in the process of “converting” the GI model to handle .45 SUPER+ (that’s .460 Rowland in a .45 auto case) because there is simply no reason to tote around 40 ounces of handgun in the polymer world to derive just 350 lb-ft of KE. I’ve discovered that the 1911 with the right modification is fully capable of replacing the much less user-friendly .44 magnum. In fact, after I first experienced my Glock .460 Rowland I had zero hesitation selling off my safe-queen Desert Eagle .44 magnum because in head-to-head comparison, the .460 Rowland OUTPOWERED the .44 magnum…plus, my G460R only weighs 34 ounces empty compared to the DE at 72 ounces empty….not to mention the glock is FUN to shoot! But now comes the RIA in .460R…and though heavier by six ounces, it simply fits the hand PERFECTLY, has the same “mild” recoil of the Glock thanks to the comp. Anyone interested feel free to go over to and check my loads – every one of which is a REAL load, that has been REALLY tested….kind of NOT like the impression the author of this article left me with respect to his involvement with some friend’s Rock Island.
      BTW, being a “gun person” I also happen to own brands of 1911 other than Rock Island, to include, Springfield Armory, Kimber, Colt, and several of my own manufacture, and the one thing I can say after all these years is that the 1911 can be a highly reliable machine if properly built and toleranced…and by that I do NOT mean making all the parts so tight they stall the gun, I simply mean understanding how the parts interact and how to fit them correctly.
      As for the clown who claimed all polymer pistols have fewer parts than the 1911…well, see, there’s another one…someone who doesn’t know diddly-squat about what he proclaims as fact…but that sure didn’t stop him from doing so now did it! Of the parts that actually “work” during operation and contribute to function, the 1911 has FEWER than does the Glock, which pretty much insures it has even FEWER than all those other polymer pistols! A 1911 has exactly SEVEN operational parts in the “FCG” – two being springs. The only other moving parts in the grip frame is the mag release and slide stop. The only actual “moving” part in the slide is the firing pin…all other parts are static – including the solid, controlled-feed extractor. NONE of a 1911’s parts “mesh” or overlap…as happens in all DA revolvers and many “advanced” pistols. For a gun designed over 100 years ago, it’s an amazingly “modular” design even by today’s standards, and at this point, THAT is why it just keeps on keeping on. An all-steel 1911 is a mighty durable machine and the Rock Island version is I think an excellent rendering. I currently own 4 RIA’s including the one I’ve turned into a .460 Rowland and not one has had a problem…so who do “I” believe when I read such tripe as this “review?” Well certainly I believe the author who failed to impress me that he actually even knows how to shoot, yet proclaimed the gun bad, OVER my own personal experience with 4 times as many examples as he presented that prove all specimens to be top-drawer!
      BTW…over the years I’ve had occasion to hand one of my perfectly functioning 1911’s or one of my equally perfectly functioning Glocks to a friend only to see my utterly reliable pistol suddenly become a “jam-o-matic.” Why? Because some people seem to lack the ability to grasp the entire concept of how to shoot an autopistol so as to advantage it’s mechanical function. I’ve see a lot of weak grips, grips too low, too loose…oh, and the latest fad….leaving one’s shooting hand thumb hanging out in space with the support hand thumb crowding in on the slide as a ledge for the shooting thumb. I have no idea WHAT moron dreamed up that one, nor why every wannabe expert seeks to imitate it, but it’s just ONE of the reasons so many have trouble with control and reliable functioning of handguns. It also smacks of “range-dweeb” who has never actually learned to shoot a HANDgun with just that…ONE hand, where one would NEVER use such a grip…unless they’re a range-dweeb.
      Oh, when I converted my RIA to 460R I took close-up photos of the frame for later comparison to record what, if any massively destructive damage ensues….so far frame damage is zero, though I’ve put more “magnum” rounds the tube than I’ve ever shot through any of my expensive magnum revolvers…to include: S&W .500 both 4″ and 6.5″. S&W .460XVR…and a HOST of “lesser” revolvers in .44 and .357 magnum. I recently clocked some 185 gr. XTP’s of my own recipe clocking almost 1,100 fpe from the Rowland….and I can bang out 7 more right behind that FASTER than shooting an uncomp’d .45 auto!
      If the reader gets the impression I’m an RIA fan…they’re right. I’m also a Glock fan. I’m also a “fan” of reviewers being honest in their approach and leaving their gun-snobbery at home.

      • All good points. When I see such negativity, it’s a red flag about the person posting. Someone who knows firearms and the fact that they’re tools with characteristics of metal and other materials also knows that you have to work with them occasionally especially in the beginning.

        When I first got my RIA I had issues with it but, I worked with the company successfully to diagnose and resolve. Now I have what I feel is an excellent 1911 for a great price. As a fan of the 1911 who just wishes they had a higher capacity, I can say I love this double stack 10mm that holds 17 rounds. What’s interesting is that it’s advertised as a 16+1 but, I can actually get 17+1 in. I have 3 mags and I can actually load an entire box of 50. Sometimes, I’ll do that before heading to the range when I don’t have a lot of time and just wear it.

  10. Hmm….

    I’d heard good things about RIA previously.

    Owned a RIA 1911 9mm Tactical. I can’t say it was %100 reliable. First round FTE (stovepipe), found that with PMC 9mm ammo it didn’t cycle the gun far enough for the slide to hold open after last shot.

    That said, other 9mm ammo cycled the gun consistently, and there is NO question that gun was a tack driver. Me and a friend could consistently ping silhouette steel at 65 yards.

    The GI was always too ugly for me to consider as a purchase (I hate the Taurus billboard on their’s, but they’ve got the other stuff right for same price point). However, I thought it would be an accurate, reliable, functional shooter. It really is too bad to hear otherwise.

  11. Sounds like you got a dud, which sucks but it can happen. This pretty much goes against every RIA review I’ve ever read. RIA GI 1911s are generally built on the loose end of tolerances and are pretty damn reliable. I’m not a huge 1911 fan, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one if I wanted a standard GI .45.

    • Loose tolerances are going to decrease reliability greatly. You are confusing the term tolerance with clearances.

  12. Some run perfect right out of the box, and some don’t. I bought a RIA 1911C, because my 1911 Scorpion was taking a beating as a hunting sidearm. It didn’t make it through 2 boxes of various ammo types, so off to NV it went. Some springs, and a little polishing later, it came back, and was instantly sold to a co-worker. He has not complained about a thing.

    It seems that the very first comment is spot on, when it comes to RIA 1911s.

    • Just a cosmetic beating on your Scorpion or were there functional issues? Mine was supposed to be my hunting sidearm when the ejector decided to work itself loose in the frame. Fortunately, I have a good local smith who did the leg work with SIG to get it fixed at no cost to me. That and they redid the ejection port in the style of the later GSR 1911s and re-Cerakoted the slide.

  13. Mine has been very reliable over the first 300 or so rounds of its life. It’s a GI model, so I expect it to look and feel like it was made en mass to be shipped to GIs in a crate. I haven’t tried to shoot it for accuracy yet, just enjoying my first 1911.

  14. Well well well.
    I own 3 RIA 1911s.
    The full size GI model and both a 9mm and 45acp Compact.
    All 3 guns have never cut me or anyone else who has fired them.
    They all have over 2000K rounds through each of them and nada zero nothing hasn’t fired that Ive stuffed down the tube.
    Now none of my guns will win a beauty contest that I will admit.
    But they will shoot circles around many other name brand 1911s at twice the price.
    So we have here maybe a 1911 SNOB!!!!
    Or someone with a 3 year old gun that should have been sent back 2.11 months ago for a tune up.
    RIA has one of the best customer service department Ive NEVER had to deal with. Those who have had to send their guns back. Have had them returned for the most part tuned up and perfect. No CS is ever perfect.
    As for me. Other then to ask for some spare recoils springs and to get off their butts and get some stock OEM mags on the shelf.
    I find them to be for me, Reliable great guns and yeh you do get what you paid for. A gun that works and is more then what you paid for in its worth. A gun that fires everything it fed and you don’t care if you beat the snot out of it or scratch it up a bit.
    I have and do trust mine with my life 101%.

    • So how do you have any idea what their customer service is like if you’ve never used it? Because some dude on the internet said so?

      Well this dude on the internet is saying the one he handled was not accurate, not comfortable, and not reliable. Doesn’t that have all the same validity as your anecdotes?

      The difference between a Wilson Combat and a Rock Island is a lot of money, and they don’t let Wilsons out into the wild that suck. There are more than a few anecdotes on the internet about RIA 1911s not living up to their end of the bargain out of the box.

  15. “And if you want a GI 1911, buy one. It says Colt on the side of it.”

    That has got to be the funniest thing that I have ever read on this site.

  16. Looks to me RIA has quality control issues. Some product comes out great and some, well, not so much. My question is if you purchase in underperforming pistol will RIA stand behind it until it’s right or is it buyer beware?

  17. I have to wonder about this review. I have a RIA Tactical with over 2000 rounds threw it, most shooting IDPA. Every kind of factory ammo including steel case and hollow points not one failure. Other than new grips and a Dawson Precision fiber front sight, its totally stock. Easy 5 inch groups at 25 yards off hand and clovers at 10. Every kind of factory ammo including steel case and hollow points not one failure. Did send it back for a stripped grip bushing (totally on their dime). I run the inexpensive Chip McCormick Shooting Star magazines in it.
    I don’t know about the price 3 years ago, but GI RIAs go for 350-400 and 50 to 100 more for the tactical. I got lucky and got my tactical a year ago for $350.

    I do have “issues” with it. I had to detail strip it to clean out all the heavy oil that was caked in. But that is easy as it is a series 70 1911. The vertical groves cut into the front strap are not perfectly centered. The point of aim was off, but i fixed it with the new sight. The stripped grip bushing, that they fixed. And don’t get me started on the full length guide rod.

    I also have to admit, the parkerized finish is not the best, but if you soak it in mineral spirits to remove any oil and then hit it with cold bluing it looks really good, hides any scratches and subdues the “billboard” printed on the side.

    I also have “soft” hands, but I know better that to shoot ANY 1911 with a GI grip safety that has not had the edges knocked down.

  18. Having owned several ARMSCOR products that worked well this is surprising Sounds not quite right, most failure too feed were caused by the magazine spring too weak at full capacity or the lips were off, or Fat Ammo, a third problem is limp wristing the loading, dropping the slide stop too load a round, etc but because the weapon is cheap the weapon is no good???

  19. For $134 dollars more, I purchased a new Ruger SR1911. 100% American made, beautifully finished, never had even one malfunction through its current count of around 700 rounds. This pistol is the true value of the 1911 world. I equate guns to power tools, what you save in the moment will cost you more in the future.

    • Agreed. My first 1911 was a Ruger, right when they came out. It did have issues feeding my preferred carry ammo, but ran thousands of FMJs through just fine. It was accurate enough and looked good. I ended up doing a lot of work on it to make it just perfect, but for the money, it’s been the best value in the market I’ve found. Good gun.

      • Grist for the mill:

        I love 1911s and have owned a dozen or so since buying my first, a Series 70 Gold Cup. I prefer moderately customized rather than full-race rooney guns.
        I am down to 4 now- SA 1911A1, S 70 Commander, Kimber Compact SS, and my most recent, a Para Elite Commander.
        When acquiring new or used hardware I find it advisable to detail strip, clean, inspect and lube before reassembly and function testing.
        After that I run a few boxes of various types ammo thru several different magazines to see how it performs. This gives me a chance to evaluate what issues may need to be corrected. ALL of my 1911s have required some work- cosmetic, sights, grips, and/or internal detailing. For guidance I refer to Kuhnhausen.

        After considerable thought I decided to buy the Para as a Christmas gift to myself.
        It was offered by a distributor for only $600.00, evidently the remaining stock after the Para buyout. The core features, slide, frame, barrel, as well as fit and finish are outstanding, especially at the price. I anticipated some issues with the MIM action parts, so performed some detailing upon initial inspection.
        Took it to the range and was literally astounded by its performance. It ate everything regardless of magazine, bullet profile, grip etc. No failures of any kind for the first 200 rds, and as accurate as any 1911 I have ever owned, including my trusty Kimber.
        At this point I am happy as a clam. This was an excellent value.

        A coworker got an RIA a while ago, mainly because of the price. It was a no-frills Commander size pistol, parkerized w/ fixed sights. Fit was good, finish a bit rough but acceptable, decent trigger, chintzy wood grips. Mag quality appeared questionable to me.
        He reports good reliability after some break in failures to feed. (He did not perform the initial inspection.) This has improved after he started using CMC/Shooting Star magazines.

        Regarding the hammer bite referred to in the review: This is a common complaint for 1911s w/ military style spur hammer and grip safety, and should come as no surprise. A few minutes with a file, and a dab or two of cold blue will yield good results.
        And while you’re at it you can also look at the internals, check for uneven wear, burrs etc, and consider a set of quality springs. You will be glad you did.

        I will be interested to see how Colt fares after restructuring.

  20. I picked up my RIA GI for $299 new, small logo at the rear of the slide. I agree about the grip safety so I put on a beaver tail and speed hammer and the gun is great at any practical handgun distance. Only thing I don’t care for are the GI sights.

  21. This might be one of those cases where you get what you pay for. Fortunately, not all value-priced clones are this terrible. I just put 200 rounds through a Tristar C100 (CZ-75 compact clone) without a hiccup. I know that’s not a lot of rounds, but it seems like others are having the same results. $329.99 at Academy, better snatch them up before the secret gets out. I’m also hearing good stuff about the Canik TP9SA (Walther P99 clone). The Turks seem to have figured this out!

  22. I would rather buy a Norinco 1911. If it was good enough for Ed Brown it is good enough for me.

    • Yeah Raoul- Norinco, KEEP putting money into the pockets of the PLA and PLAAF so they can build modern weapons to challenge our military…

    • Ed Brown is a con-artist. I have an Ed Brown Special Forces that rests in my safe due to an issue they WILL NOT WARRANTY. Pistol was sent to them and returned saying I was shooting out-of-spec ammunition – which in turn caused a soft breech face and the elongation of the firing pin hole; which traps the firing pin and causes the pistol to lock up.
      Never heard of copious amounts of factory “out of spec ammunition” ? The Ed Brown pistol (read JUNK paper weight) has been fed just what my other 1911’s have – a mix of reloads, factory and GI ammo, and they all run like sewing machines.
      Ed Brown and his son are crooks and will not honor their warranties on their high-end junk

  23. These value brands always have very heated disagreements when negative press gets out. A lot of folks place their ego in their purchasing decision and take it personally when someone else doesn’t like their savvy shopper pickup.

    If you wanted to spend $500 on a 1911 and you got a good one, rock on! It doesn’t diminish the fact that not every customer will be satisfied.

  24. Something seems “off” with this review. Is it a $2,000 1911? No, but I’ve experienced exactly zero of the issues mentioned in this “review.” Mine would appear to be identical, and it is also probably about 3 years old. Sure, the finish isn’t perfectly polished and is a little rough, but Sally pants who wrote this review must have some awfully delicate hands. The finish is fine. It does NOT cut you. Ridiculous. Granted the .45 ACP isn’t my favorite round to shoot, but I’d estimate in my roughly 3,000 rounds, I’ve never seen a malfunction of any sort. I’ve seen much spendier 1911’s choke right out of the box, not the RIA. I’m not a 1911 fanatic. I carry and shoot Glocks, most of the time. However, for a guy like me that wanted a basic, no frills 1911 to scratch the itch, so to speak, I have nothing but good things to say about it.

    • Is it not possible for a mass produced gun from a 3rd world country to have bad feed ramp geometry?

        • Not necessarily. It could be their process is inconsistent and sometimes they accidentally build one that works.

          • ISO9000 certificated, Armscor should not have home hobby quality results. Doubt this one is/was a one-off.

        • I don’t know enough about their process to comment, if the feed ramp is hand polished, which may well be the case where labor is cheap, then there’s that.

        • Not necessarily.

          A bearing gets a little loose on your mill, or the position indicator has just a touch of drift, and you could have some that are good and some that are bad right from the machine tool.

    • See my post above.
      I PROMISE you it is possible to get good and bad running examples of seemingly identical 1911s.

      I’ve had that experience PERSONALLY with Llama and RIA. I’ve also seen the same not so anomalous anomaly out of 2 almost identical Springfields(1 stainless, 1 not) bought as a pair by a friend that was living with me at the time.

      To be fair, all but one of the 1911s I reference above were bought used but showed very little wear and no signs of any modifications that I could see.

  25. I have a RIA Tac II 10mm and the first day I took it to the range I did not clean it; I just wiped it down. Went through 2 magazines and had 2 instances where after firing it lacked a hair from going back into battery. Fired another magazine and had the same issue. I took it home and gave it a thorough cleaning and 500 rounds later it has been flawless. I have no cuts from the recoil and it is one of my favorite firearms. Not sure what the author of this article was doing, but I have had nothing but good experiences with RIA.

      • Mr. Zimmerman, thanks for (taking me to the wood shed) teaching me something new. That’s why I love coming here, learning new things gun related.

        Mr. Jon Wayne, thanks for being a good sport w/this on going joke between us.

    • I got the joke and I still think it’s hilarious. I also love that there is old blood still on my tailgate. I used to get calls at work to move my truck from the front of the building when the tailgate would start dripping. “Mr. Taylor, please move your truck, it’s bleeding again.”

  26. I’ve been shooting a RIA Tac 2011 for a while now and had zero problems out of the box. Feeds all ammo reliably and is crazy accurate. I don’t deny that a stripper 1911 might be a problem child, but my experience has been totally different. my .02 cents.

  27. huh. I’ve got the “tactical” one; I replaced the grips because I thought the stock ones were hideous. I used to have the 3.5 Officers model totally stock. I sold it because it was too damn heavy for a carry gun though. But both worked fine. I have known, IRL, one or two people that had to send a Rock Island back but that’s not too absurd given the sheer number of people I’ve known that have had them–I mean, 1 or 2 out of of a dozen plus. Sucks that this was a lemon.

    • Thank you for not simply assuming the reviewer is a liar just because his experience didn’t match yours.

      • yeah, that bothers me. I mean, I’d encourage people not to discount a maker on one or two bad experiences–hell, my brother had a Ruger 10/22 that was defective for god’s sakes, and that gun is iconic. But people taking it personally that the reviewer had a hard time with this gun? What the hell?

        Also, yeah, I can’t shoot worth a flip with the GI sights. With the tactical sights? I’m pretty fair. The GI sights are too small for me to use well. So maybe tactical sights would help?

        • I have a recently-built BU Nano that is a piece of shit. About like the early ones tended to be. Apparently. they fixed the problems later on and I just got a lemon. I’m not running around assuming all Nanos are crap just because mine is.

          If the comments here are a good sample (and I’m sure they aren’t) it seems about 30-50 percent of RIAs are crap right out of the box and the others are decent to good.

      • You know, this is the second time this thread you’ve accused a commenter of stopping just short of calling someone a liar because their gun works… You seem very eager to suppress any counter-arguments to this review. Sorry if our identical pistols work better than the reviewed gun, but that’s how it is.

        • I’ve seen commentators saying there’s something off about the review though, which bothers me. I mean, for god’s sakes, it sounds like this wasn’t a great gun. I mean dang. Everybody makes a lemon.

          If he’ll come up here (Amarillo area) I’ll let him borrow mine to test 🙂

        • Sorry if our identical pistols work better than the reviewed gun, but that’s how it is.

          And if you had said THAT before, I’d have had no issue. (You’ll notice I made no such response to those who said “gee sorry yours sucked, mine worked fine” or even those who simply said “mine worked fine.”) Instead, you insinuated that he wrote the review to suck up to 1911 haters (implication: he’s lying about his gun for some reason), and then you said it didn’t add up… how can his report of what he experienced not add up? “Not add up” is generally someone saying someone else is trying to deceive him.

          So which is it? Do you think JWT is lying about what happened to him or not? And if not, why did you imply such?

        • You’ll note that, in my first reply on the subject, I did point out that my experience has been the exact opposite of his. And yes, I did say it “doesn’t add up” – because not only is this review the opposite of my own personal experiences, it’s also the opposite of the experiences of most RIA owners I’ve talked to, as well as quite a few commenters on this site. In my opinion it sounds like JW was trying to review a broken gun.

          Now, to Dan or to JWT I’ll say I’m sorry if I sounded accusatory – my immediate reaction on reading the review, however, was “Wow, none of that sounds right…”.

          To you, Steve…I owe you nothing.

        • To you, Steve…I owe you nothing.

          I agree, you don’t. You’ve apologized to the guys you did shit on, and that’s all I wanted to see.

        • Interesting that you felt the need to demand an apology on behalf of two grown men who could very well do the same. Instead, I’ve conversed with both of them in the comments with a remarkable lack of butthurt expressed by either.

          If either Dan or JWT feel I’ve “shit on” them, I suspect each of them is mature enough to demand an apology – one I’ll offer without reservation.

          Why, exactly, do you feel it’s your job to do so on their behalf?

        • Paul, speaking for myself, something did seem “off” about the review simply because JWT’s experience shooting this pistol was the exact opposite of everything I’ve experienced with my own and read about this model. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone call JWT a liar here – despite Steve’s insistence that we have – but I think there were a lot of readers scratching their heads and wondering what the heck happened for all of these problems to crop up with what has a reputation as a reliable pistol.

          Funny thing about communicating solely by text. Turns of phrase can seem accusatory whether that was the intent or not. Sarcasm doesn’t come through well, either.

  28. Owned a RIA 1911 for over a year, over 2k rounds, only about four FTE and 1 FTFeed.

    Also, I am apparently a better shot than JWT. And less of a b!tch about a couple of rough edges.

    • Agreed. I’ve put over 3k rounds through mine. From what I remember only about 6 failures to extract. The gun is accurate to 50yds for me but I’m in the army and shoot quite a bit. Also you should consider wrist workouts. If it’s hurting you to shoot on a pillow then you should probably go .22

  29. Seems the reviews on RIA 1911s are 50/50 they either perform really well or are just garbage. I’ve put about 1000 rounds through my RIA 1911 tactical and have never had a single issue. It’s not my favorite handgun but I do enjoy it and would highly recommend one for anyone on a budget. I have not experienced any pain or discomfort when shooting it but maybe thats because im left handed.I get more pain shooting my Sig p226 MK25. At the end of the day I’ll take the Sig over the RIA…but the RIA does have a special place in my heart.

    • same her i bought mine 3 years ago and have never had an issue at all. on the safe side i could say ive put 2000 round through it probably more like 3 or 4 k with out a hitch. Also hiting a 10 inch group between 30 to 45 yards which for the price i’m extremely happy with.

  30. Well considering iv never had a jam or miss fire in mine after about 2000 rounds through it i’m kinda questioning if it’s actually the gun or the fan boy handling it, come shoot with me some time id love to show you how a properly cleaned and managed gun works.

  31. Alternative approach:

    Wait until you have saved an additional $200, and buy a new Ruger SR1911 for $700.

    Take to range, shoot all day with no hiccups or painful hammer bites, get 3″ groups offhand at 7 yards. Personal experience.

    • And watch the hammer crack, the front sight fly off, and the mag release to be set on “random”… Because I’ve seen those things happen to Ruger 1911s…

      This review, as with all reviews, is a sample of 1. There are hundreds of positive reviews, and some negative reviews, which is par for pretty much any gun. And it is not representative of what your experiences will be. (If it was, then we would have seen millions of G22s exploding.)

      And, as I mentioned in another post, this is a 3 year old sample. They have made changes that address most of the problems you see in this review.

  32. Interesting heads up. Pity that as I was thinking about a RIA 1911. Of course there’s always the possibly of getting one on the cheap and figuring out how to fix it. I’ve done things like that often in the past.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow up about how to fix a RIA 1911. A real story about that, not just another person making snide comments about just sending it back to the factory.

  33. Having a 1911 is a lot like me having my English Degree. It’ doesn’t matter how good of an idea it is, or how versatile is is if you know wtf you’re doing, the fact still remains it’s always easier for 90% of the population to have just done something else.

  34. So,
    How about we have the gun sent to Pahrump, and let the smiths take a peek at it? If it’s actually that bad, it should have been back already anyway.

    You don’t need to go all the way to Marikina City to get in with Armscor, they are building a brand new facility here in the states. And the CEO is all about the customer service. (He even posts here, as he did with my less than stellar first impression of the TCM last year.)

    This is also an older model, and they have made some changes since then. Better products with the same, and in some cases lower prices. Give them a chance to make it right.

  35. I won’t go so far as to call the reviewer a liar but I’ve had a RIA 1911 for the better part of 10 years and with rare exception it’s swallowed everything I’ve fed it.

    • “I won’t go so far as to call the reviewer a liar…”

      You’re one of the few. It’s always enlightening to see how many people are emotionally invested in their choice of firearm. Reports of someone else’s bad experience HAVE to be due to either incompetence, stupidity or dishonesty.

      • “It’s always enlightening to see how many people are emotionally invested in their choice of firearm.”

        Not too surprising, perhaps, given the intensely personal relationship and association one has with a firearm, especially a handgun; and this is a forum populated by enthusiasts.

        Rather reminds me of discussions about cars and pickup trucks, actually…

        “Reports of someone else’s bad experience HAVE to be due to either incompetence, stupidity or dishonesty.”

        Or if the review is good, accusations of bias, being a paid shill, or other dishonesty.

        Either way the reviewer’s got a pretty thankless jobost of the time.

        So thank you, guys, not only for performing the reviews but for bothering to read and respond to comments. Much appreciated.

      • As someone who works in IT, incompetence, stupidity or dishonesty are 99% the root cause of problems. It kind of leaked into my mindset for all things.

        It’s always enlightening to see how many people are emotionally invested in their choice of firearm.

        Conversely, it’s always enlightening to see how many people are emotionally invested *against* a firearm.

  36. “The GI made it to round 43 before the first failure to feed. The next failure to feed arrived at round 44. It didn’t get much better after that. Failures happened with every magazine.”

    It’s almost like you pissed off the 1911 gods in some way. Cabot and now RI.

    Disappointing I have been toying with the idea of a cheap serviceable 1911. Looks like RI is a roll of the dice on getting a good one.

  37. Something I just noticed, the slide does not have the RIA logo on the left side (or even the right side, for that matter). AFAIK, it should either have the newer, smaller logo above the safety switch notch at the back of the slide on the left or it should have a giant logo plastered along the middle on the left. Neither are visible in the photos, including a clear shot of the left side of the slide. Is this a newer model? Older? Has the slide been re-parkerized?

    • The newer production ones have the little logo.
      The billboard models were 2011/2012 until last year.
      Some billboard slides had color fill, some were just parkerized.
      If it has none of the above, it was likely manufactured prior to 2011.

      But that’s only if my memory is serving well. Which is often debatable.

      • Any Update or News about the condition and/or repair of the RIA used for the Review?

        • I have had a nightmarish time with Armscor. I finally contacted the service manager and he got 4 people in the loop to resolve my situation. It has been over a month and no word as to if it has been benched yet !!
          STAY TUNED….

        • Well Upset,
          Hope you can get yours fixed.
          what model and what is wrong and how old is it?

    • Looks like an older model. In the one pic of the left side of the slide, you can barely see the old logo. So it is very possible that this particular model, is from the “may be” reliable times.

  38. All manufacturers put out a bad gun from time to time. I’ve read forums where Colt, Remington, etc…. recieved the same complaints. I own 2 Rocks, both have been dependable and accurate. Had a third, compact, that I sold to a friend which he uses as his primary carry and it gives him no issues. I would be curious to the history of that particular pistol, especially how well it was initially cleaned to get rid of the factory preservative as well as the round count on it prior to the test. Also, I question whether a proper lube was done at all. It’s easy to make a weapon choke. JMHO.

  39. Weird, My experience with a couple thousand rounds through mine has been precisely the opposite of this. I had a couple failures caused by me limp wristing the thing. One FTE that I couldn’t figure out the cause. One FTFire(bad round). And the crap magazine that came with it not engaging the slide lock.

    When I see these kids of reviews I wonder if I just got lucky, or they just got unlucky. Judging by the prior reviews, I guess he has a black cat in his neighborhood that crossed his path while he broke a mirror under a ladder.

    • You forgot the “on Friday the 13th” part. (Though I should think Monday the 13th would be worse…Yeah, yeah, I know, Knights Templar got wiped out in Friday the 13th and all that.)

      You can’t blame the gun for a bad round (unless, possibly, the real problem is a soft primer strike).

      One thing that makes me scratch my head though, is when people say “It fires every time I pull the trigger.” I fiugre they mean that as a way of saying “it works reliably” but if so it’s a bit of a poor turn of phrase, since the most common fail with 1911s (and many other semi-autos, for that matter) seems to be failure to feed, not a failure of a round in battery to go off.

      (As am aside, the thing I see a lot is failure to extract/eject, but I mostly shoot things other than 1911s.)

      • As for the FTFeed, I think that has more to do with using hollow-points. I think one of the reasons I never have a FTFeed, is I use ball ammo almost exclusively. Most of the problems I have heard from people who didn’t like their 1911 came from the compact 1911’s. As for the accuracy of my 1911, Mine started out with crappy aim. I fixed that with about 1000 rds. Now, the fixed sights are properly aligned 😀

        I’m not blaming the gun for a bad round. I’m not even sure that the FTE was the gun and not a badly formed case. I’m weird when I get a failure of anything. I want to know the root cause. If I get a failure, I search for the cause, and fix it. Being unable to find the problem with that FTE still bugs me. But it’s my EDC. Yes, I carry a 1911 as my EDC.

        • I’m the same way. When something goes wrong, I inspect it. That’s a VERY bad habit to have if one is in a gunfight–where you should just clear the jam and go on about your business.

          More interesting is that it appears you carry ball ammo as your EDC. Not something I’d want to do in 9mm (because it’s much less effective) but in .45 I can see it (wouldn’t be my preference, but I can see it).

        • LOL I clear the failure, save the shell casing, continue firing. Review at home with magnifying glass. If I’m able. I had the casing from that FTE. I was more worried it might have been a primer pop that failed to fully cycle the slide.

          Yes, I carry ball in my EDC. Not because I’m one of those “You don’t need to expand with .45” kinds of guys. Though that’s part of the reason. I do it because the amount of ammo I practice with would get prohibitively expensive if I were to use hollow points, and because the 1911 was designed specifically to use ball ammo. I don’t think I have seen too many people with an issue with FTFeed using ball. I have seen a few who had FTFeed with hollow-points. Even saw one guy who started getting scoring of his feed ramp using a brand of hollow points I wouldn’t use in a Glock(specifically designed around 9mm and hollow-points). I wouldn’t use it as my EDC if I even had a light indication it wouldn’t function in a firefight. That’s how much faith I have in my RIA.

          I think, if I were a police officer, I’d probably switch over to a Glock, for the weight savings(they have enough on their belts as is), but for me, as a Joe Schmoe, I would rather carry the gun I enjoy shooting the most.

        • Yes, I carry ball in my EDC. Not because I’m one of those “You don’t need to expand with .45″ kinds of guys. Though that’s part of the reason. I do it because the amount of ammo I practice with would get prohibitively expensive if I were to use hollow points, and because the 1911 was designed specifically to use ball ammo. I don’t think I have seen too many people with an issue with FTFeed using ball.

          Yes, I figured you were using it for reliability reasons (given everything you had said), not a misplaced macho impulse. I won’t say “you don’t need to expand” but unless my recollection is totally off, .45 ball is tolerably effective, whereas 9mm ball is less so. Comparing those particular apples, .45 wins hands down. My main worry if carrying .45 ball would be overpenetration, but (again, if I recall correctly) that’s less of an issue than it is with 9mm ball.

          If I were in a situation where the gun I wanted to carry only shot 9mm ball, but choked on hollowpoints, I’d find another gun. Sorry but practicality must win over emotional attachment when it could be your life at stake. But, that’s 9mm not .45.

          As a complete aside, at least one manufacturer makes ball ammo that is supposed to behave like their hollowpoints. In fact, it’s a brand that I carry, but generally, I simply use Nato Spec for practice; it’s loaded hotter than the usual low end squib+ ammo. Of course, this wouldn’t help you as it’s 9mm (again).

          And as another aside (since these weren’t Rock Islands), I have seen and personally experienced quite a number of FTFs using ball in guns called “1911s” though I don’t know how many were GI Spec. (I’ve noted that some people, when they see “1911” assume it’s a reference to GI Spec, so I have to phrase myself carefully.)

        • .45 ACP fires at around 800 FPS. Most 9mm fires at supersonic speeds. Overpenetration is a huge issue with ball 9mm. If I’m using a 9mm, it’ll definitely be hollowpoint.

          I had a friend who was using another 1911(some super special tactical version from a maker I won’t name) who had a FTFeed consistently with hollow-point. We switched to ball, and about one per magazine would FTFeed. Checked the feed ramp and there was a lip that needed to be filed down. I went at it(very carefully) with a dremmel and ever since he’s fallen back in love with his 1911. I shouldn’t have had to do that to a firearm that cost double(actually almost triple) what my cheapie did though, and kinda think that’s part of why 1911’s get a bad reputation. Respected manufacturers putting out crap…

      • Regarding ammo choice for your .45s:
        You might check out the Speer Lawman offering. 200 gr RNFP FMJ, brass case, at 975 FPS. The bullet profile resembles a JHP pill, so feeding might be an issue. The flat nose may be an improvement over RN as a defensive round.
        This stuff works well for me. With a little bit of shopping you can find it for about $20.00/box.

  40. I have an Armscor GI 1911 that Lipsey’s sold under the “High Standard” name. I bought it in 2006. Even with the horrible GI sights, it’s been the most accurate 1911 I own. My two Ruger “Commanders,” an all-steel and a lightweight have also been exemplary. No complaints whatsoever. The single worst POS 1911 I ever owned was a brand-new Colt Stainless Gold Cup that I bought in 1989. Like an idiot, I didn’t try the trigger before I bought it. Big mistake. It had a creepy, gritty 12-lb pull. Two returns to Colt accomplished nothing. two pistolsmiths later, the trigger got sorted out, but it still shot patterns, not groups. A friend of mine who shot competition tried it, with the same results. He showed me how the barrel and slide would not mate up properly from shot to shot. The gun finally got traded to someone who wanted the parts.

  41. I love it, he shoots ONE example of a Cabot 1911 that sucked and everyone is jumoingn on the bandwagon about how ALL 1911’s suck regardless of manufacturer blah blah.

    Then he has the audacity to review a cheap 1911 that runs like crap and everyone is ripping his head off claiming his review “doesn’t add up” and “is not representative of the brand” etc etc etc.

    Which one is it people? Cheap 1911’s always seem paradoxical to me, because if cost is a concern yet the quality at that price range is so hit or miss why on earth would you spend ~$500 on something that may turn out to be a lemon? And if you have enough money that plop down 500 on a gun that might not shoot and that then you won’t be able to sell with a clear conscience or will spend a bunch of money making it work right, then why are you shopping at the bottom of the barrel? I don’t get it. There are dozens of 1911’s for 2-300 more than this turd from the likes of Springfield Kimber, STI etc which have a proven record of reliability and quality that frankly just look better too. Again I don’t get it. If all you have is 500 to spend on a gun buy a glock (Glock brand or otherwise).

    • Not disagreeing with what you said, just adding a different point:

      The irony is, a couple of 1911 discussions ago, the guy I was conversing with basically stated that the guns most likely to be unreliable were, indeed, the expensive ones because they were engineered so precisely that any deviation from what the gun wanted in ammo dimensions would cause a failure. OK, I could see that. Unless memory fails me, though, the gun he mentioned as being one “loose” enough to work well with just about anything was… Rock Island. Of course this doesn’t prove him wrong (even if I am remembering right which brand he specified), as JWT’s example could be the one-in-a-hundred lemon. It would certainly fit his luck. (From what I am reading here it does look like RIA had some off years best avoided for a can’t-try-before-you-buy purchase.)

      Anyhow, it’s a funny irony, not saying anything like so-and-so was definitely wrong.

  42. so what is a general consensus on a high quality reliable and accurate 1911? do you start at a Kimber for around $1200.00? how about the really expensive ones at over $2000.00? Are they worth that much money?

    I sometime think of getting a 1911, but then back off since I cannot figure out how much is too much and how low can I go to get a good one.

    • there’s the trick–trying to sort through all the different brands and models to figure out which one has a *deserved* reputation for reliablity, as opposed to people who take any lemon report on that brand as a personal attack, or just simply not believable. No matter which one you ask about, you’ll get one of two sets of responses: “Mine was a turd” followed by “well, gee, mine works great” or, alternately, “mine works great” followed by “really? Lucky you, mine was a turd.” Which ones are most reliable? Actually rmostly eliable, statistically speaking? Damfino, because all I really have to go on is what people say on the internet. Occasionally someone will compile a bunch of different tests of specific models and render an opinion but even there, the manufacturer could make changes for better or worse after the fact–or maybe their models from 10 years ago were much better (or worse).

      I’ve seen enough personally, and read enough online, I’d be afraid to purchase ANY 1911 without clearing up this fog AND trying out that specific make and model, or at the very least see my friends own one and have no troubles with it. Even then, there’d be a non-zero risk of ending up with a lemon, but at least the magnitude of risk would resemble Glocks, Berettas, CZs, S&W, and so on, instead of being who knows what because unreliable brands/models are mixed in with reliable ones.

      It’d probably be easier to handle a few at the gun shop, decide what fits your hand and has the specific features you like (anything from looks to beavertails, custom this and that, then research that exact model and brand ONLY (or make a list of 2 or 3) and ignore anything anyone says about anything else. I’d check out the manufacturer somewhat too. If a lot of sources are saying things like “oh they were good before 20xx but they suck now” that’s something worth trying to verify or refute. Also pay lots of attention to ammo type…if you intend to carry it with hollowpoints, FGS make sure it has a reputation for working well with hollowpoints.

      Well that was a long non-answer for you.

  43. Thanks for being honest about rating this cheap POS. It’s too bad other people are unhappy about your detailed product review.

  44. I have an RIA 2011 Tactical. It’s first three mags were less than stellar. Then next three and a half boxes have been flawless. It’s all I’ve put through it because .45 isn’t as cheap as 9mm. My pistol also eats steel cased ammo without issue. It just needed a few rounds before it ran right. I put the magpul grips on it and I really like the pistol now.

    • My RIA had problems with Tula .45. Apparently the bullets had a slightly different profile that was odd enough for the top bullet in the magazine to engage the slide stop, causing premature slide locks. I confirmed this by inspecting the inside of the stop and noting the copper scratches at small protrusion. Some light filing and now no more problems with cheap Tula ammo.

      • I’ve had 2 failures to feed with Tula cheap which upon inspection with the MK. 1 eyeball the rounds in quistion seemed to have a curve in the case. Or a bend. Both would begin to feed and then hang up on the curve or bend.

        Tula is what it is. Cheap practice ammo that’s filth dirty and mostly reliable.

        Also got a box of hollowpoints for my 9×18 that upon inspection appeared to be standard FMJ that had been drill pressed to creat the hollow point. Still had rough edges around the hole. They all worked reliably thru my Mak but there’s no way I would consider them good defensive loads.

  45. My RIA GI 1911 had ran well for the first 150-200 rounds through it. But after that I started to get Failures to Feed, usual once every 1-2 mags. Since I got it mainly as a range gun I was fine living with it. At the beginning of the year I found out about an IDPA style shooting match at the end of January which I figured I’d enter for fun with my RIA 1911. I did not have much ammo so I picked up 500 rnds at a gun show from Georgia Arms, about a week before the match and two days before the match I hit up an in door range for a little practice. Holly shit did my 1911 run absolutely horrible. It Failed to Feed about every third round, but it also was doing something a little bit different too. The slide was locking back with rounds still in the mag once or twice a mag. Got home did some research an found out that the slide prematurely locking back could be because bullets knocking an over sized slide release lever. Checked mine and saw copper on it so I took some sand paper to sand it down a bit. I did not get a chance to do another test run before the match so I went and hoped for the best at the match. Turned out that was exactly what it needed, and though I still had 2 failures to feed at the match with over 100 rounds fired, it was a great improvement. When I got home and checked the slide release lever it again had some copper residue on it. I sanded a little bit more and took it to the range again and it now instead had the issue of not always locking back so I probably went a little to far, but after a quick inspection and wiping excess oil that had deposited on the slide release lever it was working quite well. I suspect the Georgia Arms ammo I had bought is out of spec but it did put me on track of what was wrong.

  46. Have that exact gun. Two years and 1000+ rounds later and it still shoots anything. From cheap steel cased Tula to expensive self defense hollow points, it goes bang every time. The biggest problem with the accuracy, is myself. I guess I got a good one.

  47. I don’t doubt that the author experienced all the problems listed in the review. My issue with this review is this: “I’ve heard good things about RIA’s 1911s, but I’ve never shot one. Dan was kind enough to send me his personal Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS .45ACP, a three-year-old gun with about 500 rounds through it.” Did Dan not experience these issues in the first 500 rounds? Did he experience them and not mention them to you? Or did you tell him you wanted to check one out and he was like “I got one you can test. It sucks.” I got the impression reading this review that the author went into the testing intending to right a negative review. It’s kind of like the exact opposite of the printed gun magazines where the authors start every article intending to write a good review.

    • Those are excellent points. I think this review is very sloppy. I hold no brand favoritism, I’ve experienced my share of failures with my RIA 1911. But it seems the reviewer did not start out without bias or an open mind. Considering the sign off at the end proclaiming Colt to be the best without qualification, just shows that this review isn’t worth the bits it’s printed on.

  48. I’ve owned/shot my RIA Tactical for over a year and the only issue I ever had with it was failure-to-feed after I installed a Wilson Combat shok-buff kit. Removed the buffer, left the spring, functions beautifully again. Also eats any ammo I throw at it. Best 450~ bucks I ever spent(not including cost of WC parts, Magpul grips, WC mags, etc). My only gripes were the billboard advertisement on the slide and the shitty unmarked sights. Nothing a set of Heinie straight-8s and a cerakote job couldn’t fix.

    With that said, 1911s have been known to have some issues as we all know. Is it due to the design? Nope. Some are finicky with certain ammo out of the box. Some need a lighter or heavier recoil spring. Some need some extractor tuning. Sometimes their feed ramp needs a little love. When you have a gun that is mass produced by numerous companies, you’re bound to see some issues. I don’t believe they suffer problems any more than anything else. We just hear about it more.

    In my experience the issues have been few and far between, and when they do occur they’ve been easy enough to fix and they always stayed fixed. Would I recommend a 1911 to a brand new shooter looking for a carry piece? Probably not, but I do trust my life to mine.

    • Also, it’s a bit weak that the author decided to review a three year old used RIA. How does he know the problems are the fault of the gun and not the previous owner or the care of the 1911(or lack thereof) provided by the previous owner?

      Give Rock Island a fair shake and test a brand-new-in-box model. I suggest the Tactical series since they’re so popular.

  49. That why I shoot a Norinco 1911, 350.00 cdn new … not pretty, tough enough to survive armageddon, and bullet proof. Yup, can spend more on a prettier pistol, but good grief, its a 1911, its supposed to be functional, not pretty … 🙂 🙂 🙂

  50. I read every comment up to the time of this writing. Reading this string, and several others, I come to two conclusions:

    – it scares me that so many angry, uncivil, raging individuals actually may have access to firearms.

    – maybe the anti crowd has a point or two.

      • Intentional. we on this blog are providing some pretty provocative examples of what the anti crowd claims is the normal state of people of the gun. Just seems bizarre to me that commenters here spend so much venom on each other. That is not to say comments should be censored, but we cannot hope to succeed in protecting our rights, educating the public and having legislators support our claims when we are churning out so much hatred amongst ourselves.

  51. I have had my RI 1911 GI for about 8 years and I have NEVER had a single issue you have had. I believe this review is EXTREMELY biased and couldn’t even finish reading it. You must be a member of the Kimber Cult?!?! Sharp edges??? Do you work for a living? Too much Palmolive or something?!?! It’s not a $1200 1911 but it’s not nearly as bad as you portray it to be. Gloves, really??? My Rock has eaten everything I have force fed it and, I am not even exaggerating when I say this, I have NEVER had a FTF or FTE ever. Even on Wally World Federal aluminum or Tula metal casing crap. That stuff is dirty but I have never had an issue and I have fired over 2000 rounds. The one thing I did do was threw away the stock mags and bought high quality Chip Mccormick.s. I always use Ballistol and lube the snot out of it as 1911’s work better when wet. The sights suck but mine is a GI model and I didn’t expect much. It shoots better than the Colt 1911 manufactured in 1944 that I was issued when I was in the Army. I gotta stop it’s 12:40AM and I gotta go to bed. Tell your friend he picked up a lemon or knows nothing about 1911’s.

  52. LOL, quality…hmmm…..maybe you should ask STI where they get their base frames for their 1911 pistols…………why would STI, who makes wonderful pistols, use RI 1911 frames…….

    • Unfortunately, STI disconnected its entry-level offerings (Spartan). Seems they prefer to sell only $1k+ firearms, now. Noticed the price of remaining Spartan pieces are going up, almost monthly.
      Just when I was looking to compare the STI with vanilla RIA.

  53. People will justify their decisions by denying the veracity of anyone who disagrees with them or has an experience dissimilar to their own. Nothing new here. Ad hominem comments from people who’s defensiveness implies, whether they want it to or not, that they concede this author’s point may be valid.

    • For me it’s not that he had an issue with a RIA… It’s that he had EVERY issue that anyone has ever had with an 1911 on this one offering. Must have had the worst luck with firearms ever.

    • The veracity of which you speak doesn’t matter for a lot of us. The response of incredulity at the experience this fool raved about is evident judging by the litany of responses received.

      It is a normal response to mentally leer at someone who has (by their own admission) taken serious issue with something that many of us own, and have not even come close to the nightmarish elements relayed in the article by the erstwhile “author.”

      It tends to cause one to consider the source after multiple submissions from this same writer haven’t been able to withstand the accompanying scrutiny from his/her audience.

      I am by no means an “expert,” nor have I ever claimed such. I can state this much, however…

      Anytime that I find that I am having issue(s) with one of my firearms (or ANY piece of equipment, for that matter…), I will take the time for a mental review prior to “bashing the gear…”

  54. Guys i just bought one it does not cut your hand. I put 500 rounds down range not one missfire. not one jam.I dont know where you and what you are using for ammo but i used Armscor ammo and it works fine.Everyone has there own experience but as far as i am concern this is my carry weapon when i leave the house at night.

  55. tulua ammo has steel casings why would you put that in your weapon when you know it swells??? asking for trouble. Try armscor ammo. 500 rounds not one problem.

    • I remember an incident (towards the end of the Great Ammo Drought of 2013/2014) when I had a lead on .22LR being sold at a small-town Walmart some 50 miles away from where I lived. Hopped in the car, drove up, bought three boxes (it was those half-brick boxes of 225 rounds), and the associate noticed I was eyeing other calibers. The only 9mm they had was Tulammo. He said, “what kind of gun do you have?” I told him (CZ-75) and he said “don’t shoot that out of your gun.”

      A few minutes later, I asked him, “what kind of gun could I have told you, where you would have said, ‘OK go ahead and shoot it?'” His answer: “Hi-Point.”

    • …and brass doesn’t? I’ve run 100 rounds each of Tul and Barnal my .308 rifle with no “swelling” or sticking.

  56. Notice to be re-titled to- Gun Review: Used with Unknown Issues, Rock Island Armory FS GI 1911 Standard- an unbiased view of All New Rock Island Armory Products based on this Used Gun, by The Truth About Guns

  57. Just spend a little more and get a Springfield Loaded. That way if there are any problems Springfield will fix them on their time and have it back to you lickety split.

    Chances are it’ll work right out of the box.

  58. I’ve bought 2 tacticals and a GI in the last couple years from RIA. Have had no problems with them. From my research their the most reliable and extremely affordable 1911’s on the market. I even know a dealer in my state that WON’T stock Kimbers because customers come back and complain about failures. It takes all kinds I guess.

  59. After having my heart (and wallet) broken by a Colt Commander that I spent close to 2k on back in the 90’s to get it to run the way God himself would want his personal pistol to run, a divorce forced me to sell it (and 46 other guns, but that’s a different story). Unfortunately, those were the dark days before Armslist and I was only able to get a fraction of what I’d spent. I had owned a couple of other Colt 1911’s prior to that one, and they ran ok with ball ammo, and everything else was iffy. I started shooting glocks and never looked back.
    I recently got back into 1911’s again, and currently carry a Para Elite Carry, which has run well for me so far. Glocks are like Hondas, if I had to carry one that was NIB, I’d do it, with no hesitation, and have. 1911’s are like a muscle car, more fun, but more user involvement and complication. I very much enjoy owning and shooting 1911’s, but this review does not sway me in either direction. I had a good friend who was a certified 1911 nut. He had a Kimber custom shop pistol that he could not get to run right. Does that then mean that ALL Kimbers are junk, because you have a dislike of them? By all accounts Armscor has a good track record, and produces A LOT of 1911’s for many different labels. This was a used pistol, with nothing “extra”. I’d much rather see a review of one produced recently, picked at random from an LGS, That would be a fair review, and one all of us could at least call “fair”

    • ^^ Your comparison of 1911s to muscle cars is apt. I think a comparison to pickup trucks or 4X4s also applies. They can all be customized from mild to wild to suit the owner’s requirements.

  60. My RIA GI 1911 had some issues before I wore it in with about 150 rounds. Then I applied some Froglube. Now I have no more problems, and shoots whatever I load it with. It’s more than accurate enough for me. Can hit silhouettes at 100 meters from prone with it, and I’m sure it would do better if I was a more experienced shooter.

  61. Well it looks like I kicked the hornets nest on this one.

    I just shot mine last week using the Tula ammo, no problems even using the factory “novak” mag. I normally use the wilson mags that I basically stole from a guy (super low $$) otherwise I would have NEVER bought them for $30 EACH. I’ve shot wadcutter lead rounds,old crusty junk surplus and anything else I could find that would feed into the gun. It shot them. To be fair when I first got it it had problems feeding hollowpoints. Out came the dremel polished the feed ramp using red jewelers rouge and a felt/wool pad. Bright,shiney and slick. = no more problems. I also dabbed the rouge on the slide. (dabbed meaning a gnat sized dabs) Dabbed on some kind of lube and shot for 200-300 rounds. During this shooting I noticed red was flying all around in and out of the gun. Took it apart and washed/scrubbed every bit of it off……twice. Re-oiled and have been shooting 100% reliabily ever since. In a SHTF I would not hesitate to grab the RIA and go.

    My example GI RIA is about +10 years old and by my best guess has +7000 rounds thru it. Yes the tiny fixed GI sights suck but hey it’s the GI version and could stand up to any abuse you could do to them and still hit the target.

    One of the things that drew me to the RIA in the first place was the LIFETIME warr. The Warr. FOLLOWS the GUN, not the “regestiered” owner…….let’s see the big gun makers Kimber,S&W,Ruger, etc.. do that? I think the last $700.00 new gun(“POS” Governor – read TTAG review, I and my wife love it) I got from S&W has a one year warr. Really? WTF??

    SO the owner of the test gun can sell the super crappy digit destroying, FTF,FTE POS to you for $100 bucks and you can send it in they will fix it for FREE. F-R-E-E.

    I work on a ship and it amazes me how many sailors are “Gun Guys” I have friends that have bought every flavor of 1911,AR,AK and they all have had problems at one time or another. Some major some minor and some more than most. (high end)

    Also I have a MKA-1919 XN (another POS gun see review on here) that has been wonderful and eats cheap stuff faster than I can feed it. ( AFTER A GOOD BREAK IN and super detailed cleaning) It is now my GOTO turkey hunting gun and has preformed flawlessly in that role and having saved my life on more than one occasion battling hordes of zombie turkeys! Gotta shoot em in the HEAD!! 😉

    My suggestion, make a real test case out of the GI .45 send it in and see what happens and report on it OOORRRR mail it to me I’d love to have another.

  62. Interesting and sad review. Hope it was a fluke. I bought one of these when they first appeared on market at 349.00 after putting it to hand. Shoots great, never a problem once. Truck gun bar none. Have stopped a few times over the years to blast away on a deserted country road. Always shoots well at the range. Would buy one again in a heart beat.

  63. I must be the only Person that bought a good one if the review is anything to go by.
    I bought the G.I Model in 2010 and never had a problem with it except the Factory Magazine was too tight in the well so I bought two Chip McCormick Magazines that worked great.
    I did replace the Grip safety and Hammer with the Tactical kind and They made the Pistol a bit more comfortable to shoot. As far as accuracy goes I cant complain as I do as well as People with Colts or Kimbers at the Range once I got used to the Sights and how the Pistol shoots.
    The only problem I ever had while shooting was a squib round and that was My fault due to a mistake in reloading the Bullets.
    All in All I think the Rock Island 1911 is a perfect starter Pistol for anyone that wants a 1911 but not the Big Price Tag.

  64. Well well, looks like quite the discussion going on. I must say that I was a bit disappointed in reading the review, and find it to be completely 180 degrees out from my personal experience and those of my customers. I have a small gun business and sell all brands of weapons, I am a RIA dealer, and they all have their issues, do you want the Chevy Impala or the Cadillac? This holds true with cars as well as guns, one not necessarily less reliable than the other. I own several Rocks, as well as S&W, Colt, Glock etc. and have shot numerous others. I find the RIA to be very reliable out of the box and requires care and maintenance just like anything else. In reference to the comment’s made about being manufactured in a 3rd world country and that being the cause, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been to the factory in Marakena, the outside may not be brand new state of the art, but the process inside is, it’s all CnC construction, parts go to a single armorer/gunsmith for assembly and hand fitting, out to be test fired and back to the same person to correct if there is a problem. The people working for the company have all been there for years, not just some “schmo” off the street, I believe the average employee has been there something like 30 years. I have never had an issue with customer service and they will bend over backward to make you happy and take care of you. I just wanted to throw this out there as it appears some of the comments that were made were based on speculation. If anyone out there knows of a fair priced product with “0” failures, let me know and I will buy them….If it has moving parts, there will always be problems!

  65. Are You sure You didnt get a Lemon?
    I have the G.I Model and have never had a problem with it since I took it out of the Box.
    Sure I got Slide Bite but I got that from the 1911 I had in the Marines,I just installed a tactical beaver tail safety on it and that solved the slide bite problem.
    I have fired at least three thousand rounds through Mine from cheap factory loads to the expensive self defense loads and My own reloads and never had a problem with feeding issues.
    The only problem I had was the Colt Magazine that came with it did not fit right so I bought two Chip Mccormick Magazines and They worke just fine.
    As far as I’m concerned the only difference between My 1911 and the big buck ones is price.


  66. RIA pistols are cheap Filipino junk. I bought a 9mm GI pistol from them and at first glance it seemed reasonably well made for the price.

    Then one day not long after that I machined an 80% 1911 frame, and, as a test for it, I tried to use the RIA parts from my factory pistol to complete my build. That’s when I looked “under the hood” and realized that RIA is cheap Filipino junk.

    Some parts, e.g., the trigger pad, were so far out of spec. (i.e., dimensions not in accordance with the controlling drawing) that they simply wouldn’t fit into my frame. I had to order a trigger from Kahr Arms.

    As another example, I noticed that the recoil spring plug would was egg shaped and would only go into the slide when it was rotated a certain way. This was because the OD was too big (out of spec), so the resourceful Filipino gunsmiths at RIA put it in a vise and squeezed it. Problem solved, Filipino style. I ended up buying a correctly made recoil spring plug on Ebay.

    I finally got the new gun together and found it was shooting a few inches to the right at 25 yards. As it turned out, the front sight on the RIA slide was offset about 0.007″ to the left, and the rear sight was offset about 0.008″ to the right. Yet when this slide was on the RIA frame, it shot exactly to point of aim. Apparently the resourceful Filipino gunsmiths at RIA used an out of spec slide, to compensate for a poorly machined (out of spec) frame. This is what you get when you buy a RIA/Armscor pistol. The company has no “quality control” department per se. An American manufacturer would’ve rejected half of the parts, but that’s not the way they do things in the Philippines.

    • Wow, why did you ever pick one up to begin with, seems like a Wilson or Brown or some other expensive one made here would be all you’d grace your safe with.

  67. 2015 has seen a rise in Rock Island 1911 prices. Sure the have been dolled up with new fancy grips and sights but the bases of the gun remains the same. I have shot my FS Tactical against the Ruger 1911 and a Remington. They felt a bit different but not really any better. It was like shooting two different AR15s. Not much in it. I use 3 different brands of magazines and shoot aluminum cased ammo on occasions.

    I have had a few times where I had to assist it into battery when using Tula Ammo and the once some crazy unburnt powder came out after shooting some off brand. Now that .45 ammo prices are down a bit (about the same as .40) I can shoot expensive Blazer and Remmington WB again! The pistol itself has been basically lawless. I paid about $460 in 2013 and added some hideous black Magpul grips ($19) but they work great. I bought some nice wood finished grips but in the end I realized the Magpul kicks butt and put those back on.

    Name brands and brand loyalty is wonderful but my names is not Bill Gates. I have several nice pistols, like CZ and Sig Sauer but the visceral feeling the Rock Island gives when shooting is as good or better than those. I think with all these comments the original story should be revisited.

  68. I have an RIA govt. model 1911A1 FS and it has preformed flawless. All I had to replace was recoil spring that was to light. And I ran over 3000 rounds through it. And this gun is still tight. I must say its the best gun I have ever owned.

  69. Anyone ever think troll? Nothing that cant be fixed if it’s even true, 1911’s are so easy to fix a fifth grader can do it. Im not a smith but have any and every issue I’ve had with any of my three 1911’s they are just fun to work on anyway. So my bet is TROLL or 1911 SNOB that thinks RIA’s are JUNK without even owning one. Just think about it, all 1911’s are the same with the material used being different or more fluffed and buffed with a NAME slapped on it so the snobs think they have better because they gave 4 times as much for the name.

  70. It seems to me all these “expert” reviews on this website are done by people with little to no actual firearms experience other than what they have read on other blogs or in magazines and as such consider themselves resident experts.

    I’m a retired USMC firearms instructor and Vietnam Vet., and all I can say to these wannabes is learn how to shoot.

    I have RIA, Hi-Point and many other inexpensive guns that have never given me any issues. Grow up people and realize that you are not the final source of information nor the “expert” you may think you are. I’m not saying I know it all (far from it) but not all of us can afford your high end firearms.

    Just My 2 Cents.

  71. Right on the money Geezer, I’ve never had an issue with these, made well. And for those of you saying parts aren’t interchangeable, it’s all CNC construction, nothing half-assed about these. Semer Fi Devildog, OOHRAH

  72. If you are getting bit by the slide it’s your own fault. I have been shooting 1911s from various manufacturers for 40 years and I have never been bit by a slide. I’m reminded of a Warrant Officer in charge of a range a few years back that would take a pistol out of a complaining Marines hand, flawlessly fire two magazines about a quickly as anyone I’ve ever seen, then hand it back and say, “There ain’t nothing wrong with your damn pistol son. You’re limp wristing it!” Some people are just not going to fit a 1911. If your hands are too soft or your grip is too weak, don’t get a 1911. I’ve got the Rock Island Armory basic GI model and I love it. It’s never failed on me and it shoots right where I point it. Most of my shooting is done one handed and it still has never malfunctioned on me. I can keep it in the black from 50 yards with my basic out of the box RIA GI 1911. I got lucky that I received one without the big logo on the slide, just a tiny logo on the left side rear of the slide. Semper Fi!

  73. Have owned the RI 1911 fs model for two years now.
    About 800 rounds through it.
    I have had a few rounds fail to load over that time.
    Once I remember a hollowpoint “dove” nose down into the stock magazine.
    Another time the same thing happened with a cheap 15 round magazine when I dropped the slide on the first round.
    Other than that it has been reliable and fun to shoot.
    Thought about swapping the stock fat wood grips but just got used to them instead.
    I’ve torn mine down a few times to clean it completely and always clean and oil it with at least a bore snake and rag after every session.
    Hoppes oil mostly and just a dab here and there.
    I am no marksman but it seems like the gun is capable out to about 25 yards hitting a 4″ round metal spinner.
    Seems to me I got my moneys worth.
    Wouldn’t sell mine anyways.
    It has been a fine pistol for me so far.

  74. Somewhat off subject but may bear on some of the problems you’re having…
    You comment at one point that you consider five inches at thirty feet to be a “good group” for your J-frame Smith. Has it been run over by a truck or otherwise horribly damaged? Five inches at ten yards is horrible!
    Contrary to what most people seem to think, there’s nothing inherently inaccurate about snub-noses and the little J-frame S&Ws in particular, have always been highly accurate — IF you can shoot.
    If you’re shooting five inch groups across a living room with yours and calling that “good” then we’ve solved one problem.
    My stainless model 60 with it’s favorite home-brew handloads will put all five rounds into an inch at twenty-five yards.

  75. I’m glad I ordered a tactical one in 9mm yesterday before I read this “review”. It is a review of a 3 year old used gun that should have been sent in for repair years ago. I did a lot of research and found no reviews that resembled this review at all. If I had found this review before I ordered, it would not changed my mind at all. If you recall, another review here bashed the Hi-Point the same way and I knew better because I had owned one for several years and it was an excellent gun despite being ugly and heavy.

    Also, did you notice that the next Rock Island Armory gun reviewed here was rated 4 stars? I don’t rely on reviews here because they are one person’s opinion on one gun that is sometimes used/abused before the review. Objectivity is sometimes missing. I look forward to getting my Rock Island Armory by the middle of next week from Gallery of Guns.

    • Hope you have as much fun with your RIA as I have with mine.
      Bought a mechtech carbine kit for mine and should have it about the same time you get your 9mm.
      Twice the fun in one gun.

  76. Just picked up the double stack long slide in 10mm Absolutly flawless. Took it apart, cleaned it and shot 200 thru it without a hickup. at 50 feet I had tennis ball size groups. Going to put in a 24# spring as brass flys 20 feet. This is going to be my new pin gun. Would buy it again without hesitation

  77. Just picked up a used RI Officers model today. Took it to the range and it was flawless and accurate. It came highly recommended by two friends that own them. I own and shoot 1911’s by Kimber, Springfield, Colt, Para, and Wilson so I know a little about how a good 1911 should look, feel, and shoot. The RI is fine, no machine marks, no issues, runs good! What can I say, maybe a few bad ones slipped through.

  78. I absolutely love my GI edition 45 and haven’t had a single issue with it out of about 1000 rounds….even the cheapest most dirty…you and your 2 friends who went on this little journey of making this pistol seem like a pos must be either retarded, or paid off to make the gun look bad, because they’re awesome! Not top of the line but also not anything other than dependable and sturdy

    • I think gun snobs will be gun snobs. Anyone who would take a used 3 year old gun with an unknown past, test like it was a new one and then write a review has an agenda.

  79. I bought the full size GI model about 4 years at a gun show. I’ve put a few thousand cheap ass rounds through it without any malfunctions. The hammer bite was bad but a Wilson Combat drop in beavertail safety fixed that. It is my favorite gun. In the last couple of years I have gone a bit crazy and changed out all the internal parts to Wilson Combat. I had the gun cerakoted black and I put trijicon night sights and a set of black and gray VZ II operator grips with a Wilson combat checkered front strap. Armscor has amazing customer service so if you get one that has problems just give em a call.

  80. I don’t recall if the GI and Tactical model share the same beaver tail. I’ve never had a hint of hammer or slide bite. A friend cut his hand on my XD 40 slide. I don’t know how. Just to show anything is possible.

    I shoot 9mm, 40 & 45. These days I focus mainly on 9mm pistols just due to cost now that 9mm ammo is readily available again. 45 just cost too much to plink. But the RI Is still a very nice full sized 45 pistol for the price regardless where it ranks with 1911s.

  81. All I can say maybe its the shooter I have two ria.45 and one 9mm and never have had any problems .and talking about the grips I usually buy new for all my weapons from time to time for the five hundred to a thousand dollar gun you wont get any better than a rock .to be honest I carry my rock as much as my kimber now you go up to around two grand les bear then there’s a big difference

  82. So let me get this straight, you get a used 1911 that won’t run and you can’t shoot because it hurts your hands. It’s 3 years old so completely irrelevant to current production. And you DO a review on it. How about doing a real review of a new gun. I don’t own one but I have been reading a lot of reviews and it is NUTS that you published this crap!

  83. I carry a RIA 1911 FS Tactical as my EDC. The only issue that I had with the pistol was when it was new and that was a very weak recoil spring. I replaced it with a #18 Wilson recoil spring and problems solved. This thing chambers anything and everything. A second issue was that POI was low (bench rested). I removed the front slope of the front sight and now I can simply place the muzzle over what I want to hit and, like magic, a .45 caliber hole appears.

    With a CS model, I had to replace the ambi thumb safety, as the original was way to loose for my liking. This pistol is scary accurate for an “Officer” model and way better than the Colt MKIV Series 80 “Officer Model” pistol that I had.

    I just ordered the RIA 1911 MS Standard because I prefer a “Commander” sized pistol for EDC and especially one with an ambidextrous safety, as I drill with strong and weak hand shooting.

    The only serious issue was with certain magazines; Ruger SR1911 magazines and an off-brand. The cut for the magazine lock was to short on these magazines and they would pop-out under fire. I have run Wilson Combat magazines since and I have had no further issues with the the RIA.

    If you are interested in my review of the RIA 1911 FS Tactical (2nd Generation), please go to You will also find the answer to the 2nd Generation question that is in your mind.

    The review is not biased. I also own 1911-based pistols by “leading” manufacturers (for example; Colt, Springfield, Remington, Ruger (all three SR1911s), Israeli Industries, Para Ordinance, Smith & Wesson, Dan Wesson, and even a pre-ban Norinco) and I don’t try to compare the RIA with any of them. The RIA 1911s are what they are and the issues that I have had with them could happen to any 1911 – even expensive ones.

  84. I thought this was supposed to be the truth about guns. There is something amiss about this review. Can you do another review but with a new gun? It sounds as though this one has a worn out recoil spring.

  85. My RIA officers model works great. Something like 3 malfunctions in first thousand rounds, all with Blazer and factory mag in a hot dirty gun. Aftermarket mag = 0 failures. I don’t really agree with this guys conclusion. Perhaps it’s a QA issue at the factory, maybe he doesn’t really know what he is doing. I meet self-certified gun experts almost daily.

  86. Have to agree this guy and his friends have no clue how to shoot a 1911. First I can tell you Mil Spec pistol Mil Spec Mags in the photo with round that hasn’t popped up that is a early release magazine I own a Colt GI WWII will do the same thing over and over with modern early release Mags. I use $8 Mil Spec 7 round Mags and can shoot 300 rounds in an afternoon flawlessly. Second if you don’t know how to hold a 1911 they will stove pipe and have feed issues and that’s any 1911 I can do this on request if someone wants to know its possible. I personally know a dozen or so guys who have RIA 1911s and sing their praises and make fun of me for spending the extra money for my Colt’s. Now there could be the fact he had a flawed gun but I can tell you I spent $1300 on a Kimber for my wife and it wouldn’t shoot right out of the box even after break in. Had to send it back to the factory twice modifying the barrel bushing replacing the extractor and slide work. So price has nothing to do with it. The Kimber did have one of the best triggers I ever felt out of the box but that don’t matter if it won’t shoot.

  87. So, now that a few months have passed, any news on if Dan got his pistol repaired from Armscor?

    An update and perhaps and updated review would be nice.

    I have a RI mid-size(commander). It did have hammer bite, so with a new beavertail and a commander style hammer, not a bit of problems and most accurate pistol I own.

  88. This is a response to the 1911 bashers out there.I have no particular expertise in firearms but a long history of use. I have been using various guns of many types since about 1962. I have used world war surplus GI 1911’s with great results ,one with thousands of rounds fired. They were not customized or tuned up in anyway. I have been able to repeatedly put lead into about a one foot circle at 50 yards after practice! I also could hit that size target(a 5 gallon jug) at 80 yards 3 out of 4 times standing off hand. It has the stopping power needed and never had a failure to fire that I know of. I have witnessed persons shot with 45 acp rounds. It is a memorable sight! They are knocked off their feet immediately if standing when struck. Death from trauma or blood loss usually follows soon after, if hit in the torso, anywhere. I saw a person hit in the butt cheek by a 45 round that did not hit any bone or organ but merely went through the fleshy buttock nearly removing it and slamming them to the ground! A knee shot I witnessed broke the leg at the knee and blew out the backside of the leg causing the person to bleed out in less than two minutes! The 9mm on the other hand is not as reliable at stopping an enemy. I would rather use a 22 caliber pistol for my protection close up than a 9mm! I can put 10- 22 caliber rounds in a 4 inch target at 50 feet in a couple of seconds with my brothers Ruger pistol or my old Saturday night special Rhur 22 revolver 8 shots in a few seconds!That works similar to one 45 cal.round! I have witnessed persons shot several times with a 9mm still keep on their feet if the shots missed the heart, spine or brain. Some of the new plastic guns work well. If they are chambered for a 45 ACP round I could feel good about using one in combat! But the venerable 1911 GI has already proven itself in tens of thousands of actual combat actions over the course of several wars and is not open to vacuous remarks from young dips who play at shooting paper targets or maybe spent a few months overseas but probably never used any pistol in combat, only shooting at paper!The 9mm can be very deadly as can be the 380 ACP, but like the 22 caliber they often do not stop the enemy until multiple hits in a vital spot. I personally like the Browning 9mm for its reliability, balance, recovery and out of the box accuracy, but it would be my second choice for combat. The other round I would trust in combat is the 357 magnum! It’s extra punch makes it another round with good stopping power and it shoots straight for a good distance with less windage problems than the 9mm.The 357 Colt revolver is a great combat weapon in very dirty or wet conditions! It was favored by a friend who used it as a tunnel rat during the Vietnam War, over the 1911 or any auto weapon!The only Glock I ever fired was not impressive for accuracy, no better than my 45 for sure! It failed to feed after a couple of mags fired, possibly from the cheap ammo used or being in need of a cleaning but that never happened with my old 1911! That may of been a fluke but also, judge not the 1911 GI by the reports from people using all different brands with many different ammunition makes who are accustomed to limp wristing their usual 9mm weapon of choice! Just look up the history of Chesty Puller of the USMC and read about the witnessed kill he made with a 1911 in combat in the Pacific Theater during World War Two! Many more long range kills undoubtedly occurred during the war but were not documented! I also do not wish to fail to mention the 45 was widely used in submachineguns by Americans with great success . Combat proven results by more soldiers than any other side arm ever used by USA soldiers-the 1911 GI 45 ACP! The RI version may or may not be as good as the old GI pistols but they are based on the most effective combat pistol of all time!

  89. I have a Rock Island 9mm GI model. It is my most reliable pistol other than my revolvers. I have shot hundreds of rounds through it as I take it out almost every time I shoot and I have never had an issue. I have Sig p238 and P220 that have had issues (P238 had mag drop issues and the P220 has a 50% FTF rate and is in service). I have an HK P2000 that failed to eject when my father in-law shot it. Not matter who shoots my RIA it performs. It’s also very accurate. Not as accurate as the P220 but I’ll take reliability over multimeters of accuracy anyday.

  90. I have a RIA 1911 that is around 12yrs old and has over 6k rounds down range with 0 malfunctions! I just replaced the springs through out. The original recoil spring was approx 1.5″ shorter than the new wolf going in! It has been very, very abused and just continues to run. It still has great accuracy aswell. Easy keyhole groups at 7yrds. I did go through and perform a fluff and buff on the pistol before I ever fired a round through it though. I wish I could get anouther for $320 out the door like I did years ago. I really wishyou all could see how thrashed my Ria 1911 is, I assure you would all have a laugh!

  91. Complete opposite of my experience with my RI 1911 GI. Likes everything but hollow points. Shot it all weekend in a 3 day tactical class, no problems. Around 700+ rounds I would guess. That was 2 years and several hundred rounds ago. During the 3 day weekend I had some trouble due to the magazine end flaring from a lot of snap-rack and go. I mentioned it in passing on the RIA FB page. They replaced all three no questions asked. I upgraded the sites to help with the monthly shoot at the club and that’s about it.

  92. I’ve had my FS Rock Tactical for 3 or 4 years now and it’s been great to me, accurate, no failure to feeds or malfunctions of any kind…From some experience handling newer models in gun stores and stuff, really seems like the quality is going downhill…lots of bagging on these guns…buy ones from 2010-2011 and they are much better!

  93. Jon, sucks that you got a bad one dude.
    I bought an RIA Tactical 5″ govt. back about 8 years ago for $350 new (wish i still could). yeah. it had tool marks inside. Hardball would feed great but LSWC and JHP would dig bottom edge of the nose in fairly regular. I took some 2k grit paper and then flitz to the feed ramp. It went from looking like a chirt rock driveway to a mirror after about 20 minutes. No more issues.

    On accuracy? 10 yds i chewed out the x on a LEO silhouette. Looking at the pic i took, i think it was about 2″. Using FBI silhouette at 25 yds (low light used) i never left the 5x area. 6 rounds in the circle, last 2 just out of it.

    I can see having a bad day with a biting pistol. Give it another try man. Youll be glad of it.

  94. The authors experience with this pistol it seems is an extreme minority. So, I recently paid over $1100.00 for a SW 1911sc to use as a concealed carry, mainly because of it’s 29.6 Oz weight as opposed to the 36 Oz of my 45 year old Colt Combat commander, both in .45 caliber. At the range the Smith failed to feed twice in two hundred rounds of Federal 230 gr FMJ and JHP(one each). Another similarity to the RIA in this article is that the Smith has a sharp edge on the frame on each side of the grip safety that gets uncomfortable on the web of the hand after a few rounds, a seemingly strange feature on an eleven hundred dollar pistol. Interestingly, I had never noticed that problem with the Colt, so I took the Colt out and compared, and it is rounded rather than sharp in that area. I carried that Colt for thirty years and it never failed to function in any way, ever, including when it was new, don’t know how many rounds I’ve put through it, but a few thousand. Incidentally, about a year ago I bought a U.S. Government issue 1911a1 manufactured in 1944 by Remington Rand that has been who knows where and abused who knows how. In a few hundred rounds it has never malfunctioned. Both of these pistols are as accurate as they need to be.
    So now, I’ve paid eleven hundred dollars for the pistol and it doesn’t always work, and I won’t carry it as a defensive weapon until it does. Smith reputedly has excellent customer service but that doesn’t make me particularly happy at this point. I’m going back out to the range and put another couple hundred rounds through it and see what happens. It doesn’t make me any happier knowing that because of the manufacturers design it will hurt a little bit to shoot it. Maybe I’ll get a pair of those gloves the author of this article mentioned.

  95. I bought one used and it did have a couple issues. I adjusted the extractor and used Wilson mags. Also polished the chamber.
    Never missed another shot.

  96. You lost all credibility with me when you said you had to put on gloves to shoot it! I have owned the GI FOR YEARS and never had it fail and the accuracy has always been spot on. Sounds like someone did not oil it properly and gunked it up. I tell people all the time dont waste money on high dollar 1911 when RIA works just as good for a third of the price.

  97. This has not been my experience at all. The stuck GI sites are crap. Too small, but it is a GI model. I put some better sights on it and use it in my local clubs monthly shoot. At 50 yards it is picky about ammo to get consistent results. On a long training weekend with about 700 rounds I had a couple of their mags crack at the flaired end. RIA replaced them no questions asked. The stock magazines are the weakest link in my opinion.

  98. I agree with the majority here. We got a tactical 3.5 commander in 9mm for my wifes daily carry. We sold it last year just because it was heavy as a carry. But loved the gun. It shot well and was accurate and the trigger was nice. The magazine was sharp but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the tooling. I know bad machining when I see it. All in all a great gun.

  99. I have the same model with over 1,200 rounds down range. No problems whatsoever. It’s as accurate as I am. I also don’t have the problem with the safety eating my hand either. Have you considered a lower grip?

  100. I have had many different 1911s over the years like a thunder ranch special, ed Brown cobra carry, and glocks and sigs this just bought this gun because I sold them all I got hert and had to file ch 11 but I needed a gun for sd any way got the 1911 a1 fs 9mm and the slide to frame fit is crazy close maby closer than my 2500$. Cobra carry.

  101. I just bought a newer (2016) RIA 1911 FS GI and it worked well for the first 50 rounds, then during the next 100, it had a failure to fee and failure to return to battery. In addition to that, it had the slide lock open with rounds in the mag and a failure to eject (round fired, but the ejector failed to draw it out and eject it.)

    My advice: AVOID!!!

    P.S. my 1911 is at Armscor right now and once it gets back, I will give the S.O.B. another chance and if it fails in any way, I will mount it on a board and make a trophy of it for the worst gun ever purchased. I couldn’t sell it. Who would want it?

  102. sorry guys have to say this is my second 1911 and so far the RIA functions as well as my Kimber Ultra 2, I could not be happier !!!!

  103. Seems like every review this guy wrights is always somehow on the negative side . Like he’s getting paid for it . Every bargain gun is not a bad gun is this really the truth about guns.

  104. I’m 5’3″ and 125 lbs. I have had my Rock Island for years, consistently outshoot others with 9mm’s and have never hurt my hands while doing it. What an asinine and utterly ridiculous review ???

  105. Sound like everyone who has had problems has got what we call a lemon. Mine has shot fine for 4 years now with a good cleanin’ and some cheap ammo you’ll be shoot to hit your target everytime?

  106. Do not believe everything you read about guns;; in particular this review of the Rock Island 45. I am not a gunsmith but i am familiar with tools. I got one of these things in a trade for some military rifles of ww2 vintage. It was new an unfired in the box, i put it away in a large crate for Russian aircraft parts. There was an accidental discharge of an M1 in my shop( out in the country), this is also a lesson in gun safety for those who care. The round blew a hole in the crate, tore off the pistol grips and left a huge dent in the main frame of the pistol, made its exit through the wall and went on its merry way. This pistol was in bad shape so i figured what the hell ill see what i can do with it, the thing was cheap and is not a Colt or a high buck unit. So help me the following is true and not a fabrication. The gun was frozen in place because of the huge dent in the main frame. I took a claw hammer and drift punch and went to work. The slide was hard fixed so i put it in a vise and beat it till it began to move. I kept this up until i could remove the slide stop and barrel pin, no easy task. All the other parts seemed to be normal. With the slide off i could see the huge dent left by the 30/06 round. I took a drift punch and began to work on the dent. This pistol has some hard steel and is not a piece of junk. To get the slide to move back and forth as it should i used grinding stones that are used on valve seats in motors in conjunction with various drift punches to get dent to a workable height. when everything was finally ground and punched the slide stop worked as it should. The steel in this pistol ate hard grinding stones like candy. This gun now resembles a cutaway view of a 1911; i shoot it without grips and it does not hurt or cut my palm. A 93 year old veteran friend gave me several hundred rounds of at least 50 year old rounds and i shoot them with this pistol. Upshot– with all the abuse i gave this gun and the way it functions without flaws with repairs on the scale of 10th century blacksmith whats not to like.

  107. I have shot the 1911 .45ACP since 1973 and have never understood how someone gets “bit” by a 1911! If you are going to give a creditable, unbiased review then first up, learn to hold it properly. With over 40 years of shooting a 1911 I have never been “hurt” by these pistols!

    I have owned two Colts through the years and have had my full sized Rock Island Armory .45 almost three years. When I first got it I put a new sear spring in it as I felt the original was substandard after 3-5 boxes of ammo. Mine works flawlessly after about 1500-2000 rounds, operates and is as accurate as either of my old Colts.

    You’re biased toward Colts (I love ’em too) and it shows in your last paragraph, but you must be professional in your dealings with others. You have zero credibility with me and I suspect more than a few other shooters judging by the comments left here.

  108. Bought one last week. works perfectly. No failures to feed. No failures to eject.No jams. Accurate enough at 21 feet. Worked fine with Russian ammo, and some thirty year old reloads covered with bird poop and corroded cases, lead bullets. I’m happy with it!

    • Rodrigo again, I should add that the only problem I have found is my COLT .22 conversion kit will not fit it. The hole for the pin is just a hair off.

  109. I’ve owned one of these since 2004. 12 years later and probably 2,000+ rounds on, it’s still going strong. Never jammed on me. Not once.

  110. I believe you are just ranting and have a personal issue with Rock Island Pistols…I own two of them , one in .45 and the other in 10 MM. They are both tack drivers! I believe you need a new pair of glasses the next time you go to the range. I wear bifocals and am in my mid 60’s, never competed but I bet I could out shoot you any day….You obviously are being paid to give Rock Island bad reviews. That being said, I would never recommend anyone to listen to the ranting and bashing of Rock Island pistols coming out of your mouth. And, NO, I do not work for them or have anything to do with the company, I’m just an old guy that can read between the lines. Thank you!

  111. This review is clueless…much like the other reviews on this site. Not sure whether it is mere stupidity or purposeful bias. Notwithstanding, the result is the same. Basing your opinion on a friend’s 3-year-old gun that’s gone through god knows what in that timeframe is plain asinine. But wait! I oiled it up!…..AND that’s likely why you had all the malfunctions. If you are clueless and soaked a 1911 in oil,it will malfunction on you. Good going Elmer Fudd!

    I own several Armscor 1911’s and NONE of them behave the way you describe…unless you don’t know how to lube the gun, at which point, it will behave just like that. Clean it and lube it properly and it is (pardon the pun) rock solid in its performance.

  112. I believe the term “Hit and Miss” is apropos. That is indicative of poor quality control with a product that is basically solid but executed poorly. The Rock is a great basic platform to build on, and if you want to tinker with a 1911, this is the brand you want! But if you want a solid shooter out of the box, we’re back to the term “Hit and Miss.”

    I used the frame of my Rock and a Kimber conversion slide to build a 22 caliber 1911. I love shooting it like that. I almost never put the 45 slide on it, and when I do, I seem to always regret it as soon as I hit the range.

    • I bought a frame from Sarco, (El Cheapo) and put a Kimber conversion on it, best shooting little .22 1911
      I have ever owned. Bought another Sarco frame, and built it up and put a GSG conversion on it.
      I now have three .22 conversions on these frames, and they all go bang every time. Dang, it is fun.
      I even named the .22s “Spare Parts 1, 2 and 3”! Because that is where most of the parts came from.
      Parts I had laying around for 1911s.

  113. I have three 1911s, including a RIA GI model. I regularly “compare” the three as they are all different configurations with barrel lengths of compact, commander, and full-size. The other two are my Kimber Ultra Carry II and a Ruger SR1911.

    I have put close to 1000 rounds through the pistol with NO issues. I attribute this to the practice of no matter if a firearm is “NIB,” or not, I disassemble and thoroughly clean it before ever firing the first round.

    All I can figure is that you got hold of a gun of which you already are predisposed to hate. As indicated by the majority of the responses that I have seen/read, most of us “owners” of the products have little to either compare or relate to your “nightmare” experience.

    I have installed a set of Crimson Trace integrated laser grips, and am considering using it as my “bedside” weapon. I am quite satisfied with my RIA 1911, and it remains one of the more “fun” handguns in my collection.

  114. It hurt your hand so you had to put on gloves? With a .45 ACP? What are you a girly-man? My officer model wouldn’t feed either. I pulled a new spring out of my range box and fixed that problem right away. Eats everything and shoots very nice tight groups. Glove… give me a break.

    • Brad,
      I do not normally answer trolls, but you do not even know me, nor my age. I have, over the years used
      shooting gloves off and on. No big deal. I hope when you turn 82 years old you can still even hold a gun.
      I put in 20 years in the military, and have been shooting for over 67 years. I detest people like you who
      make slurs about people you do not even know, just to make people think you are a man.
      Are you even a real shooter?
      Do not bother to answer, as I said, I do not usually answer trolls and haters.

  115. I’ll add my two cents: I’ve put around 300 rounds through my GI R/I 1911 without a FTF/FTE. Completely reliable. The only sharp edges I’ve encountered are the aggressively checkered wooden grips I installed. Accuracy is average.

    It’s more reliable than my Sig P220 and Taurus 1911.

    • Yeah, Tim,
      I have a 14 year old High Standard .45ACP and it is still running. Along with a couple of RIA Super .38s.
      9 mm, baby Rock and .22TCM/9MM. Not a rattle in any of them.

  116. LOL! The review and all the comments were hilarious. I imagine RIA decided to fix all the issues with this pistol since this article was written. At least RIA was willing to fix them for free.

  117. Wow! I just love reading posts that are good and bad about 1911’s. I have carried a Colt for 30 years and I can say for certain that it was not reliable in the beginning as are very few 1911’s. They all require some tuning and they all require break-in. When talking about the number if rounds before reliable – well then PLEASE do not carry a 1911, or really any semi auto. It used to be mandatory that one knew how to clear a stove pipe, failure to eject, failure to feed, and ensure the gun was in battery. Today too much TV has come to the scene where people slap the hell out of the mag (actually a no-no) and when the gun stops they blame the gun. I like my Colt’s but if the mag and and a couple boxes of ammo agree with any 1911 I would not hesitate to carry it. Competition is different. For defense, Learn how to use the tool in this case the 1911 or carry a revolver. All semi-autos require additional training and practice.

    I do prefer machined parts vs cast and USA vs Import..but that does not negate knowing the basics of handling the weapon at hand.

  118. Have a RIA 1911 – .45, as well as the 22TCM. I’ve had no issues with either weapon. None with the .45, with whatever ammo (weight/load/JHP/ball), with any mag I’ve used in it, from sand bag rest to rapid fire. Eats’em like I’ve starving! The 22TCM is a bit bulky for me, but it eats everything like it’s been starved as well…in the 22TCM round or with the interchangeable 9mm barrel. I’ve put 115 gr to 147, ball, +P, +P+. Other than a couple tool marks/burs on/in the guns, no big deal as I didn’t buy them to be safe queens, and upgrade this/that, little elbow grease and polishing the guts, I’m every bit as comfortable depending my life on either one, no different than my $1400 Springfield.

  119. Just purchased my second RIA 1911A1 FS. The first went missing during my first divorce, damn, I miss that pistol! Been on the range twice in a week, the second time I fired 75 rounds and never experienced any trouble. Just like the first. Sure, the look isn’t Colt, but for a $1000.00 difference in price, who cares. The guy that TRIES to break into my home isn’t going to say that’s an ugly pistol. I’d love to own a Colt, but, for the difference in price, I’ll buy another RIA. Accuracy is as good as any other 1911 I’ve fired, so, I just don’t know what your problem is.

  120. Interesting reading about the good and bad of RIA’s. Just bought a 52009 and I’m just waiting for shipment so I can check it out. Had 1911’s in the past and all feeding issues were resolved in the first 300+ rounds after break in and upgrading to solid mags. In one case, I had an S&W E Series with an 8 round stock mag that was a POS. The other mag was a Checkmate 7 rounder and it never had an issue. What does that tell you? If one mag works great and the other one sucks, it’s not the gun. Simple. I canned the troublesome 8 rounder and replaced it with 2 Tripp Research 8 round Cobra Mags and it never failed again. If you break a gun in and are sure you’ve got good mags but, it’s still failing, then it’s time to check in with the manufacturer.

  121. I’ve had mine for about a year. Put about 300 rounds through in with no problems. It did experience a feed issue when my brother fired it. He’s used to 9mm’s and the consensus was “limp wristing”. The gun is a brute and you have to grip it as such. If you like a light touch on a pistol, stick to 9mm’s or .380’s. Man up.

  122. Just bought the RI 1911 compact. Took to the range. 200 rounds of cheep ammo FMJ & HP. No burps no how. Other than the fact that it has a little kick due to the short barrel I don’t have a bad thing to say other than better sights would be a big help. All the reviews I’ve seen at Buds where I bought it were positive and I would stake my life on it’s performance at this point. Trigger is just as good as the more expensive Ruger 1911 although the Ruger is a pretty weapon. All and all for the money I’m pleased. If you just want a no frills 1911 it’s a pretty good choice in my humble opinion.

  123. Just bought the RI 1911 compact. Took to the range. 200 rounds of cheep ammo FMJ & HP. No burps no how. Other than the fact that it has a little kick due to the short barrel I don’t have a bad thing to say other than better sights would be a big help. All the reviews I’ve seen at Buds where I bought it were positive and I would stake my life on it’s performance at this point. Trigger is just as good as the more expensive Ruger 1911 although the Ruger is a pretty weapon. All and all for the money I’m pleased. If you just want a no frills 1911 it’s a pretty good choice in my humble opinion.

  124. John Wayne Taylor,
    Your name sake would be appalled at your lack of firearms knowledge and flat out
    misrepresentation. I still have all of my RIA 1911’s, my RIA Baby Rock, and my
    .22TCM/9MM. They all work great and fire any thing I put in them.
    Who are you shilling for? Read all of these comments and blush!

    • Rock islands are good guns I have owned a few and I would buy another. My father in-law has one based on my recommendation and he has had failures with it. It’s a 3.5” barrel. I have never had an issue with his gun. He did make my HK fail because he limp wrists with the best of them. I own a Colt now and imho they are the best because they are the original but at the $300-$450 price point who can beat a RIA?

  125. I bought a new RIA 45 GI standard FS 1911. For the first couple of hundred rounds it had a number of FTF and FTE. I was told it was probably a magazine problem, so a local expert on-line company told me to buy a Chip McCormick mag and my problems would be over….Not! It was twice as bad as the original mags. BTW, the mags that performed the best were the Kimber Pro mags I purchased. My specific 1911 likes Blazer, Federal, Winchester and American Eagle ammo. I replaced all the springs, had a little polishing done and a trigger job. I really like the feel of an all steel gun. BTW, I also own a Canik TP9SA. It “eats” any 9mm ammo that i feed it.

  126. I guess I’m lucky, I received one new as a gift in 2005. I shoot the heck shot out of it and I have only had two malfunctions to this point (both Stove Pipes). At 25 yards you can shoot a golf ball sized group and at a 100 a basketball sizes group. The only mods are Wilson Combat guts.

  127. I have put over 500 rounds through my .45 GI FS and not had single problem, ball and JHP no problem. I have owned and carried 1911’s for forty years and at $386.00 this Rock Island is about the best buy I have ever seen for a new 1911. I have never experienced any of the problems you have with the gun biting or cutting my hands. Maybe you’re chubby and need to lose weight.

  128. Not my experiance at all. I own 3 RIA’s, full size, commander, and officer. All run great, altho one of the full size mags crapped out on me. Threw it away and rocked on. They don’t bite me, and they are as accurate as I need them to be. I wish you would try again with a new pistol, or at least a different mag, as your feeding problems are similar to mine were until I ditched the faulty mag.

  129. bought mine 4or 5 years ago figured what the hell brought it home took it apart and cleaned and oil it with exxon 20-50 syn. motor oil. took inventory on my ammo stash- went to buy more. anyway over the next couple of weeks put 1k rds through it with no more cleaning or lube – no problems at all enough said!

  130. Love mine never had a failure of any kind; fit and finish just fine. You must have got hold of a bad one.
    Jim Greene

  131. It has been at least 8 or 9 years since I bought my Rock Island 1911A1. I still have the
    original unopened cheap manilla envelope with the date of assembly (green tag)
    and fired cartridge. Assembled 12-08-06 / fired and empty ctg. collected 12-10-06.

    Marked: TWIN PINES INCORPORATED No.4 Liwayway St. San Juan, Metro Manila
    Federal Firearms License Number 04 Serial # is RIA10452XX

    My gun has run flawlessly from day 1 with any type of ball ammo. It shoots to POA
    and groups tightly for what it is. There are no visible machine tooling mars and the
    finish and fit are excellent. Trigger is around 3.5 lbs. and breaks cleanly.

    I put on an arched mainspring housing and the plastic GI grips to replicate the
    1911 that I was issued in Vietnam (I was a Navy Corpsman). I use NOS GI mags
    in it and it functions as designed. Any mags that I use work just fine.

    Maybe the originals, the early ones were better made. I have ZERO complaints.

  132. I own 45 and 38 super ria 1911 never have a problem with both of them really good guns for the price.

  133. I’m not an expert on guns, just an average guy who likes to go out and shoot my guns. I have a Rock Island 1911 45 and I love it. I haven’t had any problem with it. Shot many many rounds through it with no jams. I guess like everything else you can get good ones and bad ones. I guess I just got lucky and picked a good one.

  134. The problem with this review is that it is 4 years old. Things change a lot. A newcomer would think that all RIA have problems when in fact every manufacturer has had problems at one time or another. This very same review could be written of the Colts during the 80’s.

    Bottom line – learn how to shoot well and learn how to handle your gun and if there is a problem – FIX it. 99% of manufacturers stand behind their stuff

  135. I bought a new series 80 colt cup national match in about 1984. For some reason, I was never able to pull back the slide unless I exhibited an all out effort. Since I was working a lot until I retired, about once a month I would try to cock the gun, but it was very difficult. After about 35 years of this, I finally remember my uncle, who fought the Japs in the South Pacific, told me in about 1947 (when I was 14 years old) that changing the magazine would make it work better or work if it didn’t.. I bought a Virgil Tripp Cobra 1 magazine, and now it works like magic. I must say that the new (in 1984) magazine was a brand new magazine marked Colt stamped on the bottom of the magazine at the time I bought the gun.
    I often wondered if any one else has experienced this event.

  136. Anyone who uses Rem oil instead of grease and refers to grips as handles gets what he deserves.

    You even cheated by using an already broken in 1911.

  137. Just bought a Rock Island Match Tactical 6-in, first manual feed jammed the slide before the Tulammo 45 auto steel case left the clip, shell was just slightly angled up a slight bit and stayed there. I’ll be calling RI for a repair. Never got to shoot a round. I hope it is a clip issue, will see I guess.

    • The first problem is that you are using “clips” instead of “magazines”. The second problem is that you are using steel cased Tulammo. The third problem is that you have a stuck shell when it should either be a round or spent casing. Now, I’ve owned several RI 1911’s and I have found them to be very reliable. Their magazines are particularly solid. That’s not to say that you don’t have an issue with your follower, but it would not be a common occurrence with their magazines. The first question is whether you’ve tried loading brass cased ammo in the magazine and racking the slide with authority…not riding the slide forward with your hand. Did it also have the same failure to feed? Next question, how are the rounds sitting in the magazine? Are they nose down, slightly up, are nose up almost coming out of the feed lips? They should be level to slightly nose up. They should not be nose down or pointed up so high as to be coming out of the feed lips. Speaking of the feed lips, if the rounds are sticking way up, the magazine feed lips could be the problem (too far apart). Try using another magazine and see whether you are experiencing the same problem.

  138. I had a RI 52009 which is the 10mm double stack 1911. Had to do a lot of tinkering with it including lock tight on the slide spring holder which is not one solid piece but, rather a threaded tube with the end piece that screws in. In terms of ammo, it only fired Armscor brass reliably. Pretty frustrating when a gun is picky about ammo especially all brass and continues to exhibit failure to feed. I cleaned and oiled the gun meticulously so there was no issue with dirt or grease. I used an ultrasonic gun parts cleaner and It was pristine with just the right amount of lube after cleaning. On the positive side, it was the most accurate pistol in my collection. Red glass sight in the front with anti-glare adjustable rear site made quite a difference. Beautiful gun but, finicky. I sold it and bought a Glock 20 since I’m a fan of 10mm as well as 15+ round magazines on any midsize to full size semi-autos in 9mm and larger caliber. For me, a gun is a tool. It chucks lead. That’s what it does. I don’t do pretty or fancy if it doesn’t have a functional purpose. A gun can look good but, it needs to be man handled without fear it might get a “boo boo”. Wear marks, dings and dangs are part of the christening of a good firearm.

    Bottom line: Assuming all other variables are not an issue (Good magazine, solid grip, racking the slide with authority, round positioning), I want a gun to go bang every time without 1 single failure of any kind. I accept F2F in the first few hundred rounds as break in but, after that, it better eat and chuck lead like a monster or it’s leaving my collection!

  139. I am sure some weapons from any producer/production company, falls through the crack during Q.C. I own a lot of 1911’s and enjoy them all, but when it comes to a outstanding definition of the 1911 RIA is the one. RIA did not start a few years back, they made almost all of the 1911 frames for Colt during the Wars. Yes that’s right. (refer to Colt / RIA 1911 45CAL.) RIA has massive history with 1911’s and purchased all of the machine’s from Colt after the Vietnam War. (Philippian’s)

    Today, they still make majority of the frames for the big companies i.e. Springfield, Smith and Wesson , and ETC. in conclusion I would put my Compact and my F.S up against my Colts ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. This just breaks down to the individual likes and dislikes. I am just thankful we have a Country that we have the freedom to buy and protect our family.

  140. I bought the RIA 1911 A1 FS over a month ago. I finally took it out to the range today.
    I read this review a few days ago. It made me think that I may have made a mistake in buying this gun. I already own two other 1911’s. A Colt Government Series 70 and a Dan Wesson PM7.
    I put 100 rounds through it. 50 rounds of American Eagle range ammo and 50 rounds of Federal aluminum case range ammo.
    Brand new out if the box. I didn’t have one failure. My groupings were very good even with the minuscule sights.
    I have to beg to differ with the review. I’m very happy with my new RIA 1911 A1.

  141. My brand new RIA GI FS arrived with a rusted frame from the factory. Test fire envelope showed it was 90 days old. I’d RMA it but it’ll cost me $140 to do so (California requires frame RMAs to go through an FFL, with transfer and 4473).
    Folks, don’t do Armscor’s quality control for them. Should have bought a Springfield.
    I’d wanted to try an RIA for over 10 years… first and last time I try Rust Island Armory.

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