New-ish From Rock Island Armory: XT 22 Magnum 1911

The world of semi-automatic .22 Magnum pistols has been pretty darn small. In fact, the release of this XT 22 Magnum from RIA effectively doubles one’s realistic options. In the Rock Island’s case, it’s a real steel, 1911-style pistol with a delayed blowback action and a 14+1 capacity . . .

Chris and I were impressed with the trigger on this floor model. It broke cleanly and crisply at a hair over 4 lbs.

With a kind of barrel-within-a-barrel design, the inner portion containing the chamber and actual, threaded barrel moves rearwards a short distance prior to stopping. This creates a delay before the extractor begins pulling the round out of the chamber, allowing the pressure to drop first.

A set screw under the barrel allows the end user to fine tune the tension on that delay system. Shooting weak ammo? Loosen the tension. Extra power hunting stuff? Tighten it up a bit. RIA says they’ve been extremely pleased with the reliability provided by this system.

With full production models hitting shelves now, TTAG will get our hands on a review sample ASAP.


  1. avatar Secundius says:

    Not sure it that’s such a Good Idea! Cerebellum Memory like Muscle Memory is automatic without hindsight. I now what the Calibers of my Handguns are just by Looking At Them. Having one looking like an M1911, can be confusing especially at Night (i.e. “The Fog of Sleep”). Trying to defend oneself from an Immediate Attack by picking-up the wrong firearm…

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Do you have all of your handguns lined up on your night stand?

      Not sure how you would make a caliber mistake in the middle of the night if your .22mag range toy was in the safe and your .45 self defense gun was next to the bed.

      1. avatar Secundius says:

        You’ve NEVER been affected by the Disorientation of being Woken-Up from a Deep Sleep? Lucky you…

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          It all depends on how you put things away before you go to sleep.

        2. avatar Special Ed says:

          Most of us have a plan before we go to bed. I don’t leave guns lying around while I sleep. My defensive weapons are by the bed. All others are put away. To cut down on confusion.

        3. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          So you actually do put all your guns on the nightstand. I just keep one there. All the rest are somewhere else.

          It’s a good thing you don’t sleep next to a mortar.

        4. avatar Secundius says:

          @ Klaus Von Schmitto.

          Funny i don’t recall ever saying that! Check with “Lucas B”, HE made the claim…

        5. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i sleep between identrical twins. one of them is extremely tolerant.
          i place the gun on the headboard before firing up the night tremors.

        6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          (“ah! cobras!”)

        7. avatar Huntmaster says:

          If I have to get out of bed to use a firearm I will, along with everybody else in the neighborhood, be fully awake. By that time any miscreants will probably be well out of range.

      2. avatar mark s says:

        Having a 22 WMR by your bedside as a defend you and your family against night intruders is not a bad choice , with 14 +1 rounds of pills that can put 300 foot pounds energy into someone , is not a bad thing , especially when you can put them where you want them . A heavy 1911 firing HV 22 mags is more than likely going to put them where they are pointed . I see this as a quite nasty defensive firearm for the elderly , women , weaker among us and those who do not have the training or time and resources to train with a higher caliber gun . A 22 mag falls just shy of older 9mm ammo in dynamic energy and can match 38 capability .
        I will say the fireball and noise would rival nearly anything else …………………. good or bad .

        1. avatar Tom Secreto says:

          I agree. I keep my Sig P320 on my nightstand with 17+1 hollow points (Corbon 90gr. +p to keep over penetration to a minimum). Backup 9mm in the draw.
          I do like the .22 Mag as an option.

    2. avatar Lucas D. says:

      You’re on your own when it comes to solving the “all my guns are piled on the nightstand” dilemma, but here’s some free help that you need almost as badly:

      1. avatar Skippy Sanchez says:

        Hahaha Excellent Advice.

      2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        so ~that’s~ what the shift key does…

      3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Wait, you Don’t just randomly capitalize Words In the middle of sentenCes? I’m sure That’s filed in my Cerebellum Memory somewhere.

        1. avatar Lucas D. says:

          See, that’s where people like Secundius go wrong.

          As this demonstration will show, trusting the cerebellum to handle cognitive functions when its usual job involves muscle control is how you end up with Randomly Capitalized words, Assorted nonsensical Gibberish, and bulg Gergo.

          So Remember, folks: Nerbo sputz and Plarp Bargle!

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          frud nyuk!

    3. avatar tdiinva says:

      I am sure if you make the mistake of picking up the wrong 1911 your assailant will just laugh at you when he takes that little 22WMR in the chest. /sarc.

      1. avatar Secundius says:

        @ tdiinva.

        My M1911A1 is chambered in .460 Rowland (i.e. .45acp with Attitude), ~52.5% More Attitude…

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          mine is chambered in .25 rowling; it shoots magic wands.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Unicorn hair cores in mine

        3. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          “Unicorn hair cores in mine”

          When I got shot with those they made me itch.

      2. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        Strange…But, one of the popular YouTube gun store guru channels were talking about .22 WMR for self-defense and stated don’t discount this little zippy cartridge. They immediately recalled a shooting in their home state regarding a 300lbs bikey who was shot in the chest with a 3 inch Black Widow in .22 WMR. He immediately collapsed and died at the scene…I think its a cool little round and was one of the first pistol calibers I shot…I think it would do its job with proper shot placement and HP ammo…..

      3. I have one of these RIA .22 WMR. Mine is actually from the first 250 shipped to select dealers in December. It was inspected on November 4, 2017 and I bought it in January for $574.99. I frigging love it. Personally I love the 22 mag. I would sure as shit love to see somebody take 3 to the chest and laugh I know that much lol. Obviously no rimfire round is gonna have the punch of a centerfire round, but if you’re thinking anything like it’s anywhere near the .22lr that’s just not at all the case. Plus you have 14 of them damn things. Like one WW2 Naval commander said…” Keep firing until the target changes direction, changes shape, or catches on fire”.

    4. avatar Sweepy says:

      There a reason why you keep randomly capitalizing certain words?

    5. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Do you sleep wearing a brace of six pistols? I know I do.

  2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    I have a .22 mag cylinder for my single six. I’ve only used it once or twice. In a handgun if I need a more expensive and potent round than a .22lr I’ll step up to center fire.

    On a small homestead a .22 mag rifle might be a decent option for critter control.

  3. avatar Sean says:

    Make one in 357!

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      357, big brother to the dreaded .9mm.

    2. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Make one in 38 Super!

      Oh yea. They do. Never mind. I have one.

      Good gun.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Interesting gun but I’d get a Keltec PMR. They’re worked most of bugs out(so I’ve heard). 30+1 is huge…

    1. avatar mark s says:

      My wife and I both sleep comfortably next to our PMR’s . tactically lighted and with red dots sights . It’s our way of suppressing any attempt to keep us from acquiring access to our Liberty FATBOY , and once there , well I guess people can assume the rest of the story .
      Point is , 22 magnum is a fine suppressor of bad aggression .

  5. avatar Moltar says:

    Wonder how long it will take for these things to hit the used market or local gunsmith’s shop missing that little set screw and thus subjecting the owner to frequent FTE malfunctions.

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ll stick to my Grendel.

  7. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    I’ve got a Rock island 1911 I was just putting back away in safe. I’m very happy with it and I think Rock Island makes excellent pistols for the money.

    But I don’t get the .22mag caliber. Why? Is there not something that will serve you better on whatever criteria? Price, reliability, accuracy, power, noise, reloadability, availability, cool factor, etc?

    1. avatar Philthegardner says:

      I got one. It’s in 22TCM! 😃

    2. avatar mark s says:

      I actually do tire of defending this round , but it is not a HV 22 LR . It is more than a varmint round . It will kill a human attacker . It does have a high energy impact on human tissue . It will pass through multi layers of clothing and maintain killing energies . It does have higher tendencies to ricochet off bone internally and create multiple bleeds , and it is easier to hit the point of aim because of physics . The testing of this round for defense has shown time and again to surpass 32 caliber , many 38 calibers , and some 9mm , in penetration and expansion . Of coarse the size of the bullet ( generally 40 grain ) is smallish but energy is what a human feels and loss of blood is generally what kills a human , so if you can put a 22 magnum round into your target more efficiently than a larger caliber ( accuracy and volume ) , you may reconsider your position . At 10 feet away , I would feel confident with my 357 Blackhawk , were my target standing still . At any distance further and moving at all , I would feel perfectly confident with a 22 magnum and 30 rounds , and in this case 15 .

  8. avatar Secundius says:

    @ anonymoose.

    I have a special Holster Rig attached to my Wheelchair. Keep’s the Grandchildren from accidentally Discharging the Handgun when they Decide to climb into to bed with my wife…

  9. avatar Chris says:

    Their customer service is terrible. I bought the mapp-ms short barrel 9mm and it came with a grossly-underpowered recoil spring. I took that thing out to the range, not knowing better, and it would not work at all. I measured the spring and it was like, 10lbs, standard is supposed to be 17-18lbs. So, long story short I emailed them about the bad spring and after a few days of waiting, I was told I would have to send my gun to them and wait about two weeks. I couldn’t just send the bad spring with my receipt, they wanted everything – I suppose it was a way to deter people from doing so because it worked. Long story short, Wolff springs came to the rescue and all is well. It’s my favorite pistol now, fires 100%.

    Also, RIA doesn’t manufacture anything. Not that I know of, they’re just a middleman for other brands. The one I bought was made by Tanfogglio of Italy, they stamped their name on it and rebranded it as being made in the Philippines.

    1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      I was pretty sure they made their 1911s?

      I watched a thing where Phillipinos were making bootleg 1911s based on “what they learned at local factory.” That I assumed was RIA.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        I don’t know, but they eventually ignored me and I was left holding the bag. Company that sends out defective guns, made by somebody else, with zero responsibility isn’t worth a damn.

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          You were not “holding the bag”.

          You just needed to replace a 15 dollar spring.

          You couldn’t give me 15 dollars AND the spring to spend 5 minutes on the phone with someone when I can just go to Midway or Brownells and buy the spring.

          “….Long story short, Wolff springs came to the rescue and all is well. It’s my favorite pistol now, fires 100%…..”

      2. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

        I never have had any issue other than it was difficult to get the right night sights to fit it.

        But poor customer service is definitely a problem on any weapon, and especially a rimfire like the XT the article is about.

    2. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Anytime I buy a gun (especially a handgun) that costs less than 500 dollars I expect to practice my gunsmithing skills.

      I own a handful of RIA/Armscor firearms and after I take them down, polish everything that needs it, give it a trigger job, and replace springs and pins if necessary I have a good reliable gun that costs me less than 500 dollars and some of my time. I also enjoy the time spent doing it.

      You get what you pay for or what you pay for and make out of it.

      1. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

        Ok…my M&P Shield was less than $500….my Sig P238 Sports 12 was less than $500… Glock 43 was less than $500. I would not expect to have to practice my gunsmithing skills on any of those. Just saying.

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          OK. That’s a good point. None of those are RIA/Armscor, Astra (I just bought a SIG 220 clone in 38 Super and it needed some tweaking), Star, any Mil surplus, any LE Trade in, etc.

          One should expect any new top tier gun to function properly right out of the box.

    3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      I have 4 RIA 1911s all as good as any of the name brand made here stuff I own.. RIA/Armscorp is the largest maker of 1911s in the Philippines and the world for that matter. A lot of 1911s are made by them and sold under other names. Their Maap series guns are made by Tanfoglio.They all work well usually. Just aren’t as pretty guns in generl, but very functional.

      1. avatar Just Sayin says:

        I thought Sig took over the 1911 crown ( in respect to model gross production) a couple years ago.
        I know I read they sell the most 1911’s in the US.

    4. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      You think their customer service is bad, return something to E O tech.

  10. avatar Ross Schacher says:

    “Doubles” the choices?

    Hmm… there’s the PMR-30, the Excel, and this makes 3.

    And, of course, some of us lucky ones have got the Automag II.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Doubles your realistic options, is what I said…

      Though I suppose you can find Automags on GunBroker w/out too much trouble. If you can get a new Accelerator I suppose I didn’t realize that. I thought the other .22 Mag pistols weren’t in current production but it appears those are?

  11. avatar Mark H says:

    Ah yes, the .22 Mag. More expensive than 9mm and you can’t reload the brass.

    I will never, EVER, understand the fascination with this round.

  12. avatar little horn says:

    hmmm this actually sounds pretty awesome. 15 rounds of 22 Mab in a 1911 package is pretty nice. looking forward to the review!

  13. avatar Mark says:

    If you wonder how well a ,22 mag will perform. Go to you tube and look up the comparison of a fn5.7 and the kel-tec .22mag. They say the 5.7 is a glorified ,22 mag.they shoot into a class 2 vest and the out come is suprising. I carry my kel-tec daily after watching the video. Oh and I have 30 round clips. That’s a major advantage.

  14. avatar Fled says:

    One of my favorite cartridges. Those who scoff at .22WMR haven’t shot enough of it. This looks like a winner in my book.

  15. avatar Randy says:

    Is this a full size or slightly shrunken version?

    When you test it could you run a comparison with the 3/4-size Browning 1911-22LR of a few years back?


  16. avatar Noel says:

    The FBI used a Hi Standard 22 mag 2 shot derringer as a backup belly gun for years. Still wish I had mine. Took down a robbery suspect once with it. Came with a wallet holster.

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