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    Thank you for joining the GunNook community. Click here to learn how you can earn free stuff just for being active in the community.

     

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  • Rock Island Armory 1911 45 Tactical



    I've been looking to get into the 1911 platform for awhile. I didn't want to spend a whole lot of cash, because I didn't have a lot of cash. So, I started doing some research into affordable entry level 1911's. One brand stood out as the clear favorite among most of the reviews I read, Rock Island Armory. RIA 1911's are made in the Phillipines and imported by Armscor in Pahrump, NV.
    I was settled on the standard 1911A1 GI and went to my LGS, I remembered that he had one the last time I was there. But, it was sold. He said he had the tactical version and would sell it to me for the same price as the GI, needless to say I couldn't pass that deal up. Thanks Greg.

    Now, I've heard some of the complaints against this gun, "The roll mark is too big and ugly", and "The finish isn't as good as other 1911's". And that some had feed problems. You have to remember, this gun costs a fraction as much as high end 1911's. It's meant to be a starter gun you can use and abuse, not put on pedestal and look at. And it accomplishes that. You'll notice in the pictures that the grips are not flashy at all, they seem to be wood grip blanks that RIA slapped on it. That isn't a problem for me, they work. If it keeps costs down, then so be it.


    Grip , extended beaver tail.



    Also the back strap/hammer spring housing is polymer, once again, as long as it works this doesn't concern me. Mine is last year's model , so the roll mark is the big "ROCK ISLAND ARMORY" engraved on the slide, doesn't bother me, it's just aesthetics. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work. If it bothers you, get a newer model, they have a small roll mark on the rear of the slide only.

    RIA roll mark. (Personally, even though it's huge, I like it.)



    And yes, the Parkerized matte finish is a little thin and has begun to wear at the corners and moving parts of the gun, no big deal, it gives it that distinct "worn gun" look. The finish on the majority of the slide and frame should last a good while.

    The RIA 1911 Tactical disassembled.



    On to the feed problems. I'll admit, I had some feed problems, with FMJ and some flat nosed lead reloads. While I recommend getting the feed ramp and barrel throat/hood polished, that probably isn't needed. I found that the problem was with the supplied 8rd Armscor ACT magazine. I highly recommend getting a Chip McCormick Shooting Star magazine, once I got one, the feed problems disappeared. And there is a break in period as with most guns, of about 250 rounds.

    (Top) Chip McCormick mag, (Bottom) Armscor ACT mag.



    The ACT mag has a one piece bi-level follower, which I believe was causing my feed problems. The McCormick mag has a split bi-level follower which aids in feeding a round into the barrel throat.

    Now let's get to the good part.
    The RIA 1911 Tactical is chambered in 45 ACP, but is also available in 9mm. The amount of upgrades on the tactical model alone are worth the cost. Among the improvements over the standard GI configuration are: Ambidextrous frame safety, extended beaver tail grip safety, commander style hammer, improved trigger, and Novak style sights. The RIA Tactical has a full length recoil rod and is compatible with other 1911 parts. This gun is tight, meaning that, it doesn't rattle when shaken. Upon further inspection, I found that it was very well put together from quality steel and components.




    As for function? What can I say? It shoots, and does so accurately. What more can you ask for? The slide engages smoothly and trigger pull is quick and crisp, probably around 4-5 lbs of pull. I'm new to the 1911 platform and I was able to consistently get 8 shot groups of 4"to 5" at 15-25 yards right off the bat.

    8 rds of Winchester , 230gr FMJ from 25yds.



    8 rds of Winchester , 230gr FMJ from 15 yds.



    There's a reason the RIA 1911 Tactical is so popular. First being the price, they can be found for$350-$450 most of the time. With the cash you save verses more expensive 1911's you can buy more ammo and mags. Second, they work and work well. Third, You can afford to beat the crap out of this gun and not worry about getting a few dings on a $1000+ 1911.

    As far as affordable 1911's go, in my opinion, the Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical is at the top. I'm very happy with it, I have no doubt this gun will give me many years of shooting enjoyment. If you're looking for a great entry level 1911, check out the Rock Island Armory 1911's.

    https://us.armscor.com/

    **UPDATE**

    4 years and a couple thousand rounds later ,my RIA 1911 is still going strong.

    I put Magpul grips on it and run Chip McCormick 10rd Powermags in it.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
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