Rock Island 1911? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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ContractSoldier
01-18-2011, 02:56
I finally decided to buy my first ever, 1911 pistol. I wanted some thing that wouldn't break the bank, while allowing for me to customize the pistol to the way I like, when I choose to do so.

I decided to get the Rock Island Mid Size, I wanted a 1911 pistol, that wasn't a full size, yet didn't have a barrel shooter then 4.00. I've seen that some people are calling this a commander, doesn't the commander models have a 4.25 barrel and if so, what's this verison called?

Is thier any parts recommend to upgrade?

bac1023
01-18-2011, 04:14
Its called a 1911 with a 4" barrel.

Congrats! RIAs are great for the money. :)

PlasticGuy
01-18-2011, 06:02
The RIA 1911 is a good first 1911. Some basic customization would be just fine on it. They do have cast frames though, so they aren't the best choice for a more involved build. As long as that isn't your intention, You made a great choice.

kirklite99
01-18-2011, 14:49
I have a 1911A1-MS. That's the mid-sized with the 4" barrel. It's been a great 1911 and I have several thousand trouble free rounds through it. Had a few small issues at first, but they were easily and quickly resolved. Armscor (the importer) has GREAT customer service and their 1911s have a lifetime warranty. I got a bunch of recoil springs for free. It's really a much better 1911 than I expected for $400. :)

The only thing I've "customized" on it was putting on some nice thin grips. I didn't really care for the high school wood shop looking panels with very light stain. :puking:

AZ Husker
01-18-2011, 15:32
Leave it alone. Add $600 customizing to a $400 RIA and you've still got a $400 RIA. I think they're fine for what they're meant to be...an inexpensive shooter.

Hokie1911
01-18-2011, 15:36
Leave it alone. Add $600 customizing to a $400 RIA and you've still got a $400 RIA. I think they're fine for what they're meant to be...an inexpensive shooter.

:agree:

The RIA is a great gun at it's pricepoint, but if you think you're going to want to upgrade here and there, you are better off jumping up to the $600-700 pricepoint where you have several great guns that are excellent out of the box. Not saying the RIA isn't, just that you would be better off putting that extra cash into a better gun up front.


Btw....welcome to the DarkSide. :supergrin:

DRAGON1970
01-18-2011, 16:27
The RIA 1911 is a good first 1911. Some basic customization would be just fine on it. They do have cast frames though, so they aren't the best choice for a more involved build. As long as that isn't your intention, You made a great choice.

I believe Caspian uses cast frames.

kirklite99
01-18-2011, 17:08
Leave it alone. Add $600 customizing to a $400 RIA and you've still got a $400 RIA. I think they're fine for what they're meant to be...an inexpensive shooter.

I agree, but those horrendous grip panels had to go...

Also, if you want some extras, just buy the RIA that already comes with a skeletonized hammer, trigger, beavertail grip safety, better sights, etc. It's not all that much more than a base RIA anyway.

glock2740
01-18-2011, 17:35
Congrats! Grips and sights are really all it needs. I have a few and like them alot. Then again, along with the grips and sights, a flush crowned barrel and golf balled front strap and MSH would make for a really great looking gun. I've actually thought of sending my compact RIA off to have the exact same thing done, then send off to be hardchromed. :cool: :thumbsup:

AZ Husker
01-18-2011, 19:02
That would be a unique (and expensive) Rock!

glock2740
01-18-2011, 19:41
That would be a unique (and expensive) Rock!
True, but Chuck and I have talked about it before and the end result would be just as good a gun as the Kimbers that I've sent him. And who else would have a tricked out Rock Island like that? A RIA with Chuck's Tier One sights and the other stuff I mentioned...:whistling: Not too shabby. :cool: That little Rock is a shooter as is. And it's eaten anything I've ever shot through it.

PlasticGuy
01-18-2011, 19:42
I believe Caspian uses cast frames.
Yes they do, but they're made oversize already, and are very good steel that has been very well heat treated. The RIA cast frames are good quality, but not to the level of Caspian.

bac1023
01-18-2011, 20:01
I believe Caspian uses cast frames.

Caspian's cast frames are much better than most.

guymontag
01-18-2011, 20:24
I acquired a new RIA 1911 GI months back. After 1,000 rounds of ammunition, I possessed a clear idea of what I needed to change.

Leave it alone. Add $600 customizing to a $400 RIA and you've still got a $400 RIA. I think they're fine for what they're meant to be...an inexpensive shooter.

I agree however I must add that mine isn't only an inexpensive shooter, but my project as well. Approximately $120 in parts and $320 in ammunition. I'll still have a $400 RIA, but it will be mine. For me, the tinkering is almost as fun as the shooting.

True, but Chuck and I have talked about it before and the end result would be just as good a gun as the Kimbers that I've sent him. And who else would have a tricked out Rock Island like that? A RIA with Chuck's Tier One sights and the other stuff I mentioned...:whistling: Not too shabby. :cool: That little Rock is a shooter as is. And it's eaten anything I've ever shot through it.

I entered the 1911 world recently, and I thought most high end smiths disliked working on Rock Islands? Though I have never possessed the money to justify asking.

They do have cast frames though, so they aren't the best choice for a more involved build.

In regards to front strap treatments or any work done on the frame? I have read about potential voids in casting, I only wish to know if there's anything else I may not know about.

kirklite99
01-18-2011, 21:22
In regards to front strap treatments or any work done on the frame? I have read about potential voids in casting, I only wish to know if there's anything else I may not know about.

Personally, I'd just use skateboard grip tape on the front strap. Run it under the grip panels.

glock2740
01-18-2011, 21:39
I entered the 1911 world recently, and I thought most high end smiths disliked working on Rock Islands? Though I have never possessed the money to justify asking.

All I would have done, is pretty much cosmetic. I have heard that a few" good" smith's wouldn't work on RIA's, but Chuck will do a golf ball job on one and a flush crown job. Before Ron Phillips went back to Wilson, he was going to put a Kart barrel, along with a few other things to a fullsized RIA for me. The gun smith's that know what they're doing are not scared to work on one. I would put Chuck Rogers and Ron Phillips up towards the top of 1911 gun smiths. I'm pretty sure that most knowledgable 1911 buffs, would also put those two guys towards the top of their list of 1911 smiths as well.

PlasticGuy
01-18-2011, 22:43
I entered the 1911 world recently, and I thought most high end smiths disliked working on Rock Islands? Though I have never possessed the money to justify asking.

In regards to front strap treatments or any work done on the frame? I have read about potential voids in casting, I only wish to know if there's anything else I may not know about.
The RIA frames are not bad, and are not prone to voids as far as I know. For me, it would be two things. First, a $400 RIA with another $400 of work done to it is still a $400 RIA. Second, the slide to frame fit is not tight and the steel is not ideal for most tightening methods.

It is a solid base model shooter, and one that I highly recommend to people. It is not a good base for extensive customization though. Spending an extra $100 for a Springfield would be a good idea if that is your goal.

GeorgiaRedfish
01-18-2011, 22:50
The RIA frames are not bad, and are not prone to voids as far as I know. For me, it would be two things. First, a $400 RIA with another $400 of work done to it is still a $400 RIA. Second, the slide to frame fit is not tight and the steel is not ideal for most tightening methods.

It is a solid base model shooter, and one that I highly recommend to people. It is not a good base for extensive customization though. Spending an extra $100 for a Springfield would be a good idea if that is your goal.
+1 on This

ContractSoldier
01-18-2011, 23:39
Thanks everyone, I only plan on changing the trigger, hammer, grips and some night sights. Far as some gun smiths not working on Rock Island, oh well, that's their lose. I don't have to give them my money.

guymontag
01-19-2011, 08:33
Personally, I'd just use skateboard grip tape on the front strap. Run it under the grip panels.

3M Friction Tape resides on my front strap, I doubt I'll ever have it checkered. Never say never.

All I would have done, is pretty much cosmetic. I have heard that a few" good" smith's wouldn't work on RIA's, but Chuck will do a golf ball job on one and a flush crown job. Before Ron Phillips went back to Wilson, he was going to put a Kart barrel, along with a few other things to a fullsized RIA for me. The gun smith's that know what they're doing are not scared to work on one. I would put Chuck Rogers and Ron Phillips up towards the top of 1911 gun smiths. I'm pretty sure that most knowledgable 1911 buffs, would also put those two guys towards the top of their list of 1911 smiths as well.

I'd only be looking for cosmetic work as well. Thanks for the great information, I appreciate it! :thumbsup:

The RIA frames are not bad, and are not prone to voids as far as I know. For me, it would be two things. First, a $400 RIA with another $400 of work done to it is still a $400 RIA. Second, the slide to frame fit is not tight and the steel is not ideal for most tightening methods.

I have not seen fit to tighten the slide to frame clearances on my particular RIA, but that's good information to know, thanks!