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The Hammer & Anvil
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I just purchased an RIA 5" GI model, first off I love it, great gun so far. However I would like to put a Beaver tail, the proper hammer for that grip safety, and possibly a skeleton (upgraded trigger).

I'm new to smithing and the 1911 platform, so something drop in would be great, but I also understand that a true drop in may look gaudy.

Looking for some myth busting here and some sound advice, and pictures of other RIA's that have been upgraded.

Thanks!
 

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I like my hogue wrap around rubber grips. It takes away from the classic look, but it feels damn good when you shoot. It really makes it feel like the gun is supposed to be in your hand more than anything else. I don't have the biggest hands, so because of the extra girth of the grips, I threw on an extended mag release. Both of these are simple to change and shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to install combined. The bottom line is that your gun should be personalized for your wants and needs. I know everybody says that, but it really is true.
 

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I just purchased an RIA 5" GI model, first off I love it, great gun so far. However I would like to put a Beaver tail, the proper hammer for that grip safety, and possibly a skeleton (upgraded trigger).

I'm new to smithing and the 1911 platform, so something drop in would be great, but I also understand that a true drop in may look gaudy.

Looking for some myth busting here and some sound advice, and pictures of other RIA's that have been upgraded.

Thanks!
I'm in the same boat as you, and plan on doing a "HK Gloss Black" Duracoat on the entire gun. I want a stainless trigger and stainless, skeletonized hammer. I plan on putting on some pretty wild grips (crazy blue with lots of skulls LOL), and intend to leave the small GI sights alone because they work well for me.

I've read that the Wilson Combat drop in parts look good and work well. The only problem is that their stuff tends to be sold out a lot on their site.
 

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Go easy on the upgrades with 1911s they are probably the harder guns to smith and get reliablity out of. Drop in parts generally aren't unless someone has spent the time to actually get right.

Other then that I would love a ambi safety on mine, but I am left handed.
 

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Go easy on the upgrades with 1911s they are probably the harder guns to smith and get reliablity out of. Drop in parts generally aren't unless someone has spent the time to actually get right.

Other then that I would love a ambi safety on mine, but I am left handed.

+1 and also left handed. I had the hammer on my RIA GI trimmed a hair to end the hammer bite. Had an ambi safety added and a set of Hogue hardwoods grips.
 

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Old Soldier
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I bought the basic RIA standard model, because that's what I wanted.
If you wanted something else, why not buy it up front?
By the time you put parts and labor into it, you could have bought a Taurus, or even an up graded RIA.
 

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Mine just had the ambi safety added to it, and a little polishing of the feed ramp..
Beaver tails are only necessary of your shooting grip actually demands it! ANd as far as skeleonized triggers ...well you can tweak a issue trigger if it needs a bit of smoothing. And a bobbed hammer may not be necessary with a beavertail either depending on how drastic the beavertail is.

Now if you just like the looks of those things go for it!

The Ambi safety is a MUST for both right and left handed shooters as you should be practicing firing with your off hand in case of injury or odd combative shooting positions.
 

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Wilddieb
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I just purchased an RIA 5" GI model, first off I love it, great gun so far. However I would like to put a Beaver tail, the proper hammer for that grip safety, and possibly a skeleton (upgraded trigger).

I'm new to smithing and the 1911 platform, so something drop in would be great, but I also understand that a true drop in may look gaudy.

Looking for some myth busting here and some sound advice, and pictures of other RIA's that have been upgraded.

Thanks!
Does it work?

If you can answer with "yes", the most urgent upgrade will be ammo and some spare magazines. :thumb:
 

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Wilddieb
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Mine just had the ambi safety added to it, and a little polishing of the feed ramp..
Beaver tails are only necessary of your shooting grip actually demands it! ANd as far as skeleonized triggers ...well you can tweak a issue trigger if it needs a bit of smoothing. And a bobbed hammer may not be necessary with a beavertail either depending on how drastic the beavertail is.

Now if you just like the looks of those things go for it!

The Ambi safety is a MUST for both right and left handed shooters as you should be practicing firing with your off hand in case of injury or odd combative shooting positions.
The standard safety can also be manipulated left handed.

It is just about training.
 

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Porch Captain
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Congrats on the Rock! Love my Compact GI model. The only thing I've changed was the grips--first Pachmayr's then Crimson Trace. I loved the Pachmayr's and may be going back to them if I get night sights installed. Not a big fan of the laser. Also, I'd upgrade the magazine. May have slipped through their QC, but my stock mag made the gun a jam-o-matic. Changed to McCormick mags and it shoots perfectly. One other thing, mine required the 500 round break-in, just as the manual recommends. May be worth having a smith polish the internals, or do it yourself if you have the tools.
 

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Dangerous Old Man
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Congrats on the Rock!<snip> One other thing, mine required the 500 round break-in, just as the manual recommends. May be worth having a smith polish the internals, or do it yourself if you have the tools.
I got mine NIB, went home, disassembled her, dried her out, put a dab of "Clover valve lapping compound" on the slide rails, reassembled, watched a movie while working the slide.

Viola! break-in complete without spending money on ammo.:thumb:

Just make double sure you THOUROGHLY clean all the Clover out when you are done, it is abrasive.
 

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First, Do not allow anyone who does not specialize in 1911's to do work on it.

Next, the mods you desire are very common. Wilson Combat, Cylinder & Slide, Novak's, and a few others have excellent reputations for making 1911's into comfortable shooting platforms. They also have decent turn around times. The top guys like Chuck Rogers, Bob Rogers, Heinie, Yam, Yost, Burton, Christiensen, and a slect few others are 1 to 5 years out.

However, some of them may not work on a Rock Island.

A beavertail grip safety and new hammer, sear, disconnect, trigger and thumb safety will be about $450-$600 depending on the trigger pull you desire. Lighter pulls demand precision made and precisely fitted parts by a skilled 1911-smith. Along with that, I would desire a complete reliability package performed on the gun with attention to the feed ramp, barrel throat, extractor, ejector, mag release, slide release and other internals, usually with replacement parts. That will be another $200-$350, depending on who does it.

That will get the gun into excellent working condition if you use good magazines, of which you need at least 6. $200 or so for those.

Refinishing (necessary after ejection port modification and beavertail fitting) is $100-$300. I would try to do this after completing all metalsmithing work on the gun.

From there, you can get into sights, accuracy work, barrel, mag wells and other stuff. Match grade barrels are $200-$500 dollars installed, bushing or not. Slide to frame fitting and lapping is another $80-$200.

You may be better off with buying a gun already built.


www.wilsoncombat.com
www.cylinder-slide.com
 

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First, Do not allow anyone who does not specialize in 1911's to do work on it.
2nd don't let any friends or family members disassemble or re-assemble your 1911.

Co-worker with 30 years firearms experience, from the gunshop I worked at, put an Idiot Mark on my Colt when I let him re-assemble my gun with his slide stop!!!!!
:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

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I just purchased an RIA 5" GI model, first off I love it, great gun so far. However I would like to put a Beaver tail, the proper hammer for that grip safety, and possibly a skeleton (upgraded trigger).

I'm new to smithing and the 1911 platform, so something drop in would be great, but I also understand that a true drop in may look gaudy.

Looking for some myth busting here and some sound advice, and pictures of other RIA's that have been upgraded.

Thanks!
How many rounds do you have thru it?
My suggestion when people want to start "upgrading" 1911's is to run it for awhile and figure out what it needs, versus what you "want" to do with it.

So, ask yourself, What will making these "upgrades" do to improve this pistol for you.
 
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