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Porch Captain
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my compact RIA 1911 for about a year now. Once I broke it in, it has been completely reliable and I trust it to function when I need it to. It's my house gun now, and I've installed Crimson Trace grips since night sights were not a good option. I love the gun, it's accurate and actually has a great trigger. Lately though, I've been considering whether it's a good long term choice due to the cast steel slide and frame. I've thought about selling it and taking the proceeds (probably around $600 from gun and CT grips) to purchase something else. Not looking for input on a different caliber or type of pistol, since I love the 1911 platform.
Is this a valid concern, and if so do ya'll have any suggestions?
 

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I bought my Rock Island GI 5" back in December of 2004.
Lost track of round count a long time ago. 6 years later it's still as reliable as the day I bought and still one of my favorites.

If I were you I'd sell those grips and use the money towards purchasing another 1911. It's wrong to only own one and you will regrett selling this one.
 

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The biggest complaint I have on the 1911 series is something very modern. Most modern designs aren't very resistent to dirt and grime, unlike the older ones, and the Rock Island is made with looser standards then most other 1911 clones. I also hear they are made on the same machines that pumped out the original colt mills.

To be frank 1911s are a picky species of firearms. People will rave about kimbers, which were great guns. However the more recent kimbers have had cracks in the slide near the extractors. It's all about quality control etc, and frankly if you treat your 1911 right and understand the mechanics I can't see why a Rock Island wouldn't cover you.
 

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Dangerous Old Man
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No need to worry about the "cast" parts.
I've had forged parts fail.

I have a Llama .45 that has well over 10,000 rounds through her. After I polished the feed ramp, I have had no problems.

I have a RIA .45 with about 1,000 down the pipe without a single hiccup.

I had a Kimber.....I'll get flamed if I post my opinion on those overpriced paperweights.


Chances are, you will not be loading anything in that gun that will do any damage( if you don't reload).
The heat treatment on the slides is top-notch.

Now, I HAVE seen forged material get improper heat treatment which resulted in catastrophic failure.


Just because one is "cast" and the other is "forged" does not make one better than the other.

Look at company reputation, customer service, fit, feel, affordability, and most importantly.....can YOU make it work for YOU.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with keeping your RIA. Those people in the Philippines know how to make a 1911. I believe there are three big companies that offer them and all are solid pistols.

I never owned an RIA, but I am tempted to purchase their "tactical' model since I like novak sights.
 

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Garbage Collector
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As long as it's USGI spec'd it's fine, when you get into the match or race guns with the super tight tolerances then you have problems.

Buy you some spare parts kits, have enough parts to rebuild the frame a couple of times and extra springs.
 

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I'm thinking about buying one of them myself in the not too distant future...glad to hear people are having good experiences with them. That 8+1 capacity is a great comfort compared to my six shooter for carry, and I can't beat the 1911 for fitting my hand.
 

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Porch Captain
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses. I'm feeling a little better about keeping my Rock now. Never really wanted to part with it.

I am tempted to sell the laser grips, since I don't like'em that much, but I've been told that replacing the stock sights with night sights can be more trouble than it's worth. Since it's my house gun, I need something for low/no light situations since the GI sights are, well, GI sights.

Also, can I buy a parts kit that would have everything I'd need, or would I have to piece it together? The RIA's are USGI spec, as far as I know, but my compact has the bull barrel.
 

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Garbage Collector
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There are parts kits out there for the frame that are complete, just look around.
DPMS makes kits, as does other places.

It may be that you want to piece your own parts kit together.
 
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I have an STI Spartan, which is esentially a Phillipino gun. Shoots better than I can. Absolutely reliable feeding and extraction no matter what I feed it. Also have a Para GI expert in stainless for my carry gun. 1911 pattern guns are great defensive pistols as long as you can shoot it.
 

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I'm currently running 2 Springfields, a Kimber, as well as a Colt Gold Cup in the 1911 platform. I'm seriously thinking about going with a couple of Rock Island Armory weapons because of all of the good things I've heard about them. I would like to get both a 9 MM, and a.45 ACP. Thanks for the good review! Bill T.
 

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Experiment 626
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Another one here with an RIA G.I. spec and I have never had a single failure. Buy a few spare parts like springs and firing pin and keep it.
 

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I'd keep the Rock. Modern casting of 1911's are holding up just fine.

I have 2 Rocks a GI model and a compact tactical. No issues with either one. They make great 1911's for the $$.
 

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The biggest complaint I have on the 1911 series is something very modern. Most modern designs aren't very resistent to dirt and grime, unlike the older ones, and the Rock Island is made with looser standards then most other 1911 clones. I also hear they are made on the same machines that pumped out the original colt mills.

To be frank S are a picky species of firearms. People will rave about kimbers, which were great guns. However the more recent kimbers have had cracks in the slide near the extractors. It's all about quality control etc, and frankly if you treat your 1911 right and understand the mechanics I can't see why a Rock Island wouldn't cover you.
I don't want to be disrespectful here but you are definitely wrong about 1911s being picky. Probably one of the least picky pistols ever built. I've owned numerous 1911s for 50 years or so and have never had a more reliable semi auto pistol!!
 

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I don't want to be disrespectful here but you are definitely wrong about 1911s being picky. Probably one of the least picky pistols ever built. I've owned numerous 1911s for 50 years or so and have never had a more reliable semi auto pistol!!
Yeah well I have seen a lot hit the dirt and choke up as well. Frankly the modern ones I have seen to include Kimbers with cracked slides, colts choking on sand my experience isn't the same. The older looser ones I kinda agree, but they haven't been that way in MY experience.
 

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Porch Captain
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One of the things I like about my Rock is that it isn't so loose that stuff rattles when I pick it up, but with any little bit of lube it will run even when pretty dirty. It's getting even better every time I shoot it so far, just need to get the reloading set up so I can take it out more. One thing I will criticize is the magazine that came with it. Don't like the follower and it will fail to feed once or twice in a box. Bought two CMC mags and they run flawlessly.
 
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