More on Rock Island 1911

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by LDBennett, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    As per previous posts I bought a Rock Island (Armscor-Philippines) 1911 for the frame as CA does not allow frame only sales. The frame was to go under my Marvel Precision Unit One 22 conversion.I modified the frame with all new internal race parts with great sucess but was left with a 45ACP slide and barrel. I was going to sell it and got two contacts with promisses to buy but no follow through by the "buyers". So I made a project out of it to get to a 45ACP upper (cost was not considered and I bought only the best for the internals in the frame and slide parts).

    I replaced the barrel bushing with a match bushing that I fitted. I installed a BOMAR bullseye style rib, replaced the recoil spring with a Wolf 18.5 pounder, and used a Group Gripper recoil guide that includes a new link which pushes up on the barrel to assure it seats into the slide precisely the same every time.

    The last range session off the bench at 50 feet and open sights had the gun shooting pretty well with one problem left: First shot two inches above the rest of the group. I think I traced that to using the rubber buffer pads that keep the slide from unlatching when pulling it to the rear (slide was not allowed to travel far enough for the cut in the slide to cam the slide stop out of the slide cut and the slide was not getting exactly the same travel as in the other 7 shots). Any way if you discount the first shot problem which I think I fixed by removing the rubber buffer (not really necessary with an 18.5# recoil spring!) the accuracy was really quite good for a bottom feeder 1911 (slightly modified with bolt on parts).

    I shot five magazines of five shots each from the bench, open BOMAR sights (superb sights, by the way), at 50 feet into one target. I got a spray of five shots about 2 inches above the bull (first shot from each magazine) and 20 shots that removed the target's center inside about one inch. The next session will prove if I got it finally right. It is really quite good enough, actually.

    The key to the added accuracy is the fitted bushing and the Group Gripper. All the other stuff makes shooting it good easier. The reliability was perfect.

    The RI 1911, while not a pure "MIL SPEC" 1911, frame, slide and barrel are all good enough to make it a shooter. Common 1911 race parts can be fitted (by a gunsmith or home gun tinkerer) to make it a shooter.

  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Run that gun on Federal 185's, or a 200Gr hard cast, and well sorted, SWC, and tell us again: Count the rounds, change mags, so as to have only the firdt round "hand cycled", into the pistol, and I'll bet you can leave black, all aroung a 'ragged hole', at the center of the bull!
    As a point of information,the 1/6, or, in your case, 1/7 grouping, is a common phenomenon with 1911's.
    If you 'shoot dry', as you have described, pull the slide fully to the rear, alowin a fresh mag to release the slide stop, simply release, not 'ease down', the slide, and the 'first round out' phenomena will likely be reduced!
    I'll bet, with these changes, it is even a better pistol than you described!
    Confessions of an old .45 shooter.
    All the best, Terry
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    The Group Gripper in this gun with a rubber recoil buffer did not allow the first shot feeding to be the same as all the others. Those parts kept the slide from being able to be dropped by just grabbing it and releasing it so that it operated as it would for the other subsequent rounds. You had to pull the slide back and release with the slide catch lever and the release was not clean. I have since (not yet tested) removed the buffer and you can now pull the slide off the catch and it releases without fiddling with the catch lever...more like the subsequent rounds. The buffer is superfluous as I have upper the recoil spring force so that battering of the frame is probably minimal anyway. Currently I have only one magazine but I wil attempt to get another at the gun show Saturday.

    The accuracy is actually superb and remember this is a bottom of the line Philippines made clone 1911. This 45ACP exercise was not planned as I bought the gun for the frame to use with my Marvel Precision 22LR conversion unit. I only intended to put aside the remaining parts and not use them but when I thought about another project I decided to make a Bullseye look alike out of the parts. I really didn't need another 45ACP as I already have three others: a Sig, a Witness, and a CZ 97B as well as a 10mm Colt Detla Elite. This was just a project but it turned out great.

    I have always said that a match fitted barrel bushing and a Group Gripper can increase the accuracy significantly (based on my experiences with the Colt it was a 30% group size reduction) and I was right. It does take a stronger recoil spring to get the Group Gripper to work correctly, at least in this gun. These RI guns don't shoot that well out of the box (sufficient, just not great) as my son-in-law's proved. For a few extra dollars they can shoot much, much better!

    Still got more to shake out (new mag and first round flyer) but I think the project was a success!

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