Poll - Rock Island 1911s

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by roboman, Jan 14, 2005.


Rock Island 1911s

  1. Their 1911s are every bit as good as the big guys

    27 vote(s)
  2. Their 1911s are good

    48 vote(s)
  3. Their 1911s are decent

    55 vote(s)
  4. Their 1911s are junk

    29 vote(s)
  1. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    what i mean by that is best answered by another question. How many 'newbies' do you know delve into a 1911 pattern by buying a $1200 pistol? I dont know any, personally, and im sure not one, in fact the first 1911 i bought was a llama mini max, the second was a springfield hi-cap, the third was a taurus PT-1911A1, which i gutted and rebuilt with top of the line parts, and im currently building a full custom 1911 in .460 rowland. My wife started with a RIA compact .45, which she still has because it is sufficient for her, I'm one that is always wanting more;) and to answer your question. Hmm, lets compare it to cars... say you have an all original,stock, 69 camaro SS, yes its nice, and it gets you around. but how many people do you know who have such a vehicle, that dont have thousands of dollars in chrome and custom performance parts under the hood. That my friend is the difference in an owner, and an enthusiast...
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  2. RonC1

    RonC1 New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    JLA: I don't mean to be argumentative. I asked the above question in all seriousness.

    I am not a connoisseur. I prefer revolvers. In semiautos, what I value is moderate accuracy and reliability, that is, it goes bang when I pull the trigger. (RIA fulfills this requirement for me.)

    What you have described is the shooter, not the gun. What do you get when you strip down to the frame and install all new parts. Is it strictly a pride of ownership or is there something more?

    By the way, I buy old cars, not antiques, and I drive 'em until the wheels fall off. As long as it runs, I am cool.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I pulled all the internals out of my Rock Island and installed after market parts. The quest was for a better trigger and better 45ACP performance.

    The trigger was replaced to get a shorter trigger reach as I have short fingers. Also it is a really light trigger, which minimises the mass of the trigger minimizing unwanted doubles (a second unplanned shot set off by the first shot...from too light of a trigger pull for the parts in the gun).

    The hammer and sear as a set were replaced for different engagement angle pieces that minimise the camming back of the hammer during the trigger pull. If the angles are too agressive (done that way by the manufacturer for maximum safety) then pulling the trigger causes your pull to have to work against the hammer spring rather than the sear/hammer engagement surfaces just having to overcome friction of sliding against each other. The hammer is also lighter to reduce the mass to make it accelerate faster on its way to the firing pin (reduced lock time).

    The grip safety was replaced with one that better protects the web of the hand from hammer bite. The new hammer actually burries itself into the beaver tail portion in the process. The grip safety also has a ridge on it that makes depressing it with the palm or web of the hand more positive and easier.

    The disconnector was replaced to get one made of tougher materials and to improve the reliablity of operation of the automatic mechanism.

    The combo trigger/ sear/ disconnector/ grip safety spring was replaced for one that separates the spring into seperate arms to acheive the optimum and individual spring pressures for each of those parts.

    The spring guide rod was replaced with a full length Dwyer Group Gripper that includes a heavy spring that helps to push the slide and barrel up to seat exactly the same with every shot. The full length guide rod portion better controls the spring and minimises the chances of the spring getting kinked frorm being heavily compressed under recoil. The barrrel bushing was replaced with one that had to be fitted to the slide and barrel in order to assure a tight fit which increases accuracy.

    For effect I replaced the front and rear sights with a full length rib with Bomar sights that replicates Bullseye guns of the 1950's.

    It was a project gun as a 45 and I actually bought the RI to get the frame to be able to mount a Marvel 22LR Conversion Unit No. 1, which became the most accurate 22LR pistol I own. The project part was the slide modification, as I never really intended to use those parts. In fact, I tried to sell them without success, so I made them into a project.


    This weekend my son-in-law, who has a completley stock RI exactly as mine came originally, and I went shooting with our RI's. We were shooting at cans and shotgun shells at closer ranges and even made some shots at 100 yds at targets of opportunity. He matched me shot for shot! RI's are by nature accurate guns! Neither of us suffered FTF or FTL or had any trouble with the guns at all. Each of us shot over 100 rounds.

    I have three other 45ACP guns: a SIG, a CZ and a EAA Witness. I also have a COLT Delta Elite in 10mm. I will gladly put the RI right next to any of them and brag on it or even my son-in-law's stock gun. The RI may not be as pretty but they flat work!

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  4. RonC1

    RonC1 New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Thank you, LDBennett. Best explanation I have seen.

    As a DA revolver guy, I doubt I would appreciate the mods you describe. At least now I feel that I can make a reasoned decision to that effect.
  5. DogRanger

    DogRanger New Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    From all I've seen and heard,they're a good gun for the money..
  6. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    My life is worth a lot and my Rock Island 1911 shoots & functions better than my Colt, which I sold. I do get just a little bit tired of all the Kimber snobbery. You don't need a $1,000 1911 to stay alive.

    These 1911's are made very well. While I admit the first ones were a little rough, they have improved greatly. Why do you guys rave so about the 70 series over the Colts produced today? Could it be a quality issue? :eek::D

    Same difference here except for RIA, the quality has improved.

    Kimbers ain't the Holy Grail. Sometimes, you get what you pay for and sometimes you just overpay.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  7. pzlehr

    pzlehr New Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    I am new here and new to both Kimber and Rock Island pistols. I wanted a 9mm in a 1911 platform and got a good deal on a Kimber Pro Carry II. This pistol is a 4". I also wanted a 38 super mostly to play with reloading and just plain to have something in that caliber without a big price tag since the Kimber cost a fair amt. Anyway, I cleaned them both and went to the range. I did not do a lot of shooting...just 10 shots each (I have a range at my home and the wife cut my session short to go out and eat). I shot at 10yds and 20 yds. The Kimber ejected the brass in a nice neat pile, was nic shooting but not all that accurate. I chalked it up to needing a break in since I have read where they mey need to be fired 500 times to break them in( awful lot of ammo to go through just to get a pistol to fire optimally). I fired the Rock Island 38 super and what a difference! Could only find 5 out of 10 brass, but what a tack driver! Easy shooting too. At 10 yds offhand I got 3 shots inside a quarter( I actually took a quarter and covered the holes) and 2 shots very close...total soread was 1 1/4"! The Kimber was about 3". I could have had 2 RIA for the price of the Kimber but at least the ammo is cheaper :)

  8. zoomworms

    zoomworms New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Hey guys I have a RIA and kimber and there is nothing wrong with the RIA.
  9. jrc45auto

    jrc45auto New Member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Got mine (full size) for $400 also.
    All I can say is grab it.
    Well made, very tight lockup, uses colt parts.
    No jamms, puts em in the same hole.
    I did do the trigger job, bobbed hammer, replaced sights with 1911A1 type.
    Cokobolo grips, and wilson front strap cover.
    It now feels & shoots just like my Colt comped red dot race gun.
    All this "how much is your life worth" crap from the kimber crowd is misleading.
    Any mechanical device can malfunction, even a Kimber for $1500.
    I ran 300 200gr SWC reloads thru it in one day without a single hitch.
    Win white box 230gr also works well.
    Excelent gun.
  10. neilin

    neilin New Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    Clinton, MO
    In my experience, the smaller than full size 1911's have not been as reliable in feeding, and there is more frequent parts breakage. The smaller versions are nice to look at, but not so nice to shoot and hit with. I would recommend carrying the full size 1911. It will stay tucked in the waist band better than the shorter barreled 1911's. My excitement for the small 1911's, including a couple of Commanders has been tempered and has me asking the question, "Why did I spend all that money on those cute downsized 1911's?"
  11. piranha

    piranha New Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    I´ve had mine for about a year now. It came in a .40sw caliber. I took it to a gunsmith in order to feed hollow point ammo. Even the manual said this. After, I am so happy, has never jammed, works perfectly
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