Starter 1911 at a reasonable price, RIA hi-cap?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by jlloyd73, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 Active Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    My brother has a Springfield 1911 Night 45 and I love his gun. I really love the fact that it isn't a polymer framed gun and you can put real grips on it rather than some slip on version of a grip.

    I want to start at around $400-$500 and do modifications a little at a time.

    I have been looking at the Rock Island Armory guns. I have been reading reviews and looking at guns online the past few days. Most everyone has been agreeing that the RIA guns are good starter 1911s that modifications can be done to, but most are saying to go ahead and buy one of the tactical versions because it already comes with a few modifications without going through the money or time of doing it yourself. My problem is that I like hi-capacity guns so i am running into one very small snag (I was looking to get a FNP-45 but I didn't like the way the gun felt or took me months to find one in a gunstore, its impossible to really tell online).

    First.. do I really need to be concerned about getting a hi-cap 1911 or do you expert 1911 guys think I don't need to worry about it.

    Next.. there aren't too many comments on the hi-cap version and as far as I can tell it is a basic RIA 1911 just hi-cap.

    Main thing.... I am not familiar with the 1911 platform so, I am not sure if buying the hi-cap version will limit my choices of modifications (grip size must be larger does that change any of the internals?) or am I still going to be able to choose from all the 1911 modifications? (which brings me to my biggest concern...can the front blade sight on the basic model be changed out easily or is it something that cannot be altered without major gunsmith work?)

    Help me please focus my search a little better guys. As always thanks.
  2. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    Your first 1911 should be a regular single-stack in my opinion. As for as that goes, I personally think hi-cap 1911s or 2011s are best used in the competition area. There will be a lot of parts for regular 1911s that will not work on a hi-cap.

    As for your front sight, odds are that it's something that a gunsmith will need to address.

  3. turbodiesel97

    turbodiesel97 New Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    most of the time you need to do some smith work on the sights, novak's are great and of course are everywhere.
  4. You can't go wrong with Springfield's' Mil Spec. It's got a few "upgrades" to JMBs' original GI version, but I think he'd approve. Better sights (he was pretty skimpy with his sights), opened and flared ejection port and a stainless barrel and barrel bushing. It's forged steel, made in the US, whereas the RIA is cast and made in the Philippines. Lifetime guarantee, excellent customer service and, most importantly, reliable. I prefer the military version of the 1911. I don't go for the skeletal triggers and hammers, and really don't care for beaver tails. They are a solution to a non problem. I want the pistol that fought in the trenches, hit the beaches, worked in the frozen wastes of Korea and the jungles of Viet Nam. It was good enough for our armed forces for 70 years. I put my life on it. Great gun as is and they have more fancy models if you're into that. Buy US. TJ
  5. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I would suggest the Rock Island Armory guns, Citadel, the Springfield Mil-Spec...
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    The armscorp guns (rock island, STI spartan, etc...) are great starters. I also agree you would be best served by a single stack. It is the way JMB intended it and is the way it functions best. I used to have a HI CAP springfield and it felt like holding the wrong end of a baseball bat, not to mention it held 5 pounds of ammo, which makes one hell of a cumbersome carry gun.

    Go single stack Rock island mil spec if you plan on doing all mods yourself, if you desire good sights right off the bat, get a rock island with a set of 3 dot dovetail sights. either of these pistols will run you about 5 bills. For a couple of hundred extra bucks though, you could get a springfield loaded and be hard pressed to find a part that needs upgrading, or an STI spartan and have a IPSC ready gun right out fo the box 'hot sights' and all, in 9mm or .45ACP...

    Thats what I love about 1911s, the choices are endless...

    I have a 1st run Taurus pt1911 that has over $500 worth of parts I have fitted to it. BTW, the Taurus PT1911s are great starters of the series 80 design. And I have a full custom built on an essex frame and slide from the ground up that I have over $1000 bucks in, I hand fit and finished the pistol myself, and it shoots the mighty .460 rowland.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I have a Rock Island 1911 that is listed as a Hi-cap. I think what they consider high capacity is a 10 round magazine sticking out of the grip. It came with the wrap around grips and that long magazine on the left, that is their Hi-Cap magazine. :D :D
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  8. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Don't get too cheap. You will only end up frustrated with something lacking reliability. You want reliability first and foremost followed by accuracy and the ability to fire all types of rounds, FMJ, SWC, etc. You want something that does this right out of the box without having to break it in by buying and shooting a case of expensive .45 ammo, or paying an expensive gunsmith to do all the things the factory should have done before they shipped the firearm to the dealer. My feeling is that after say 25,000 rounds you might want to have the gunsmith do a checkup and oil change, the easy stuff like routine cleaning you can do.

    My recommendation is to get the "improved" Browning designed 1911 that the pros use.

    The price is not that far out of line. It comes in various trigger styles, SA, DA, DA/SA, etc. It comes in different sizes if you want to carry it. It has a recoil reducing system that makes it very smooth to shoot. You can load 11 or 13 rounds using 10 and 12 round magazines.

    It is an improved version of the original Browning 1911 linking system.

    Because it is usually distributed only to the higher end high volume gunstores, and to various law enforcement departments and military agencies, it isn't as well known to many in the general public which is sad, IMHO. This pistol is very easy to field strip and clean.

    I like the fact that right out of the box mine went boom every time I pulled the trigger for as long as there were rounds in the magazine, and shooting all types of ammo. How many other 1911's can say that?

    But, what do I know?
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  9. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    " I like the fact that right out of the box mine went boom every time I pulled the trigger for as long as there were rounds in the magazine, and shooting all types of ammo. How many other 1911's can say that? "

    I'll answer your question as to how many 1911's can go bang when you pull the trigger. All of mine do and always have. I don't know how anyone who completely understands the 1911 could have a problem with them. Most 1911 problems are mag related. Some lower priced 1911's come with cheap mags to save costs. I usually dump them for good mags, so, no problems.

    If the OP wants a 1911, why would you suggest an H&K USP .45 as it's a completely different animal ?? :confused: :)
  10. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    I would recommend the American Classic models. The ones I have seen have a superior fit and finish compared to the Armscor guns I've owned in the past. The American
    Classic guns are imported by the same company that imports Bersa guns, so they use any warranty centers that the Bersa guns use. Gives you more choices compared to having to send an Armscor gun back to only one place and have to worry about the language barrier involved. And I'm seeing more and more customer service complaints with Armscor. It seems that their infrastructure hasn't kept up with the sales of their guns and things are starting to fall through the cracks. Granted there are plenty of people who have been happy with their guns and the service, but my experience is that I will never own another Armscor 1911. Especially given the multiple other comparable choices in the same price range.
  11. TheLazarusman2

    TheLazarusman2 New Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    This is going to be my first handgun, and I want american made. Many of my friends, including a few ex-military ones, have said that the RIA Single Stack 45 ACP would be a good gun for me. You're the first person I've seen who had something derogatory to say about the Armscor 1911. I can't afford to spend alot of money on my first gun; so, if you don't like the Armscor 1911 which one do you suggest?
  12. TheLazarusman2

    TheLazarusman2 New Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Obviously I know the Armscor is made in the Philippines; so what's a good, inexpensive, starter 1911?
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  13. jh45gun

    jh45gun Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Don't let the Philippines scare ya off the US has had a relationship with them for a long time. The Rock Island guns are well thought of I would get Tactical model but good luck seems like every one is out of them. I got lucky I got one coming should be here early next week. I went with the Tactical for the sights and the extended beaver tail and the skeletal trigger and hammer. Upgrades for only a few more bucks over the standard Gov model. Lots of folks like the Rock Island guns which is why I bought one good price and a lot of satisfied customers and good reviews.
  14. jh45gun

    jh45gun Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Olympus I have done a thorough search and I find very few complaints on Rock Island guns and they have a life time warranty if something does go wrong. Which is why I just bought one. I am sure they have places in the US to send them to with out going to the factory for repair. Furthermore it is a 1911 just about anyone can strip them and put in aftermarket parts if you so desire.
  15. NGIB

    NGIB Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Sumter SC
    Nothing at all wrong with the PI built 1911s. I've owned a number of them and they all ran well. There are differences in the fit & finish but for the most part they are all solid well built guns. The only PI gun I have at the moment is an American Classic Commander and it is put together extremely well and it looks & shoots great. I have Colts, Kimbers, and Springers also - I like 1911s regardless of who makes them...

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