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RIA 1911 .45 - does anyone here own one?


Pablo
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I have a FireStorm Gov DLX (aka American Classic II) which is also made in the Phillipines. It's got all the bells and whistles that you would order on a high-end 1911 (like an Ed Brown). The Rock Island 1911s tend to be mil-spec, park'd models.

If you want adjustable sights, adjustable trigger, and other goodies, you should consider the American Classic II:

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I don't own one but the folks I shoot with down in the country have several. All of their RIAs will shoot with most any Colt Match and they definitely will shoot with my $1500.00 Kimber. Bad part is the RIAs have a better trigger than my match Kimber but they do require a break in. I've had a RIA Longslide on order for about a year now and if it's any where near as good as the folks down on the country RIAs, I'll feel like I've screwed somebody- yeah, they really are that good. I think they are the deal of the day when you can find one. The CEO frequents the 1911 forums a lot and will answer any issues you might have.

http://forum.m1911.org/forums.php

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Just taking a quick glance at them, it looks like you are looking at 1911s in the mid $400s or a little more.

Taking an equally quick glance at Gunbroker, I see Springfield GIs in the low $500s. Bud's Gun Shop is out of stock on GIs, but they were $514 when they had them.

I would, without hesitation, spend the extra $50-75 and get a Springfield. Maybe neither the RIA or American Classic are complete unknown quantities, but in comparison to SA, they might as well be.

Or, put another way, while you may not see anything to make the Springfield worth the extra 50-75, I don't see enough savings to get one of the others. If I'm going to do something like that, the difference needs to be a lot more significant than the sales tax and a box of ammo.

Yes, I'm comparing SA's basic model with their gun that has extra "features".

Ignore the "extras" and focus on the basic gun. Yes, one may have some more "features" than the bone-stock Springfield, but are the extras actually good things?

For example, look at just two of them-

The Novak-"style" sights: Do they use a standard dovetail cut? If they don't fit tightly in the dovetail and need replaced, they need to be a standard size. If they aren't, even by a little, your savings will be quickly forgotten by the resulting aggravation.

When you sight over them, the sight picture shouldn't be much different than that of the SA GI sights, which are bigger and bolder than actual GI sights. Not enough difference to be worth the dovetail risk to me, that's for sure.

Extended slide stop: I won't beat around the bush here. This is not a plus, but a negative. I doubt it will make your mag changes any faster, but will bite you in other ways. If it did make mag changes faster, you would see them on the guns of top IPSC shooters...and you don't. You did for a brief time, but not since about 1975, and even then not by the best shooters.

What they will do is provide more surface area to contact by accident while shooting, locking the slide open in mid-magazine. Maybe you won't carry this gun to save your skin, but in a range gun this would get too annoying about the second time it happened.

And, if you "ride" the thumb safety by locking your thumb over the top of it (as most schools teach) you stand a good chance of your thumb touching it or bumping it on recoil and causing the opposite- keeping it from locking open when empty. Maybe not as potentially dangerous as inadvertently locking open in a carry gun, but almost as annoying in a range gun.

Yeah, I hate the things personally, but if you want to see someone who really hates them, talk to firearms instructors. It's hard enough to track down malfunctions sometimes, without wondering if the shooter's own thumb is causing it.

Look past the "extras".

I like SAs OK, but I'm not in love with them so much I come running to wave the SA flag when 1911s come up. I just don't see a reason to get something else in that ballpark price range.

Maybe it makes me a 1911 Snob to prefer the Springfield at $50 more, but so be it. When the FBI's SWAT teams and Rob Leatham trade their SAs for Phillipine 1911s to save $50, I'll reconsider.

Other than that, I have no opinion. smile

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True. I wouldn't mind the Parkerized finish - but are the RIA guns lousy phosphate finish?

I wasn't too impressed with the RIA finish on the gun I looked at. It was green-gray and extremely rough. When the guy in the shop broke out the blued FireStorm/American Classic, I knew that was the one I wanted.

http://www.gunblast.com/Firestorm-1911Deluxe.htm

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Originally Posted By: Pablo

Assembled in USA.

In doing some research, there appear to be conflicting reports. Some say the Springfield 1911s are assembled in the US from parts made elsewhere (primarily Brazil), others say the entire gun is made and assembled in Brazil.

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The Novak-"style" sights: Do they use a standard dovetail cut? If they don't fit tightly in the dovetail and need replaced, they need to be a standard size. If they aren't, even by a little, your savings will be quickly forgotten by the resulting aggravation.
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Originally Posted By: BarryinIN
The Novak-"style" sights: Do they use a standard dovetail cut? If they don't fit tightly in the dovetail and need replaced, they need to be a standard size. If they aren't, even by a little, your savings will be quickly forgotten by the resulting aggravation.

Why would one need to replace a sight? Anyway, the Novak style sights on the RIA Tactical look substantially similar to the actual Novak sights on my HK USP .45 except, of course, they don't say "Novak" on them. I can't say for certain because the HK is at my secondary residence and I haven't seen it for a few months, but worrying about replacement of the sights seems an odd reason to avoid an RIA, imo.

Originally Posted By: BarryinIN
Extended slide stop: I won't beat around the bush here. This is not a plus, but a negative.

???? My RIA Tactical slide release / stop looks about the same as my Colt WW1 Replica 1911. Don't recall what it looks like on the little RIA - it's also at my secondary residence. Again, this strikes me as a non issue.

I'm not a 1911 sophisticate - just a happy RIA owner.

Why would one replace the rear sight? I already gave one reason and you quoted it, but I'll cut and paste it here:

If they don't fit tightly in the dovetail and need replaced, they need to be a standard size. If they aren't, even by a little, your savings will be quickly forgotten by the resulting aggravation.

When manufacturers make something other than standard sights, I worry, and it's not without reason. If they have a GI-type sight and get it a little oversize, you can save it by going to a sight that uses a larger DT. If they start with a larger sight using a larger DT, and get that cut oversize, you might not have anything to work with.

Here is another reason. I'm not saying they have, but they wouldn't be the first to put on a different rear sight for the sake of it looking cool while getting the height wrong. If the sight uses a Novak or Wilson cut, you can replace it easily. If it uses something else, you might be stuck.

Can't happen much? Go to any 1911 site and run a search on these words: Springfield shoots low

Especially look for posts from six or eight years ago. A lot of the SA Loadeds that have non-Novak-made Novaks have a rear sight that is too low (I think by about .050"). Luckily, they used a standard Novak cut, so it is easily replaced...after spending $35 and up for another sight. The alternative is going to a lower front sight, but that might be getting a bit lower than most like.

If they had used a non-standard cut, things would have been a lot more serious.

I'm not saying the Novak-esque sights on the above pictured American Classic will have any of these problems. I don't have any way of knowing.

But I'd want to make sure I could get a sight that can correct them if it did.

Odd reason to question it? I don't think so at all.

About the extended slide stop:

That is definitely an extended slide stop on the gun in the picture above.

I won't repeat it all again, but very little good can come from them (probably no good) in return for plenty of bad. The one pictured above puts the tip of the slide stop in a good place for the firing hand thumb to contact it and either lock it open when you don't want it to, or keep it from locking open when you do.

But my point was: Question things pushed as "features". They are often "featured" in the trash can later.

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Clearly the pistol pictured above has an extended slide stop, but it's not an RIA branded weapon. Some RIA's may have that release but my tactical does not. I don't think the compact RIA does, but it's been several months since I've seen mine. I keep the tactical in my safe at the office, so I'm certain it has a standard slide release.

There are no issues with the sight dovetails on my tactical, nor do I expect any. there may be some RIA's somewhere that have that issue, but It would be low on my list of things to worry about.

I don't buy guns mail order, so I don't worry about things a pre purchase once over would reveal.

There are legitimate things to gripe about RIA's. The factory wood grips truly blow and need to be replaced right away. Parkerized guns are not all that attractive. The RIA is not as nice as a $1k plus Colt, and I can't imagine anyone would expect that it would be.

But the RIA's do shoot good. A person does not have to spend a grand to get a good working, accurate, 1911. I don't know anything about the other budget 1911's, I just have the RIA's and the Colt.

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