Rock Island 1911 advice

Discussion in 'Manufacturers' started by quavodus, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. quavodus

    quavodus G&G Evangelist

    I just wondered if these guns are decent quality.
  2. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    Yes. They are among the best budget 1911s.
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  3. quavodus

    quavodus G&G Evangelist

    Ok, thanks. I'm considering a .45 in my future.
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  4. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    I know a couple people who have had good results with them.
    I did have a LGS owner tell me once that the internals will wear out quicker than major brands. I asked about what round count that would be. He shrugs his shoulders and nonchalantly says, mmm, maybe 30-40k.
    Okay boys and girls. I’ve been shooting 1911’s. 3 I’ve owned to be specific and don’t think I’ve reached more than 10-15k between the 3 of them inside 30+ years.
    Those with thick wallets or competitors may have different results.

    Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game
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  5. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

  6. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Paul knows!

    Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game
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  7. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The one gun shop I frequent is a Korean young man that works there. He owns several Rock Island 45's. He told me a few times he shoots competitions with them. He has done some trigger work he told me to them and also different sights.
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  8. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I own Rock Islands in 45 acp and I have built a few 1911s from parts. I use the Rock Island frames that I buy from Sarco. I also have bought the entire guns, the basic government model and used the frame and slide. I usually replace everything that moves on the gun with stainless steel, I like the look. I also like threaded barrels so I have replaced a couple of barrels on them. My most favorite is a Rock Island slide with a Colt Gold Cup upper, originally in 9mm, but I converted to 38 super. That gun shoots close to 1 inch at 25 yards. The Rock Island lower is perfect in all respects and fit the Colt upper just fine.

    I also have one I converted to 400 Corbon. The loads I shoot in it exceed the published ballistics of the 10mm, and approach 700 foot pounds of energy, twice what a 45 acp produces. It has the Rock Island Slide and lower. I see no wear issues at all and I shoot it hot as heck.

    Point is there is zero wrong with them in my view. If you just want a 1911 the basic gun is fine. But if you buy a 1911 to shoot a lot, I suggest get one of the models with the beaver tail grip and adjustable sights. Nobody on the market will beat the RI price. I have owned Colts and three other brands. If I were buying a 1911 today, based on all that I know having built a few from parts, I would either buy a Rock Island, one with the grips and sights I mentioned, or a similar stainless by Ruger. My opinion is that about 90% of what you pay for in a brand name 1911 is marketing hype, or perhaps some unique look or features, like fish scales or turkey tracks on the slide to help you grip it, LOL. My 2 cents.
  9. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Back in April, I got a real itch for a 1911 Commander in .45.

    The choice came down to a Rock Island or a Ruger SR1911c.

    Went with the Ruger, but mainly because of the finish- that stainless look is beautiful in a 1911.

    If Rock Island had a stainless Commander, I wouldn’t have looked anywhere else.

    They are quality at a great price. The Ultra FS line is hard to beat with all the extras that come standard.
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  10. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Totally agree. The Ruger is probably the only current production 1911 that has the plunger tube integral to the gun. For those that might not know the plunger tube is that tiny tube that holds the spring that controls the safety and the slide lock. On a 1911 it has a couple little pins on it that fit into holes on the frame. When the gun is made, you simply take a punch and peen them so they will not back out. The problem is, occasionally they come loose. It is very rare and usually not a problem because many guns, like the Rock Island has the grips that actually are cut out and placed over the plunger tube, so the grips hold it in place and you would never know unless you took the grips off, at which time it would fall out. It has happened often enough that Ruger used that as a selling point in designing and marketing their version of the 1911.

    Usually never a problem while shooting the gun unless you put on some custom grips that do not hold the tube in position. That is one of the reasons I prefer the Ruger, but then as you say, that is a mighty fine stainless look.

    These are part of the Ruger frame, created from a single block of steel, they are staked on other brands and can come off, please see the links for info.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  11. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Thanks for that insight. Didn't even know about that feature/benefit.

    Still waiting on the pistol, though. It's been on back order for months.
  12. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    If you read those links one of them mentions that Kimbers were having lots of them come loose. If you Google it you will see that both Colt and Kimber had a problem mostly with the aluminum frame guns. When I peen one, I probably hit it too hard, which could make them more likely to fail. Like I said, it is the aftermarket grips that usually are the problem because without the grip holding a loose one in place, it just falls off during firing.

    You will like the Ruger.
  13. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    When I was still shooting for the Navy our team Captain decided to attempt to get a special buy on 1911s. He had a design worked up for a bit of custom engraving. A lot of our shooters were junior enlisted and it was decided we needed to seek out a pistol that even an E3 could afford, but was compliant with CMP regulations. He ultimately got what he was looking for from Rock Island. They agreed to do the pistols for $380. I didn't order one because I discharged in the middle of the year. Probably a mistake. That was 2014.
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  14. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Feel your pain, sir.

    Maybe three years ago, Sportsman's Warehouse had the RIA 45 Ultra FS for $400.00. They sold them fast. I wish I'd gotten one then, too.
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  15. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

    Bad timing. UGH!!
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  16. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    Our son has one, a plain ol' Rock Island 1911 .45 that he's had since 2008. It had a nice trigger from the start and has only gotten better with extensive use. The pistol will feed anything without alteration. He's shot the livin' hooey out of it. It's been subjected to hard use. He's required to go armed with his job so practices regularly. We were just out last Sunday while he was down and went to my local club range and he burned a couple boxes through it.

    He's got a nice Colt Government Model .45 purchased new in 2014. He chooses to tote the Rock Island for "serious" though.

    As a dyed-in-the-wool 1911 fan of the Colt persuasion, and only the Colt persuasion, his dad is so ashamed.
  17. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    This might be my favorite set of exchanges on here, ever. Simple Question. Simple answer. Thanks for the answer.
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