View Full Version : Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Mil Spec

September 16, 2011, 03:43 AM

Looking to buy a 1911 on a limited budget (I'm retired) and this one keeps popping up for under $400. I'm working with a couple of KT PF-9 9mm's and mags as trade material and lowest possible cash output.


Is this as capable of adding upgrade parts (trigger, grips, sights, springs, etc.) as other 1911's?

It comes with an 8-round single stack magazine. Are these readily available as accessories? Will any 1911 8-round mag work in it?

Edit: My mistake. It's a 7 round mag, so it's a 7+1 deal. Still asking, are 7 round mags easily available?

How is the gun itself, stock? Minor Googling finds no major issues, but how do owners feel?

TIA for your help.

September 16, 2011, 04:55 AM
I am also retired and was looking for a low cost 1911. I came across a lightly used RIA 1911 for $350 locally with one 8-round mag, original hard case/documentation, and a nice Houge grip. I cleaned it and went to the range and was pleasently surprised, it functioned perfectly and was very accurate at 10 yards. I have also purchased 3 additional 8-rounds mags but have not had a chance to test them out at the range but any 1911 mag should work in the RIA as well as other 1911 upgrades as far as I know. I am not planning on any additional upgrades as I like my RIA just the was it is:


September 16, 2011, 05:25 AM

The grips look great. So is the MS a standard 8-round magazine? Or does it not matter, just get whatever fits a 1911?

Sorry, my first time thru this mill.

Enjoy the .45!

Shane Tuttle
September 16, 2011, 05:57 AM
I'm not a RIA owner. But I will attest to the numerous positive comments about it on this board. Very few have had problems with them and they're definitely a bang-for-the-buck 1911. Most aftermarket parts for 1911 variants should fit it just fine. Remember now, it's quite the utilitarian gun. It isn't what you'd call a competitor to the high end ones. It's a "truck gun" and it will most certainly serve you well.

September 16, 2011, 07:02 AM
My son got one for his first 1911 about 2 years ago and to say that I was dubious about it from the outset would be an understatement. However, it has been near flawless and that includes shooting several thousand rounds of our very "long in the tooth" brass that cannot possibly still be 100% to spec as it has been reloaded so much.

September 16, 2011, 08:14 AM

Not sure if the 8-round mag is standard but I noticed that Bud's Gunshop is selling them with an 8-round mag included:


September 16, 2011, 09:33 AM
They are excellant guns and yes you can upgrade to your hearts desires.
This is mine Rock 9mm.


September 16, 2011, 09:35 AM
I'm not a RIA owner. But I will attest to the numerous positive comments about it on this board. Very few have had problems with them and they're definitely a bang-for-the-buck 1911.
^This is consistent with what I've read. Also, their customer service is reportedly outstanding- leagues better than most other makers of inexpensive pistols except possibly Bersa.

However, one repeated complaint about the RIA pistols is that the quality of their included magazines is inconsistent; they sometimes require tweaking to work well. It has been surmised that RIA is acquiring magazines from different vendors. However, RIA owners report success using popular commonplace aftermarket 1911 mags, and since these mags are generally cheap and readily available, I don't consider the possibility of getting a crappy mag with the pistol to be a deal-killer. :)

September 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
I'll also echo what Shane Tuttle wrote. I don't own an RIA but I've mostly been shooting 1911s as of late and reading a lot about 1911s on the boards. The RIAs have a good reputation for reliability with excellent customer service if you need it.

September 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
Checkmate mag came with mine and has been 100% to date.

September 16, 2011, 10:10 AM
I purchased my additional 3 8-shot magazines at the link below, there are cheaper mags for 1911's but these are of high quality and came highly recommended:


September 16, 2011, 10:21 AM
I'm on my third ria, just bought a 1911-A1cs and i'm very happy with it.

September 16, 2011, 11:14 AM
Just stay away from the Turkish made Regent R100s. Total POS.

September 16, 2011, 03:21 PM
I'm a proud RIA owner myself but all of mine are 'tactical' models. IMO, the added features are well worth the extra $40. The basic tactical model can be had for $420.


But, if you're intent on a GI model I'm sure you won't be disappointed. To answer your questions, you can upgrade all the parts listed just like any other 1911. The one caveat I'll put out there is that the sights are a slightly different size than 'standard' 1911s but Fusion and Dawson both make low cost/high value replacement sights. If you have any questions about fit, Ivan at Armscor is great about answering emails ([email protected]). Also, I use Wilson 7 and 8 round magazines in all my RIAs with no issues and they are readily available.