View Full Version : Anyone converted a RIA 1911 to 45 Super?

June 24, 2012, 11:01 PM
I have replaced my Rock Island Armory 1911 with a Smith & Wesson M&P45 as my 45 of choice so I'm looking into what to do with the 1911. The Rock Island isn't exactly a collector's item so at first I was going to sell it, but I don't really want to take a loss on a gun that I've only put around 100 rounds through. I've been reading up on converting it to 45 Super and have been seeing mixed reviews about whether or not the frame and slide of a Rock Island can hold up to the pounding it would take. Has anyone done this and if so, how does the gun hold up? Also, will the gun still be able to fire 45 ACP after all of the parts are changed or will I have feeding or ejecting problems? I have found plenty of information on what parts I need to get changed but if you have successfully done this what all did you do to your gun?

June 25, 2012, 10:18 AM
It is possible, but not very cost effective to do this IMO. In addition to a different barrel, bushing and magazines, you'll need a completely different slide, or machine-work at least, due to the fact that the case heads are very different in diameter. Only then would the extracter grab the case properly.

9mm to 38Super? - yes
45ACP to 38Super? - not practical

I don't have any experience with the 45Super so can't comment on how a RIA would hold up with that. I would suspect that changing it to a custom cartidge will probably NOT increase it's resale value at all.

June 25, 2012, 12:01 PM
What are you going to convert? The 45 Super is identical in dimensions to the 45 ACP. Only the pressure rating is much higher, and it's trying to make up of it with stronger brass.

June 25, 2012, 12:57 PM
The conversion that I am talking about is mostly for making the gun hold up to the increased pressure and recoil better. Changing springs, using recoil buffers, etc. I know I could just load 45 Super into the gun and it would fire, but I want to do everything that I can to better increase my chances of not having a catastrophic failure with this gun. I don't intend to fire 45 Super through it a lot, but I do want to be sure my gun can handle it. The main thing I'm worried about is the frame and slide. I've read some articles that say the metal is different in a RIA and doesn't hold up very well because of this.

June 25, 2012, 01:00 PM
Same as Maps,.45 super was just .45 Detonics brass loaded hot.Started out using S&W 645 and later 4506,and heavier springs.

June 25, 2012, 01:05 PM
No big deal to change from 45 ACP to 45 Super. You may need to put a barrel on the gun that has not had the chamber mouth/ramp opened up if yours has been. Also it may need heavier recoil spring and a square-bottom firing pin retainer.