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Old March 23, 2013, 04:16 AM   #1
Join Date: March 22, 2013
Location: Rio Grande Valley Texas
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A Question about RIA Compact 45

I'm a brand new member to and have a quick question. Has anyone on here had any experiences with RIA compact ? I have the full size and i love it. Does the compact have any issues with FTF or FTE for being such a small pistol ? I've heard that I'm looking into getting one as my newest CCW. Can anyone give any comments or recommendations, preferably from personal experiences but otherwise also. Thanks
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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Welcome to TFL, DeadEye1911!

As you can see, I moved your post into a thread all its own. I think you'll get more information this way.

With that said, I'm sure that compact RIA 1911s have been discussed before. I don't have time to run a search for you right now, but if you'll look in the bar that runs across the top of the page, you'll see a search button. Fiddle with that, and perhaps you'll find what you're looking for.

Fellow TFLers, I've been spending most of my time down in L&CR these days. If you happen to recall a good thread that will help DeadEye1911 out, would you be ever so kind as to post a link?
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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I got one a few years ago with the intention to to carry it as well. I haven't had any issues with mine. However, the gun is heavy and I have other lighter/higher cap options now. I'd highly recommend this gun though if you are dead set on carrying a 1911.

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Old March 23, 2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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Welcome, Deadeye.

The RIA Compact is essentially a knock-off of the old Colt Officer series, sans the firing pin block. I've been a police firearms instructor and armorer since the early 90's, when the Colt Officer was pretty popular among coppers in my area. They were good guns, but had a few quirks.

Chief among them was the recoil spring system, which used a delicate little plug. It would frag out and scatter in front of the gun. My solution to this was to install a reverse-plug system that bore against the entire recoil spring tunnel at the rear. These always came with a guide rod, which in this particular size of 1911 is a good thing.

I note that Rock Island Compacts come with their own version of this system. Any 1911 this size might require a little tweaking, but this is one less thing to go wrong. My experience with their other 1911's has been pretty good and I wouldn't be afraid to buy a RIA Compact.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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A 1911 was never meant to operate at less than 4.25"

A Commander is the smallest I'd go.
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Old March 23, 2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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My 3" Colt NA & 3" Kimber CDP have both been flawless since new.
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Old March 23, 2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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I purchased a RIA Officers model years ago and use it when I go hiking and camping etc., it is still working fine and I have had absolutely NO issues with it. My only gripe would be the takedown can be a bit annoying when I'm camping and don't have a pin or paperclip, and it is heavy compared to my other 1911's. But it is built tough and reliable...I trust my life to it.
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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I appreciate the advice guys. I've heard mixed reviews, but probably 90% or greater say that they run flawless, with the other 10% saying that a 1911 wasn't meant to be that small. I think it's worth the gamble, especially if the only problem i could ever foresee was to update a spring. Thanks guys.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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Keep in mind that a lot/most people who say their gun is flawless have done nothing more with it than shoot at a static range (not putting anyone down here).

The sub 4.25" 1911s tend to have problems more often than their bigger brothers, but that is not to say that some do not work correctly. I simply see these guns not working right in courses and IDPA matches where things are "slightly" more realistic (not a full grip, dirty, sweaty, etc), more often than not. Just make sure you test the crap out of it before you trust it with your life.
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