RIA (not to be confused with Rock River Arms which is a top notch company) is of the lower end of quality though does not appear to be really terrible. I have heard of variable quality control with them which is why I place them towards the bottom half rather than closer to the middle of the pack. Frames are cast in the Phillipines the last I heard but as with everything, the design specs and how tough the QC is a large factor in determining the quality. As a comparison, the old Norinco 1911s seem to have had a better reputation as there were a number of "custom" upgrading of these pistols for the various competition disciplies; I have heard of no such playing with the RIAs. For use by the typical shooter, I would expect them to be OK, especially with regular spring replacement to help protect the frame against wear, but are not something I would really trust for serious or strenuous work. Those I have handled seemed to be missing a certain undefined feel which did not help. For what they cost, I would either save a bit more and go with a base Springfield if I had to have a 1911 model or look to another model totally, something like a Ruger or used Glock.
I have a Rock Island and after a couple jams in the first hundred rounds a couple in the second cause by me not putting enough oil(read any whatsoever) on the rails it has gone 200 rounds without any problems. They seem to have excellent customer service and the service rep is very easy to contact.
Not really interesting in competition shooting. I'm looking for a gun that'll work well for both target practice, about 50 rounds for the occasional outing, and suitable for self-defense with expanding hollowpoint rounds.
If I can't obtain anything else, for whatever reason that would make things as such, would a Rock Island Armory 1911 work for this?
I think the Springfield Armory 1911's are a better buy than the Colts. The quality is there, the options are plenty and they are affordable enough to own. Colt 1911's may have better resale value but if you intend to keep it then you just end up paying more than you need to. Resale value isn't any good unless you sell it. :wink:
Regarding the original question I have heard many good things about the RIA guns. For a plinker or utility 1911 they should work just fine.
I have owned a few Rock Island 1911's,and 2 of them are the only 1911's I own now. I have been shooting 1911's for nearly 40 years, and I have not had any problems at all with any pistol made by Armscor (Rock Island, Charles Daly).
I recommend this site: www.forum.m1911.org/index.php?
it is filled with 1911-specific information. There are separate forums for different makes of 1911, and I believe you will be impressed with the Rock Island forum. There are also several tests of Armscor-made 1911's, which turned out to be amont the most reliable and accurate pistols EVER TESTED by 1911.org.
I carry my "cheap" Armscor 1911's frequently, and they are very reliable and accurate.