Rock Island Armory is a relatively unheard 1911 manufacture in the giant ocean of 1911 manufacturers. Rock Island Armory is based out of the Philippines and imported by Armscor in Nevada. They started building 1911 shortly after World War II ended.
As soon as I purchased the 1911 I immediately loaded up on White Box Special .45ACP and also purchased some Hornady Critical Duty Hollow Points to see if they would function in the pistol. In the first outing everything functioned flawlessly, the 1911 ate up ammo from the standard magazine that it came with as well as the Chip McCormick 10 round magazines I bought. The biggest complaint I had about the Rock Island Armory 1911 out of the box is that the grips are pretty wide. This has been a common complaint with the RIA 1911 from what I have found. Shooting flawlessly ended after that trip to the range, and I ended up having numerous Failure to Feed(FTF) issues with every time since then. Clearing the FTF’s is pretty simple, just rack the slide back and it will feed the next round, so it isn’t a hard malfunction to take care of. I have shot close to 1000 rounds ammo since I bought and the first 300 rounds were flawless the last 700 haven’t been so flawless. I have heard that polishing the feed ramp really helps alleviate the issue, or you can keep shooting it and eventually polish it by pushing a lot of lead out of the feed ramps. I am going to try the latter option and see if it will smooth out on its own before I send it out to be polished.
The only modification I have done to the 1911 is replace the wide standard wood grips with Magpul 1911 grips. These grips are a lot thinner and also feature a cutout on the left side of the grip to help with hitting the magazine release, slide release and safety.
I would recommend this pistol to someone who is looking at a cheap entry level 1911 or someone who wants WWII style 1911. Besides the FTF issue this has been a pretty solid 1911, and I am hoping that the FTF issue will be taken care of shortly and I will be providing updates the more I shoot it. For a $400 1911 I can not express enough how much I like the build quality of this pistol. The build quality is really good as well as all of the features, you can’t really tell this is a $400 1911. I would recommend replacing the standard grip on this firearm if you have less than big hands. I am really looking into buying a Rock Island Armory railed 1911, that is how much I like this pistol.
RIA 1911: http://www.impactguns.com/rock-island-armory-1911a1-8rd-54121.aspx
Magpul 1911 Grips: http://store.magpul.com/product/MAG524/39