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Thread: Long-term problems with a RIA GI model 1911

  1. #11
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
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    I believe Rock Island firearms have a lifetime warranty.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    Rick the Librarian (3rd August 2018)


  2. #12
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    23rd May 2010
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    After taking my RIA for another session at the range, I do believe it is the RIA barrel that is at fault. I installed a 1943 High Standard barrel I'd (temporarily) taken off a Remington-Rand. Using ammunition of four types ( factory 230 grain FMJ, 230 FMJ reloads, 230 grain cast ball reloads and 200 grain SWCs), I fired 41 rounds with only one minor stoppage with one of the 230 cast ball rounds (it was slightly out of battery - pushed the back of the slide with my thumb, which allowed me to fire it). No major "frozen slide" stoppages like I reported with the RIA barrel.

    about 25 rounds "in" I switched barrels to another spare barrel which worked well with the remaining 15 rounds of three kinds.

    I will contact Rock Island soon to see if they can do something about the errant barrel. In the meantime, I'll continue to use the spare barrel.
    Last edited by Rick the Librarian; 4th August 2018 at 00:18.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    31st July 2005
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    Never have I had any issues with my GI RIA as described above with its original RIA barrel. I just decided to change the barrel to a Norinco I believe it's chrome lined.

  4. #14
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    23rd May 2010
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    I'm not suggesting that ALL Rock Island barrels have this problem - or even most; but circumstantial evidence and testing seem to suggest that mine does. Probably just "one off". I'm going to continue to try out the pistol with the replacement barrel.

    Over the years, I did try several suggested "fixes", including a Wolf 16# spring, polishing the feed ramp and other ideas. I admit, if Rock Island says to long a time has passed or it would take too much money to send the pistol back for evaluation, I'll just let it go, if the barrel was the problem. Just the fact that I polished the feed ramp or used handloads, may invalidate the warranty.

    If the barrel is indeed the problem, I'll probably look for another "permanent" barrel, but, with a $350 pistol, obviously don't want to spend too much on the barrel - just one that works and is reasonably accurate.
    Last edited by Rick the Librarian; 4th August 2018 at 09:21.


  5. #15
    Join Date
    25th September 2011
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    If you slowly hand-cycle the slide do you detect any hesitation when the slide goes into battery? If not, then I would suspect the barrel chamber needs attention.

  6. #16
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    If the barrel is the problem (which may be confirmed if a substitute barrel solves it), Armscor might take your word for it and just send you a barrel, or they might have you just send them the barrel for an exchange.

    Do you have a bore light? Since you have three barrels available, it would be interesting to look at each one from the chamber end to see if there's a visible difference in the amount of leade, or freebore. You should be able to see it. Another option would be to buy some Cerrosafe from Brownells and to make casts of all three chambers for comparison.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  7. #17
    Join Date
    23rd May 2010
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    That is what I proposed in my contact with Armscor - just a simple barrel replacement or exchange. If they decline, after 8 years, I'm not going to press the issue.

    I have a friend/relative who knows a lot about 1911s and we plan on going over the RIA barrel as well as the other two to see if there is any difference, including the areas you mentioned.

    Pyrenean: When we have gone over the pistol with the RIA barrel installed, we don't notice any "hesitation" when the slide is worked empty.

  8. #18
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    25th September 2011
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    Good news on the lack of hesitation.

  9. #19
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    23rd May 2010
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    I took my RIA to the range this afternoon and fired 65 more rounds through it, a combination of factory loads and reloads. With the reloads I was a little more careful with the crimps, which I think helped.

    I started out with a replacement non-Armscor barrel, which worked flawlessly; I shifted to a barrel that Pyrenean had kindly loaned me and it also worked well. About halfway through the test, I shifted to the RIA barrel that came with the pistol and immediately started having "hard" jams like I described earlier, usually with the second round in the magazine - the first one would fire, the second would jam and most (but not all) of the remaining cartridges would fire. At least two of the jams were with good-quality factory FMJs. Just before I quit, I shifted back to the "generic" barrel I had started with and the remaining rounds (both factory and reloads) fired without a problem.

    I think I'm going to stick with the replacement barrel with Pyrenean's barrel as a back-up. I think the RIA barrel that came with the pistol is a dud.
    Last edited by Rick the Librarian; 10th August 2018 at 17:43.


  10. #20
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    Were you able to visually compare the freebore of the three barrels using a bore light? It certainly sounds like the problem is an improperly reamed chamber.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

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