Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 FS Review

As many of you know, I have an association with Armscor (sponsorship), and have full access to the line of Rock Island Armory handguns for testing, training, and use in competitions.   I have been shooting and testing their line of single stack and high capacity 19/2011s for several months.  This review is on the photo 1popular 1911-A1 9mm, a gun I have set up for use in the Steel Challenge and IPDA.

For those of you that do not know much about the Rock Island Armory line of guns, they are made (primarily for now) in the Philippines and the company is a subset of the Armscor ammunition company.   The line of guns is best described as a high quality, affordable, and reliable 1911 and 2011s that are backed by an incredibly good warranty.

During this test I shot factory Armscor 124 grain full metal jacket ammunition.   The gun tested is completely stock with the exception of a fiber optic (dawson) front sight, Techwell magwell,  and Ed Brown ambidextrous safeties.    I will use my standard testing acronym R.E.A.P. (Reliability, Ergonomics, Accuracy, Power) in testing and reporting on this gun.

  • Reliability:  10- I had shot this particular gun before, for an estimated 500 or more rounds during some instructional filming.  In addition, I shot around 300 rounds during this testing session and as of yet, the gun has not failed in any way.   So far with no cleaning it is 100% reliable, with no break in and limited lubrication.    Excellent!
  • Ergonomics: 10- Okay, I admit that I would normally not use a 10 very often to rate a gun.  But this is a 1911!  I am biased a bit having shot 1911s for so many years, but the truth is that the controls, angles, and all  other ergonomic related items are simply outstanding.
  • Accuracy:  9- This particular gun is a stock (other than the modifications listed above) gun with
    First five shot group of the day!
    First five shot group of the day!

    no internal or external accuracy enhancing modifications.   The first group fired on test day at 12 yards was from an offhand position, not a rest.  I only tested factory ammunition (Armscor) and would guess that with a load made for this gun it might do even better.

  • Power: 8- You might think that eight is a high rating for a 9mm.  I give this rating because of the significant improvements in defensive 9mm ammunition over the last 10 years.  I have been told by several sources that some of the better ammunition is testing to be as effective (and in some cases more) that .45 ACp.    The bottom line here is that with a properly selected round the 9mm is very effective in terms of power.  Note:  I do NOT rate handguns in relation to hunting (animal) power.

This gun was a pleasure to shoot.  With stock springs and set-up it recoils very little and recovers very well.  I tend to like to continually modify and work on my guns, but this little beauty is going to be just fine with very little modification.    Once again, I have been impressed by a gun that is one of the most affordable on the market, and most important to me, the gun runs flawlessly!!    Next up for testing will be my Rock Island Armory 1911 .40!

Until Then – Train Hard

Mike S.


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