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1911 iron sights RIA Rock Island Armory Rock Ultra Tac Ultra

RIA Rock Ultra MS – Front Sight Fell Off

I’m not sure why I haven’t posted about this yet, but a few months ago (Jan/Feb timeframe) I was cleaning my RIA Rock Ultra MS and noticed that the front sight was very loose. I’m not sure what occurred to loosen it, but I’d been carrying that particular gun for a while and hadn’t noticed that issue until it happened.

I was carrying that handgun in a Tenicor kydex holster, but the kydex doesn’t touch the front sight. I do remember dropping the gun once, on a carpeted floor. I’m thinking that might have been enough to dislodge the front sight. I can’t remember how the gun landed, but if it landed on the front sight, that would explain why the sight was loose.

The front sight was loose enough to where it slid all the way out of the dovetail with very little effort. Not only that, but the dovetail edge was surgically sharp and sliced my finger badly (had an issue stopping the bleeding).

When I cleaned the slide of blood, I saw that it looked as if the only thing that kept the sight in place was red threadlocker. I could see old threadlocker on the bottom of the sight and in the dovetail. I’m almost certain RIA didn’t fit this sight to the dovetail, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to slide it back on and off the slide.

I’ve ordered another sight (from Armscor) but do not have the tools needed to perform an installation (I’ve no vise, I’ve no files, I’ve no sight pusher).

I can either order the needed tools or give the slide and sight to a local gunsmith so that they can install it.

After I had the issue, I couldn’t carry the gun, but I ended up installing the 9mm barrel to my 22TCM RIA Tac Ultra so that I could carry that gun instead. That gun also fit in the Tenicor Certum holster.

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1911 9mm RIA Rock Island Armory

Range Visit Summary For 11/15/2022

I visited the range for the first time since April 2022. I’m still focusing on 1911s, and I’m preparing to carry my RIA Rock Ultra MS in 9mm.

Why carry the 9mm instead one of my 45ACPs? The two 45ACP 1911s I have are the Metro Arms American Classic Commander and the Tisas Duty (full-sized). I’ve found that even though the heavy metal frame soaks up a good bit of the recoil of those 1911s, 9mm shoots even better from the 1911 frame. As well, 9mm is cheaper and easier to find, locally or otherwise.

Another thought: If I end up ever having to defend myself, I’d have to temporarily give up my gun for case evidence. I do not want to give up any gun but of my 1911s, the ugliest is that 9mm Rock Ultra! While it’s the ugliest, I shoot it the best, by far!

I didn’t want to bother with capturing video footage during this range visit, so I have none, but I did keep the targets and I’ll post them down below.

The below pictures are in chronological order of when I shot at them. Each second picture is a picture of quick range notes (written on the back side of each target).

I shot between 7 and 10 yards – anything further and I struggle to see where I need to hit (all but one target are designed to be shot from 7-10 yards. My actual range notes will be at the bottom of this page.

I’ve two holsters that’ll fit the Rock Ultra without issue, but I’m wondering if I should try carrying appendix – I’m eyeing a holster but need to know if I can commit to it before spending $100-120 on a AIWB holster.

I also just bought two extra 10-round mags so that I can use my two WC mags for carry duty.

Photos of the targets:

I numbered in which order I shot at each mini-target.
I numbered (and circled the number) in which order I shot at each mini-target. I also counted each hit per mini-target.
I aimed between the dead space between the right-side mini-target, attempting a group of five.

Range Notes:

**********************

I brought 350 rounds with me, but only shot 228 (one box of 50 was half empty).

I brought the following brands:
Norma 115-gr FMJ (100)
Federal Hi-shok 115-gr JHP (50)
Belom 115-gr FMJ (50)
Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ (28)

Of the total, there were 8 FTFs and one FTE (stovepipe). It was with one brand of ammo – the Federal Hi-shok JHP. The FTFs were almost certainly due to the hollow points – I expected as much. The FTFs only occurred at the top of each mag (top 3 rounds). After the 2nd-3rd round, the issue stopped. It stopped after 3 mags, as well. Note that the mags were Wilson Combat mags and two ACT mags. It happened with both mag brands, so this wasn’t a mag issue.

This gun is accurate as all hell! I ate the middle out of a target at 10 yards (shot 50 rounds). It’s flat-shooting. Yeah, the initial grouping had opened up but I found I had to just be steady (and watch my breathing as well) to get tight groups.

I will probably begin to carry this gun, which is why I put so much ammo through it this range session. I just need to refer to my notes on which JHP this gun didn’t have issues with – I think I shot some 9mm SD ammo through it last range visit.

Rock Ultra MS in 9mm
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1911 45ACP American Classic ammo B45R JHP Metro Arms Rock Island Armory SDS Imports

My Thoughts Regarding 1911s and Jacketed Hollow Point Ammunition

One thing I’ve never done is attempt to carry a 1911. Carrying means I’ve to test JHP before committing to carrying. Everyone knows (or should know) that most 1911s don’t always readily shoot JHP.

I currently have shot 429 rounds from my SDS Imports DB45R 1911. Most of that ammo has been FMJ. Since I’ve been curious about it’s carry capabilities, I’ve been trying to shoot JHP from it, initially with mixed results.

I initially shot Remington HTP 185-gr JHP, which generated several failures to feed (FTFs).

I also shot Federal LE 185-gr JHP as well (maybe 25 rounds), which also generated some FTFs.

I documented in a previous post that I’d shot International Cartridge Corporation’s (ICC) 45ACP 155-gr frangible hollow points. For the most part, these shot without issue. That ammo can be used as defense ammo.

This past week, I shot 20 rounds of Underwood ($$$) 45ACP +P 230-gr JHP. 8 of the 20 rounds generated FTFs. I was using Wilson Combat mags with this ammo. Since this ammo is expensive and since it generated so many FTFs, I will stop shooting that ammo through the DB45R. Once I suspect that the gun will shoot it without FTFs, I’ll test the ammo again.

I shot Inceptor ARX 118-gr defense ammo (non-JHP), using the WC mag. There were no FTFs.

I shot PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP (non-SD ammo), using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

I shot Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP, using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

So, I now know that I can use the following ammo as viable ammo for self defense:

  • ICC 155-gr FHP
  • Inceptor ARX 118-gr
  • PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP
  • Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP

I plan to continue to shoot the PMC Bronze JHP ammo as range ammo, to continue the break-in process of the DB45R 1911.

During this round of testing, I also shot the same ammo listed above from the Metro Arms American Classic Commander (ACC) 1911 chambered in 45ACP. Note that I didn’t shoot the Critical Defense nor the Inceptor ARX from this gun, since the projectiles will almost certainly feed without issue (I tested them by chambering a round of each make, as well).

I shot most of the ICC 155-gr FHP ammo from the ACC 1911. There were initially a few FTFs, but I believe the issue was a worn recoil spring. I replaced the recoil spring and the FTFs disappeared.

I shot Underwood (again, $$$) 185-gr +P JHP from this gun, using the WC mag. This ammo was almost TOO hot, but in the gun’s defense, it isn’t as heavy as the DB45R 1911, so there’s less weight to mitigate the recoil of this hot ammo. The ammo was so hot that I had to pause in shooting the 8-round mag, since my hand was in pain. Even so, there was only one FTF, but I’m sure this may have been because the ammo was so hot that I was beginning to limp wrist.

The Remington HTP 185-gr JHP was tested the visit prior to this visit. There were some FTFs.

I also shot some of the Federal LE 185-gr JHP…there were two FTFs with that.

The rest of the listed ammo shot without issue. I’m at 520 rounds shot through this 1911, so it may be close to being broken in, which is why there’s less issues with JHP with this gun.

I also shot my RIA Rock Ultra 9mm MS 1911. I also have a RIA Tac Ultra MS 1911 which has a 22TCM barrel and spring, as well as a 9mm barrel and spring. I installed the 9mm barrel and spring for this range visit.

Both 9mm MS 1911s ran without no feed issues whatsoever. I shot several types of SD ammo, some of it JHP and some of it frangible ammo. I did have one failure to extract (FTE) with the frangible ammo when shooting the Tac Ultra, but that’s to be expected with 100-gr ammo (this ammo make was Hevi-Shot).

I was extremely impressed with the 9mm MS 1911s. I’m thinking of just carrying the 9mms instead of the 45ACP 1911s.

I’ll continue to document the testing of shooting the defense ammo.

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1911 1911A1 45ACP 9mm American Classic Commander Metro Arms RIA Rock Island Armory

New YouTube Video – 1911 Range Day!

I tried a new format in this video, using my GoPro hat-clip. What I didnt’ account for was the volume isn’t crisp, as the hat-clip requires usage of the GoPro case, which is apparently covering the camera’s mic. 🙁

There were issues with the Metro Arms 1911. I’ve been suspecting as much the past 1-2 years, but my handgun experience is expanding and I’m confident to say that this handgun has issues with it’s sights. I’ll be looking into obtaining a new set of sights for this handgun (I wouldn’t mind having the sights that are on my RIA Tac Ultra installed on this handgun).

Also, I finally installed the 9mm barrel into my RIA Tac Ultra (I have always shot it with the 22TCM barrel installed). I shot 140 rounds of 9mm from the gun. The gun now has a total of 746 rounds through it. It’s my third most-fired handgun (the Grand Power P11 and Bersa Thunder Plus are 1st and 2nd).

There were some fails to feed when firing the Tac Ultra, but the feed issues only occurred with the OEM mags. I’ve Wilson Combat 9mm ETM mags, which didn’t have any feed issues. I also used the 38 Super mag that came with the Tac Ultra. I also used the 9mm mag that came with my RIA Rock Ultra. The latter two mag are the mags that had inconsistent issues. The feed issues were occurring mid-mag.

Lastly, I need to research who is the new US importer for Metro Arms. Eagle Imports was the importer, but they went out of business earlier this year.

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10mm 1911 22TCM 9mm R1 Remington RIA Rock Island Armory sight adjustment

1911 Range Summary for 3/20/2021

Video Highlights:

1.  We bought Remington R1 mags (45ACP doublestacked) for use with my RIA 10mm HC, since I can’t find any Armscor mags.  One mag feeds well, the other does not.  Also, the R1 mags will fit the OEM 10mm base plates.

2.  We had feed issues with the RIA 22TCM extracting spent cases (the cases were getting stuck in the chamber).  This was an ammo issue – I had half a box of older ammo that I’d put aside because I was blowing primers and one case refused to come out of the chamber.  I’d forgotten that this was a box I wasn’t supposed to finish shooting.  In fact, there was one primer that was blown out in this range visit (I forgot to mention that in the video).

3.  I’ve been frustrated with all of my 1911s, thinking that I can’t shoot them because I’m never able to have tight groupings or that I’m always hitting low left (meaning I’m flinching or have bad trigger discipline).  Well, I prove that’s not the case on this range visit, as I also took my 9mm RIA Rock Ultra.  My groups were tight and directly under the bullseye.  I was shooting this gun the same way as the other two.  This proves I need to make sight adjustments.  In this case, I need to move the POI up 2 inches.  In the case of the 10mm, I need to adjust the sights up and to the right a few inches.  Not sure yet on how I need to adjust the sights on the 22TCM (maybe 2″ to the right).

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10mm 1911A1 1911A2 22TCM FS HC Rock Island Armory Rock Ultra

Time for A 10mm Range Visit

I picked up the RIA Rock Ultra FS HC 10mm this morning before work (5 min wait to get background check results – I’m squeaky clean).

As usual, the handgun was covered in cosmoline and was in a plastic bag.  It came with one mag (as expected) and a manual.  The envelope with the spent cases showed an inspection date of 12/18/2020, meaning the gun is new.

The recoil spring is Popeye strong…you probably need to open a can of spinach to rack the slide.  I’m not joking…it’s strong and probably needs to be.  One of the things I struggle with when handling the gun is racking the slide.  I wish the slide had more aggressive serrations, because I sometimes can’t get a good enough grip to properly rack the gun.

I field-stripped the gun to clean off the preservative (it is not lube).  The machining is really nice.  This gun has a bull barrel, too…there’s no bushing, so you need to use a tool or paper clip to field strip the gun.  Now, to break down the recoil spring assembly (which consists of  the recoil rod, spring, and reverse plug), you’re not going to be able to do it your fingers.  The spring is far too strong.  Use the slide to help with that process.

The thumb safety needs to be tightened…it’s a bit loose (all of my Filipino 1911s were).

I changed the fiber filament of the front sight.  I had trouble removing it.  It appears as if someone (maybe) used an adhesive or even Locktite to secure it.  I replaced it with a TruGlo filament.

I took the gun to the range this evening, along with my RIA 22TCM.  The Rock Ultra manages recoil very well…I had no issues controlling the handgun, although I was using 180-gr FMJ range ammo (S&B and Ammo Inc).  It shoots far better than my Glock 22, but it has a lot more weight than the G22, as well.  The 10mm was launching spent casings against the side of the booth and I’ve no doubt it’ll throw brass 30 or so feet.

The S&B ammo is NICE ammo!  It’s clean and very accurate.  I was shooting from 7 yards.  I always do…no need to shoot further than that, IMO, and it’s a good distance to benchmark a handgun.  I shot 25 rounds of S&B, noting that my grouping was relatively tight.  I then loaded a mag of the Ammo Inc.  That ammo sucks!!  I was all over the place and at first thought it was me.  No.  The ammo is very inconsistent and was throwing ammo all over the target.  I will not be buying anymore of that ammo…well, I might, if the ammo prices keep climbing.  Bad ammo is better than no ammo, I guess.

As always, when shooting 1911s, I always shoot low left of center.  The groups may be tight, but I still shoot low left.  I think I’ve determined what I’m doing wrong.  When the gun is in my hand and I’m aiming down the sights, I’m almost 100% certain that the gun isn’t aiming straight down-range.  I must be aiming left.  Also, I caught myself (twice) flinching when pulling the trigger.  The flinching is making me pull low left – I actually saw it when reviewing my GoPro range footage (which is why I use the camera when shooting).  So, I’ve to work on getting better at shooting 1911s.  I did eventually walk the rounds to bulls-eye with the 22TCM 1911, though (I shot 50 rounds).

I will return to the range soon, but will probably bring the AK pistols next go around.  I may bring the Rock Ultra as well, if I can find more 10mm ammo.

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1911 bull barrel disassembly recoil rod reverse plug RIA Rock Island Armory spring

1911 How-To: How to use the slide to disassemble the recoil rod assembly on a bull-barreled 1911

I show where I damaged a reverse plug on a bull-barreled 1911.  I’ve replaced the reverse plug with a new one that is a revised part (the replacement part has what appears to be a barrel cradle).  

I also show how to use the slide to disassemble the recoil rod assembly.  I know most folks use their hands but I feel for them if they’re using their hands to disassemble a RR assembly from a 10mm.  I can barely use my fingers when doing it to my 9mm.  I got this procedure from sootch00 (specifically his SR1911 10mm video).

Used my old Go Pro Hero 4 Silver, which I thought had died…turns out, the SD card was bad and the camera was fine

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10mm 1911 1911A2 2011 double-stack double-stacked HC Hinterland Outfitters MS RIA Rock Island Armory Rock Ultra

10mm 1911s

I’ve a 10mm 1911 on the way here.  It’ll be my first full-sized 1911 and my first 10mm.  I purchased a RIA Rock Ultra FS HC chambered in 10mm.  I’d been looking at Glock 20s and 29s but didn’t want the shock of recoil to bug me.  While the Glocks weigh around 2 lb empty, the RIA 10mm weighs around 2.5 lb and is all steel.  I won’t be carrying this gun but I do want to experience 10mm without regret.  As well, I had a difficult time finding a Glock 20 and 29 in stock.

What’s cool about this 10mm is that it is double-stacked (what some folks call the M1911A2; it’s not a true 2011, as the 2011 is modular in nature while the M1911A2 is not).  It is a full-featured handgun.  What’s not cool is that the handgun only comes with one magazine.

It’ll probably be 2 weeks before it ships to my FFL.  The FFL will probably take another week to call me to pick it up.  In 3 weeks time, expect a table top review.

I’m about to order another magazine and will begin looking for ammo.  I hope to have both the mag and ammo will be here before the gun arrives.

This is what I ordered (from Hinterland Outfitters):

UPDATE (2/15/2021) – I just got notice that the firearm shipped on 2/12…headed to my FFL dealer now…may be a while though, since there’s severe weather in the mid-West right now.

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1911 American Classic Commander Metro Arms plunger spring Rock Island Armory safety lever

My 1911s Have Loose Thumb Safeties

Today, I was handling my three 1911s and noticed that two of them had safeties that were rather loose.  What do I mean by loose?  Well, a good 1911 will have a safety that will have a positive click when being manipulated.  It will also take a conscious effort to actuate.  It should not actuate (on or off) by being bumped or pushed by an object that is not a finger.  The last time I took my Metro Arms American Classic Commander (that’s a mouthful) to the range, both my wife and I noticed that after loading a mag into the firearm and trying to shoot, the safety was unintentionally enabled.

Since it was Friday evening, I got a few old rags and broke them both down on my sofa while listening to the news.  I fixed both safeties.  Once I field stripped the 1911s, I removed the safeties.  The Metro Arms had a single-handled safety lever while the Rock Island Armory had an ambi safety.  Once those were removed, I remove the plunger springs from each and stretched them out a bit, which I thought would add more tension to the safety lever on each firearm.  I put together both and then tested the safeties.  The RIA 1911 safety stiffened up drastically.  The Metro Arms 1911 had to be taken down again and stretched out a bit more, but in the end, I got the safety on that firearm pretty stiff.

I’m happy that I was able to sort this out on my own.

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1911 bull barrel paper clip Rock Island Armory Sootch00 youtube

Got a Rock Island Armory 1911 and Hate Using Paper Clips?

If you hate using a paper clip to break down your bull-barreled Rock Island Armory 1911, then this video might be of assistance to you.

My 9mm Tactical II (non-railed 9mm 1911) is bull-barreled and requires a paper clip when field stripping the gun (per the operator manual).  My 22TCM Ultra does not, and it comes with a 9mm barrel (not a bull barrel, though).

I’ve not tried the method in the video yet, but using the paper clip isn’t a huge deal for me.