After highlighting Kimber’s lovely Super Carry Pro we’d like to bookend this week with another good 1911. See, Kimber makes wonderful firearms, with attention to detail rivaled only by hand-crafted custom 1911s and flintlocks of the Renaissance.
The only thing ugly about those guns is the price. Since 2011 is the Year of the 1911 (well, second Year of, anyway) there are more of these cherished pieces available to shooters than ever.
And that bring us to Rock Island. Rather, Rock Island Armory, the American importer of Filipino 1911s of the masses. See, for the price of a single Kimber, you can get three Rock Island 1911s. Decisions, decisions.
They fellows at The Firearm Blog recently reviewed RIA’s latest: their 9mm Tactical.
“Affectionately referred to as “The Rock” among owners, the Tactical has all of the features desired by most shooters. The pistol is made from forged 4120 steel with a hammer forged barrel. Its safety is an extended ambidextrous with Novak type low mount black sights. The grip safety has the beavertail configuration. A full length guiderod is also included. The barrel has a nice feature with an 11 degree muzzle crown to protect it from damage should the pistol be dropped. It also has a lowered and flared ejection port. The hammer is skeletonized. A durable parkerized finish is standard.”
Not everyone is shopping for an ultralight, scalloped, bobbed, engraved, custom 1911. If you’re just looking for a piece of the dream then one of these sub-$500 1911s is where you should start.
Decidedly not a carry gun, even if your frame can do it, this well-over 2lb 9mm reeks of range time glee and intimidating home defense. It may not come gloriously-featured but the controls are great and the trigger is definitely above-average. Plus, parkerized finishes eat dirt all day and come out prettier in the end.
The Rock Island 9mm Tactical’s sights may be plain but it’s plenty accurate, and there’s still room to argue 9mm versus .45 ACP with its factory 9-round magazines. Let’s just agree here that 9mm is cheaper to shoot, and dovetails in nicely with the fact that this 1911 is cheaper to buy, too.
Variety being the spice of life, this 1911 is bound to be a popular everyman’s option in the great Browning catalog of history. It doesn’t compromise in quality, and the real feature of any gun is that it shoots bullets, something Rock Island’s 9mm Tactical does with zeal.