Rock Island Armory's Tactical 9mm 1911

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.

antique gun on white background

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.

rock island armory 1911 on table with precision 9mm ammo boxes

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.”

rock island armory 1911 on table with precision 9mm ammo boxes

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.

shot of rock island 1911 used in movie

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.

wild western shooting gun

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More

Loading