Rock Island Armory (RIA) debuted a completely new pistol design called the RIA 5.0. It’s basically a mix between a 1911, a CZ75, and P320 with a completely new recoil system. This pistol is designed as the ultimate competition gun for RIA.

Background Notes

Seven years in development, this is a single-action, hammer-fired pistol with an internal hammer. The slide rides inside the frame like in a CZ75. This allows the bore axis to be very low, making for less muzzle flip. The takedown is also very similar to the CZ75.

RIA 5.0
The RIA 5.0 was designed with racing in mind. (Photo: Don Summers/

The patented Ram Valve System (RVS) recoil system is the real unique element of the RIA 5.0. It is described as producing a linear lock-up. There is no barrel tilt in this gun. This produces much less muzzle flip because energy is transmitted straight back toward the shooter along the low bore axis. It’s very much like a fixed barrel design except the recoil spring is not around the barrel.

Noticeable Features


Perhaps the most notable feature of the RIA 5.0 is the barrel. (Photo: Don Summers/

Combined with the square barrel that allows for lock up on all 4 sides of the barrel, you get a very accurate design that also minimizes muzzle flip. The square barrel is also heavier at the muzzle which also helps tame the flip.

The frame is aluminum with a 2-piece polymer grip module. The grip has a 1911 grip angle, which seems to be the preferred angle for most shooters.

The grip angle is designed to get you on target quickly while the texture helps to keep you there. (Photo: Don Summers/

The RIA 5.0 has a flat trigger with a. 4 to 4.5-pound trigger. The trigger system resembles a Sig 320. It’s a very smooth trigger pull, but it is noticeably long. I believe they made the trigger pull a bit longer because they opted for a single-action gun with no manual safety like on a 1911. The longer trigger pull makes it safer. However, 1911 shooters like myself, will have to get used to the longer pull and longer reset. 

The design lends itself to an incredibly low bore axis, note the shrouded hammer. (Photo: Don Summer/
The takedown is very CZ-esq. (Photo: Don Summers/


The RIA 5.0 offered little recoil during the sample range session. (Photo: Don Summers/

As detailed previously, this gun is a bit different from the RIA guns you've seen in the past, not only because of its look and feel but also because of its place of origin. This gun is Made in the U.S.A. in Cedar City, UT. It will have an MSRP of $998 for the iron sighted version and they will also offer a configuration that comes with a C More RTS II red dot installed for $1298. Three 17-round magazines will also come with the package. 

revolver barrel loading graphic