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Old 10-12-2012, 05:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Elevated
Posts: 138

Depends on your definition of a "good" gun. I think for a starter 1911 or a truck/woods gun, they really can't be beat. Where Armscor (makers of RIA and a few other Filipino brands) cuts corners is in components and fitting. They used cast slides and frames rather than forged, their machining work is pretty rough (which is a polite way of saying that it looks like it was chiseled out by a trained monkey), and their small parts are entirely made of cheap MIM and get little to no fitting. That being said, they run and run and run. Why? Because their tolerances are pretty wide. They will never group like a well made 1911, but that doesn't matter to most folks.

I look at everything from a "duty grade" perspective, and what matters to me is the castings and lower quality MIM parts. Is it a guarantee that they will fail at some point? No, certainly not. Lots of RIA's have 1000's of rounds through them with no issues. Does it increase the likelihood that you may end up with the one MIM part or frame with a casting anomaly, air bubble, crack or other fault that could cause the gun to fail and get you killed? Absolutely. Armscor doesn't have the kind of QC that bigger manufacturers have. Sure you can replace the MIM stuff with billet Wilson Combat or Ed Brown parts, but that will easily add another $300 to the cost of the gun by the time you add in the gunsmith fitting, and you're still left with a pretty rough cast frame. So, your $500 RIA just turned into an $800 gun. At that point, spend the extra $100 and get a Sig 1911 which is a night and day better alternative for the money.

Again, it's all about what you intend to use it for. Range gun? IDPA gun? Truck gun? Go for it. Serious social work should be left to a better quality weapon though - not because the RIA absolutely WILL fail, but because lots of factors add up that increase the likelihood that it will fail. Just my .02.
- Fuzz

Sig 1911 TacOps
Smith and Wesson M&P45
Springfield XDS 45
Several ARs in various build stages
More knives than I can count
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