Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 1911 update: 1800 rounds and ticking

Despite the blog being down, I’ve still be working on testing the now excellent Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm. It’s currently at 1,824 rounds, and here’s the fun part. Zero failures of any type. No failures to feed, no failures to extract, nothing. No parts breakages, and no issues with the build quality of the gun. It just keeps running and running. While the bulk of the ammo I’ve shot through it has been FMJ, it’s also fed 200+ rounds of premium JHP, including Golden Sabers which have an ogive so wide you can serve a martini in there.

Right now, I’m focusing on training for USPSA again. It’s been over a year since I shot a match of any type or any level; in fact the last major I shot was IDPA Nationals in 2014, where I finished 1st Master in SSR and 4th overall. I’m coming off revolvers finally, and upgrading my technology from the peak of 1800s firearms tech to the peak of early 1900s firearms tech with 1911s.

Great Plains Sectional Single Stack Champion plaque

I had been hoping to shoot the Great Plains Sectional this year, but it has conflicts with a drill weekend. So that’s going to be out. Up next on the hope list was Area 3, but…it looks like I’ll be working that weekend too. But there’s really nothing wrong with me taking a year and focusing on shooting club level matches, because of all the downtime I’ve had. I can take a year, work on rebuilding my skill, shoot some youtube match videos again, and focus on getting my match skill back up to where it needs to be in order to be competitive in major matches. Sure, I’d love to shoot SS Nationals again, and I’d love to get back to Area 3, and it’d be great to go win the GP Sectional in Single Stack, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that it is okay to focus on smaller goals.

So for this year it’s club matches for me. My first match is going to be April 17th, and my big training goal will be to make Master in Single Stack this year. I’ve got a chance to do exactly that on May 15th, when Big Sioux is hosting a classifier match. That means the majority of my training is going to be shooting classifier style stages, which is relatively easy to do when you’re training exclusively on an indoor range.

Season goals: Make USPSA Master in Single Stack, and win SS at every club match. Try to win high overall at club matches too, even though that’s not a “real” scoring category.

Luckily, the Rock Island Armory is awesome. It’s accurate, it’s reliable, and it I’m going to ride it as far as I can to accomplish my goals.

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  1. Caleb, do you always slap the trigger with a full release between shots? On non-1911s do you ever “stage” or prep at “the wall”? Also, its hard to see in the video but when do you feel like you’re coming on to the trigger? I’ve been trying to document my own habits lately and have decided to just “start over”, try and forget everything “I know” about shooting and examine if other techniques might be better.

    I’m pretty impressed with the RI, this whole series seems to be excellent marketing for them. Honestly, because of the price I never would have considered them before. Just figured you HAD to spend at least 1k for any 1911 worth owning.

    1. I am trying to do a full release on the trigger between shots, especially when shooting at high speed. I’m desperately trying to break my habit of “riding the reset.”

      1. Can you elaborate on why you’re trying to not ride reset? Also, do you think that full release liek you’re doing here works on guns in a SA mode where the trigger is light and crisp anyhow but maybe not for others? Because I’ve had little luck transitioning this technique to “duty” weight Glocks.

        1. Riding the reset, at least for me, makes me shoot slower. I’m trying to feel the reset instead of just letting the trigger go and pulling it again. It’s a thing I picked from Rob Leatham at Bianchi Cup – he basically releases the trigger all the way and then just pulls it again. If I just let the trigger go in recoil, it means I can start pulling it again faster.

  2. Currently running a RIA TAC II 9mm in ESP/IDPA. I’m having the same experience you’re having with yours…4k rounds with absolutely now failures. BTW, it’s a special order gun with an extra fitted 38 Super barrel built by Arnel. And the USPSA changed the rule to say you can’t make major with a Super…SMH.

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