Rock Island Armory 9mm 1911

This past week I spent some time out in Iowa doing some ammo testing for a project I have coming up. I decided to bring the Rock Island 1911 out to test their 9mm offerings, and as usual I was completely satisfied with its performance. The video is mostly me just messing around and wasting ammo, but it’s neat to see how flat the gun runs with 147gr match ammo.

As of today, the Rock Island has 3040 rounds on it…still with zero failures of any type. This gun is absolutely a triumph, and one of my favorite guns of all time.


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Rock Island Armory Ultra FS at USPSA

It’s time to get busy. After a layoff of nearly two years, Sunday I headed out to Sioux Falls Practical Shooters to shoot a club level USPSA match. As it turns out, this was the best attended match that club has ever had, with 55 shooters, some driving up from as far as Sioux City to attend. How’d I shoot? Both better and worse than I expected.

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Rock Island Armory 9mm 1911 2,000 round field strip and inspection

One of the items brought up during the test of the Rock Island Armory was how well the gun would hold up under a round count that, quite frankly, is unusually for owners of this brand to put their guns through. To find out, I field stripped the RIA and checked several critical areas for signs of frame battering, barrel rollover, or any other critical issues.

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Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm 1911 review

2,074 rounds. That’s how long the Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm 1911 has gone without a malfunction of any type. I’ll get the boring bits out of the way right here and now. The gun passed the 10-8 Function Test, passed the 100 round speed test, passed every single thing I could think to throw at it, and became only the second gun to achieve a perfect 100/100 on the Gun Nuts 1911 Evaluation. The only other gun to achieve a perfect score? Tim’s Wilson Combat.

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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.

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Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm update

1,074 rounds. That’s how many rounds the Rock Ultra FS 9mm has gone through, and oddly enough that’s the same number of rounds it’s fired without a single failure of any type. This gun is blowing my mind. It’s passed the 10-8 Performance Test, passed the 100 round challenge, I set a PR on Bill Drills with it, and it just keeps running. Sure, the fit and finish isn’t as nice as the Springfield, and it costs more than the Taurus, but it’s done several things that neither of those guns were able to do. It’s got it where it counts for me, and that’s performance. It runs. It’s accurate. It’s reliable. In fact, it’s the best 9mm 1911 I’ve tested so far.

I have now crossed over into the camp of rooting for this gun hardcore. I’m still going to continue to subject it to our object test protocol, but now I really want it to go the distance to 2,000 rounds without an issue. How cool would that be? A 1911 that’s ready out of the box for IDPA or USPSA for less than $700? It has a magwell, good grips, fiber optic sights, adjustable rear sights, it’s everything I want (except forward cocking serrations).

Dear Rock Island Armory: I don’t know what kind of devil magic you put in this gun, but please put it in all your guns from now until the end of time.

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Rock Island Ultra FS: 100 round challenge

The idea behind the 100 round challenge is simple: load up 10 mags, shoot 100 rounds as fast as possible. There’s no real training value to it, but there is testing value. When we subjected the Springfield Armory RO to this test, it didn’t do well. The Rock Island on the other hand passed with flying colors. That’s another objective performance metric where the Rock Island has beaten the Springfield. Weird.

So far the Rock Ultra FS 1911 in 9mm has fired 826 rounds and passed the 10-8 Performance Test. As a benchmark, Tim’s Wilson Combat was perfect at this same round count, the Springfield had failed the 10-8 Test and suffered 5 malfunctions, and of course the Taurus had also failed the 10-8 test and experienced 7 malfunctions. So far the Rock Island 1911 has passed the 10-8 test as mentioned and gone through exactly zero malfunctions of any type.

I continue to be impressed by this gun! Of course, just to make sure my biases are out there, I’m also really rooting for it. I was rooting for the Taurus too, because I absolutely want to live in a world where a budget 1911 is awesome; obviously that turned out to not really be the case with the Taurus, but things with the Rock are shaping up nicely.

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