|06-27-2012, 06:58 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Rock Island Tactical or Para-Ordnance GI Expert for reliability improvements/project
I have a Rock Island Tactical and a Para GI Expert. I'm thinking about making mods on one of the two and am not sure which would be the better platform to do it. I'll definitely have a good 'smith do the work.
I'd change the ignition parts to non MIM ones, have barrel lug and link checked/modded, see if the grooves on top of the barrel and roof of slide are good/in spec, have the receiver where barrel lug touches checked for timing and modded if necessary. I'll also see how the rails (slide and frame) fit, and whether it could be improved.
I may have the barrel throated for hollow points. The Para may already be throated, though it doesn't have a ramp attached to the barrel like some of their other models. I have to consider if it is realistic for one of these models to be reliable with a modern h.p.
The Rock Island has a forged slide, but I'm not sure about the receiver.
The Para is stainless steel (I didn't know when I bought it as it is coated).
Both firearms have had jams with ball ammo.
The Para has 450 rounds through it. I just got it back to day from Para due to the hammer being frozen down. They claimed to have installed a new slide stop, main spring housing, grip safety. They also claimed to adjust the extractor and polish the barrel hood and feed ramp. For some reason, I have a feeling it will continue to jam (premature slide lock-backs or nose-up FTF's).
My Rock Island has 200 rounds through it. It has experienced failures to go into battery with the rim of the cartridge hooked on to the barrel roof. Rock Island Armory in Nevada are willing to take it back to work on. I not sure whether to put another hundred rounds through it first. There is a fellow with a relationship with Rock Island Armory in Nevada who does custom work. I could send it in for warranty service, then have the 'smith make the mods I mentioned above.
Any chance I could get one of these models to run like a great running Colt, top of the line Springfield, or a Wilson? It wouldn't need to be as accurate as those models.
Anyway, thanks for reading and if anyone has any ideas, I'd certainly appreciate them.
|07-02-2012, 12:29 AM||#2|
Join Date: May 2011
Not knowing your experience level....
I would suggest that you get to know the firearm first and how it functions.
A FTF (nose up) could be magazine.
A "feeling" that a firearm will malfunction indicates mistrust in the handgun.
Do you know what parts are MIM? Have they broke? Earlier MIM parts had a bad rap, but today's seem to be better. The cam in your car's motor is MIM, have you thought of changing that also?
I suggest that you spend a couple of bucks and get Kuhnhausen's books on the 1911. The info there will help you save money that I and others have wasted by doing "trial and error".
Now which to modify? Your RIA is less expensive than the Para. I would modify the RIA.
|07-07-2012, 08:10 AM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2011
+1. I'm with Dan. I'd work on the RIA. Yes, you can most assuredly get it to run perfectly. Unless the frame is out of spec, it would be relatively simple to chase down the problem. As dan said, it will depend on your experience level as to how much you want to do yourself. Kuhnhausen and wjkuleck's 1911 Assembly Guide are excellent reference materials to have on hand.
You might check your extractor, also. I was having similar issues with another Rock and fitted an oversized FPS to stop extractor clocking and it has not had any issues since. THough I always look to ammo and magazine first, it never hurts to check it all out.
Do you have enough confidence to tear it down and check all the measurements and fitments? If so, I'd say go for that. You can buy a good(BEtter?) set of internals from C&S or Harrison Design that are usually very simple to install. How are the mags you are using? Are they in good shape? Are they old or maybe worn out a bit?
AS for hte Para, I'd shoot it before I assumed it was gonna keep acting up.
|07-14-2012, 07:07 AM||#4|
Join Date: Oct 2011
The minimum break in period for the Rock Island is 500 rounds, I would not do anything to it until the gun was broken in. Most times the Rock Islands will have FTF FTE until they are broken in. After that usually the problems go away.
|07-21-2012, 05:18 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Maybe the break-in is overstated by some 1911 manufacturers? Kimber has the 500 round break-in period but the warranty is 1 year, I believe. A recreational shooter, especially one with a collection of sorts, may not put 500 rounds through a new gun within the 1st year.
If there were say 10 FTF/FTE, failure to return to battery during the first 500 rounds, I wonder how many percent of 1911's will run well after that without special attention.
|07-21-2012, 05:44 PM||#6|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Yes, I read those Kuhnhausen books are pretty authoritative. I'll check 'em out. There are two, IIRC.
There must be a lot of MIM on both 1911's. They're inexpensive guns.
Para replaced the slide stop, main spring housing, and grip safety. I don't know exactly what broke.
As far as which one to modify, it seems the one that is most fundamentally in spec and compatible with aftermarket parts would be the one to go with. The Para was only about $50 more than the RIA Tactical. I believe there is much more good feelings by owners of RIA's than Para's towards the respective manufacturers.
Last edited by czfan; 07-21-2012 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Minor syntax error
|07-21-2012, 06:03 PM||#7|
Join Date: Jun 2012
In/out of spec, timing, magwell
I'd definitely want a 'smith to install any internals for fitting purposes.
Mags are ACT-MAG for the RIA. That's their only accepted mag for warranty purposes. For the Para, I use Checkmate's. They seem to be excellent. Oddly, the Checkmate's frequently will not stick in the RIA if trying to take them out of the magwell without pressing the release. Also, there is some give up and down movement with the ACT and Chip McCormick mags in the RIA when in the gun.
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