Monday, October 19, 2009

Smithing a RIA

So MBtGE has a Commander-size RIA 1911 .45. I know, I know, but it works just fine and the price was right, even for an RIA. You cut too much off the price of an RIA and you Pizza at dinner will cost more than your blaster. And MBtGE got a pizza-price type deal.

It's a bare bones 1911. Which means no beaver tail grip safety, and that can be bad. By 'can be' that means it might have a tendency to drive the hammer spur into the meat of your hand between finger and thumb. And this one sure did. This painful phenomenon is called Hammer-Bite. Owie.

Now MBtGE isn't stupid. He doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a RIA to 'improve' it. But hammer bite is unacceptable and could lead to a serious flinch. Luckily, there is a gunsmith next to his church and the simplest and cheapest mod available is bobbing the hammer, like so:

You can see the old hammer shape in the inset.

I haven't seen the mod in person, but I'd like to. This procedure is simple enough I might try it myself if I ever needed to. The danger is you take too much meat off the trigger and it isn't massive enough to drive the firing pin forward and touch off a primer cap. The worry might be overblown and silly, but I'd still emulate the efforts of a professional gunsmith if I ever wanted to butcher my own gun.

Or maybe I'd just pay a pro and not get laughed at after I mung it up.

MBtGE hasn't taken it to the range yet, either. So maybe it still bites and all the expense is for naught.

Alternatively you can guy the following part and have a gunsmith fit THAT to your 1911:

But that costs a bit more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't dis RIA...they make a fine, low budget 1911.

I think my "tactical" is every bit as good as the low end Springfield, Taurus and other "bare bones" 1911 models but at much less cost.

Although not perfect and obviously not a Kimber or other high-dollar gun, I've been extremely happy with mine.

The "tactical" model came with the extended beavertail grip safety, skeletonized hammer, enlarged ejection port, full length guide rod, ambi safety, slightly beveled mag well and marginally better sights than the stock "government" model.

It has eaten evyerthing I've fed it flawlessly, including hollowpoints, and has been completely reliable for me so far (maybe 1,500 rounds through it to date).

The finish isn't as durable as I'd like and I replaced the grips almost immediately as the slick wood (no checkering at all) didn't make for a very secure hold. I had to "adjust" (read "file down") the front sight because it was shooting low out of the box and I will eventually replace the plain black, fixed sights with three dot adjustable sights or night sights at some point.

Like I said, It obviously isn't a $1,500 1911, but if you're looking for a dependable, well made low cost 1911, I think you'd be hard pressed to beat the value of RIA's products.