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View Full Version : *PICTURES* Newly Completed Work (RIA Tacticals)


Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 4:22 PM
Hey everyone, it's been awhile since I've last been here or posted anything, so here I am sharing my new work.

I recently decided to modify my two Rocks, both Tactical models. I wanted to go for a clean look on both guns so I decided to change the front and rear sights on both, I then removed the dreadful "Rock Island Armory TM" rollmark on the slides (aka naked-slide treatment), and checkered both frames in 30lpi diamonds.

The sights were filed and fit myself, and the top of each slide was filed and blended at the front sight dovetail to lessen its depth to .075-.080'', in order to fit a true Novak tritium white dot front sight on both. Since I filed and lowered the depth of the front sight dovetail, I ordered two .190'' height front sights from Novaks, compared to the .185'' height factory front sights. The wood gripped pistol sports a Heinie Slant Pro rear, while the all black pistol sports a 10-8 Performance U-Notch rear sight. Both rears are plain black with 40lpi serrations, for a clean sight picture with the tritium dot up front.

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1551.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1553.jpg

As for the naked slides, I just put each slide as perfectly flat as I could on a belt sander for brief moments, and the rollmarks disappeared gradually. I think a naked slide looks very attractive on a 1911, and definitely makes a Rock Island look better with its classic Colt style vertical slide serrations.

The front strap checkering was done myself by hand. I figured I try doing it myself, so I ordered a 30lpi checkering file and 60-degree needle file from Brownell's and went to work after watching a YOUTUBE video (by Troy Harp, Harp Custom) on how to do it.

Both guns also have newly fitted Chip McCormick beavertails, fitted myself as well with just a few swipes with a file on oversized areas on the pistol frames. The single side thumb safeties are both by Cylinder & Slide, fitting was fairly easy for both.

When all work was done, I brought them to a nearby powder coating shop to have them aluminum oxide blasted for that perfect uniform (microscopic) roughness. I then brought them home to immediately parkerize them in Lauer's manganese phosphate park' solution. I boiled certain parts at different times, so thus one pistol turned out two-tonish black and gray parkerizing, while the other came out in pure black parkerizing. Both guns are also equipped with slim grips which I find the most comfortable for my hands; Slim black VZ Gators grips on the black gun, rosewood slim grips on the two tone pistol.

Hope you guys like em', I spent many an hour on the two to finally get them to look how I like my 1911's to. The original Rock Island factory appearance left a bit to be desired IMO, but now they remind me of a pair of Colt Series 70's that have been touched by the hands of a gunsmith, although I'm admittedly no gunsmith and just another 1911 enthusiast that likes to take a DIY approach to everything! I learned a lot while doing all of this work, and am glad that I didn't ruin my guns when I decided to take files and such to them. Both function perfectly, and run like tops. I was able to produce very good 15 yard groups with the new sights, and they shot POA/POI.



http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1513.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1484.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1517.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1519.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1527.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1549.jpg

Both pistols have different styles of checkering cut into the frame. One gun (two-tone pistol) sports checkering that wraps all the way around to the grip panels, and has a high trigger guard under cut filed and blended away to make the checkering stand prouder. The black pistol has a more simple front-face-only checkering, and no trigger guard undercut.

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1545.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1544.jpg

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 4:23 PM
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1612.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1611.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1608.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1600.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1594.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1592.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1555.jpg

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 4:23 PM
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1564.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1570.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1574.jpg
http://s1290.beta.photobucket.com/user/jamison_crush/media/DSC_1579.jpg.html
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1581.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1585.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1590.jpg
http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b522/jamison_crush/DSC_1591.jpg

SwiftWiz
11-30-2012, 4:36 PM
Very nice, clean work.

Johnnykck
11-30-2012, 4:42 PM
Nice. I especially like the smoothed out sides. The only thing about my RIA1911 that bothers me a little is the logo on the slide, but obviously not enough to do anything about it (yet).

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 5:02 PM
Very nice, clean work.

Thanks SwiftWiz!

Nice. I especially like the smoothed out sides. The only thing about my RIA1911 that bothers me a little is the logo on the slide, but obviously not enough to do anything about it (yet).

Thanks Johnnykck, yes I've owned these for a couple years now and just this past month decided to get rid of the rollmarks.

Synergy
11-30-2012, 5:41 PM
Good job, I love my RIA.

For future reference the yellow hue to the pics is from your lighting. I had a similar problem. Till I added more external light.

p.s. I am not a photographer, just tips I picked up from here. :)

Original

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Icemedic/NewSlide.jpg

Added external light

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Icemedic/Newslide_2.jpg

Sorry for the thread jack! :o

MalC
11-30-2012, 5:42 PM
Where did you get those barrel bushings from? I'm thinking of getting a SS bushing and recoil spring plug for my tactical... does the bushing require hand fitting or did you just drop it in?

fullspeed1
11-30-2012, 7:52 PM
Very nice work!!

Euphoria526
11-30-2012, 8:08 PM
Awesome job!!
Shoulda drilled some holes in the triggers, for aesthetics. But definitely a good job on those, love that all black one

ramathorn
11-30-2012, 8:17 PM
Very slick! :thumbsup:

Sonic_mike
11-30-2012, 8:22 PM
Mi Gusta!

Aspec5vz
11-30-2012, 8:25 PM
Looks great! I'd really like to pick up an RIA just to work on.

keenkeen
11-30-2012, 8:26 PM
Very nice...now ball cut one of the slides and put hi-power cuts on the other.:43:

BillCA
11-30-2012, 8:28 PM
Nicely done. I'm not usually a fan of matte finished 1911's but those look very nice. I like those wood grips too. I think it's great you "bit the bullet" and did the work yourself. That's a very good learning process.

Call me traditional or sentimental if you want, but had it been me, I'd have gone to the trouble of polishing the slide flats and the frame for a good hot bluing like Colt's. But that would have required letting someone else do some of the work.

Senergy: Some digital cameras have a setting for "tungsten" lighting (indoor incandescent) that will adjust for the yellowish light. I've found indirect sunlight is best. Adding more light bounced off a white surface helps reduce bright spots if you don't have a lightbox.

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 8:59 PM
Good job, I love my RIA.

For future reference the yellow hue to the pics is from your lighting. I had a similar problem. Till I added more external light.

p.s. I am not a photographer, just tips I picked up from here. :)

Original

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Icemedic/NewSlide.jpg

Added external light

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Icemedic/Newslide_2.jpg

Sorry for the thread jack! :o

No worries, thanks for the camera tips! I'm not all that well versed with my wife's camera yet as you can see.. haha

Where did you get those barrel bushings from? I'm thinking of getting a SS bushing and recoil spring plug for my tactical... does the bushing require hand fitting or did you just drop it in?

It drops right in, although it is so tight you will need a bushing wrench to install/remove it. Here's the link to where I bought it:
http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/barrel-parts/barrel-bushings/angled-bored-bushing-with-carry-bevel-prod24679.aspx

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 9:00 PM
Looks great! I'd really like to pick up an RIA just to work on.

Mi Gusta!

Very slick! :thumbsup:

Awesome job!!
Shoulda drilled some holes in the triggers, for aesthetics. But definitely a good job on those, love that all black one

Very nice work!!

Thanks Fellas! Appreciate it a lot.

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 9:04 PM
Very nice...now ball cut one of the slides and put hi-power cuts on the other.:43:

That would be awesome, but likely expensive. Maybe in the future *grin*

Nicely done. I'm not usually a fan of matte finished 1911's but those look very nice. I like those wood grips too. I think it's great you "bit the bullet" and did the work yourself. That's a very good learning process.

Call me traditional or sentimental if you want, but had it been me, I'd have gone to the trouble of polishing the slide flats and the frame for a good hot bluing like Colt's. But that would have required letting someone else do some of the work.

Senergy: Some digital cameras have a setting for "tungsten" lighting (indoor incandescent) that will adjust for the yellowish light. I've found indirect sunlight is best. Adding more light bounced off a white surface helps reduce bright spots if you don't have a lightbox.

Thanks BillCA. Actually, I too like polished flats and blued finishes on any 1911, especially clean custom looking ones (Baer or Garthwaite Customs, etc.) but you're correct, I have a park tank setup in my backyard and I figured it'd be a functional rust/corrosion resistant finish to go with in the end, albeit not as attractive as bluing. Thanks for the camera tips too!

LovingTheYear1911
11-30-2012, 9:08 PM
Makes me want a RIA to do some custom work. Nice job!!

DirtyLaundry
11-30-2012, 9:30 PM
Saw this at work but didn't have a chance to reply.

How much material did you take off the slide to get rid of the roll mark?

Fantastic work OP, seeing your pics makes me want to pick up a cheap RIA to mess around with.

If 1911s are still good for anything, its that they're nice to look at. :)

Rorge Retson
11-30-2012, 9:46 PM
Nice. Very clean. :yes:

BadMatt
11-30-2012, 9:50 PM
The pistol with the wood grips looks great. I really like the subtle two-tone treatment. Much better than the nickel on black usually seen on pistols.

mlevans66
11-30-2012, 10:35 PM
That, sir is an awsome job you did there. I mean those 1911 looks like they would cost at least a $1000.00 if people went with look alone. You may need to start a business or a build party cause those babies look SHAAARP! :thumbsup:

350skylark
11-30-2012, 10:45 PM
SO when you took the roll mark off did you have to re parkerize it?

pc_load_letter
11-30-2012, 11:07 PM
That looks like some amazing work getting those rollmarks off. Would love to know the process you undertook to accomplish that.

Thanks!

gant
11-30-2012, 11:19 PM
Good job, I love my RIA.

For future reference the yellow hue to the pics is from your lighting. I had a similar problem. Till I added more external light.

p.s. I am not a photographer, just tips I picked up from here. :)


Sorry for the thread jack! :o

no its not all you have to do is change the white balance of the picture

Rock_Islander
11-30-2012, 11:38 PM
Thanks everyone.

That, sir is an awsome job you did there. I mean those 1911 looks like they would cost at least a $1000.00 if people went with look alone. You may need to start a business or a build party cause those babies look SHAAARP! :thumbsup:

Thanks man, that's an awesome idea. My buddy said the same thing, said I should just start smithing, or learning how and beginning. I'm out of work currently, so it's not a bad idea.

SO when you took the roll mark off did you have to re parkerize it?

Yes, I media-blasted the two guns and the various smaller parts that needed blasting, then parked' in my stainless steel parkerizing tank located in my backyard :chris:

That looks like some amazing work getting those rollmarks off. Would love to know the process you undertook to accomplish that.

Thanks!

I explained that briefly in the original post, but to clarify better how I did it; I took a belt sander with the belt side facing up and secured it in my bench vise. Once I got the belt sander going, I slowly and carefully lowered the graphic sides of each slide as flat as I could on the sanding belt. I leave the slide flat on the belt for a few seconds at a time and check my progress. I only take a few thousandths of an inch at a time I'm guessing, but the rollmarks disappear pretty rapidly.

JTROKS
11-30-2012, 11:48 PM
That's excellent! I've been wanting to get a RIA full rail to tinker with.

echang72
12-01-2012, 12:06 AM
looks great! never would of thought those are RIA 1911's [:

bsg
12-01-2012, 12:28 AM
your talent abounds. well done.

hornswaggled
12-01-2012, 12:47 AM
I came.

SacTown
12-01-2012, 1:05 AM
I'm not a 1911 guy but those pistols look slick. Good job OP.

dem0critus
12-01-2012, 6:33 AM
awesome work these are pretty much the exact changes I plan to make on my rock.

Trapper
12-01-2012, 7:50 AM
Great job on the checkering!

Rock_Islander
12-01-2012, 11:12 AM
Wow, that is some amazing DIY work!

What's your background in regards to this type of work? You're clearly not the "Average Joe" you claim to be ;)

I would be ecstatic if I could do some front strap checkering work on any of my pistols... granted of course it came out as well as yours!

Shoot me a PM if you're located anywhere near the San Diego area :thumbsup:

helpme; I really am your average joe, I just happened to muster up a little courage and a little cash, and researched online on forums, watched videos and I came up with a plan on how I wanted to execute everything. Not everything goes to plan, but that's the fun part, learning! But absolutely yes, I'm just a 28 year old guy from Northern Cali' that loves slick, clean, semi-classic/semi-modern 45's! I also draw, and am pretty artistic so maybe the control that I have with my hands also helped me a lot in this project. Thank you for the great praise for my work, I appreciate it!

Rock_Islander
12-01-2012, 11:13 AM
Thanks guys, a bunch. Hahaha, I feel like picking up another 1911 to do work on now, yet again! But, I wont, not for now at least *grin*

JNunez23
12-01-2012, 11:20 AM
Nice work man! Truly clean and simple.

I would still change out the triggers. Maybe an STI.

XDJYo
12-01-2012, 11:25 AM
Excellent work!!! Clearly gifted with the handiwork! Glad it all turned out too! Congrats from San Ramon!

BoJackUSMC
12-01-2012, 11:44 AM
Very nice work:Ivan:

Apec
12-01-2012, 12:21 PM
Great work!

bombadillo
12-01-2012, 12:32 PM
Did you undercut the trigger guard on the one with the grip tape? It looks like you did. I have a colt 70's series that has a deeply undercut guard and it feels SOOOO much better than all the others I've shot. That is one of the best mods I think you can do to a 1911's comfort.

Q619
12-01-2012, 12:38 PM
They look great, very tasteful!

Rock_Islander
12-01-2012, 8:25 PM
Bombadillo: yes I filed away an undercut and it feels so much better when handling it!

evidens83
12-01-2012, 8:34 PM
Beautiful! I'm so jealous I wish I had the know-how and skills to do that to my Rock.

zod
12-01-2012, 8:44 PM
Those are some the nicest pair of Rocks I've seen. Great work!

psango
12-01-2012, 8:46 PM
Very nice work:Ivan:

+1 nicely done!

Omil
12-01-2012, 8:49 PM
Congrats to the OP', excellent work, very talented!

bombadillo
12-01-2012, 8:56 PM
Bombadillo: yes I filed away an undercut and it feels so much better when handling it!



How long did it take you to do by hand?

1lowluv
12-01-2012, 9:19 PM
Nice work! My colt has a factory naked slide. With I knew how to checker the front strap. Yours look great

bombadillo
12-01-2012, 9:25 PM
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/calguns%20and%20other/DSC_0019-1.jpg

A shameless pic of my rig. Bar none my favorite handgun. Its a working masterpiece.

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/calguns%20and%20other/DSC_0018.jpg

Rock_Islander
12-01-2012, 11:01 PM
Thanks a lot everyone.

Bombadillo: Ive spent hours and hours filing then belt-strip sanding that extreme undercut. I measured my remaining frame thickness regularly with calipers and removed metal accordingly.

Rock_Islander
12-01-2012, 11:04 PM
And @bombadillo, thats an amazing colt series 70!! What a masterpiece, pun intended.

Bug Splat
12-01-2012, 11:20 PM
Great pics!!!! I now want a new 1911 to jazz up too :(

BillCA
12-02-2012, 4:10 AM
helpme; I really am your average joe, I just happened to muster up a little courage and a little cash, and researched online on forums, watched videos and I came up with a plan on how I wanted to execute everything. Not everything goes to plan, but that's the fun part, learning! But absolutely yes, I'm just a 28 year old guy from Northern Cali' that loves slick, clean, semi-classic/semi-modern 45's! I also draw, and am pretty artistic so maybe the control that I have with my hands also helped me a lot in this project. Thank you for the great praise for my work, I appreciate it!

R.I. -- now that you've done the work (and you've done well), does it make you appreciate the work of custom gunsmiths more or less? Or what they charge for certain jobs -- like removing roll marks?

223556
12-02-2012, 4:49 AM
Those came out very slick and good looking!
Nice job!

00Medic
12-02-2012, 4:58 AM
Excellent work!! You have inspired me to do the same to my RI and to probably get another one to do the same. :thumbsup:

Rock_Islander
12-02-2012, 9:46 AM
BillCA: I think I have a newfound appreciation for certain aspects like checkering by hand. It can take a whole 8 hour day for simple checkering and believe me your hands and forearms will be screaming out "CARPAL TUNNEL!!!" lol... But I do think what smiths charge for their time and services are for the most part appropriate. Another example would be fitting night sights, which are usually $30-$35 per sight on average, to install. It is very laborious to file and fit new sights, sometimes it takes 2 hours to fit one sight, and being paid $35 for two hours of work means that your wage has not even made a $20/hour rate like some jobs out there. Just something to think avout, so in my opinion, they do charge appropriately and reasonably for their time and effort even though it may seem their prices are expensive at first glance.

bombadillo
12-02-2012, 12:16 PM
Well, your work shows and can see what goes into your work. I commend you!

Silverbullett
12-02-2012, 3:35 PM
Great looking 1911's you got there. Excellent work!

Rock_Islander
12-02-2012, 4:03 PM
Thanks guys.

Darklyte27
12-02-2012, 4:04 PM
nice cant wait to get my replacement...

Rock_Islander
12-02-2012, 5:18 PM
nice cant wait to get my replacement...

Im sorry about your situation bro, I hope they catch them all. Id have a heart attack if i got my RIAs stolen :(

Bull's_eye
12-02-2012, 7:54 PM
Excellent work. They look great. How hard was it to do the checkering? I'd love to checker my Springfield Loaded.

Fractured
12-02-2012, 7:59 PM
I am going to use your thread to ask a question because you seem to be knowledgeable about the RIA 1911's.

I am considering one of these, and a guy at the LGS said no aftermarket parts will work on these (grips, etc.) that will work on a Springfield or colt 1911 is that true?

Rock_Islander
12-02-2012, 8:08 PM
Excellent work. They look great. How hard was it to do the checkering? I'd love to checker my Springfield Loaded.

It's not hard at all, I've never done it before these guns; but I will say that it does take some SERIOUS elbow grease and hours committed on the workbench.

Bull's_eye
12-03-2012, 1:38 AM
It's not hard at all, I've never done it before these guns; but I will say that it does take some SERIOUS elbow grease and hours committed on the workbench.

I wonder if it would void the factory warranty.

Apec
12-03-2012, 1:45 AM
I wonder if it would void the factory warranty.

Probably would. Permanent modification by someone other than a certified gunsmith.

Though really, you'd probably want to get some hefty mileage on your gun before choosing to do that anyways. That way you can diagnose problems and get them fixed at the factory before taking the plunge.

Bull's_eye
12-03-2012, 1:54 AM
Probably would. Permanent modification by someone other than a certified gunsmith.

Though really, you'd probably want to get some hefty mileage on your gun before choosing to do that anyways. That way you can diagnose problems and get them fixed at the factory before taking the plunge.

That's what I was thinking. I've got 1100 or 1200 rounds down the pipe so far, and the gun has no issues. But I do like the idea of being able to send it to Springfield if anything ever does go south.

BillCA
12-03-2012, 5:48 AM
BillCA: I think I have a newfound appreciation for certain aspects like checkering by hand. It can take a whole 8 hour day for simple checkering and believe me your hands and forearms will be screaming out "CARPAL TUNNEL!!!" lol... But I do think what smiths charge for their time and services are for the most part appropriate. Another example would be fitting night sights, which are usually $30-$35 per sight on average, to install. It is very laborious to file and fit new sights, sometimes it takes 2 hours to fit one sight, and being paid $35 for two hours of work means that your wage has not even made a $20/hour rate like some jobs out there. Just something to think avout, so in my opinion, they do charge appropriately and reasonably for their time and effort even though it may seem their prices are expensive at first glance.
An interesting perspective.

I've long thought that good gunsmiths were often grossly underpaid - at least when compared to plumbers and electricians. And considering the skill sets and level of precision required, it's even more so. There's an old joke that goes "I saw an accident today where a lawyer ran into a plumber down on Main Street. The only reason it was noteworthy was how often do you see a Rolls Royce run into a Bentley?" (Or doctor hits electrician/Maserati hits Ferrari).

Full service gunsmiths have to invest in serious machines too. Lathes, Milling machines, drill presses, etc. That, plus the complexity of what they're doing makes me think that many of them make a good living, but none of them are really getting wealthy. Not that I want them to increase prices, but having done some of my own gunsmithing in the past, I now appreciate their services even more.

Rock_Islander
12-03-2012, 9:01 AM
You've got a point there BillCA. You might be right, in that they're underpaid, and that's sad :( good gunsmiths are not a dime-a-dozen, and their perfection of the weapon craft is an INVALUABLE resource for people like us, gun owners. Plumbers and electricians get paid so much, I think, because everybody's got plumbing and electricity needs, so naturally people will HAVE to cough up the serious cash at some point or another for those services. Gunsmiths serve a "special demographic" of the gun-owning population; people that want modification, or people that need repair. Which could explain your observation that they just never become wealthy from gunsmithing, because, well most are buying their factory stock guns and shooting the heck out of them without ever a need to see a smithy' for it. Not to mention yes, their complex equipment is an expensive investment, initially, for a smithy'. As for their prices, that's exactly the reason why I say they charge appropriately; We DON'T want them increasing their prices, or we wouldn't be able to afford their services. Almost as if purchasing gunsmithing services would become a luxury amongst gun owners with money. That can't/shouldn't happen, or they would no longer be in business. So I do really feel they've come to a reasonable price point for their work in many different gunsmith shops, although they may be comparatively underpaid, they have to keep their prices "reasonably competitive" in order to say afloat. But all in all, yes I have a newfound appreciation for smithy' work, especially their types of work that I've replicated myself.

DirtyLaundry
12-03-2012, 2:02 PM
I've long thought that good gunsmiths were often grossly underpaid - at least when compared to plumbers and electricians. And considering the skill sets and level of precision required, it's even more so. There's an old joke that goes "I saw an accident today where a lawyer ran into a plumber down on Main Street. The only reason it was noteworthy was how often do you see a Rolls Royce run into a Bentley?" (Or doctor hits electrician/Maserati hits Ferrari).

I've worked on a project were an electrical subcontractor pulled wire to the building and installed a box then allowed the building owners in-house construction/maintenance guys to lay conduit and pull wire for the entire building (on the building owners dime for materials btw) because the subcontractor wasn't getting it done. The electrician then invoiced the building owner for the whole job AND WAS PAID. That's the racket to get into.:eek:

It seems good gunsmiths are a dying breed. Compensation isn't what it should be for the amount of expertise and hours that go into proper gunsmithing. Nowadays people are just buying mostly what they want from the factory, or doing it themselves. Actual in-depth machine work is getting easier and cheaper everywhere and there simply isn't the volume to keep a gunsmith afloat at anything beyond a hobbiest capacity without some sort of retail backing.

Rock_Islander
12-03-2012, 5:10 PM
It seems good gunsmiths are a dying breed. Compensation isn't what it should be for the amount of expertise and hours that go into proper gunsmithing. Nowadays people are just buying mostly what they want from the factory, or doing it themselves. Actual in-depth machine work is getting easier and cheaper everywhere and there simply isn't the volume to keep a gunsmith afloat at anything beyond a hobbiest capacity without some sort of retail backing.

Very true. Although not good news, because we'll always need some sort of smithy' around and it's VERY hard to find a well known 1911 smithy' anywhere here in the SF Bay Area, at least from my search efforts.

jcaoloveshine
12-03-2012, 9:49 PM
Wow, best RIA 1911 I've seen on the web.

Had you not told me it was an RIA, I would be hard pressed to tell it apart from a naked slide custom 1911.

Very nice work. Good detail on the checkering, and I never knew you could just belt sand the roll marks off.

Rock_Islander
12-03-2012, 11:49 PM
I am going to use your thread to ask a question because you seem to be knowledgeable about the RIA 1911's.

I am considering one of these, and a guy at the LGS said no aftermarket parts will work on these (grips, etc.) that will work on a Springfield or colt 1911 is that true?

Thats ridiculous FUD given by your LGS! My rocks are built to 1911 spec on everything, in fact the black one has a springfield MSH that dropped right in of course. My triggers, grip safeties, thumb safeties, sear pins sights and grips are all aftermarket on these guns. No issues with them not fitting after a little filing here and there, like any other 1911.

Rock_Islander
12-03-2012, 11:55 PM
I wonder if it would void the factory warranty.

Yes I believe I voided my warranty on both guns, but that's fine with me. They run reliably with both ball and hollow points, and theyre accurate. If I ever need some unforseeable warranty type work, Ill just have to find a way to fix it myself if possible.

Rock_Islander
12-04-2012, 12:04 AM
Wow, best RIA 1911 I've seen on the web.

Had you not told me it was an RIA, I would be hard pressed to tell it apart from a naked slide custom 1911.

Very nice work. Good detail on the checkering, and I never knew you could just belt sand the roll marks off.

Wow thanks man, to say theyre the best is a big statement. I love those guns, Im not gonna lie, since Ive finished em' both I catch myself staring, admiring them while at home watching TV and such, lol... I was definitely going for a custom naked slide look from the get-go on this project. And, yeah I just took a gamble with the belt sander to the slide, I never tried it before either. Many guys on forums that successfully removed their rollmarks said they used a flat surface and sandpaper, which then took forever im guessing. In a matter of minutes I found the belt sander to be an effective and careful enough method of rollmark removal, just have to keep the slide flat on the belt.

jcaoloveshine
12-04-2012, 12:27 AM
yeah man, they look great. I'm impressed with the fit & finish...did you blend the back of the slide by any chance? It looks really good for a $500 1911.

AUstate
12-04-2012, 12:56 AM
Very impressive. They look really good.
You have got some skills for sure.

Rock_Islander
12-04-2012, 10:38 AM
yeah man, they look great. I'm impressed with the fit & finish...did you blend the back of the slide by any chance? It looks really good for a $500 1911.

I did not blend the back of the slide, that is how they both fit coming out of the factory. And the slide to frame fit was VERY snug when I had just purchased both guns new a couple years ago. After putting many rounds through them, they're still almost as tight as they were when I first bought them. I think people will often attach a negative stigma to a $500 1911, but I've had nothing but praise and enjoyment out of my so called "cheap 1911s". They serve me well, haven't had any durability issues, plus they're reliable and accurate. Can't really ask for more out of a handgun I'd say.

Rock_Islander
12-04-2012, 10:38 AM
Very impressive. They look really good.
You have got some skills for sure.

Thank you AUstate!

gil671
12-04-2012, 11:21 AM
Simply awesome!

DirtyLaundry
12-04-2012, 10:24 PM
I did not blend the back of the slide, that is how they both fit coming out of the factory. And the slide to frame fit was VERY snug when I had just purchased both guns new a couple years ago. After putting many rounds through them, they're still almost as tight as they were when I first bought them. I think people will often attach a negative stigma to a $500 1911, but I've had nothing but praise and enjoyment out of my so called "cheap 1911s". They serve me well, haven't had any durability issues, plus they're reliable and accurate. Can't really ask for more out of a handgun I'd say.

Stop it, you're going to make me waste my money on a "cheap 1911" :)

wilit
12-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Love the smoothed slide. Hmmmm.... Now where'd I put that belt sander?

Rock_Islander
12-05-2012, 1:11 AM
Stop it, you're going to make me waste my money on a "cheap 1911" :)

Go for it, you might be pleasantly surprised! Loved my first rock so much, I bought a second. Never regretted either purchase.

Love the smoothed slide. Hmmmm.... Now where'd I put that belt sander?

There you go! Go for it, just remember the media blasting and refinishing to touch that off!

liberallyloaded
12-05-2012, 4:25 PM
I read the forums all the time, but I had to log in and say these look incredible! Keep up the great work... I love my RIA tactical, but wow, what would I give to turn it into that! Major props man!

stilly
12-05-2012, 9:56 PM
Sooooo, you gonna be last man standing? :D

They look nice.

Rock_Islander
12-06-2012, 9:41 PM
Sooooo, you gonna be last man standing? :D

They look nice.

Haha, only time will tell. Just kiddin, thanks man!

I read the forums all the time, but I had to log in and say these look incredible! Keep up the great work... I love my RIA tactical, but wow, what would I give to turn it into that! Major props man!

Thanks very much, I'm really glad you guys dig them! It's really inspiring me to start/buy another project pistol!

cwin
12-07-2012, 7:25 PM
very nice!

NorCalXJ
12-07-2012, 7:29 PM
very good. nice job

Rock_Islander
12-07-2012, 10:34 PM
Thanks fellas.