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Rock Island Armory Ultra Match HC .40 S&W for competition?


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Looking at one of these for use in limited in USPSA. This seems like the appropriate place to ask around. My only issue is that it doesn't have a rail for a light but I may be able to get it cut in later, or use a trigger mounted light. Can anyone shed some light on reliability, trigger pull, aftermarket support, etc? Thanks!

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Prasky Gunworks built this for me. Ran it for 2 years. Roughly 30k rounds. Excellent pistol for limited. I used STI 2011 mags for it. On some of them no work is needed to get 2011 mags to work on others a little machining on the frame is needed.  We also swapped the trigger to a SVI one for their billet grip. The biggest issue is nobody makes and extended mag release, or a drilled and tapped one. Obviously any compitant gunsmith can drill and tap the factory one though. Factory trigger varies a lot. Mine was right at 2lb but stock sear was already showing signs of wear at the 200 round mark. The only non 1911 parts are trigger, but there is one that works good from SVI and mag release. Those pics are of the RIA I used. I sold it as we built me a new gun but I miss it every so often. 

 

As for the light, not legal in limited division. 

IMG_20200430_182624_009.jpg

IMG_20200306_192457_436.jpg

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Those are some very, very, very fine looking pistols! I know the light isn't legal in limited but I'm looking for this to serve double duty as a competition and home defense gun. Interesting that there was accelerated wear to the sear, I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I'm gonna do more research on the mags and compatible base pads. I'd love 20 rounds reloadable but I'm not sure that's feasible here. 

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I've worked on a few RIA 1911/2011 pistols.  Overall I like them a lot, and have an Ultra Match .40 for Limited competition myself, although I haven't gotten it into action yet.  Virtually every 1911 maker is using either "soft" steel or MIM parts in the fire control group.  As you set the pistol up, I'd suggest you go ahead and replace the sear (at least), and possibly the disconnector and hammer with good replacements from Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, or some other top-end manufacturer of parts.  At some point down the road, installing a true match-grade barrel might be in the works also, like a Kart.  Factory magazines seem to work ok for me, but right now they're not readily available, and I'm pretty sure the aftermarket or STI mags are probably better, and higher capacity.  Have fun with it, shoot the hell out of it and check in from time to time to let us know how things are going!  Best of luck to you.

 

Ben

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1 minute ago, Ben53 said:

I've worked on a few RIA 1911/2011 pistols.  Overall I like them a lot, and have an Ultra Match .40 for Limited competition myself, although I haven't gotten it into action yet.  Virtually every 1911 maker is using either "soft" steel or MIM parts in the fire control group.  As you set the pistol up, I'd suggest you go ahead and replace the sear (at least), and possibly the disconnector and hammer with good replacements from Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, or some other top-end manufacturer of parts.  At some point down the road, installing a true match-grade barrel might be in the works also, like a Kart.  Factory magazines seem to work ok for me, but right now they're not readily available, and I'm pretty sure the aftermarket or STI mags are probably better, and higher capacity.  Have fun with it, shoot the hell out of it and check in from time to time to let us know how things are going!  Best of luck to you.

 

Ben

I think this is the road I'm gonna go down. I've always been against grip safeties but I'll deal with it for now. I'll shoot it and upgrade as I see fit. For now, its the gun, then mags, then a holster. 

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If you are going to stick with only using RIA/PARA style mags dont wast money on trying to get 20 round mags to run reliably with extended base pads, springs, and followers. It's not worth the money or effort. Just buy 4 MBX mags and call it good. As for parts that will fail and early on. Sear, hammer, firing pin, extractor. If you are left handed the safety will last a while but if doing new trigger parts just get the EGW HD. A standard ambi safety that the right side is held in with a tang will NOT fit this frame. The factory one is held in with the sear/disco pin and there is no cut for the tang. So its EGW or Wilson. The wilson is a very small safety. If you dont like a beavertail grip safety either pin factory one or fit a cheely. The cheely beavertail is designed to not move. Fits quite well. That's what is on the one in the pics. Taylor Freelance makes the magwell. Very nice. The factory barrel is plenty accurate, if you do have keyholing or accuracy issues just have a gunsmith put a target crown on it. That will most likely fix it. I also put a .200 EGW slide stop in mine. Factory barrel fit was pretty damn good. If you do decide to have upgraded trigger parts get the oversized sear. 

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3 hours ago, Bakerjd said:

If you are going to stick with only using RIA/PARA style mags dont wast money on trying to get 20 round mags to run reliably with extended base pads, springs, and followers. It's not worth the money or effort. Just buy 4 MBX mags and call it good. As for parts that will fail and early on. Sear, hammer, firing pin, extractor. If you are left handed the safety will last a while but if doing new trigger parts just get the EGW HD. A standard ambi safety that the right side is held in with a tang will NOT fit this frame. The factory one is held in with the sear/disco pin and there is no cut for the tang. So its EGW or Wilson. The wilson is a very small safety. If you dont like a beavertail grip safety either pin factory one or fit a cheely. The cheely beavertail is designed to not move. Fits quite well. That's what is on the one in the pics. Taylor Freelance makes the magwell. Very nice. The factory barrel is plenty accurate, if you do have keyholing or accuracy issues just have a gunsmith put a target crown on it. That will most likely fix it. I also put a .200 EGW slide stop in mine. Factory barrel fit was pretty damn good. If you do decide to have upgraded trigger parts get the oversized sear. 

This is my first 1911/2011 style gun so I have a LOT of learning to do. I'm gonna run it stock until I start having problems and then upgrade from there. With the MBX mags being a little under $150 each, I'm gonna stick with factory 16 rounders for now. Sadly the cheapest I can find them is like $45 but oh well, given the times it just is what it is. I may pin the safety but for now I'm going to leave it as is, because my club occasionally does unloaded starts and there's a possibility I may drop it while trying to pick it up and load it. Any recommendations on where I could snag cheaper mags? Also I know it's not normal but I'd like to put night sights on it, anyone have any leads on reputable ones? 

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If don’t want feeding problems bite the bullet and get the MBX mags. They go for $130. Maybe see if you can buy used Remington mags. 
 

On the sights I use Dawson Precision. 

Edited by ramnj
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I have a RIA 40, don't frustrate yourself with mags. Get the MBX, expensive, but are worth it, they run right out of the package, I have never "tuned" mine. Heed the warnings above on parts, not if you will need them, just when, and after a drive and the middle of a match is not the time. I have Wilson Bullets Proof trigger parts and KKM barrel(by far the best improvement). Good luck

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If you are trying to save money on mags I'd suggest buying one MBX and using it as first mag on each stage. Then just reload to the factory mags. In limited you should be able to do almost 90% of all stages with one reload. 

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