As many of you know, I have an association with Armscor (sponsorship), and have full access to the line of Rock Island Armory handguns for testing, training, and use in competitions. I have been shooting and testing their line of single stack and high capacity 19/2011s for several month. This review will cover the Rock Island Armory 2011-A1 .40 caliber. This particular caliber is not offered on the website yet, but will be soon.
This gun is one that I have set up for the USPSA single stack division. It is an upgraded model built for me by Rock Island Armory’s master gunsmith, Arnel Bernardo. While it is a customized gun, the stock configuration of the gun from the factory is very close to the same gun. My personal preferences were to add an Ed Brown ambidextrous thumb safety, a Dawson fiber optic front sight, and a Techwell magwell. The trigger on my gun breaks at a clean three pounds, which is a bit heavy for a competition gun. I will probably adjust the trigger weight down to around two pounds in the future.
I have shot the gun in several practice and testing sessions so far, and as of yet have not had a problem or malfunction of any kind. The gun shoots great my initial groups shot offhand from ten yards were all under two inches. My review is as follows (using the R.E.A.P. breakdown):
- Reliability: 9- So far this gun has close to 600 rounds through it or more. I have yet to experience any kind of problem or malfunction, shooting factory loaded Armscor .40 ammunition. If the gun follows its smaller 9mm brother, it will be very reliable (the 9mm is at around 3000 rounds and no cleaning, yet not a single malfunction). I would have given it a full 10 in this area, but would prefer to have 1000 rounds or more without a single malfunction before I rate it that high.
- Ergonomics: 10- Once again, I admit that I would normally not use a 10 very often to rate a gun. But this is a 1911! I am biased a bit having shot 1911s for so many years, but the truth is that the controls, angles, and all other ergonomic related items are simply outstanding.
- Accuracy: 9- Sub two inch accuracy offhand at ten yards and capable of much better from a rest. This gun is primarily a U.S.P.S.A. gun so while accuracy is important, I don’t necessarily need a gun capable of extreme accuracy at the detriment of reliability. This gun is likely capable of shooting two-three inches at 25 yards which is outstanding. I only tested factory ammunition (Armscor) and would guess that with a load made for this gun it might do even better.
- Power: 9- .40 calibre ammunition offers plenty of power yet good controllability in a defensive gun. This particular gun is set up for competition, so power is it’s case is simple a what the division requires (I can shoot 9mm in USPSA but would score minor…for more on USPSA visit uspsa.org). Note: I do NOT rate handguns in relation to hunting (animal) power.
The Rock Island line of guns continues to impress me. The company makes no bones about the fact that their guns are not high end custom guns, and the price reflects that. I have shot the guns I personally own without cleaning for a few months now, and they continue to run without malfunctions. If you are in the market for a lower priced, yet quality 1911/2011 type gun, I strongly suggest you consider a Rock Island Armory gun in your search. And as usual, those of you that know me will not be surprised when I recommend spending less money on a gun, and more on ammunition and training. Once you get your Rock Island Armory gun, make the investment in some ammunition and get a full training program to follow and take your skills to the next level. I hope to see you on the range!
Until Then – Train Hard!
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