Modifying my mid size Rock Island 1911

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by Sgt.York1918, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Hello i just purchased my first 1911, also my first pistol, and have questions about modifications. Due to a blunder with the seller, I bought a Mid size or Commander's length version instead of a full size version. I recieved it at my FFL and was like "Not want i want but I really dont want the hassle of complaining" and it felt great in my hand.

    Now it took me awhile to save up to get this so im going to mod the crap out of it till it's perfect. Due to this mistake my budget is slashed. My problem is that on the Rock Island Armory mid size they don't have a barrel bushing and have a bull barrel which is incompatible with most drop in compensators. So now either i try to find a special threaded compensator and try to have my barrel threaded, or go ahead and get a 5 inch slide and barrel and just put that on.

    How difficult is that? What would i have to do in either case? Is it just a simple matter of changing the slide, well i mean theres the spring inside but you know what i mean.

    P.S. Tried to partially dissasemmble the pistol the other night, pulled the pin and the slide release but when i tried to move the slide forward to take it off it went only so far before locking up, looked up video after video dont know what im doing wrong.
  2. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    Congrats on purchasing your first 1911. Sorry to say that selling it and buying the one you want is going to be your easiest/best solution. The Commander, or 'mid-size' frame, is not the same as the full size so just trying to replace the slide is not necessarily go to work for you. Plus, in general 1911 parts don't swap like Glock parts, they often require fitting to individual guns.

    Not sure why you want a bushing compensator, they're generally crap and a barrel bushing should be properly fit to your barrel and slide for the best accuracy, I doubt very much that you'll improve anything by replacing the factory barrel bushing with a "drop in" bushing/compensator.

    I'm not sure what pin you're pulling but all you should need to do to get the slide off the gun is to remove the slide stop. Because it's a bushingless barrel you should have a full length guide rod and reverse recoil spring plug but that will all come of as part of the slide assembly.

  3. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Ditto what WC said.

    Bull barrels typically have a little hole in the guide rod that allow you to insert a bent paper clip into which relieves the recoil spring pressure. This allows for easier slide stop removal. I suspect that the paper clip might be sticking out too far on the opposite side of the guide rod which might be hanging up on the frame somewhere.

    Ditto selling it and buying one you want. If it is a non-railed 10mm, I would be interested.

    BTW, View attachment 180569

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    WHEELS, FWoo45 and WC145 like this.
  4. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    I'm a big fan a bull barrels, give it a try and I think you'll like it. RIA makes some great guns, I owned one briefly and it was very accurate ;)
  5. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Well dang, that's not what wanted to hear.

    Thanks guys for telling me about the paperclip deal i had no idea what you where talking about then i just saw another video and im like duh no wonder it didnt move.

    Unfortunately i cant just "get another" not feasible it took me forever to save up enough so I could buy this, i got a great deal at 325 for a pistol that's practically brand new, rarely if ever fired. So i have about 145 to play with for upgrades.

    So it looks like option A, threading my barrel to put a compensator on it. Dang, didn't want to have to do that. So i need advice on that.

    I wish I could afford a 10mm. No mine is in .45acp, the classic. If you know anyone that would do a fair trade for a full size government model, doesnt have to be pristine, id gladly do it. Like i said its practically new.
  6. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Thanks, glad to know i put my fait in a great company. I was only concerned because i heard bull barrels or shorter 1911 barrels have a snappier recoil, that and i dont know how to fit a comp on a bull barrel
  7. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    My advice? Just shoot it for a while the way it is and enjoy it! I think you’ll find you love it the way it is.
    Fred_G, Ethanol Red, FWoo45 and 4 others like this.
  8. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    My advise is on your welcome page, wear out this ria, do not mod, and when possible purchase your gov't model.
    Grasp pistol firmly in right hand (think its called glock style for internet search) and remove slidestop with left. Remove slide and capture the recoil assembly with left hand. Then its all apart and easy to remove parts. Be certain to capture the recoil assembly as you remove the slide, its under pretty good spring force and will go flying. Easier to do than try to explain
    limbkiller likes this.
  9. dash

    dash Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2016
    If your Rock Island commander 45 has a Rail let me know, I’ve been looking for one.
  10. mikegalway

    mikegalway CEO of DILLIGAF industries Supporting Addict

    Feb 23, 2014
    Either shoot it as is or trade up . The mods you mention are more expensive than trading up . JMHO RIA is a great value .
  11. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    Try shooting it before worrying about modifying it, the difference in recoil between a 4" and 5" steel framed 1911 is minimal, they weigh almost the same and your gun has the benefit of the heavier bull barrel adding weight to the muzzle. Besides, you can't thread that barrel to attach anything to it, the barrel needs to be longer than the slide so that the part that sticks out can be threaded. I suggest you spend your extra money on ammo and enjoy learning your new gun at the range.
  12. gumby

    gumby Active Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    I carry the RIA mid-size. All I did was paint the front sight white, add a beavertail and commander hammer.
    Ethanol Red likes this.
  13. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    I have 2 commander lengths with bull barrels, a Kimber CDP Pro, and a Guncrafter Industries model 3 in 50 GI, took a little while to get used to the bull barrels and the paperclip trick, but I find them to be two very accurate 1911. As said in above posts the extra weight of the bull barrel makes up for the 1" difference. Shoot it and enjoy it.
  14. Acroyer

    Acroyer I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a 1911 today Supporting Addict

    Dec 16, 2015
    RIAs are great guns. I have the mid-size 10mm with the full rail. It took a little tweaking to get it to run 100% and I can only use Tripp Cobra mags if I want to carry it.

    It has been relegated to the safe since I got my S&W 1006.

    I would sell it, but no way would anyone pay what I would want for it after the custom holster, mags, etc.

    It doesn't bother me, though. It's a solid gun from a good company. I would echo the others and say just shoot it the way it is and enjoy it. Unless you're doing speed competitions, you don't really need a compensator for 45 acp (my opinion).
  15. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    I am not sure you would be able to put a FS upper on a MS lower. If they are faithful copies of GM and Commander, you would not.
    A threaded cone compensator would be expensive to install.
    Like others, I recommend to either Don't Worry, Be Happy; or trade for what you wanted to start with.

    Have you figured out or learned how to take it down yet?
  16. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    *sigh* Really everyone says the same thing "just shoot it, just wear it out and get a new one" Jesus Christ that's not what im looking for! I will not shoot this until im 100% satisfied in its appearance and functionality, lets just say im very anal when it comes to things like this. Its already driving me up a wall that this isn't a perfect 5inch model, I look at it and it doesn't look complete.

    Either two things will happen, someone will give me a fair trade for a 5inch model for my practically new pistol or I will put a compensator on this one. That's it, no question.

    I appreciate the support and responses but please lets focus on my actual objective.
  17. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    On the RIA's the midsize and full size model look to have the same type of GI style frame so I don't see why not.

    Like I mentioned Im not just going to forget it, when I put my mind on something it gets done so this is happening. Exspensive how so?
  18. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Dis gonna be goot . . . .

  19. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Good luck pal
    gps man, ZoidMeister and Kip like this.
  20. Sgt.York1918

    Sgt.York1918 Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Unfortunitly its not the tactical model its the GI model so no rail, but if your up for trade I can perhaps sweeten the pot with cash or knives.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Draft saved Draft deleted