Gunner’s Journal

The 1911 Worlds Finest Handgun!

Rock Island Armory Tactical By Horace Lambert

Posted by Gunner on November 7, 2007

As promised I am giving my second range report on my Rock Island Tactical. This report was from my shooting yesterday(Friday) 11-05-07. I started out early in the morning at 8:00 the weather was clear and the wind was calm. My Rock has previously had 100 rounds through it with no failures to feed or hang ups of any kind. The pistol was field stripped, cleaned and lubed after my last shooting session. I changed grips for some black double diamond rubber grips with finger inserts. Shooting positions were Weaver stance or sitting with no rest. In the first target I used 185 grain SWC  hand loads. I used 230 grain round nose white box ammo with no problems prior to this outing. I was having feeding trouble throughout the shooting session with lead semi wadcutters and will discuss that later. I loaded three of my own Power Star magazines with 6 rounds and the Novak magazine that came with the gun with 8 rounds. Shooting the Tactical was a pleasure and I was happily surprised at the groupings. After the initial 80 rounds the wind picked to a 5 mph breeze it was still bright and sunny. At this point I changed target and ammo to the 299 grain SWC and continued shooting, I shot 100 rounds of this weight bullet and the accuracy is still holding true. I found out that the Rock Island did not like these bullets and was still getting the same feeding difficulties. The difficulty ratio had gone down to 2 out of 8 failure to feed from 4 out of 8 failure to feed. This hole in my target was getting larger so I changed to the 160 grain SWC ammo. I was happy to see that I had almost no problems with this weight ammo so I proceeded to shoot 50 more rounds. I had maybe one or two failures to feed and the target will show how much my frustration had subsided. My accuracy was best using this weight bullet and it didn’t take me long to finish the whole box. As you will see on my target, I was able to keep all of my shots within the three inch diameter target. Observe also how accurate the pistol allowed me to shoot at the heart drawn on the target. I have never shot this good and am looking forward to going again. The distance for all shooting was 25 feet. I field stripped the Rock Island after shooting and found nothing wrong with the internals. Nothing loose and no metal burs. Compared to the Thompson 1911 that I own the Rock Island is much better as far as accuracy. The Rock is a lot better shooter. It’s comfort level is as high as its accuracy. I have never enjoyed myself as much as I did yesterday. Next time I go I’ll bring 100 rounds of round nose and practice double taps, I am also going to shoot rapid fire to see how the Tactical performs. I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed Well that’s about all for the range report. There was a couple of guys there that asked me to shoot it and after shooting 8 rounds each they asked me for my Center fire systems catalog because they were going straight home and order one for themselves. Another shooter turned up his nose when I told him much it cost me but after shooting it he changed his mind quick . I guess a dream job would be a Rock Island salesman:-) Phil thanks a lot for telling me about the Rock Island Tactical! It has been a valuable addition to my weapon arsenal. Above all it is a definite keeper.

Horace I hope that’s not a self portrait–LOL!

  Just a note I’d like to add to Horaces review. This concerns feeding problems with lead semi wadcutters. Most any 1911 will have difficulties with these type of bullets. If you intend to shoot a lot of lead semi wadcutters it’s a good idea to take your 1911 to a competent gunsmith who can polish the feedramp and if needed change the feed angle to accomodate the semi wadcutter bullet.

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Second Range Report

Range Report- Rock Island Tactical 1911

This range report is on my recently bought Rock Island Tactical 45 acp 1911. I purchased my Rock on October 17th. I bought it from CenterfireSystems and paid a total take home price of $429.00. This is my second 1911.
I shot a total of 150 rounds through the pistol. They are hauling dirt at the pistol range section so I measured 30 feet distance for my shooting. I was using a shoot n c 5 inch target. The ammo was 100 rounds of Winchester 230 grain FMJ and 50 rounds of 200 grain SWC reloads. I also had 25 rounds of Doubletap Ammo 185 grain Gold dot rated at 1225 fps from a 5 inch bbl.I figured if I can shoot this ammo then all of the other defensive round ammo would not have a problem.

30 foot target

After setting up I proceeded to empty 5 different magazines on the Winchester ammo. Next I loaded 4 magazines with the reloads with the same results, not one ftf,no problems whatsoever. I shot two-handed and one handed with my strong hand. It seems that the more you shoot the Rock the better it gets. Next I tried the doubletap ammo. I used 5 magazines with 5 rounds in each one and shot rapid fire. I was very impressed. Some people that have used some of my doubletap ammo in their Kimbers and Springfields had a few problems with feeding. Again I must say that my Rock Island fed the high impact rounds flawlessly with no hiccups.
After shooting I field stripped my pistol and checked it over with a magnifying glass. I did not find any metal shavings or cracks at all. There was the normal grime and dirt from shooting this amount of bullets and everything was in order. I have now shot over 500 rounds of different types of ammo in the Tactical and am confident enough to use it for my daily carry pistol. I am planning on changing most of the internals and replace the beavertail, trigger,hammer,slide stop and slide safety’s with Wilson drop-in parts. This will be done after the next 100 rounds. I will post a picture of my Rock after this is all done. One thing I did after this shooting is install a patch of skateboard tape over the frontstrap. I will continue to use the black rubber double diamond grips until I can afford a set of alumna- grips for it. There is also a duracoat job in the future but I haven’t decided what color I will use on it. I want to thank Phil White for all of the assistance and guidance he has given me these past few months. He is an inspiration to me and I trust his knowledge and ability in the use of a 1911. This blog is a valuable to use in the upkeep of your weapon and also a real good reference point. I hope to remain a good friend of Phil for a very long time.

4 Responses to “Rock Island Armory Tactical By Horace Lambert”

  1. 500 rounds of wolf and other cheep ammo through it. action was tight for first 100 rounds. has loosened up and is a total dream

  2. oh i forgot. paid 406 out the door for it.mine is GI model

  3. Mark said

    What magazines were used? Do you recommend other brands than the RIA’s. I have put 200 rounds so far thru mine and I notice the last round does not seat fully. Just curious if this is indicative of RIA magazines.

  4. Gunner said


    They were standard RIA mags. Normally there are no problems with them. I use Tripp Research magazines in almost all my guns. They are very reliable and well made!

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