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American Handgunner March/April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 50
the rock island Armory sample was a commander-sized 1911A1 sample. pat didn’t like the smooth wood grips but other than that, this gun was a solid performer. t e g d Bu R e e B Pat CaSCIO • SCIO PhOtOS: CandI Ca R Lots of fun foR $500! s 1 1 9 1 eader Steven Dimino asked we take a look at some of the lower-priced 1911s out there. Easier said than done! We put this together at the end of the giant gun buying frenzy not long ago, so it was like asking for blood out of that proverbial turnip from some of the makers. We did the best we could, but if we deincluded your favorite, we’ll try again later now that the pipeline is filling up nicely. I really appreciate highly customized 1911s just like anyone else does; however, like most folks I’m on a budget, and more often than not, my budget is a beer budget — not a champagne one. I like to get more for my money when I’m out gun shopping, as do most folks. Honestly, though, I was really impressed with all these “economy” 1911s we tested. All were plenty accurate, with most groups in the 4" range at 25 yards. Best of all, are the prices. Most of the guns sell for around $525 in my neck of the woods, with the exception of the Rock Island Armory that goes for slightly under $400. I’d take any one of them, tuck it in a holster and carry it for self-defense, without ever looking back. Here’s what we learned. The GI model comes in a nice plastic carrying case with a mag pouch, holster and cleaning rod. The parkerized finish was evenly applied to the frame and slide and looked darn good. I particularly liked the hard wood grips with “U.S.” engraved on each grip — they looked very military if you ask me. Trigger pull was right at 5.5 pounds. I really liked the looks of the GI; it reminded me of my days in the US Army. The one thing I didn’t care for, but comes with the design of the gun, were the very smallish front and rear sights. Again, this gun is made up to Springfield Armory GI if you want a basic, no-frills 1911 looking all the world like a genuine mil-spec surplus pistol, take a close look at the springfield Armory Gi model. 50 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2012