Before 1985, Rock Island Armory was an independent designer and manufacturer of M1911 pistols. But this year changed everything. Armscor, the company that originated in the Philippines in the early 1900s, acquired Rock Island Armory after it opened its first office in the U.S. Today, Rock Island Armory produces pistols, shotguns, rifles, and revolvers solely as a part of Armscor.
Rock Island Armory became famous for its M1911-type pistols. The M1911A1 was adopted as a U.S. military sidearm in 1924 and was replaced with the Beretta M9 only in 1985. During World War II, the pistol was manufactured in large quantities. But after the war ended, the government called off the contracts for further production and focused on rebuilding existing stocks. The U.S. government arsenals that were refurbishing M1911 and M1911A1 pistols marked them with their initials. Thus, RIA pistols first appeared.
The modern Rock Island Armory brand has 1911 pistols distributed among several lines. The most popular Rock Island Armory 1911 lines are the 1911 Rock series and the 1911 GI series.
RIA 1911 GI series includes a range of affordable handguns mostly chambered in .45 ACP. There also are models in .38 Super and 9mm. The guns of this series suit beginner shooters.
RIA 1911 Rock series has a broader range of pistols chambered in .45 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, 10mm. The series runs a bit more expensive guns for experienced and competitive shooters. The handguns feature adjustable sights. In contrast, GI pistols use fixed sights.
The company also creates pistol designs that are not 1911. As an example, Rock Island Armory STK100 is a striker-fired pistol chambered in 9mm. It has a barrel length of 4.5 inches and an aluminum 1911-style grip for increased control.
The company is also famous for its Rock Island Armory 12-gauge shotguns. Its Semi-auto series runs traditional-looking semi-automatic, pump-action, and break-action shotguns that employ various advanced features. The VR series includes 12-gauge AR-style shotguns. For instance, Rock Island Armory VR80 and VR60 semi-automatic shotguns have a 5+1 capacity of 2-¾” and 3” shells and are great weapons for home defense and recreational shooting.
On GritrSports, you’ll find Rock Island Armory 9mm and .45 ACP semi-automatic pistols and 12-gauge AR shotguns.