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Rock Island Armory GI Standard MS Rock Island 1911 with Magazines Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize
Rock Island Armory GI Standard MS Rock Island 1911 with Magazines Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize
  • Affordable
  • Reliable after short break-in
  • Decent Parkerizing
  • More recoil than standard sized 1911s
  • Guide rod is harder to remove
  • GI sights are lacking
Editor’s Note:

The Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS (Mid-Size) is a commander-length 1911 that stays true to the original GI combat-issued 1911s of the past. Its shorter 4.25-inch barrel helps keep the gun more compact and concealable while still retaining the accuracy the 1911 is known for. The GI Standard MS holds 8+1 rounds of .45 ACP and comes with a crisp 4-6 pound trigger, wood grips, low profile GI sights, and a smooth parkerized finish.

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Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS Specs

Semi-Auto / Single Action
Barrel Length
Magazine Capacity
10rd / 7rd
45 ACP / 9mm Luger
Overall Length
7.3in / 8.6in
Trigger Pull

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS Features

4.2" barrel
8+1 capacity
Black parkerized finish
GI-style front and rear sights
Wood grips
Slim design - 1.3in width

By The Numbers - Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS

It’s not the barrel or the handgun…it’s the standard GI sights.
Some reliability issues in the beginning but fine after 50 rounds and magazine break-in.
It’s a 1911 so the sky is the limit.
I love the feel of 1911s and this captures that. The shorter barrel is also easier to move between targets. The hammer bite kind of sucks.

Hands-On Reviews & Related Post

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS Variations & Comparables

Kimber Desert Warrior

Kimber Desert Warrior


The Kimber Warrior is an outstanding gun from the looks department. If you are a buyer who is strictly into guns for self-defense and can only purchase one gun, I’d steer clear of this shooter as it’s not the most reliable. Our reviewer experienced some issues while testing and performed well only with the right mags and ammo.


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Colt Defender

Colt Defender


The Colt Defender has stood the test of time for a reason. This small 1911 is a workhorse on the range! It would make for a good backup gun due to its size. It can be a little particular when it comes to ammo, but once you figure out what it likes it’s pretty reliable.

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Springfield Armory Emissary 1911

Springfield Armory Emissary 1911


Springfield Armory’s Emissary 1911 is where classic meets modern.  It functions just like an old school 1911 but has modern touches such as the full-length guide rod and a heavy-profile, bushingless bull barrel.  This gun looks and feels quality.

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Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard MS Upgrades & Accessories

final verdict

“The Rock Island 1911 is a great starter-priced 1911 around $500 that maintains the look of a standard GI model with decent parkerizing and surprisingly good trigger. But beware of some initial break-in, potential for hammer bite, and terrible GI sights. With the test of the GI Midsize…I’m sold on the quality and reliability of RIA.  And also learned that midsize is not for me.” – Eric Hung

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