RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm Review

Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 GI 10mm Pistol 5″ 8+1

The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is a pistol that has gained much attention from gun enthusiasts and collectors alike. This classic pistol design has been upgraded to shoot the powerful 10mm cartridge, making it a formidable weapon for both self-defense and hunting purposes. In this RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm Review, we’ll be taking a closer look at its features, performance, and overall value. Whether you are a seasoned gun owner or a novice looking to purchase your first pistol, this review will provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

The 10mm

The 10mm cartridge was first introduced in the early 1980s by the firearms company Colt. The idea was to create a high-power handgun cartridge that would perform better than the popular .45 ACP cartridge, particularly for law enforcement and military personnel.

The development of the 10mm cartridge was a joint effort between Colt and ammunition manufacturer Norma of Sweden. The cartridge was designed to have a higher velocity and energy than other handgun cartridges of the time, with a flat trajectory and greater accuracy at longer ranges.

The original 10mm cartridge had a heavy recoil and was difficult for some to handle,

leading to decreased popularity. However, the cartridge was later modified to have a shorter case length and lower power, creating the 10mm Auto cartridge.

This new version was more manageable for shooters and gained popularity among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

In recent years, the 10mm cartridge has experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly among those who value its power and versatility for self-defense, hunting, and sport shooting. As a result, many firearms manufacturers now produce handguns and rifles chambered in 10mm, and ammunition is widely available.

About Rock Island Armory

Rock Island Armory (RIA) is a firearms manufacturer based in the Philippines. The company was founded in 1905 as Squires Bingham & Co. and was primarily a sporting goods store. In the 1940s, Squires Bingham began importing firearms from the United States and Europe, and in the 1980s, the company started manufacturing its guns.

Rock Island Armory logo

1985, Squires Bingham changed its name to Armscor Precision International and began exporting firearms to the United States. 1989, Armscor USA was established as a subsidiary in the United States to serve the American market better. In 2002, the company changed its name to Rock Island Armory after the iconic Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.

Today, Rock Island Armory is a well-known brand in the firearms industry and produces various firearms, including handguns, shotguns, and rifles. The company is known for its quality products at affordable prices.

M1911-A1 GI Standard Unbox

Arriving in a nice Rock Island branded hard case, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is off to a good start. The first thing you notice when opening the box is the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm’s grips and the iconic 1911 style. In addition, the gun has a classic look, with a parkerized finish and OD VZ Operator G10 Grips.

Overall, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm Full-Size unboxing isn’t going to win any awards but it is better than many. Items in the box include the firearm, one 8-round magazine; two spent casings confirming the gun was test fired, a manual, and a firearm lock. The carry case is hard plastic and good-looking, although the most critical piece is the firearm, and it is sharp! A great-looking gun that makes a great first impression.

Diving into the M1911-A1 GI Standard

RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm Specifications.

  • MANUFACTURER: Rock Island Armory
  • FAMILY: 1911 Style Pistol Series
  • MODEL: M1911-A1 GI
  • TYPE: Semi-Auto Pistol
  • ACTION: Single Action
  • FINISH: Parkerized
  • FINISH TYPE: Applied Finish
  • FRAME: Steel Frame
  • STOCK/GRIPS: OD VZ Operator G10 Grips
  • BARREL: 5″
  • CAPACITY: 8 + 1
  • SIGHTS: Fixed GI Style
  • SIGHT TYPE: Fixed Sights
  • WEIGHT: 38 oz.
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 3.85 lbs.
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Frame Mounted
  • ADDL INFO: GI Hammer, Beavertail, Sights
  • ADDL INFO: Beveled Magazine Well
  • UPC: 812285028088


The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm features a 5-inch barrel made of high-quality stainless steel. The barrel is button-rifled for improved accuracy, and the rifling has a 1:16 twist rate, which is ideal for stabilizing the 10mm cartridge.

The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm barrel and slide

The barrel is also coated with a durable finish to prevent rust and corrosion, ensuring long-lasting performance.

Additionally, the barrel is designed to fit seamlessly with the pistol’s slide, providing a solid lockup for consistent accuracy shot after shot.


M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm

The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm features a parkerized finish, giving it a classic look and providing excellent protection against wear and tear. The finish is applied using a process involving the metal surface’s electrochemical conversion into a durable and corrosion-resistant coating. This results in a matte, non-reflective finish perfect for those who prefer a more subtle look. The parkerized finish is also highly durable and resistant to scratches, so the gun can withstand the rigors of regular use without losing its visual appeal. The parkerized finish comes down to taste, but I am a fan.


The frame of the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is made of high-quality steel and features a traditional design that has proven to be highly reliable over the years. In addition, the gun has a single-stack magazine that fits snugly into the frame and supports the gun’s slim profile.

RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm frame

The grip and right-handed thumb safety are well-designed and function smoothly, allowing for quick and easy operation. The gun also features a standard slide stop, magazine release, and hammer. Overall, the frame and associated parts of the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm are well-designed and consistent with a 1911 style pistol.


The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm features OD VZ Operator G10 Grips, which add to the gun’s aesthetic appeal and provide excellent grip and control. I like the OD (olive drab) color scheme. It’s highly distinctive and complements the gun’s parkerized finish, giving it a unique and modern look.

In addition, the G10 material is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, which means that the grips can withstand the rigors of regular use without losing their effectiveness. The texture of the grips feels excellent; it provides a secure and comfortable grip.

What is G-10

G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate material commonly used in knife handles, gun grips, and other applications requiring a durable and lightweight material with excellent grip and texture. It is made by stacking layers of fiberglass cloth or paper and then impregnating them with epoxy resin. The stack is then compressed under high pressure and temperature to create a rigid, durable material resistant to water, heat, and chemicals. G10 is also known for its excellent grip, achieved by milling or texturing the material’s surface. Overall, G10 is a versatile material widely used in various applications where durability, lightweight, and grip are essential.


RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm magazine

The magazine of the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is a single-stack design with eight rounds of 10mm ammunition. It is made of durable steel and features a removable padded base plate, allowing easy disassembly and cleaning.

The magazine release button is well-placed and easy to operate for quick and smooth magazine changes.


With the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm pistol comes several safety features designed to ensure safe handling and operation. These include:

  • Thumb safety: A lever located on the left side of the frame, which when engaged, blocks the trigger and prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin.
  • Grip safety: Located on the backstrap of the grip and is engaged when the shooter grasps the pistol grip. It prevents the trigger from being pulled unless it is fully depressed.
  • Firing pin safety: This safety prevents the firing pin from striking the primer of a chambered round unless the trigger is pulled.
  • Half-cock safety: When the hammer is in the half-cock position, it is prevented from slipping and discharging the pistol accidentally.
  • Magazine disconnect safety: This safety prevents the pistol from being fired when the magazine is removed.


I know many people are fans of plain black sights, but I’m not one of them. So, the sights on the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm are my only real detractor.

The sights are low profile, made of durable steel, and securely mounted to the slide, ensuring they remain in place even under heavy use. The black front sight is a ramped post-style design, and the rear view is a classic black military-style notch. Overall, the sights for me are an immediate item I’ll add to the upgrades list. I have heard good things about Dawson Precision for the Rock Island 1911s, so I will look at those.


Made of high-quality steel, the slide is machined to provide a smooth and precise cycling action, which you feel as you rack the slide. The rear serrations on the slide are deep and well-defined, making it easy to grip and manipulate even with wet or sweaty hands.

RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm slide

The slide also features a classic military-style design that is elegant and functional, with no extraneous features or ornamentation. Overall, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm slide is an excellent example of expert craftsmanship.


The trigger of the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is one of its standout features, made of high-quality steel and offering a smooth and crisp trigger pull that is both predictable, consistent and easy to control.

Trigger has a short take-up and a clean break. Pull weight is spec’d at approximately 4-5 pounds, and for our tests came in steadily closer to 5, which was surprising because it felt lighter. The trigger does feature an adjustable overtravel stop, which allows for further customization of the trigger pull, which I will be playing with. Overall, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm trigger feels excellent.

Aftermarket Parts Compatibility

The RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is a highly customizable gun that lends itself well to a wide range of aftermarket modifications. Some of the most popular aftermarket parts for this gun include

  • Upgraded sights– for example, night sights or fiber optic sights can improve accuracy and sight acquisition in low-light conditions.
  • Triggers– such as drop-in kits, can improve trigger pull and reduce trigger travel.
  • Grips– there are a ton of 1911-style grips to choose from.
  • Magazines– Upgraded magazines with increased capacity and improved feeding can enhance the gun’s overall performance.

Other popular aftermarket modifications for the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm include upgraded recoil springs, guide rods, and extractors, as well as custom finishes and engraving.

M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm Review Wrap

Overall, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm positive reviews from friends and many reviewers seem merited. Praised for its reliability, accuracy, and value for money, and again, it’s easy to see why. It holds that classic military-style design, which is functional and elegant. The gun’s durable parkerized finish is also a great touch. My only real exception is the sights, and between sights and triggers, I tend to be a bit set in my ways. That being the case, I don’t mind upgrading sights.

The chatter about the recoil is a matter of taste, and the recoil is a little stout but is to be expected with the 10mm. Overall, the RIA M1911-A1 GI Standard 10mm is a winner to me now! I look forward to hearing your comments, questions feedback below.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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