Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super : A California-Compliant Classic with a Punch

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super

At first glance, the Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super looks like countless other 1911’s on the market, but trust us, this one is a bit special, and we always get excited when they come back in stock and across our sales counter at Dirty Bird Guns and Ammo. In the realm of firearms, certain combinations stand out as both practical and historically significant. We believe one such pairing that deserves more attention is the Rock Island Armory (RIA) 1911 chambered in .38 Super. This blog post explores the rich history and compelling features of this firearm, with a special focus on its California compliance – a crucial factor for many gun enthusiasts.

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super Standard Full Size 1911 – 5″


Dirty Bird Guns & Ammo

View Details

California Compliance: A Key Selling Point

Before delving into the details, it’s worth highlighting that this Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super model is California compliant. In a state known for its strict firearms regulations, finding a quality handgun that meets all legal requirements can be challenging. The RIA 1911 in .38 Super not only meets these stringent standards but does so without compromising on performance or historical authenticity. This compliance opens doors for California residents who wish to own a piece of firearms history while adhering to state laws.

A Legacy of Quality: Rock Island Armory

Tracing its roots back to 1905, Rock Island Armory has been serving firearm enthusiasts for over a century. The company’s enduring philosophy is that reliable self-defense tools should be accessible without breaking the bank. This commitment to quality and affordability has earned RIA a respected place in the firearms industry. Over the years, we’ve sold a lot of Rock Island Armory’s 1911s, and we know, without a doubt, that they are good to go. In a nutshell these are great pistols and a fantastic introduction to 1911s from a company that cares that you can trust.

RIA manufactures their 1911s in the Philippines, leveraging skilled craftsmanship to produce handguns that offer exceptional value. Known for their solid quality control and responsive customer service, RIA provides peace of mind to buyers. Their limited lifetime warranty further demonstrates their confidence in their products.

The company’s dedication to the 1911 platform is evident in their wide range of offerings, each designed to cater to different preferences and needs within the 1911 community. The GI Standard model, in particular, pays homage to the original military-issue 1911, offering enthusiasts a taste of history with modern manufacturing standards.

The Unsung Hero: .38 Super

So, why .38 Super instead of the classic .45 ACP for a 1911? That’s a good question, and the the answer isn’t totally straightforward. For us, we just think its damn neat. The .38 Super cartridge has a fascinating history dating back to the 1920s. Born in response to the need for a more powerful round during the violent era of Prohibition, the .38 Super was Colt’s answer to law enforcement’s call for a cartridge capable of penetrating the sheet metal of getaway cars. This innovative round prioritized velocity over size, marking a significant shift in handgun ammunition design.

The .38 Super later found its niche in the competitive shooting world, particularly in the early days of IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation). Its ability to meet power factor requirements while offering higher capacity and manageable recoil made it a favorite among competitive shooters.

The .38 Super’s journey is a testament to the cyclical nature of firearms trends. After its initial popularity, it was overshadowed by newer cartridges but has seen a resurgence in recent years. Handloaders and ballistics enthusiasts appreciate its versatility and performance potential, keeping the round relevant in today’s market.

PMC Bronze 38 Super +P 130 Grain Full Metal Jacket Handgun Ammo


Dirty Bird Guns & Ammo

View Details

Why Choose the RIA 1911 in .38 Super?

  • Reliable Performance: The .38 Super is an excellent mid-bore round for the 1911 platform. It shares the same overall length as the .45 ACP, avoiding the functional issues that sometimes plague 9mm 1911s. This compatibility ensures smooth feeding and reliable operation.
  • Versatility: Easy to reload and with a wide range of accurate loads available, the .38 Super offers flexibility for both target shooting and self-defense. Its ballistic performance allows for effective use in various scenarios.
  • Ballistic Advantage: Compared to the .45 ACP, the .38 Super boasts a flatter trajectory, making it easier to use at longer ranges. This characteristic makes it particularly appealing for those who value precision in their shooting.
  • Affordability: Priced under $500, the RIA 1911 in .38 Super offers exceptional value for money. It provides an entry point into the world of 1911s without compromising on quality or historical significance.
  • Historical Significance: Owning this firearm connects you to multiple threads of firearms history – the iconic 1911 design and the innovative .38 Super cartridge.

The RIA 1911 GI Standard in .38 Super: A Closer Look

RIA’s offering is a faithful representation of the original US GI combat issue 1911. Key features of the Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super include:

  • 5″ barrel for balanced weight and accuracy
  • Durable parkerized finish that provides a non-reflective, corrosion-resistant surface
  • Fixed, low-profile sights ideal for quick-draw situations, staying true to the original military design
  • Smooth wooden grips for comfort and classic aesthetics
  • Crisp factory trigger pull between 4-6 pounds, offering a clean break for accurate shooting

With a 10-round capacity, overall length of 8.54 inches, and weight of 2.56 lbs, the Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super strikes an excellent balance between power and manageability. The slim profile, measuring 1.29 inches in width, makes it suitable for concealed carry while maintaining the classic 1911 feel.

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super – Performance and Practicality

In practical terms, the .38 Super cartridge in this 1911 platform offers several advantages. Its higher velocity compared to the .45 ACP translates to improved penetration and energy transfer, making it effective for self-defense. The flatter trajectory also aids in accuracy, especially at longer ranges.
For those who enjoy time at the range, the .38 Super provides an excellent balance of power and controllability. The recoil is noticeably less than a .45 ACP, allowing for faster follow-up shots and extended shooting sessions with less fatigue.

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super – Maintenance and Customization

Like all 1911s, the RIA model benefits from the vast aftermarket support for the platform. While it comes well-equipped out of the box, enthusiasts have the option to customize various aspects of the firearm to suit their preferences. From sights to grips to internal components, the possibilities for personalization are extensive.

Maintenance is straightforward, following standard 1911 procedures. The robust design and quality construction mean that with proper care, this firearm can serve reliably for many years.

Rock Island Armory G1 Series .38 Super – Conclusion

While this pistol isn’t for everyone, for us it checks all the boxes on what makes a pistol exciting. The Rock Island Armory 1911 in .38 Super represents a compelling option for firearm enthusiasts, especially those in California looking for a compliant handgun. It combines the timeless design of the 1911 with the often-overlooked yet highly capable .38 Super cartridge. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a collector, or simply in search of a reliable and affordable handgun, this RIA offering deserves serious consideration.

This firearm is more than just a tool; it’s a piece of living history. It connects the user to the innovative spirit of early 20th-century firearms development while providing performance that remains relevant today. For those who appreciate the blend of classic design, historical significance, and practical functionality, the RIA 1911 in .38 Super stands as a testament to how past and present can coexist in one impressive package.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *