Rock Island 1911 pistols enjoy nearly universal acclaim. They are affordable, reliable, hard-working, have numerous shooter-friendly features, and offer no-frills operation. They’re some of the best 1911-style pistols in the shooting sports industry.
Another great thing about Rock Island 1911 pistols is that they are compatible with a wide range of 1911 parts and accessories. For instance, if you have a single stack RIA 1911, then probably most any single stack 1911 mag in the same caliber will work with it.
Speaking of which, why is it that so many shooters are preoccupied with keeping their guns clean, but never clean their magazines?
It can be argued that to a repeater or an autoloader, the magazine is one of the most vital components of the platform. As simple as they are, if any part fails, the firearm won’t feed or cycle.
So, reference this basic guide for the care of your Rock Island 1911 mags to keep them in shooting shape.
Remove the Base Plate
Clear your Rock Island 1911 pistol and drop the mag. Remove any rounds from the magazine, then remove the base plate.
The base plate will either slide off or be affixed by a screw or two, depending on the model. Remove the screws where present and slide off the base plate.
Take care when removing the base plate as the spring will want to jump out of the bottom of the mag.
Remove Spring and Follower; Clean
After removing the base plate, remove the spring and follower. Place all three components, along with the 1911 mag body, on a clean surface or mat.
Using an appropriate fouling solvent (such as Hoppe’s No. 9) clean any fouling off of the spring. Be careful when using solvents on plastic; if the follower is plastic, consider using warm water and soap instead. A nylon brush can help dislodge any stuck fouling.
After cleaning the spring and follower, apply a very light coat of oil to them (such as Rem Oil). This will help protect against corrosion.
Use sparingly, though, as excess oil will trap grit and fouling and can accelerate wear on these sensitive parts.
Clean Mag Interior
With the 1911 mag spring and follower clean, dried, and oiled, use a damp rag or bore brush to scrub out the interior of the magazine.
There will probably be some fouling and grime in here, so take care to wipe it all away. Then, as before, apply a thin coat of oil – but not too much.
Clean Mag Exterior, Taking Care Not to Damage the Feed Lips
Next, use a rag to wipe off the exterior of the 1911 mag body. You can use a nylon or brass brush to dislodge any particularly stubborn deposits of fouling, dirt,vt or tar.
Take care when cleaning around the feed lips because if you apply too much pressure or stress and deform them you will damage the mag.
Once again, apply a very thin coat of oil after you have thoroughly dried the mag body.
Reassemble in Reverse Order
After you have dried and oiled all components of the magazine, insert the follower, then the spring; compress the spring with your thumb before sliding the mag floor plate over the opening and securing it.
Clear the Pistol and Feed Some Snap Caps to Ensure Cycling
Finally, if you like, you can clear the pistol and load some snap caps into the mag, manually cycling the slide to ensure they feed smoothly – though this step is optional.
Rock Island 1911 Mag Too Far Gone? Get a New One
For those of you with Rock Island 1911 magazines that are just too far gone, get a new one at SARCO, Inc. They carry a huge range of 1911 mags, including tons that are compatible with Rock Island 1911 pistols.
And they carry a respectable range of handsome and practical Rock Island Armory pistols, too. Visit their website, SarcoInc.com today, or, if you’re in their area, stop by their showroom at 50 Hilton Street in Easton, Pennsylvania.