Introducing The RIA 5.0 From Rock Island Armory


Rock Island Armory is known for a wide variety of firearms products — most of my friends know them for quality, entry-level 1911s.

They’ve now added a new, more premium option for their firearm lineup — the RIA 5.0.

And people are losing their ever-loving minds.

What is it?

The RIA 5.0, which the Armscor / Rock Island Armory YouTube channel introduced four weeks ago, is built for competition. It features a “deeper bore axis, patented rvs recoil system, buttery-smooth trigger, two-piece modular grip, and unbeatable optics,” according to their website.

“The RIA 5.0 features a patented RVS recoil system engineered to maximize barrel mass and linear movement for super soft recoil. It has a buttery-smooth trigger for greater accuracy in rapid-fire situations, and a two-piece modular grip frame for flexibility and control. The level of research and precision engineering that went into the making of this sporting pistol is unmatched,” the Rock Island Armory website states.

Claiming an “unmatched” level of precision engineering for just about anything is a massive claim. It’d be interesting to see how they’d back that up.

This is a USA-made firearm, which is reportedly a first for them. It features a square barrel, which is certain to turn some heads.


According to their website, the RIA 5.0 specifications include:

Series RIA-USA
Caliber 9MM
Capacity 17+1
Barrel 4.91″
Overall Length 8.11 inch / 205.99 mm
Overall Width 1.33 inch / 33.78 mm
Overall Height 5.17 inch / 131.32 mm
Weight 2.47 lbs / 1.12 kg
Front Sight Dawson Precision, Fiber Optic on dovetail cut
Rear Sight LPA Adjustable on dovetail cut (also available with C More RTS II Red Dot Optic)
Grips Nylon Grip
Finish E100 Cerakote
Action Semi-Automatic
Trigger Pull 4 lbs
Purpose Personal Protection


Here’s where it gets interesting. According to the spec sheet they shared (the above is literally a direct quote from them), this firearm exists for the purpose of personal protection.

However, their introductory video refers to a “sport shooter,” and was just promoted by Guns and Ammo as a “sporting pistol” in their email blast.

I might be reading into this too much, but there does seem to be some sort of discrepancy, there.

Critical Reception

Now, this is a brand-spanking new pistol, so the jury’s still out on this handgun in a lot of respects.

Even so, there are a number of reviews out there.

Sootch00 said that we “live in the golden age of firearms, and this has just made it even more golden.”

That’s pretty high praise.

He also pointed out what astute observers have likely already noticed: the way the slide is built bears some resemblance to the iconic CZ-75.

“One of the things about this pistol is that it has the frame rails fit over the slide rails,” he said. “So the slide actually fits down into the frame, and that’s very reminiscent of your CZ-75 models, and that is a smooth-shooting firearm.”

Roy Huntingdon, Special Assignments Editor for FMG Publications, said, “I have never been this impressed with a new gun… maybe in my life. And I’m not kidding on that one.”

“It’s got the best trigger I’ve ever felt on a semi-auto pistol, and frankly, this feels as good as one on a highly-tuned 1911.”

Will Dabbs over at American Handgunner said, “This is the smoothest handgun action I have ever encountered. I’ve been squeezing triggers for fun and money since 1989, and this thing is different. The gun cycles more like a sewing machine than a firearm.”



I’ll be honest. When I saw the email blast from Guns and Ammo that promoted the thing, I thought “Well, who the heck is going to want that chunky plastic thing?”

I do. I want that thing.

Too many people are saying too many good things already to be ignored.

The gun reportedly retails at $998.88, which is a little steep, but should I succeed in putting the scratch together to make this happen, I might be swinging for it.

And if I do, you better believe I’ll give you all the details.

What do you think about this new gun? Share this out on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!

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