By: Jeff Chudwin
Rock River’s Basic Limited 1911 is a finely crafted gun that’s also a solid shooter.
In the cookbook of handguns, steel and wood are the original main ingredients. Using these tried-and-true materials, Rock River Arms of Colona, Illinois, is producing a 1911 that is a standout in quality and performance. Known as the Basic Limited model, it is an enhanced version of John Browning’s most popular design.
In a market awash with 1911s, companies have to do something special to stand out in the crowd. In speaking with Steve Mayer at Rock River, he explained that while, yes, the 1911 market is huge, there is a niche for quality, built-to-order handguns. That is what the Basic Limited is about: a 1911 with many high-end features that are found on pistols costing far more.
The Basic Limited is a Series 70 1911, the original Browning design. Series 80 guns incorporate a firing pin safety to increase drop safety, but to the chagrin of many 1911 fans, this additional safety makes the trigger pull worse.
With its Series 70 gun, Rock River has adopted an extended and heavy-duty firing pin spring and a lightweight firing pin to provide increased drop safety while not compromising trigger pull. I have carried a Series 70 for more than 30 years and have no qualms about it.
The first thing that caught my attention is the high-quality blue work on the slide and frame that is reminiscent of the old Colts I have owned. Basic Limited pistols are finished in RocKote, a durable baked-on coating, but Rock River also offers a more traditional blue finish for purists like me.
Rock River opted for a BoMar adjustable sight system, and it’s serrated to provide a glare-free sight