RIA1 Prototype U.S. RIA M15 General Officers Pistol

This prototype version of Rock Island Arsenal M15 (RIA M15) has the serial number RIA1. And the grips, adorned with the Rock Island Arsenal insignia inlaid on the right

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Description

Rock Island Arsenal M15 General Officer Pistol (Serial “RIA1”) Prototype Overview

In the 1970s, amidst a deficit of Colt 1903/1908 models in military circulation, the Rock Island Arsenal M15 emerged as a tailored solution for generals needing a distinctive sidearm. Crafted with the precision of 1911/1911A1 elements, the RIA M15 version stood out as a bespoke adaptation of the esteemed Colt Combat Commander handgun. Historically significant, this model features distinct markings that precede later production stages, as chronicled on page 138 of “U.S. General Officer Pistols: A Collectors Guide” by authors Williams and Brunner. It’s recognized as one of the initial batches crafted by Rock Island, boasting a high-grade blue finish that contrasts its polished flat surfaces with the muted tones of its curves.

The RIA M15’s design integrates a blade and a square-notch sighting system on the slide. It proclaims “General Officers Model” on its left and bears the unique “RIA1” inscription on the right side of its frame—a notable variation from standard models. The barrel, a component of National Match acclaim, has been modified with a shortened length and elegant nickel plating. At the same time, the bushing is enhanced with a chrome lining for a refined interior finish. The pistol’s recoil is managed by a full-length guide rod paired with a recoil spring. A meticulously detailed long trigger comes with a customizable stop, enhancing the firearm’s precision.

Aesthetic and functional elements such as a checkered front strap and mainspring housing, a slender grip safety, and a svelte hammer complement the pistol’s ergonomics. The grips, adorned with the Rock Island Arsenal insignia inlaid on the right, add to its distinguished appearance. Completing the ensemble is a magazine, subtly marked with a “1” by an electro-pencil, hinting at its unique place in the arsenal’s history.

 

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