Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

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TheViking
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Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#1 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 10:25 am

After having shot a few of their great 1911s, I picked up a Rock Island Armory M5 12 gauge pump shotgun for general recreational shooting and for investigating things that go bump in the night. I already had a Mossberg Maverick 88 overseas (not worth the hassle of importing so I gave it to my Dad) and wanted another one since it has served me well for 15 years or so, then got to fondle the M5 at a local store.

RIA guns are made by Armscor in the Philippines (in case you don't know) but are pretty damn good quality and very solidly built. The exterior of the M5 is nicely finished (parkerized) and while there are quite a few tool marks inside, everything works smoothly - in fact it's THE smoothest action I've ever had the pleasure of using, so smooth that if you hold the muzzle up and press the slide release (hammer back, obviously), the action will slide open under gravity alone 8-) Trigger has a short, clean break too.

Unlike the Maverick, the receiver, trigger housing, safety, etc. are all steel. The only plastic parts are the pump grip and the stock and they feel damn solid too. As a bonus the stock is of the Speed Feed type with room for 2 extra rounds.

The downsides (for some people) are the weight (being all steel) and the lack of model specific aftermarket parts. The weight doesn't bother me personally, it's not like I'll be carrying it around for days - and the only aftermarket parts I'm likely to put on are a flashlight (magazine tube is 1" in diameter so there are plenty of rails that fit) and a single point sling which can just loop around the stock behind the pistol grip. Mossberg pattern pistol grip and folding stocks can be easily modified to fit pretty well according to various YouTube vids but I like a full stock. The barrel shroud is stock, BTW.

You'll be spending an hour or two cleaning it if you get it new - it's covered in storage grease that's not quite Cosmoline but isn't far off either... Disassembly is mostly easy: Pin out, pull trigger housing, take out bolt carrier, shell elevator and bolt. That's enough for daily cleaning. For the barrel shroud, barrel/mag tube clamp and tube plug you need a screwdriver. The barrel and mag tube themselves aren't so easy to remove/change since they are screwed into the receiver.

There are different barrels available (28" with interchangeable chokes, 24" rifled I think) and a 7 round mag tube. I'll probably get the longer mag tube when I find someone that has it in stock.

For those that are scared of Evil Black Guns, there's a matte nickel plated version too.

Additional data is here: https://us.armscor.com/products/m5-shotgun

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Now, my wife has shot plenty of handguns before (she has a CWP, carries a 9mm Walther PPS on a daily basis) but the most powerful long gun she had shot before was a .357 Magnum Marlin lever action - which doesn't exactly have much recoil. We went to the nearest indoor range with the M5 after I picked it up - which meant no easing into it with light birdshot target loads for her... :lol: A dozen or so full powered 00 buck shells later she was getting a hang of it, though :lol: The bruise is almost gone now and she loves shooting that gun :D :biggrin

Almost forgot the price, only paid $235 incl. tax - and since it's sold via Davidson's it has a lifetime guarantee 8-)
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#2 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 10:37 am

Tool marks - not that bad really and no ill effect on function:

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If you want everything polished, buy a Benelli - and pay 4-5 times as much :lol:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#3 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 10:39 am

Just noticed, looking at the large resolution pics - that edge on the back of the bolt isn't bad manufacturing - that's Tetra Gun Grease :lol:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#4 Post by shinzen » Thu May 30, 2013 11:17 am

Nice write up, and great price on that piece. I've been kicking around the idea of a 12 gauge for some time now, and for $235, that makes it kind of a no brainer if it's good quality!
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#5 Post by GlockLobster » Thu May 30, 2013 11:35 am

Excellent review.
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#6 Post by senorgrand » Thu May 30, 2013 11:55 am

Nice. Looks like a modern version of a WWI trench shotgun. Just needs a bayonet and a disconnect.
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#7 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 1:27 pm

shinzen wrote:Nice write up, and great price on that piece. I've been kicking around the idea of a 12 gauge for some time now, and for $235, that makes it kind of a no brainer if it's good quality!
It is - you used to be able to get Mavericks in that price range but I haven't been able to find any. That's what I was looking for when I found the M5 and quite honestly, having owned both I'm kinda partial to the RIA already. The Maverick trigger housing is polymer and the receiver aluminum - all steel on the RIA, which makes me all warm and fussy inside. The plastics feel more solid too, actually.
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#8 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 1:33 pm

senorgrand wrote:Nice. Looks like a modern version of a WWI trench shotgun. Just needs a bayonet and a disconnect.
Bayonets are overrated - IF 5+1 (+2) rounds of 00 isn't enough, it's heavy enough to work as a bludgeon :lol:

It does have a disconnect - no slam firing and I like it that way :laugh: Spray and Pray is for Hollywood...
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#9 Post by M4Builder » Thu May 30, 2013 1:42 pm

TheViking wrote:
senorgrand wrote:Nice. Looks like a modern version of a WWI trench shotgun. Just needs a bayonet and a disconnect.
Bayonets are overrated - IF 5+1 (+2) rounds of 00 isn't enough, it's heavy enough to work as a bludgeon :lol:

It does have a disconnect - no slam firing and I like it that way :laugh: Spray and Pray is for Hollywood...
Nuh-uh! I can accurately hit things when I slam fire my Model 12...... as long as it's within 15-20 yards.
All problems can be solved with a copious amount of high explosives.

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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#10 Post by Elmo » Thu May 30, 2013 1:47 pm

Nice review.

I'm eventually going to need a backup pump shotgun for the modified Rem 870 I used in 3-gun/action shooting.

This looks like a good choice, if I can find it in a suitable configuration (because I don't expect it will be infinitely modifiable with aftermarket parts like the 870).
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#11 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 1:47 pm

M4Builder wrote:
TheViking wrote:
senorgrand wrote:Nice. Looks like a modern version of a WWI trench shotgun. Just needs a bayonet and a disconnect.
Bayonets are overrated - IF 5+1 (+2) rounds of 00 isn't enough, it's heavy enough to work as a bludgeon :lol:

It does have a disconnect - no slam firing and I like it that way :laugh: Spray and Pray is for Hollywood...
Nuh-uh! I can accurately hit things when I slam fire my Model 12...... as long as it's within 15-20 yards.
If you hit with a full load of 00 and the BG doesn't reconsider his intentions, maybe you should start running instead :lol:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#12 Post by M4Builder » Thu May 30, 2013 1:49 pm

TheViking wrote:
M4Builder wrote:
TheViking wrote:
senorgrand wrote:Nice. Looks like a modern version of a WWI trench shotgun. Just needs a bayonet and a disconnect.
Bayonets are overrated - IF 5+1 (+2) rounds of 00 isn't enough, it's heavy enough to work as a bludgeon :lol:

It does have a disconnect - no slam firing and I like it that way :laugh: Spray and Pray is for Hollywood...
Nuh-uh! I can accurately hit things when I slam fire my Model 12...... as long as it's within 15-20 yards.
If you hit with a full load of 00 and the BG doesn't reconsider his intentions, maybe you should start running instead :lol:
Nonsense, He'll get a nice does of No.4, 00, and 1oz slug.
All problems can be solved with a copious amount of high explosives.

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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#13 Post by senorgrand » Thu May 30, 2013 2:10 pm

For the purposes of WWI trench engagements (or tunnel ratting) , I'd want slamfire (actually, slide fire) and and a pig sticker. Other than that, I agree. I just meant it looked like it had a lot in common with those old timers.

I think bayos are only good for getting you in trouble. Unless I was after cape buffalos....having a Mosin with a pointy end would be like a mini-pike. ;)
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#14 Post by M4Builder » Thu May 30, 2013 2:13 pm

senorgrand wrote:For the purposes of WWI trench engagements (or tunnel ratting) , I'd want slamfire (actually, slide fire) and and a pig sticker. Other than that, I agree. I just meant it looked like it had a lot in common with those old timers.

I think bayos are only good for getting you in trouble. Unless I was after cape buffalos....having a Mosin with a pointy end would be like a mini-pike. ;)
But then what would you do when You stabbed it and the rifle got stuck and the bull kept going?
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#15 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 2:18 pm

senorgrand wrote:For the purposes of WWI trench engagements (or tunnel ratting) , I'd want slamfire (actually, slide fire) and and a pig sticker. Other than that, I agree. I just meant it looked like it had a lot in common with those old timers.
It does - according to RIA the mechanism is based on the old High Standard Flite King.


FWIW, I don't plan on clearing any trenches or tunnels with it and for home defense I prefer it only to shoot when I 100% intend to :laugh:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#16 Post by ErikO » Thu May 30, 2013 2:20 pm

Sweet! Manger takk!

Yep, this is SO going to be my first pump gun. Review locked it in even more solidly than before.

These are typically available on GB for close to that price if local or somewhere you can get to.
Last edited by ErikO on Thu May 30, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#17 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 2:20 pm

M4Builder wrote:
senorgrand wrote:For the purposes of WWI trench engagements (or tunnel ratting) , I'd want slamfire (actually, slide fire) and and a pig sticker. Other than that, I agree. I just meant it looked like it had a lot in common with those old timers.

I think bayos are only good for getting you in trouble. Unless I was after cape buffalos....having a Mosin with a pointy end would be like a mini-pike. ;)
But then what would you do when You stabbed it and the rifle got stuck and the bull kept going?
Cape Buffalo are no joke :shock: I'd want something a whole damn lot more powerful than a Mosin around them and if the rounds didn't stop them right away I wouldn't stick around to get stabby :shock:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#18 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 2:21 pm

ErikO wrote:Sweet! Manger takk!

Yep, this is SO going to be my first pump gun. Review locked it in even more solidly than before.
:beer2:

Fellow Scandinavian?
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#19 Post by ErikO » Thu May 30, 2013 3:45 pm

TheViking wrote:
ErikO wrote:Sweet! Manger takk!

Yep, this is SO going to be my first pump gun. Review locked it in even more solidly than before.
:beer2:

Fellow Scandinavian?
60/40 Norwegian Swede. The Finns here keep me in line. ;)

I did chuckle at the description as to why my ancestor left Iceland. For the record, Greenland was actually green at the time. ;)
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#20 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 3:49 pm

ErikO wrote:
TheViking wrote:
ErikO wrote:Sweet! Manger takk!

Yep, this is SO going to be my first pump gun. Review locked it in even more solidly than before.
:beer2:

Fellow Scandinavian?
60/40 Norwegian Swede. The Finns here keep me in line. ;)

I did chuckle at the description as to why my ancestor left Iceland. For the record, Greenland was actually green at the time. ;)
Well, the southern coasts are green in summer - but most of Greenland is one big glacier :lol
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#21 Post by Elmo » Thu May 30, 2013 5:06 pm

TheViking wrote:...but most of Greenland is one big glacier :lol
Not for much longer, I fear.
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#22 Post by TheViking » Thu May 30, 2013 5:35 pm

larrymod wrote:
TheViking wrote:...but most of Greenland is one big glacier :lol
Not for much longer, I fear.
But "climate change" is just a lie made up by Obama's Muslim, Communist, Nazi, Atheist scientists to raise taxes and take our trucks and guns away!!! The Tea Party tract I got from that guy with the weird eyes says so, as does Fox News!!!









:lol:
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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#23 Post by TheViking » Fri May 31, 2013 1:16 pm

So, as Tacticool as it'll get - flashlight clamp came in today :ugeek:

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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#24 Post by KimberGal » Fri May 31, 2013 1:38 pm

That is some sech-say gun p0rn right there. :thumbup:

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Re: Rock Island Armory M5 - Review.

#25 Post by TheViking » Fri May 31, 2013 2:06 pm

KimberGal wrote:That is some sech-say gun p0rn right there. :thumbup:
Hehe - good, fun guns anyway :mrgreen:
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