Rock Island Armory’s RIA 5.0 is a Flat Shooting Machine — SHOT Show 2023

Jeff Cramblit SHOT Show 2023

Rock Island Armory’s RIA 5.0 is a Flat Shooting Machine -- SHOT Show 2023

The RIA 5.0 is an amazing new pistol design from Armscor/Rock Island Armory.

It utilizes Rock Islands’ RVS recoil system, internal frame rails, a unique barrel design, a proprietary magazine, and an aluminum frame with a polymer grip to produce a very flat shooting, low recoil, high-capacity 9mm pistol.

The RIA 5.0 is currently available in two models; one with an installed red dot optic sight and one with installed iron sights.

The optic model comes with an installed CMore RDS and no provisions for any iron sights, while the iron-sighted model has a fiber optic front sight and a rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation, but no provision for mounting optics.

Rumor says a follow-up model is likely to have iron sights and provision for mounting a red dot. Stay tuned.

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Rock Island Armory’s RIA 5.0 is a Flat Shooting Machine -- SHOT Show 2023
Unique barrel shape and internal rails visible here

The aluminum frame is comfortable in the hand and the nylon grip texture ensures it anchors nicely into the palm. This pistol really has a clean feel and look. The only lever on the gun is the slide release.

There are no manually operated safeties except the trigger safety we have become accustomed to seeing on striker-fired pistols.

However, this is not a striker-fired pistol, there is an actual hammer that is inside the rear of the slide that falls when you pull the trigger. This gun is an amalgamation of CZ-style frame/slide rails, features commonly present on striker-fired pistols and the venerable 1911.

Rock Island Armory’s RIA 5.0 is a Flat Shooting Machine -- SHOT Show 2023
Hammer in the cocked position in the rear of the slide (silver hammer).

The slide of the 5.0 is very narrow and not very tall. This reduces moving mass and helps to decrease muzzle flip when firing.

The aluminum frame sits very low in the hand, giving the shooter a high grip and more control during firing. Generally speaking, everything in the design aids in keeping the pistol flat while firing.


  • Caliber                         9 mm
  • Capacity                      17 + 1
  • Barrel Length              4.91 inches
  • Weight                        2.47 lbs
  • Overall Length           8.11 inches
  • Width                          1.33 inches
  • Grip                             Nylon
  • Finish                          Cerakote
  • Sights                          CMore RDS or Iron sights
  • Rail                              Picatinny 1913
  • MSRP                          $998 (iron sights), $1298 with installed optic

The RIA 5.0 was a blast to shoot at the range; it points well and indexed quickly on targets. The trigger is flat-faced and broke around 4 lbs. The low bore axis makes the muzzle flip very minimal.

Another unique characteristic of the RIA 5.0 is that the barrel does not tilt up in the front when the slide cycles. It just drops back and down a bit to let the slide move past to cycle the next round.

All these interesting features come together to make a good shooting pistol.

Rock Island Armory’s RIA 5.0 is a Flat Shooting Machine -- SHOT Show 2023
Brass in the air with slide cycling. You can see how little muzzle rise is present.

The RIA 5.0 is proudly made in America and available right now through dealers and direct sales by Advanced I would look for a full review on GunsAmerica coming out later this year.

For more information Visit RIA 5.0 HERE

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  • Einstein January 21, 2023, 3:01 pm

    Great Review. Please do not use ‘flat shooting’. You see that term was coined long ago for the trajectory of a bullet as it went down range. You might consider – easy shooting, easy to shoot, low flip, controllable.

  • survivor50 January 18, 2023, 8:47 am

    Interesting design… I want to see it at our range… and try it.

  • James Nageotte January 18, 2023, 7:48 am

    did not mention unique magazine

    • W February 9, 2023, 4:21 pm

      “a unique barrel design, a proprietary magazine, and…”
      I read it in the second sentence of the article.

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