Choosing Your First Rock Island Armory Firearm: A Beginner’s Guide



So, you want to purchase your first firearm? Good news. You’ve just made a good decision. Now, here’s where things get a bit more tricky. You’re probably asking yourself, “Which firearm do I choose?” Navigating the vast selection of Rock Island Armory and Armscor firearms can be overwhelming for newbies. Thankfully, we happen to be familiar with the choices at hand. Allow us to help guide you down the path to your ideal first firearm.


Being a firearm owner isn’t simply a hobby, it’s a culture with its own people and language. Like visiting a different country, not knowing the language can wind up with you feeling lost and confused. Knowing language will make you fluent in firearm knowledge and help you communicate about your needs. Here is a list of the must-know terms of owning your own firearm:

  • Barrel – This is the tube-shaped part of the gun where the bullet exits. The longer the barrel is, the higher the exit velocity and the further the bullet can travel.
  • Bore – Refers to the interior of the barrel and is mainly used when referencing shotguns.
  • Caliber – The diameter of the inside of a gun’s barrel, which determines the ammo size for guns with rifled barrels, such as rifles, pistols and machine guns.
  • Gauge – Refers to the bore size of a shotgun.
  • Chamber – Area where the cartridge is sealed before firing. Pistols and rifles have single chambers whereas revolvers have several.
  • Choke – Tapered constriction at the end of the barrel that helps improve accuracy.
  • Clip – A clip holds cartridges or rounds together for reloading a magazine or inserting directly into the firearm.
  • Cock – Manually pulling back the hammer of the gun, effectively aiming it.
  • Down Range – The range area where the targets are, and firearms are fired toward.
  • Firing Pin – Once cocked and triggered, the hammer strikes the firing pin, which hits the primer cap, causing the weapon to discharge.
  • Hammer – The hammer is cocked (pulled back) against its spring, which is released when the trigger is engaged, causing it to strike the firing pin.
  • Magazine – The unit that feeds the cartridges into the fun.
  • Muzzle – The end of a gun’s barrel where the bullet exits from.
  • Recoil – The backward momentum from a gun’s discharge, also referred to as the “kick.”
  • Round – One unit of ammo or a single cartridge.
  • Safety – Restricts the gun’s trigger, preventing it from being fired until the shooter is ready and disengages the safety

This list alone might seem intimidating, but if you take your time and study, you’ll be amazed at how easy it makes the following steps down the line.


What’s your purpose or intention behind your decision to purchase a firearm? Home defense, self-defense, sport, competitions, the list of motivations is endless. You also need to consider on how much you are willing to spend on your firearm. Here are some quality, cost-effective firearms for you to consider.

  • STK100 – A prime pistol for concealed carry, the STK100 sports an aluminum grip that has just enough weight to reduce recoil. It has a textured grip, making it easy to control. On top of all that, it’s comfortable to carry all day.
  • BBR 3.10 9mm – Our new Baby Rock has a 3.10” barrel and weighs 1.62 lbs loaded. It has stable low-profile angled sights designed for consistent accuracy and reliability. It’s a lifelong compact 1911 at a great price of just $699.
Home Defense:
  • TAC Ultra CS 45ACP – The TAC Ultra has a history of proven firepower. Best of all, it holds up to 14 rounds versus the standard eight. Take home this powerhouse for only $800.
  • TCM – The TCM is part of our patented Armor Series, meaning it has a diamond-like carbon coating made to increase reliability, durability and performance. Get this gem for only $749.
Recreational Shooting:
  • GI Standard MS 45ACP 8rd – the GI Standard is a great representation of the original US GI combat issue 1911 and chambered in 45 ACP. It’s smooth, slim designs make it quick on the draw, and its 4.25” barrel makes it compact for concealed carry and accuracy. It sets that standard at the humble price of $549.
  • TM22 Rifle – The TM22 Rifle works for all generations. It’s made from 7075 airplane grade aluminum, and compatible with AR-type grip, commercial buffer tube adapter, top rail, and forend that takes most after-market accessories. Get all this power for only $348.

If you would like a deeper dive and see more firearm options, check out our blog.



Once you’ve found your ideal firearm, it’s time to put to do some paperwork! Yes. Paperwork. A necessary step that is ironically dropped from most conversations, only to rejoin in the 11th hour and send people into a panic. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. When purchasing your firearm, be sure to have your Driver’s License on you. Make sure your address is current and up to date. Have a supplementary ID on you as well, as some dealers might require one – we at Rock Island Armory and Armscor require it for our firearms.

Once you get through all the fine print, congratulations! You’re the proud owner of your first firearm! The world is your oyster. To grow more comfortable with your new firearm, we recommend practicing at a safety course and finding your community of fellow enthusiasts. For some helpful tips on safety and practice, here are some quick reads to help familiarize yourself.




The world of firearms is called a “world” for reason. It’s got its own language, people and way of life. It’s always exciting when someone new is ready to join that world and embrace their inner marksman. There are a lot of terms to learn and even more firearms to choose from. Becoming a pro is a lot like maintaining a firearm: it takes regular upkeep and, most importantly, time. You’re new to this world. Don’t rush in. Enjoy every step of the journey because it’s a fun one that can result in fun, friends, fun and a lifetime of joy.

That world is open to everyone. We encourage you to explore our collection and see if anything sparks your interest. Have more questions? Contact our customer service and have one of our teammates help you get what you need.

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