Gun Review: Rock Island Armory M200 Revolver in .38 Special
By Nate Parker
Rock Island Armory M200 revolver in .38 Special. (Photo: Nate Parker)
Rock Island Armory is best known for budget oriented 1911s. It’s hard to go in any gun store and not see one for sale. There also happens to be a few other RIA guns out there, including two versions of essentially the same .38-caliber revolver, the M200 which is the four-inch barreled “service” model and a two-inch version specifically geared towards concealed carry.
The M200 and its smaller sibling the M206 share functional similarities with Colt’s revolver offerings. Like Colt revolvers, six-round RIA handguns utilize a cylinder latch that retracts to the rear to open. Plus, internal components function similarly to some of Colt’s later revolver designs with a transfer bar safety and coil main spring.
Some rumors suggest Colt sold the tooling and design to RIA to build these revolvers, but as far as I can tell, these are just rumors. Although not very well known in the United States, Rock Island Armory has actually been in the revolver business for a few decades. The 100 series dates back to the 1970s and then in the mid 1980s, the company began producing the 200 series.
Other than the barrel length and different