Anyway, I own a total of four 1911 type firearms. A Series 80 Gold Cup, a Colt Defender, an German .22 and, the subject of this little write up, an ATI 1911 replication.
Now, any Guy can tell you, particularly if you have visited SHOT this century, that the number of manufacturers making 1911's might, and I say "might", only be exceeded by the number fabricating AR style platforms. 10,000? 35,000? Just funnin' ya. There are a lot though and the quality is reasonably good. Recently I came across an interesting version. It is imported by American Tactical Importers (ATI) from the Philippines . "Hey, where the hell are you going with this, Cobb? The bloody Philippines? Don't they make everything out of Teak there? Who the hell wants a Teak 1911? What are you playing at? You trying to kill me?"
Ease up there, private. I thought the same damn thing. Philippines, Teak, Shoes, graft, Monsoons. This one is made by an outfit with the silly sounding name "Shooters Arms Manufacturing". Ever notice how names in the far east always sound like what they are? Anyway, this outfit makes weapons for the military and they seem to have the bases covered. The copy I got felt like the original and sounded like it too when I cycled the slide. At the range I put about 500 hardball rounds through it for an informal workout. I had a couple of jams early on but as the parts went through the final fitting that every auto goes through when you first use it, the jams stopped. Damn "clunk clunka chunk" noise didn't though. That's a good thing since if it didn't sound like a washing machine rolling down a hill it wouldn't be a 1911, right?
Here's a picture from the ATI site:
It's a 1911. Hell, what is the point of even having a picture? Finish is a powder coating that seems durable. The trigger seemed a bit tinny to me and the mag is all you would expect from a far eastern manufacturer in the 1950's, ie. flimsy crap. The grips are some sort of weird, red far eastern wood that, frankly, gave me the creeps. That said, the damn thing patterned better than my Gold Cup with the same ammo at the same distance.
Seems like what they did, smartly IMHO, is to cut a few corners on things that the average shooter is going to monkey around with anyway. You keep wood grips on your 1911 if you are into pain, most of us have a favorite mag manufacturer that we keep in business and a trigger job is cheap and almost always called for. With this 1911 you might want to save some money short term and see how the trigger out of the box is. Mine was crisp and, frankly, for the money I am not sure that I would do anything to this weapon. The fit and finish is generally excellent. A word on costs. As of today I see it hovering around $400-$415. Jesus Christ surfing on John Browning's corpse!! This is a must buy. Get out there and get one. Thank me later.
Now, all that said, no one here is dumb enough to think that for $400 you are going to walk away with a Colt quality firearm, right Amigos? This thing is a serviceable, seemingly reliable weapon that you can throw in your Go-Bag with out feeling like you just took $500 off the value because it got scratched. In many ways it is an authentic .45 since, like it's service issue forebears, it is not only made (and priced) to take a beating, it actually expects it. Mine is a Government replication but it comes with a shorter barrel, carved hammer and the usual useless alterations. Pay yer money, take yer choice.
I'll be checking in on this weapon as time goes on. You guys share your thoughts too.