Reviewed By: Idrinor B on 09/02/2014
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]
First thing's first, I'm a 1911 fan and have owned a few of them. I like to work on them, so wasn't too worried about having to replace parts since I would replace them to my own brand preference even if they worked 100%. I was drawn to this due to the low BGS price at the time, and read reviews. I knew what to expect from the 1911forum. With that said, I know many people want a no-frills gun, so I have to rate it as a 3/5 with them in mind. As for myself, I would rate this a 4/5 because I believe it's a very potent gun when set up right. I've owned much worse 1911s that were almost twice the price of this ATI.
The ATI I received has the newer generation guide rod assembly which includes a thicker back plate, and a hex head screw. I was happy to see this...at first.
Now, from my experience with 1911s, the build quality of the frame it pretty damn good. The fitment of parts is as tight as the most expensive 1911s I've owned. One problem I noticed is that edges on the frame should have been rounded down a bit because they are just clean cuts straight from the machine. My finger slipped off the frame where it meets the mainspring housing(back of palm rest), due to how tight the fitment was, and it sliced through my finger down to the nail like butter. That's how sharp it was. Never experienced anything like that before.
Everything stock seemed fine so far...
Went to the GR with 150 rounds of 230gr ball ammo in hand. At about 80 rounds, I experienced total guide rod assembly failure. The dual spring setup failed, causing the large spring to bind up over the guide rod. The spring damaged the reverse plug(warped the whole end), as well as the spring spring's tube that holds it from moving, and also put a dent in the front of the slide that meets with the reverse plug. The guide rod plate also seems to have been bent, but I'm not sure if this happened from this failure, or just from shooting.
I have yet to get in contact from ATI, but from other customer's talks on the 1911forum, it seems they are happy to help with this problem. This is a known issue with them.
With all this said, I will repeat again, I had anticipated this problem, and had a fix already planned. The simple fix for this is a modified Kimber ultra carry guide rod setup that costs about $50.
The ATI's guide rod setup and reverse plug are just simply NOT up to the task of handling a .45 ACP round. The reverse plug is MUCH too thin to be absorbing the recoil from this.
Here's another tip: If this gun starts flinging lead at your head, your guide rod springs are going and should be replaced. If you don't replace them, you will end up causing damage to your frame and slide.
I would not recommend this ATI for someone that needs a trustworthy gun without putting work in it. If you can work on it, or are willing to pay a gunsmith to do some modifications, this is a good 1911 for the price(even after the additional $50).
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