I was at a local gun store looking over the various 1911 pistols that were in stock and I looked at the Rocks, Colts, Springers, etc.
I looked and beheld a neat little 1911 priced at $435 dollars. I asked if I could see the firearm and checked out the slide text. It said "American Tactical M1911 GI-E" in a very alluring text/font style.
I compared the fit to my buddies Springfield loaded and to my Kimber custom II. I racked the slide, checked the fit and finish and I was overall very impressed with the quality of the gun for this price.
The ATI fit was much tighter at the frame to slide fit near the back by the hammer. I honestly thought I was holding a Custom 1911 at first when I compared it to my Kimber and the buddies Spring. The finish on the gun looks like parkerized over blackened or light black finish. It's what the finish on the Rock Island Armory guns should be. The barrel bushing was a bit tough to take down and out. Seriously, I'm wondering if this is too tight of a fit! This pistol also sported a nice commander ring hammer, a nice commander beavertail grip safety and sights that are raised like Novak and has a white dot front sight. They actually feel pretty decent. The gun sports a Standard GI cap and recoil plug. The mainspring housing feels like steel, but it is standard vertical lines and not checkered with the lpi design. It appears that the ejection port isn't lowered and flared but it hardly seems to matter unless it's something you prefer on your 1911. The barrel is forged stainless steel, if I am not mistaken. (No promise, but the barrel feels good) The internals are probably MIM but they are actually quite strong feeling. The extractor itself felt pretty tough. The magazine included was an ACT Mag 8 rounder that was vastly superior to the stock Kimber magazine I bought with my custom II. This magazine drops bullets in without a problem.
I took the gun home and cleaned out the internals and lubed it up. Went to the range and shot an entire box of Tul Ammo without a hiccup or problem extracting. I tried with 3 different magazines. The stock magazine, a cheap pot metal feeling Kimber magazine, and a Kimber pro tac mag. This thing as far as I can tell is probably the best Commander size 1911 for the money on the market right now. Yes, it's even better than the RIA guns IMO. From what I have read this company uses forged slides and cast frames. In my opinion this may well be the same quality as a Springfield Armory GI champion slide or darn close to it.
I tried to do some dry test extractions with a bullet in the chamber. This gun extracted fine with standard Federal 230 GR but seemed to snag on the Tul Ammo. It wouldn't eject and fly across the room, but rather seemed to drop down the magazine well. The great thing is that when firing the ammo, it extracted and fed perfectly with the cheap Tul Ammo.
The overall product has a nice non-cheap feel to it. I was really impressed because I was looking and comparing it to a Springfield GI Champion and this gun wins hands down. It's also cheaper in price, but not in quality. The only negatives I ran across were the thumb safety which was very hard to engage and disengage. The grips are also quite boring and look like plain dark brown checkered grips. The barrel is also blued or matte black on the front half of the barrel, but is plain shiny stainless on the barrel side where it shows the ejection port. Other than this, I am VERY happy with this purchase and I have no idea why the word hasn't gotten around yet. If you are in the market for a decently priced Commander size 1911 then this gun is for you.
I rate it 8/10. I am rating this based on my understanding of the 1911 pistol and as a lover of the various 1911 pistols on the market. Thanks, and seriously check this company out. Pics probably coming soon.