ATI GI 1911 Commander, an observation

As readers will know, last week I picked up a 1911 Commander from ATI.  “American Tactical Imports“.

I remain impressed with the overall quality of the gun.  It’s so far proven to be a great buy.  At the time of purchase, and even since I had first seen them, I had only one complaint.  The wood grips look like they are cheap plastic.  Now I have another complaint.

The finish on the gun wears off if you look at it wrong.  Today is Wednesday, and I got the gun last Saturday.   Sure, I’ve been packing it, CCW and shooting it when and where I am able…  But in this very short time, I already have spots where the finish is worn down to the bare metal.  I don’t mind some finish wear on older guns.  Well worn guns are a thing of beauty.  I love my Springfield GI just for this very reason.  But this is a new gun that I’ve not even had for a week and all the edges are down to the bare metal.  WTF?

No, I am not worried about it, upset about it, or anything… Like the post title says, this is just as observation and not really a complaint.  Remember, this is a 1911 that only cost 449 at retail.  So I can’t be bothered by this… but I know some guys would be completely bent out of shape by this thin and delicate finish.  This gun will be getting a complete Duracoat job from Crusader Weaponry next time I’m out in SLC.  (When I go out there to work on the Sterling SMG’s)

The Upshot to the ATI 1911 is that the trigger breaks perfectly at 4 pounds on the dot.  The pull is consistent and flawless with no over travel.  It has a little bit of take up before you get back to the actual trigger pull… and from there it’s damn near perfection.    During dry-firing, one notices that as the trigger breaks, the front sight doesn’t have any twitch at all, and the hammer has a very fast lock time.  This is why this gun is proving to be such a great shooter.

The ATI remains a great “Working Man’s 1911”.

13 thoughts on “ATI GI 1911 Commander, an observation”

  1. One week and you are already carrying it? How reliable it is? how many rounds have you shot through it so far? For me the finish wear marks are not that important.. The question is Will it shoot?. Take Care. Martin

    1. 250. Zero problems… I know this is not a lot… But I AM packing a backup… a Glock 23. Which is what I’d pull if I needed it.
      So why am I packing it?
      Because I can.

      1. That´s great! I was concerned about it. I thought that reliability and a tight slide/frame fit could only be achieved with guns twice the price of this. I was wrong. I suppose accuracy is good too? Well, good luck with the duracoat job, I bet it will look great. Take care

  2. The Taurus 1911 has that very same finish issue. It’s not something I care deeply about. I know that some day I will likely have it refinished anyway.

    ….of course, I’ve been saying the same thing about my FrankenCommander (Colt Commander frame, old Caspian slide) for years, but just keep doing cold blue jobs on it every 3-4 years…….

      1. How so? External Extractors have ultimately been proven to be more reliable than internal ones. Which is why damn near every other semi auto handgun uses external.
        Glocks, SIGs, S&W, Beretta, Ruger, CZ, yeah… All external. Even John Moses Browning’s follow up design, the Hi Power, uses… Yup… An external extractor.

        Also – This blog is Libertarian. Sexual Preferences are not an issue here. If you used “gay” to mean something along the lines of “Lame” or “Boring” or the like… Well… Your comment pegs the meter on that, you ignorant, mono-synaptic, mouth-breathing, dunderheaded, troglodyte.

  3. I touch up my Taurus occasionally with a magic marker. The only people this pistol needs to impress will be looking at the muzzle very briefly.

  4. Like you I see a well worn gun as a thing of beauty… but it wearing that fast could be irritating.
    My RIA slide is starting to gain wear, after about 2 years of constant carry… but I am torn on refinishing it.
    Yes, its wear… but it is wear like a pistol should have.
    Gained in service to its owner.
    I may send the slide off at some point… just not sure what I would want.
    Slide is parked, frame is brushed nickel.
    I envy your Commander.


  5. Handled one of the compact versions at a shop down here in FL. I have a friend with an Kimber Ultra and for $450.00 the ATI sure gives that high dollar gun a run for the money. If I didn’t already have more 1911 platforms then I can shoot all wek I would probably have that compact already.
    (Who am I kidding? I’ll have one of these in 9mm to go with the Smith 39…)

  6. No finish, no finish problems!

    Stainless steel ParaOrdnance P-13: matte on frame and top of slide, polished slab-sides on slide. Bought it Spring 2002 (H&H Gun Range, Oklahoma City, about $550.00), been used for concealed carry regularly since, in leather and nylon scabbards, and dropped once on a concrete street curb (from about a three foot height) which bunged up the front, lower area of the slide.

    Overall “finish” has held up remarkedly well, just some minor scratches that show through the polished sides. I originally meant to get an aftermarket coating done to it in that I’m not too sure about going with a bright shiney tool bought to be kept in concealment for the most part. And I agree, some wear does increase the aesthetic worth of a weapon. Shoots very good, fast groups using factory and hand-loaded ammo.

    Since I came into this weapon, blued metals just didn’t hold much appeal for me. But a well done bluing job tends to change my mind quickly. So I’ve gone to the stainless rods for normal daily ‘social’ carry and deeply blued weapons for more formal excursions. Something about that correctly treated metal’s appearance calls my attentions as though a work of industrial art.

    The upshot here is that in my little world, carrying a finely blued weapon lends an elegant air to my composure. Stainless, well, it’s just another day staying safe with a proper tool at hand. Mr. Hill, even tho’ your’s wasn’t some high grade weapon, I’m still a bit saddened that it’s already showing wear faster than it should. Damn things can’t stay new forever, I guess.

    Best Regards – Scott, OKC,OK

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