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Thread: 1911 ?,.. Or 1911-A1?, What's your preference for a shooter ?(Thoughts on ATI)

  1. #1
    Senior Veteran Harms Way's Avatar
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    1911 ?,.. Or 1911-A1?, What's your preference for a shooter ?(Thoughts on ATI)

    Well,.... I have both, The 1911 and the A1,... And the 1911 or A1 is my favorite handgun of all time. But if I go out for some range time,It seems the 1911's get to keep napping while my "go-to" 45's are the 1911-A1. Maybe they just feel more natural to me, I learned instinctive shooting with a 1911A1 may years ago...And although I have fairly big hands, The short trigger and humped mainspring housing just feels right to me....

    I recently picked up a "American Tactical GI 1911".. It belonged to an old friend that passed away a year ago... When he had it, I did a trigger job on it for him, And it really came out nice... Normally I wouldn't go after an ATI 1911,... But for sentimental reasons I decided to purchase this one when it went up for sale (It was offered to me at a more than reasonable price). I'm glad to have it, But there are still a few changes I want to make to it to better suit myself.

    This ATI is the commander style, The trigger is kind of in-between the length of the 1911 and the 1911-A1 (so for the time being, I'll see if I like it)... And it had the 1911 Mainspring housing...I also hate the ATI grip safety, I prefer the "milspec" safety.... So.. I tear it apart and get out my box of spare 1911 & A1 parts,... As it turns out all my milspec mainspring housings are a little wide for the ATI frame.. So I get out the old mill files and dial calipers,.. Trim it down and fit it to the frame.... First problem solved !

    On to the grip safety !..... I must have 10 milspec safeties,.... But it seems the radius at the bottom of the ATI safety is a different radius. Now I could tig up some metal on the bottom and re-radius it,.. But I'm getting to the point where I'm wondering how much work I want to put into this .45.... I do have to admit. I love the trigger pull, And this ATI shoots really well...And so far, It shoots JHP's Ball, Wad Cutters and of course the Ruger ARX ammo... And it keeps tighter groups than I thought it would.... In fact it out preforms a few of my 1911's

    I know the RIA and the ATI are entry level 1911's,... But DANG !... this is a fun shooter...

    Alright,.... After re-reading this thread, It's kind of all over the place and a bit disjointed.... So I guess this is what it boils down to ..

    1. Do you prefer shooting a 1911, 1911-A1,... Or you just don't care ?

    2. Have any of you worked on changing around a ATI ?..... How did it go for you, And how does yours preform ?

    This is the piece in question,....
    Last edited by Harms Way; 10-06-2018 at 08:51 PM.
    A Sinner saved by Grace,... EPH. 2: 8-9

  2. #2
    Senior Veteran Moleman's Avatar
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    I like the 1911A1 pattern. The flat mainspring housings feel weird to me. Perhaps that's because the first 1911 I had was a A1 version. I swap out the flat mainspring housings with an arched one soon after getting a new 45 if it doesn't have one. I actually like the beavertail grips although I've never had the hammer bite me. I had a 1991A1 that I regret ever selling. It came with a plastic trigger and mainspring housing. I swapped them out for USGI parts and the sear for a Chip McCormick sear. That thing would shoot anything including feeding empty cases which was great as a training aid to show a shooter how badly they were flinching. Sadly right now I'm down to a single 1911 pattern gun, a Kimber stainless Gold Match. I still check out the 45's at the LGS whenever I go there and have no doubt another one will follow me home at some point.

  3. #3
    Senior Veteran Ghoulardi's Avatar
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    I like the M1911A1, that is the sidearm I carried as a Platoon Sergeant. when I retired I found one at a local gun show (ITHACA) and bought it as a memento for myself
    STAY SICK! AND TURN BLUE OVA-DEY!

  4. #4
    Senior Veteran Silvera's Avatar
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    Ive run into the same kind of specs on Rock Island Armory 1911's.....


    remember that if you change the grip safety to a Colt or A1 A2 style you will also have to change the hammer out too to a spur type


    Good Luck
    Last edited by Silvera; 10-07-2018 at 07:15 AM.
    "Listen With Your Eyes"
    Wit, Grit, Courage and Determination

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    Buckshot's Avatar
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    I have a 1911-A1 Springfield "Limited" N.M. with tritium sights which is my preferred handgun. I also have a WW1 era 1911. I did submit the CMP paperwork
    for an Army 1911-A1. Not sure how I will come out on the random drawing for them. The 1911-A1 was the handgun I was trained on and use as an MP the
    first few years in service.
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    Last edited by Buckshot; 10-07-2018 at 08:58 AM.
    Occam's razor, the simplest explanation will be the most plausible

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    Senior Veteran Harms Way's Avatar
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    Well,..... I woke up with the best of intentions, My Wife had to be somewhere at 0700,... So I got up and drove her there, as a nice gesture, as I drop he off I said "I'll be back at noon to pick you up",.. As she starts getting out of the car, she looks back and said "don't forget the honey-do list on the fridge, I left for you". "No problem" I assured her with a big thumbs up !....

    So, I get home and after a cup of coffee I look at the list. First item,..#1. Take the tubs of summer clothes out to the garage... SIMPLE !, I got this handled ! I thought to myself,.... I go downstairs to get the tubs.... I get as far as the bench and see the ATI on my bench, in pieces (because last night after posting this thread, I took it down there and tore it apart... ). I pick up a couple grip safeties an start comparing them to the one from the ATI,... With the tubs only feet away,... I figure,... "well I have to take them out to the garage,.... The TIG welder is in he garage, I'll just take the safety out there so it's all in one place, And I'll get to it this afternoon..."

    One tub in my hands and the safety on top of it, We all go to the garage.. I think to myself "Now THIS is multi-tasking !".. I set the tub down and take the safety to the welding bench.... "You know were only talking a quarter inch of weld" I think to myself... It will only take a few minutes,... Then I'll set it aside until this afternoon, When my wife is home and the "honey-do" list is in the "DONE" column !... After a few small problems with he ground cable, the welding commenced !

    I look at it after it cools down a little,.... Looks good !.... Time to get back on the Honey-Do list !.... Downstairs once again I decide to compare the two safeties just for a second or two Then go grab that other tub... "Wow" I think to myself.. "this looks pretty close!" No harm in grabbing the files and diamond hones and see how the tig weld cuts.... After a few minutes I justify the time thinking to myself,.... That Honey-Do list really isn't that long... I can spare a few more minutes.......

    Well,... file fitting a weld can take some time.. especially when your using the dial caliper and and hoping for a nice fit.... (not to mention completely reshaping the spur of the safety) A few hours later, I have the the 1911-A1 Spring housing and safety in place and functioning just fine !.... And while I was at it,... I honed and polish all mating surfaces, So this ATI is as smooth as silk !..... I put some cold blue on the parts I installed, The fit is really nice and it feels much more natural
    So far I am really happy how this is turning out....

    Looking at the clock I noticed , I only had about 90 minutes to accomplish the previously mentioned "Honey-Do" list.... And after reviewing it, I realized, It was considerably longer and more detailed than I originally remembered... I made the decision to go ahead and post this thread,... I'm seriously considering faking my own death. So if you don' hear from me for a little while,.... You know what happened.

    *I'm not looking forward to whats next*

    Either way... This is how it turned out...


    **UPDATE**
    SO,.... Just as I was getting ready to leave the house to go pick up my wife. I get a call from her,..

    W. "Did you leave yet ?"
    Me. Nooo
    W. Good, "C" (our daughter in law) is going to pick me up and we're going shopping for a while , So did you get your list done ?"
    Me. Seriously ?.... Do you really have to ask ? (with a little righteous indignation)
    W. Okay see you later....
    Me. Have fun, take your time.....

    So there you have it !.... I'm off the hook !.... I'm heading out in a little while to buy a Lottery ticket !. I never play the Lottery but I feel like I have to,..... Just in case !
    Last edited by Harms Way; 10-07-2018 at 02:38 PM.
    A Sinner saved by Grace,... EPH. 2: 8-9

  7. #7
    7.62guy's Avatar
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    Arched main spring frame or flat? M1911 or M1911A1? I have a few of each type not all Colt's some new some old. My hands do not serve me as well as they have in the past, but they still like the same flat main spring grip they always have. I shoot all my 1911's but I always take my MUTT of a 1914 Colt to the range with me when ever I go. I don't know if it is me or the pistol but that dang Colt will out shoot half of what I own. The bottom line boils down to find the 1911 that works for you and you will never have a more faithful friend.
    For those who fought for it, freedom holds a flavor the protected will never know. Those who hammer their guns into plows-will plow for those who do not. Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Senior Veteran Silvera's Avatar
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    hammer cleared? interesting.... on the Commanders they use to use a modified grip safety with a "notch" ground out for the commander style hammer to clear.

    hope it works for you
    "Listen With Your Eyes"
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  9. #9
    Senior Veteran Harms Way's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvera View Post
    hammer cleared? interesting.... on the Commanders they use to use a modified grip safety with a "notch" ground out for the commander style hammer to clear.

    hope it works for you
    As I mentioned, I modified the grip safety. And I shortened it and re-shaped it... Including the contour on top. With no pressure on the grip safety and the slide back... The hammer misses the safety by about 1/8". It test fired just fine. It is hitting good on Elevation, and about 3-4 inches to the left on Windage... I'll drift the rear sight over a little... Or possibly use a new one.
    A Sinner saved by Grace,... EPH. 2: 8-9

  10. #10
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    Harms Way-Great story! I love it when you can dodge a wife bullet like that. It does not happen very often, but when it does, you know the gun gods were looking out for you. Lol!
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

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