At this year’s SHOT Show, American Tactical Imports announced that they were expanding their catalog of 1911s with two modernized full-size handguns featuring Picatinny rails, adjustable sights, and two different finishes. Manufactured by Shooter Arms in the Philippines, these guns are a bargain but have one little hangup.
The two models being added to the FX45 Thunderbolt series are the Thunderbolt E (Enhanced) and the SS (stainless steel). The enhanced model has a hammer-forged slide and cast frame, both 4140 steel. The stainless steel model is also made with a forged slide and cast frame, but 416 brushed stainless steel.
Feature-wise, the two are slightly different. The E is matte black, and comes with a ported slide and comped barrel. The SS has chromed controls. Both have adjustable 3-dot sights, checkered front- and backstraps, fully-checkered mahogany grips, and come with one 8-round magazine.
And that would be the hangup. Not the capacity, but the magazines themselves. The most common complaint, the standard ATI/SA issue is bad mags. Consider the one you get to be suspect. Besides that, these 1911s offer a level of value that you don’t associate with factories equipped with modern, precision lathes and CNC machining.
These full-size handguns come with an MSRP closer to $800, but other Thunderbolts, with the same MSRP, often sell for $700 and sometimes even less. And while they’re a huge company in the Philippines, they don’t get much time in the spotlight here. Do you have any experience with ATI/SA’s 1911s? Run into any mag problems or something else? Completely satisfied with your purchase?
Let the world know.