I’ve found a shooting cheat code! At a starting price of $7,000, the Atlas Gunworks Erebus is the best of the best, in terms of race pistols

Shooting-wise, I preach that it’s the shooter, not the gun, that matters – meaning equipment doesn’t usually make a shooter better. Improvement is about technique and practice. Most of the time, that’s true. However, this gun is the exception to the rule.

This gun practically shoots itself. I mean, the Erebus alone will not win you a world championship, but whatever your skill level, you will most likely be able to hit closer to your mark – and do it faster. 

So, let’s find out how Atlas did it. I’m going to look at what makes Atlas Gunworks guns special and what makes the Erebus unique.
 

Table of Contents

Video
Fast Delivery 
Perfect Return to Zero
Grip Safety
The Erebus
No Lock-back
Compensator
Designed for 3-Gun
Grip
Shooting Performance
Issues
Conclusion

video

 

 

Fast Delivery


Two main traits make Atlas Gunworks a notable company. First, the founding principle of Atlas Gunworks is to deliver custom guns in a reasonable time frame. Wait time for custom guns can vary from months to even years. Atlas was formed to address this problem. Today, Atlas will deliver your custom pistol in 12 weeks! That’s only 90 days.

Now, one caveat – these are not totally custom guns. Atlas is able to meet that tight delivery schedule by limiting your choices. But there is still a good amount of customization. You can modify the grip, weight, balance, trigger, safety, mag well, finish, and a number of other features, depending on which model you choose. Basically, you can modify all the control features on the gun to tune it to your physiology.

That’s pretty unheard of in 12 weeks in the race gun world. That’s the first step to this gun’s incredible performance: its ability to be personalized to your hand and shooting style.
 

Related: Atlas Gunworks Wows With CCW & Competition 2011s
 

Perfect Return to Zero

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
Atlas touts its guns as having a perfect return to zero – meaning when fire, the muzzle returns to exactly the same position where it started. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The second great company trait is that all their guns are designed to have a “perfect return to zero.” The idea is that all guns have some muzzle flip. Yes, they want to minimize it, but more importantly when the muzzle comes back from the lift-up, Atlas wants its guns to pivot back to exactly the same position as before it was fired. The company calls this “return to zero.” 

With minimal grip pressure, all Atlas guns will settle down right on target after being shot, so you can take the next shot with ease. That is some cool engineering, and you have to feel it to believe it.
 

Grip Safety


I’m going to add one bonus Atlas Gunworks novelty. None of their guns have grip safeties. I’ve talked about this before – grip safeties are controversial in the 1911/2011 world. If you are in the “I hate grip safeties” camp, take a look at Atlas.
 

The Erebus

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
The Erebus is a stunner of a race gun that will make just about anyone into a better shooter. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Next, let’s address the Erebus model and why it’s so special. The Erebus was designed to dominate the 3-Gun world. It features a modular aluminum grip, 4.6-inch barrel, titanium compensator, tri-top slide, Atlas’s proprietary red dot plate system, high grip ambidextrous safety, Gephart trigger with a standard sub-2-pound pull weight, and tactical rail. It’s available in either two-tone or all black DLC-coated.
 

No Lock-back

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
The Erebus won't lock back on an empty magazine, a feature competition shooters will appreciate. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Also note it comes standard with no lock-back on an empty magazine. Non-competition shooters sometimes think this is a malfunction. Actually, game gunners like to remove this feature so they can use a magazine follower that gives them one extra round. One more round can mean the difference in a world championship. 
 

Compensator

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
The Erebus doesn't come with the biggest or best compensator on the market, because it's designed to fit in a retention holster for 3-Gun competition. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Now, two features I want to highlight are the compensator and the modular grip. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I love compensators. They redirect the gases to help minimize muzzle rise, in turn allowing shooters to get back on target more quickly and shoot faster. 

The comp on the Erebus is excellent. And I love shooting it.

But it’s not the biggest or most effective comp on the market. Atlas sells guns with bigger compensators that tame more flip. They choose this modest comp because it lets the gun still fit in retention holsters.

Straight open class guns with the giant compensators are carried in special holsters than can accommodate the length of the comps. These holsters are more for transportation than secure retention. They are made to walk from one stage to another. Once the buzzer sounds, the gun is drawn, and you shoot that open gun for the entire stage.
 

Designed for 3-Gun

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
Dave Luu draws the Erebus on the move. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


In 3-Gun, for which the Erebus is designed, there is a lot of movement with your pistol in the holster, since you will be shooting one or both of your other guns. Hence the term 3-Gun, as you’re shooting three guns.

Open guns in open holsters are not secure enough for all that movement. Even regular holsters that don’t have an active retention system are not always enough. I’ve personally been disqualified after my pistol fell out of a fairly tight holster in a 3-Gun match.

Many 3-Gunners like to use holsters with active retention systems that lock the gun in place. Therefore, the Erebus was designed with a shorter compensator to accommodate those holsters.

Of course, that shorter length comes at a price. And while the comp works well on all 9mm ammunition, it works best on a particular type of ammunition. It is optimized for slower-burning powders that are usually only used in personal handloads or special competition loads from boutique ammunition manufacturers.

Personally, I only shot it with commercial ammo, and it performed superbly. If it does better with handloads, I’m not sure I would be able to truly take advantage of it. It was already outrunning me on factory ammo.
 

CLICK TO WIN ATLAS EREBUS!

 

Grip

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
Atlas's Alpha Grip provides a secure handhold. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The last feature I wanted to address is the modular Alpha Grip. All v2 guns in the Atlas lineup have the Alpha Grip. I love this grip. The texture is excellent, and it gives perfect purchase without abrading your hand.
 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
The texture is comfortable and won't abrade your skin. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


But the real uniqueness is the modularity. It is different than the usual modular grip that just changes the size of the grip. With several panels to choose from, the Alpha grips can be tailored to your hand shape by adjusting for palm size and finger length and thickness. 

There is even an insert available to bulk up the void left where the strong side fingers end. It raises the grip in that area so it can meet the support hand palm. This allows for a great grip on the gun. I wish all guns had this feature. 
 

Shooting Performance

 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
A pleasure to shoot, the Erebus almost keeps itself on target. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Now, let’s talk performance. What can I say? It’s buttery smooth and a dream to shoot. 
 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
The Gephart trigger pull comes in under 2 pounds. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The combination of the trigger, compensator and the perfect return to zero is unbelievable. I dare anyone to fire this gun and not have a smile on their face. Honestly, I can’t shoot as fast as the gun wants to go. I found the gun waiting for me to shoot the next shot.
 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
Accuracy is no joke with the Erebus, and I couldn't stop smiling while shooting it. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


And, of course, accuracy-wise, it shot lights-out.
 

Issues

I did have two issues, though. First, the magazine needed some tuning, either with the feed lips or the spring pressure. Rounds would pop out of it very easily.
 

Atlas Gunworks Erebus Competition Pistol
While not necessarily the fault of the gun, the high grip safety took a bit of adjustment. I had to reposition my thumb to avoid pressing the safety while shooting. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Second – and this was more my issue than the gun’s – it took me a bit to get used to the high grip safety. I wasn’t used to keeping my thumbs in that position, and I inadvertently activated the safety while shooting. But that’s really a training issue more than a gun issue.
 

Conclusion


In conclusion, what does $7,000 buy you? Basically, a cheat code for shooting. If you don’t want to put in the work, this gun will make you instantly better.

But really, it’s made for the high-level shooter who can push it to its limits. If you are a competitor that wants the best of the best, the Atlas Erebus should be on your list.

Even if you’re not a competitor and simply want something that performs – and you have the cash – you can’t go wrong with an Erebus.

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