I am a big fan of 1911s, and after someone mentioned these guns might be worth buying I figured I'd decide to look into it. I held one at the local gun show and gave it a glace over and a month later I bought one from the same retailer at the show.
The gun feels good in the hand. It has a solid weight to it thanks to a heavy magazine and steel lower frame and is a full sized 1911A1 replica. True to the A1 model it has a long curved trigger, arched mainspring housing, parkerized finished frame, and a trigger frame cut. The non-traditional components include the 3-dot semi-Novak style sights, which are interchangeable to accommodate ammunition choice, and the large beavertail and commander style hammer.
The slide is made of an aluminized zinc alloy from what I can tell. This is pretty typical of German made products where a lightweight cast metal is needed. You can find alot of zinc-aluminum alloys in their older cars too. It's probably not my favorite choice in a material for this application, but there has to be some corner cutting in materials to make a $300 pistol profitable. This is probably the weakest link in the gun however the breech face is a steel insert for added safety and longevity.
The finish on the gun looks fine, but it is not very durable. Just simple handling and range usage has already worn on an edge or two. Since the slide is non-Ferrous I suspect it has a simple painted finish.
The barrel is very similar to the Walther P22 in that it has a detachable end cap at the muzzle to allow you to change over to a 1/2-28" extended threaded adapter for using muzzle attachments like a silencer. The barrel is non-tilting and fixed so there is no need for a Nielson device (booster) to assist the action when firing suppressed. In fact, due to it's blowback operation the suppressor will improve the cycling by giving a stronger impulse rearward. The downside is that suppressors will gum up an action pretty quickly on a .22 and will feed powder and lead particulate down into the magazine (which is not open on the sides). If you intend to use a suppressor I'd highly recommend using blue loctite on the adapter to prevent it coming loose and sending a round into your baffle stack.
The firing pin is captured in the slide by a retaining pin similar to that on a Ruger 10/22 bolt and is directly driven by the hammer like a traditional 1911. The trigger itself is pretty crappy. It's long, heavy, and full of creep as if it was breed with a S&W Sigma; it feels very much like a wind-up trigger. Thankfully the trigger components like the sear and hammer are interchangeable with other 1911 parts.
ATI says the following parts are to spec and can be interchanged with any aftermarket 1911 components:
Front & Rear Sight (Colt Dovetail from Appearances)
Grip Panels (Screws and S****ions are Metric)
The gun runs and functions well. It even has a last round lock-back which is pretty cool and gives you a good training platform for a single stack 1911.
The recoil is non-existent and the action is lightweight, making this a perfect starter gun for people new to semi-autos. The safety has good feel but has some spongy feel when it's off-safe.
It'll hold a quarter sized group at 7 yards which is plenty good for a training and/or fun pistol, and had no real issue with CCI Minimags or the Eley Sport.