American Tactical Imports of Rochester, New
York always has one of the busiest booths at SHOT Show every
year, and the 2011 Show was no
different. Their booth is invariably filled with interesting
firearms that are a bit different from those on display
throughout the show. One pistol that piqued my interest earlier
this year at SHOT was the ATI Fatboy. 2011 marks the 100th
Anniversary of the 1911 auto pistol; that classic design is more
popular now than at any time in its history, and there are
numerous variations of the 1911 pistol currently in production.
This brings to mind thoughts of just how far the platform can be
changed and still be a 1911. The ATI Fatboy is pushing the
limits of that already. While the slide profile, along with the
trigger and safety systems are pure 1911, the design of the
frame, barrel, recoil spring and barrel bushing are different.
In fact, there is no barrel bushing. This has been done before,
quite successfully, and it is proven that such a coned barrel
profile needs no bushing. Detonics did this decades ago, as have
others, and it works well, returning the barrel to the same
position in relation to the slide, every time.
The first thing to get most people’s
attention is the wide-body grip portion of the frame. At first
glance, it looks to be too wide for a good grasp for shooting,
but it is thinner overall than a single-stack 1911 with grip
panels. The overall width of the grip portion of the Fatboy
frame is almost one-tenth of an inch thinner than a single-stack
1911 with grip panels. The Fatboy eliminates the need for grip
panels at all, as the frame serves as the grip, and is textured
for a secure hold on the pistol.
Almost every piece of this Fatboy is made of
steel. The only exceptions are the polymer base plate on the
twelve-round magazine, the spring retainer on the dual-spring
recoil guide rod, and the aluminum trigger. Everything else is a
matte-black finished steel.
Critical specifications for the Fatboy are
listed in the chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and
linear measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were
measured at their widest points. The maximum width is measured
across the grip, and includes the thumb safety. The height
includes the sights and the magazine base. The trigger pull is
listed as pounds of resistance. The weight includes the empty
twelve-round magazine. Length is measured from the muzzle to the
tip of the beavertail grip safety.
|Maximum Grip Width
I tested for velocity with my chronograph set
at twelve feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of
eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, with a sunny sky and a slight
breeze and moderate humidity. Velocity readings were taken at an
elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities
are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second
(fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed
hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet.
Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented bullet inside a copper
alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall. EPR
and AF are high performance specialty bullets as loaded by
Extreme Shock Ammunition. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter
bullet. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet
weights are listed in grains.
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Extreme Shock EPR
|Extreme Shock AF
|WCC 1911 Ball FMJ
For accuracy testing, I used a Target
Shooting, Inc. handgun shooting rest, with the pistol
handheld and the front of the frame resting in the V-cradle of
the TSI rest. Accuracy was good, especially considering the
short sight radius. The best groups fired averaged around two
and one half inches, with the largest group measuring three and
five-eighths inches spread for five shots at twenty-five yards.
More practical to the intended use of this pistol, keeping a
magazine of ammo centered on a human silhouette target at five,
seven, ten, and fifteen yards was easy, aided by the thirty-six
ounce heft of the Fatboy.
Functioning was very good. The trigger pull,
measuring six pounds, ten ounces, is heavier than I like on a
carry gun, but that is easily corrected. There were two
malfunctions experienced firing this Fatboy. From the first
magazine of ammo, I had one failure-to-feed. After that,
everything fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. Also early on, not
a malfunction, but with some loads, ejected cartridge cases
would hit the shooter on the forehead. Again, this problem
disappeared later. During one rapid-fire string, the slide
locked back before the magazine was empty, but again, that only
happened one time. After those two incidences, functioning was
perfect. The Fatboy functioned very well, feeding every type of
ammo listed in the velocity chart above.
The wide grip area of the Fatboy does not
affect holstering, and the pistol fits into any standard 1911
holster which does not cover the grip. The grip is shorter than
on a standard 1911, and hides well under a loose shirt or
jacket, properly holstered. The Fatboy has a very good set of
sights, with a black post in front with a white dot, and an
all-black rear sight of the useful and popular Novak style,
adjustable for windage correction by moving laterally in its
The ATI FX45 Fatboy is a good, reliable auto
pistol, having a thirteen-shot capacity, while still remaining
relatively compact. It is a good choice for concealed carry, in
a properly fitted holster. The Fatboy runs well on high
performance hollowpoint defensive ammo, is easy to shoot, and
easy to shoot well.
Check out the Fatboy and other weapons from
American Tactical Imports online at www.americantactical.us.
To order the Fatboy online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For the location of an ATI dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order high quality 45 ACP ammunition, go