Hank Strange shoots the new ATI FXH-45 Polymer 1911

American Tactical Import’s (ATI) new FXH-45 Polymer 1911 has become available after being unveiled at SHOT 2016.  Friend of TFB Hank Strange got his hands on a production model prior to SHOT 2016, and has been giving it a thorough assessment.  In his initial video overview, he seems to have overall positive experience with the FXH-45, and was also able to get it to function reliably with a suppressor.  I was excited to see the FXH-45 in action, as I am a big 1911 aficionado, and I do welcome the innovation that polymer frames bring to the platform.

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note the front sight does not use a dovetail

Though the FXH-45 comes from ATI, it is not an import, as it is American-made.  The FXH-45 is a bit different from the Witness Elite or Rock River polymer 1911s, as it uses aluminum rather than steel inserts in the frame.  Due to this difference, as possibly the cutouts on the slide, the FXH is 4.5oz lighter than its competitors.  The FXH also features finger grooves molded into the grip, a cutout and removable plate on top of the side for optics, and interchangeable sights that are compatible with Glocks rather than other 1911s or a proprietary system.  Hopefully, we will see different sizes and configurations of the FXH-45 in the future.  The FXH-45 has an MSRP of $659.95.

Ambidextrous safeties come standard

Ambidextrous safeties come standard

Here’s the specs on the FXH-45, straight from ATI:

Features

  • Full Size
  • Single Action
  • Semi Automatic
  • 8+1 Capacity
  • Removeable Top Plate Allows the Addition of American Tactical Optic Mount for Trijicon RMR and Burris Fastfire Sights – Available Separately.

Specs

  • Caliber:  .45 ACP
  • Height: 5.4″
  • Length: 8.7″
  • Weight: 27.5 oz Empty w/ no Magazine
  • Magazine Capacity:  8

Frame

  • Material:  Polymer w/ 2 7075-T6 Aluminum Inserts
  • Finish:  MilSpec Hard Coat Anodize on Inserts
  • Color:  Black

Slide

  • Material:  416 Stainless Steel
  • Finish:  QPQ Black Nitride
  • Color:  Black

Sights

  • Accepts Glock Front and Rear Sights
  • Accepts Aftermarket Night Sights

Grips

  • Black Polymer

Barrel

  • 5″ 416 Stainless Steel Match Grade

Trigger

  • Overtravel Adjustable, Skeletonized Alloy, Silver Color”

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Thanks to Hank Strange for his assistance!

Video courtesy of Hank Strange

Still photos courtesy of ATI



Rusty S.

Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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  • That does look strange.

    • kregano

      I bet these are going to be REALLY popular with Hollywood armorers working on scifi movies.

      • Anonymoose

        Put an RMR and an endless magazine (Hollywood magic) on it, and it’ll be perfect!

        • mosinman

          don’t forget to make it double barreled like the Arsenal

  • DaveP.

    Wilson advertised a polymer-frame (double stack!) 1911 circa ten years ago, and IIRC there was another company that also was featuring a polymer 1911 between then and now. I wonder why neither one of those earlier offerings caught on?

    • Anonymoose

      Rock River makes polymer 1911s.

    • Ben

      STI International has their polymer frame Double stack 1911s, called 2011s. I’m not sure when they were introduced, but they’re big in the race gun community and STI does offer guns more in a “duty” role. I think part of the reason for the lack of catching on is the fact that many double stack 1911’s are different enough where a couple of accessories, notably duty and concealed carry holsters, are incompatable. Also, at least in STI’s case, the 2011’s are fairly expensive. Mine was about $2000 and 2011’s as far as I can tell start around $1800-$1900. This high barrier to entry drives many away causing the guns to be more of a niche product, where many can buy a single stack for 1/3 of the price.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        But as youtube will have me believe, Americans would rather own 4x 500 USD guns rather than a single 2000 USD gun 😉

        • DaveP.

          That’s the nice thing about being an American: you can do either or both!

          Personally I don’t buy expensive guns because I carry for self defense and losing a $2000 gun to an evidence locker would suck.

        • Wanderlust

          My only cheap guns are my C&R relics. Well that and my Beretta PX4 subcompact. Cheaper is not necessarily worse though. A good example would be a glock, cheap, reliable, small, accurate with the right sights. Although im skeptical of anything new in the $250 range.

      • Reef Blastbody

        There’s also Bul Transmark, who originally supplied polymer doublestack frames to Kimber when they were marketing them with their slides as BP-10s, and Charles Daly imported the Bul pistols for a period of time as well.

        Currently, all my 1911s are double stack: Bul M5 Government in .45ACP, RIA Tac Ultra DS in 9MM/22TCM, and an STI Tactical 4.0 in 9MM. Of them, the STI is easily my favorite, if only for the 20 round magazine capacity with the 140MM magazine tubes.

      • raz-0

        Mags and patents have something to do with it.

        The 2011 platform guns are sold primarily to the competitive crowd, and the goal there is to jam as many rounds as possible in the 140mm/170mm limitations of the game. This gets people playing with wafer thin followers, and marginal springs, and add on base pad extensions, and those can get really unreliable, or really expensive. Pick one. Combine that with a small manufacturing base, and you now have limited runs of magazines, varying “refinements” of the magazines, etc. And you wind up with expensive mags with a reputation for unreliability and the need for lots of TLC.

        Reality is if you stick with the standard 126mm mags and the bulky factory follower that comes in them, reliability shoots up huge amount. They still need a fluff and buff to make them really reliable.

        Now that patents are running out, you are starting to see 2011 clones from others than those with a hand int he original patents. We’ll see if that makes things better or worse, but it should pave the way for the platform becoming more accessible with more reasonable prices.

    • Rusty S.

      Indeed, the Wilson KZ-45/spec-ops 9 and STI 2011 are in a whole other class/price bracket.

  • ozzallos .

    I’m just going to say that looks nothing like a 1911.

  • Matt Fulghum

    Interesting gun. Like he said in the video, I’d like to see it in 9mm, too. Good review; I’m going to have to add him to my watchlist.

  • Anomanom

    Given that the slide is already cut, can you get it with a factory comped barrel? Id pay extra for that at the price point.

  • ExMachina1

    I’m really surprised this polymer gun (according to video) weighs in at 30 ounces. My steel frame, 5-inch 1911 weighs in @ just 37 ounces w/ mag (unloaded). That ain’t much of a weight savings.

    • Rustle Wiltson

      A half pound is pretty substantial in my opinion. Makes a huge difference when carried all day.

      Are polymer guns obligated to be ugly?

      I don’t get the finger grooves. Just make a standard grip. 99/100 1911s I’ve seen do not have finger grooves. Some folks pay good money to delete them from Glocks. The fbi contact stipulated no finger grooves yet ati thinks it would be a good idea.

      • ExMachina1

        Sure. I’ll take the 7 ounce weight reduction! It’s just that I would have thought a polymer frame 1911 would be lighter than an alloy frame. However it seems they’re about the same as an alloy 1911 and a few ounces heaver than a Glock. Just surprised, that’s all…

        • Rustle Wiltson

          I know what you mean. They just can’t get much lighter. 9mm 1911s actually weigh more than their.45acp counterparts because there is more material on the barrel. I thought that was funny.

          My lcr .38 is 16 oz loaded and its not really much fun to shoot. A .45 at or under 29oz would be a handful.

  • Bob

    Hmmm… He seems to be getting a lot of muzzle flip going on, especially early in the video. I wonder if that is him or has to do with the lighter frame.

  • Xeno Da Morph

    Unique holster situation.

  • Reef Blastbody

    Looks interesting. Wait and see on the long term quality, though the example Hank has seems good.

    Likes:
    Pre cut for a red dot.
    Uses commonly available aftermarket sights.
    Fairly large compatibility with existing 1911 parts, so you can tweak the trigger, etc to your liking.
    Light weight.
    Looks. I like them. I would prefer a full length dust cover though, just personal preference.

    Would like to see them offer a doublestack and 9MM, 10MM and .40S&W at some point in the future.

  • Budogunner

    Just what I always wanted… a full sized, polymer framed pistol with only 8 rounds of magazine capacity.

    I’ll stick with my XDM, thank you.

  • maodeedee

    Don’t like the finger grooves. I removed them from my Gen 3 Glock 10mm and I wouldn’t trade that for this even though this is slightly less ugly and has a flatter profile and a better grip angle. But I’ve learned to adapt to the Glock grip and I like the 16 round capacity. I also have a custom 5 inch barrel in mine that sticks out a half inch from the front of the slide.
    As far as a polymer framed 1911 I liked those BUL poly framed guns that were on the market for a while. Those actually looked like a real 1911 and therefore were much better looking than either this or a Glock