TFB Review: AMT Hardballer .45 Long Slide With Laser Sighting

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

Well hello there. Are you looking for Sarah Connor? Well, she isn’t here. Just us firearm enthusiasts. Earlier this year I came across an AMT Hardballer at my local gun store. I bought it and transformed it into the iconic “.45 long slide with laser sighting”.

More Laser Sighting @ TFB:

How Much For That Doggy In The Window?

I got the long slide pistol for $1200. It was listed as an AMT Hardballer but there were no markings that I could see other than the serial number. The price was not terrible so I decided to buy it and make it a project pistol.

It came with three magazines and an optic mount grip with a Burris 2x pistol scope.

The pistol came with a Bar Sto long barrel.

While I had the optic mount grip I tried a couple of optic options. The LS45 Lasersight is a comical one.

I was a little disappointed that my Aimpoint 1000 did not fit. The rear mount hangs off the edge.

The long slide makes my Glock 17L look small.

AMT Hardballer Laser Sighting

Photo from SureFire

The original AMT Hardballer used in Terminator had a Laser Products laser. Laser Products became SureFire. Buying an original laser is not really feasible and from the accounts I have read online, it was powered via wires and a battery that was run down Arnold Schwarzenegger’s jacket sleeve.

I found an airsoft company called Mafioso that makes a replica of the Terminator pistol. More importantly, they sell the laser, mount and grips as a kit so you don’t have to buy their toy pistol. I ordered it and installed it on my AMT Hardballer.

I ran into some issues. First, the laser mount is made of lower-grade aluminum and it is not Weaver spec. The scope ring mount looks like a weaver mount but only in appearance. It is not robust. The other problem is the extended safety that was installed on the AMT Hardballer. It interferes with the fitting of the scope mount. The grip that comes with the laser sight has a recess to fit the scope mount. Once I mounted the scope mount and tighten the grip screws, the scope mount was still loose. So I made a shim out of a soda pop aluminum can and now the scope mount does not move as much.

Due to the length of the safety, it hits the scope mount.

This is not going to work. But at least I can still use the iron sights under the scope mount.

Making An AMT Hardballer

As I said earlier, there were no markings that I could see. I was unsure if this pistol was actually an AMT Hardballer or not. This did not really matter to me. My friend Alex of Nocorium redrew the AMT Hardballer markings from photos we found online. He drew them as vector files so I could take them to my local laser engraver. As we were preparing to put the slide in the laser engraving machine, I took one quick look and the lighting was just right that I finally saw the original markings. It is an AMT Hardballer after all!! The markings were so faint that I never noticed them.

Even though the markings are there, they are too faint. So in the laser engraver it went. Here is how it turned out after being properly engraved by a fiber laser with deep etching into the metal slide. Yes, the new markings do not line up with the originals but I was going to get the AMT Hardballer Cerakoted to better match the one from the movie.

To solve my safety problem I purchased a G.I. Spec safety but the shaft was too wide. So I Dremeled the safety selector that was on the AMT Hardballer and now it clears the optic mount.

Before handing it in to my Cerakoter, I shot the AMT Hardballer with the laser sighting. As I suspected the mount flexed under recoil and the laser shifted in the garbage mount. I would replace it with a proper weaver scope ring but the rail on the mount is too wide.

Click here to watch a slow-motion video of the AMT Hardballer shooting and the airsoft scope mount shaking.

I had my Cerakoter use stainless steel color Cerakote. It came out a little darker than expected but I have seen various photos of the prop gun and it too looks brighter or darker depending on the lighting.

Final Thoughts On The AMT Hardballer

I know AMT firearms do not have a solid history and are notorious for having issues. But this gun is just cool because of the Terminator movie and sometimes we buy things for the aesthetics more than function. This AMT Hardballer is such a gun for the collection.

I have been told that the real scope mount used for the laser sight was an NPC 1911 mount. I need to track one down but since they are long since discontinued, the search goes on.

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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2 of 38 comments
  • Gabe Gabe on Jan 01, 2024

    Didn't AMT also make the automag as well? I wanted one of those in 30 carbine so bad.

  • Bill Proctor Bill Proctor on Jan 21, 2024

    Working on my own 'Sarah Connor' project.

    Swap you an original NPC mount for one of those airsoft lasers.