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  #1  
Old 03-24-2012, 02:11 PM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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ATI Titan Beware




I know there are other threads on this but this summary seems to be needed.

The problem with the Titan is the recoil assembly. It is/was made of highly deficient parts and the design is simply inferior.

You can put maybe a couple hundred rounds of range loads through a new gun but the recoil assembly literally batters itself to death while you do it. Eventually the slide will start to jam open and you get all sorts of malfunctions.

ATI admits the problem and now offers a redesigned replacement that is much beefier but introduces a new problem. The screw (which they did not redesign/replace for reasons beyond reason) batters the crap out of the barrel link because it protrudes too far and because the outer recoil spring in the new unit is longer and stronger than the original. The solution is to buy the same assembly made for the Colt Defender. It drops right in without modification and has no protruding screw. (Part numbers: SP57779 and SP577811)

There is one other defective part: the "reverse plug" (Colt calls it a "recoil spring bushing"; part number SP577601). This is the part the outer recoil spring slides into.

This ATI part is supremely inferior and ATI does not admit there is a problem. Therefore they have no replacement that won't also crack. My second one cracked after only 49 rounds of mild range loads. Who knows when the first one cracked. I didn't know to look for a crack until later. Others have had this part split completely in two.

Someone posted that using a Colt outer recoil spring causes these to crack. I was using an ATI recoil assembly when both of mine cracked.

Contrary to what someone posted, the Colt bushing does NOT drop in. It requires considerable filing to make it fit. Since the Kimber requires fitting also, might as well stick with all Colt or all Kimber (supposedly the Kimber recoil assembly unit will also work; I have no experience with it).

So, today I am taking my ATI Titan with Colt recoil assembly and modified Colt recoil spring bushing to the range. I am going to shoot it until I run out of ammo, or it breaks, or it refuses to break; whichever comes first. If it misbehaves, I have had enough and it is going back for a refund.

Anyway. Before you buy that Titan, know that to a certainty you will at least have to spend about another $75-80 on recoil parts.

On the positive side, the folks at ATI have been very responsive, replaced parts free of charge without hemming or hawing and in general provided a positive CS experience. But they cannot fix what they don't admit is defective, so either you have to fix it yourself or buy something else.

I will post again after the range to let you know if the Colt parts made this a stable (or at least more stable) gun.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2012, 04:38 PM
Martensite Martensite is offline
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The above also applies to the ATI Fatboy. I too am running the Colt Defender recoil assembly.

The Defender assembly seems to be holding up pretty well. I ran a 21 lb Kimber large recoil spring on mine and the slide failed to lock back on the last round consistently so I switched to a 19 Lb Kimber large recoil spring. I have yet to test it.

I'll be waiting to hear the results of your range session...
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2012, 08:48 PM
Punisher102 Punisher102 is offline
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To the OP, what "version" of the titan do you have?

I had and early "version". Meaning mine was mirror polished with a rounded muzzle. See pics.

Mine beat itself to death and was completely replaced from Davidson's. What they sent me was a different "version" as this one has what I call and industrial polish (not mirror) and the barrel was flat and the muzzle even looked blasted. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of it. I kept it in the bags and sold it as new.

As a side note, I did replace the recoil assembly with the Colt version. I also replaced the rear sight with the Colt 2 dot site and even replaced that with the RSL. If anyone is interested in these parts, PM me. Just the recoil assembly and RSL is left.




Last edited by Punisher102; 03-24-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2012, 10:19 PM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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OK.

First, this is a second generation stainless; flat ended barrel.

Spent the afternoon at the range shooting plates; man on man. Great fun. Very educational how some very good shooters can sometimes crumble under that kind of stress.

Midway through I stripped the Titan and looked for signs of stress. Nothing.
Reassembled dirty and kept on going. Only one failure while shooting plates, due to ammo not the gun.

Finished the afternoon with a stress test. (The guys asked if I planned on cooking dinner on the barrel.)

I ran seven mags of seven rounds each through the gun as quickly as I could swap out mags and sorta, kinda aim. Then, after a few minutes break I did it again for a total of 14 mags or 98 rounds. No cleaning, oiling or anything.

The pistol was already filthy and coughing a bit when I started and it began choking on the last round in each of my four milsurp mags, but not with the three ACT-MAG mags.

A few minutes ago I field stripped the pistol after dinner and the crud is thick enough to be measured in millimeters rather than thousandths, yet...

No FTF(feed) or FTE other than the small handful of FTFs easily explained by one bad reload or filth or its dislike for the milsurp mags. In other words, what little went wrong, and it was very little for a new gun, was clearly not the gun's fault.

Checked all the parts carefully. No signs of failure or undue stress. Also, the brutalization of the barrel link mentioned in the OP has come to a complete halt now that the Colt assembly is in place of the ATI replacement assembly. If anything, that area is now a bit polished and minimized.

Though the couple of hundred rounds + that I put through it today is not definitive, this is by far the best and longest performance of this gun yet. In fact, it would be more correct to say that prior to this, "performance" was not a word that could be applied.

Tomorrow or Monday, depending on time, I will go to the range and feed her a few mags of defense ammo for the first time.

If she survives that, I figure another 500 rounds of range loads with good behavior may buy her carry status.

One last point:

These guns like to throw brass right in your face, as many already know. I changed the angle of the ejector on two faces and she now throws brass in a nice little pile just where I like them; behind and to the right. But...

The metal of the ejector struck me as way too soft as I was filing it, so I am guessing that this part will need replacement too. Has anyone done this already? If so, what part did you use?

We speculated at the range today. (This gun has generated a LOT of discussion, as you can imagine.) It is our guess based on total ignorance and no real evidence whatsoever, that the Filipinos are buying the frames, slides and barrels from a fairly good source and making most or all of the smaller parts themselves. This could explain the apparently good major parts alongside the extremely poor smaller parts.

Actually, the guy who cut the Colt reverse plug for me knows his stuff when it comes to metals and he was less than impressed with the quality of the ATI original part. Poor, low grade metal. He speculated that the Filipinos cannot get the best steels. He also mentioned that the Colt part was very high quality steel; he was also surprised because at first he thought it might be aluminum.

My take thus far is that in general this gun is sound, with the exception of some of the small parts, especially all the recoil parts, that you MUST replace on DAY ONE, adding that cost to the price of the gun. The "real" price of this gun is therefore closer to $700 or $750 than to the $550 or so purchase price. If you count your time and aggravation, a Springer or Kimber, or even Colt might appear cheaper. I know that my SA EMP in .40 S&W had to go back to the mother ship once and took hundreds of rounds to break in, but now she simply won't fail at all. So if the Titan stops behaving, its another Springer for me, even though I dread another such break in period.

I get really aggravated when a brand new gun won't behave even a little. As I said to the CS rep at ATI; I am one of those unreasonable people who expect guns, parachutes, antibiotics and other devices sold and advertised as tools I can use to save my life to actually function flawlessly right out of the box. But it seems not all share that point of view and quality control is not high on the lists of a number of current manufacturers/distributors. A Taurus .44 I bought recently shipped without a cylinder gap! (Fortunately I had an extra in a drawer.) And I have been absolutely appalled when dropping the side plates off of recent production S&W revolvers. They would have to improve considerably just to rise to the level of "poorly finished"!

I'll keep you all posted as to whether or not this gun fails or rises to the level of carry confidence. But with all the shooting I have done in the last few years, and it has been a LOT, I have learned one immutable rule:

Guns are mechanical devices. Mechanical devices ALL fail. It is just a question of when and where the next failure lies between minor inconvenience and catastrophic. Even the best and most expensive guns will fail, probably when you need them most...

Carry TWO guns! Mr. Hickok knew what he was doing.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2012, 10:23 PM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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Punisher, I might be interested in the Colt recoil assembly. Does it include the reverse plug/recoil spring bushing?
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2012, 10:42 PM
Punisher102 Punisher102 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidkachel View Post
Punisher, I might be interested in the Colt recoil assembly. Does it include the reverse plug/recoil spring bushing?
Nope, just the assembly
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2012, 12:00 AM
jeorge jeorge is offline
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Outer spring and the plug are on the colt site along with the recoil assy. You can order all three at the same time.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2012, 02:40 PM
XinTX XinTX is offline
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Mine failed the reverse plug as well. No advanced warning. I had inspected it visually each time before going to the range. The day it failed I was on maybe my second mag when it spit the front part of the reverse plug down range, never to be seen again. I ground down a Kimber part to fit. I didnt' do such a great job on the plug and it kinda looks like crap. ATI (eventually) sent me a replacement to the plug, but I've yet to fire it using that plug.

Other thing I've noticed is that the muzzle of the barrel is VERY loose in the slide. The 'bull' end of that bull barrel flops around in the inside of the slide. No idea how to fix that one.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2012, 11:34 PM
Fatboy72 Fatboy72 is offline
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Not sure why your all having so many issues, but my fatboy serial number 1004xx has seen over 700 rounds through it to date and only had one issue with having to replace the ejector because of using that junk ass steel case tulammo. Didn't realize its case was that out of spec until I did a side by side comparison with it and three other brands of domestic made ammo, then the difference was obvious.

But to this point(knocking on wood)I've had no problem with my recoil assembly or anything else for that matter, hell the ejector didn't have to be replaced but I was getting tired of the empty shells bouncing off my forehead all the time after the Russian ammo damaged the ejector. Still worked fine with no FTF or FTE just threw them back at my face once empty lol. Would have to keep a wetwipe for the residue on my forehead and cheeks every time I left the range, and now that's all good. For 580 bucks I'm happy as hell with the cheap 1911's performance, at 30 feet I can keep all 12 in the red on the target, and if I really take my time can keep them in a 3 inch group. Not bad for a novice with a cheap 3 inch barreled 45.

Wish I had money for an ed brown special but until I do I will keep my fatboy, plus ed brown doesn't make a hi cap double stack 1911, when they run out of their 7, 8, or 9, ill still have 6, 5, or 4 more left just in case the others don't do the job. Sometimes your problems are caused by changing things that don't need changing, or by not changing other things that should be changed while changing the first thing because how one reacts directly affects how the other does.

"IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT"
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Things that go bang or boom make me smile and get the juices flowing...
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:42 AM
Martensite Martensite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy72 View Post
Not sure why your all having so many issues...
Could you take a pic of your stock recoil assembly and post it up? I'd like to see what you backer plate looks like after 700 rnds of ammo. Mine was hammered afte 150 rnds.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:39 AM
sniper350 sniper350 is offline
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I am with Fatboy on this one. I am very happy with my Stainless 3" Titan !
You get what you pay for ......and in this case you " may " need to buy some extra parts to increase performance ....but I think some small exaggeration about the cost ( $700 or $750 ) has been posted IMHO. If you buy the KIMBER recoil assembly package ( for their Ultra Carry ) for $53 you will have replaced a lot of what the Titan needs for improvement. You get better Springs ! you get a better Reverse Plug ( needs some fitment ) and you get an excellent recoil spring guide with a tough ( no screw ) back flange. I think the KImber assembly is even superior to the Colt Defender version.

So for an extra $50 or even $60 bucks ........you are pretty much set. That cost me a little under $600 for my Titan YMMV! The rest that the Titan needs are "adjustments" to the STOCK parts.

My Titan is now as reliable as any other 1911 that I own ......... and its out the door pricing is pretty amazing !

Again I must emphasize you get what you pay for ......... and I have no illusions that this micro 1911 will last " a lifetime " or anywhere close to it ! I think the SLIDE will batter itself to the point where it will need replacement & it will be at that point that I will determine if it is worth the efforts to keep it alive!

But until then .......... I will enjoy the heck out of this very nice looking 45 1911 !!!


J.F.

P.S This post is just another point of view and not ment to slight any other forum member or to cast doubts on their facts as they see them.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2012, 11:41 AM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper350 View Post
I am with Fatboy on this one. I am very happy with my Stainless 3" Titan !
You get what you pay for ......and in this case you " may " need to buy some extra parts to increase performance ....but I think some small exaggeration about the cost ( $700 or $750 ) has been posted IMHO.
Perhaps you don't pay for shipping. The rest of us do. And perhaps your time has no value. Mine does.

$700-$750 is a conservative estimate. And you may be happy with your Fatboy because you haven't shot it enough for it to come unglued yet. Others are reporting anywhere from 49 rounds (me) to over 500 for them to finally break.

And perhaps yours is already damaged but you don't know it. The reverse plug cracks are subtle. If you are not looking for them, you won't see them.

Lastly, ATI has replaced the defective recoil assembly with a better unit. Your gun may have shipped with the improved unit, though the reverse plugs are still defective.

What really amazes me is the sheep like tendency of some to meekly say, 'it's OK to have to replace some parts because the guns are cheap'. Really?! REALLY!@?

So if you buy a new parachute, is it OK for it to have some defective parts? How about a cancer drug? Anti-venom? Air bags?

Totally ridiculous position.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:30 PM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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Another day at the range and another Titanic disappointment.
Half a dozen mags went flawlessly, then the weapon stopped ejecting. Spent round remains in the chamber, live round gets shoved into the back of it.
Extractor is intact. Removed it, cleaned it and the tunnel, reassembled. No improvement whatsoever. Every single round fails to extract. Conclusion...
yet another cheap pot metal part; presumably old Filipino beer cans?

Can hardly wait to see what parts fail next.

Anybody want to buy this piece of crap?
Better yet, you can buy me the Taurus .22 revolver I'm after and I'll send you this beautiful door stop in exchange. ;-)
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2012, 02:13 PM
Martensite Martensite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidkachel View Post
What really amazes me is the sheep like tendency of some to meekly say, 'it's OK to have to replace some parts because the guns are cheap'. Really?! REALLY!@?
I agree. I would have preferred not to have replaced the stock recoil assembly with the Defender assembly. No one should have to do this with a new pistol. So my choices were:

1.) Let ATI send me another POS recoil assembly or....
2.) Replace the assembly myself with a Colt assembly.

I chose the latter.

It should have fed and fired out of the box 100%. It didn't. It's a nice looking piece, so at this time, I have decided to keep it, but I wouldn't trust it in a situation where I need reliability. I'll get it running...oh yes...I will. But, I guarantee it won't be with ATI/S.A.M. parts.

I am still waiting to see pics of Fatboy72's recoil spring and backer plate assembly after 700 rnds.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2012, 11:47 AM
davidkachel davidkachel is offline
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Final Entry;

Tuned the extractor; worked for exactly one round.

Returning this pile of bovine fecal matter for a refund.

Advice: Even if you have HALF the trouble with one of these guns that I did, you will have made a huge mistake in buying one.
Do the work, search the internet, you will find that my experience is far from isolated.

Do not buy an ATI 1911!
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:56 PM
Martensite Martensite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidkachel View Post
Do not buy an ATI 1911!
Honestly...I think the problem is restricted to the ATI compact 1911 versions. They are the models that use the "bovine fecal matter" recoil assembly. I have friends with midsize and full-size ATI's that employ standard barrel bushings and recoil assemblies and they operate just fine.
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  #17  
Old 04-03-2012, 10:04 AM
sniper350 sniper350 is offline
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Quote:
davidkachel Final Entry;
Is this a tease.

( A Totally ridiculous position. ) is to buy a pistol for around $550 and expect it to perform like a $2500 Wilson Combat Compact. And yes thousands of these pistols operate right from the box, sadly NOT yours !

It is difficult at best to get these micro 1911's to perform in a totally reliable manner.......... anyone that knows the Browning system will tell you that the 4.25 inch barrel model is the smallest one should go to assure complete reliability.
This has to do with TIMING & Slide dwell time and stroke.

Yes many companies have shown some success building the 1911 smaller, but these pistols suffer mechanical compromises that will eventually shorten their life.

I installed the KIMBER recoil assembly straight away ....... because my experience told me that the stock part was not going to be sufficient. But I have done this with dozens of firearms I have bought, replacing stock parts with better grade materials -- who has not ? I have not had any recoil spring issues for almost 1,000 rds to date. The flange on the recoil guide rod looks like brand new....... KIMBER makes a very tough unit, so no I don't have a cracked reverse plug either.

Unlike you, before my purchase of the Titan I EXPECTED to have to replace the recoil assembly for $53 + $6 shipping.... this after close examination in the neighborhood Gunshop. I felt then and I still feel now that the buy was a bargin !!!!!!!! NO SHEEP here ............just knowledge, some simple Math and being practical equals a great buy! I got what I expected and what I paid for without being fooled by some fancy advertisements.

Sorry you have had so much trouble with your purchase ..........

J.F.

P.S. I will try and be more careful on the next bottle of Anti-Venom I buy - thanks for the tip
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:49 PM
XinTX XinTX is offline
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Mine is going back to ATI to see if they'll resolve the loose barrel fit. Accuracy on mine isn't good at all. At 7 yards it's maybe a 8" pattern at best. I suspect this is due to the very poor barrel lockup. My other 1911's pattern very well.
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