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  #1  
Old 02-17-2001, 08:56 AM
robotpusher robotpusher is offline
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Israel Arms (IAI)




Does anyone have any experience with IAI 1911's? I have seen them advertised in all the gun rags as part of their "American Legend" series and a price check with a distributor shows them to be under $400.00.

The distributor (AIM) claims them to be 100% standard 1911 parts.

I am specifically interested in the M5000 series (commander clone). AIM is currently listing this gun on their website for $350.00 and as "Blue, Commander type pistol with all the extra features." (Although I don't know what "all the extra features" means.)

I posted about IAI in the "general discussion" area, but got no initial feedback, so perhaps there just isn't much experience with IAI on this board.

Through the limited information I have been able to find on IAI, it appears as though they began importing their 1911 line beginnig sometime around 1999.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2001, 03:56 PM
JEM JEM is offline
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Do yourself a BIG favor and handle one of these before you get your ffl to order one for you. Unless you are not worried about quaility and have got $ to throw away, please handle one first. I saw their line of pistols at the NRA annual meeting of the members convention in Charlotte last spring. All parts were sharpe and rough and the gun rattled. The safety and action was also rough.
All guns look good in the ad. If you order it without handling it don't have high expectations.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2001, 11:09 PM
cjw cjw is offline
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I recently purchased the IAI "American Legend" Commander sized model #777. There is no doubt that this gun isn't perfect out of the box. The trigger pull is very heavy for a 1911 and the slide would prematurely lock back before the magazine is empty. However, all parts are forged (or so the manual claims) it's made in America, and the price is resonable. I'm sending it to Clark Custom Guns for a trigger job next week and did a bit of work myself on the problem slide stop. I suspect that with these few improvements it will prove to be a decent .45. I'll let you know when I get it back and test fire it.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2001, 07:39 AM
robotpusher robotpusher is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I am not expecting a top quality pistol for $350. If the gun does well "as issued", I'll probably leave it fairly stock. Otherwise, as long as the steel is hard and it is interchangeable with std. 1911 parts, I'll be satisfied.

I have been looking for a decent Commander size 1911 and the price looks right on these. I also love to "customize" and this should provide the base to do so.

I have some higher-end 1911's that I would not attempt to alter (at least permanently); but for what the IAI's are going for, I can afford to be creative.

A few years back, I bought a Norinco for $250. Good, hard steel. The only functioning problem with it was that It would not eat hollow points; G.I. hardball only. A do-it-myslef throat job and she was good to go. Unfortunately, I traded it for something else that I just had to have. I would love to have it back right now for the same $250. I have not seen a new Norinco for quite some time. In fact, the only ones I have seen as of late are used and in excess of $400.00 and many have been bastardized.

CJW... keep me posted on how your's turns out. Have you had Clark's do work for you before?

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  #5  
Old 02-19-2001, 11:01 AM
gyp_c gyp_c is offline
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What is the detail on this line of pistols?
I had heard they had pistols made overseas, didn't know they had an americanized version available!

If there's a web-site with info, that'd be great! ...or phone #, whatever...

TIA...

------------------
>>>>>>>>>>g2<< <<<<<<<<

MWLWN LABE!
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2001, 12:34 PM
robotpusher robotpusher is offline
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Website is www.israelarms.com

I was under the impression that the guns were made overseas (Israel) and then imported to the U.S. and marketed by IaI in Houston, Tx.

Perhaps cjw assumed they were made in U.S.A. after seeing the Houston address...(?)

I emailed them yesterday in search of more specs as their website offered a fairly limited amount of detail on their line.

I will let you know how they respond.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2001, 02:13 AM
cjw cjw is offline
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The IAI .45s were originally made in Israel and imported and distributed via Houston. However, it is my understanding (look at their latest ad in any gun rag) that they set up shop here. I have also handled both types. The ones made in Israel have a stamp on them that states this fact( and are also stamped "GAL" designating the plant in Israel that makes them). The ones made here have no such stamp (and are now marked with the "American Legend" stamp instead).
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2001, 12:59 PM
robotpusher robotpusher is offline
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That would make it even more attractive if it is made in the U.S.A....and in Texas to boot!

From what I have been able to learn so far, the current (2001) M500 is a traditional-looking Colt Commander clone. Earlier versions of the M500 show it to be 2-tone with rubber wrap around grips and a squared & serrated trigger guard face. I much prefer the classic looks of the new model.

A quick glance at the 2001 Shooter's Bible shows the following:

M-5000
Compact .45 ACP
Frame and slide blue

Specs:
Barrel length: 4.25"
Overall length: 6"
Height: 5.25"
Mag Capacity: 8 round
Weight unloaded:36 oz.
Features:
Beavertail grip safety; fixed sights; plastic grips; extended slide stop, safety, magazine release; beveled feed ramp barrel; combat style hammer; beveled magazine well; ambi safety.
MSRP: $475.00

Not a bad package if everything fits and functions. About the only thing missing is a flared/lowered ejection port...(at least it is not mentioned in the specs).

I still have not gotten any feedback from IaI on my request for info., but based on whatI know so far

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  #9  
Old 02-20-2001, 01:10 PM
robotpusher robotpusher is offline
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(continued from earlier post)
...previous incarnations of their 1911's were at one time marketed under the Firearms International banner in Israel.

If the gun functions reliably and is reasonably accurate, it would be a better deal than the Chas. Daly gun configured likewise.

I am somewhat skeptical about it being made in the U.S.A. for less than $500.00 however...especially when you consider all of the options and the U.S. labor.

But... I guess it is possible when you consider that Kimber puts it's entry level pistol out for right aroud $650.00
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2001, 01:30 PM
cjw cjw is offline
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The reasons (I believe) for the deal on an IAI vs. say a base Kimber is twofold. Number one, IAI has nowhere near the name recognition (and i'm sure resale value) that a Kimber has and therefore cannot mark it up as much. Number two, yes the IAI has all the "bells and whistles" a Kimber has, but is not fitted as well. Hence the need for some fine tuning by the owner and possibly a gun smith (depending on one's skill level).
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2001, 08:49 PM
cordex cordex is offline
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A friend of mine picked up an IAI American Legend commander style 1911 for ~$475.00 at a recent gun show. It had just one problem. The slide would lock back after almost every shot. Thinking it was the slide release, I tried it out of my own gun (and tried six different brands of working magazines) but nothing seemed to help his gun and my gun ran perfectly with his parts. Finally, he took it to the gunsmith and had it fixed and the barrel throated for $60.00.
The IAI is VERY tight (no rattle) and is quite accurate. Trigger pull wasn't terribly heavy and the gun will eat hollow points and ball ammo without any problem - any more. I'll still take my plain ol' Colt 1991A1 (I was lucky enough to have a good friend sell it to me for $450.00 a while back) over his tricked-out IAI, though.
The rails looked a bit funny, but that could just be me.

[This message has been edited by cordex (edited 03-07-2001).]
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2009, 06:24 PM
TDL1978 TDL1978 is offline
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I have an iai m5000 so far has been a nice weapon. it does not have the american legend stamp , it does have s.a.m made in philip does anyone know where that is?
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:13 PM
Bear Claw Chris Bear Claw Chris is offline
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I held an IAI 1911 M4000 at a gun shop today, it seemed OK, but it did clearly say it was made in the Philippines.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2009, 07:55 AM
jomi jomi is offline
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if it has "S.A.M Philippines" marking, then it was made by this company
http://www.shootersarms.com.ph/
iv'e handled some of them, seem that their workmanship improved a lot.
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