What can you expect from a $500 1911? Metro Arms Review

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Metro Arms American Classic II

The gun has a classic look backed by the essential modern features.

What do you get in a 1911 that sells for a little over $500? Metro Arms says everything you need. The Metro Arms series of 1911s is being imported from the Philippines, a country familiar with 1911 manufacturing, and the 1911s shoot exceptionally well. I’d go so far as to say that the American Classic II is the most accurate 1911 I’ve shot in this entry-level price range—ever.

Let’s back up a bit. I’ve always had an appreciation for the $500 1911s, but they aren’t much to look at. They’re often made with cast frames and slides. They’re simple, and rough around the edges. They rattle. They will shoot straight, but not too straight. That doesn’t really matter. These are guns that are meant to be tossed into toolboxes, tackle boxes, and shoved under truck seats. They’re almost primitive. And nobody is pretending otherwise.

Metro Arms American Classic II

Tight tolerances contribute to the gun’s accuracy.

When the Metro Arms American Classic II arrived, I wasn’t predisposed to like it, much less rave about it. I had no working knowledge of the company. I shoot a lot of 1911s, some of which are worth more than my car. And I don’t cotton to two-tone guns. I’ll accept two colors of paint on a Cadillac made before I was born, but not on a gun. Still, that’s an opinion, so feel free to disagree. The two-tone on the Metro Arms still seems a bit too much to me. In fact the gun has a couple of accouterments that are designed for aesthetic purposes. The all-stainless version and the blued beauty both have ornamentation that struck me as overreach on what I had assumed was sure to be a truck gun.

Metro Arms American Classic II

Eight rounds through one hole. Performance like this from an entry level 1911 is hard to believe.

Then I shot it. I can’t capture the smile on my face here in print, but I’m going to try. I had been carrying around the American Classic II for a couple of weeks, and still hadn’t pulled the trigger on it. There always seemed to be more pressing things I needed to get to. When I did pull the trigger, the gun shot to point of aim, exactly. There wasn’t any feeling it out, or walking it in. I didn’t have to guess how to best align the sights. In stead, I pulled the trigger eight times and watched one ragged hole grow bigger. And I didn’t even try that hard.

I then handed the gun to Jacob Epstein who was helping me with the reviews that afternoon, and he ran a magazine through with similar results. This gun shoots way above its class. It shoots so far above its class that I can’t point to a 1911 that sells for under $1,000 that shoots this consistently. And there I was judging the gun by its pretentious looks. What a fool am I. The American Classic II is anything but pretentious. If anything, it isn’t pretentious enough. Let’s break it down.


Caliber: .45 ACP, 9MM
Overall Length: 8.375”
Barrel Length: 5”
Height: 5.5”
Width: 1.25”
Weight (empty): 37.28 oz.
Frame: 4140 Steel
Slide: 4140 Hammer Forged Steel
Single Action
Novak-Style Rear Sight
Dovetail Front Sight
Flared Ejection Port
Extended Slide Stop
Beavertail Grip Safety
Combat Hammer
Combat Trigger
Front & Rear Serration
Extended Thumb Safety
Throated FORGED STEEL Barrel
Front & Rear Slide Serration
Checkered Hard Wood Grip w/ Diamond Cut
8-rd/9-rd Magazine w/ Bumper Pad
Finish: Deep Blue, Hard Chrome, & Duo-tone

Metro Arms American Classic II

This group was shot from the holster at seven yards.

Metro Arms American Classic II

We ran the American Classic on a steel challange course with great results.

What you see in this list is typical to the 1911 platform. Even the 9mm 1911 is becoming more common. There’s nothing in that list to account for the way this gun shoots. In fact, some of what’s missing could easily hinder the way it performs. The front strap isn’t checkered. The grips are wooden, and cut in a scaled pattern that offer a decent grip, but nothing more. The sights are not target sights. They are simple and utilitarian and designed for a gun that’s meant to be carried.

Metro Arms American Classic II

This detail in the hammer is the only extra piece of decoration.

The slide is serrated front and rear, which is a great touch. It suggests that someone deep inside Metro Arms sat down with a calculator and started crunching numbers in a practical way. Slide serrations. A beaver tailed grip safety. The throated barrel. These make a 1911 easier to use. I’m not as sold on the scales, but I’ll learn to live with them (or replace them with something with more aggressive texture). The only aspect of the gun’s design that truly leaves me scratching my head is the odd cut out in the hammer. This tiny decoration really seems over the top. Yet now, after shooting the gun, I’m willing to accept it. It earned it.

Once you’ve got all of these various parts, you have to fit them together. And that’s where you start to see big differences in accuracy. This gun is tight. There’s no rattle at all. The forged barrel fits snugly in its bushing, and the frame had to have been fitted to the frame by hand. While the edges of the slide are still sharp, the fit is way better than any pistol I’ve ever come across in this price range.

Metro Arms American Classic II

In a good snug fitting OWB holster, the 1911 is not that hard to conceal.

I’ve shot this gun on five separate range trips now. I’ve used bulk .45, reloads, really good JHP from SIG and Hornady. I’ve run Winchester White Box and a mess of random rounds I’ve had kicking around in a coffee can. I shot flat nosed FMJs, JHPs, ball…. I’ve passed it off to friends on three separate occasions and let them run it. The American Classic ate everything. It ejected everything. I’ve yet to clean it. I bet we’ve put close to 1,000 rounds through the gun and it still hasn’t hiccuped.

So what does it need to be perfect?

I feel foolish asking that question about a gun that shoots like this, but the question remains valid. In almost every situation like this, I’m asking myself “what would I do to make this gun shoot better?” But this time it is the opposite. I want some more aggressive texture on the frame. The trigger’s actual texture is fine, and the mag release works well. The thumb safety is large enough to use reliably. But I want some texture on the front strap, at least.

Metro Arms American Classic II

The Metro logo is small compared to some of the imported 1911 markings.

Below that, I’d like to see the magazine well flared a bit. Even a bit of basic file work would knock back the sharp edges on the mag well. The trigger breaks at 4.2 pounds. It has a typical take-up, and a clean enough break. There is a bit of creep, but not much. Yet I’ve grown accustomed to really efficient and effective triggers and I always want more there.

I’d like to see some more finish work on the slide. Knock down some of the rough edges. If this were my gun, I’d prefer a more rugged finish. Cerakote, perhaps. And I’d swap out the wooden grips for G10.

But why bother?

The American Classic II is selling for $525 in some places. I can’t imagine how they are bringing these to market at that price. I’ve been shooting 1911s for more than 20 years now, and I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me that Metro Arms had produced a gun that shoots like this for $525. Yet here we are. If you are a college student wanting to get into single action shooting, this is it. If the money is tight, and yet you still want to shoot, this may be it. If you want a knock around truck gun that shoots like a high-end custom pistol, here you go. If you want a fun gun to shoot while that house-payment-of-a-1911 gathers dust in your safe, look no further. This gun is going to win some bar bets. It could even win some competitions. And it is going to make a whole slew of 1911 makers here in the states answer some difficult questions. Metro Arms. Check them out.

A nice slick holster, like this Bianchi, is perfect for a 1911 that is meant to be carried.

A nice slick holster, like this Bianchi, is perfect for a 1911 that is meant to be carried.

Metro Arms American Classic II

The scaled wooden grips are easy on the hand.

Metro Arms American Classic II

This detail in the hammer is the only extra piece of decoration.

There could be a bit more texture in some places, though that would raise the cost.

There could be a bit more texture in some places, though that would raise the cost.


The mag well doesn't present any unusual challenges, though a bit of a bevel would help with speed.

The mag well doesn’t present any unusual challenges, though a bit of a bevel would help with speed.


The rear sight is adjustable. The dots are not as bright as some, but they work well.

The rear sight is adjustable. The dots are not as bright as some, but they work well.


Metro Arms American Classic II

The slim profile and rolled edges of the sights make this 1911 easier to carry.


The front sight got a bit dirty during the shooting, but that can be cleaned easily enough.

The front sight got a bit dirty during the shooting, but that can be cleaned easily enough.

{ 69 comments… add one }
  • Neil J. August 30, 2018, 11:28 am

    I purchased a Davidsons Exclusive MetroArms American Classic II, in 38 Super. This firearm is well built. Tight slide to frame, bushing to barrel, and a positive click thumb safety. Highly polished hard chrome finish. I did replace the grips with G-10. The gun is a shooter. Hornady 115 XTP reloads are jackrabbit accurate. $543.00 from my dealer. About half the cost of a Colt. I own Colt 1911 pistols, and a S&W 1911. This pistol is right up there in quality. Buy one.

  • CJ January 5, 2018, 10:52 pm

    After researching for weeks, I had narrowed my choice down to 3, one being the Classis II in blued. So many great reviews and a $374.99/free shipping made me decide quickly. This was for a NEW pistol. So shop around.
    My first impression was jaw dropping. Ive shot scads of 1911’s from my Viet Nam era model while in the Army to $3000 Kimbers, and out of the box this pistol has outperformed all but the highest end Kimber. Fit and finish is very acceptable, tolerances are tight as one could wish for. Accuracy is crazy good without any mods. 8 rds from 25 yds and every round within 2″ circle but one (my fault). You cant ask for better from even a heavily modified 1911. Unlike many, I really like the stock grips and have no plans to change out. Many speak of problems loading 8 rds in the mag. Ive had not one issue, even using every combination of different loads, bullets, and brands. Maybe its been addressed as mine is 2016 mfg date? Loading ramp on mine was polished to mirror finish, maybe this is why as only high end 1911’s seem to come like that stock? Not one ftf, fte, stovepipe, etc., so far at around 500 rds.
    Been carrying a G36 .45 for many years, and although I love it, I want a bit more punch that the 5″ barrel gives me. It also has very little muzzle jump due to weight and barrel length, making follow up shots very quick and accurate in drills compared to my sub compact .45.
    This is now my EDC, maybe ill switch back to the G36 when its tshirt weather, but since even the full size ACII with a bikini holster makes it very concealable.
    Anyone wanting a premier 1911 and cares nothing about Kimber bragging rights shouldnt think twice about spending a third the $$ for a 1911 that is on par in accuracy, reliability, and even looks as Kimber and other high end 1911’s. You wont regret it.

  • Turbo January 15, 2017, 11:31 pm

    Good gun, but sold as an 8 rd mag gun. Original mag mushroomed due to weak metal, and trashed it. Bought ss sw and kimbo mags. It works well with 7 round mags only. I will carry only as a 7 round plus 1 gun. DO NOT ccw with an 8 rd mag.

  • David Bennett December 18, 2016, 8:20 am

    I purchased my Metro Arms Commander about three months ago and was very pleased with the way it shot. A very accurate gun right out of the box. The finish was another matter. I noticed a couple of spots on the slide where the the bluing was coming off. I carried it while doing some work and perspired on it. When I got home it had a layer of rust all over it. I thoroughly cleaned it to get the rust off. I ended up getting it Duracoated. It looks great and it only cost $100. I apparently got one that was not blued properly.

  • Caleb May 7, 2016, 1:24 pm

    The Metro Arms American Classic 2 is without a doubt on e of the most easy to shoot .45’s I have ever shot. It reminds be alot of the Beretta M9 in how little the recoil is and how smooth the trigger pull is. I must admit however that I am not in any way a fire arms expert and I certainly do not shoot a wide variety. The Army is where I learned about the Beretta and shooting, even though I grew up shooting the Army really helped me get better and obviously the exposure to different systems is beneficial to anyone. Anyways to get back on track, the American Classic is a very user friendly weapon system. However, overall I do not like .45’s and all in the same way the American Classic impressed me, it also epitomizes why I hate .45’s. In my own opinion and by my own preferences, while a .45 is very simple in terms of number of parts involved at the regular guy level in stripping it, it is a pain in the butt. Never with any system than a 1911 have I spent so much time fighting with the buffer spring and trying to make sure everything stays where it is supposed to. I realize that everyone has their preference though and that is great! Also, I am not all that much into larger calibers such as .45 or .357. I typically prefer 9mm and 5.56 to .45 and 7.62. Again, that is only personal preference. All in all though the American Classic is a great .45 that shoots to the mark every shot and is a great firearm for experienced shooters and even beginners.

  • swordfish1168 January 15, 2016, 12:17 am

    I just bought a American classic commander and experienced the same results. The first thing I noticed was the tightness and smooth slide, I ran Winchester white box through it and it shot on point. rapid fire drills produced the same results, a 2.15 whole center mass. It shoots as well any my $1500.00 1911. Looks like I found my carry gun for 2016. JJ

    • Caleb May 7, 2016, 1:26 pm

      I also found it very easy to conceal. It makes a great choice for carrying.

  • mike January 4, 2016, 6:25 am

    Bought my 1st handgun ever @ my local gunshop. I am 65 yrs old, and have been shooting long guns since I was 10. Had a $600.00 budget for a 45acp 1911. I am a big guy w/big hands I wanted a big gun. The American Classic II looked back @ me thru the display glass and we were joined for $529.00. Bought a box of Blazer fmg and went out the door. Was very excited to own my 1st handgun. Read the owners manual. Went to the range. Loaded the magazine. Slid it into the gun. Heard the click when it seated. Pulled the slide to put a round in the chamber. It jammed. Dropped the magazine, cleared the round. Start over. 2nd try. It jammed. Some other shooters were there w/ 1911’s…one was practicing for the nationals and was a veteran with thousands of rounds of shooting experience. He said “let me try” Loaded the pistol,pulled slide. It jammed. He tried his magazine. It jammed. Instead of 8 rounds we tried only 7 in the magazine. It cleanly chambered the round. He shot the gun. After 2 or 3 rounds it jammed. Took the gun back to the shop owner. He sent it to Eagle Arms. A month later I got my new gun back with a note that said only “barrel throat”. Figured my gun would be right. Took it to the range. Loaded up. Pulled the slide to put a round into the chamber. It jammed. Used a reduced round mag and shot the gun. Can not get a clean round without jamming. Sometimes 5 or 6…but never ever 8 clean shots without jamming. What is wrong? Did I get a lemon? I am really disappointed with my new weapon. Ideas guys????

    • Doug Johnson February 11, 2016, 10:20 pm

      I have experienced the same thing. I am still trying to work through the issue. I had a gun smith tell me that you shouldn’t pay under 1000.00 for a 1911 without expecting to work in it…. I don’t buy that opinion. I am looking for another smith and I will let you know when I find out something. If you find info first, please post or email me at doug@nothingbutdetail.com.
      My opinion after really getting into the gun mechanics is that the as the bullet slides into the barrel, the jamb happens because the barrel edge needs to be beveled to a greater degree, allowing the bullet to slide into place with ease.

      • Russell Reday February 29, 2016, 6:03 pm

        I’m thinking about getting one all the reviews say they work great. All the great features, tight slide, etc. Some of my friends have these, I’ve shot them myself, no jams in my experience. Although they were 9mm’s so that might be the difference in the jams you talk about.

      • Russell Reday February 29, 2016, 6:04 pm

        I’m thinking about getting one, all the reviews say they work great. All the great features, tight slide, etc. Some of my friends have these, I’ve shot them myself, no jams in my experience. Although they were 9mm’s so that might be the difference in the jams you talk about.

    • KaRon Jackson July 12, 2016, 11:07 pm

      Have you tried a different brand of bullets?

    • Scott G September 10, 2016, 10:11 pm

      I got a Ruger SR1911 a couple of years ago. Blazer Brass is the only ammo I’ve had a problem with. I’ve run good ammo and cheap steel cased stuff through it, and everything in between. Blazer is the only brand I had an issue with.
      To be fair to Blazer, a lot of people recommend a break in period for 1911’s of at least 500 rounds. And the one box I ran thru it was one of the first couple of boxes of ammo I put through it.
      Might try another brand of ammo.

    • Michael Speagle January 7, 2017, 8:17 am

      Pull slide faster

      • Greg May 9, 2017, 5:10 pm

        Lock the side back, insert full mag then use the slide release to chamber the round. Mine doesn’t like to chamber the first round of a full mag unless I use the slide release, if I try to rack it with my hand it’ll jam every now and then.

        • Tony July 11, 2017, 2:39 pm

          I purchased the Gov’t model, 5″ barrel. I had the same issue with the mag that came with it, 1st round issues. I shot Blazzer Brass, Federal FMJ,, Fiocchi & a few others, I purchased a Kimber SPS mag from a local shop. It worked like a charm, so I bought 4 more. I haven’t had a FTF or FTE since. I like the trigger (it’s all a matter of taste), the accuracy, etc. So far I have no complaints or regrets. I shot it last week at an IDPA match. A few guys teased me about when I showed up with a new gun & not my standard Walther, until they saw me shoot. Afterwards I let them shoot it. Now I know 4 other guys that want one & at just under $500, why not?

  • michael September 30, 2015, 4:53 am

    I really need to adjust my sights but for some reason no allen wrench I own Or bot fits this gun how can I adjust my sights please respond

  • Bryan A August 1, 2015, 2:03 pm

    I recently purchased an American Classic 2 it has been a great investment. However, my slide stop was defective and broke the day I purchased the firearm while tearing down the firearm for the initial cleaning. I contacted Eagle imports and they replaced the part for free but it took over a month for them to get it to me (and it wasn’t back ordered). After two weeks I sent an email to inquire. Long story short very poor service and a terrible attitude. After a month I contacted them again and had to demand overnight delivery (was tired of waiting to use my new gun). Eagel imports did overnight ship and sent me two slide stops…a week later I received the original one that was shipped. If you can avoid buying parts from them I would suggest it. Unless you have far more patience then me. Also, if you are looking for a place to purchase the American Classic 2 in Michigan MC sports $530. I can’t say enough great things about the gun the value is much greater then the purchase price.

  • Bryan A August 1, 2015, 10:57 am

    I recently bought an American Classic 2 it is by far the best hand gun for the price. I dare say strait out of the box it out performed my Sig 220! A family member has a Kimber 1911 and Sig 1911 with lots of upgrades to both and I wouldn’t trade my Metro for them . The finish isnt as durable as others but, if you go to the range weekly any firearm is gona get some marks. I do plan to get a gun smith to give it a coat of duracoat and all is fixed. The tight tolerances of the action and smooth trigger definitely make it feel like a high end gun maker. Put a crimson trace MS1 on mine but do to the extended slide stop had to file down some of the grip however it looks like the grip was manufacturered that way. I would expect the demand will go up and so too the price. So dont wait. My Bersa thunder 9 ultra compact was $350 8-10 years ago new, now $500…still worth it but the action is a little sloppy. I have always had H&K’s & Sig Sauer’s but why waste the $? I get great quality and more $ left over to feed ammo thru the gun. This gun is a real pleasure to shoot!

    • James M. February 12, 2016, 10:17 pm

      I too have had my chair knocked out from under me by comparing pistols. My Sig p220 has had ALOT of work done. Won’t even go into how much money I have in it. Anyway. Bought a Rock Island .45 plane Jane. Out of the box it is as accurate as my Sig. Made me nauseous when I realized a $400 job out did my $3000 Sig. Only difference is my Sig barely moves in my daughter’s hands. The Rock Island slaps her wrist enough that she doesn’t prefer to shoot it. She is ten. And yes she made me laugh when she said she would make me feel better by claiming the Sig.

  • brent anderson June 8, 2015, 2:28 am

    i own a american classic commander 1911 9mm and it the most accurrate gun besides a glock i have ever shot, love the way it feels in my hand, not alot of recoil. i would reccommend this gun for everyone to own.

  • Sherlock May 4, 2015, 3:54 pm

    I was digging around on GaG for a 1911 to go with my rifle when I ordered a few months ago, and the price point on the ACII ($450) was the main attraction. After reading reviews like this one I decided I couldn’t go wrong. Mine is the all-black 5-inch gvt frame, and it shoots like a dream. Price is still valid there, too. I just checked,

  • Michael King April 7, 2015, 9:05 pm

    The decoration in the hammer is a capital M and an A blended for Metro Arms . As for shooting, mine cut the X on the first shot and the next 6 were within a 2 inch circle of the first one.This 1911 is a sweet shooter

  • Steve Shaw January 1, 2015, 8:45 am

    I bought one of these a few yes back and unfortunately had to sell it because of financial needs. I will replace it for sure, owned many handguns, including a colt series70 Mk 4, it clickity clacked when rattled, the am classic two had much tighter tolerances. No rattle at all. I always cleaned my pistols by taking down completely, never could take this one apart, way too tight for that. But no complaints. Yes I would buy another in a blink of an eye over any brand 1911 avail, they are that good, I would suggest to metro arms to serrate the front strap on the frame, would be nice touch.
    Forget the pricey 1911’s’, buy two of these instead!

  • Battalion Chief 304 December 21, 2014, 8:51 pm

    I have carried an Amigo since March 2013, could not be happier. Hundred of rounds shoots great! Shoots as well as some sigs and Kimbers I have shot…The most under rated 1911 out there…A former LE buddy of mine just bought one, cause he likes mine,

  • TheConductor September 5, 2014, 4:40 pm

    Does anyone know where I can find an AC II or AC Commander in the Dallas, TX area? I’d like to check them out in person.

    • Bill Little May 10, 2015, 12:33 pm

      I just bought mine at Bradford Ballistics in Pilot Point. Northeast of Denton. Amazing the number of quality features and the feel is incredible. Can’t wait to shoot next weekend.

  • Rick Wyckoff July 29, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Just receive mine from Impactguns for $449.98 looks great.

  • gunguy3555 July 12, 2014, 7:32 pm

    I have had many 1911’s over the years i had an ac2 and it was great shot everything everytime with no problems i just got an ac commander today and out of all of the 1911’s i have had metro arms have been the best and my favorite i love these pistols and plan to be burried with mine when i go for the price you can not go wrong great guns and the most accurate of any i have had

  • michael t July 12, 2014, 4:23 pm

    I have serial number #79 Its still running strong after all these years . As tight as my Dan Wesson and will out shoot my Colts . What more can you ask for .
    Bersa has no connection with metro Arms. Other than they share same importer and warranty centers. I know of the dealer that list them as Bersa They have been advised several times of this and still can’t seem to correct their mistake

    Come visit and join my board americanclassic1911forum.com

  • Thomas Morrow July 12, 2014, 12:41 am

    How similar is it to the Colt M1911A1, aside from minor differences already mentioned (I shot expert with an A1 over 40 years ago). Does it come with a 10-round mag (I never loaded more than 7)? And are there any dealers in Montana with this weapon on their shelves?

  • jerry gnemi July 8, 2014, 8:25 pm

    how about selling me this test gun ?

  • Bernard Darling July 7, 2014, 10:41 pm

    I’ve owned a metro arms Classic Commander for over a year now. The gun has nothing but good things to be said about it. I paid only 569.00 dollars for it brand new out the box and I love the way it shoot. I purchased this gun from metro arms on the internet and it goes through a dealer. I have nothing but good things to say about this gun. You can’t beat the price and the expert quality it is built of. The dealers name is Eagle Imports.com. Good luck if you decide to purchase one for you won’t regret it.

  • Keith K July 7, 2014, 8:52 pm

    Straightforward and practical review. I had seen these listed before and appreciate someone giving a real life type review. I own multiple 1911 models and each one is unique. My $400 ATI Titan does nicely with its bull barrel, picked up a Para P-13 for $500, pretty basic but double stack mags in a commander length is really nice. $530 for a Regent R200s, good price for all stainless and all the enhancements cosmetic and functional. Bought my Colt just above this range, All blued two-toned basic GI, my first and still reliable and accurate. In the $600s came my Kimber Custom2. By far it has the tightest fit and rather consistent accuracy wise. Lastly for now, is a Springfield Range Officer, in the $700s here. Nice grey parked finish, minimal enhancements and adjustable target sights. I’m sure it will get pricey as I try a Sig or S&W and then move on to Dan Wesson, Les Baer, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, or Nighthawk. That being said I’ll be looking for a MA in a Longslide 6″ model. I saw advertised as “The Bullseye” I believe.

  • Bill Bacic July 7, 2014, 4:57 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this review. I bought a 9mm commander version in blue for $526 plus tax. It is the most impressive 1911 for the price I’ve seen. I own 1911’s by Kimber, Colt, ATI, Springfield, Thompson Auto Ordinance, Detonics and Metro. The Metro Arms is one of my favorites. It SHOOTS!!!!. Never a problem…owned one year, about 1000rds fed. That being said, the best bang for your 1911 buck in my opinion would be the Springfield Loaded 5″ 1911 .45 parkerized finish. I just obtained one, It comes with ambi thumb safety, beavertail grip safety with “speed bump”, Novak style Trijicon night sights, 20 LPI checkering on the mainspring housing, match bbl., serrations on front of slide, beveled mag well, full length guide rod, TWO magazines, a holster, a 2 magazine holder, and the nicest case in the business ( akin to a Pelican case ) all for $819.
    And, yes, it shoots perfect right out of the box. 300 rds so far, no issues.

  • Chris H. July 7, 2014, 1:49 pm

    I own a blued American Classic Commander. I’ve actually owned two in the past couple years. The first I bought because I couldn’t get just the Classic II at my LGS, so since they were the same price (right around $550 before tax) I snapped it up. After all, I’d been told at least 3 times by someone at that shop (Knob Creek Range in Kentucky) that they were out due to their popularity. At the time they were still highly under the radar so I was surprised. I snapped it up, brought it home, cleaned it up and shamed a Kimber owner with how well it was put together. He refused to believe how nice it was compared to his Kimber Custom II. This was later confirmed when I took it up to the Gunsmith I preferred to have a defect looked at and he pulled his personal carry and showed it to me: a nearly identical American Classic Commander. After dealing with getting the sights adjusted (mine was badly adjusted out of the box but we soon fixed it), and a magazine swap for a Wilson Combat, it shot every round I put through it. Dirty remanufactured, steel case, hollow point, etc.
    Alas, I sold the gun… and regretted it ever since. I had just started shooting in earnest and .45 was a bit too rough for me. I went down to a 9mm, up to a .40 S&W Baby Eagle and shopped around some revolvers too… but something about the American Classic Commander kept taunting me and I couldn’t get it out of my head.

    So when I saw the gun for $420, new, from BudsGunShop I put it on layaway right then and there. I got the gun for under $500 after tax and transfer and I couldn’t be happier. No rattle, no play, sights are perfect (checked with bore laser) and the only thing wrong with it is that I can’t go shooting with it on account of my shoulder (car accident not long after buying it).

    I’ve only fired 40 rounds through mine, but there wasn’t a single hiccup. Their warranty is great too as Bersa handles that State-Side. Owner’s Forum has an amazing community as well and they will help you with any issues and in getting you to the right people for warranty problems. Also standard series 70 1911 parts should work just fine on here as this is built to spec.

    All in all, I’ve put mine against a Kimber Custom II, a Kimber Ultra Carry, a Taurus PT1911 and I still think it’s as good or better than the competition (I don’t like aluminum/alloy frames). The only things I’d want are different grips, night sites and some checkering on the front strap… all of which are easily done.

    The only 1911s I’d put anywhere close to the quality for the price are the DE1911s from Magnum Research and the Ruger SR1911… both of which are $250+ higher depending on where you get the Metro Arms ACII.

  • Andrew July 7, 2014, 1:14 pm

    I have two of these metro arms 1911’s I love them i have ran thousands of rounds threw them my uncle is an assistant police chief and has a kimber 1911 that he payed 2400 for i payed 425 for each of mine he has admitted many times that he rather have mine over his. We both agreed this is a great gun for a extreme carry rather it be mud dirt sand or snow even dirty lake water i have never had it hiccup or any issuse i do alot of off roading and this gun is more than i expected id tell you if you wanted to buy a cheap gun that is rugged i bought it with the mind set of hey its cheap and if it breaks no biggie i love both of them

  • Mike Acri July 7, 2014, 11:10 am

    If you like the American Classic II , You should take a look at the Next Step up Called “MAC” (Metro-Arms Co.) they are in the $700-$800 range and up. They begin where the American Classic Trophy leaves off .. and I do carry both in my shop

  • Jim bongo July 7, 2014, 10:43 am

    Great pistol 900 rd combat class out of the box not a hiccup Sold a colt and brought a classic trophy that shoots great an put money in my pocket

  • Richard Grim July 7, 2014, 10:33 am

    I bought one of these 3 yrs. ago for $430. I bought this because it was all I could afford at that time. It will shoot what ever ammo you put in it and shoots to POA easily. I have put over 1000 rds through it each year since I purchased it with no problems. Great weapon for the money.

  • Tony Douglas July 7, 2014, 10:27 am

    The “decorative” lettering inset in the hammer is actually Metro Arms initials. I’ve had my American Classic II for over six years now and it is still my favorite handgun. Out of the box, this thing was amazingly accurate and reliable. I researched and read a lot of online reviews of just about every 1911 on the market before choosing this one. Knowing that I could not afford one of the high-end custom guns like Wilson Combat, Ed Brown or Les Baer, I assumed that everything in the $1000 or less range that I could afford would be about the quality of the military 1911A1’s I had shot and qualified with in the Army so many years ago. None of the local gun shops carried the Metro Arms line so I ended up buying one at the gun show when it was in my hometown. Only three of the vendors at the show sold Metro Arms 1911’s and only one had an American Classic II left and it had a big “idiot scratch” on the top of the slide. I made the guy an offer of $450.00 tax and all and he took it. Since that day I’ve shot about 1000 rounds through it and it has never had a FTF or FTE and eats anything I feed it. Everyone who has shot it falls in love with it and cannot believe that a 1911 for under $500 has this quality and accuracy!

  • HADP July 7, 2014, 9:39 am

    That piece of “decoration” in the hammer could be a casting feature. Ya know, to help molten metal flow… if my hypothesis is correct, then far from more machining, it would require less as they wouldn’t have to machine out the center of the “skeletonized” hammer. Just speculating.

    • anthony July 11, 2014, 2:23 am

      bingo! my thoughts as well. MIM possibly?

    • anthony July 11, 2014, 2:26 am

      bingo! that’s what I was thinking too. MIM possibly? metal injection molding. the design may be a logo, but I bet its like casting, to help with flow & eliminate voids

  • Jimmy Leo July 7, 2014, 9:09 am

    I bought an American Classic (all blue finish) a year ago. Everything in the article is true. The gun has shot everything I put through it from cast semi-wadcutter hand loads to factory FMJ without a single hiccup. Very accurate right out of the box. The slide to frame fit has NO rattle whatsoever and the trigger pull on my gun is light and crisp. Only thing negative I can say is I do not like the factory wood grips but a set of Pachmyers fixed that. This gun is undoubtably better than most USA made guns costing twice as much.

  • Dan Testa July 7, 2014, 9:09 am

    The design in the hammer appears to be an MA for Metro Arms?

  • Just1Spark July 7, 2014, 8:36 am

    Im sold, and will be picking mine up as soon as I locate one.

    I could be wrong, but imo, it often takes a well performing, unasthetically pleasing, inexpensive workhorse to bring a line of products back down to its roots in reality, causing other manuf to have to nut up.
    The accuracy you raved about should not be exclusive to $1000 guns.

    • Doc July 7, 2014, 12:45 pm

      Concur. my $700 .270 (without glass) 700 shoots just about as well as my $2500 .308 Styer (without glasss). I wouldn’t make that mistake again, a one inch 1000 meter group is probably beyond my ability anyway. At 500 yards I can’t tell much of a difference.

      • Doc July 7, 2014, 12:49 pm

        –>make that:

        My $700 .270 Rem 700 (without glass) shoots just about as well as my $2500 SSG-69 (without glass at 500 yards or a bit more. I wouldn’t pay the difference in price any more. I’ll probably don’t have the skill for that 1 inch 1000 meter group anyway. Even at 600 yards there’s not much different to warrant that kind of bucks, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s crap. (though sometimes it does).

  • Michael Cobb July 7, 2014, 8:26 am

    I liked your article, well written. The little “decoration” inside of the hammer as you call it. Is actually the company logo you moron. MA put those two letters together and you get the “decoration”

    • LarsW July 7, 2014, 10:45 am

      Hey Michael, No need to call a man a Moron just because he didn’t see the decoration as letters. Don’t be such an jackass.
      Dave H. – Great article. Thanks for bringing such a value to our radar.
      Lars W.

      • Doug Artist May 21, 2015, 3:49 pm

        I agree with you LarsW I had mine for 3 mo’s before I noticed the design was the Co Logo. Why are some people just such huge jack*****? Dr Doug

  • Robert July 7, 2014, 8:10 am

    How would this compare head to head to the taurus PT1911 which is available at this price point?

    • Doug Artist May 21, 2015, 3:42 pm

      I have had the am classic II for about 6 mo’s now and let me tell you a few things. First, I took it to my gunsmith and had him look it over before I fired it. He said that it was a nice as Colt’s 1911, nicer than any 1911 in the 500 to 1000 class. It had no machining marks that did not belong there and less that 1/8″ trigger take-up and 4.25 lb trigger pull. After cleaning the top end of the gun I ran 100 rounds of Winchester white box through it and had absolutely no issues at all. 6mos later after a thousand rnds, it shoots better every time I hit the range. Never even a failure to feed. So, if anyone wants a fabulous 1911, get one of these. Even if you can afford a little more, take a close look at these exceptional firearms. Dr Doug.

  • PhoebeAnn July 7, 2014, 7:27 am

    Are parts interchangeable with “real” 1911s?

  • hollis July 7, 2014, 7:24 am

    Have yall tested the thompson 1911 from kahr arms?I have similar performance from mine and I think it would be also a good buy just has this 1911 will be

  • Rich McIntyre July 7, 2014, 7:15 am

    I owned a Metro Arms 45 and everyone who saw it was impressed. After carrying a Colt in the service that rattled like a tambourine the Metro Arms was dead quite and out shot the guy behind it!!

  • Mike July 7, 2014, 6:55 am

    I’ve had my American Classic II for several years, there’s even an owner’s website out there, and I’ve come to the decision that this is a keeper! Mine has the very attractive hard chrome finish and all I’ve done is add some custom grips and a Wilson Combat magazine. It doesn’t need anything else. If you’re into compact 1911’s then take a look at the Metro Arms’ American Classic Amigo. OBTW, the design inside the hammer is an “M” and an “A” for Metro Arms.

  • J Gober July 7, 2014, 6:13 am

    Dang! You’ve let the cat out of the bag now. These great 1911’s were the best kept secret around and could always be found when I first stumbled upon them several years ago. The good news is all the 1911 snobs out there might raise an eyebrow a little, but then gather themselves and remember to turn their noses back up….perfect! Just the way I like it. That will help keep the prices down and plenty in stock for me. 🙂
    Great, honest write-up and spot on. These are by far the most consistent and reliable 1911’s I have owned. It should also be noted that they make a Commander and Officer model as well. Also if you are performing searches on some sites, they may be listed as a Bersa who apparently bought Metro Arms?
    But SHHHHH, no more positive articles. Gotta keep the secret 🙂

  • RBB July 7, 2014, 6:13 am

    Don’t know where you got quoted 525.00 for the Metro 1911 you reviewed, or what state your in. Michigan, the cheapest I found this is $617.00 including fees and taxes. The average was more in the 650 range. The gun you reviewed has a MSRP of $669.00

    • Gunny64 July 7, 2014, 1:34 pm

      “Including taxes and fees” these are not part of the guns cost but govt regulated thefts….you cant count them any more that when you buy a car at the add price of $19,995 but pay 23k due to taxes fees, dealer fees etc.

    • Ryan December 31, 2014, 8:37 pm

      I picked up an all blued one today in Louisville Kentucky 499.00$ feed ramp and throat polished from factory barrel lock up zero play. I am a gun loving prior service Marine. I own many more than I need and have had or own many 1911 that said this runs with some that cost 1,500 or better and the truth is this gun is tighter all around. Mine will be a commuted 460 Rowland when the parts come in. I will remove grips install grip tape and roll on! Only gripe is the finish is not perfect but if you Are a shooter buy one if you are a collector spend 3 times more and don’t shoot lol

      • Jarren January 20, 2015, 5:07 pm

        Where did you pick one up in Louisville? I live around there and am looking to buy one…. One for that price sounds awesome. Thanks

        • William March 2, 2015, 2:12 am

          I just picked one up in Hopkinsville KY for 439.00 came to 465.00 with tax at the gun show the dealer was out of bowling green.

      • Jarren January 20, 2015, 5:11 pm

        Ryan, Where in Louisville, KY did you pick yours up? I live here and was looking to buy one myself, and to find that price would be awesome… Thanks

        • Ralph January 24, 2015, 9:09 am

          Budsgunshop.com has these fine firearms from $464.00 to $492.00 all day long. That’s where I got mine and it is a shooter. Paired it with a set of Crimson Trace grips and never looked back. Reminds me of my old Labrador retriever. It eats anything I feed it, reliable, and guaranteed to perform.

          • unixfool February 6, 2015, 10:36 pm

            Bought my Metro Arms AC (commander) for $459 at Budsgunshop.com…just waiting for it to ship. My RIA has G10 grips…I think I’ll get a set for my AC…I like lots of grip.

        • Ryan February 22, 2015, 10:15 pm

          Tillfords firearms off fern valley rd

  • FIRB July 7, 2014, 5:58 am

    Would like to hear more about this gun

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