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In my last review of the Metro Arms American Classic II, I noted numerous first-round failures to feed FMJ ammunition, using multiple magazines. The value-priced made-in-Manilla 1911 had a lot of things going for it. Reliability wasn’t one of them. A representative of the company contacted us to ask us to give another American Classic a chance.

Metro Arms sent a hard chrome version to replace the blued model I’d tested previously. The American Classic’s internals appear the same as its predecessor, but the finish does more to add some class to John Moses Browning’s legendary design. Online, I found the ACII in this finish priced between $569 to $630; a little over $100 more than the blued version.

Inspection revealed that the “new” gun had been fired before it got to me, and not just once or twice. Even so, its internals and outer finish were clear of significant wear marks. But the breach face and bore were marked by the passage of more than a few loads.

I put 100 rounds through the gun over a two-day period. Using a mix of CapArms 230gr FMJ and Winchester 230gr FMJ rounds, I experienced one malfunction. As before, it was a first-round failure to feed. It occurred with the manufacture-supplied magazine supplied on the sixth magazine (41st round) fired. I had no failures using either Wilson Combat or STI magazines.

Reliability sorted.


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  1. I’m not too impressed if they hand picked and tested this one from their stock before sending it. An unfired test gun would show a bit more confidence in their product.

    • I have to agree. If the gun was fired multiple time before being sent, how many other guns did they test fire before selecting this one to send to you.

      • Careful, the line of logic will invalidate nearly all reliability “testing” (anecdotal experience) in gun review articles.

        • Baaaaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Excellent point.

          They’ve reviewed a few guns that I own and they were spot on. All good reviews of well made firearms – my experience was the same as the review. I will ad that many things are subjective and simply a matter of taste when reviewing most anything.

  2. If someone wants a good, inexpensive, Philippine-made M1911, there are other options available.

  3. I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is for some outfits making 1911’s to make a reliable 1911.

    The original design has very few ‘gotcha’ issues. The plans are readily available. The design has a 100 year track record of experience in debugging issues on a 1911, as well as lots of available expertise.

  4. It seems to me that there is little poor manufacturing and QC can do that a competent gunsmith can’t sort out given enough time, money and spare parts. I’d say all this ‘test gun’ does is reaffirm this.

  5. Pardon me but I can get a 45Shield that WILL run for less than this. 7+1 rounds of big fat 45goodness. Yeah I know it ain’t a 1911but…

  6. I had a lot of feeding issues with my Citadel 3.5cs when I first bought it.

    As long as the OEM magazines were only loaded with six rounds, it was completely reliable. With seven, it would hang up chambering the first round EVERY time, regardless of ammunition (FMJs, JHPs).

    I switched to Chip McCormick magazines and the problem immediately disappeared.

  7. I have a rock island 1911 from the Philippines and it has been nothing but reliable after thousands of rounds. It’s a tactical model, eats all the FMJ I feed it but is particular about hollow points. Hornady 185 gr. FTX agreed with it though. Threw some night sights and some nice cherrywood grips on it and it’s in my bed stand should I need.

  8. I have three 45 autos all made in the U.S. I have tried cheaper firearms and they seemed to work ok, but I understand why people buy less expensive firearms because of economics. But my thoughts are that if a person is buying a firearm for self defense they should get one with a reputable name and proven reliability.

  9. Am I the only one who finds it odd that a gun made in the Philippines is called the “American Classic?”

  10. From what I understand a new pistol should have a break in period of at least 250 rounds fired through it before it si put through a test. A hand picked firearm that has been gone through with a fine toothed comb by the supplier or manufacturer and sent to a reviewer for testing is not a good specimen. If the item is not store bought off of the shelf for testing, all results are null and void in my book.

  11. I know all the haters will be asking for my head on a platter. I purchased this 1911, in the blue version. I’ve sent over 500 rounds down range, over a 3 day period, indoor & out & I just finished an IDPA match. Not 1 FTF or FTE. I received many comiments on the gun. I like the trigger, sights, feel & weight. The slide is smoith, no rattles & very easy to handle. Maybe I got lucky & got a good one, maybe Jon got a lemon. Either way, I’m enjoying the gun & do not regret the purchase.

    • A follow up. It’s been a.month since my initial review. I’ve placed over 2000 rounds down range. I in & outdoors, IDPA & USPSA matches, I’ve loaded high quality & junk ammo. I have no complaints. It is accurate, good weight & balance, smooth, as I clean & oil after each session or match. For me, it was a great buy especially for less than $500. One note: get some good Kimber or Mec-gar or Wilson Combat magazines. The one that came with the gum has a weak spring & is cheap.

  12. Most of the comments here are from folks who haven’t purchased this Metro Arms gun and are exercising their “snobbery”. It’s because they spent 3 times the amount on their mediocre weapon and are trying to justify it. I own a Metro Arms American Classic for many years and like so so many other reviewers state, this gun is absolutely awesome! Never a problem with, never a jam or misfeed and it is very accurate!

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