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 Maximus Arms Gladiator 1911 (courtesy

Ever since I saw the movie Airplane, I have a hard time taking Gladiators seriously. But I do pay close attention to products “built in the USA.” Maximus Arms‘ press release (after jump) doesn’t say anything about their new 1911’s origin, but the headline at and the website pic trumpet the fact that their Gladiator 1911 is “100% American made.” I reckon that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Maybe not the thing when it comes to choosing a gun, but something that deserves recognition (e.g., Henry Rifles). As for a unique selling point, the $1776 (geddit?) pistol is the first handgun made of 17-4PH steel—”the same metal used in the Abrams tank, the Dillion M134 chain gun, and the Hellfire missiles.” Now if the Maximus Gladiator was made from a Hellfire missile . . . TTAG’s contacted the company for a sample. Watch this space . . .

Franklin, TN –-( Maximus Arms announces the release and sale of the patented Gladiator 1911 .45 ACP pistol, the product of over eighty dimensional modifications introduced by a cadre of firearm experts.

Serving as the flagship for an upcoming line of 1911 pistols, this 100 percent American-made Gladiator boasts proven and unparalleled accuracy, ergonomics, and reliability.

These key modifications include a custom high ride beavertail grip safety; an extended slide stop; extended thumb safety and extended magazine release, all with blended edges; a flared magazine well; an integral ejector; an integral plunger tube; and a tactical accessory rail.

“The Gladiator is the culmination of more than 40 years of using 1911s, both in the service and as gunsmiths,” said Steve White, Maximus Arms partner and chief operating officer.

“We have worked hard to refine every aspect of the gun to ensure it meets our exacting standards, which is why each gun is hand-assembled and tested before it is shipped. You don’t know just how comfortable a 1911 can feel in your hand until you’ve held and fired our Gladiator.”

The Maximus Arms 1911 offers numerous standard features only available by other manufacturers as optional components at additional cost. A Sprinco recoil reduction system, ghost ring adjustable rear site and fiber optic front site, and a lanyard loop are just a few of the modifications that come standard.

Additionally, the Gladiator is the first handgun comprising 17-4PH steel—the same metal used in the Abrams tank, the Dillion M134 chain gun, and the Hellfire missiles. The precipitation-hardened steel, used in aerospace, medical, industrial, and military applications requiring high-corrosion resistance in extreme-temperature environments, gives this 1911 unrivaled strength and reliability.


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    • Of the hundreds of alloys of carbon and stainless steels used in manufacturing firearms which, exactly, is “ordinary gun steel”?

      • Yeah, Norinco used old railroad ties to build their 1911s, and they’re quite sturdy. A lot of people use the Norinco frames as a starting point for custom jobs.

        • Forgive the nitpick, but technically the ties (or “sleepers”) are the wooden part of the tracks. Most of America’s rail was initially manufactured in the steel towns of the east, so the steel’s quality was higher that we typically see from the Korean and Chinese steels that have become ubiquitous since the fall of the american steel industry in the 1970s.

  1. So, good old regular stainless steel that Colt has been using–successfully–for 100 years isn’t good enough? Unless it is substantially lighter and just as if not stronger, I don’t really care that it is used in a tank–and being used in a tank doesn’t tell me WHERE it is used in that tank; I rather doubt it same as the boron infused armor plate. This ad reads just like any other ad from a custom manufacturer. I am not impressed, although I have never seen a ghost ring sight on a handgun yet; that might be interesting. Perhaps someone could explain what this “recoil reduction” system is all about–I assume it is a captured dual spring recoil system–but then again a full size, full weight 1911 is a smooth shooter to begin with.

    • Colt hasn’t been making stainless 1911’s for “100 years” no one has. “Good old stainless” (aka the first chrome added steel) sucked and metallurgy has played a major part in firearms development so think before you speek

    • TTAG – You’re two for two on the “marketing terminology potential BS” front.

      I can only hope that this 17-4PH steel works well with my Rand CLP NANO TECHNOLOGIEZ.

    • There’s nothing monumental with using 17-PH Stainless. It’s a more suitable metal than 304 (or 18-8) in terms of hardness and relatively the same corrosion resistance.

      This is just marketing gimmick.

  2. For something that comes it at above the cost of a Kimber, it better be damn good. Not that Kimbers are spectacular, but for ~$1,800 I can get the latest HK Wunderwaffe and still have cash to spend.

    (Well maybe not the LATEST… Because [insert HK Teutonic operator joke here])

  3. I’ll take one. But until I win the lottery (which would be weird as I don’t play) I’ll settle for guns for about $500 that work just as well for my applications. My Ruger revolver’s steel seems just fine.

    • Yet, somehow they’re still expensive as shit. You have countless companies making them, yet almost all of them cost the same (roughly $1,000). You’d figure someone would make a quality 1911 for say $500 and corner most of the market.

      • Metro Arms…they range from $500ish to $1500ish, but are basically STI’s
        Think its the same factory that makes the STI Spartan, as they look similar and use STI parts.
        The Metro 2011 and SPS Pantera are pure sex and like half what a comparable STI costs

      • I paid about $550 for a Thompson/Center 1911A1 GI model, plus about $50 more for a narrow spur hammer and short trigger. No adjustible sights or other bells & whistles, but then, I was specifically looking for a WWII replica that wouldn’t break the bank.

        I’ve heard good things about Girsan 1911s, but haven’t gotten my mitts on one yet.

      • Is this not an unintended side effect of the CCW laws? If more units were sold (because more people could buy), the price would come down.

      • Rock Island Armory. A reliable, no-frills 1911. Mine eats anything I feed it, and cost me $550 out the door with a few boxes of 45 thrown in for good measure.

        • +1
          My RIA was chrome with pearl grips(i’m not a fan) but at $500 I can live with the extra blingyness. It’s my EDC during the cooler months. Other than with Taurus hex core ammo she seems to eat anything indiscriminately.

      • Absolutely no complaints about my Remmy R1, around $600.

        I probably could have gotten it cheaper if someone would tell me where this “street” is so I could get their price…..

      • The Ruger SR1911 is pretty close. It’s been decently accurate and reliable in my experience, especially considering the price.

      • The street price of a basic version of a S&W 1911 is probably about $730 these days. The next level up is about $1,200.

      • Actually the quality of ATI is pretty exceptional and very affordable. Their manufacturing facility rating is the highest you can get. I have a Kimber Custom II, a Ruger 1911, an ATI Titan 1911 and a springfield A1 1911 and the quality of the ATI is remarkable for the cost. Personally, I believe there are better guns than 1911’s and glock’s, for the money, who are heralded for their dependability. FN, Walther and Steyr come to mind as a few manufactures.

  4. For me to spend $1800 on a 1911 that is the same as a bunch of other 1911’s, “blowback” better mean something completely different.

    • Oh, but it’s not the same.

      Didn’t you see the bit about 80 or more dimensional modifications?

      Which I read as “there goes the spare parts availability…”

  5. Oh look you’re paying extra for the novelty price. Fancy metal is cool and all but I hope for that price its doing something better than the rest.

  6. Wow! A NEW one hundred and two year old pistol. Man, that’s true American innovation at its finest.

    Hey, I just heard this NEW one hundred and two year old joke. It goes like this: Three men walk into a saloon . . . .

    • Customers want new stuff, but it must be traditional, tried and proven, and must look just like they are used to. “Never mind progress, we know what we like.” Just ask Harley Davidson.

        • Might be. The one I mentioned makes overweight, underpowered and overpriced farm implements. And still – before the economy took nose dive they had waiting lists several months long.

        • I’d love to chalk it up to simple bad taste, but after 40 years of riding, I’ve learned H-D ownership is more about the self-delusional capabilities of cultists (that and your accountant is really a “bad boy” at heart). At least the dedication to that stone-age 315-405 firing order provides audible warning that (Southpark S13E12) are coming.

  7. I don’t know about the metallurgy, but didn’t Ruger come out with a 100% American made 1911 a couple of years ago?

    • There are lots of “wholly American made” 1911’s. More to the point, 17-4PH is not rare. It’s a good quality stainless steel if you want tough stainless. It isn’t particularly expensive or hard to machine, though. It just doesn’t have the best balance of properties for a handgun, isn’t as stain-resistant as some other steels in the minds of manufacturers like S&W.

  8. Did we really need another company making 1911s?


    Anyway, I finally got my SIG RCS Sport working well. Had to add an EGW external extractor since the factory one sucked and the spring wasn’t tensioned right, replaced the MIM slide stop with a 10-8 part, had a smith properly polish the gritty j-cut, breechface, disconnector track, and barrel throat for beer money since they did a horrendous job of it at the factory.

    Bottom line: New Sig 1911s suck and don’t buy one unless you want to troubleshoot on your own because they’re no help at all.

    • “Did we really need another company making 1911s?”

      Yes. IMHO we need as many companies making as many marketable products as we can get WITHIN our borders. I don’t care if they make widgets, guns or baby harp seal clubs….. Just make something HERE for a change.

    • I believe Sig figured out the problem (extractor hook) and are working great with the newer releases. Most issues I hear about seem to be with a traditional 1911 “break in” period. I believe they are far better quality than Kimber’s 1911’s…Until “that guy” from Kimber went to work for Sig?

  9. Eh, 17-4PH is nice material.

    But there wasn’t anything wrong with the steels used in prior GI/Issue/common-commercial 1911’s.

  10. I just don’t get 1911’s. I mean, I’ve shot them, and they’re nice, but I don’t get them. I will probably add one or two to my collection eventually, but that’s way down the road, for “completion” purposes. I have no particular desire to own one now.

    I guess it’s sorta a generational thing, like the Rolling Stones, or The Beatles. They do make good music, I won’t deny that, and I sing along on the radio (with the Stones, not The Beatles; I just flat don’t get The Beatles at all). But I think the screaming fanaticism about them has more to with people that lived when they were the hot new thing, and all the memories those folks have that are bound up with string made of those songs.

    • There’s a lot to be said for a well-made 1911. Real steel, solid and with a good trigger it is very easy to shoot accurately. That said, the trigger is the reason that I don’t carry a 1911–too light and too short of a pull. Also, I prefer higher capacity handguns.

      As John Farnam says: “A 1911 is the best gun there is to shoot someone with, and its the worst gun not to shoot someone with.”

        • Why anyone would carry such a large and heavy gun and choose one that only holds 7-8 rounds is beyond me. I hope your “reason” is just a silly joke.

          In all of the after-action reports on gunfights, NOBODY has ever said that they wished they had a lower capacity handgun.

          The more you know about gun fighting the less you will want to carry a 1911.

        • GA:

          There are millions of doughboys, GIs and grunts who disagree with you and a large number Krauts, Japs and assorted commies would also disagree if they survived the encounter with an American soldier armed with the 1911. It is the most combat proven handgun in the history of military sidearms. You do not take a civilian weapon to war.

        • tdiinva:

          I own 1911s. I have built 1911s. I have carried 1911s in the past.

          My tactical tupperware is far more reliable, carries twice the number of rounds and is just as accurate, if not more accurate, than factory 1911s. Ask those doughboys which they would rather have.

        • GA:

          The Doughboys would look at the tupperware gun and laugh. You can’t bang in nails with it and it’s useless in a hand-to-hand trench fight. Your average infantryman would wreck a Glock inside of a week.

    • I’m not a 1911 fan boy, it just happens to be the first one I bought (and only one I need according to my wife). It’s simple, it’s reliable, it’s stout, and there are enough after market parts to drive you nuts trying to make it unique.

      My only complaint is the weight. I have a good gunbelt and nice IWB holster, but that much heft is still hard to hold up.

      Oh, I also like the 1911 because .45.

    • try this one out matt in fl…

      also they did so many different songs in so many ways if you don’t find beetles songs you like your not listening to them…

    • Matt, I’ve often compared it this way…. ’69 Camaro vs. ’13 Camaro

      You know the ’13 is faster, gets better mileage, handles better and has more creature comforts but there’s just something about that ’69 that you gotta love.

      I like the way a 1911 feels, I like the way it shoots(for me), I like the history of the design and I like the fact that my grandfather carried one in the service. I also know it may not be the best tool for every job but for me it just feels right.

      My ’66 Ford Custom is the same in my eyes. It’s not very pretty, it’s not very fast and she’s showing her age with creaks and groans but she works, I feel “right” driving her and I wouldn’t trade my rat for anything worth twice as much.

      • That’s where some of us ‘don’t get it’. If you jam a modern drivetrain and accoutremants into one of those old sleds it’s one thing. But living with all those 60s/70s failings when something far better is readily available, just doesn’t compute to many.

  11. A high ride thumb safety? A beavertail grip safety?Made in the USA?

    Holy piss. If it’s got an internal extractor and 8 round capacity, I may just have to leave the underside of this cozy rock .

  12. 17-4PH is a good and easily-machined stainless steel. It is more stain-resistant than truly stainless, can have major galling issues if parts made of it and working against each other are not properly heat-treated and lubricated, and has been used in firearms since the mid-70s at the latest. Auto-Mag ring any bells amongst you other geezers? They were nearly totally 17-4 PH and had major galling issues. Detonics used it for some parts, but only where it would be working against an alloy which could be significantly different metallugically and usually harder. Mostly Detonics used Carpenter 450 and 455 in the early days for highly-stressed parts.


    • If memory serves (and it may not) weren’t the AutoMag and the Hardballer mostly investment cast?

      I picked up a longslide on a whim long ago, and between the slopfest tolerances and obvious galling issues from the PO, it didn’t hang around too long.

  13. Cute gimmick on the steel. Should be good for some conversation and bragging rights at the range. If that’s worth $1,776 to you, then go for it, and I promise not to roll my eyes. After all, we all indulge in our guilty pleasures of one type or another.

  14. Contrary to what the video game Doom says; the Dillon M134 is not a “chain gun” it is a Gatling(or Mini)gun. A chain gun,like the one mounted underneath the Apache helicopter is a electric powered SINGLE BARREL gun with the motor attached to a chain also attached to the bolt hence the word “Chain Gun.”

  15. When it jams at the range you can brag to the guys with Glocks that yours is made of superiour steel not cheap polymer.

  16. Oh look, what’d yah know, another gimmicky 1911 that costs as much as most quality, semi automatic rifles for no other reason than people will happily overpay for it.

    Then again, of course, everyone knows no other weapon on earth uses high quality materials, requires precise engineering, and utilizes top-notch, manufacturing processes, sans the 1911.

  17. Just my Other 2 cents worth here but Why a 1911 anyway? I have several and do not think of them as a good carry choice. Limited ammo capacity and heavy. I have always seen mine as a pic nic gun for weekends. I have always think of worse case scenario like a threat from more than one individual so I prefer double stacked “magazines”. You can get an excellent gun by an excellent manufacturer who has been around since1919 and has an excellent reputation. Comes with a double stack magazine, ambidextrious safety and mag release all for under $300. It’s the CZ 82.

    Some people argue that if it’s good enough for the Marines, It’s good enough for me. I have never pulled out my side arm in a combat situation.


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