What you see here are double stack 1911s and for green gas powered double stack 1911s, they’re probably some of the best ever. Diving right into them, there are two different lengths, a 5.1" and a 4.3" model.
Right from the beginning you will see great coloration when it comes to both the slide and frame. The black coating is very well done and both are of aluminum construction. All of the cuts on the slide and even some the lightening cuts done to the slide release and hammer are faithfully replicated in the same way as the real steel one. You can see the attention to detail shining through even down to having the Salient Arms logo etched into the rear sight pairing it with the fiber optic green front sight.
Towards the middle portion of the pistols, you see the grip panels with the SAI logo on them. The checkering on both the panels and the frame feel very unified and offers a balanced feeling in your hand where it doesn’t feel like one is trying to shred your palms while the other feels slippery as all hell. The panels are also cut in such a way where its slightly recessed into the frame itself. This actually makes the grip of the gun feel much smaller for a gun that fits a double stack/hi-capa magazine inside.
Though these guns are handsome in their own regard, there are minor issues with them that might distract you, especially if you are an SAI fan. Starting with the trigger, while it is short stroked and does have a crisp break, it does feels slightly off. Even though the initial take up is very short the wall is actually quite spongy, the feeling is akin to a stress ball. The "unique" feeling trigger means you pretty much need more practice if you want to be able to shoot fast. However, can this gun shoot fast? Yes, it absolutely can.
Second thing I am not all too fond of is the cutting on the beaver tail/grip safety. The real steel one is cut a little more snug than this. This is a minor external gripe but again, if you do appreciate the SAI design, this is very distracting. There's also the outer barrel.
The cuts and markings are very well done and accurate but the gold is just a little to on the "bling" side of gold. The real steel one is is a duller shade and it would have actually benefitted this gun if the color was more on point.
Finally the magazines. Though they do readily fit WE, KJ, and TM mags, you must first remove all the base plates on all of those mags before they lock into place.
These guns are running reinforced nozzles by Armorer Works, meaning you get some good quality internal upgrades right off the bat. The gas system used is the world renown TM system so expect great gas efficiency and stability. Everything else is pretty standard.
Comparing these two guns to anything else will be unfair as there is actually a bench mark for them to be compared to. The TM Hi-Capa has always been consider the "gold standard" by many and for all intents and purposes, these two need to be compared to that gun, but not just any regular old TM Hi-Capa, but the GOLD MATCH.
-The hi-capa uses the TM system ✓ (being a TM gun) but so do the SAI ones ✓.
-The Hi-Capa, CAN actually take ALL the magazines ✓, base plates included, but the SAI ones cannot. ✗
-The Hi-Capa comes standard in the 5” length ✓ but the SAI guns actually offer a short version ✓ if you a little bit more variety and choose something different.
-The Hi-capa is plastic ✗ where as both the SAI guns are aluminum ✓
-The Hi-capa shoots at a lower FPS ? but these do shoot a little hotter ?
-The Hi-capa has a very crisp and snappy/responsive trigger✓✓✓✓✓. I concede, the Hi-Capa does have a better trigger, I would say superior trigger✓✓✓✓✓.
-Finally the Hi-Capa gold match retails for $179 ? where the SAIs retail for $169.99 ✓✓
What do you guys think? What would be your choice? Let us know in the comment section.
Buy here: 4.3" - http://tinyurl.com/y9okrfu2 5.1" - http://tinyurl.com/y9jchzg4