In 1876, Dr. Augustin Thompson patented medicine called “Moxie Nerve Food,” which later became a popular American soft drink when he added soda water to his concoction. Thompson allegedly named his drink after his friend Lt. Clyde Ambrose Moxie. “Moxie” can be defined as someone who is courageous, daring and determined. This description fittingly applies to the new American Tactical FXH-45M Moxie 1911.
Not Your Typical 1911
This American-made firearm’s polymer frame and 4140 steel slide both have unique, eye-catching shapes and angles that differentiate it from standard 1911s. The frame and the trigger guard/trigger design were the first things that caught my eye. The enlarged trigger guard is rounded at the bottom and is squared at the front, which will allow you to shoot with a gloved hand. There is a curved ridge inside the trigger guard at the bottom of the aluminum skeletonized trigger. This ridge is part of the polymer trigger guard and follows the curve of the trigger, filling in the gap that would be there between the base of the trigger and the guard were it not for the ridge. The trigger is adjustable for overtravel.
The molded finger on the grip frame feels really good on the Moxie. It helps you to maintain grip control when you fire the lightweight 1911. (It weighs in at only 31.2 ounces rather than the 39 ounces of a full-sized, all-steel Government 1911.) Inside the polymer frame there are two metal inserts to maintain frame stability. At the rear of the frame is an extended beavertail grip safety and a checkered arched mainspring housing. This is something that I prefer but which is not often found on modern 1911s.
The thumb safety is ambidextrous and extended. Both levers are easy to reach. The magazine and slide release are of the traditional configuration. At the front of the frame is a substantial molded-in accessory rail for mounting a light and/or laser. The black polymer grips feature the original Colt Double-Diamond-style checkering pattern. One eight-round blued magazine with bumper pad is included.
The black Parkerized slide is also uniquely styled, featuring trapezoidal flats running from the middle point of the muzzle to the upper rear of the slide. The flats from the front of the slide down to the area of the recoil spring are angled inward. The overall effect gives the slide and frame a monolithic angular appearance. The 5-inch barrel is left in white.
Like most modern autoloaders, the American Tactical FXH-45M Moxie 1911 features a removable top plate for mounting optics if so desired. The fixed sights are Glock polymer sights — a white-dot front and white-square-outline rear. The slide is cut to accept all Glock-compatible sights, which simplifies replacing the factory sights if so desired.
There are five angled wide grasping grooves at the slide’s rear. The angled shape of the slide helps with grasping when you go to manually lock the slide back. A traditional bushing and recoil spring cap is utilized, simplifying takedown.
At the Range
The American Tactical FXH-45M Moxie 1911 feels really good in the hand and imparts the mythical 1911 feel. The weight reduction is also noticeable. Because of the reduced weight, the recoil spring is fairly stout. This is no doubt designed to help reduce battering of the polymer frame.
Our test shoot day was drizzly and cool (as is Ohio’s customary weather in late fall). I decided to test the pistol using a hanging steel silhouette rather than a paper target. My test ammo was SIG SAUER’s 230-grain standard-velocity Elite V-Crown JHP self-defense load. This load develops a muzzle velocity of 830 feet per second and 352 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. It also develops a big hole in the target via its large original diameter coupled with the excellent expansion performance of the Elite V-Crown bullet. It’s a superb load for this lightweight pistol.
I fired the gun straight from the box, and it ran flawlessly. The trigger pull was crisp and not too light. It shot to the point of aim at 30 feet. Headshots on the head of the steel silhouette were effortless, producing a solid “clang.” I also credit the basic Glock sights, which is the top basic fixed-sight system around. Recoil was different than with a standard 1911. I noticed a bit more muzzle rise. However, the gun was comfortable to shoot. Obviously, if you switch to +P ammo, muzzle rise will increase and the firing sensation will be more abrupt — as it would be with any 1911.
The American Tactical FXH-45M Moxie 1911 is an ideal lightweight and full-sized 1911 to use for EDC or on the trail. It maintains the full ballistic potential of the .45 ACP. A number of holsters that will accommodate this pistol are listed on the American Tactical website. I saved what perhaps is the best for last. The MSRP is $399.95.
Consider these past blog posts for further reading:
- “Steps in Cleaning Your 1911,” by Kat Ainsworth
- “Train With That 1911,” by Kevin Michalowski
- “Springfield Armory 1911 EMP Champion Concealed Carry Contour 9mm,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “Alchemy Custom Weaponry Prime .45 ACP 1911,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “Springfield Loaded Operator 1911 .45,” by Bob Campbell
- “The Ultralight Executive: An Ideal 1911 .45 Carry,” by Scott W. Wagner
- “Rock River Arms POLY 1911: Lightweight, Full-Sized Concealed Carry,” by Scott W. Wagner
American Tactical: AmericanTactical.us
About Scott W. Wagner
Scott W. Wagner is a criminal justice professor and police academy commander from Columbus, Ohio. He has been a police officer since 1980, working as an undercover liquor investigator, undercover narcotics investigator, patrol officer, SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader. Scott is currently a patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. He has been a police firearms instructor since 1986 and is certified to instruct revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.