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GUNS Magazine July 2010 - Page 30
• MIKE CUMPSTON • AMERICAN TACTICAL AT 92 COMPACT This Turkish copy of the Beretta 92 is affordable and accurate. n November 2009, American Tactical Imports announced the I availability of a compact version of their AT 92, which is a close copy of the Beretta 92 FS. Overall dimensions are the same as the full-sized pistol, except the barrel and overall length are about 6/10" shorter. Except for very minor design changes stipulated by ATI, it is the MKE Yavuz 16 Compact manufactured by Girsan Industries for the Turkish state arms company, Mechanical and Chemical Industries (MKEK). According to the Girsan concern, the pistol is manufactured on state-ofthe-art CNC machinery and subject to NATO specific testing and evaluation. Among other criteria, the pistol must survive 8,000 rounds with no failures and exhibit accuracy not exceeding 8cm mean radius for 10 rounds at 25 meters. Girsan data indicates the (fullsized) pistol made it through the various hostile environment tests, the extended firing component and produced groups of 6cm mean radius—or about 4.7" diameter by Western count. The Yavuz is used by some elements of the Turkish military. American Tactical advises potential buyers to have local dealers canvass distributors and warns it is the nature of imports that availability may be sporadic. My “sample” AT 92 came from Ellet Brothers Distributors by way of Hewitt Gun Shop in Hewitt, Texas. My request for a T&E sample from ATI had disappeared in the maze of a new and complicated media relations system. I obtained it through ordinary consumer channels, which is something I like to do fairly often. It serves to confound and confuse the geniuses who insist we gunwriters receive special treatment and above-standard samples in return for positive reviews. I would rather spend a little money every now and then if it will help me avoid the label of “Industry Ho.” It also demonstrates ATI did not announce the pistol before it was actually available, and has gotten busy and placed the Compact with domestic distributors. TheAmericanTacticalImportsAT92isanearexactcopyoftheBerettaFS/M9pistolmade inTurkeyfordomesticmilitaryapplications. TheCompactmodelis6/10"shorterthanthe standardpistol.Bothretaintheoriginalsteel guiderodsandtotalsteel,plastic-freetriggers. Disassemblyisthesameandjustassimpleas aBeretta92.Shooterswhohavefumbledwith thenew-techplasticguiderods,causingthem tosnapintwo,willappreciatetheTurkish/ATI decisiontorejectthetrendtowardplastication ofloadbearingparts.Theguiderodissteel. Casualbenchrestshootingat25yardsproducedgroupsinthe3"range.Thebestfourroundsfrom eachgroupaveragedaconsistent2". 30 Upon examination, the AT 92 Compact does exhibit unimpeachable standards of construction and finish inside and out. There are no shortfalls or shortcuts in construction and, as advertised, the AT retains the original steel, rather than plastic, guide rod. Likewise, the trigger is all steel with no plastic constituent. Like many imports, the slide, barrel and frame are literatureheavy with American Tactical and Turkish provenance prominent on all surfaces. Since this is a “reverse engineered” copy of a Beretta, the implication is Beretta parts will work in the import. The AT 92 is completely compatible with Beretta Magazines but the gunsmiths at ATI have not yet determined if other parts are interchangeable. The locking WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JULY 2010