Reviewed By: David L on 05/13/2014
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Since no one did an in-depth review I will. It seems when people are happy the review is two sentences. When they're enraged it's pages. This gun deserves this review.
I had always wanted a classic old-style 1911 like my grandfather's from WWII, but two things stopped me. First, the pricetag on a Colt would run $700 or more, and second, I aleady owned a reliable M9 and had no actual need for a second handgun. But of course that second part didn't stop me from perusing the bargain pistol lists. That's how I landed on this Tisas.
It seemed too good to be true, exactly what I wanted for $350 (the lowest the Make-an-Offer went). I did thorough research into the gun, almost hoping to read scathing reviews on it being unreliable, innaccurate, etc. I found none. Well ok, sure there were a *couple* of bad reviews on them, but it seemed like 98-99% of Tisas 1911 owners were very happy. So I took the leap of faith and I bought one, but I promised myself I would be very hard and fairly critical of the Tisas 1911 based on my experiences with Colt 1911s, a Kimber, and Springfields. I also decided I would wait a few months before reviewing it.
Buds, as everyone knows, shipped it very promptly, and in two days I was walking into the FFL to pick it up (I have a CWP). Initial inspection was very hopeful. The slide was silky smooth to rack, the parts were all tight. I disassembled and looked over everything, not a single issue. I was very happy to see that it has a trigger-pull-safety-mechanism, whereby the trigger must be pulled in order for the firing pin to be free to strike the cartridge. Meaning that you can drop it down a flight of stairs and the gun will not accidentally fire. My grandfather's did not have that. The slide is stamped "Zig M 1911" and "Warning: Before using read owners manual." and "Made in Turkey". The sights are your typical GI issue terrible, and that's exactly what I wanted. the barrel is shiny stainless steel.
The magazine was also pretty impressive. High quality Mec-Gar. The gun came with a worthless carrying case, a semi-worthless nylon brush, and a manual. No gun lock (not that I care). A spare 7-round magazine I had slid in fine, though it was/is tight. Feeding rounds through the gun would result in the occasional jam, though this is normal for new 1911s. In the subsequent days I put 300 rounds through the Tisas 1911, and I did not have a single failure to fire. Not a single stove-pipe. The trigger pull is decently crisp, and not hard at all. I read reviews of people complaining it was too hard to pull it... I suggest they invest in a gym membership. This gun is also pretty accurate too. Not as good as the M9, but surprisingly more accurate than anticipated. For the past three months I've been carrying this 1911 more often than the M9, that's the level of reliability I think it has.
Now here's the bad. The finish is not getting any awards. Short of this gun living on silk pillows or in a display case, it will get scratched up fairly quickly. To me this is actually great, because I want it to look worn and old. If you're buying this 1911 you have to accept that it isn't going to look like a Kimber. It doesn't get *badly* scratched up but it gets scratched. Secondly the slide wiggle. NOW BEFORE I EXPLAIN let me point out that Springfields, S&Ws, Colts, even a Kimber or two... will have that 1911 slide wiggle. Just the way the 1911 is. I just want to be as detailed as possible here, and yes it has that slide wiggle after a few hundred rounds down range. This gun will accept literally any 1911 magazine just fine, but like it's 1911 competition the caveat is that you have to hold the weapon vertically for the mag to drop out. The brown plastic grips are worthless, and through eBay I replaced them with GI issue walnut for $15. Do that. The rear sight could be replaced, but the front sight cannot. So if you're thinking you can modify the sights, you can't.
Ultimately, after treating this 1911 rather harshly for 1/4 year, I gotta say I am very very pleased and impressed. For $350 it really is an amazing deal, and is just good enough to be true. In all honestly I think this Tisas 1911 can go toe to toe with the big names out there and give them a run for their money. If you're looking for a reliable 1911 but don't want to pay $700 or more, consider this one. I do want to mention that as my grandfather taught me, I run 1911s wet. Meaning there's a good amount of oil slicked all over the internal parts always. This makes the slide especially smooth to rack, as well as stops failure to feeds. I also very thoroughly cleaned it upon getting it from the FFL, including removing and cleaning the firing pin and extractor.
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