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1911 2011 9mm double-stack double-stacked Tisas

Carry DS9 – A Good Gun But Not In Love With It

The last time I posted about the Tisas Carry DS9, I’d only recently bought the gun.

That was back in February 2024. It is now June 2024. I’ve owned the gun right at four months and I’ve right at 1200 rounds through the gun! Yeah, it’s that much fun to shoot/own! And, of those 1200 rounds, it has only misfed one time. I was also able to shoot that same round from the gun after loading it back into the mag. It’s eaten steel cased ammo, lots of JHP, and lots of JHP that is considered good SD ammo. This may well make for a good gun for training courses. It can withstand gunk/carbon/dirt, too — I went maybe 400 rounds before I cleaned it, at one point.

I’ve a running thread at 1911forum.com that has somewhat detailed updates. I’ve also been posting video updates on YouTube.

Initially, I ran into an issue with the gun that I couldn’t ignore or adapt to. The gun had a trigger that was not only somewhat heavy, but it was difficult to work around. The trigger wall itself was super thick, to the point that I was pulling the gun out of target alignment when actuating it. The goal was to not modify the gun before I hit 1000 rounds. I made it to maybe 450 rounds before I decided that I had to either pay a gunsmith to make the trigger better or do it myself.

I ended up buying a 19 lb mainspring and a sear spring from EGW. The sear spring is what I thought would solve the issue. I actually pulled the OEM sear spring and looked at it. The OEM spring was bent oddly and didn’t have a lot of spring/give. It was also difficult to remove and re-install. I believe the main issue was the sear spring and I was correct – when I received the EGW sear spring, it immediately solved the issue. The new spring didn’t require any tuning, either. The trigger was a bit over 5 lb when I got the gun. By 450 rounds, it was at 4 lb 8 oz. The new sear spring didn’t change the trigger weight but did change the trigger wall. The wall was much more crisp after that upgrade.

I installed the 19 lb mainspring just to determine if I’d like the change. Initially, I didn’t like it. It made the trigger feel sloppy (added some slack). I put the OEM mainspring back into the gun. Oh – that’s also the first time I did something like that. I didn’t think I could do it without a workbench or clamp but I was able to replace it without issue. I ended up re-installing the EGW mainspring and the gun ended up wearing in – the gun’s trigger feels fantastic now.

I also did several detailed strips of the gun, just to look at the individual parts. I can verify that the gun has NO MIM parts. Not a single part is MIM. None of the parts, apart from the weird sear spring, has fitment issues. No, none are polished, but they’re standard parts and fit well enough.

After I crossed 1000 rounds, I decided to have a bit of fun with the gun. I ordered 14 lb and 12 lb flat recoil springs (from EGW). I thought they’d fit but they wouldn’t fit around the short guide rod. I ended up having to buy a full length guide rod (the requirement was I required a 1/4″ diameter rod), which came with a plug designed for use with a FLGR.

I installed the parts and was shocked again…the gun felt even better, just racking the slide. When I took it to the range, I was shooting quite a bit faster, while still being accurate. The lighter recoil spring makes the gun feel more manageable, control-wise. It seems to shoot flatter. The Prodigy comes stock with a 12-lb recoil spring and those guns shoot really well. There are more than a few videos that state the Tisas guns are over-sprung…I believe it’s true.

Another great thing about the gun is that iron sights will co-witness (1/3rd) with the optic. I’ve a Cyelee CAT that works well with this gun. This optic has been 100% dependable.

There are a few bad things about this gun, though.

The optics cut is crappy. Tisas CS is insisting that the issue isn’t that they’ve milled the optics cut wrong, but that the optics makers have milled their optics wrong. I don’t think that’s the case, as I tried two different brands (Holosun and Cyelee) and neither would fit well. I could see daylight between both optics and the slide. As well, both optics were factory zero’d to have the dot rendering generally within the center of the glass, but when I installed both, both dots were rendering super-high. I wasn’t the only person with this issue, either, and many of those folks complained that they couldn’t zero their optics because they ran out of elevation adjustment when trying to bring the dot down. I fixed my issue by using an optic ship (bought from Amazon). The shim allowed a better fit on the gun (no daylight between the optic and slide) and also allowed a lower shifting of the rendered dot. The shim doesn’t help everyone, though. Some folks stated they had to use two shims to get their optic to properly zero.

What’s funny is that Tisas keeps trying to dodge blame. Not only that, but folks keep insisting that Holosun is a cheap optic and that makes Holosun at fault. WTF. These aren’t EOTechs but they aren’t exactly cheap, either.

Tisas has a problem with milling in general. Initially, their single stacked 1911s had (and still do have) issues fitting standard 1911 sights. Part of this is because they’re avoiding licensing Novak specifications. Later on, folks started complaining that they couldn’t mount their standard-sized lights on the M1918 rail mount. Tisas stated that the rails will only mount small lights. This mainly affected their Carry line – they installed smaller rails for some reason. This issue migrated to their new line of Carry DS9s. Now there’s mounting issues with the optics and I know for a fact that it is indeed the slide milling that is the issue.

Those issues and the fact that Tisas didn’t jump to help folks means that I won’t be buying any other Tisas guns. There’s also another reason. I bought the Carry DS9 after already owning a couple of double stacked 1911s that cost over twice as much as the Tisas. Those two guns feel better and shoot better. They feel expensive. That’s not saying that someone with a DS9 won’t be able to outshoot someone with a SAS II UL. What I’m saying is that, no matter how much they make the DS9s cheaper, it’s still a cheap (as in cheaply made) gun. There are immediate and significant differences when comparing a DS9 to a SAS II UL, whether a person is just handling both or shooting both. No, most folks won’t cross-shop those two guns but I’m not the only person that has bought a DS9 after owning a Prodigy or SAS II UL or even a Staccato.

In summary, I didn’t need the DS9 and the SAS II UL almost certainly spoiled me. The DS9’s trigger will never feel like the UL’s trigger. The DS9 rattles. It has side to side play in the slide. The trigger is a bit sloppy. The DS9 right-side safety isn’t blended (it cuts my hand – my Tisas single stacked Duty 45 does the same thing and I ended up swapping in a single sided safety to save my hand). The DS9 isn’t bull-barreled. There’s the optics milling issue. That sear spring on the DS9 was shoddy. All of those 7-8 sentences I just typed is justification to stay away, in my humble opinion.

For those who don’t already own a 2011 or nicely crafted double stacked 1911, this gun is probably for you, as long as you remember that a cheaper gun is going to be built cheaper. There’s a reason why 2011s, up until recently, were priced at mid $1000. If you already own something twice the cost of a DS9 (or other variant), you’re going to be disappointed, unless you love to tinker.

I love it but I’m not in love with it.

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1911 2011 9mm double-stack double-stacked Tisas

Let’s Discuss Several Several Things About the Tisas Carry

I’ve been to the range twice with the Tisas Carry DS9.

I’ll share some information about the first range visit. I also suspected some of the things we discussed in my last post would be apparent during the first range visit.

The trigger had issues. The gun initially had a thick walled trigger. While the trigger itself wasn’t heavy, it wasn’t light either, so that’s a wash. The trigger wall was stiff, but I shot maybe 130 rounds from the gun, so the wall softened a bit. As well, the trigger is now lighter by 1 lb.

Between the trigger’s issues and the sights, I was having issues hitting where I aimed. I shot low (90 degrees low) with every shot — not low left, but directly low. I’m not sure how to use the U-notch sights, but I’m thinking they’re off by a bit, at least.

The gun didn’t hiccup at all during the first range visit. I shot a mix of ammo, some being HP, some being SD HP, and some being FMJ. The gun is flat-shooting, too.

When I got home from the first range visit, I sat while watching TV and kept racking the gun and pulling the trigger to get that thick wall to wear-in as quickly as possible.

When I went to the range next (two days later), I shot 187 rounds. Quite a bit of ammo was shot, some HP, some SD ammo, and a lot of range ammo. I had one fail to feed one one HP (I think it was Winchester range JHP). I put it back in the magazine and it feed and shot successfully.

The gun also shot a lot better, probably due to the trigger breaking in. Also, I man-handled the gun, as the first range visit, I was sloppy with gun control (recoil management and probably trigger control). My grouping were MUCH better this range visit.

I now have 317 rounds through the gun. The gun has yet to be cleaned, which says a lot, because I’ve looked in the gun and it’s pretty filthy. The rails were overly lubricated, which may have helped. I may clean it tomorrow, as I’m not intentionally trying to induce filth-related failures.

I also published a video. I’ll be producing a longer duration video soon. The short duration one below lacks some information (I had to make it fit into a 15 minute timeframe).

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2011 9mm Tisas

Tisas is Now Producing 2011s!

So, I was checking Reddit today and saw a post that Tisas had listed a double-stacked 1911 on their website product list. Within an hour, there were like 5-6 other posts (in the r/1911 subreddit).

I decided to check the product page and was shocked. I thought they’d produced a Para-patterned 1911, but they actually produced THREE (3) 2011-patterned 1911s. They producted a 5″ variant, a 4.25″ variant, and a 5″ variant of their Night Stalker SF.

Not only that, but typical recent budget 2011s offer optics cuts that remove the rear sights. The Tisas variants will allow the rear sights to stay in place when using an optic. They’re also using 1/3rd co-witness of the rear sight through the mounted optic.

What’s the difference between Para- and 2011-patterned handguns? Para-patterned guns have the grips a permanent part of the frame. The frame and grip are one piece. 2011-patterened handguns have modular polymer grips that are separate from the frame. Many folks confuse Para-patterned double-stacked 1911s as 2011s, when there’s a distinctive difference.

Anyways, here are two videos: one of the 5″ Duty DS and the other of the 4.25″ Carry DS.

UPDATE (2/8/2024): I’ve removed the YouTube videos from this post, as the publisher marked them as private. It’s a bit annoying, because the publisher was Tisas.

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1911 2011 9mm AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot Bul Armory double-stack double-stacked safety

SAS II Was Returned To Bul Armory

I’ve started my Christmas 2023 vacation this week. Several things are on my agenda as far as firearms are concerned.

  1. I’ve to send my SAS II UL back to Bul Armory for them to fix an issue that I couldn’t resolve. The problem is that I can fire the gun without disengaging the grip safety. I did replace the trigger shoe with a flat shoe. That replacement required me to remove the over-travel screw, but I adjusted it properly. At least, I think I did. I’ve done the same to my other 1911s and none of the other guns are experiencing the issue. I don’t typically test to see if my 1911s will fire with the grip safety disengaged, so I don’t know why I tried it this time. BA sent me a shipping label so that I can send it back to them. I’ve boxed up the gun and will ship it out tomorrow. I’ve removed the optic and reinstalled the rear irons. I also included an empty mag (they asked for it to be sent with the gun). I’ve no idea how long they’ll have the gun and customer support is hit/miss as far as being good is concerned.
  2. I haven’t shot my Tisas Duty in a while. Someone asked in r/1911 about extended reviews of the gun. I stated that no one has been posting about the gun, other than after one range visit of shooting. So, tomorrow, I plan to visit the range with the Tisas. I went to Cabelas and found some somewhat cheap ammo. I bought three boxes of 50 rounds each. The whole reason I stopped shooting it was because 45ACP was expensive at the time. I’ll bring an extra box from home (I’ve a box of Herters JHP too). I’ve some Underwood +P too, but that’s expensive, and after a while, it actually hurts to shoot it. The jarring is pretty ruthless, at 1200 FPS. The plan is to try to shoot all 200 rounds. I’ve to remember to bring all the different mags I have.

While the SAS II UL is out for repair, I’m carrying the Alpha Foxtrot S15. I’d checked to see if the S15 would fit in my Tenicor holster (when I’d first bough the gun), but I’d never actually worn the holster with that gun. It EASILY carries. While I knew the grip was thin, it’s easy to hide – much easier than the SAS II UL’s grip. What I’m not used to is it’s heft. It’s heavier – not by a lot, but it’s noticeable.

As soon as the SAS II UL gets returned to me, I probably should ask Alpha Foxtrot to look at that gun, as the ramp frame insert sometimes moves. Once that has been fixed, I’m probably going to find a reputable place that’ll make the gun optics-ready.

I’ll update you all on the status of the Bul Armory once it is returned to me.

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9mm AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot Grand Power limp-wrist P11

Summary of Range Session – 9/8/2023

I went to the range tonight because I wanted to work off some steam (been busy with work and have been stressing).

I’d been thinking about my Grand Power and recently had someone reach out to me on YouTube. She said that she has the P11 and that she’d been having the exact same issue (fails to return to battery, or FRTB), but that her husband didn’t have the issues when shooting it. She hinted that it may’ve been limp wristing that caused it.

I did a bit of research and it seems that limp wristing can cause FRTBs.

I never realized that I could’ve been limp wristing the gun. It is rather slick, with no significant texturing on the grip.

I decided to begin taking it to the range to see if I can shoot it without experiencing the FRTBs. I shot 50 (well, 48) rounds of Koenig 110-gr JHP Match through it tonight and I didn’t have any failures. Note that the gun is configured a bit differently since I last shot it — I’m using a small Hogue rubber grooved slip-on grip, which helped with getting control of the handgun. I was ensuring I had a strong grip on the gun. I’ll continue to bring it to the range, shooting 50-100 rounds from it when I can, and trying to practice good grip technique so that I’m accurate as well as not limp-wristing.

I also shot 155 rounds from the Alpha Foxtrot S15 1911. The ammo of the night for that gun was Herters Target 115-gr FMJ with a splash of Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ. Whereas I didn’t have any issues last range visit, I had 8 FTEs this range visit. I shot the same ammo last visit, as well.

The issues could be (possible solutions are below, in italics):

Bad magazine – I shot with all six mags and only one mag generated failures, so I kept shooting with it to see if I was limp-wristing and causing the failures. I shot many rounds through that mag tonight and there was only one time where I got thorugh a mag without failures. I marked the mag and will put it aside. The plan is to use the other mags next range visit – if the failures stop, then I’ll know that the mag is the problem.

Bad box of ammo – I bought 200 rounds of Herters (2 x 100-round boxes). I got through one box with only two fails to extract. The other box had five FTEs. The Fiocchi had one failure – not only did it the spent case not extract, but it was still fully in the chamber, and the slide did not lock back (it was the last round of the mag). Also, I noticed that the slide would sometimes seem to be moving a bit slower than normal after a round is fired, which is usually indicative of inconsistent amounts of powder within the case. As well, some of the ammo looked funky where the case crimps onto the projectile, as if the ammo had possible QC issues. I’ll bring some good JHP with me next range visit, to see if the issues still occur with good ammo.

Limp-wristing – I won’t count this out, since the FTEs started occurring mid session of my range visit. I tend to fatigue myself as I practice (this is normal). Next range visit, I’ll test the S15 (and the other 5 mags that didn’t have issues) before shooting any other guns.

I did have fun shooting the Grand Power again. I was accurate with it. I shot it once at 10 yards but the spread was wider than when I shoot the S15 at that range, which I initially thought was odd until I realized that the S15 has far better grip texturing. I ended up sticking with shooting at 7 yards.

The S15 is accurate AF! I spent a large amount of time shooting at 10 yards and was accurate. Not only that, there were times where I was shooting pretty fast and my groups were tight as I shot further out. And that was with irons. This gun is uncanny, but it’s really because of the front checkering on the grip. It’s going to seriously spoil me. I’m already thinking about selling all my other 1911s so that I can focus on 1911s and 2011s that have front checkering. Yes, I can get checkering added to my existing 1911s, but some gunsmiths won’t touch non-US guns and all guns that get checkering will need to be repainted/refinished.

I also now have just under 500 rounds through the S15. I’m slowly accumulating the round count on this gun. I’ve just under 1600 rounds through the GP P11.

Categories
1911 2011 9mm AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot Bul Armory SAS II Ultralight

My AF1911-S15 – First Range Visit

This gun can shoot!

I took it to the range today and shot 150 rounds from it (Blazer flat-nosed 147-gr FMJ and Herter’s Target 115-gr FMJ). There were no feed/eject or firing issues.

I shot it at 7 yards then moved to 10 yards. I initially had issues – was hitting low and left of point of aim. Even when I stopped pulling left, I was still hitting an inch low. As I kept shooting, I learned how to better control the gun, and so my groups got tighter as I shot. I began to hit bullseyes.

Even at 10 yards with irons (and I wasn’t wearing my prescription glasses), I was hitting bullseyes.

It’s easy to shoot this gun well – much easier than the Bul Armory, IMO. The differences are that the S15 has great front strap and back strap checkering, which helps greatly with gripping the gun. As well, the S15’s slide is heavier, which helps with recoil management, as the slide soaks up some recoil.

The SAS II UL became a different beast altogether once I added the optic to the handgun. I’m shooting the S15 just as well, without an optic, which is amazing. Yeah, the SAS II still shoots quicker at distance, but that’s solely due to the optic. Once I get the S15’s slide cut for an optic, it’ll be just as good as the SAS II at shooting quicker at distance.

And yeah, I shot 150 rounds through one magazine. it was a pain in the ass, but I had no choice. I had no issues with the magazine (it is a gen 2 Shield Arms mag).

GT Distributors did send me an RMA shipping label and I’ll be sending them back the wrong mags they sent me…once I send them back, I’ll reach out to them and ask them when to expect them to correct their mistake…I still need (and paid for) S15 mags.

I’ll update this post with range footage sometime this weekend.

Categories
1911 2011 9mm AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot

Alpha Foxtrot AF1911-S15 – On the Way!

I kept eyeing the AF1911-S15 even after purchasing the Bul Armory SAS II UL, so I took a hard look at it and decided to purchase it.

I bought Gen 2 version of the handgun, which also has a threaded barrel. I bought it from Battlehawk Armory. Since it only comes with one 15-round mag, I ordered three more (generation 3 mags from GT Distributors – I’d have ordered straight from ShieldArms.com, but they our currently out of stock).

Now, I could’ve waited until mid June for their optics-ready version but I’ll be out of the country that timeframe and these were currently in stock (they aren’t always stocked).

I’m excited, as this particular gun is very nice.

If I find that I want/need an optics cut, I can find a business that can perform that modification.

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1911 9mm RIA Rock Island Armory

Range Visit Summary For 11/15/2022

I visited the range for the first time since April 2022. I’m still focusing on 1911s, and I’m preparing to carry my RIA Rock Ultra MS in 9mm.

Why carry the 9mm instead one of my 45ACPs? The two 45ACP 1911s I have are the Metro Arms American Classic Commander and the Tisas Duty (full-sized). I’ve found that even though the heavy metal frame soaks up a good bit of the recoil of those 1911s, 9mm shoots even better from the 1911 frame. As well, 9mm is cheaper and easier to find, locally or otherwise.

Another thought: If I end up ever having to defend myself, I’d have to temporarily give up my gun for case evidence. I do not want to give up any gun but of my 1911s, the ugliest is that 9mm Rock Ultra! While it’s the ugliest, I shoot it the best, by far!

I didn’t want to bother with capturing video footage during this range visit, so I have none, but I did keep the targets and I’ll post them down below.

The below pictures are in chronological order of when I shot at them. Each second picture is a picture of quick range notes (written on the back side of each target).

I shot between 7 and 10 yards – anything further and I struggle to see where I need to hit (all but one target are designed to be shot from 7-10 yards. My actual range notes will be at the bottom of this page.

I’ve two holsters that’ll fit the Rock Ultra without issue, but I’m wondering if I should try carrying appendix – I’m eyeing a holster but need to know if I can commit to it before spending $100-120 on a AIWB holster.

I also just bought two extra 10-round mags so that I can use my two WC mags for carry duty.

Photos of the targets:

I numbered in which order I shot at each mini-target.
I numbered (and circled the number) in which order I shot at each mini-target. I also counted each hit per mini-target.
I aimed between the dead space between the right-side mini-target, attempting a group of five.

Range Notes:

**********************

I brought 350 rounds with me, but only shot 228 (one box of 50 was half empty).

I brought the following brands:
Norma 115-gr FMJ (100)
Federal Hi-shok 115-gr JHP (50)
Belom 115-gr FMJ (50)
Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ (28)

Of the total, there were 8 FTFs and one FTE (stovepipe). It was with one brand of ammo – the Federal Hi-shok JHP. The FTFs were almost certainly due to the hollow points – I expected as much. The FTFs only occurred at the top of each mag (top 3 rounds). After the 2nd-3rd round, the issue stopped. It stopped after 3 mags, as well. Note that the mags were Wilson Combat mags and two ACT mags. It happened with both mag brands, so this wasn’t a mag issue.

This gun is accurate as all hell! I ate the middle out of a target at 10 yards (shot 50 rounds). It’s flat-shooting. Yeah, the initial grouping had opened up but I found I had to just be steady (and watch my breathing as well) to get tight groups.

I will probably begin to carry this gun, which is why I put so much ammo through it this range session. I just need to refer to my notes on which JHP this gun didn’t have issues with – I think I shot some 9mm SD ammo through it last range visit.

Rock Ultra MS in 9mm
Categories
.45 ACP 9mm

Handgun Parts Received

Last week I ordered a +4 aluminum basepad for a Canik TP9 Elite SC magazine that had a flat baseplate. I bought the +4 basepad from Taylor Freelance.

It took three days for delivery. I ended up installing it wrong and had a very difficult time removing it (if you buy this part, remember to remove the plastic at the bottom of the mag spring, otherwise you’ll have a very difficult time removing the +4 basepad).

The magazine was a 10-round mag that I converted to 12-round. With the +4 basepad, the gun now holds 16+1. I carried with it yesterday. Other than initial coldness of the metal against my skin, it wore well.

I also bought an 18-lb progressive recoil spring for my .45ACP Commander 1911, from BH Spring Solutions. I compared the old spring with the new and the old one is compressed a bit and also feels a bit lighter than 18-lb). Inside the 1911, the new spring offers noticeable resistance. I can’t wait to take the 1911 to the range. Sadly, I can’t right now, as I’ve some medical issues that currently block me from leaving the house (not Covid).

I’ll capture range footage of the 1911 once I’m healthy!

Categories
1911 1911A1 45ACP 9mm American Classic Commander Metro Arms RIA Rock Island Armory

New YouTube Video – 1911 Range Day!

I tried a new format in this video, using my GoPro hat-clip. What I didnt’ account for was the volume isn’t crisp, as the hat-clip requires usage of the GoPro case, which is apparently covering the camera’s mic. 🙁

There were issues with the Metro Arms 1911. I’ve been suspecting as much the past 1-2 years, but my handgun experience is expanding and I’m confident to say that this handgun has issues with it’s sights. I’ll be looking into obtaining a new set of sights for this handgun (I wouldn’t mind having the sights that are on my RIA Tac Ultra installed on this handgun).

Also, I finally installed the 9mm barrel into my RIA Tac Ultra (I have always shot it with the 22TCM barrel installed). I shot 140 rounds of 9mm from the gun. The gun now has a total of 746 rounds through it. It’s my third most-fired handgun (the Grand Power P11 and Bersa Thunder Plus are 1st and 2nd).

There were some fails to feed when firing the Tac Ultra, but the feed issues only occurred with the OEM mags. I’ve Wilson Combat 9mm ETM mags, which didn’t have any feed issues. I also used the 38 Super mag that came with the Tac Ultra. I also used the 9mm mag that came with my RIA Rock Ultra. The latter two mag are the mags that had inconsistent issues. The feed issues were occurring mid-mag.

Lastly, I need to research who is the new US importer for Metro Arms. Eagle Imports was the importer, but they went out of business earlier this year.