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Bul Armory SAS II Ultralight

YES! SAS II UL Is On It’s Way Home!

I received an email from Bul Armory yesterday evening. They stated that the gun has been repaired!

While it was there, they also did a performance tune-up of the gun.

An explanation of the cause of the issue was not provided, but they did give me a listing of the things they did.

The pistol underwent a full inspection where we made sure all the different components are within spec.

has been polished chamber also the ramp was moved forward and polished as a extra
adjusted mags specs
checked extractor tension
fitting slide/barrel/ejector
grip has been adjusted/thumb safety

All the safety components work properly and the pistol was then test fired and works well as it should.

I’m happy the grip safety issue was fixed, but I didn’t want anything other than that to be fixed. With their tinkering, they may have introduced faults with the gun.

We’ll see how it is when it’s returned. I will have to take it to be shot Monday or Tuesday evening.

I sent it to them on 12/22. I planned to give them approximately 30 days to fix the issue before contacting them. They finished it a few days before I would’ve called them. That worked out better than I’d planned.

They also stated that they’d “adjusted mag specs”. I sent them one mag (of the four that I had) because I didn’t want to send them all and not get them all back.

I’ll probably also record a 10 min video on Monday, as well.

Stay tuned!

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Bul Armory EGW Gun Parts Kimber SAS II Ultralight

Need Recoil Spring Options For Your UL?

I forgot to post a while back that there have been reports of the Bul Armory SAS II UL’s recoil spring assembly (RSA) failing. The rod usually comes apart.

There’s a fix. Folks have been buying 3rd party RSAs as standby RSAs for when/if the OEM RSAs fail. The 3rd party part is the EGW Colt Defender guide rod assembly, made by EGW.

Another option is the Kimber 3″ Ultra 9mm Recoil Spring Assembly – part number 4000466.

I bought the Kimber RSA, but have yet to test it by shooting. I’ve test-fitted it and it fits without issue.

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1911 2011 Bul Armory feed issues limp-wrist SAS II Ultralight youtube

My Last YouTube Video…

…hit a nerve with at least one guy.

He tells me, “don’t tell me it’s not the gun,” and to “stop that nonsense,” whatever that means.

I’d basically said that most folks having feed issues with the gun haven’t checked (nor care to check) to see if it’s them (the shooter) and not the gun itself. The very first thing folks should always do is to ensure that they’re not causing the issues that their guns are exhibiting.

Suggesting that folks may be limp-wristing their guns almost always offends them, which is kinda wild. Folks act as if they are infallible? Why? The typical reasons folks get offended is because they think that they’re masters of shooting after shooting X amount of years.

This particular commenter said that he doesn’t have issues shooting his micro-compacts. He mentioned that he has a P365 Macro, Hellcat and Shield Plus and none of them have feed issues. I told him that you can shoot one gun (or even several small guns) well and still have an issue with recoil management with another small gun, because they all have different grip textures and grip lengths, and each person’s hands on this Earth are going to differ. It’s not a problem with the gun – it’s a problem with the person wielding the gun. I also said that some guns are more sensitive to limp-wristing than others, too. Some guns will flat-out not tolerate limp-wristing.

This guy also didn’t say how many rounds he’d shot through his SAS II UL, nor how many mags he had. He didn’t say what ammo he was shooting through it, either. There are MANY variables that can contribute to feeding issues, but limp-wristing is the big one.

Factoring out limp-wristing, the next thing to troubleshoot would be the magazines. I’ve four magazines. I’ve NO feed issues whatsoever. I’ve shot a shitload of different types of ammo through the gun, but I’ve not had any misfeed trends.

The commenter could actually be experiencing an issue with both mags (I’m assuming he has two since he stated he’d just bought the gun two weeks prior), but, as I already stated, he didn’t supply any other data – he mostly gave me salt. I also asked him to supply a video so that everyone could see it. That was ignored. He also left a second separate comment saying that Bul Armory is paying me to say what I did, which is stupid. I used straight-up logic to explain it all (and I explained the logic below)…it’s not something that Bul Armory needs to tell anyone. He sent the gun to Bul Armory and they sent him a video showing that they shot a mag of ammo from the gun without misfeeds. If someone shoots the gun that you’re complaining won’t feed properly and they can’t generate those same misfeeds, logic dictates that you may be the issue.

There have been numerous Reddit posts showing videos of Bul Armory gunsmiths shooting guns that were returned to them and the guns not having issues. I’ve seen some videos where guns go through a full magazine without feed issues. I’ve seen videos where guns go through two mags without feed issues. The gunsmiths use the customer’s mags when shooting, as well. The gunsmiths send the guns back to the owners and the owners shoot the guns, generating feed issues. In all cases, the gunsmiths send the ammo they were using back to the customer, so when the customer tests, they’re using the same ammo as the gunsmiths were. This tells me that there could be an issue with limp-wristing, especially if the gunsmith can’t replicate the misfeeds.

The gun is small – it is closer to 3″ than 3.25″. It is light. It’s a known fact that Officer-sized 1911s tend to have more issues than larger-sized 1911s. The gun could be faulty, yes, BUT I believe shooters should always try to ensure that they are not generating the issues.

I explained in my video that I’d run into a similar problem with a particular 1911 and was about to sell the gun. I kept thinking that the issue could be me – there was like a very small percentage of doubt that I was causing the issue, so I started forcing myself to troubleshoot both the gun and myself. I shot a lot of ammo through the gun, even when it was failing to feed. The gun didn’t have a ton of ammo shot through it, so I didn’t think it needed another recoil spring, but I ordered a new one anyways. I bought new grip panels, too. The misfeeds lessened but didn’t stop. I then decided to wear a helmet camera and record one hour of range shooting. When I got home and checked the footage, I was shocked and humbled. I was very loosely controlling the gun and it was plainly viewable. The next time I visited, I focused on my grip discipline and I didn’t have a single misfeed.

In my opinion, if you’re not checking yourself, you’re setting yourself up for problems. I don’t have an issue letting folks know that when they have feeding issues, the shooter could be the issue.

The video is here:

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Bul Armory fail to feed FMJ FTF range report SAS II Ultralight

SAS II UL Range and Progress Report for 10/2023

I’m currently very near to crossing over the 1,000 round threshold with the Bul Armory SAS II Ultralight.

I visited the range a few days ago, bringing 200 rounds of ammo. I ran out of range time before I was able to shoot it all. I visited after work since I’ve to be at work every Wednesday now. I may make this my range day every Wednesday since my work isn’t far from XCal.

While I was waiting in line for a lane assignment, I happened to see some of the range’s rental selection. They’ve Staccatos, as well as several really nice 1911s. What I really want is to try the G43X and G48 (I may be purchasing one of those next year). I didn’t see those guns in their rental section but their rental section is very large and I’m sure they’ve a good selection of Glock rentals. I’ll check next time I go. I also wanted to try their P365, since I’ve seen more than one person asking, “Why buy a SAS II UL when a P365 is better?” In my opinion, that’s a rather lame comment since most folks aren’t cross-shopping those two guns (due to price as well as platform — both of those being quite different frome one another). Yeah, a P365 will conceal better, but P365s are also more difficult to shoot quickly and accurately. The SAS II UL has a bigger grip than the P365, but that doesn’t mean that an owner will have issues concealing a UL. The UL will almost certainly be less snappy and quicker to shoot. It’ll probably outshoot the G43X, too.

I shot 187 rounds of the 200 that I broght with me. Most of it was Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ, although some of it was Blazer 124-gr FMJ and Remington 124-gr FMJ. That puts me at 986 rounds through the SAS II UL, thus far.

I had 6 fails to feed (FTF) prior to the pistol course I attended a few weeks ago. I had one FTF during that class and one at the range visit this week. The total FTF count is now 8. 8 of 986 is 0.81 — that is the current failure rate in percentage.

The prior percenage was 0.96, with 6 fails at 623 rounds (back in May 9, 2023). I had several range visits where I didn’t have any failures. This could be due to me learning how to better grip this handgun, as well as me not shooting as much JHP (which tends to be high pressured, which may induce limp-wristing).

Why do I report this as a percentage? So many folks look at failure counts as hard numbers. They want it to be zero. In my opinion, to expect no failures is an impossible ask. Sooner or later, a gun will fail, especially since failures can be induced by the shooter, as well as out-of-spec ammo. Some ammo will be in-spec but will have large hollowpoint projectiles (which do not meet a specification). I don’t think it is logical to expect a handgun to meet every single variation of ammo specification, as well as account for owner-induced failures. So, I post the round count and count of failures and then convert both to a percentage. Percentages have better meaning, IMO. It tells a better story than a raw number of failures.

I still need to purchase the targets that were used in the pistol course I attended (as well as the target stickers).

I’ll post some range footage as soon as I’ve cropped a few sections for viewing. I mainly shot at 7 and 10 yards, some at somewhat fast paces. I also tried to practice accuracy. I shot several times at 15 yards, too. I’m still struggling with grip. I keep readjusting my weak hand after a shot — I need to find a better way to stop doing this. I’m subconsciously doing that.

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1911 2011 AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight training

Another 1911 Range Visit / Upcoming Training

Once again, I took the Alpha Foxtrot S15 to the range, as it exhibited some failures during my last range visit, which I believe I documented on this blog.

I also forced myself to shoot the SAS II UL this go-around, since I’ve been neglecting the gun (and I’m also carrying it).

I brought some of my open boxed SD ammo to test the S15, as I initially thought it was having issues due to bad ammo. Another culprit could have been the mag (there was one magazine in particular that was having issues). Another culprit could have been me – I’d shot the gun toward the end of the visit and I was probably getting tired (hand/wrist/arm fatigue).

Right off the bat, I got two fails to feed, with the suspect mag (I’ve marked it). I ended up stopping everything, emptying the mag of ammo, and putting the ammo in a different magazine. The failures stopped.

I’m thinking I might ask Shield Arms to replace this mag. The mag is new and should be covered by manufacturer’s warranty. It’s odd that the failures don’t always occur, though. The ammo it was choking on was Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-gr JHP.

It also failed once when shooting Remington Golden Saber 147-gr JHP. It ate 21 other Golden Sabers without issue, though.

Those were the only failures, so it wasn’t really all that bad this time around.

I’m at 623 rounds through the S15 now. The gun is uncannily accurate. It doesn’t seen to be as snappy as the SAS II UL, but it has better grip surfaces (by far). Now that I know that it’ll eat JHP without issue, and now that I’ve tested the mags, I can actually consider carrying this gun now, although I’ll keep testing it (I’m still wanting to carry the SAS II UL, too).

I’m at 661 rounds through the SAS II now. I shot 38 rounds tonight, all Herters Target 115-gr FMJ. There were no hiccups or failures. I shot all the ammo at 10 yards, quickly (since I’ve the optic installed).

I’ll be working on posting range video footage this weekend, of both guns. I have footage from the last visit but the settings were out of whack and the field of view wasn’t the best (the framing was off-center, as well).

Next week, I’ll be attending my first handgun course. The plan is to use my current carry gun (SAS II UL). I’ll be bringing my Glock 19 as a backup gun, in case they state my SAS II is too small and in case the SAS II has a breakage. I’ve other guns I can consider as backup guns but most of my guns are DA/SA and I’m more used to SAO nowadays. I’ve several striker fired duty- and compact-sized guns but I’ve no holsters for them (nor extra mags). At this point in time, the Glock 19 is my best option (I’ve extra mags and several holsters for it).

I plan to shoot Blazer 124-gr FMJ for the course (was told that I’d need 200 rounds, so I’ll buy 4 boxes of 50). Blazer is reliable for me, but so is the Herters Target, so I may buy that brand instead, although the Blazer is just a few dollars more.

I was planning on a rifle course too, but I need the time to purchase mags and magazine pouches that’ll fit my carry belt. I may have to wait until next year for that, although I can also take a rifle course by XCal. We’ll see.

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Alpha Foxtrot ammo defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight

This is how $90 of SD ammo appears…

I went to Cabela’s to get some SD ammo and was actually looking to buy Sig 365 SD ammo to test with my Bul Armory SAS II. They only had the Sig 365 in FMJ, though. I’ll keep looking for it or order it online.

Since I was there, I bought what they had, and focused on types that I haven’t shot before. I bought (from top to bottom, left to right) all 9mm, Sierra Outdoor Master in 124-gr, Hornady Custom 124-gr XTP, Federal Punch 124-gr, and Barnes Vor-TX 115-gr. Those are boxes of 25 rounds each.

I also have an unspent box of Koenig Defense 110-gr JHP (from the last time I visited Cabela’s).

I’ll be shooting these 125 rounds of ammo from the Alpha Foxtrot S15, since I’ve not tried shooting good ammo from that handgun yet. Maybe I can shoot half from the AF-S15 and half from the SAS II, since I’d prefer to be practicing shooting my current carry gun.

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1911 2011 AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot Bul Armory review SAS II Ultralight video

Comparison Review of the SAS II UL vs AF1911-S15

My review notes:

Initial thoughts

  • S15 is well-built
    • Has tight tolerances
      • No slide-to-frame gaps
      • No slide-to-frame wiggle
      • Nice barrel lock-up
      • Nice trigger – not laterally loose and has no creep.
        • Trigger does have some vertical play
    • Has great finish
    • Has very nice control surfaces
      • Front and rear strap checkering is very aggressive, which offers great controllability.
    • Has great shooting traits
      • For me, it offers low recoil impulse
        • Slide is heavier than my SAS II UL, which soaks up recoil
  • Sights are OK – not the best but can be worse
    • Even with irons, I can shoot this gun just as well as the SAS II UL
      • I was shooting 7 and 10 yard groups just as well with this gun as the SAS II UL.
      • Caveat – my SAS II UL has an optic, so I’m not going to be able to match it’s quick follow-on shots, especially at distance.
  • Cons of the S15
    • $1500 guns need to have at LEAST two mags
      • WTF – the cost of a second Shield Arms mag is a drop in the bucket
    • Fat beavertail is somewhat uncomfortable – it is very wide at the top, which isn’t the norm for 1911s/2011s
      • I hear that the beavertail on the previous version was wider than how it is now
        • Apparently this was a common complaint, so Alpha Foxtrot made an effort to lessen the width of this area.
          • It is still wide and can be problematic for some folks.
      • If you normally shoot a 1911 with the thumb of your strong side hand over the thumb safety, you might have an issue with the beavertail beating up the knuckle bone at the base of your thumb
      • I noticed that this may be an issue and also noticed that the thumb safety is super-stiff in actuation, so I shot the S15 without having a thumb over the safety – I had no issues with recoil making it back to that knuckle.
    • I ran into an issue when field stripping the gun after I picked it up from the FFL. I field stripped it once without issue. The second time I field stripped it, I cleaned it, lubed it, and then attempted to put the gun back together. I couldn’t. This is my 6th 1911/2011, so I’m aware of how to take down these guns and put them back together, but I was having issues getting the takedown pin back into the hole. The pin wouldn’t go into the hole of the frame. I tried it after putting the side and barrel aside – it wouldn’t go in. I noticed that the front rail module slides into the frame and saw that it was out of alignment with the frame – I had to use a screwdriver to lever it back into alignment. After doing that, I tried putting the takedown pin into the hole and it slid in. I then tried to do it with the slide and barrel and failed – the rail module had moved again, so I again used a screwdriver to push it back into alignment with the frame. I tried again to put the gun back together and was successful, but that is a concern for an out-of-the-box $1500 gun.
      • I’ll be reaching out to Alpha Foxtrot about that soon. Even with that issue, the gun still shot 150 rounds without a problem, but I don’t want to have to deal with this issue every time I have to clean the gun.
  • Comparison to the SAS II UL
    • Fitment and finisih
      • Between the two handguns, the AF has slightly better fitment
      • The AF has far better finish
        • DLC coating has that $$money$$ feel
    • Grip
      • Grip feels (and is) smaller on the AF
      • Grip texturing and checkering is MUCH better on the AF
    • Sights
      • While I’ve moved to an optic on the SAS II, I did shoot it quite a bit with irons
        • Irons on the SAS II are better
          • They can be adjusted for windage as well as elevation; the AF sights can only be drifted for windage (but have elevation adjustability)
    • Shooting
      • This is a tough one
        • SAS II UL:
          • For me, the SAS II UL talks a bit (not large) effort and/or some training to get used to it’s lightness.  It might feel snappy to folks that are used to heavy 1911s.  For how light and short it is, it should be much snappier than it is.  What snap it has can be easily managed.
          • Grip – the immediate impression for me was that the SAS II UL’s grip was not grippy.  I thought it would be a problem, but it’s not (I shoot indoors, so I’m not sure if sweaty hands will compromise grip with this gun.
          • The trigger on the SAS II is light, and may be too light for some folks to carry.  I don’t consider it a HUGE issue but I DID have two instances of premature detonation when at the range.  The first time it occurred was during the first range visit.  I’ve been trying to train with the gun to get used to it’s trigger, but at the last (and 4th) range visit, it happened again.
            • I may consider getting a sear spring adjustment done on this gun.
        • AF S15:
          • In my hands, I shot the S15 better than I did the SAS II (when considering both first range visits).
          • Grip – I immediately noticed the checkering of the front strap of the grip and thought that this is going to give me an edge, and it did.  The gun doesn’t move in my hand at all.  The SAS II moves in my hand and I’ve to constantly re-adjust my grip to short it up.
          • Trigger – the trigger on the S15 is a bit heavier but probably better for carrying.  The trigger has no creep, which probably helps with accuracy, but it’s actually noticeably heavier than the SAS II’s trigger – that’s just an observation, though, not a con.

They both shoot VERY well but are different in ways that require a decent amount of elaboration — there’s no quick way to discuss the differences.

I’m happy with carrying the SAS II for now, but that might change as get more trigger time wit the S15.

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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.

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2011 Bul Armory handguns SAS II Ultralight trigger

I Was Able to Upgrade My SAS II Ultralight’s Trigger Shoe!

I’d mentioned before that I bought a silver and flat-faced trigger shoe from the Bul Armory online store.

The SAS II Ultralight has a modular trigger shoe. At their store, you can chose between 15 different shoes (5 types of shoes, with each being offered in 3 colors).

The gun comes with the short curved black trigger shoe. I bought the short flat silver trigger shoe.

It took me a while to determine how to remove the trigger shoe (sounds simple to do, but not if you don’t have the correct sized allen key).

When I finally got the short curved shoe off, I found that the short flat shoe wouldn’t fit. It required fitting.

Now, I understand what fitting is and why there’s the need to fit 1911 parts, but this is a damned trigger shoe…marketed as modular. It should be immediately swappable, just as most mag releases or slide catches should be immediately swappable.

I was going to let it sit until I went on vacation but this was bugging me, so, today, I fitted that shoe. It was just a hair off. It took maybe 15 minutes to remove just a bit of material from the shoe. The most difficult part was trying to determine where to remove the material (the part that needed to be fit was curved. I ended up taking a bit of material from each end of the curved part, taking my time, removing a bit, then attempting to fit (wash, rinse, repeat).

Once I got the part on, I added a bit of blue thread locker to the overtravel screw (needed to be removed to remove the trigger shoe).

The new trigger shoe looks GOOD!!

SAS II UL with new trigger shoe
SAS II UL with old trigger shoe
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Bul Armory Optic range report SAS II Ultralight video

Four Week Review of the Bul Armory SAS II UL

This is just a video-captured 20 minute summary of my experiences with the SAS II UL.