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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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Cyelee Holosun Optic

Are Budget Optics an Option for Concealed Carriers?

I bought a Cyelee optic for the Tisas Carry DS9 two days ago.

Specifically, I bought their CAT, which is a 3MOA Micro Pistol Green Dot Sight With Motion Deactivated Standby (RMSc Footprint).

Why did I opt for a budget optic, and in this discussion, what consitutes “budget”?

My Holosun 507K X2 ACSS optic was not cheap, at $300+. I don’t need another $300 optic. I needed an optic that wouldn’t break the bank while also being reliable. The CAT is $116 and has a reputation of being robust in durability, so I wanted to try it.

I also wanted to try a green optic to see if it agrees with me better than red optics.

If the optic does well for me, I’ll buy a few more, depending on if they’ll fit my guns — they don’t have many RMSc-footprinted optics. šŸ™

I’ll eventually conduct a video review of the optic, so stay tuned for 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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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.

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1911 2011 Bul Armory handguns range visit SAS II Ultralight

SAS II UL Optics Adjustment Issues – The Wedge Was Not Needed!

My range notes for today’s range visit:

This is the first time I’ve tried a range other than Elite. Elite closed last weekend, so today I visited XCal in Ashburn (30 min drive – 30 miles).

Shot 48 rounds of Norma 115-grain FMJ. There were no fails.

I also shot 64 rounds of Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ. There were no fails.

Total rounds this session was 112 rounds of FMJ. There were no fails.

I spent a majority of the 1-hour session adjusting my new optic (Holosun HS507K-X2 ACSS). It was initially frustrating because I couldn’t hit point of aim at all. I kept adjusting the sight and was able to get proper windage but couldn’t get the proper elevationā€¦no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get the dot lower than 6-8″ above the bulls-eys when shooting at 10 yards.

I finally stopped and decided to remove the optic wedge I’d installed (was supposed to fix an issue with the SAS II UL having elevation issues when an optic is mounted). Once I removed the wedge, I reinstalled the optic and was immediately hitting the bulls-eye. It still needs to be fine-tuned, but I’m quite happy with the functionality of the optic and that I solved the elevation issue!

I bought a crapload of ammo, but only got to shoot 112 rounds, since I was attempting to adjust the optic’s point of aim and since I had the issue with elevation.

I wish I’d shot a bit more to break the 500 round count.

I’ll attempt to visit again next week. I’m probably going to apply for membership before then.

I almost decided to put the irons back on tonight, at the range. The only thing that stopped me was that I’d forgotten to bring the irons with me. That forced me to bird-dog the issue – I didn’t need that optic wedge I’d installed and I shouldn’t have immediately installed it. That’s what I get for believing an internet source – bottom line is, don’t believe everything you read on the internet! Trust but verify. If I’d have installed just the optic and not the optic wedge, I’d have not had an issue at all.

Before removing the optic wedge

After removing the optic wedge
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Bul Armory Optic Reflex Sight SAS II Ultralight

Holosun HS507K-X2 ACSS Vulcan Mounted to the SAS II UL!

This optic is a lot smaller than I thought it woudl be, but it’s also made for smaller handguns (which is why it’s denoted as 507K).

It was rather easy to remove the “iron” rear sight. In fact, the rear sight was loose and was rattling around! It was probably due to the stout JHP I’ve been recently shooting.

I bought an optic shim (I also bought an extra one, for redundancy purposes), as the 507K has zeroing adjustability issues with the SAS II UL.

I cleaned out the optics screw holes and then used the screws that came with the optic to secure the optic to the slide (used blue thread locker).

The optic works well! I have it set to use the ACSS reticle, have the lighting dimmed a bit, and have the setting locked in place. I also have the Shake Awake feature enabled.

I’ll have some time to shoot it tomorrow (will try to visit a new range, as well).