web analytics
Categories
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.

Categories
.45 ACP 1911 45ACP

My Annual Purchase For 2022

I usually try to buy a gun a year, specifically around this time. Last year, I bought a RIA 10mm 5″ double-stacked 1911 and Canik TP9 Elite SC. The year before that, I bought nothing. The year prior to that, which was the year I started making this an annual experience, I bought the PSA AK-V and AK-P.

I’d planned on getting another AK and had my eye on a 5.56/.223 variant but had a number of problems committing to another AK.

For one, higher end AKs are difficult to find in stock and when they are in stock, they quickly become out-of-stock.

Secondly, I’ve one pistol caliber AK pistol, as well as an AK pistol chambered in 7.62×39. I also have two AK rifles (both in 7.62×39). I’d wanted a 5.56 AK but couldn’t decide on if I wanted yet another long gun or pistol chambered in that caliber – I have both types already. I wouldn’t have cared but when I asked on the AK subreddit, the absolutely stupid replies back soured me to any AK, so I ended up not no longer wanting an AK.

I then decided to focus on a higher end 1911, either a mid-grade Sig or Springfield Armory. In fact, I wasn’t really caring on a particular 1911 maker. I just wanted the product to have a forged frame, slide, and barrel that was 5″ max with a traditional barrel (ie, no bull barrel). Price was $1000 max with a focus on lower price. I couldn’t find much that was in stock. I saw a LOT of Springfield Armory Garrisons but I wasn’t liking the sights on those (I wanted fully adjustable front and rear sights).

I’d been looking for weeks and couldn’t find much. I even looked outside of 1911s (looked at Sig’s P320 AXG Classic and Equinox – they were all expensive as hell). I’d also looked for the Springfield Armory SA-35 but they’re definitely out of stock everywhere.

I then decided to look at any 1911 that had forged slides and frames. I became focused on the IWI Desert Eagle 1911s until I saw that their frames are cast (precision cast but still cast).

Then I remembered that some of the Turkish 1911s had forged frames and slides. I focused on SDS and Tisas (SDS imports Tisas, I believe).

I found one that was discounted to $439 and tried to buy it but changed my mind right before I committed to the purchase because the website seemed fishy (it was http://www.2agunshow.com). The website seemed “sketchAF” and the price was super cheap, undercutting the next lowest 1911 of the same make/model by close to $40. Also when I tried to select an FFL at my location 5-10 miles round me, none of the usual FFLs showed in the results…it was very odd (maybe affiliated with dealers if it wasn’t actually sketch).

This gun was also listed at $432 here but went out of stock maybe 10 min after I saw it..

I ended up going to that next lowest priced gun of the same type and paying a bit extra for it (after researching the website/store first to ensure it was a legit site for regular buyers). I bought it.

What did I buy?

I bought the SDS Imports 1911DB45R – Duty w/ Rail 45ACP 5″ Black Cerakote. It’s a nice gun. I saw a better looking version but opted out of it because it was 4.25″ – I wanted a 5″ 45ACP 1911. The gun was $470.

A question that someone is going to ask, either at my Youtube channel or here, or even in the back of his mind when reading this: How in the hell did you go from Springfield Armory to a cheap Turkish gun?

That’s an easy question to answer. A true gun enthusiast will be acutely aware of Turkey’s history of gun-making and this particular brand, which is Tisas. Most uneducated folks think “cheaply made with non-quality materials and bad fitment/finish” when anyone mentions guns made outside of the US and 1st World countries in the EU. It’s a generally ignorant mentality. I’m not even sure Turkey can be considered a 3rd Word country. It’s like folks are thinking Afghanistan when thinking of Turkey! Folks familiar with Tisas-made 1911s know that they are quality. There are many models of US-made 1911s that are still using cast frames and many $1000+ 1911s are still using MIM parts. This particular 1911 has a forged slide, barrel (which even extremely cheap and shoddily built 1911s will have), and a forged frame. I don’t think ANY 1911s currently under production and under $500 have all three of those forged parts, with the exception of Tisas 1911s. Not only that, the fitment and finish of this gun equates more to $900-1000 1911s. If someone handled and even fired this firearm (but was withheld the make and country of origin), I bet they’d heap praises on it. And if they were made aware of the material makeup of the firearm, they’d further pile on the praises. When people know it’s from Turkey, they are immediately blinded and will actively refuse to further consider the gun. When I see this, I immediately have a general idea of their thought processes. “Buy only American products.” “Why would you buy something cheaply made when, for a few dollars more, you can have a Springfield or Sig?” And, it sometimes gets uglier: “Why would you support terrorism by buying a Turkish gun?”

Turkey is a NATO partner and the company named Tisas isn’t operated by the Turkish government. Yeah, no one likes Ergodan, but that doesn’t mean all companies in Turkey have Ergodan’s mentality.

While the price of the gun may be budget-minded, the makeup of the gun itself is pretty nice. I’m getting forged parts and the gun has little MIM parts (while all Springfield Armory 1911s are full of MIM). The Tisas 1911 was the better gun.

Also, going cheaper leaves me with some money for more ammo and options to upgrade the sights (I’m pretty sure the gun will come with contrast non-adjustable sights).

I will also probably buy another gun too, since I originally wanted to spend up to $1K. It will more than likely be an AR pistol chambered in 9mm – that’s something I don’t have. I will almost certainly buy a blemished one from PSA. I’ll post more about that later.

UPDATE (12/13/2023): The only MIM part in all Tisas 1911s currently produced is the recoil spring plug, and that can easily be replaced with a non-MIM part, without the need for fitting that part. They started doing that late 2022, I believe. Pricing has crept up, but Tisas are still the only guns under $1000 that have no MIM.