Taylor’s & Company M1911A1 FS Tactical II 10mm Auto

A virtual twin of the Rock Island, but had some stoppages that we’re not sure about.


Once considered an almost extinct cartridge, the 10mm Auto has rebounded to reach beyond cult status today. It appears that many Gun Tests readers like this high-energy 40-caliber round because we keep getting requests to test additional pistols chambered for the 10mm cartridge. So, this time, we add three 1911-style handguns.

The Taylor’s pistols use a recoil spring that must be captured before disassembly.

The first is from Rock Island Armory, the M1911 FS Tactical II, $700. Made by Armscor, this all-steel flat-black bull-barrel pistol has the weight to mitigate some of the recoil generated by a good 10mm round. Beginning corporate life as Squires, Bingham and Co., the trading entity that morphed into Armscor can trace its roots back to the Philippines near the turn of the twentieth century. Now the world’s largest producer of 1911-style firearms, Armscor knows a thing or two about making this platform run — and producing a good product at an affordable price under the Rock Island Armory brand. The FS Tactical II is a great example of their work.

The second is the Dan Wesson Razorback, a stainless-steel version with some gorgeous rosewood grips, $1622. Our Dan Wesson begins with a stainless-steel slide and a forged stainless frame. The flats have been well polished and are unbroken except for the seven diagonal cocking grooves at the rear. The top of the slide has an inverted rib milled into it that leaves flat, longitudinal serrations running almost the length of the slide. The combination of the rib and a bead-blasted upper surface leaves a very glare-resistant finish.

We recommend red-fiber-optic front sights for people who shoot in a basically green world, as the berm on the Taylor’s photo shows.

We also got a newly announced 10mm pistol that looks a whole lot like the Armscor and is also priced at $700. When we opened the package containing the Taylor’s & Company M1911A1 FS Tactical II, we were impressed with the solid-looking pistol that emerged. We saw a fiber-optic front sight to go with the adjustable rear. Ambi safety, lightweight trigger, lowered and flared ejection port, checkered mainspring housing, bull barrel, nice grips — it was all there.

We shot this trio at American Shooting Centers in Houston, firing the pistols for accuracy at 15 yards. We tested using three different types of ammunition. The first was a 165-grain JHP (jacketed hollow point) from Cor-Bon. Second was a 180-grain FMJ (full metal jacket) from Armscor, also the parent company for the Rock Island Armory pistol in this test. Last was some 180-grain V-Crown fodder from SIG Sauer. Here’s how the handguns fared:

Gun Tests Grade: B-


Taylor’s & Company is a well-known importer that specializes in period weapons, especially recreations of those used in the War Between the States and in the American West. Model 1873 Winchesters, Colt Peacemakers, and various iterations of the 1874 Sharps have caused us to spend many an hour perusing their catalog. A few years back, we noticed a more modern bent and the inclusion of some 1911s. When we recently noticed they were offering a 1911-style 10mm, we had to check it out.

Action TypeSemi auto, hammer fired
Overall Length8.75 in.
Overall Height5.7 in.
Maximum Width1.42 in.
Weight Unloaded2.58 lbs.
Weight Loaded3.1 lbs.
SlideMatte-blue carbon steel
Slide Retraction Effort24.0 lbs.
ReceiverMatte-blue carbon steel
Receiver Front Strap Height2.75 in.
Receiver Back Strap Height3.5 in.
Receiver Barrel Length5.0 in.
Receiver Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.307 in.
Receiver Grip Circumference5.5 in.
MagazinesTwo 8-round blued
Rear SightTwo-dot LPA adjustable
Front SightRed fiber optic in dovetail
Sight Radius6.5 in.
Trigger Pull Weight4.3 lbs.
Trigger Span2.9 in.
SafetiesGrip and thumb
Warranty1 year
Telephone(540) 722-2017
Made InPhilippines
All three of our test pistols used a ramped barrel. This is the Taylor’s & Co. barrel, showing how the feed ramp and the barrel are produced as a single unit instead of separate parts in the pistol. This helps feeding and supports the case better in these high-energy cartridges.

Many of their products are imported from Europe, especially Italy, and we expected to see more of the same with this 1911. And it looked really familiar — but not from Europe — from the Philippines. We checked with our sources and, yep, it was made by Armscor and was very similar to the Rock Island piece. But was it identical? Would it shoot the same? Curiosity kicked in, and we went to work.

We found two obvious differences between the two pistols. The first was a different pattern in the grip panels. We mentioned the two-texture pattern on the Rock Island. The Taylor’s is a single partial starburst pattern. Grooves extend out radially from the front of the grip panel. We realize that this is almost purely cosmetic, but we preferred the grips on the Taylor’s, feeling they were a bit less abrasive to our hands while still providing plenty of adhesion.

The second difference was with the barrel. Both were of a similar profile, though they had a slightly different muzzle crown. We didn’t notice anything that should affect the way the Taylor’s would shoot, but shoot differently it did — at least with one brand of ammo. The Armscor 180-grain FMJ rounds shot well across all three platforms, averaging 1.53 inch over nine different five-shot groups. The Taylor’s pistol shot this ammo into 1.77 inches, while the RIA posted a 1.36-inch average. The SIG 180-grain V-Crown JHPs averaged 1.56 inches across the three, with the Taylor’s posting a 1.72-inch number to go with the 1.52-inch average on the RIA. The difference showed up with the Cor-Bon 165-grain JHP fodder. We have test-fired Cor-Bon ammunition many times before with splendid results, but not this time. The Rock Island pistol thought it was fine, averaging 1.55-inch groups. The Dan Wesson didn’t particularly care for the ammo, managing only a 2.7-inch average. The Taylor’s piece hated the Cor-Bon, printing an 8.75-inch average, with one group showing an almost 12-inch diameter. We took a picture of one sheet of 8.5-by-11-inch sheet of paper we hit with this combo while we were aiming at a totally different sheet.

We will freely admit to yanking a shot occasionally, especially after 400+ rounds of 10mm. These groups were not on the operator. They were on the pistol/ammo combination, and we could not see why. It is also not the first time we have seen something like this. Some firearms do not like some ammo, and you won’t know it until you actually shoot it. Don’t risk your hunt or endanger your life by assuming that a good gun will automatically like good ammunition. Try it out before it matters.

Our Team Said: Other than for the accuracy issues with the Cor-Bon ammo, the Taylor’s  ran perfectly. Draw speeds, split times, and total times matched its Rock Island twin to within .01 second in most cases. We call that consistency.

10mm Auto Range Data

Our shooters fired these pistols at American Shooting Centers in Houston. We shot them for accuracy at 15 yards by firing multiple five-shot groups from a sandbagged Caldwell Pistol Rest and a Mini DRC Fortune Cookie from Wiebad.com. We used a LabRadar chronograph to measure velocities.

Cor-Bon 165-grain JHPTaylor’s FS-TacticalRock Island FS-TacticalDan Wesson Razorback
Average Velocity1232 fps1280 fps1252 fps
Muzzle Energy556 ft.-lbs.600 ft.-lbs.575 ft.-lbs.
Average Group8.75 in.1.55 in.2.70 in.
Best Group5.63 in.1.21 in.2.51 in.
Armscor 180-grain FMJTaylor’s FS-TacticalRock Island FS-TacticalDan Wesson Razorback
Average Velocity1065 fps1111 fps1090 fps
Muzzle Energy453 ft.-lbs.493 ft.-lbs.475 ft.-lbs.
Average Group1.77 in.1.36 in.1.47 in.
Best Group1.75 in.1.30 in.1.34 in.
SIG Sauer 180-grain V-CrownTaylor’s FS-TacticalRock Island FS-TacticalDan Wesson Razorback
Average Velocity1219 fps1255 fps1226 fps
Muzzle Energy594 ft.-lbs.629 ft.-lbs.601 ft.-lbs.
Average Group1.72 in.1.52 in.1.44 in.
Best Group1.34 in.1.24 in.1.19 in.

Drill Data (5x5x5)

Process: Fire five shots from draw at a 5-inch circle placed at 5 yards. Numbers are averages for two repetitions.
PistolTime to First Shot (seconds)Split Average (seconds)Total Time (seconds)
Taylor’s & Co.1.490.3032.700
Dan Wesson1.540.3793.065
Rock Island Armory1.5450.3062.770


Process: Fire five shots from draw at A zone (5-by-11 inches) at 8 yards. Numbers are averages for two repetitions.
PistolTime to First Shot (seconds)Split Average (seconds)Total Time (seconds)
Taylor’s & Co.1.5450.2532.555
Dan Wesson1.4950.2442.470
Rock Island Armory1.4650.2432.435


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