Tisas 1911 Duty SDS Imports 45 ACP

The Tisas Duty has features we like, including an ambidextrous safety, well-designed beavertail grip safety, and forward cocking serrations. The trigger is heavier than we like and accuracy suffered as a result, but that can be fixed.


Gun Tests Grade: B Best Buy


The Tisas Duty is an upgraded version of the GI pistol offered by the Turkish maker, Tisas, and it’s brought into this country by SDS Imports of Knoxville, Tennessee. We looked it over and found an impressive array of features. The barrel was hammer forged and hard-chrome plated. Both the frame and slide are forged, not cast. A black Cerakote finish was evenly applied. It was similar to the Kimber’s finish in appearance and seems durable. The pistol featured Novak-style sights with three-dot inserts, the only pistol tested without a fiber-optic front sight. The ejection port was lowered in the same manner as the other three pistols. The beavertail safety was well designed and rates higher than the Kimber in that area, we thought. The pistol featured an ambidextrous slide-lock safety. The magazine well was beveled. The trigger and hammer are modern types and seem well fitted and finished.

Tisas 1911 Duty B45 45 ACP

Action TypeShort recoil-operated locked breech, single action
Overall Length8.6 in.
Overall Height5.5 in.
Maximum Width1.25 in.
Weight Unloaded39.0 oz.
Weight Loaded44.0 oz.
Slide MaterialForged Steel
Slide Retraction Effort19.0 lbs.
Receiver MaterialSteel
Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Back Strap Height3.2 in.
Barrel Length5.0 in.
Grip Thickness Maximum1.25 in.
Grip Circumference5.3 in.
MagazineOne 8 round
Rear SightNovak Lo-Mount type
Front SightDovetailed post
Sight Radius6.4 in.
Trigger Pull Weight7.25 lbs.
Trigger Span2.8 in.
SafetiesSlide lock, grip
Warranty1 year
Telephone(865) 604-6894
Made InTurkey

There are a couple of things that got our attention. The pistol featured a cut-out in the frame to lower the bore axis. This was originally found on the Colt Enhanced pistols and was a nice touch. The second was the chamfered slide-lock pin. We have not seen this feature on a pistol for less than $1500, that we recall. This was a very nicely appointed pistol.

The Tisas Duty provided excellent results on the firing line. The pistol’s
Cerakote finish is evenly applied and attractive.

The barrel seems well fitted, and when the slide was racked and the locking lugs engaged, the pistol was smooth enough. There was no firing-pin block. The barrel and barrel bushing are tight but easily field stripped. The grips are the cheapest possible plastic, the same as the GI model from the same maker. Just the same, they served the purpose and did not adversely affect handling or accuracy. A single Mec-Gar magazine was provided.

We found the pistol to be nicely turned out for the price. The complaint with this pistol was trigger-compression weight. The trigger press broke at 7.25 pounds. This trigger action limited accuracy potential, in the opinion of the raters.

The Tisas Duty, with a smooth front strap. The arrow points to an frame cut that allowed the pistol to sit low in the hand. We liked each style, and each was well done.

The pistol was lubricated on the long bearing surfaces and test fired on the combat course with the same loads used in the other pistols. All of the magazines locked in place without complaint. The three-dot sights were well suited to fast combat shooting and accuracy, but they were not as effective as the fiber-optic front sights, we thought. The pistol came on target and provided good results on paper and steel. In rapid fire the pistol fired slightly low in comparison to the other pistols, despite the dished-out grip frame. We suffered a single last-round malfunction, with a spent case laying in the ejection port instead of kicked out of the gun completely. A rater pointed out that if the magazine had been dropped, the spent case would simply have fallen away before the new magazine was loaded. This malfunction did not repeat itself. After many years of testing 1911 types, it does seem that some need a break-in period.

The standard recoil systems make for easier
field stripping than does a full-length guide rod.

In accuracy testing off a solid bench rest, the pistol was fired with the same three loads as the other handguns. While accuracy was consistent, the groups were larger than the other handguns, ranging from 2.5 to more than 3.0 inches. The pistol seemed tight, with little play in the barrel-to-frame fit.

Our Team Said: We felt that with a smoother or lighter trigger action, the pistol may have demonstrated better accuracy results. Combat shooting results were behind the others, but it wasn’t bad. In common with the Kimber, the pistol fired low. One of the raters remarked that considering the features of the Tisas Duty, it would be worthwhile to address the trigger action. In the end we rated the Tisas Duty down a half grade each on the heavy trigger action and sub-par accuracy. Even so, we thought it was the Best Buy of the test.

45 ACP Range Data

All groups were fired at 25 yards from a solid benchrest position using a Bullshooters pistol rest. The first chronograph screen was 10 feet from the muzzle of the firearm. We used a Competition Electronics Pro Chrony to record velocities.
Black Hills 200-grain LSWCTisas DutyMetro Arms BobcutKimber Custom LWSpringfield Ronin
Average Velocity877 fps854 fps860 fps884 fps
Muzzle Energy342 ft.-lbs.324 ft.-lbs.328 ft.-lbs.347 ft.-lbs.
Small Group2.5 in.2.3 in.2.0 in.1.9 in.
Average Group3.3 in.2.7 in.2.3 in.2.3 in.
Hornady XTP 200-grain JHP 9112Tisas DutyMetro Arms BobcutKimber Custom LWSpringfield Ronin
Average Velocity987 fps960 fps980 fps959 fps
Muzzle Energy433 ft.-lbs.409 ft.-lbs.426 ft.-lbs.408 ft.-lbs.
Small Group2.5 in.2.3 in.2.0 in.1.5 in.
Average Group2.9 in.2.8 in.2.3 in.1.9 in.
Speer Gold Dot 230-grain JHP 23966GDTisas DutyMetro Arms BobcutKimber Custom LWSpringfield Ronin
Average Velocity899 fps814 fps908 fps903 fps
Muzzle Energy413 ft.-lbs.338 ft.-lbs.421 ft.-lbs.416 ft.-lbs.
Small Group2.8 in.2.4 in.2.1 in.2.2 in.
Average Group3.4 in.2.9 in.2.5 in.2.5 in.

Value Guide 45 ACP 1911 Handgun Rankings

Gun NameIssueGradeComments
SIG Sauer Ultra Compact W1911U-45-BSS 45 ACP, $949May 2021AOur Pick. Has a flared and extended ejection port, extended ejector, and a very nice trigger pull.
S&W SW1911 Pro Series 178020 45 ACP, $1249May 2021A-We liked the recoil impulse and movement of the S&W the best. Function was 100% with all ammo.
Colt Defender Lightweight Stainless O7000XE, $999May 2021B+We want our frames to last for years, so we are not great fans of aluminum feed ramps as on the Colt.
Ruger SR1911 Officer Stainless 06762, $979May 2021BAll-steel construction and slightly longer slide-barrel combo resulted in the softest recoil impulse.
Springfield Loaded Operator PX9105LL 45 ACP, $1162July 2020ABest Buy. If you need a personal-defense handgun rather than a show piece, this is the trick.
Guncrafter Commander 45 ACP, $3285July 2020AOur Pick. The fitting is excellent, the sights are ideal for combat, and the trigger is superb.
Nighthawk Custom Falcon 45 ACP, $3699July 2020AAn excellent production/custom grade handgun. Very smooth, excellent finish. Best combat ability.
Dan Wesson 1911 Heritage RZ-45 01981 45 ACP, $1227July 2020A-The Dan Wesson Heritage offers good fit and finish and outstanding accuracy. Had break-in malfunctions.
Devil Dog Arms 4.25 Standard DDA-425-BO45 45 ACP, $1150July 2020A-Of this set of five, this gun makes the most sense for real-world concealed carry.
Desert Eagle 1911C 45 ACP, $695August 2019ABest Buy. Reliability was good and accuracy was the best of the test.
Kimber Pro Carry SLE 45 ACP, $750August 2019AGood reliability, excellent sights, the best trigger of the test, and more-than-acceptable accuracy.
Taurus 1911 Commander 1-191101COM 45 ACP, $500August 2019B-We did not like the fit of the beavertail safety. Less accurate than the previous 2018 test gun.
Iver Johnson Arms Polished Hawk Commander 45 ACP, $570August 2019CPoor attention to detail in feed-ramp finish, trigger-pull weight, and selection of the proper-size slide lock.
Taylor’s & Company Compact 1911 51469 45 ACP, $450June 2019A-Had good sights and a good trigger. We would have liked a textured front grip strap.
American Tactical Firepower Xtreme GI 1911 45 ACP, $398June 2019A-This a traditional GI-style Commander with a nice trigger and good sights.
Taurus 1911 Officer 1-191101OFC 45 ACP, $459June 2019B+Had all the right features, but it did not shoot to point of aim. Would need a new rear sight.
Colt Gold Cup NM O5870A1 45 ACP, $1190May 2019AOur Pick. The National Match Colt is the most accurate of the five handguns tested.
Colt Series 70 01970A1CS 45 ACP, $865May 2019ABest Buy. The least expensive tested, but it could be the best carry gun for the money.
Les Baer Concept VI 45 ACP, $2290May 2019A-It wasn’t faultless; we dinged it for a sharp edge on the safety.
Colt Bright Stainless Gov. O1070BSTS 45 ACP, $1549May 2019B-Flawless fit, finish, and build quality. Slippery grip isn’t easily addressed.
SIG Sauer Match Elite 1911T-45-TME 45 ACP, $1050May 2019DIf you’re willing to do some light gunsmithing, move the grade up to B.
Remington 1911 R1 Enh. TB 96339 45 ACP, $675February 2019AA well-outfitted gun for the money. Consider the threaded-barrel model over an R1E.
Kimber 1911 Warrior SOC 3000253 TFS 45 ACP, $1309February 2019B-The Bobcut offers a crisp trigger pull and bobbed grip for better concealment.
American Tactical Imports ATIFGX45 45 ACP, $525February 2019FWe had ongoing function problems when the suppressor was fitted to the gun.
Metro Arms MAC 1911 Bobcut 45 ACP, $746October 2018AThe Bobcut offers a crisp trigger pull and bobbed grip for better concealment.
American Classic ACC45C 45 ACP, $568October 2018A-Our only ding on this gun is the lack of a serrated front grip strap.
Taurus 1911 Commander 1-191101COM 45 ACP, $459October 2018A-The trigger was a bit too heavy, but the sights are good. Great fit and finish.
RIA Tactical 2011 w/TruDot Night sights 45 ACP, $590April 2017ABest Buy. Light rail, good barrel fitting, TruDot night sights, ambi slide-lock safety.
Springfield Armory TRP PC9108LP 45 ACP, $1347April 2017A-Good fit and finish. The Match Grade barrel lived up to its name. Reliability was faultless.
EAA Witness Elite 1911P 600347 45 ACP, $470April 2017B-Least accurate pistol off the bench. Magazine latch could cause dire consequences.
ATI Firepower Xtreme Hybrid FXH-45 45 ACP, $600April 2017DWe could not convince the pistol to fire without a trip back to the factory.
Kimber Gold Match II 45 ACP, $1311June 2016AOffered an excellent trigger action and was more accurate than the Springfield.
Springfield Armory TRP PC9108LP 45 ACP, $1347June 2016ABest Buy. The Springfield offered excellent reliability and good accuracy.
Colt Rail Gun 01070RG 45 ACP, $1199April 2016AAn all-stainless 1911 with Novak sights, ambi safety, and a rail. Excellent.
Springfield Armory TRP PC9108LP 45 ACP, $1347April 2016AOur Pick. This is a first-class 1911. Excellent reliability, accuracy, and night sights.
Springfield Loaded PX9109LP 45 ACP, $790April 2016BBest Buy. A good choice for home defense, carry, IDPA, and as an all-round handgun.
Colt Combat Elite 08011XSE 45 ACP, $1015April 2016BWe rated it down based on the lack of an ambidextrous safety.
Colt’s Mfg. Co. Series 70 O1970A1CS 45 ACP, $953August 2015AExcellent trigger action, good accuracy, relatively light weight for a steel-frame 1911.
Colt’s Mfg. Co. 1991A1 No. O1991 45 ACP, $745August 2015B+Accurate and reliable. Some of the 1991A1 pistols have a nicer trigger than ours.
Colt’s Mfg. Co. Gold Cup Trophy O5070X 45 ACP, $1249July 2015A-Excellent trigger action, good accuracy, and sights that offer good adjustment.


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