Tisas 1911 Duty Stainless Steel Pistol 1911DSS45 45 ACP

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Here, we face off three Government Model 1911 45 ACP handguns — a durable choice for home defense or concealed carry. But by no means are they tiny 9mms like we have tested recently. Instead, all three of these big bores have steel slides, and two have steel frames. Two have improved sights and controls, and one is a modest update of the GI gun.

Our first test gun was the Colt Government Model O1911C-SS 45 ACP, $1008. We found the Colt for sale in blued finish for $866, but we purchased the stainless version at the advice of a senior rater. He maintains that stainless-steel Colts are generally fitted better than their blued-steel variants. This may be true. We also could have purchased an XSE version with Novak sights and forward cocking serrations for $10 more. Just the same, this is a traditional Colt that fills many needs well, and many experienced shooters will prefer the Colt nameplate for its investment value as well as its shooting value. 

As with the others, the EAA-Girsan MC1911S XLV 393060 45 ACP, $570, features a 5-inch Government Model-length barrel. Rather than the common target-style trigger found on the Colt and other 1911 handguns, the trigger on this one is solid. In common with the other pistols, the Girsan features a flat magazine housing.

The Tisas pistol’s fit and finish are very good. Note the shortened slide stop pin (arrow) — a nice touch.

If a pistol is manufactured of good material and functions properly at a fair price, it should sell well, and this is the niche the Tisas-SDS Imports 1911 Duty Stainless Steel Pistol 1911DSS45 45 ACP, $582, wants to fill. It featured both a forged slide and a forged frame in common with the Colt pistol. Longevity should not be a problem. The Tisas Service Duty pistol — the Service Duty Enhanced is a rail gun — is delivered in a hard-plastic case with a single magazine. The polish isn’t quite up to the Colt pistol, but it is far ahead of the Girsan.

We treated all three pistols to the same evaluation. We cleaned out excess packing grease first and then lubricated the barrel hoods, barrel bushings, cocking locks, and slide rails. To check universal function with existing magazines, we used one of the rater’s boxes of proven magazines. Of course, we used the new magazines included with the handguns. There were 42 all told. We broke open 300 rounds of 45 ACP full-metal-jacket ammunition, which were an even mix of Remington 230-grain and Federal American Eagle 230-grain ball. We loaded the seven- and eight-round magazines and Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick 10-round magazines and ran 100 rounds through each pistol. We also fired modern hollowpoint loads to judge accuracy, including Speer 200-grain Gold Dot +P and Federal 230-grain HST cartridges. Here’s what we found when we took these three 45 ACP-chambered handguns to the range. 

 

Tisas-SDS Imports 1911 Duty Stainless Steel Pistol 1911DSS45 45 ACP,

$582

GUN TESTS GRADE:  A-

The Tisas ran reliably, as an out-of-the-box pistol should. Combat accuracy was good. The pistol features good sights, an ambi safety, and acceptable combat accuracy. 

Action Type Semi-auto, single action short recoil-operated locked breech
Overall Length 8.5 in.
Overall Height 5.5 in.
Maximum Width 1.25 in.
Weight Unloaded 39.5 oz.
Weight Loaded 44.5 oz.
Slide Brushed stainless steel
Slide Retraction Effort 21.0 lbs.
Receiver Brushed stainless steel
Front Strap Height 2.6 in.
Back Strap Height 3.2 in.
Barrel Length 5 in.
Grip Thickness Maximum 1.25 in.
Grip Circumference 5.2 in.
Magazine One 8-round
Rear Sight Drift-adjustable U notch
Front Sight Dovetailed post
Sight Radius 6.4 in.
Trigger Pull Weight 6.5 lbs.
Trigger Span 2.8 in.
Safeties Slide lock, grip
Warranty 1 year
Telephone (865) 604-6894
Website TisasUSA.com
Made In Turkey

The pistol features two high-end features. A cut out at the bottom rear of the trigger guard lowers the pistol’s bore axis. The leg of the slide stop is polished flat with the frame, a very good feature on a $600 pistol. In common with the other two handguns, the Tisas doesn’t use a full-length guide rod. The guide rod and spring are standard 1911. The trigger is well fitted with little creep or excess take up. There is no backlash. Trigger reset is sharp. Trigger compression is on the heavy side, beginning at 6.9 pounds and ending the test at 6.5 pounds, in the middle of our test range for three pistols. 

There were no obvious tool marks even when the Tisas pistol was field stripped. The grips are much the same as the Girsan’s, simple checkered black plastic. The slide features forward cocking serrations, which the other two handguns do not. The slide features Novak-type sights dovetailed in place. They feature three white dots. The sights are easily the best units of the three pistols.

The barrel bushing is finger tight and easily removed. The slide-lock safety exhibits good fit. The indent is sharp, equal to the Colt. This is an ambidextrous unit the Colt lacks. The grip safety is properly set to release its hold on the trigger about halfway into compression. There is little to no lateral play in the fit of the frame to the slide.

We fired a total of 100 full-metal-jacket 230-grain cartridges, 50 Remington and 50 Federal Cartridge Company. There was a short cycle in the first magazine with the single Tisas-supplied magazine. After this, the pistol continued to function normally. After the initial lubrication, we didn’t clean or re-lube the pistol until the end of the test. There were no other failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject.

The pistol’s sights are properly regulated for 230-grain ball ammunition. The Tisas Duty comes on target quickly and excels in combat shooting. Due to the pistol’s weight, it stays on target and exhibits little muzzle flip. Combat accuracy was better than the Girsan’s, while the Colt turned in better results, largely due to the superb Colt trigger.

Firing from a bench with the aid of MTM’s K-Zone shooting rest, we put two five-shot groups downrange with each loading at 25 yards to gauge accuracy. The results were middle of the road for a 1911. Federal’s 230-grain American Eagle cut a 2.75-inch five-shot group, the HST a 2.6-inch group, and the Gold Dot +P a 3.0-inch group. This is a narrow range we felt was dictated by a decent but not great trigger and good sights. There were no malfunctions with the hollow-point loads.

Our Team Said: We find the Tisas Duty to be a good pistol. Reliability was good with different loads. The pistol has good potential, and given its steel frame and well-designed controls, it may make a good platform for enhancements, including a trigger job. We rated the pistol down a half grade based on its middle-of-the-road accuracy. 

Both the Tisas and the Girsan feature a well-designed ambidextrous safety lever. This leaves the Colt out of the running. As a result, a left-handed shooter should not buy the Colt, firmly establishing the Tisas as the Best Buy.

45 ACP Range Data
Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun 200-grain +P 24258 EAA-Girsan MC1911S XLVColt Gov’t Model O1911C-SS Tisas-SDS 1911 Duty Stainless
Average Velocity NA* 1050 fps 1079 fps
Muzzle Energy NA 490 ft.-lbs. 517 ft.-lbs.
Small Group NA1.8 in. 2.2 in.
Average Group NA 2.4 in. 3.0 in.
Federal American Eagle 230-grain FMJ EAA-Girsan MC1911S XLV Colt Gov’t Model O1911C-SS Tisas-SDS 1911 Duty Stainless
Average Velocity 855 fps 844 fps 860 fps
Muzzle Energy 373 ft.-lbs. 364 ft.-lbs. 378 ft.-lbs.
Small Group 3.6 in. 2.0 in. 2.4 in.
Average Group 4.0 in. 2.5 in. 2.7 in.
Federal Premium HST 230-grain HST JHP P45HST25 EAA-Girsan MC1911S XLV Colt Gov’t Model O1911C-SS Tisas-SDS 1911 Duty Stainless
Average Velocity NA* 847 fps 835 fps
Muzzle Energy NA 366 ft.-lbs. 356 ft.-lbs.
Small Group NA 1.8 in. 2.4 in.
Large Group NA 2.3 in. 2.75 in.

We fired groups at 25 yards from a benchrest position using an MTM Case-Gard K-Zone Shooting Rest. We used a Competition Electronics Pro Chrony to measure muzzle velocities. *The Girsan was not fully tested because of malfunctions.

 

Written and photographed by Gun Tests Staff, using evaluations from Gun Tests Team members. GT

 

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