Tisas, founded in 1993, is a Turkish company which has become recognized as a builder of quality pistols at affordable prices. My experience with Tisas guns (prior to the 1911 Commander that is the subject of this review) has been very positive. I own a Tisas Zigana 9mm and a Tisas replica of the U.S. Army 1911A1.
Both firearms have performed admirably and were affordable. My experience with these Tisas firearms, plus my appreciation for the 1911 platform (especially in the Commander size), prompted me to obtain this model from SDS Imports, the importer of Tisas firearms.
Stingray Carry Features
In one respect, a 1911 is a 1911, and because it is a well-known platform, it’s hard to come up with distinguishing features that set one 1911 apart from the others. However, in this case, there are some. After all, I picked this one out of a lineup consisting of 40 different 1911 configurations in the SDS catalog.
First and foremost, I picked the Tisas Stingray Carry because it’s a Commander and it’s chambered for the 9mm cartridge. Those are simply personal preferences of mine. Should you prefer something else, such as a government-sized 1911 in .45 ACP, Tisas has it.
This model has an aluminum frame which provides a lighter overall pistol compared to its steel counterparts. For improving the profile, and to reduce the possibility of printing when concealed, the frame comes with an Ed Brown Bobtail. A set of Sunburst-textured G10 grips fill the hand and provide a slip-resistant texture.
The slide is made of forged steel, rounded, and slick all over except for a section of aggressively stippled serrations on the rear portion that work great for racking the slide. Inside this beautiful slide is a cold hammer-forged 4.25-inch barrel designed for longevity and accuracy.
The slide comes equipped with Novak-style three-dot sights for a precise sight picture. Making the gun southpaw friendly, Tisas installed an ambidextrous safety. For long-lasting finish protection, this pistol comes with a gray Cerakote finish on the frame.
I have come to appreciate the Ed Brown-designed bobtail on two of the .45 ACP Commanders I own. Those two guns were in my regular carry rotation when shooting .45 ACP didn’t bother me. I love carrying a 1911, and this one in 9mm with the bobtail is just the ticket. It has the Commander-style skeletonized hammer and curved trigger with front-face serrations. The frame ahead of the trigger guard is smooth, making for easy holstering and a clean, smooth draw.
Tisas chose the 70 series operating system for this model. What that means is that it doesn’t have a trigger-activated firing pin block as an added safety. Instead, it has a titanium firing pin that is not prone to movement unless, and until, the trigger is pulled.
Among 1911 aficionados there are those who believe the trigger operation on the series 70 system is smoother. There are certainly less parts which theoretically could result in longer life and less maintenance. I own 1911s with both types of system. Personally, I cannot tell the difference when shooting them, and I’ve never had any mechanical trouble with either style.
When evaluating a 1911 pistol, I like to compare it against known standards. In this case, since I have two, quality, bobtail Commander-sized 1911s (SIG and S&W), I set out to compare them. One area where the three differ the most is weight.
The SIG is all steel and tips the scales at 37.3 ounces. The S&W is a scandium/aluminum hybrid that weighs 29.3 ounces. The aluminum-framed Tisas weighs 31.5 ounces. That’s not enough weight difference to affect your shooting. At least it doesn’t seem that way to me.
The SIG and S&W both have external extractors, but the Tisas doesn’t. Does that make any difference in how the gun shoots or handles? No. The two Series 80 guns feel no different to me than the Series 70 gun on the firing line.
Trigger pull on all three guns is consistent at 6 pounds. All three hammers click distinctively at the half-cock position. The shape of the Tisas and S&W hammers are the same. The grip safeties on all three operate and feel the same. Three dot sights top all three guns, but they are night sights on the SIG and S&W but not on the Tisas. I expect I’ll change that.
The biggest difference I can detect in handling all three guns is the SIG and S&W both have checkered front and back straps. The front and rear backstraps on the Tisas are smooth. When it comes time to shoot, the only real difference is noted since the SIG and the S&W are both .45 ACP guns, and the Tisas is a 9mm.
Before going to the range, I disassembled the pistol for cleaning and oiling as recommended. Takedown is standard 1911, assisted by the plastic barrel bushing wrench included in the case the gun was shipped in. Examining the internals reinforces the recognition that Tisas pistols are quality products. There is no sloppy engineering anywhere.
I shared the shooting chores with a buddy, and we proceeded to put rounds downrange at targets located at seven yards and 10 yards. A lot of the ammo we shot was Blazer 115-grain FMJ. We both experienced rounds shooting slightly below point of aim but grouped well. We tried various brands of JHP in 124- and 147-grain with the same result. Shots landed slightly below the point of aim but grouped tightly.
Early on, there were some extraction issues and some stove pipes — all with the Blazer ammo. However, these issues cleared up after 100 rounds or so. The manual did suggest a 500-round break-in period may be necessary. I’ve always rejected the notion that a new gun would need such a break-in period. In this case however, I guess it’s true. It really didn’t take that many rounds and shooting was enjoyable.
Because I like Commanders, appreciate the bobtail, and didn’t currently have one in 9mm, I elected to pay for the Tisas Stingray rather than send it back at the end of the evaluation period. This brings up my take on a rather controversial subject that has been making the rounds in the gun media lately. The subject is carry rotation versus a single gun, carry position, 24/7 carry.
I understand the training that suggests you should be thoroughly familiar with your carry gun. The best way to do that is to shoot it often, so shooting and operating it is second nature. I shoot often and shoot a variety of guns. My role as a reviewer and writer requires it. Regardless of the gun I draw from a holster, I instinctively know how to shoot it.
At any given time, I may have four or five handguns at the ready. I do rotate through them. For each gun, I have a holster that will securely hold it and is easy to draw from.
I’m confident, should the need arise to put a gun in play, I’ll be able to deploy and operate any gun I may have on my person. Your thoughts?
Are you a 1911 fan or do you prefer revolvers or striker-fired guns? What about caliber (9mm v. .45 ACP)? Do you rotate your carry gun or ascribe to only carrying a single gun for familiarity? Share your answers in the Comment section.
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