Evaluation: Tisa’s 1911 Bantam Carry 45 pistol

By the time of our 100th birthday in 1911, we were firmly in the age of the polymer pistol. A decade later, the compact polymer pistols with a chamber of 9 mm have become the most popular handguns for self-defense. Given this landscape, it may seem strange that a company would invest in the production of a new line of 1911 handguns. The truth is that the old warhorse is still in demand, especially compact and lightweight variants in the original .45 ACP chambering.

SDS Imports, based in Knoxville, TN, recognized this and, by working with Tisas, a Turkish arms manufacturer, tried to offer high quality 1911s at affordable prices. Tisas was founded in 1993 and has manufactured a full line of handguns and infantry rifles. But a 1911 was not part of his stable. SDS Imports changed this by sending US-trained engineers and experienced shooters to Tisas to guide the company through the manufacturing process. SDS Imports is now bringing around a dozen variants of the 1911 into the country. They cost between $ 400 and $ 1,200. The latest model is the 1911 Bantam Carry 45.

In 1950 Colt introduced its Lightweight Commander, a 1911 with an aluminum frame and a 4.25-inch barrel. It became one of the most revered carry guns of all time. The 1911 Bantam Carry 45 is the interpretation of this iconic pistol from SDS Imports. It’s built around an aluminum frame, with a hammer-forged, commander-length slide and barrel. But unlike many modern versions of this classic, this pistol has so-called 70s series internals. This means the Bantam Carry lacks the trigger-operated firing pin safety which is known to drastically prevent a high quality trigger trigger.

The simple visor with flat black dial also has an edge for charging the pistol if necessary • Easily visible, the green fiberglass tube in the front sight provides a sharp contrast • Nicely equipped with useful features, the Bantam Carry combines form and function

The Bantam Carry also has what is known as a bobtail treatment, in which the rear, lower corner of the handle frame and the mainspring housing are machined at an angle to improve the feel and reduce the likelihood of printing. In addition, the mainspring housing and front strap have skip-line corrugations instead of corrugations, and the hole for the slide stop pin is countersunk on the right side of the frame. There are also four end mill cuts just in front of the slide fence on either side which can act as a tactile indicator that your trigger finger is positioned on the frame rather than the trigger.

skeletonized trigger, secure grip

Light and crisp, the skeletonized trigger enables precise shooting • Two 8-shot magazines are included, but could be replaced by superior models • Generous and shaped, the grip and the high beavertail worked as expected • Fluted to support the weight reduce, the barrel contributes to the aesthetics • To reduce printing, the back of the handle has a bobtail cut.

The breech of the pistol has a central relief area that is about half a millimeter deep. While I’m sure it reduces weight a bit, it’s more of a cosmetic cutout that goes well with the front and back sliding teeth on the end mill. The visor fits into a Novak style dovetail and is a fluted U-notch combat visor with a jagged face, thankfully without those useless points. It offers a lot of space to hang the clasp on a belt or boots for one-hand operation and goes very well with the also interlocked green glass fiber grain. To match the large relief area on the side of the slide, the top has machined relief cuts that give the slide a triangular appearance. There is also a serrated top rib behind and in front of the flared, sunken and scalloped discharge opening.

The pistol is equipped with a two-handed safety, a commander-style hammer and a raised beaver tail grip safety with a large memory pad. The entire pistol is made of black Cerakote and comes with gray / black G10 grips with a deep recess directly behind the magazine release. It is supplied in a black plastic case and comes with two nickel-plated eight-shot magazines, a cleaning cloth, cleaning rod, drill brush, gun lock and operating instructions.

I would have liked thinner grips, but the pistol felt surprisingly good in the hand, no doubt because of the bobtail feature. I found skip-flooding to be more convenient, but just as effective as the checkerboard pattern. Spend a week on a sharp plaid 1911 on a defensive handgun course and you’ll have duct tape on your hands by the fourth day. Not with this pistol, because after 350 rounds there was no hand tenderness. The ambidextrous safety worked at what I would call just the right amount of pressure, and while I wouldn’t rate it as exceptional – there was a tiny amount of creep – the trigger was nice and broke at a manageable 4 pounds.

Tisas 1911 Bantam Carry 45 shot results

What impressed me the most was the fit and workmanship. The cerakoting was carried out flawlessly. The slide-to-frame and barrel fit was as good as I’ve seen on some Custom 1911s, but the barrel could be rotated without the help of a socket wrench. And there were no sharp edges; the bantam carry felt similar to a bar of soap that had been used once. It was also very accurate for working with defensive handguns, even at great distances. More importantly, when performing the Forty Five drill – five shots from 5 yards, with a 5 inch circle in less than five seconds of hiding – I got an average time of 4.42 seconds with only two of Was able to achieve 25 shots outside the 5-inch circle in five attempts. That’s not bad for a 25-ounce .45 ACP with 230-grain ammunition.

There was no interference when firing 350 rounds and I only had two negative issues. During rapid fire, my thumb on the supporting hand touched and locked the breech stop three times. A slight indentation where the slide stop faces the piston could be fine. But in all honesty, this is an issue I’ve experienced on a number of 1911s from different manufacturers, in part due to the way I grip semi-automatic handguns. In addition, the two CheckMate magazines supplied with the pistol were difficult to insert when fully loaded with eight cartridges. This was not a problem with several other, higher quality magazines that I had on hand.

The 1911 Bantam Carry 45 is well configured for concealed carry. It’s accurate, reliable, lightweight, easy to use, and comfortable to shoot. It’s pretty competitive too. It is said that a 9mm version will also be available at the time of reading. If this is any indication of what will be coming out of Turkey and SDS imports, American 1911 manufacturers would be better off taking note.

Tisas 1911 Bantam Carry 45

Tisas 1911 Bantam Carry 45 specifications

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