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Thread: Tiisas Duty 1911 Owner Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th August 2005
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    Tiisas Duty 1911 Owner Review

    A few weeks ago I purchased a Tisas Duty “enhanced” 1911. This is the version with a 5” barrel and standard G.I. type recoil system. Other features are:

    • Forward cocking serrations
    • Novak style 3-dot sights
    • Ambidextrous thumb safety
    • Beavertail grip safety with memory bump
    • Black Cerakoth finish
    • Series 70 action

    This pistol cost me, including shipping, just under $500.00

    I did consider at the time purchasing pretty much the same pistol in “Commander” configuration, but then I thought of all of the additional costs of holsters for the short version (All of my other 1911s are Government models.), so for economy reasons I stayed with the full size pistol. Besides, I’m already used to, and prefer, full sized service pistols for carry – my other carry pistols are a Hi-Power and a CZ 75B – and have no issues with concealibility, as I always carry IWB and the hardest part of the pistol to conceal then is not the barrel but is the grip.

    So here are my thoughts and opinions, and the story of a couple of mods that I’ve carried out.

    Out of the box pic:



    Initial thoughts:

    First thing I did when I got this pistol home was to detail strip it and clean it and lube it, and look at the small parts to see if perhaps I might plan on replacing any of the MIM parts that I was sure would be found inside the pistol. Note that the frame and slide are both forged, which is practically unheard of in a pistol at this price point. I examined all of the small parts looking for the tell-tale MIM indicators of mod separation lines, sprue marks, and traces of the circular pins that eject the part from the mold. I was unable to find ANY evidence that these were MIM parts! During the reassembly process I accidentally knocked the slide stop on to the porcelain tile floor and it rang like a bell – not the usual dull clack of a MIM part hitting the floor. If I didn’t know better (Do I really know better?) I would declare that all of the small parts are machined from forging or from bar stock.

    I paid special attention to the fit of the slide stop to the barrel cam surfaces, and was surprised to find that the cam surfaces on the barrel lower lugs properly lock up with both barrel cam surfaces in contact with the slide stop pin as they should. With the barrel out of the pistol, if you insert the slide stop pin halfway through the link, and move it then to the locked position, there is no rocking of the link from side to side. This means that the barrel, when in battery, has been guided into the locked position by the barrel cam surfaces riding up the slide stop pin, not pushed into battery by the link, which should provide consistency in the lock up.

    After reassembly, I checked for any play in the slide to frame fit, and in the barrel lock up. There is a little bit of play towards the front of the slide, but barely detectable. The barrel, both at the breech and at the muzzle/bushing fit, locks up tight with no detectable play. This bodes well for accuracy. As a matter of fact the only part that exhibits any real looseness is that the grip safety has just a little slight side to side play in the frame.

    Trigger pull is maybe 5-1/2 pounds – I prefer 5 pounds on a carry piece. This may improve with break in.
    Trigger:

    While on the subject of the trigger, the standard trigger on this modes is a medium to long trigger with no overtravel adjustment screw. I don’t miss the overtravel adjustment feature, as since it’s not adjustable it can’t be mis-adjusted. I do, however, prefer a short trigger, as I like having more room in the trigger guard, and I think a short trigger better fits the movement of my trigger finger by keeping the trigger pull straight back. With a longer trigger my trigger finger tends to steer the muzzle to the left.

    Anyway, I went to the SDS Imports web site, and from their Parts and Accessories page I ordered a short trgger as Tisas installs on their WWII G.I. pistol. It drops right in and exactly fills my needs.



    Thumb Safety:

    As I mentioned above, the standard safety on this model is a Swenson type ambi safety wherein the right side safety lever is retained by a tounge on the safety lever that fits under a relief cut in the right side grip.

    I did have an issue with the thumb safety which was a bit on the serious side. The retention of the safety lever is both positions was rather weak. On the first day I that I carried the pistol I found, on two occasions, I found that the safety had switched from the “safe” position to the “fire” position. This had to be fixed right away. As I felt that most of the problem was due to a weak plunger tube spring I ordered a replacement plunger tube spring from Wolff Gunsprings. I noticed, when I compared the original spring to the Wolff spring, the original spring was a little shorter and it felt like it was a little weaker as well. I replaced the plunger tube spring, and the safety now snaps off and on very positively.



    I have now carried the pistol in my old Dillon Gunleather Summer Special holster, which carries the pistol rather high and exposed, the safety has not switched itself out of “safe” even once. I’ll call this issue fixed.



    Grips:

    The grips that came in the pistol, which were checkered black plastic, did not feel very “grippy”. I decided to replace them with one of many wood checkered double-diamond grip sets that I have in my 1911 spare parts box. Unfortunately all of my checkered wood grips were without the Swenson safety relief cut. I then looked on the internet, and found that checkered wood grips with the old Swenson safety relief cut are pretty scarce, and a bit on the pricey side. I did find a set of Magpul MOE grips, which do come with the safety relief cut, so I bought a set. They also have a thumb relief in the left side grip, which is perfect for me as I use a low-thumb hold. (I never understood the popular vertical thumb hold, with the thumbs stuck up in the air like the ears on a donkey, as it seems to fly in defiance of 4-1/2 million years of evolution regarding the whole opposable thumb thing. I mean, is that how you hold a hammer or a screwdriver? Why do we think that’s appropriate for a handgun?)

    Although I liked the shape and the thumb groove, I found them to be no more grippy than the originals. So what the heck! I got out my old Weller soldering iron and stippled them. Much better now. The secret is to not let the soldering iron plunger too deeply, as you will produce not just a stipple but a crater that would make the man in the moon proud. So just take it easy and only let the point of the soldering iron barely penetrate the surface, and you will get good results. There’s a couple of places where I got careless and got some pretty deep holes. But the Magpul grips are very inexpensive, so I may just buy another pair and have another go at it. I may even let my hair down and maybe buy a set of olive drab or coyote brown ones.

    Self stippled grip on left, stock Magpul grip texture on right:



    Finished stippled grips with "stippling tool":



    Pistol with stippled grips:



    OH YEAH! ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY:

    I made one range trip so far, and shot about 50 or 60 assorted 230 grain FMJ through it with pretty good accuracy. and 100% reliability. I used my usual Checkmate G.I. 7-round mags with the dimpled follower and ‘ball” feed lips. I also tried some 185 grain Speer Gold Dot and Remington XTP rounds with some malfunctions. I tried using Checkmate hybrid feed ramp with those and had some failure to feeds. I then tried a few of the Remington rounds in the G.I. mags with good results. More experimentation will be required until I find the right combination of magazines and cartridges before I start to carry JHP.

    Here is a pic I took of a full 7-round mag of Winchester White Box ball qt 7 yard, rapid fire, from a Weaver stance, unsupported. Not too bad for a nearsighted 69-year old with cataracts!



    All in all I am very happy with the Tisas Duty. I think Tisas is punching way above their weight here with these latest pistols, and maybe the like of Springfield Armory and even Colt, from what I’ve seen with this particular pistol, better be looking over their shoulders.
    Last edited by tpelle; 30th November 2021 at 16:23.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    20th July 2008
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    I have the same Tisas and its a keeper for me. Mine was slamming empties into my face and took the extractor out and smother the claw out with crocus cloth. Now it throws empties up and away from my face. I would like to put Tritium night sights on it, but waiting for results of some others that have done that.
    I have changed the Mainspring housing to arched and short trigger. left side thumb safety only and spur hammer as I prefer my 1911's to be.
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (10th December 2021)


  3. #3
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    I thought about the arched mainspring housing, as my other 1911s are G.I. types and are so equipped (I actually purchased a Colt take-off arched housing in like-new condition from Numrich Arms at a quite reasonable price), but after shooting this one a little bit I find that it actually points pretty good for me, so for now I think I'll leave it.

    Regarding changing to night sights, I presume that you know that these Novak style sights do not, from what I understand, use the same dovetail dimensions. At least that's what I read in another review, anyway. But if you believe everything you read or see on the internet.......well.......
    Last edited by tpelle; 1st December 2021 at 11:45.


  4. #4
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    IMO. the flat MSH is as good as the Arched MSH, for range use. For SD as many, many WWI dough boys said, that for combat (SD) use point shooting (not using the sights), it points/hits low with the flat MSH.
    There is, on another forum (Glock = parts and accessories) a gentleman changed the Tisas Carry to Novak night sights and posted that he would give a report when he shot it. That was a month past and no report posted as of today.
    Thanks
    Last edited by lashlaruhe; 1st December 2021 at 12:35.


  5. #5
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    That's good you got the safe lever back in spec. My Les Baer safety lever is too tight.

    That looks like a wonderful example of the 1911. If you find out more about the small parts, I'd really be interested to hear further.

    BTW, I'm about a year younger with the similar cataracts..
    Last edited by kingc; 3rd December 2021 at 01:45.


  6. #6
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    I'm having my cataracts fixed in January - right eye done on 1/17 and left eye on 1/26. Both eyes will cost a total out of pocket expense of $6000.00! And that's AFTER Medicare pays their part.

    I don't know if you've the implants done yet, but I was advised by my surgeon (who has a reputation as one of the best) to go with a new lens from Alcon in Texas. It's called the "AcrySof IQ Vivity" lens, and uses what they call X-Wave wave-shaping technology. My surgeon says that my prescription, both in the "spherical" strength (for myopia) and the "cylinder" strength (for astigmatism) is one of the strongest he's seen. He says that with anything less than that Alcon Vivity lens I will, even with the new implants, still need to wear glasses. He says with the Alcon Vivity lens I should have in-focus vision from about 11" out to infinity, with "functional" vision closer. So I should be able to function perfectly for all normal daily activities, and only require "readers" for very close work.

    I've learned a little bit about optics over the years, and have studied-up on this new wave-shaping technology. Basically they somehow shape the light beam, using some very sophisticated and precise manufacturing technology, so that the close, medium, and distance images are focused on the retinal simultaneously! Of course, since my natural "focusable" lens is removed and replaced with this rigid implant, there is no way to shift focus from near to far. But this wave-shaping technology shapes the light waves, regardless of distance, into a kind of coherent beam that overlaps the retina, whether the photons reflect from a near distance, a far distance, or anywhere in-between. It will look similar, I think, like looking through a 1X rifle scope without parallax.

    I expect that there will be some re-training of the optical center of my brain to get it used to processing this new form of data, but clinical results seem promising. I expect that depth perception may be little weird for a while.

    This is why they are doing both eyes within about two weeks instead of a month or more apart with normal monofocus or bifocal implants.

    I sure hope this works, as I only have one chance to get this right.

  7. #7
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    That's so much info about the lenses I would have never known. I've had cataracts for 20 years, but I'm still 20-20 with my glasses so I've been waiting. I do see the glare when face with direct light, so it would be nice to eliminate that. No yellowish tint many complain about.
    I'm gonna look up the lense you described...

  8. #8
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    I've know for several years that I was developing cataracts, and took every opportunity I could to speak to patients who had already undergone the implant surgery. Most people that I talked to were very happy, and generally were able to do without glasses. A few, however, had a lot of complaints. Universally, the ones with the complaints, were those with "complicated" prescriptions (like mine) with, usually, astigmatisms, and were too.....shall we say......thrifty to pay the additional cost to have anything more complicated than the cheapest lens implanted, which is all that Medicare will pay for.

    If you have a copy of your prescription (If you ask, your optometrist will give you a copy.) you will have two rows of figures, with the one on top, labeled "OD" for the right eye and "OS" for the left eye, then on each row there will figures with either + numbers or - numbers. These figures will be further broken down into "Sphere", "Cyl", "Axis", "Near Add", "Int Add", "H Prism", and "V Prism". + numbers indicate a correction for Presbyopia (Farsightedness) or - numbers for Myopia (Nearsightedness).

    One of my issues, when I was shooting Hi Power Rifle competition (In those days, that meant iron sights at 600 yards.), I finally reached the point that, at the 600 yard slow-fire stage, when I got down on the rifle, the 36" aiming black would disappear! That was because my prescription was all expressed in negative numbers, which meant my prescription glasses made everything look smaller than it was, or, in other words, I experienced "minification. Opposite of "magnification"

    The Sphere number indicated the amount of spherical correction ground into the lens. The Cyl number was for the strength of my astigmatism correction, with astigmatism being the amount of oblong shape of the eye, and the Axis number, in degrees, being the axis of the angle of the "oblongness" to the eyeball. There is also Near Add and Int (Intermediate) Add, for bifocal and trifocal lenses. The last number is for prismatic correction, both horizontal and vertical (I don't know what this fixes, but my prescription had a V Prism number for both eyes.

    So if they were grinding a new eyeglass lens for me, in simple terms, they would start out with first grinding the Cylinder correction across the surface of the lens. Then, to build in the main correction, they would grind, on top of the Cylinder correction, they would grind the Spherical correction. Then, according to the Near Add and Int Add, numbers, they would grind zones of different Spherical curve, for the bifocal and trifocal correction required.

    So, if you have a very simple correction, with no astigmatism, no bifocal or trifocal correction, and no Prism correction, with only the cataract being the complication requiring the surgery, then you could go with the standard, simple, Monofocal Implant that Medicare pays for. Otherwise, be prepared to shell out another $2000 to $3000 per eye, which pays for a LOT of additional work, both in the manufacture of the implant and in the degree of "fussiness" and additional measuring and care in implacing the implant during surgery.

    Disclaimer: I am not a gunsmith. Nor am I an Optometrist or Optholomist. Nor did I even sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I am just a guy with a wide range of interests who was trained as an engineer, and am driven to Figuring Things Out to the best of my ability. So take most of the technical stuff I just wrote with a grain.....maybe with a truckload of salt. Everything written above is just me noodling stuff out, doing a lot of Googling, and connecting the dots where I can.

  9. #9
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    By the way, I just field stripped, cleaned, and re-lubed the Tisas Duty (after a few sessions of dry-firing practice) and re-tested the trigger pull. I now get a consistent trigger pull reading of 4-1/2 pounds. As far as I'm concerned that's just about perfect!

  10. #10
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    There is a guy posting on The High Road who is very pleased with his Vivity IOLs.
    I am overdue for an eye exam and will go for one after the holiday scramble. If it should turn up cataracts, I think them worth the price.

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