Gun Review: Tisas Tank Commander 9mm 1911

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After more than 100 years of production how about we find a 1911 that can just be simply enjoyed at the range? Fancy builds are subjectively pretty, and performance builds are great so long as they’re maintained (yes, it’s time we all admit the 1911 platform simply requires more attention from the owner than your average striker-fired plastic gun). A 1911 that can be fun at the range, tolerate a bit of abuse, yet still let us celebrate the aesthetics, history, and shooting experience of the 1911.

The Tisas Tank Commander retains the classic beauty of the 1911

I believe Tisas USA has achieved that with the Tank Commander. A full-size frame, but shorter 4.25″ barrel. Some slight historic upgrades from the original design to enhance the shooting experience, but overall a very “classic” build. The Tank Commander is offered in both 45acp and 9mm. We opted for the 9mm variant for the ballistic advantage of 9mm through a barrel over 4″, rather than the ballistic handicap of 45acp from a barrel under 5″. I’m sure someone is crying at the idea of Luger’s cartridge through Browning’s pistol, but it’s 2022, 9mm has long reigned as the more practical pistol cartridge.

About the only texturing you’ll find is on the mainspring housing.

Looking over the gun aficionados Will see a mix of old and new that I’m sure will have traditionalists offended (and for those guys, YES, we did get a 1911 in 9mm!). I found the blend to be just right, and the grey cerakote gives the look of a parkerized gun, but in a more even finish. See for yourself in the tabletop video below.

Specifications as taken from the product webpage.

US Military Inspired Commander Sized 1911
– Available in 9mm or .45ACP
– Hammer Forged Slide and 4.25″ Barrel
– Hammer Forged Full-Size Frame
– US GI Style Cerakote Finish
– Arched Mainspring Housing
– Updated Front & Rear Sight Design
– Walnut Grips
– Series 70 Internals
– Includes 2 Magazines, Cleaning Kit and Owners Manual
– Waterproof and Lockable Hard Case, w/ Fitted Cut Foam Insert
– Weight 2.10 lbs. (Unloaded)

For the range experience we followed our standard protocols and included one extra test. The video below will show you (with two different shooters): absolute first shots with the gun, full magazine +1 with the included magazines, a multi-mag test to see how the gun runs with other 9mm 1911 magazines, our trademarked What’s For Dinner multi-load test, a challenge for sight and trigger control, practical accuracy, and our concluding thoughts.

It’s no surprise that a 2lb, all-steel gun is pleasant to shoot. Despite the lack of front strap texturing the Tisas Tank Commander’s heft and 4.25″ barrel made controlling 9mm a breeze. The rounded hammer stayed clear of my hand despite the rather slim beavertail, and enlarged sights were more visible than expected despite their lack of color.

The Tank Commander’s safety and hammer are tastefully upgraded.

I did feel a bit of bite from the narrow beavertail, but not so much that I didn’t want to keep shooting. Subtle trigger serrations did a fine job of assisting with traction, overall the Tisas Tank Commander is a fun gun to shoot, and with a market price of around $400 it’s hard to legitimize any complaints. There aren’t many guns on the market offering all-steel construction at a price point that affordable.

It may not carry a collector-grade name, but doesn’t have collector-grade pricing either. The Tisas Tank Commander is a perfect 1911 for someone wanting a classic they can enjoy without stressing over.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
Here’s a shocker for some folks, the Tisas Tank Commander in 9mm ran eleven different loads without issue

Ergonomics * * * * 
It’s hard to beat the ergonomics of a 1911. The only thing holding the Tank Commander back from a higher score is the narrow beavertail, although historically more accurate, also not the most comfortable.

Accuracy * * * * *
With the right load it shoots great, a trigger job might help make accuracy easier.

Concealability * * *  
2lbs of steel is a lot to carry around. The 1911’s slim design is a plus, but with a full-length grip you might find concealment challenging depending on carry position.

Overall: * * * * 1/2
A great value for those wanting to truly enjoy a 1911.

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59 COMMENTS

    • I’m generally a 9mm guy, but even I know that a single stack 9mm 1911 is an abomination. I don’t even own a 1911, but if and when I ever get one, it certainly won’t be a 9mm.

      • In the 21st Century any singlestack is a range toy, not a serious sidearm or CCW piece. The 1911 is right up there with the Single Action Army and muzzleloaders for practicality. I say this as someone who has a deep and abiding affection for the 1911. As a range toy. And as a range toy, it makes vastly more sense in 9mm. Have you tried to find large pistol primers lately? My LGS hasn’t had one single tray of LPPs since before Thuh Virus. Have you priced .45 AARP ammo lately, if your LGS has even had one single box of Winchester White Box .45 in the past three years?

        One of the unanticipated results of The Virus is that anything in a nonstandard caliber is an expensive paperweight for the foreseeable future. .45 Long Colt? Paperweight. 10mm? Paperweight. .300 Memeout? Paperweight. 6.5mm anything? Paperweight. .44 Mag? Paperweight. .22 LR? Yes, that too, until only a few months ago locally. If it ain’t 9mm, .40, 5.56, or 12 gauge, ammo has been nonexistent for years now, other than the same case of Norma 7x65mm Rimmed the local Bass Pro has been putting on the shelves during the lean times over and over since 2008 just so it’ll look like the cupboard isn’t completely bare, and you’re not going to be spending any time at the range. If you choose an oddball obsolete caliber you won’t be able to shoot it, and in 2022 .45 ACP is almost as dead as 8mm Gasser

        I am not saying this to be mean. I want a stainless Vaquero. I want one in .357 because there’s still an occasional box of .38 Special showing up on the shelves here. But no. Ruger stopped making single actions two and a half years ago in favor of plastic pistols for the social-collapse crowd and nobody can get a new one. Ruger still catalogs them but they ain’t shipping. All the used ones are in .45 around here, and people sold them off because around here you can find Bigfoot more easily than a box of .45 Long Colt and you’re more likely to win the lottery than find one single individual large pistol primer for sale, though you spend every weekend scouring every gun store in the state for years on end.

  1. I love 1911s, and I like this notion of an affordable, classic model that gives a vintage vibe. I’ll take “my granddaddy’s” 1911 (WWII era styling) over any of the new race models any day. TEHO. As long as it shoots straight and keeps on ticking, the low price would never deter me.

    This is probably just me being a grammar cop, but the multiple spelling errors in the article stood out. If a writer isn’t capable or willing to get the wording correct (especially in the era of Spelling Check at the touch of a button), it makes me wonder if a character or two is off on the specs, and those details aren’t reliable, either. Just a thought from the mind of Haz.

  2. I only have had experience with issued M1911A1s. I have an old Remington Rand from my Grandfather that is still battle worthy. I have retired it for now, she is in a plague honoring my Grandfathers service.

    Who has experience with the Tisa and the Armscor models? I have considered an Armscor, I would rather support the Philippine’s over Turkey right now. Are they good quality?

    • I have a Tisas Tanker that is a JMB spec duplicate of the original 1911 design (not the A1). Excellent quality firearm. Accurate and reliable.

      • “I have a Tisas Tanker that is a JMB spec duplicate of the original 1911 design…”

        Including the JMB period-correct CeraKote finish?

        (Sorry, I couldn’t pass it up, the devil made me do it! 🙂 )

    • I’ve had good experiences with Armscor 1911 variants – double stacks in .22 TCM and 10mm, and a single stack TCM – for what it’s worth. No personal experience with the Tisas.

      I’m not looking for another 1911 “budget” or entry 1911 at the moment; if I were, I’d give Armscor / RIA a good look.

  3. I will buy one of these and try it out.

    I have a Colt 1911 Series 70 from the 80s in 9mm. It a great gun and fun to shoot.

  4. Go make a mildly critical comment on one of Baates’ videos and watch him explode with rage. FLAMING narcissist. LOL

  5. First, a 9mm 1911 is an abomination. Next. 9mm vs .45 ACP. Really? Scenario and a question. You are going to be shot. Your only choice is caliber. All else is the same. Point of impact. Firearm. Range. Bullet construction. Velocity. Etc. You choose. Do you want to be shot with the big bullet, or the little one? As far as a 1911. As long it’s quality and not made in Turkey (sorry) I like it. I met a new friend not long ago. I bought a WWII production Colt 1911A1 from him. It had been nickel plated. I drove straight to Ford’s Refinishing and had it stripped. Markings were restamped. A proper G.I. parkerized finish was applied. Mark R gave me a pair of unissued G.I.1911A1 grips for it. I gave the pistol to John. He does like his mil-surp. The point is I like that 1911A1 as much as my Wilson Combat 1911. And all the others. BTW, I have a few 9mm’s. I bought the pistols. Not the caliber.

      • I wouldn’t mind a .9mm 1911. Then again, as a long time science fiction fan, I’ve wanted a “needle gun” for some time now… 😉

        • “I wouldn’t mind a .9mm 1911.”

          Think of the magazine capacity. I’m guessing a nonuple-stack mag holding… what… 90 rounds?

      • Don, think logistics. Would have been a great caliber. I used to carry Cor-Bon a lot back in the day. I think I may still have a few of those blue on white boxes.

        • Surprised me, but easy-peasy handload. All you need is 45 acp brass, and a Lee 4-die set.

          Brass forms easily, headspaces on the shoulder…

          But you are 100% right, factory ammo is too hard/expensive to find, roll your own absolutely required.

          Get jiggy at your own risk (as always), though, as no or scant data is available.

          Dies and barrel + bushing, ~100$.

  6. I bought the $320 Tisas 1911 based on rave reviews. Right outta the box I shot 50 rnds of 230gr ball and it ran like a Singer sewing machine. Shot the WWII side arm qualifier that G&A has been running on the Outdoor channel. Shot expert the 2nd run with the full size 1911 Tisas. Bargain of the century.

    • 357 sig sometimes has oddball issues with recoil/cycling (why you can find all kinds of .40sw carbines but good luck with 357sig). With this I would say the bigger question would be can it do 45 super (10 is fun too).

      • An instructor at one of the courses I took last year showed me his EDC Glock (in his holster at the time, actually) chambered in .357 Sig. He said that cartridge was his favorite, but he was having a heckuva time finding ammo, even online.

        That was back when the ammo mfrs were cranking up on the higher-demand calibers such as 9mm & .45 ACP.

        • It is starting to head towards the 45 super/460 rowland/40 corbon/9×25 dillon levels of availability and the target ammo options are almost all handloaders with ffl for online availability. Up end the defensive loads are still readily available from the higher end options but it is well on its way out from common (even uncommon) caliber status. Still looking to pick up a barrel when I go with the sig 320 or other but that will more end up as a .40sw project with oddball other options.

        • Haz, as I said to Safe, no issues with availability beside the fact that RMR has the usual supply issues everyone else has. But I was stocking up on components long before the current days BS was even on the horizon.

          The thing about .357 sig is that any reloader is going to appreciate the fact that the bullet can also be used to reload 9mm. The charm of .357 sig is it gets pushed out the barrel with nearly twice the powder load.

      • Safe, I reload my own so no issues. I’ve found that Rocky Mountain reloading puts out excellent bullets. Both a flat point and a hollow point that chamber flawlessly.

        • Awesome and I think I have that one bookmarked from prior component searches. Honestly would have less trouble with it if more than a dozen companies would ship ammo to NY.

  7. “…so long as their maintained”

    …so long as they’re maintained…

    “…9mm has long reigned as the more practical pistol catridge.”

    … 9mm has long reigned as a more practical pistol cartridge.

    “The only thing holding the Tank Commander back from a higher score is the barrow beavertail …”

    The only thing holding the Tank Commander back from a higher score is the narrow beavertail …

    😜

  8. A firearmn should last a long time chambered in a caliber much smaller then the gunm was designed for.
    Just for trivia sake: JMB’s 1911 was originally designed for a .200gr projectile, I do not know if JMB beefed up the pistol to handle the extra stress of the 30gr larger projectile. If he did not, it seems his 1911 design may be over stressed?
    Now this hurts my ego quite profoundly. However I Believe The Russian tt33 is a stronger design and better design then a JMB 1911. Those are the only two tilting breach short reciol I can think of that were involved in WW2.

    • Neat, I always thought it was designed for 230gr but on actually taking time to read about it that was the military going for a heavier load to emulate the 45lc/schofield loads they were familiar with. Bureaucratic inertia is a hell of a drug.

    • The Russian TT’s are a 1911. They just shamelessly copied and simplified the design. They removed the safeties. What they did that was their idea was machine the feed lips into the pistol itself. The mags had no lips on them. Which can cause ammo to come loose from the mags not in the gun.

      I believe the 200 grain .45 round was for an earlier pistol. Maybe 1905?

      The Browning High Power was also in use in ww2 on both sides.

  9. “2lbs of steel is a lot to carry around”

    Cry me a river. Is it a pocket gun? No. But if you have a good belt, and a proper holster, you shouldn’t have trouble with weight. My EDC P14 Commander’s magazine weighs more loaded than this entire gun.

    Also, wtf is with this badly sized “V Pastrami” ad on every page?

  10. Not a 1911 fan, never have been. That said, this one for 400 bucks might be the one that gets me into one. Solid review Mr GB

  11. My only issue with this handgun is for $40.00 more dollars you can get carry model from Tisas comes in 45acp or 9mm offer stainless steel barrel flat spring housing Novack 3 dot sights beaver tail grip safety better all black finish.

  12. I just bought the Tisas 1911 Tank Commander based on your reviews, especially the range reviews. I was told by a friend that 1911’s in 9mm were problematic with some rounds. I saw your range work and “what’s for dinner” and was convinced. I field stripped it a few times tonight in anticipation of some range work with it tomorrow. I will report back if I have any issues. Thanks for all you do for us novices.

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