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