Firearms

Review: Tisas Texas Commemorative 1911 Pistol

Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun, left profile

Why do we collect things? Almost everyone I know collects something. Some collections are souvenirs, others are gifts. Some collections have practical use. Some collections have educational value. Some people collect things because of their monetary value. Collections can remind us of positive experiences and important people in our lives. They can help us learn new things. Collections can enrich our lives.

I collect hats, postage stamps, and guns. I wear various hats as billboards to advertise events, places, products, or moods. My postage stamp collection was started with my father when I was about or 12 years old. Because stamp issues are finite, one goal is to have them all to fill an album dedicated to certain categories or time periods. But they also reflect art, history, places, and people.

Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun, right profile
A 5-inch 1911 with all the bells and whistles, the Texas Commemorative would make a nice addition to any serious gun collection.

Why do I collect guns? If you’re reading this, you know why. In addition to having practical purposes such as hunting or personal protection, they represent Americana, freedom, craftsmanship, ingenuity, and fun. Among my gun collection are a few guns called commemoratives. A commemorative is something done or made to officially remember and give respect to a great person or event. Enter the Tisas Republic of Texas 1911, commemorating the birth of the Republic of Texas, March 2, 1836.

I’ve become a fan of Tisas guns, especially its 1911s. This is my fourth TISAS 1911. They exhibit excellent craftsmanship, function reliably, are accurate, and are priced reasonably. My first Tisas 1911 is the WWII 1911A1 military replica. I needed one for a project on military guns, and this one was the next best thing to a real WWII 1911 that I could afford.

My second Tisas is a clone of the Marine M45 Close Quarters Combat Pistols. I wound up buying two of those — one for me and one for my grandson. Number three is a 9mm Stingray Carry Commander that I obtained to fill the bill for a 9mm Commander-sized 1911 for EDC. I’ll do my best in words and pictures here to convey the pride of ownership that comes with owning the Republic of Texas Commemorative pistol that is the subject of this review. We’ve got those in stock at Cheaper Than Dirt, so you can get one, too. Don’t live in Texas? I wouldn’t let that stop me. You’re going to like this gun.

The words collectible and commemorative sometimes go together to describe a special issue gun, but not always. I’ve owned a couple of collectible, high-value firearms that I didn’t shoot either because their value was enhanced by them being in a never-fired condition, or they were just too pretty to take out because they might get scratched. I’m not a fan of guns that fit either of those situations, because I like to use my guns.

The Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative pistol is tough and well-made. It will stand up to use without exhibiting damage. Plus, it’s not so expensive that it should have its own special “don’t touch” place in my collection. It’s more like a BBQ gun you might strap on from time to time to show off to other collectors. You can shoot it, and it will hold its value just fine. Let’s get into the details.

Collection of four Tisas 1911 handguns
The author has found value in some other Tisas 1911s: Top right is his Raider, a Colt M45 Clone. Bottom left is the WWII M1911A1 Clone and bottom right is the 9mm Stingray Commander.

Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative

The Republic of Texas Commemorative pistol is a Government-length 1911 with Colt 70 Series internals. Empty weight is 2 pounds, 2 ounces. The frame is stainless steel, full-sized, and ramped. The slide is stainless steel, 5-inch with decorative engraving, rounded top, with rear cocking serrations. The left side has the words, “The Republic of Texas”.

On the dust cover reads, “1 of 1836.” The right side of the slide has “March 2, 1836,” the date the Republic of Texas was founded — just below the lowered and flared ejection port. The sights consist of a Novak-style U-notch rear sight, and a brass dot extending from a black blade front sight. The 5-inch .45 ACP barrel is forged and machined with button rifling.

The frame is forged stainless steel. It has 25 LPI checkering on the front strap. The mainspring housing is flat with 25 LPI checkering. The thumb safety is ambidextrous, and the grip safety has an extended memory bump. Wooden grips with laser-etched Republic of Texas logo midway are on the grip on each side. The trigger and hammer are skeletonized. Trigger pull was initially a little over seven pounds, which surprised me since the triggers are lighter on all three of my other Tisas 1911s.

Commemorative production numbering on theTisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP pistol
Tisas Texas Republic Commemorative edition production will be limited to 1836 units.

I made a slight adjustment to the main spring by adding some curve to the left tab (the one that engages the hammer as the sear), and that brought the trigger pull weight down to an average of 5 pounds. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and the need is there, you can refer it to a gunsmith for this minor adjustment. The gun shipped in a lockable case with two 8-round Checkmate magazines. A cleaning brush, rod, and barrel bushing wrench were also included.

As I write this, I’ve made two range trips just to shoot the Texas gun and to share it with a couple of my shooting companions. We’re all 1911 guys, and we’ve all shot a variety of full-size 1911s (including the recently reviewed Tisas Raider which in many regards is the same gun with different cosmetics). One thing about the Texas Commemorative pistol that immediately sets it apart is the sights. The bead front sight viewed through the U-notch of the rear sight make for a very precise sight picture. Even with my aging eyes — aiming at paper targets 10–15 yards away — I can easily create a repeatable sight picture, which makes it easy to create a decent spread.

Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun in its hard shell carrying case
The Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative pistol ships in a deluxe lockable pistol case with 2 magazines, cleaning rod, brush, barrel bushing tool, and a safety lock.

The 1911 is such an enjoyable platform to shoot. Because of the maturity of its design, there are no surprises. Such was the case with the Texas Commemorative Tisas. I started with an MTM ammo box containing 100 assorted 230-grain JHP and FMJ cartridges. When those were gone, I switched to some lighter weight, faster cartridges. These included a box of Norma MHP 175-grain cartridges traveling at an average of 1,050 fps and a box of Underwood +P 135-grain cartridges traveling at 1,335 fps. Freehand accuracy was similar with all these rounds and reliability was 100 percent. The weight of the gun helped with recoil.

I cleaned the gun after the second range trip and was surprised to find it wasn’t very dirty. Takedown is standard for a standard-length guide rod.

I have a number of 1911 holsters, so I pulled some of them out and boned up on my 1911 carry strategy. I have a holster for appendix carry of the 9mm Stingray Commander, but I don’t see myself carrying a full-size 1911 in that manner. Instead, I’ll use the Bullard Leather Company IWB holster that carries well at 3 o’clock.

This is a fine collectible pistol for under $1,000. I’ve developed a fine appreciation Tisas and its ability to bring excellent products such as the Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 to the U.S.

Are you a collector? Would you keep the Tisas Texas Commemorative pristine, wear it as a BBQ gun, or run rounds through it? Share your answers in the Comment section.

  • Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun with Norma MHP ammunition on a paper target with bullet holes
  • field stripped Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun
  • Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun in its hard shell carrying case
  • Collection of four Tisas 1911 handguns
  • Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP pistol in a leather OWB holster
  • Commemorative production numbering on theTisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP pistol
  • Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun, right profile
  • Tisas Republic of Texas Commemorative 1911 semi-automatic .45 ACP handgun, left profile

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. A pro-gunsmith Jeff @ Tommy Guns has built me several 1911 variants, I have yet to be disappointed. Jeff is as good as you can find, His specialty is race guns. He said when Tisas cam out he ordered one of each and was impressed with the quality and said Tisas is as good quality as any 1911 style out there…Impressed me.I am retired Army and fired guns built by the AMU.

  2. I already own 2 Tisas 1911’s, well worth the money. I have been a fan of the 1911 since my time in the Army during the war in VietNam. Not afraid to admit I have one 1911 of every model made. John Browning knew his business!!

  3. I already own 2 Tisas 1911’s, well worth the money. I have been a fan of the 1911 since my time in the Army during the war in VietNam. Not afraid to admit I have one 1911 of every model made. John Browning knew his business!!

  4. I got one of the Texas commemorative 1911’s and I really like it I haven’t shot it but I’ve carried it about 3 times for special things like the Alamo, Texas independence day ect. I may bring myself to shoot it one day but not just yet.

  5. I’m a collector and would keep the Tisas Texas Commemorative Pistol in pristine condition.

  6. I am not a fan of commemoratives. But this article confirms my admiration for the Tisas pistols. I hope to get one of their Hi Power clones when they become available in California.

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