As I move into this review, I am going to make a few statements on concealed carry pistols and their usefulness for defense use. Range performance, accuracy, and combat ability are important. So is handling, safe operation, and balance, which is sometimes referred to as heft.
A double-action first-shot pistol is useful for close range personal defense, but will not win many competitions. Many pistols are not double-action-only striker-fired pistols like the Glock. Instead, they are single-action pistols with some form of trigger block. They shoot well, but they are questionable for daily carry.
The double-action first-shot pistol is a handy model for those who keep the pistol at home and ready beside the bed, in the belt, or under the pillow. Grasp the pistol and press the double-action trigger. A long trigger pull both cocks and drops the hammer. The pistol fires, the slide recoils and cocks the hammer for subsequent single-action fire.
Some double-action pistols have a decocker that lowers the hammer from full cock. Others feature a safety that may be used to place the pistol on safe with the hammer cocked. These are termed selective double-action first-shot pistols. The Tisas Fatih is a selective double-action pistol.
The Tisas Fatih bears a close resemblance to the Beretta 84 Cheetah pistol. As far as I can determine, the pistol is dimensionally identical. The Fatih (Fatih means conqueror) pistol is a double-action first-shot pistol with a 13-round magazine.
The pistol features a safety that may be placed in the on position when the hammer is in the down or fully-cocked position. I don’t recommend cocked-and-locked carry with this pistol or keeping it cocked and locked at home ready, but it is an option. The safety is most useful when you are engaged in tactical movement. You may place the safety on, rather than lowering the hammer and having to run through the double-action trigger press again.
The pistol’s grips are well designed and offered good hand purchase. In fact, I would go so far as to say the pistol felt good in the hand. The size of the grip was ideal for most hand sizes.
The trigger action is smooth. The finger begins above the trigger and sweeps the trigger to the rear. Some practice is needed to master this trigger. The single-action trigger is clean and crisp at 4.5 pounds compression.
A big plus can be found in the pistol’s sights. The sights are well designed and while snag free, they still manage to offer a good sight picture. The pistol features an external draw bar and in all respects is a clone of the Beretta 84. The pistol is like the Beretta 92 9mm in operation. A plus, is that the Tisas Fatih is supplied with two 13-round magazines. This makes for a good reserve of ammunition.
I test fired the pistol with several types of .380 ACP ammunition. In initial range work, I used a mix of PMC, Remington, and Winchester FMJ ammunition. I concentrated on drawing and firing at 5 and 7 yards.
The pistol came on target quickly. Pressing the trigger straight to the rear, firing double-action, resulted in center hits on man-sized targets. Once the transition was made to single-action fire, the pistol was easier to control. The sights were well regulated for the six o’clock hold at 10 yards.
The Fatih is pleasant to fire, but don’t expect the .380 ACP to recoil like a .22. Recoil is there, but not quite in the 9mm compact pistol range. As for absolute accuracy, the pistol seemed quite accurate in offhand fire.
I moved to firing from a pistol shooting rest to confirm absolute accuracy. Many small pistols are more accurate than most would think, and the Fatih proved to be one these.
I used the Hornady Critical Defense load in firing for accuracy. I also wanted to confirm the pistol was reliable with expanding bullet loads featuring an open nose, so I added the Hornady 90-grain XTP. These loads offer a balance of expansion and penetration. In other words, they do the best they can within the limits of .380 ACP energy and velocity.
Be cautious with manufacturer’s claims. As an example, each of these Hornady loads clocks at just under 1,000 fps. I have tested loads from manufacturers claiming over 1,200 fps with an 85-grain bullet in .380 ACP. The actual velocity was closer to 990 fps. There is only so much you can do with a caliber.
As for absolute accuracy, the pistol is more than accurate enough for personal defense. Five-shot groups at 15 yards averaged 1.7 inches. As my performance testing proved, a light handgun such as the Fatih will often be as accurate as a full-size service pistol.
Manual of Arms
- Lock the slide to the rear.
- Insert a loaded magazine.
- Release the slide.
- Carefully grasping the hammer, press the trigger and lower the hammer. As soon as the hammer begins to move, release the trigger.
- The pistol may be safely carried with or without the safety being engaged.
Model: Zenith Tisas Fatih 13
Caliber: .380 ACP
Capacity: 13 Rounds
Barrel: 3.9″ Cold Hammer Forged
Operation: Short Recoil Double-Action/Single-Action DA/SA
Safety: Ambidextrous Manual
Frame: Alloy with Steel Slide
Grips: Black Ergonomic
Overall Length: 6.93 Inches
Weight: 1.5 Pounds
Conclusion: Tisas Fatih
The Tisas pistol has proven to be reliable, accurate, and handle well. For many Americans, this pistol is the ideal size for daily carry and home defense. It isn’t the most powerful handgun. In actuality, the power of the cartridge itself is the only drawback. If you are satisfied with the .380 ACP cartridge, the Tisas Fatih is an outstanding handgun.
The Tisas Fatih isn’t a pocket gun like the Ruger LCPII, but a full-size defensive pistol. It is pleasant to fire and should serve well. For concealed carry, I adopted a Galco Sto-N-Go — an affordable, but useful, holster. This is a comfortable handgun to carry.