Tisas is a Turkish company producing firearms that are popular in the U.S. They are brought to us by SDS Imports of Knoxville, Tennessee. The subject of this report is a 9mm Tisas Zigana PX-9, configured as a duty pistol for police and armed forces, which makes it perfect for an everyday carry pistol. Zigana is a girl’s name of Hungarian origin that means gypsy girl. Tisas has an entire family of “gypsy girls” configured to meet various shooters’ needs.
I continue to be impressed by the quality of firearms coming out of Turkey. I’m also impressed with how the Turkish arms makers can build their firearms, transport them to the U.S., add both importer and wholesaler margins, and still have them hit the retail shelves at prices significantly less than the same quality handgun produced here at home.
Tisas Zigana Features
My pistol, acquired at a “price too low to mention,” as they say in those ads in which a dealer is offering a gun below the minimum advertised price, came in a black plastic case with both the Tisas and the SDS Imports imprints on it. Inside, in addition to the pistol, was a paddle holster with one of the easiest to operate restraint systems I’ve seen. As you draw with your trigger finger indexed along the side of the frame, the top of the second finger on your shooting hand will naturally push the restraint tab up. This releases the gun easily. It is secured in the holster until that little push happens.
There were more goodies in the case, including three interchangeable backstraps, punch to remove the pin required to change the backstrap, magazine loader, and three magazines. Smart idea on those magazines. They’re 18-round P226 magazines made by Mec-Gar.
One of my other Turkish pistols uses CZ-75 magazines. Not having to design and maintain a supply of its own magazines is one way these companies’ cut costs. I like to have a lot of ammo on board, so having 19 rounds in the pistol makes me happy.
The first thing I notice when picking up a new gun is the weight of the gun and how well balanced it is. I don’t like nose heavy and this one wasn’t. When pointing the gun, it falls into place naturally.
The second thing I look at when hefting the gun, to get a feel for it, is the sights. This is the first negative for the Tisas Zigana, at least for me. It has all black sights. Some old-timers seem to prefer that, but I don’t.
The rear sight had horizontal anti-glare lines and is fully adjustable. The sights were dovetail mounted, so they could be easily replaceable. Any sights designed for a Springfield XD or Smith & Wesson M&P should fit. I plan to mount a set of TruGlo fiber-optic sights with contrasting front and rear colors on mine very soon.
Moving past the sights, I found a gun that has everything on it you’d expect a pistol in the personal or home defense category. The overall design was very similar to a Springfield XD. In fact, I’ve seen some reviewers call it an XD clone. I’ve examined it side-by-side with one of my XDs and they are similar, but the Zigana is not a clone.
The Tisas Zigana doesn’t have the grip safety an XD has, nor does it have the Glock-type trigger safety. I don’t miss either. XDs are made in Croatia, which is three countries up and over from Turkey, so maybe the designers share ideas among each other.
The Tisas Zigana had an ambidextrous thumb safety with a very strong, but easy-to-override, click! I noted this when engaging and disengaging the safety. The lever was small, but ridgelines on it made it easy to engage.
Just forward of the safety, the slide lock — left side only — was also small, but it used a ridge lengthwise down the center of the tab to make it easy for your thumb to engage it. The takedown lever was like that found on the Springfield XD. With the slide retracted, the takedown lever rotated downward a little more than 90-degrees clockwise. The slide moved off the front after the trigger was pulled.
There was a three-slot Picatinny rail up front. The slide had both front and rear cocking serrations, six in the back, four in the front. There was a loaded-chamber indicator on the right side of the slide just behind the ejection port and a striker-cocked indicator on the rear of the slide.
The magazine release could be reversed to operate from the right side. The three different palm swells for adjusting the grip to fit different hand sizes were easy to change with the little punch that came in the kit. I tried all three but settled on number three which was on the gun when I got it.
The trigger had a wide, smooth, flat face and broke consistently at 6 pounds plus an ounce or two. It really grew on me as I was shooting the gun. In fact, once I got the feel for the trigger, it seemed I just had to gently stroke the trigger to get a bang! That kept me from pulling the sights off target with my trigger efforts.
Accuracy and Handing
I used red and green EZ2C targets for my range session, placing them at 5, 7, and 10 yards. The black sights showed up fine in contrast to them. All my shooting was two-hand unsupported. The pistol was every bit as good as I was at placing the shots within acceptable groups.
Using four types of range ammunition and two defensive ammunition types, there were no issues whatsoever in performance. This gun will earn its keep. I’m asked to recommend guns for new shooters from time to time, and this is one that I’ll have no problem recommending.
A shooter can get into it rather inexpensively and count on it to give a long and trouble-free life. All the owner will have to do is his or her part with cleaning and oiling. I saw an interesting little blurb in the owner’s manual. It said to only use gun oil, or the gun could be ruined. That must mean no WD-40.
If you don’t like the paddle holster that came with the gun, pretty much any holster cut for a Springfield XD or even a SIG P226 will work. There are tons of YouTube reviews on the PX-9. I resisted looking at them until I had done my own review. However, now that I’ve gone back and watched them, I’m seeing nothing but praise for this attractively priced gun.