Trusted Review™ Scorecard
Average Score: 3.8 out of 5.0
Each product or service is rated on Quality, Reliability, Price/Value, and Referability. Each area has an individual score, and creates an overall Trusted Review™.
Good and cheap do not normally go together. From time to time, I do see something that fulfills both categories but good and cheap are a rare combination. This week, I tested a gun that totally fulfilled both attributes and I’m compelled to share the information. I was at a church party last week and a friend asked me to stop by his car on the way out to look at a gun he’d just bought. He told me it was a 1911 in .45 ACP and that it cost $400. Politely, I asked to look at the gun and it appeared nice. He then asked me if I’d take it and shoot it as a favor to him. I did so and got a real surprise.
The Turkish-made Tisas ZIG 1911 looks pretty good on visual inspection. I field stripped the gun and examined the parts. The fit and finish and the machining looked good. The ZIG is a government model clone with tiny, non-adjustable sights and absolutely no extra features. The trigger is reasonable for a government model, neither particularly good or bad.
I reassembled the gun and put a handful of 185-grain round-nosed cast reloads in my pocket. I shot the ZIG at ten yards, two handed, unsupported. The first three shots went into a slightly oversized hole. I had a flyer and then put all but the last shot into an ever-growing hole where the first three shots had gone. The tenth shot was also a flyer but the extreme spread was 1.21 inches. I have no idea what the capability of the gun is, but 1.2 inches is probably my wobble area.
The ZIG functioned perfectly through those shots and the trigger was consistent for every shot breaking at a fairly clean six pounds with more backlash than I would like, but not bad at all for a service gun. I then got out an Uncle Mike’s Holster, blacked the sights, and loaded up the magazines, again with the 185-grain round-nosed cast bullets over 4.4 grains of Clays. I shot the plates at ten yards only and scored a 41 of 48 plates, probably using more time than the allowed six seconds. I experienced one malfunction in the form of a round that needed a bump on the slide to get it to drop into battery, but remember that I was shooting light cast bullet loads in a gun designed for hardball. I later ran 50 rounds of hardball through the gun without a hitch.
I have no idea if this is a typical ZIG 1911, but if it is, this gun is a winner. With a price tag just at four C notes and accuracy as good as guns that cost twice (and sometimes three times) the price, this gun is a bargain. This isn’t a plate gun or and has no enhancements or frills that make it easier to shoot, carry, or run fast. It is a bare bones service pistol that shoots well right out of the box and for $400, that is remarkable.
The ZIG is a gun built with the bottom line in mind. Most of the parts are cast but they fit together relatively well. The trigger is good, provided the metal was properly hardened and only time will tell that story.
One malfunction out of 108 rounds is one too many. To the gun’s credit, the malfunction occurred with a cast bullet and service grade 1911s are not intended to shoot light cast bullet loads.
If this is typical of ZIG 1911s and the metal is properly hardened, this is probably the best value on the market. It would certainly be interesting to run an extended test of several rounds to see if it holds up. I volunteer to do the shooting if someone will send me the ammunition.
Provided one desires a basic 1911, and the gun I tested wasn’t a fluke, this gun is a winner. Remember, though, that it was not a test and evaluation gun, but it was purchased over the counter.
Image by Cherie Jones