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Old February 02, 2019, 12:53   #1
flejl
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Zenith/Tisas M45 Mid Sized 1911 from CDNN – Long Term Review

Over the past two years I have had very good luck purchasing “a few” pistols made in Turkey and imported to the US, so back in October 2017 when CDNN first started to sell the Zenith imported pistols I decided to take a chance and but one.

My experience with the pistol and Zenith would cause me to say if you are looking for a reliable 1911 “out of the box” look some place else. My experience is the Tisas 1911 import by Zenith is accurate, but not reliable, so it should be viewed as a project or parts kit pistol.

My experience with Zenith warranty support is they can only be contacted by Email, they will try to help a couple of times, then if they cannot fix the pistol, the will tell you to go to CDNN or ignore you if the cannot resolve your problem.

On a positive note, Zenith did pay to have my pistol picked up and shipped to their Virginia site two times but both times they did not solve the problems.

On the down side, when I contacted Zenith after receiving it back the second time, it was suggested I should contact CDNN for a replacement. I contacted CDNN, who after considering how to handle the matter politely stated it a Zenith problem and they could not help. Any attempts to contact Zenith warranty support since then have been ignored.

Now the even more interesting part. Since I was more or less told by Zenith and CDNN to go away, I looked at the “adjusted and tuned extractor, polished feed ramp and throated barrel” work they did not once but twice, and found an extractor that had the “hook” rounded off so it could not garb the case rim, sharp edges on the barrel throat, and a badly botched feed ramp polish (no 1/32 gap between frame and barrel ramp).

So far, I have replaced the extractor with a Wilson Combat Bullet Proof extractor and that one change solved all but an intermittent problem feeding the last round using the Zenith branded magazines.

I have also fixed the sharp edges on the barrel throat that had been putting gouges in the nose of the 230FMJ rounds I use to test the pistol. I planned to test the pistol again this weekend, but weather and family commitments will delay this until most likely next weekend.

In closing, I have to say I still do like the Zenith/Tisas M45 and when looking at the cost to buy the parts to build a 1911, it is still a good deal, but as stated in the first line, if you want a 1911 that works out of the box, I would look elsewhere.
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Old February 03, 2019, 04:21   #2
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Thank you for your candor. I recently read a very similar review of a Zenith 1911 on a different forum that pretty well mirrored yours. I have a hankering for another 1911, and I'm studying first-hand reviews right now. It's interesting that this seems to be a trend with Turkish made guns. They look okay on the outside...
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Old February 09, 2019, 21:45   #3
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Zenith/Tisas M45 Mid Sized 1911 from CDNN

I find it very pistol comes with caliber 45 ACP, ambidextrous safety. It's a handy one.
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Old February 09, 2019, 21:58   #4
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check out the Philippine ones, like rock island armory...their 45 1911s are usually right on out of the box.
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Old February 09, 2019, 23:07   #5
bond 007
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Zenith/Tisas M45 Mid Sized 1911 from CDNN – Long Term Review

I have 2 MKE Zenith 1911's, and have had minor issues with both. But with that being said, if you are familiar with the 1911 platform, this should not be a problem. I have COLT 1911's that have been delivered with worse issues. My Turkish 1911's are more accurate though, and the both were purchased for less than a Colt or Sig.
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Old February 09, 2019, 23:16   #6
bond 007
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Zenith/Tisas M45 Mid Sized 1911 from CDNN – Long Term Review

[QUOTE=flejl;4692296]Over the past two years I have had very good luck purchasing “a few” pistols made in Turkey and imported to the US, so back in October 2017 when CDNN first started to sell the Zenith imported pistols I decided to take a chance and but one.

My experience with the pistol and Zenith would cause me to say if you are looking for a reliable 1911 “out of the box” look some place else. My experience is the Tisas 1911 import by Zenith is accurate, but not reliable, so it should be viewed as a project or parts kit pistol.

My experience with Zenith warranty support is they can only be contacted by Email, they will try to help a couple of times, then if they cannot fix the pistol, the will tell you to go to CDNN or ignore you if the cannot resolve your problem.

On a positive note, Zenith did pay to have my pistol picked up and shipped to their Virginia site two times but both times they did not solve the problems.

On the down side, when I contacted Zenith after receiving it back the second time, it was suggested I should contact CDNN for a replacement. I contacted CDNN, who after considering how to handle the matter politely stated it a Zenith problem and they could not help. Any attempts to contact Zenith warranty support since then have been ignored.

Now the even more interesting part. Since I was more or less told by Zenith and CDNN to go away, I looked at the “adjusted and tuned extractor, polished feed ramp and throated barrel” work they did not once but twice, and found an extractor that had the “hook” rounded off so it could not garb the case rim, sharp edges on the barrel throat, and a badly botched feed ramp polish (no 1/32 gap between frame and barrel ramp).

So far, I have replaced the extractor with a Wilson Combat Bullet Proof extractor and that one change solved all but an intermittent problem feeding the last round using the Zenith branded magazines.

I have also fixed the sharp edges on the barrel throat that had been putting gouges in the nose of the 230FMJ rounds I use to test the pistol. I planned to test the pistol again this weekend, but weather and family commitments will delay this until most likely next weekend.

In closing, I have to say I still do like the Zenith/Tisas M45 and when looking at the cost to buy the parts to build a 1911, it is still a good deal, but as stated in the first line, if you want a 1911 that works out of the box, I would look elsewhere.
as a veteran,I do not skimp on on ammo as most civilians do. you use one ammo period..... weather it be practice or real world scenario. personally I use Hornaday critical defence.
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Old February 10, 2019, 07:44   #7
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The Turk manufacturers put out their guns for handling at the IDEF show In Istanbul. The attendees like to rack them and pull triggers. By the end of day two half the guns are broken. Ill skip Turkish guns thank you.
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Old February 10, 2019, 21:31   #8
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Literally have more 1911's than can count without a spreadsheet and a helper. Every single one is 'Merican. Many 1911 style handguns are not certified to accept SAAMI Plus P pressure ammunition by their manufacturers. Usually those from Brazil, Turkey and Phillipines, etc. I don't want any $399 retail 1911's unless it's a dealer pricing mistake as will have to spend double that to get it working to proper and safe specifications. There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. I try to avoid cheap.

The only people that have good things to say about many of these import pistols are guys with sub par Utube channels and trying to pimp anything to get traffic plus deals on stuff to review. They don't show you the $379 1911 when it blows up or seizes up three days after their review video discussing what a bargain it was firing reloads assembled on some cheap hand press. I figure $400 is cost of parts and maybe some labor to sort out the little issues find on a good carry 1911 after burning through first 1,000 rounds.

I get a chuckle how many use the words "Tactical", "American", "Armory", "Metro", etc. Amazing how even Cimarron has put their name on one of the "Made in Phillipines" varients with the ergonomics of a brick. Fits in the hand like one of the previous 1911 development variety John Browning dismissed before settling on the actual dimensions for 1911's. If you own one of these pistols call the "importer" and ask if it's rated for 45 acp +P ammunition. If not may want to thunk real hard before feeding it some of your pet defense loads or even bang several thousand rounds of surplus ball ammo through one. Would be very interested to measure spring life in these along with frequency of broken extdactors, ejectors, etc. For the cost of one or two bulk packs of 45 ammunition a person could step up to a much nicer 1911 and be done with it.
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Old February 21, 2019, 16:09   #9
flejl
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In regards to Zenith import Tisas 1911 can only speak about my experience with this 1911.

What I found is the slide, frame, extractor, and recoil spring appeared to suffer "peening" with a round count in the 800-900 rounds. These items are in addition to the other FTE/TFT issues discussed throughout this thread.

On a positive note, the pistol is back with CDNN and refunded the purchase price, minus the cost of shipping.

With all of this said, I think this ended about as good as it could. Going forward, because CDNN eventually did the right thing, I would buy from them again, however, I do not think I would buy anything from Zenith again.

If I decide to pick up another 1911, at this point I have had good luck with Springfield Armory, the two I have had for many years just work.

At this point, I think I will go in a different direction for a "mid sized" 45, away from the 1911 platform

All, please remember I can only comment on my experience with this one pistol, others may have a different experience.

Last edited by flejl; February 21, 2019 at 16:18.
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Old February 22, 2019, 08:18   #10
hueyville
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Never been disappointed doing business with CDNN. Have enough parts stashed to build at least a half dozen "Colt Competition" rifles from parts when CDNN bought out their parts supply.
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