With the recent rediscovery of double-stack 1911s, is a true carry model viable? BUL Armory built such a gun so the world could find out.
What is it? The BUL Armory SAS II Ultralight 3.25" is a 9mm, double-stack 1911 that has been seriously treated with upgrades to make it appealing as a daily carry option. Significant weight reduction is accomplished by fluting the bushingless barrel and making deep cuts on the slide including lowering the slide profile behind the breech face and making the pistol optics ready for Shield RMSC footprint micro dots. The build is really impressive. Take a look at the Tabletop video below to see for yourself.
(note, I mistook the trigger shoe for polymer, but it is made of aluminum)
If you're wondering why the hammer and beavertail are shaped as they are you're not alone. That design is intentional and to help those who carry in the appendix location. Many appendix carriers draw by typically placing their thumb on the endplate of a striker-fired gun. When doing the same on a hammer-fired gun there is a tendency for a round hammer to cause the thumb to roll off to either side (rolling left would be a win, rolling right would cause all kinds of grip problems. As a solution, BUL Armory found that the bobbed hammer and beavertail present a flat surface to press against during that early, but critical stage in the draw. This is a level of attention to detail and consideration rarely seen.
Specifications below as taken directly from the product web page:
USA MSRP : $1480
Barrel: 3.25” inch fluted barrel.
Frame: SAS2 / Aluminum full length with picatinny rail.
Grip: Compact module (C) polymer grip.
Slide: Stainless steel / Front & rear serrations / Optic ready.
Supplied magazines: 2 X 110mm magazines.
Capacity: 16 rounds.
Trigger type: Modular trigger system / Short curved trigger shoe.
Trigger weight: 3.0 - 3.5 lbs.
Safety: Ambidextrous extended levers.
Sights: Adjustable rear & fiber optic front. (Optic ready / Shield RMSc footprint)
Available colors: Black (Black anodized frame & PVD slide) / Two Tone (Black anodized frame & natural finish slide)
Weight: As shown (unloaded): 622g / 1.4lbs (23oz)
For maximum reliability and optimal performance, we recommend the use of up to 124g ammunition with this model.
If you've spent much time with any pistol you likely had the same reactions I did to the specifications.
Weight: 23oz is not a lot of weight for a pistol, and short-barreled guns can be snappy. Are the 1911 ergonomics (and extra touches from BUL Armory) enough to make this pistol NOT unpleasant on the range?
Price: While very competitive for the double-stack 1911 crowd it's still enough money to purchase a dedicated carry gun AND a dedicated range gun; can this single pistol fill the role of both?
Ammunition Recommendation: We've all come to accept that 1911s, especially 9mm 1911s can be ammo sensitive. Subtract some barrel and according to common knowledge this could be a tough gun to shoot.
There's only one way to find out the answer to these questions, and that's why we do what we do: Run the gun and do our best to relay the experience.
Ammunition Included in This Video, Pricing at time of writing, and Where to Find:
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
As you saw, there were a couple loads that the BUL Armory SAS II Ultralight didn't want to digest, but considering how wildly out of the recommended bullet weight our What's For Dinner™ Test went, I have no qualms about the reliability and functionality of the pistol.
What impressed me most was the shooting experience. Both Teya and I were hesitant; expecting it to be one of those reviews we just have to grimace through as our hands and wrists endure. We were totally wrong. I can't pin it to any particular attribute, but between the sculpting of the grip, recoil assembly, 1911 action, and weight balance, the BUL Armory SAS II Ultralight is a small pistol that shoots nicer than many larger and heavier pistols we've reviewed.
Moreover, we really enjoyed the BUL Armory SAS II Ultralight to the point that it felt more like a "range gun" than a "dedicated carry gun"; completely shattering our initial impression of what seemed to be a stylish carry piece. This also put to bed my thoughts about the price. Yes, for $1,480 you can get a dedicated carry pistol AND a dedicated range pistol, but with the BUL Armory SAS II Ultralight you really do get both. One trigger to master, one gun to develop skills with, one tool to master. As a guy who has carried a Grand Power K100 for years I respect this greatly. The Grand Power is much larger, heavier, and has one less round of capacity, but I loved it on the range so much I made the compromise to find a way to carry it. This BUL Armory on the other hand is already built for concealment.
Where Can You Find one? At the moment these are not easy to find. Time-consuming regulations in Israel plus the time and craft that goes into building pistols like this means they can't just push a button and spit out hundreds of pistols per minute. As a means of keeping cost to you down, BUL Armory sells this pistol direct (transferred through the FFL of your choice) HERE. Other models are available through other online retailers including the AXE C Tomahawk (which we reviewed here previously) and 1911-based models HERE.
Such a unique design surely means holsters are hard to find. That assumption is surprisingly incorrect. A number of companies have responded with holsters for BUL Armory's competition models, and a few for carry models like the SAS II Ultralight.
EDC and Duty Kydex holsters (IWB & OWB):