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BUL Armory TAC (2024+)

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BUL Armory TAC
BUL Armory TAC

The BUL Armory lineup has evolved for 2024 including the TAC and EDC models which branched from the previous SAS II TAC. While the new EDC is closer to the old SAS II TAC, the new TAC changes frame material and dust cover length to better fit certain applications.


What Is It? The BUL Armory TAC is an enhanced, more dedicated duty or competition doublestack 1911 that comes with all the bells and whistles one might want for either of those roles. By switching to a steel frame and full-length dust cover the pistol has added some weight over previous models and added that weight functionally at the front of the gun to make for a flatter-shooting pistol. Base models like the one shown are available in 4.25" models like ours or a 5" model. "PRO" models include V-8 porting which take advantage of the lightenting cuts in the slide.

Frame weight of the BUL Armory TAC
Frame weight of the BUL Armory TAC

Who's It For? This model adds about five ounces to it over the EDC model which isn't too much to carry, but the intent is for duty or competition applications. The trigger is also lighter (described as "up to 3.2lbs") which could be desireable or not for carry, but is certainly desireable for those looking to be king of the range. As with all doublestack 1911s the manual of arms, maintenance needs, and trigger is for those more dedicated to their gun craft than a basic striker-fired pistol.

Four 20-rd magazines ship with the BUL Armory TAC
Four 20-rd magazines ship with the BUL Armory TAC

A cost increase was of course expected as the dollar has weakened and everything costs, more, but there's more to it with the BUL Armory TAC.

  • Steel frame with full-length dust cover vs shorter aluminum frame on previous models.

  • 10 degree target-crowned flush-fit bull barrel.

  • Deeper, broader slide serrations covering more of the slide akin to those found on the Axe Tomahawk.

  • 4 magazines included instead of 3 (retail of $55ea)

  • 4 +2 baseplates pre-installed (retail value of $24ea).

  • BUL Armory's brilliant new BAO Optic mounting system (more on this below) and three plates included.

  • Fiber-optic front sight (this is something I did to my SAS II TAC 4.25).

  • Blacked-out small parts instead of the silver color of pervious years.

  • Shorter mainspring housing pin included for use if you decide to remove the magwell.

The simple brilliance of BUL Armory's BAO system on the TAC. Viridian Weapons Technologies RFX35 shown mounted.
The simple brilliance of BUL Armory's BAO system on the TAC. Viridian Weapons Technologies RFX35 shown mounted.

The BUL Armory Optics (BAO) System is simple brilliance. This system uses a steel recoil lug built into the slide to absorb the sheer stress typically put on screws. The recoil lug is made flush with the mounting plate of your need, and the optic screws then go through the optic and plate into the slide. The end result is a simple, stronger, and lighter solution to mounting optics on handguns. BUL Armory even left extra material on the slide to bolster and permit mounting holes for the popular, but broader RMR pattern.

Beautiful cowitness of the Viridian Weapons Technoloies RFX35 on the BUL Armory TAC
Beautiful cowitness of the Viridian Weapons Technoloies RFX35 on the BUL Armory TAC

The large RMR footprinted Viridian Weapons Technologies RFX35 is still able to fit thanks to the extra steel BUL Armory left on the slide to properly support the mounting screws. Direct-mount options can reduce the amount of screws, but also trap you to a particular footprint and assume that your foot-print compatible optic will fit. The BAO system eliminates both of those problems.


Take a Look at the package, fit, finish, and features of the BUL Armory TAC in the tabletop video below:


Specifications:


Platform: SAS2 (double stack)

Caliber: 9mm

Barrel: 5” or 4.25” Bull barrel (V8 porting in the PRO models)

Frame: Stainless steel

Grip: Full Size

Optic system: BAO multi footprint system

Sights: Black serrated rear / Fiber optic front (black front in the PRO models)

Capacity: 20+1

Trigger weight: Up to 3.2lbs

Finish: Black (PVD)

Weight (unloaded): 4.25” - 908g / 32oz, 5” - 1000g / 35.2oz

MSRP: $2,250

Full kit of the BUL Armory TAC
Full kit of the BUL Armory TAC

What’s in the box:

- Magazines: 4

- BAO adapter plates (3): RMR / DPP / Holosun K & RMSc

- Short mainspring house pin

- Guide rod takedown tool

- Bore brush kit

- Owners manual

- Range bag


Knowing BUL Armory guns are great to shoot, and that the TAC has a couple extra ounces of weight right where it needs to be to reduce muzzle rise, I was anxious to get to the range with this one. BUL Armory has set tolerances for each model depending on intended application, but each gun is hand fit and my example feels particularly smooth and perfected when handling off the range.

Setting personal excitement aside, and looking to see how the TAC would do for regular-guy use of course meant implementing the GBGuns range protocol for an objective experience. As always that includes:

  • Cold Shots: Truly the first rounds through the gun. No warm up, no practice.

  • Full Magazine +1: Suprisingly some modern guns still struggle with this. It's a test of how much play is in the magazine as well as how the slide cycles with pressure. This is also when I do my best to learn the trigger.

  • What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.

WFD for the BUL Armory TAC
WFD for the BUL Armory TAC

For this gun we used the following ammunition:

Priced and linked where found at the time this article was written

65gr Norma Frangible

70gr Federal Frangible $31.99 / 50 direct from Federal

115gr Blazer Aluminum-cased FMJ $11.99 / 50 at True Shot

115gr Hornady American Gunner $18.35 / 25 at Global Ordnance

124gr Federal Premium Tactical HST $39.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA

135gr Hornady Critical Defense $27.15 / 25 at Global Ordnance

130gr Federal Syntech PCC $28.99 / 50 direct from Federal

147gr PPU Defense Line JHP $23.74 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide

165gr AMMO, Inc /stelTH $24.99 / 50 at Palmetto State Armory

Range Ammo was Browning 115gr FMJ $115 / 500 at Ammunition Depot

  • Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.

  • Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.

  • After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.


The entire process for the BUL Armory EDC can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below.

On the range we were blown away by the performance. The BUL Armory TAC in hand feels a bit like getting behind the wheel of a controllable sports car. You can put around when you want to, but it's eager to go! During the Full Mag +1 portion I couldn't help myself but to just let the gun do what it wanted to. That speed burst was not practiced, nor did I start with the intent of reaching that speed, but the gun just wanted it and the recoil impulse so smooth that I let things fly!

Ready for the next range experience, our BUL Armory TAC now wears a Viridian Weapon Technologies RFX35
Ready for the next range experience, our BUL Armory TAC now wears a Viridian Weapon Technologies RFX35

Range characteristics make the TAC easily one of my favorite guns I've shot in the last few hundred reviews. It's not inexpensive, and as warned previously requires a bit more knowledge and skill to really run, but wow is it an impressive experience. I know the price feels alarming compared to simpler guns made with fewer parts, plastic frames, and minimal manual labor, but truly do feel that the TAC is still an excellent value. I draw that conclusion because I have yet to find a similar firearm that does better for less money aside from the BUL Armory EDC which naturally costs less due to material costs and one less magazine, four less base plates. If you believe in the "buy once, cry once" philosophy and want to get a quality doublestack 1911 that can run to your fullest capability, I highly recommend the BUL Army TAC.

Grip and trigger texture of the BUL Armory TAC
Grip and trigger texture of the BUL Armory TAC

A note about availability: Ever since I first started covering BUL Armory firearms I've seen comments anc complaints about availability. BUL Armory actually produces more firearms than many on this year's Top 20 USA Pistol Manufactuers, and send the many of them to the US, yet they are still hard to find. Here are my tips for getting your hands on one:

  • BUL Armory does not use conventional distribution, so you're unlikely to see one in a local shop.

  • Go to BUL Armory's USA website, find the model you're interested in, and sign up for the "in stock" alert. New guns arrive every couple of weeks.

  • Be ready. The waitlists are long, and when the back-in-stock notifications hit shipments have routinely sold out in less than an hour, so be ready to purchase when you get the email. Once you've received an email sign up again if you missed it.


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3 Comments


I really do love the simplicity & execution of the BAO system.

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Not too fond of the Buttered or Melted look too. What’s next squeezed lard?

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Why does Tractical … mean looks and feels like a rough rasp… ?

So tired of guns that look like they would be good for road rash simulator tools!

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