I was on the search for the much-requested Night Stalker PX-9 (since we've reviewed so many other versions of that pistol it just make sense) when I found this Night Stalker 1911. What caught my attention about the Night Stalker 1911 was the feature set and price point. At around $600, the Night Stalker offers a lot of features, but for less money than I paid for my first 1911 nearly 20 years ago. We've known Tisas to be great value guns, but the Night Stalker 1911 is so inexespensive for the feature set that not buying it felt foolish.
What Is It? The Tisas Night Stalker is a 70's-series 1911 built with forged steel frame and slide that is hardened before machined. Other features include lightening cuts in the slide, factory front night sight, railed dustcover, extended ambidextrous safety, smart texturing on the front and back strap, and a tastefully extended magazine well. Quite the package for around $600. The guide rod is GI-length and a standard barrel bushing is used. The Night Stalker is essentially a classic 5" still 1911 that has had the major external upgrades done by the factory.
In the Box are two MecGar magazines, a cleaning rod, bore brush, bushing wrench (a nice extra), manual, and a unique trigger lock that appears to be quite effective without requiring extra storage space like the common cable locks do.
Specs and Details from Tisas USA's Website:
Tisas Forged Foundation Construction – Forged Frame & Slide**
Tisas Hammer Forged Barrel
Colt® Series 70 Based Internals
Lowered & Flared Ejection Port
Platinum Grey Cerakote Finish
Contoured Trigger Guard Under Cut
Rear Slide Cocking Serrations
SF Machined Mainspring Housing
Machined Aluminum Grips
Novak Style U-Notch Rear w/ Tritium Front
SF Style Ambidextrous Safety
Extended Beavertail Grip Safety
Available in .45ACP
Tisas Premium Owners Kit (2 Magazines, Cleaning Kit, Lockable Rugged Case)
Covered by 1-Year Warranty and the Tisas Lifetime Service Plan
Frame: Carbon, Full-Size w/ Picatinny Rail
Slide: Carbon Steel, Government Length
Barrel: 5" Cold Hammer Forged, Ramped
Internals: Colt® 70 Series
Sights: Novak Style U-Night Rear - Tritium/Orange Front
Grips: Machined Aluminum
Finish: Platinum Grey Cerakote
Weight: 2lb 4oz
Pricing as of date this article was written:
For the Range of course it would be our standard battery of experiences with one additional task. 1911 folks know that, more than most guns, 1911s can be sensitive to the magazines used. No single 1911 magazine has proven itself perfect in all 1911, so having an assortment on hand helps to figure out which mags any 1911 is going to like or not like. It's a nice bonus that Tisas USA included two nicely-made MecGar magazines with the Night Stalker, but will it run with other magazines?
Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun.
Full Mag +1: Oddly not all firearms function well this way. It's a function of the ammunition chosen and magazine design.
Multi-Mag: Altough only a sample size of one, this can help in the search for the right magazine.
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.
75gr Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense $43.41/20 at Firearms Depot
118gr Inceptor ARX
155gr Alchemist Ammunition Frangible
185gr Hornady Critical Defense $28.99/20 at Optics Planet
200gr Black Hills SWC $18.87/20 at Brownell's
230gr Blazer Aluminum $28.39/50 at Optics Planet
230gr Wolf Steel
230gr Federal Premium Tactical HST
230gr Armscor JHP $12.38/20 at Firearms Depot
230gr Remington Golden Saber BJHP $39.99/20 at Optics Planet
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 conclusions
After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.
My Range Experience quickly reminded me that it had been a while since I've shot a 5", steel-framed 45acp 1911. After so much time with lightweight, quick-cycling 9mm polymer guns I had to relearn how to properly control the "shook-chook" of a classic gun design. Additionally, because I hadn't shot 45acp in a while, and haven't shot many different range loads I have no idea if the Idaho Ordnance ammo I was using was particularly hot or weak.
The magazine test proved worthwhile, it seems this pistol did not like the Wilson Combat magazine I have and that the magwell may prevent some sleeved magazines from working. There were a couple of loads the pistol may not like (remember the WFD test is just an indicator, not a hard rule), but overall the Night Stalker was nice shooting. Those slick grip pannels (easily swapped ) have a geometric shape that fit my hands perfectly, but I'm not sure if the slickness is a positive trait. It was a hot day and so my hands were sweaty, all traction had to come from the front and backstrap. We did find some potentcial sensitivity to hollow points, but that's pretty standard with 45acp 1911s. You just have to find what works for you.
If this had been available at this price when I bought my first 1911 in 2004, I would have grabbed the Night Stalker. In today's market the Night Stalker offers even more value. You'd be hard pressed to find a better-appointed gun at this price point, and other guns wtih these features cost considerably more. What quirks I did experience are pretty much the norm for a 45acp 1911 and although not ideal, acceptable for the Night Stalker. A final note to any considering the Night Stalker is the Cerakote. As with any gun, if Cerakote is on the rails it will slow the slide travel and give a bit of a sludgy feel. This is not permanent and will smoothen over time the more the gun is fired. Just that little bit of slide velocity may even make the difference between some ammo working or not. We'll revisit this pistol later on and see if performance has improved.