Gun Digest

New 1911 Carry Bantam Pistols From SDS Imports

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Available in .45 or 9mm, the Bantam 1911 carry pistol brings custom features at non-custom prices.

Features of the 1911 Carry Bantam:

1911 pistols made by Tisas in Turkey have been some of the most popular 1911s sold in the U.S. these past few years. Their affordable cost and decent build quality have led many people to Tisas for their first 1911. While most of the Turkish-made 1911s imported by SDS are budget-oriented, basic models, their new Bantam series of carry pistols is a change of direction for the company. The Carry Bantam is twice as expensive as their next most expensive 1911, but it is still far cheaper than the true custom 1911s they're trying to emulate.

The Bantams may not have as much love and care poured into each individual piece as something like a Nighthawk Custom does, but they do have many of the same luxury features at a third of the price.

Custom From The Factory

The features that come standard on Bantam Carry 1911 pistols help to bring them from the territory of “historical relic” and into the realm of “practical self-defense tool.” The commander-length slide has front and rear slide serrations for easy racking and press-checks. Lightning cuts have also been added to save weight and enhance the gun’s aesthetic. The Bantam’s aluminum frame has aggressive texturing on both the front and back straps which work in conjunction with the G-10 grips to provide the user with maximum control while firing. The frame has also been bobbed to improve concealability.

The Bantam’s ambidextrous safety means that this single-action gun can be easily brought into action with either hand, and its fiber-optic combat sights are ideal for a defense piece.


The most important aspect of any carry gun is its reliability, and this is even more true when it comes to 1911s. Many people today believe that the 1911 is an antiquated design that has more place in a museum display than on your belt, but those people likely have little experience with 1911s or are only familiar with low-end models. The truth is 1911s have an excellent potential for reliability, but that reliability is usually only fully realized on high-end custom guns.

The Bantam is not a true custom gun, however, and merely has some of the features of one. Costing as much as it does, one would hope that the Bantam has been ensured to be reliable enough to be carried with confidence, but that won’t be known for sure until these have been more thoroughly tested. The inclusion of a flared and lowered ejection port should help ensure reliable ejections too.

The .45 ACP Bantam comes with two eight-round mags and the 9mm model includes 9-rounders. The package also comes with a cleaning kit, locking hard case, and owner’s manual. With an MSRP of $1,199.95, this is certainly an expensive gun, but for those who want to carry a 1911 this is a very nice option for the price. If you want a 1911 with custom features without actually paying custom shop prices, these new Bantam pistols may be worth considering.

For more on SDS Imports, please visit

Editor's Note: Information corrected on 4/12/2022.

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