ELITE FORCE 1911 TAC
Licensed for sale in the USA by UMAREX, OEM by KWC.
The awesome Elite Force 1911 TAC arrived to me in good condition from AirsoftGI. I wasn’t in a rush so I was okay having it delivered via UPS Ground. The cost of the pistol itself at $118.74, shipping my item by ground was FREE. I was also offered a FREE GIFT of my choosing (which ended up being a pistol lanyard) and then, there’s the promotional AIRSOFT GI handy cap (baseball style cap with mesh).
On the other hand, I decided to purchase some extras as long as it is below the 200 USD total. An AIM Sports 150 Lumens Flashlight and Madbull Whisper .45ACP fake silencer, this order, in my opinion was indeed the right way to go.
External Fit and Finish:
I immediately loaded up the gun with a 12gram CO2 cartridge and some premium .20gram BBs. Firstly though, I placed two drops of silicone oil on top of the cartridge. This helps properly seal the cartridge to the receiving valve. This also prolongs the life of the seals in your CO2 powered pistol. Remember that CO2 is a dry gas and it gets really cold as it depressurizes. That cold temperature is bad for your seals.
Anyway, before taking my first shot and just letting the CO2 sit on the magazine for several minutes (in my belief this allows the CO2 gas to build pressure and the silicone oil I dropped earlier to stabilize the seals), I decided I look at this pistol’s aesthetic awesomeness.
I have been a fan of 1911s both real steel and airsoft. Simplicity - form following function – best describes the 100 year old design the 1911 managed to hold. Umarex was right to pick KWC as OEM for this version of the 1911 airsoft. Just by looking at it, you can say the tolerances are just right with very little wobbling on its sliding parts. It is very solid and hefty too.
The Desert Tan and Black is a modern day firearm color scheme combo while the 1911’s age old design went together wonderfully with it. It’s like a classic car with some modern day parts. And speaking of modern day parts, the TAC (for Tactical) comes into play. And externally, that tactical accessory rail is another design form that also follows function – lights and lasers welcome. I am also pleased with the extended thumb and grip safeties, the trigger style and the skeleton type hammer that it has. If I am to remember correctly, these should be mil-spec (?)
The paint on this pistol is rather thick, however, it is still prone to chipping. In fact, the paint is so thick, installing my flashlight on the rail proved difficult not until the paint had to peel off. But, what really impressed me is that while the paint peeled off, the metal of the frame/rail was still solid. Some airsoft pistol metals used are not hard enough to take this kind metal-to-metal contact. Perhaps, accidentally dropping this pistol on a rough surface (such as on a rocky surface) will still determine how tough this pistol’s metal really is. With proper care and handling, this is less likely to happen, but WHAT IF in case it does happen? Then I am yet to see the corresponding damages.
First Magazine Emptied:
I managed to empty a full magazine (14 rounds) with no apparent issues. Blowback was awesome and the BBs went accurately as well. A 1 to 2 inch grouping from 25 feet is satisfactory for an airsoft pistol. I also did a poor man’s coke-can chrono and I managed to get the kind of coke-can penetration similar to my G&G CM16 R8L which exhibits around 350-370FPS. In fact, I also made a few shots outdoors and observably, both guns shot their BBs at a mere equal range. Btw, my G&G rifle is bone stock.
Please note that already adjusted the hop-up on my pistol (which is done by removing the slide out and turning a knob from underneath the inner barrel) to achieve such a range. I estimate this range to be about 120 to 130 feet before it curves sidewards, thanks to my location’s relatively windy weather. If it didn’t go sidewards, it’ll probably go a bit upwards further before completing down-low.
Realism and Safety:
I LOVE the kick on this pistol. With the first magazine, I can say I would almost compare this to a .22 caliber pistol. It lessens as you’re consuming your CO2 cartridge (duh!) I’d be in shock if it had the kick of a real steel .45, but at that rate, my review would have been returning this pistol to Umarex. LoL!
Both safeties (thumb and grip) work as they should and follows the so-called “Conditions of Carrying a 1911” as it is below:
Condition 0 - Ready to fire: The pistol has cartridges (or BBs) in the magazine, a round is in the chamber, the hammer is cocked, and the safety is off.
Condition 1 - The pistol has cartridges (or BBs) in the magazine, a cartridge (or BB) is chambered, the hammer is cocked, and the safety is in the up (safe) position. Also known as the "cocked and locked" carry condition.
Condition 2 - A cartridge (or BB) is in the chamber, the hammer is down, and the pistol has cartridges in the magazine.
Condition 3 - The chamber is empty and hammer is down, but the pistol has a full magazine. This condition is also known as "Israeli Carry."
Condition 4 - The chamber is empty, hammer is down and no magazine is in the pistol.
HOWEVER, I tested Condition 3 and it failed. I cleared the chamber (no BB inside), inserted a full magazine, and pulled the hammer down, but I DID NOT cycle/rack the slide (meaning the slide was forward and remained forward with no BB inside the chamber). I pulled the trigger (with thumb safety disengaged and grip safety squeezed), and the pistol made a shot. It was a gas expulsion shot, BUT NO BB went with it. – THIS particular aspect fails realism, because if it were a real steel gun, a CHAMBER WITH NO CARTRIDGE even with the hammer still down, it should NOT shoot. With NO CARTRIDGE in the chamber, pulling the trigger and causing the hammer to strike will only cause a dry fire. In this airsoft gun, dry firing with a magazine and an active CO2 cartridge will cause it to expel gas and if you failed to clear the chamber from previous use (which you should avoid on the first place anyway), condition 3 with airsoft pistol becomes unsafe. Please take this in consideration.
Take note that there IS NO HALF COCK feature with this pistol as well.
Reloading with a Powerstroke:
Powerstroking is the ability of the 1911 pistol (or any other semi-auto pistol) to reload a round (or BB) in the chamber without using the slide release lever (assuming the pistol’s slide locked back after emptying the rounds in a magazine). What the user does is he confirms that the pistol has been emptied from the last round and magazine, the slide went backward and stayed backward, he removes the empty magazine and inserts a loaded one, he opts to either use the slide release lever to forward the slide OR pull the slide back and allow the release lever to drop and the slide will push forward all the way through and load a new round in the chamber. The latter process is called powerstroking (at least I so call it “powerstroking” when Bob mentioned that term on one of their pistol reviews on GITV).
For this Elite Force 1911, powerstroking does not work. I am not sure as to why, but my guess comes from two potential reasons. Like I’ve said, fit and finish on the pistol is nice with the paint rather thick. The thick paint seems to hinder the slide release lever to drop during the powerstroke attempt. Second possible reason is that I notice that the magazine follower spring is just too strong. The follower pushes really hard on the lever and keeps it on the up position and keeps locking the slide even when powerstroking. Perhaps given some extra time and normal wear and tear, this area will loosen; this action will be tested again, and hopefully get the expected result.
Attaching a Fake Silencer:
I assume you remember that I also mentioned having purchased a fake silencer for this pistol. Please know that it will NOT do anything to make your airsoft 1911 TAC to be quieter. It is purely aesthetic in purpose. Unless you plan to upgrade your copy of this pistol with a longer barrel, then the fake silencer will serve as an appropriate extension of your barrel.
I also noticed that the weight of the fake silencer puts more bias to the front; this may help you attain more accuracy for rapid trigger pulls. However, I also noticed that the pistol occasionally won’t shoot with the fake silencer on. As I guessed it, the fake silencer’s added weight causes some extra friction on the slide hindering the already, relatively soft recoil spring to move it forward and this inhibits the user to be able to fire another shot. I managed to confirm this as I tested the fake silencer attached and not attached between two to three shots. This phenomenon seem to have lessened though as soon as I was using the pistol a bit more longer. I assume as soon as the pistol has completed breaking-in, the fake silencer feature will no longer hinder this pistol’s primary function.
Overall Impression and Potential Life Span:
I love this pistol and how I wish it would last long. Sadly, all airsoft guns have a lifespan, some can go longer, some, die just too soon. I am also on the know with KWC’s absence of repair and/or upgrade parts, not to mention that they are proprietary and the word “compatibility” is not a part of their vocabulary.
I used to own a cheap, from Wal-Mart, Black Ops Ignite 1911 airsoft pistol. It also used CO2 and has the same amount of kick. This brand was plagued with so many issues in terms of reliability, happens mostly if you landed with a lemon. However, my certain copy didn’t break a nozzle, it didn’t break, crack, or dry any seal. It did jam the slide and the primary culprit was one thing – normal wear. The parts that rub against each other with each shot started to wear down those parts, this made tolerances loose, and the breakage was caused by complete mechanical damage. The external barrel became too wobbly it allowed the slide to move wrecklessly, in fact, even the barrel bushing bent and cracked from it. Also, the recoil spring guide shattered. These are the kinds of damages that no maintenance, no cleaning, nor lubing can prevent… This is proof that CO2 gas and the kick it makes are hard on the metal parts of this certain GBB airsoft pistol.
Comparing the metal this old pistol of mine had to my 1911 TAC, I sense it will last longer. I managed around 6000BBs on that old one, so I hope to exceed that record with my new Elite Force 1911 Tactical Airsoft Pistol!
With the fact that I also plan to take this with more care and shoot it less often (thanks to my other pistol which is a NBB as a substitute), I think I shouldn’t worry within months, better yet, years to come.
Oh, and if you really love mil-sims, you probably will love how the paint will chip or fade of the 1911 TAC pistol, gives it a more realistic, battle scarred, look.
Nice fit and finish.
Just the right tolerances on sliding parts.
Solid Feel and Heft.
Follows the "Conditions of Carrying a 1911" (see also - **)
Satisfactory Range, perfect for CQB and a nice sidearm for field battles.
Spends CO2 cartridge nicely (14 rounds per magazine, about 3 to 5 magazines per CO2 cartridge).
Rail accessory and fake silence ready. (see also ++)
Thick paint is prone to chipping and peeling.
(**) - Unfortunately, Condition 3 failed on this pistol.
Powerstroking doesn't work (except that the pistol was tested new out of the box).
Lacking, if not a complete absence of repair, upgrade, and/or compatible parts.
(++) - Thick paint will hinder initial fitting of your rail accessory, fake silencer weight may hinder proper slide function.
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]