My first 10MM AUTO pistol was a PARA Elite LS Hunter, a 1911 sporting a six-inch match barrel and VZ G10 grips. I used and reviewed the pistol, took a number of hogs with it, and it is still one of my go-to handguns for hunting.
The PARA started me on 10MM pistols a decade ago, and I’ve tried to use and review the newest 10MM offerings ever since. Increasingly, that’s meant poly-framed 10MM’s with ammunition capacities far above my PARA and its 8+1 load.
Then, I noticed that Taylor’s & Company, which I knew from Old West reproduction firearm imports, offered the Full Size (FS) Tactical 1911 10MM pistol–a steel-framed 1911 in 10MM for what seemed a ridiculously low suggested retail of $699.99.
No, it wasn’t a long slide like my $1,200 PARA but still…under $700 for a 1911 in 10MM with a five-inch barrel, ambidextrous butterfly safety as well as the grip safety, plus two magazines? And that $699 suggested retail likely meant much closer to $600 in-store and on the Internet.
A quick check on the web of prices for other 1911s chambered in 10MM had most models right around $1,000. Which made me wonder: at this relatively low price point, could the FS Tactical 1911 10mm pistol actually be any good?
Yes. It could be good because it actually is a quality pistol.
The 1911 Plunge
As noted, Taylor’s & Company is best known for the historical firearm reproductions it has been importing for years now. From black powder revolvers to 1873 single actions to an amazing number of 1873 and 1892 lever actions, Taylor’s & Company imports these firearms from manufacturers that include Chiappa, Pietta, and Uberti.
More recently the company began selling 1911s, and FS Tactical is made in the Philippines by Armscor.
I received a new Full Size (FS) Tactical 1911 10MM pistol for testing and evaluation, and upfront all looked fine. Standard 1911 Government, fairly heavy, with ambidextrous manual safety and grip safety. The pistol felt very good in the hand and pointed nicely.
10MM Meets 1911 Accuracy
At my outdoor range, I first shot the FS Tactical using the odd rounds I’ve collected over the last few years of 10MM shooting. Have three rounds of 10MM range leftover from a review? Into the quart freezer bag it goes. A handful of self-defense 10s that didn’t get shot up? Into the bag.
I did all of my shooting of the FS Tactical at ten yards offhand. My assumption: if a pistol can produce good groups at ten yards offhand, better groups can certainly be had at self-defense distances like five yards; decent groups, at the least, should be very possible at 15 and 20 yards.
By my third magazine loaded with a variety of 10MM ammunition, my groups had tightened up nicely, closing in on 1.0 inches; five rounds in the fourth magazine printed a .80-inch group.
Despite the magazines being loaded with various brands of 10MM ammunition, I never had a failure to eject or load. Different brass, range, and hollow-point loads, all of it cycled in and out nicely.
I switched over the Winchester USA Ready 10MM load, a range round launching a 180-grain full-metal jacket bullet. Initially, I placed five-shot groups right at 2.0 inches, but several magazines later I was able to peg groups of 1.2- and 1.1 inches.
New Self-Defense 10MM Ammo
I ended my shooting with a self-defense round, the Overwatch made by Liberty Ammunition. The ammo was new to me, and I wasn’t sure how it might function given that it is loaded with a 70-grain lead-free bullet rated 2,150 feet per second at the muzzle.
The Overwatch bullet sports a very large hollow area inside the bullet’s front. Once it penetrates the initial barrier the bullet expands rapidly, the hollow pointed area quickly filling with fluid. With the round’s very high velocity, the result, says Liberty, is massive rupture of the bullet and massive displacement of tissue.
I had no way to test that displacement (though I hope to do some testing with ballistic gel at a later date), but I found the Overwatch easier to shoot than the other loads simply because it recoiled less. It was also extremely accurate.
I shot the FS Tactical with the Overwatch at five yards offhand, more of a self-defense distance. The shots clustered like champs. My best group came in right at 1.0 inches.
Well, with such close shooting, I thought, groups should be tight.
I backed off to ten yards. And I still shot several groups right at or just slightly larger than an inch, including a five-shot, 1.0-inch thump to the head of a Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C Bad Guy target.
At ten yards, I concluded that any groups over 1.5 inches with the FS Tactical were the result of sloppy shooting on my part.
Good Sights, A Quality Trigger
Rarely have I met a 1911 trigger I did not like, and the FS Tactical’s trigger was no exception. The skeletonized trigger featured a grooved front for a nice, tactile interface between the finger pad and trigger. There was just a bit of uptake and then the trigger broke very cleanly at an average of approximately 2 pounds, 7 ounces, according to my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge.
FS Tactical G10-Style Grip
The FS Tactical featured G10-style grips and a checkered backstrap. These provided good control over the pistol even when firing rapidly. The front strap is grooved but those grooves didn’t do much to improve my grip on the pistol. There was little contact between the front strap and the inside of my fingers, which may well be due to the structure of my fingers. But I think the grooves would have to be slightly wider and deeper to aid in gripping the FS Tactical.
The pistol’s red fiber optic front post came right to my eye and the two white dots on either side of the rear sight’s notch helped align that front post easily. The rear sight was also adjustable for elevation and windage, though my FS was on target from the start.
The FS Tactical is sold with two, 8-round magazines, made of steel with rubberized base plates attached. The magazines loaded easily with my fingers, no speed loader was required. The magazines popped into the grip nicely thanks to a beveled, slightly oversized magwell.
The one issue I experienced: ejected brass sometimes struck the slide right behind the ejection port. I’m no 1911 gunsmith, but I’ve been told by those who are that this is usually an extractor problem. So, I think either the tension on the extractor would need to be adjusted or the extractor itself might need replacing. There are likely other explanations, too.
Self-Defense, Range Time and…Hunting?
Is the FS Tactical a concealed carry option? Not for me. Too large and heavy for effective carry for this guy.
Yet, I do know people who carry a full-sized 1911 and the FS Tactical and its 10MM AUTO power would certainly do the job.
To me, the FS Tactical would be a better fit for home defense, range time and, yes, hunting. If this was my go-to hunting handgun, the only thing I would change is the sights, which are a bit small for distances past 20 yards or so, at least for my eyes. I’d want a rear sight with a deeper notch. I’d also consider the addition of a red dot.
All in all, especially when considering the 1911 market for pistols in this caliber, the FS Tactical represents a great way to get into the 10MM game without deciding between next month’s groceries or dropping that $1K+ at your local FFL.
Specs: Taylor’s & Company Full-Sized Tactical 1911 10MM Pistol
Caliber: 10MM AUTO
Action: Single, semi-automatic
Barrel: 5” steel, Parkerized finish, 1:16 Twist
Frame: Steel, Black Parkerized Finish
Sights: Rear Adj. Notch, Two White Dots; Front Post, Red Fiber Optic
Grips: Black, G10 Style
Safeties: Grip and Ambi Thumb
Overall Length: 8.54”
Weight: 37 oz.
Magazines: 2 Steel, 8 rounds each
Misc: Combat Hammer, Skeletonized Trigger, Extended Beavertail