Swiss Arms 1911 Tactical

Swiss Arms 1911 Tactical

The totally tricked out rail gun Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

The Swiss Arms 1911 TRS with the JBU faux suppressor and Tanfoglio/Swiss Arms 27-round extended capacity magazine make a formidable combination both visually and in performance. While the faux suppressor does nothing to reduce the medium/high db level of the TRS, the airgun sounds similar to an actual suppressed .45 ACP when fired.

The Swiss Arms TRS, with all the accessories shown, is an exceptional CO2 model given that the retail price is still below $200. The JBU faux suppressor is also sold separately, for those who already have the TRS or other models with a 14mm threaded barrel. It retails for $39.95. This is the most realistic looking of the current faux suppressors available for CO2 air pistols.

The threaded adapter (that comes with the Swiss Arms 1911 Tactical kit) is designed to screw into the larger diameter JBU faux suppressor and step it down to the 14mm threaded adapter that fits into the Swiss Arms barrel. This adapter will also mount the JBU to all Swiss Arms 1911 models with threaded barrels. (The adapter fits other CO2 models with 14mm threaded barrels, but you cannot use it on models that have true locked-breech designs with guide rods, like the latest Sig Sauer P226 X-Five silver. The guide rod extends beyond the barrel when the slide retracts, and it will hit the back of the suppressor. Thus you need to be absolutely certain the slide can retract after fitting the JBU on a blowback action model to prevent damaging the barrel, guide rod, suppressor and slide.) There is also a process for mounting the JBU on threaded barrels. The adapter threads into the JBU counter clockwise and you need to make sure it is tight. The faux suppressor then threads into the barrel clockwise, but you need to be certain not to turn it too tight or the adapter will begin to unscrew from the back of the JBU.

The JBU faux suppressor is a hollow aluminum tube but is well constructed with a separate threaded front muzzle opening in .45 ACP and a threaded rear cap that accepts a separate adapter to step down to the 14mm threads inside the TRS barrel.

Putting the JBU faux suppressor on the TRS is a careful combination of just the right tightness. The adapter threads into the tube counter clockwise and then screws into the barrel clockwise. If you over tighten it the adapter begins to unscrew from the suppressor. You need to get just the right amount of tightness to keep both threaded in. I found that neither the adapter nor suppressor will loosen with repeated firing, so you don’t need to worry about it unthreading. I will say one thing about the matte finish on the JBU, it gets dirty easily, even just touching it with your hands, but a clean cloth (micro fiber cloths work great) brings it back to its non-reflective sheen.

The whole package

One of the first updates to the 1911 was the addition of the ambidextrous thumb safety invented by Southern California gunsmith Armand Swenson in the late 1960s. It is Swenson’s most famous invention since it has been adopted by manufacturers the world over. Swenson originally designed it for law enforcement and competitive shooters. He also began changing barrel and slide lengths, building custom triggers and hammers, and making internal modifications to improve accuracy and function, pretty much what all competition level 1911s are like today. His early modifications were so profound in the world of competitive shooting that it came to be known as “Swensonizing” a 1911. The Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS has a piece of that history in its ambidextrous thumb safeties.

The TRS is, in the vernacular of mid 20th century custom 1911s, “Swensonized” with extended ambidextrous thumb safeties. They work just like Armand Swenson intended when he designed the first 1911 ambidextrous safety in the 1960s. The safeties on the TRS are fully functional and have a solid click when set and released. They are a bit lighter than those on a centerfire 1911, but still an excellent training aid.

As a high end (but not high priced) CO2 pistol, the TRS has the same dovetailed front and rear Novak-style white dot sights, skeletonized trigger and hammer, dustcover accessory rail, flat mainspring housing, palm swell grip safety with upswept beavertail and front slide serrations found on centerfire pistols, which make this an ideal airgun for training and 1911 safety and handling familiarization.

On the Swiss Arms TRS, slide operation is light with mild resistance. The TRS does, however, use a dual recoil spring design, one tightly wound spring around the guide rod and a second larger spring around the barrel, to further assist the gun’s brisk blowback action. Hammer resistance on a de-cocked gun (safety off) is also lighter with the .177 caliber TRS than a .45 ACP model, but it still has a full length of draw and a solid click when cocked.

Last is trigger pull. The Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS trigger press averages 4 pounds, 15 ounces, with 0.187 inches of take up, very light stacking, a crisp break and short reset. There is little more you can ask from a blowback action 1911 air pistol.

It seemed that the combination of the TRS, faux suppressor and extended capacity magazine was the perfect proving ground for trying out the new Air Venturi Dust Devil frangible BBs. Lighter in weight than steel BBs they are built to perform but also “self destruct” upon impacting any hard surface to prevent a ricochet. This makes them ideal for shooting reactive metal target with BBs. Of course, you would never do that with steel BBs but the Dust Devils will, well, turn to dust.

Case in point; at far right is a steel BB that has been hit several times with a hammer and only taken a few dents in the process. The black particles spread across the same paper are all that remain of a Dust Devil with one solid whack…poof. (Always wear safety glasses when shooting BBs, and never shoot steel BBs at a hard surface or metal target, they will ricochet, and sometimes right back at the shooter!)

Downrange  

A faux suppressor lacks one of the most important features of an actual sound suppressor, a caliber-sized chamber through which the bullet passes. While the JBU is correctly sized for a short sound suppressor and has a .45 ACP muzzle opening, the inside of the aluminum housing does not step down in size to .177 caliber, so there is no possible way for the 4.75 inch faux suppressor to extend barrel length. What it does accomplish is to keep the air pressure behind the BB in a more confined space for a millisecond longer before the BB hits the open air. Does this have any affect whatsoever on the BB? Let’s find out.

Shooting 10 rounds from the 27-round Tanfoglio/Swiss Arms extended capacity magazine, my best target at 21 feet had a spread of 1.24 inches with .177 caliber steel and a best five at 0.74 inches.

On the chronograph the first set of tests was shot without the suppressor mounted. Average velocity with .177 caliber steel BBs was 310 fps with a high of 315 fps and a standard deviation of 4 fps for 10 shots. The test was run a second time using the new Air Venturi Dust Devil frangible BBs, which are designed to crush and prevent ricochets off hard surfaces. (You can read more on the Dust Devils in Tom Gaylord’s January 9th Airgun Academy column). The lighter weight (4.2 to 4.6 grain) frangible BBs cleared the ProChrono traps at a high of 338 fps with an average velocity of 323 fps and a standard deviation of 7 fps. The test was then repeated with the JBU faux suppressor. Average velocity with the .177 caliber steel BBs was also 310 fps with a high of 321 fps and a standard deviation of and 6 fps.

Shooting Dust Devils, a best 10 rounds spread across 2.0 inches with the best five clustered into 0.75 inches.

Using the Dust Devils average velocity was 322 fps with a high of 340 fps and a standard deviation of 8 fps for 10 rounds. While there was no significant difference in average velocity with or without the JBU hanging off the end of the barrel; 310 fps and 310 fps with steel rounds and 323 fps and 322 fps with the frangible BBs, both obtained slightly greater high velocities passing through the 4.75 inch tube at 315 fps vs. 321 fps with steel BBs and 338 fps vs. 340 fps with the Dust Devils.

The last target was shot without the JBU faux suppressor and 10 steel BBs grouped into 1.24 inches, with a best five at 0.81 inches. There are a total of 20 shots on this target from 21 feet using the extended capacity magazine.

Accuracy at 21 feet with the JBU equipped Swiss Arms TRS averaged 1.24 inches with .177 caliber steel and a best five at 0.74 inches. Using the Dust Devils, a best 10 rounds spread across 2.0 inches with the best five clustered into 0.75 inches. I ran one more accuracy test without the JBU and 10 rounds of steel BBs grouped into 1.24 inches with a best five rounds at 0.81 inches, so no better accuracy without the faux suppressor. This is a different TRS than the one in my earlier Swiss Arms 1911 review (Airgun Experience No. 149 and No. 150) and it shot a little less accurately. The earlier test gun had a best 10 rounds at 1.48 inches, and five shots tightly grouped at 0.25 inches. Then again, it could be me. The TRS is a very accurate CO2 model, with or without a faux suppressor.

A Word About Safety

Given the attention to detail that goes into blowback action 1911 air pistols they should be treated with the same respect as any cartridge firing 1911 handgun with concerns to their carry, use, and public display. Even from a modest distance, these adult airguns are difficult to distinguish from their cartridge-firing counterparts.

7 thoughts on “Swiss Arms 1911 Tactical

  1. nice shooting. I have the exact pistol from Remington ,will see if it has the threaded slide. The sights seem just high enough. always wondered why they don’t flute the suppressor to relieve some of the circumference for better visibility. Even without baffeling , the sound simulates a suppressed pistol and recoils less , so the effect is there


  2. I was just thinking that it might be possible to insert a plastic straw into the faux suppressor provided the straw’s inner and outer diameters are appropriate to fit.

    I’ve attached a picture of my silver Swiss Arms SA 92 showing the threaded adapter in the end of the barrel. The SA 92 also has a guide rod under the slide. I think the guide rod doesn’t move either forward or back when the slide moves, but I don’t really know for certain if the JBU faux suppressor will allow the slide mechanics to work as designed on this pistol.

    The silver Swiss Arms SA1911 TRS also has the threaded barrel adapter. The JBU faux suppressor would look very good on this pistol.


    • The guide rod on the SA92 does not extend beyond the front of the barrel like the guide rod on the Sig, so the JBU should fit. If you mount it, first check to make sure you can manually cycle the slide. If you can and there is no restriction of movement (on the Sig you simply can’t operate the slide, for example), then it should work fine. As for the straw idea, I wouldn’t do that. But it is an idea that reminds me of something that has been done, not on air pistol faux suppressors, but with black powder revolvers. Years ago, (many) I was involved in the custom manufacturing of .44 Colt cartridge conversions of Colt 1860 Army revolvers and 1858 Remingtons, just like Colt and Remington had made in the 1870s. To get the proper fit for the new .44 Colt caliber cartridge cylinders, the barrels often had to have a .44 caliber rifled barrel liner put in. Now taking that idea one step forward one would have to make a .177 caliber smoothbore barrel liner for the JBU faux suppressor that perfectly butted up to the pistol’s barrel. It seems like a lot of work for a gunsmith to do, but that would effectively make the JBU into a barrel extension. I’d still recess the .177 caliber smoothbore barrel extension at least a 1/4 inch so the JBU muzzle still looks like a .45 ACP. This could be an interesting project for someone with the skills.


      • I just received my JBU faux suppressor today. I attached it to the silver Swiss Arms SA 92 and manually tested the slide movement. The SA 92 slide does retain complete range of movement with the suppressor attached, and the suppressor and guide rod never make contact.

        I have one more question about the suppressor and adapter. Could I use something like Locktite or super glue to permanently mount the adapter in the JBU suppressor?


        • I would use Locktite. I’m not sure of the set time for Locktite but be certain you have the screw tight into the back of the JBU and the lettering properly aligned when it is threaded into the barrel (if you’re as fussy as I am about these things), so when it sets up the JUB will always screw in and end up at the same place. If you don’t care about the lettering, then tighten it all the way down with Locktite on the screw and make sure it is set. That should keep the screw threaded into the JBU. I wouldn’t use glue, and don’t try tightening it with pliers, the screw is also a cast alloy piece and the threads will crush under pressure. The Swiss Arms model with the JBU is a really sharp looking setup.


          • Regarding the Air Venturi faux suppressor for the Sig Sauer ASP P226 pellet pistol, do you know the interior diameter of its threaded connector? Could that suppressor be used on the Cybergun silver P226 X-Five BB pistol?



Leave a Reply