A few months ago, during a periodic media
event held at Gunsite Academy
in Paulden AZ, I had the opportunity to meet Dave Biggers of
He had brought with him a number of products that SDS was
either already importing, or about to start importing.
Among the many guns there, two of them caught my eye and
piqued my interest. One of them is the Bantam-9, a bobbed, 9mm, Commander size
1911, and the other is their TAC-12, a 12-gauge clone of the
Benelli M4. I
had the opportunity to shoot both of these during the event and
liked them enough to ask Dave to send me one of each of them for
a review. After the
usual exchange of FFL paperwork, and a few weeks of order
processing and shipping time, I had both guns in hand and ready
The Bantam 9 is a 4.25” barrel, Commander
size, 1911 semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm.
It comes already equipped with many features that were
once only available from either custom gunsmiths or from high
end guns. It has a
hammer forged slide and barrel, and an aluminum frame, both
finished in black Cerakote. The gripframe has an Ed Brown Bobtail (Registered) cut to it
and is fitted with a set of grey G10 grips.
The ejection port is flared and lowered. It has a green fiber-optic front sight and a U-notch rear
sight for fast target acquisition, an ambidextrous extended
thumb safety, a Commander style hammer, and an extended
beavertail grip safety. It comes with two 9-round magazines, which is one more than
most competitors are offering these days.
The frame has symmetrical cut-outs on the front and back
straps, in lieu of checkering, which work quite well in
improving the purchase on the grip.
The slide has lightening cuts on it as well, in a similar
pattern as the front strap, and the barrel hood is fluted in a
similar pattern, making for an attractive, yet modern-looking
pistol. The gun is
manufactured by Tisas, in Turkey, to SDS’ exact
specifications, which include not only measurements, but
materials and parts. Slide
to frame and barrel fit were both surprisingly tight and the
pistol feels really nice in the hand.
It is easy to manipulate, the controls weren’t too
tight or hard to manipulate, and the slide was relatively easy
to rack back, something that can sometimes be a chore,
especially for shooters of a smaller stature.
I took the pistol out to the range, on
several different occasions, and fired a variety of ball (FMJ)
ammunition of different brands and weights, along with a variety
of self defense (JHP) ammunition.
Throughout the testing, I did not encounter a single
malfunction from the gun. It
gobbled up everything I fed through it, even when I mixed some
of the ammo together in a single magazine.
The pistol simply did not care what it was fed, it
swallowed it up and shot it.
And it shot it well.
The two loads I had the most of in inventory were the Double
Tap Gunsite 124-gr FMJ and the Federal
124-gr Syntech range ammo.
Both of those loads shot very well and were a definite
favorite for this gun. One-hole groups were not unusual, if I did my part, and any
flyers were certainly not the gun’s fault!
I installed a set of stag grips that I
acquired from Tyler Gun
Works, in Friona, Texas, to give it a little bit of a more
classic look. Paired
with leather holsters from either Barranti
Leather, or Simply
Rugged Holsters, the gun is ready to go for everyday carry
(EDC), range work, or that fancy BBQ, where looking at the gun,
stocks, and holster is just as important as the event itself.
The other gun that I asked to review and try
TAC-12. This is
a 12-gauge, semi-automatic, shotgun that is advertised as an
exact clone of the revered Benelli M4.
The test gun that was available for us to shoot during
the event, sure proved that claim.
It handled, felt, and shot just like the M4.
One of the traits of the M4 that stands out is its speed
between shots. It
is a very fast operating shotgun.
The TAC-12 felt and functioned just as fast. It was truly impressive.
It has an 18.5” barrel, with a 3”
chamber, that is choked with a Benelli pattern screw-in-choke,
and comes with a wrench and 22x0.75 adapter.
It has an overall length of 40”, and a 5+1 magazine
capacity. The gun
is truly an identical clone of the M4 and is advertised as being
compatible with M-1014 parts and accessories for additional
went and purchased aftermarket Benelli M4 parts, from a sling,
to a side saddle, to an extended release.
The gun takes down and functions exactly like the M4.
The only difference is the buttstock and pistol grip. It
comes with a ghost ring rear sight and post front sight.
Also included in the box is a rail for mounting of
optics. The safety
is positive and easy to reach.
I installed a Wilderness
Tactical sling on it, as I consider a sling on a long gun to
be equivalent to a holster for a handgun, both are an absolute
must for safety, portability, and convenience.
I also installed the provided rail and mounted a red dot
optic on it for quick target acquisition.
I did find that the angle of the stock was too steep and
did not allow for a good sight picture with the red dot, which
sits noticeably higher on the rail than the ghost ring rear
sight. I asked my
good friend Rob Leahy, at Simply Rugged Holsters, to make me a
12-gauge cartridge cuff, with an integral cheek pad, so as to
raise my head when shouldering the gun.
This fixed seeing the red dot sight issue and allowed me
to get to work with the shotgun.
I took it to the range and tried just about
everything I could try through it.
From birdshot, to 00 buckshot, to slugs, it digested
everything, including reduced recoil loads.
The only load it didn’t cycle were a few extremely
light recoiling less-than-lethal loads that I knew would
probably not cycle, but that I wanted to test.
At about 45-50 yards, the gun patterned quite well with
slugs, as seen in the pictures.
Paired with some of the Wilderness Tactical’s cartridge
slides and sling, and Simply Rugged’s shell cuff, this gun
makes for quite a package whether it be for competition, home
defense, or range use. I
was very pleased with how it handled and performed.
Due to import restrictions, it comes with a 5+1 magazine. It would benefit from having one of the readily available
7-shot tube extensions. In
fact, I will probably purchase one and install it on this gun
sometime in the near future.
Overall, I was extremely favorably impressed
by both guns. Both
proved to be extremely reliable, well built, and accurate.
In fact, I went ahead and purchased both of them and plan
on keeping, using, and shooting them going forward.
The Bantam Carry 9 will make for a great lightweight
carry gun, and the TAC-12 will make for a great home-defense, or
SDS Imports is really bringing in some high
quality guns that are built from top notch materials, using
their specifications, and they even have their own engineers in
Turkey, overseeing production, just to make sure that they
continue to bring great, high quality products to the market.
of this writing (February 2022), MSRP for the Bantam Carry 9 is
$1199.95 and, $749.95, for the TAC-12.
They are both available through normal distribution
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