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Review: Tisas PX9 Gen3 O-R Carry

The Tisas PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry is a 15-round, compact polymer-frame, striker-fired 9mm pistol with a 3.5-inch barrel designed for concealed carry, based on the duty-sized Tisas PX9 Gen3 pistol. In turn, third-generation PX9 handguns are based on the second-generation Tisas PX9 Zigana, which has some design elements that evoke the Springfield XD. Original Ziganas are one of Tisas’ oldest product lines, encompassing both metal and polymer framed pistols with Browning delayed blowback actions. The Gen3 Carry series is actually new for 2024 and consists of three models: a basic version and two with optics-ready models, with one of the optics-ready models being outfitted for thumb safeties. Frankly, I doubt the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry will win a beauty contest with its looks, but it’s a fascinating handgun because it’s like a chimera, the mythological creature made up of various animals rolled all into one. 

Tisas PX9 GEN3 Optics-Ready Carry Overview

At first glance, I couldn’t help but notice how the PX9 Gen3 O-R Carry intelligently incorporates great features and design cues from other handguns. It uses the proven Browning delayed-blowback recoil mechanism–far from original, but reliable and effective. Likewise, the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry slide is cut for the Trijicon RMR footprint, which is one of the most popular optic mounting footprints currently in existence. There’s little need for various plates, given the selection of RMR-pattern optics out there. The designers also didn’t pull any punches when they selected Glock-pattern front and rear iron sights. Again, no need to reinvent the wheel and no reason not to take advantage of the vast aftermarket for Glock sights. Similarly, the pistol feeds from Sig P226/P228 double-stack magazines. Besides their commonality, these magazines are also made by several manufacturers. There’s a little bit of Springfield XD DNA floating around in this design as well, just like with its second-generation Zigana predecessor. Just look at the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry’s slide. It has the height and chunkiness of the Croatian design and its squared-off sear bears some resemblance to that pistol.

Grip and Frame

While the Tisas PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry frame may look generic, it checks off everything a modern pistol needs. There’s a Picatinny railed dust cover for accessory mounting, and most importantly, an ergonomically shaped grip along with interchangeable backstraps. Nowadays, this detail is as common as the Browning delayed blowback recoil system itself. The backstrap inserts have an oval shape that specifically reminded me of the H&K VP9 or Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 grip, which makes it another asset for the Tisas’ grip. This helps the grip fit the hand comfortably, especially for a compact gun of this size. Its designers also ensured that the front strap and trigger guard had a high undercut to better accommodate the strong hand. This undercut rolls into a small single finger-groove with a gentle slope. All four sides of the pistol’s grip are textured with mild pebbling that I didn’t find too rough nor abrasive. When it comes to concealed carry, I wouldn’t worry about the stippling distressing any shirt hemlines. Unfortunately, this pistol is not equipped with fully ambidextrous slide-releases.

Slide, Barrel and Sights

The Tisas PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry uses a 3.5-inch, button-rifled barrel to send 9mm bullets downrange, and for defensive-use, its accuracy is very reasonable regardless of projectile’s weight. As previously mentioned, the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry slide is factory milled for the popular Trijicon RMR footprint. It also comes equipped with an iron sight set consisting of a plain black rear sight along with a fiber-optic front sight. The gun’s case includes extra fiber-optic inserts and miscellaneous parts including a spare Trijicon RMR style battery sealing plate. Forward and rear serrations are present on the slide, and while not deep or aggressive, they can get the job done.  

Trigger

Perhaps Tisas is borrowing Canik’s playbook of selling affordable pistols with nice triggers, but the stock trigger installed on the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry is nothing short of amazing for a gun with an MSRP under $370 dollars. The trigger is flat-faced like many match triggers and its bladed-safety sits flat and compact, so it doesn’t ruin the feel of the trigger pull. A mechanical trigger pull scale puts its breaking weight right around the 4 pound mark with a very clean break. The pre-travel isn’t too long, with only 3 to 4mm of movement until the wall. At the wall, trigger the break comes easily with a continuous application of pressure; it doesn’t feel gritty or spongy and it only needs to let out to about 5mm for its full reset. Describing the overall trigger-pull experience of this compact carry pistol being just like an action-pistol match trigger wouldn’t be a lie. In all, this trigger will likely surprise you.

Shooting the Tisas PX9 GEN3 Optics-Ready Carry

Right out of the box, this Tisas PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry had a Gideon Optics Rock reflex sight directly mounted to its slide, and every round it has cycled has been aimed with this optic. At the time of this writing, this handgun has fired approximately 650 rounds of 9mm ammunition over several sessions. The bulk of the rounds fired through the gun were 147-grain reloads, but for this review’s accuracy evaluation I fired factory loads including 115-grain Fiocchi Defense Dynamics JHP, 124-grain Nosler ASP JHP and my go-to 147-grain target round, the “purple” Federal Syntech. Since its maiden voyage, the Tisas has been completely reliable, with the exception of the fiber-optic insert falling out of the front sight around the 250-round mark (good thing they include extras). Because of its compact frame and slide, the PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry does “feel” somewhat jumpy, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary as far a 3.5-inch compact double stack pistol is concerned. Its ergonomic grip, the mounted optic and easy-to-use trigger result in an easy-to-shoot package benefiting anyone.

The PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry is oversprung from the factory (likely to ensure reliability with the widest possible range of ammunition, like most factory pistols), but I noticed it had a tendency to print follow-up shots below point-of-aim during rapid fire due to the combination of a shorter slide and that stiffer spring. The shorter slide has less mass, so the stronger spring sends it home faster and due to momentum, it dips once it reaches the end of its travel path.

The Takeaway

Box contentsThe Tisas PX9 Gen3 Optics-Ready Carry pistol incorporates many features and common parts from other handguns to provide an affordable, reliable and practical carry gun at an extremely competitive price-point. Though not the most attractive looking handgun, it’s very fully-featured, lacking only an ambidextrous slide-release. Even so, with an MSRP of $369 the shooter still gets a pistol with an exquisite trigger and optics-ready capability, not to mention parts commonality with different established handguns already in major circulation. Tisas had no need to reinvent the wheel with the third-generation PX9 family in general, because the goal with this pistol is obvious: deliver affordability and reliability to American gun owners.

Tisas PX9 Gen 3 O-R Carry Specifications:

  • Country Of Origin: Turkey
  • Make: Tisas
  • Model: PX9 Gen O-R Carry
  • Action: Striker-fired, semi-automatic
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Overall Length: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 5.37 inches
  • Width: 1.32 inches
  • Weight: 21 ounces
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Slide Material: Steel 
  • Barrel Length: 3.5 inches
  • Sight Radius: 5.5 inches
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds or 18 rounds
  • Magazines Included: One 15 round, one 18 round
  • Optics-Ready: Yes, RMR footprint
  • Sights: Plain black rear, fiber optic front 
  • Accessories: Locking hard case, magwell, holster, cleaning kit, safety lock, extra fiber-optic inserts, spare RMR sealing plate, manual
  • MSRP: $369

15-yard Accuracy Report:

 

Smallest Group
(inches)

Average Group
(inches)

Largest Group
(inches)

Fiocchi Defense Dynamics 115-grain JHP

1.25

1.40

1.60

Nosler ASP 124-grain JHP

1.50

1.73

2.00

Federal Syntech 147-grain TSJ

1.35

1.65

2.00

 

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