Review: BUL Armory SAS II UR 9mm
You may remember when we first reported on the SAS II UR Open gun from BUL Armory back in March (MSRP: $3,299 for 9mm model with optic, gparms.com). It had just arrived and we had barely become acquainted, but now, having fired the gun a few times and used it in an indoor match it is possible to speak with some authority on the gun.
The grip is polymer with an undercut trigger guard, and aggressive checkering on the sides of the grip panels. The front and back straps are also textured with a finer grain of checkering. The gun is easy to hold onto while firing and doesn’t slide around in the hands. The SAS II magazine well that resides at the bottom of the grip makes it easy to hit the hole during reloads. The magazine well slopes nicely down and outward from the grip, and allows for large hands to get to the grip without feeling crunched.
As for the magazine release, it is extended and textured, making it easy to access in a hurry but it does not gouge into the palm of the hand while shooting. The ambidextrous thumb safety has a guard on both sides to prevent riding against the slide. And, the slide release is in the traditional place, and has a bit of checkering as well to make it very useable.
Sporting a short frame, the overall weight of the pistol is kept down. The scope mount, which is also made by BUL Armory, is attached by three screws in front of the trigger guard and includes a thumb rest for the left thumb.
A Nikko Stirling Diamond Pro T4 optic arrived in place on this gun; the dot sits directly above the ejection port and is protected by the baseplate of the scope mount. In all of the shooting that we did, the scope mount did not create any malfunctions that sometimes occur with Open guns. The gun ran fine.
The slide is equipped with a slide racker that sits just behind the scope mount, and is turned upward at nearly a 45-degree angle. The slide racker’s size and design made it very user-friendly. The slide is lightened significantly on both sides and the top of the slide. In front of the scope mount, the slide has four large ports that allow the gold-colored barrel to be visible and exposes the SAS II label on the barrel. The gold-colored compensator has four ports, and the slide-to-compensator fit is excellent. This is a fine looking, well-constructed gun.
The trigger press is light and crisp and needs no further attention from a gunsmith to be competitive. The reset of the trigger is short and very positive. This gun was very accurate, and the trigger is a reason why that is the case. The gun performed well, it was soft-shooting and accurate while shooting at speed.
The first live-fire test of the SAS II was at the March 11 indoor match at Parabellum. We were using 124-grain 9mm major ammo from Eley, and Everglades 124-grain and 147-grain ammunition for this match and for the other live fire testing that we did. Prior to this match I had done some test firing and light shooting using regular factory 115-grain ammo. The gun cycled and functioned just fine with factory ammo not designed for Open guns, and it performed well with the 9mm major ammo.
Parabellum matches include two flights of shooting, so both Jake Martens and I were able to shoot the gun in the same match and not have to swap holster and gear back and forth. None of the other top Open shooters in the area were present at the match that night, so we did not have a good measurement against top competition. I was able to achieve the victory in the three-stage match, with Martens coming in second at 88 percent. Open guns and race holsters are not things in either of our wheelhouses; red-dot optics are like a foreign language for me as well. Martens shoots a considerable amount in Carry Optics so he at least had that going for him.
The first stage was a 16-shot course of fire with a couple of shooting positions, while the second stage was shot from two positions and required 13 rounds to complete. We each had a stage win and both of us took to this gun like a couple of ducks to water, as it was fun and easy to shoot. The dot and holster had no adverse effects on either of us.
Stage three was the classifier Can You Count, which brought a couple of reloads under pressure into the mix. I managed the stage win with a hit factor of 11.00, securing the match win for the Open division. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the shooting went that evening, because I was so far out of my comfort zone. BUL Armory deserves credit for producing a quality gun.
The SAS II UR was put on the shelf while we tested the BUL Armory Limited gun, but it was not forgotten. Martens and I met up at the Riley Conservation Club to give the gun another workout and see if the first impression was an accurate one. For this shooting, we were using steel USPSA targets so that we did not have to paste targets, which made for an efficient session. On this occasion Martens pasted as many targets as I did, making this a unique experience.
The first test was a three-target array at 10 yards distance, spaced three feet apart. It was simply a matter of grip it and rip it. Martens cranked out three runs with times of 3.22, 2.85 and 2.82 seconds, with all of his shots being hits. My times were 2.56, 2.44 and 2.41 seconds without a miss.
We used the same array of targets for El Prez. Martens’ three runs were completed with all of the hits in times of 6.08, 5.60 and 5.31 seconds. He seemed to be warming up as we moved along. My times on El Prez were 6.46, 6.18 and 6.54 seconds with all the hits.
The next array was the familiar Near to Far setup that we always use. We had four targets at distances of nine, 12, 18 and 25 yards. The width of the array from left to right measured 12 yards. Martens posted times on the board of 3.94, 3.39 and 3.38 seconds with a miss. He also had a smoking fast run of 3.07 seconds; however, lead and steel did not collide very much on that run. My times were 3.57, 3.74, 3.81 and 3.84 seconds.
We shot a couple of 16-round stages, using the same four targets but shot from different positions around a section of wall with a port in the middle. The first “stage” required moving to the left and engaging two targets around the left side of the wall, then moving to the port and engaging two more targets. The targets were at the same distances as the Near to Far array. The close targets were engaged first and the far targets were engaged through the port. We both moved to the port and engaged the 25- yard target first. Coming into position and hitting the 25-yard target was a challenge, but we were both able to do it without a single miss. Martens recorded times of 8.47 and 7.73 seconds. My times were 9.82 and 9.35 seconds. We had not painted the steel at this point and there was some debate about the quality of points, but that is all I am going to say about that. What was clear was that this gun from BUL Armory was able to perform very well in a number of tests for two guys whose game is not Open division. Additionally, we wondered what this gun would be like in the hands of a talented Open shooter.
The final exercise was the Bill Drill, six rounds from surrender at seven yards on a paper target this time. Martens managed runs of 2.28, 2.14 and 2.27 seconds. My runs were a very frustrating 2.44, 2.26 and 2.62 seconds.
BUL Armory is producing quality pistols and should be given strong consideration by anyone looking to jump into Open division. The guns that we tested were good-looking guns that performed very well. Check out the full selection of BUL Armory firearms at the GP Arms website.
Article by Aron Bright