So: over three days and countless examples of gunny goodness on display, what were my favorites?
The first may come as a surprise to you: the Llama Micromax mini-pistol in .380 ACP from Eagle Imports, seen below in black and stainless:
Llama? Indeed. My very first pistol ever was a Llama, and it was a beauty. They’re no longer made in Spain, but in the Phillipines using the original Spanish machining and specs — only now they’re made with harder 4140 steel (always a knock on the older Llamas).
But that’s not why I like this new Micromax. Why I like it is that unlike the plethora of striker-fired plastic teenies, this bad lil’ guy is all-steel AND it’s a scaled-down 1911 action. I had Royce Honeycutt of Colorado Gunworks, Eagle’s warranty gunsmith — of whom more later — walk me through the manufacturing process. Then he field-stripped it, and in fact it’s more like a High Power action than a 1911 (i.e. easier to reassemble).
Now, why not go with something like the Kimber mini-pistols (as covered here)? After all, they come in larger calibers as well as the .380 ACP, and they too are scaled-down 1911 actions, miniatures of existing Kimber 1911s, as it happens.
My answer is simple. A pocket pistol in .380 ACP is not going to be your primary carry piece, it’s going to be your backup — and as such, the Micromax’s price tag of about $400 is going to be a better deal than Kimber’s $900, and a much better deal than a Walther PPK/S’s $1,100.
And the Llama Micromax isn’t a poxy DA striker-fired piece of plastic; it’s a steel 1911, fer gawdsakes. Here’s a review of the thing.
If I have a spare few dollars floating around in a couple-three months’ time, I’m going to get one. In stainless steel. Because when I held it, the Micromax felt as though I’d been holding it since… oh good grief, I bought my first Llama in 1975.
I think I’ll go back to bed.