Gratuitous Gun Pic: MAC 1911 JSOC (.45 ACP)

Evil Reader John C. sent me a link to the 1,000-round test of this lovely budget 1911:

Okay, it’s a 1911 so I’m going to like it, and it comes with all sorts of standard stuff like a titanium trigger, ambi-safety, adjustable rear sight and (yes!) a brass bead front sight.  My only quibble is this unnecessary protuberance on the grip safety…
…but I’ve griped about it often enough so I won’t repeat it here.

Most of all, I like the price point (around $750 street) which, considering the effects of Bidenflation (don’t get me started) is quite acceptable.

And the tester likes it fine, but they always do, don’t they?  Certainly, though, the MAC came through the 1,000-round test without any major issues, which is more than you can say about a lot of the budget guns on the market nowadays.

And it looks like a proper 1911, none of that front-of-slide serration nonsense that all the cool kids seem to demand.

Background To The Range Report

A Longtime Loyal Reader (also a good friend who’s broken bread in my house) had occasion to, and I quote, “Replace a light bulb in my #3 gun safe.”

This necessitated emptying the thing of the guns stored therein, which required the assistance of his Son&Heir.

Then (and I quote again):  “I realized that I had about four CZ 75s tucked in the back that I’d forgotten about.  I bought them during the Obama years when there was all that talk about gun confiscation and mag-size regulation, then forgotten about them since.”

And then came the part which made me choke on my morning gin:  “Would you like one?”

Feebly I protested that I’d love one, but being one of the Poor Of The Parish, I couldn’t afford it, no matter the cost.  “Never mind all that,” was the airy response, “I need to make space in the safe.  What’s the address of your FFL?”

So I picked the 75 up yesterday, and raced off to the range to make its acquaintance.  What follows is the range report.

I should point out that when I divested myself of the Browning High Power early last year, I also divested myself of all my remaining 9mm ammo, donating it to Doc Russia because, “Oh hell, I’m never going to need all that again.”

Foolish man, right?  Anyway, I picked up two boxes of self-defense hollowpoint 9mm at the Merchant Of Death’s place, because I have decided that I’m only going to shoot what I carry.  So on with the show…

Range Report: CZ 75 (“Pre -B”) — 9x19mm Para

The CZ 75 has been made in several configurations, the earliest being the “Pre -B” (story here) and one of these was what was given to me and which I took to the range.

My Kind Benefactor had the temerity to apologize for the wear on the finish — like that has ever been a concern of mine — but even the guys at the Merchant Of Death, hardened gunnies though they are, were oohing and aahing over the thing, playing with it and trying out the trigger.

I’ll talk a little bit more about the gun itself later, but let me set the scene for the workout.  I made several decisions before the gun even arrived:

  • I’m only ever going to shoot heavy hollowpoints out of the thing, and never the cheap 115gr FMJ ammo because I despise it.
  • So I chose SIG’s Elite JHP 147-gr offering:
      …because that was the cheapest ammo of those specs I could find.

There are a couple of issues with the CZ pre-B 75 guns, but only one of which might be problematic (for me), and that is that their magazines are not compatible with those used in the later CZ 75 B models (and their sub-variants).  I discovered that the pre-B mags are like hen’s teeth, but this is not a concern for me because I intend to carry the 75 as a backup piece, its 15-round mag replacing the S&W 637’s 5-round cylinder.

Anyway, so this is the background to the workout below.  I only had two boxes (all I could afford at the moment), and I had to hold back 15 rounds for the carry mag, so all I had was 25 rounds to play with.  So instead of blasting away (as is my wont), I had to go all South African Army and watch my ammo count carefully.  Here’s how it went, at 7 yards (20-odd feet) distance:

The double-action trigger pull on the CZ 75 is okay, a tad stiff — more like a WWII P-38 than (say) a Glock — but it doesn’t really matter because as a self-defense piece, and not being constrained by department policy, I’m going to carry it cocked and locked like my 1911 so I don’t have to think about it:  safety off, and away we go.

The single-action pull is lovely:  a smooth take-up but no stop before the bang, which for this 1911/BHP user is going to take a little more work.  It did catch me unawares a couple of times during the session, to be sure, with a couple of annoying flyers, but no matter because MOAR PRACTICE oh boy.

I had intended to do a side-by-side with the 1911, but by the time I caught myself, I only had four rounds left.  Never mind, thinks I, let’s just do four rounds of the 9mm, and four rounds of the 1911 carry ammo:

(This is all I carry and shoot these days in my 1911, because heavier .45 boolets (e.g. 230gr FMJ) do a number on my aged wrists after a few mags thereof, and these soft-shooting Normas are both accurate and deadly — “MHP” stands for “monolithic hollow point”, whatever that means.)

Here’s the 4-round comparison, aimed at the “head” portion of the target:

All were fired in what I call “aimed-rapid”, i.e. bang [beat] bang [beat] etc., and the left-hand hole in the .45 group contains two shots, as it happens, the first two I fired.  (Many thousands of practice rounds helps with this kind of thing.)

I noted that I’m shooting the 75 a fraction high after the first shot, something I’ll be watching in future practice sessions.  (The first shot in the above target is the bottom-left hole.)

The grouping is… acceptable — for me anyway.

This SIG ammo is about 58c/pull, the Norma about 50c.

The difference between the two guns in felt recoil is almost imperceptible.  The 75 is surprisingly hefty and tames whatever recoil the heavier 9mm rounds generate.  In terms of size, it almost fits in my 1911’s holsters, but for the larger trigger guard.

Speaking of which, this is one way you can tell the immediate difference between the CZ 75 and the CZ 75 B:

Note too the bobbed hammer of the later B;  those two features and the incompatible mags (grrrrr) are the major apparent differences between the two.

As for me:  I now carry a 1911 with 24 rounds (three mags) of .45 ACP, and a backup CZ 75 with 15 rounds of Europellet in its single magazine.

That should work.

Cartridge Comparison

From Rifleshooter magazine comes this even-handed look at the two “sevens”:  the 7x57mm Mauser, and the 7mm-08 Rem.  I’ve shot plenty of both, and agree with everything Scott Rupp says.

However, I’m always going to come down on the side of the 7×57, and those who know me will know quite well why.  As Rupp summarizes:



    • History, history, history
    • Case taper produces excellent feeding
    • Uniqueness counts


    • Not a short action, not really a long action
    • Can’t match the 7mm-08’s ballistics
    • Ammo, gun availability are poor

Actually, the last is true only if you’re looking for new rifles (although Mauser, unsurprisingly, offers it in their M98 line, but it’s nosebleed-spendy).

If you don’t care about that “new” requirement — and for someone who loves the “history, history, history”  thing it’s a feature, not a bug — there’s always the mil-surp market and its “re-stocked” tributary (like this example) which offer many choices.  (I have a special affection for the Oviedo rifles, as I took my very first deer with one.)  By the way, CZ used to offer the 7x57mm in its now-discontinued 550 line, so there’s always a chance you’ll find one in the second-hand market, if you’re alert — when one does occasionally appear for sale it disappears quickly, so clearly I’m not the only one who loves the old cartridge.

Then there’s the “customized” sector, exemplified by offerings such as this one at Steve Barnett:

Expect to pay a lot for a customized rifle at the hands of, say, Gary Goudy, but it’s all good.  (I lie awake dreaming about this one, by the way:  it’s a lottery rifle.)

Finally, unless you’re picky about such things, there’s nothing wrong with the old green-box Remington PSP 7×57 cartridge:  it works well on any deer, as I can personally attest, and its only disadvantage is scarcity and therefore price.  But it’s a hunting cartridge, so you’re not going to shoot off thousands of rounds anyway — although both Prvi Partizan (PPU) and Sellior & Bellot also offer it, usually for less than a buck per round.  (Remington’s Pointed Soft Point is at least double that.)

As for the 7mm-08?  I like it just fine — in fact, given my druthers, I’d choose this cartridge over the .308 Win — and as Rupp points out, new rifles chambered thusly are all over the place.  The shorter action helps, and the recoil is very manageable.  Here’s the Sako 101 Classic, for starters:

…which would make just about any gun-lover’s short list.  And, of course, there’s the Savage 110 for the cheapskate budget-conscious shooter:

…which I would be quite happy to take on any hunt.

My, how I do ramble on.  Here’s the summary.

History vs. modern.  The choice is yours, and neither is a bad one.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Springfield Echelon (9mm P)

This is the latest offering from Croatia’s HS guns — marketed Over Here, of course, by Springfield — the “Echelon”.  (Are gun manufacturers getting their naming criteria from Japanese car companies, I ask myself?)  Here’s the bare-bones version:

…and in its tricked-out regalia:

To be clear, the last “new” gun I shot was a SIG P365 when it was first released, which should tell you how out of touch I am in these matters, so of course I am not well-versed on this Echelon thing’s operation.

But the Honest Outlaw is, having fired it lots (and lots) and subjected it to abuse that I would barely consider inflicting on a Clinton, let alone to a gun.  He ends up loving it (not the mag, though), so from that perspective it looks like an excellent deal, as so many of Springfield’s guns are.

At the end of the day, though, you’re still going to end up with a gun that shoots a Europellet.

By the way:  I’d like to get in touch with Chris on a non-related gun matter, so if anyone knows the Outlaw’s email addy, please send it to me.

Shotguns, Dead Bodies And Such

This is going to be a long, rambling post (unlike my usually concise, single-topic pieces) but hey, it’s the weekend:  why not ramble all over the place, even if it does take you well over an hour to get through, if you follow all the links?  So mote it be.

Several Readers have sent me links to all sorts of fascinating stuff recently, and most especially on the topic of shotguns — all of which have been most gratefully accepted.

We already looked at the most-recent entry (re-entry?) of Weatherby into the side-by-side shotgun market in a Gratuitous Gun Pic post.  A comment by Reader Ray is quite appropriate:

“Now they just need to eradicate the ‘Weatherby’ billboard and the exposed colored chokes.”

Colored chokes (which I also abhor because fugly) are nevertheless useful to those who are constantly changing their chokes according to the conditions in which they are shooting (high birds, skeet or whatever).  I understand this, but frankly I am not one of those shooters, in that I prefer a consistent choke type so I can make adjustments on the fly, so to speak.  Your mileage may vary, and that’s fine because when I do any shotgunning at all, it’s sporting clays and I make no claims of expertise in the other types.

As for the Weatherby “billboard”, that’s another point I agree with.  Compare and contrast the following:



…where one can almost hear the murmurs of Messrs. Purdey and Holland:  “There’s no need to SHOUT, dear boy, if you’re making a quality gun.”  Point made.

Still on the topic of “Turkish” shotguns, Longtime Friend and Reader John C. sends me this article, talking about CZ’s Hammer Coach shotgun:

Okay, I am seriously considering this little 20″-barreled beauty as a future home defense option.

“But Kim,” I hear you say, “I thought you said that your AK suits all your home defense needs?”

And indeed I have said that before.  However, I am starting to revise my opinion on the matter (“and not a moment too soon, ya old fart”) because in the very same email, John C. added a link to this wonderfully-funny but yet very informative medical take on the effects of a shotgun blast to the human anatomy.  (It also features those raucous Zoomer kids at Garand Thumb, for double the hilarity.)

As to why a double-barreled hammer shotgun (two rounds) over a pump action (five rounds), I have two reasons for my choice.

The first is that one of the benefits of exposed hammers in a shotgun is that you know immediately whether the gun is ready to fire — no safety catch necessary — and while the cocking action is slow, it’s as quick as a well-practiced pump-action throw, especially if you cock both hammers simultaneously.  That second shot happens as quickly as you can move your finger from one trigger to the other, which is not only quicker, but less disruptive to your aiming hold than shoveling the pump back and forth.

The second reason is that after watching the effect of buckshot on the human torso and Doctor Raynor’s excellent analysis thereof, I fail to see why I would need more than two shots to solve the problem (assuming that there aren’t more than two targets, so to speak — but if so, I’d be reaching for the AK anyway because then there’s a crowd dynamic to the whole situation).

Of course, I’d like to have a Purdey hammer gun, just for aesthetic reasons:

…but the barrels are too long and the old gun too expensive.  And for a more modern take, let’s not even talk about the exquisite Famars Abbiatico offering, for the same two reasons:

I seem to have wandered way off the original topic of this post — if there ever was one to begin with — but I did warn you earlier.

All similarly-meandering comments are welcome, of course, because it’s the weekend.