Welcoming a new 1911 to the family – The MAC Classic!

Here it is. After seeing this pistol on-line and loving the look, I hoped to find one in a store so I could see it up close and personal. Unfortunately, while some shops claimed to be dealers for the gun they did not have any in stock. I remanded the idea to the “back of the mind” shelf and tried to forget about it. I usually won’t buy a firearm or related product without being able to personally handle a sample and assess it’s quality for myself firsthand. A few weeks later, on a routine trip into a LGS, I discovered several samples of Metro Arms 1911s. I was excited! I asked the sales person to see each of them and I poured over them carefully. All models represented were of the blued finish variety, but there was a MAC Classic, an Amigo, a Bobtail, and an American Classic. Each model differed slightly in features but all appeared to be well finished and very well priced. These guns are made in the Philippines and it seems the 1911s coming out of there are increasingly impressive. See all the available models here:

http://www.metroarms.com

My attention, however was continually drawn to the beautiful MAC Classic, which is a high end 1911 set up as a competition style pistol. I was really amazed at the features provided for the comparativley low price point offered. So, upon returning home I sifted through the safe found a couple of candidates for sale and away they went. Now I had the money for a MAC Classic! A quick internet search revealed that Davidson’s carried the gun and to my surprise, the chrome, steel version was on sale! This was the version I had seen on-line originally and the one I wanted. For some reason I like the 1911 in a stainless or rather metallic finish as opposed to blued, except of course with regards to a classic Colt which always had exceptional bluing. I chose a LGS I was unfamiliar with because they had a much lower price than the previous one mentioned above. So, I called them on the phone and did a little research (they had some positive reviews on-line) and determined they seemed legitimate so I continued with my purchase and bought the gun using the Gun Genie service (the first time for me), and had the gun shipped to them and voila! A couple of days later, here ’tis!

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A quick look at the exterior of the gun reveals some obvious enhanced features. Adjustable Bo-mar style sights, fiber optic front sight, a wide, flared mag well, front and rear slide serrations, Bull Barrel, front grip serrations that are sharp, but not too sharp (not the blood drawing kind), an extended ambi safety, match trigger, match style hammer, beavertail grip safety and a flared and lowered ejection port. The grips are well made, good looking, wood grips but they are not coated with a sealant of any kind and I wonder if they will be durable as a result.

Thankfully, the gun is a series 70 style 1911 and does not have any type of firing pin blocking mechanism, which I abhor.

The provided case is hard plastic with very positive latches and enclosed therein is the owner’s manual, a single magazine, the obligatory fired casing, a trigger lock, (which I left at the LGS) and of course, the gun. Not much else. I was a bit surprised that MA did not provide at least one more magazine but they didn’t. It was not wrapped in paper or plastic but it was well oiled. In fact, I could definitely say it was heavily oiled.

The magazine is an 8 rounder made in Italy. I am unfamiliar with this brand but will test it thoroughly to see if it is reliable and worth using. Thus far my magazine preferences are confined to Wilson Combat followed by Chip McCormick. I have never had issues with either of these brands but Wilson stands out as a truly reliable magazine and I trust nothing else.

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After learning how to ‘smith and tune 1911s I now scrutinize the fit and finish and overall condition of all the parts to see how well they are made and polished. Basically I evaluate the gun for these qualities and juxtapose that against the cost of the gun. So after some work, here it is all disassembled and ready for my eval.

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Initially in both samples of the MAC Classic I handled I was very impressed with the finish and overall polish of the gun. The trigger was truly impressive in both guns, it is obviously tuned from the factory. There was no creep and it broke very clean in the 3.5-4.25 lb range. Upon disassembly I did find an odd issue with the trigger though, specifically it was very rough on the sides of the bow. (See below)

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Originally I thought it was the metal itself but when I began polishing the bow this came off quickly and so I believe it was some kind of paint or finish applied to the part and not the metal. The bow was also bent slightly outward on one side causing some drag on the frame. So, I flattened it out and afterwards the trigger would fall free from the frame when tested.

The frame is well polished but there is some roughness here and there. The rails have some tool marks on them which is visible but more importantly can be felt if you draw your finger over them. It’s not bad, but it is present. Having said that the slide to frame fit is absolutely the best I have seen yet. The fit is extremely tight, with zero, and I mean zero, movement or slop of any kind. The flat spring is a thinner, match style unit and it is perfectly tuned.

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Tool marks can be seen elsewhere but unlike some other 1911 manufacturers there are obvious efforts by the MAC factory to polish some of these areas.

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The recoil guide rod is of the two piece solid rod variety which is essential to keeping the gun tight but not my favorite type. However, it is well done, very smooth and if you know how to take it apart it’s not too big of a deal. I will say that they claim to include a pin that is used disassemble this part but I could not find it. Perhaps it fell out when the LGS opened the box or maybe it wasn’t included. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice. I had to cannibalize a spare allen wrench to get the job done.

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The barrel really catches your attention. It’s a heavy, match grade, bull barrel with an elongated, polished feed ramp. The barrel is fitted very well and very tight to the slide which is likely going to provide great accuracy. Removing and replacing it in the slide is a careful process as there is no room for it to move around. (Check out the fiber optic front sight as well!)

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The hammer and sear are obviously match quality items. In the photo, the arrow points to the hooks on the hammer which are obviously already cut down to the ideal .20 or .18 height that eliminates creep in the trigger pull and it is a nice 90 degree angle. They were a little sharp on their side edges but some light stoning softened those and removed some high spots. After microscope inspection I lightly stoned the sear edge angle with a few strokes of a fine ceramic stone to idealize the sear/hammer contact and followed that with some jewelers rouge to give it that super smooth, bright finish.

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Overall, I think this gun is an AMAZING value for the money. Manufactured in the Philippines (ironic, I know, if you know the history of the 1911) MAC has done a great job of bringing a very high quality, well finished 1911 competition level pistol to market for an amazing price point around $800! I haven’t shot it yet, and of course, I will. A range report post will subsequently follow discussing the gun’s performance. I am ecstatic about finding such a great quality gun, well finished and polished, for a great price. Their other guns look to be well made also but I’m out of money so I can’t buy another one to get inside it and look around! Maybe another day. But for now, my family of 1911s is fairly complete. This gun filled the niche of an adjustable sight competition style gun unlike the other combat style 1911s I currently own. Glad to have it around! Time to see how it shoots!

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