An Affordable Match-Grade 1911— Nicely Optioned!
Metro Arms Company of Manila founded by Hector Rodriquez, a former competitive shooter, has been supplying 1911 pistols to a number of North American companies for quite a while. They are now marketing pistols under their own mark in partnership with Eagle Imports of Wanamassa, NJ. The major lines include the American Classic Series, the upscale, full- featured MAC models and the wide-body, high-capacity SPS that has established a following among European Action Shooters. The American Classic line features affordable 1911 designs in various sizes and configurations. They are well distributed locally and at prices well under $600 are quite popular among bargain-conscious shooters. Dealers and end-users give them high marks for reliability and accuracy.
The MAC 1911 are geared toward competition shooting, featuring match grade barrels, hand lapping of slide and frame and focused attention from skilled gunsmiths. We borrowed the MAC 1911 Classic Model stipulating the optional Hard Chrome finish. Hard Chrome is a very durable and usually expensive treatment but in the case of the MAC Classic, it added only $74 to the base price. Other salient features include a bushing-less bull barrel fitted to the slide and a full length guide rod. The sights are Bomar Pattern fully adjustable rear and fiber optic front. The trigger pull weighs 4.5 pounds out of the box. Grips are attractive reptile scale Philippine hardwood and it has a flared magwell
Overall fit was attractively done and tight as is expected from a match grade 1911. The surface treatment and application of the hard chrome were, to employ the overused Internet term, “Flawless!”
The MAC 1911 Classic with hard Chrome finish. It features
hand-fitted competition quality components.
Features include flared mag well, trigger adjustable for over-travel,
Bomar Pattern rear target sight with fiber optic front, ambidextrous
safeties, lowered port and beaver tail grip safety.
A 25 yard Bench Group. The MAC “liked” the premium Remington defense rounds.
After initial lubrication and a modicum of shooting, the Classic became reliable with the loads I had on hand and was inclining in that direction with loads using more abruptazoid projectiles. One shooter had a couple of malfunctions with the Hornady Steel match but it was 100 percent reliable during my shooting. It was very closely fitted and, initially the slide would require a gentle nudge for complete lock up. Groups with the three premium loads and one favored handload quickly established best groups ranging from 1.4″ to 2.5″ for five shots from a Caldwell rest at 25 yards.
These were single-effort groups as any attempt on my part to produce significant multi-group averages only tends to accentuate my unimpressive bench rest capabilities. Conversely, my generally accurate lead round nose “softball” load delivered unimpressive accuracy and multiple attempts did not improve them. Nevertheless, any time I can deliver comfortably sub-2″ groups with an auto-pistol, I know I am dealing with a very precise instrument.
I was able to produce decent and repeatable accuracy shooting unsupported one and two-handed from 25 yards and, as is frequently the case, there was not a great deal of on-target difference between the two modes. At the range, I encountered a couple of very squared away active duty airforce guys practicing with their personal carry pistols. Captain Jake Ivie USAF, shot the MAC in his “tactical” mode from 30 feet producing a silver dollar-size cluster.
The Classic gave excellent performance with these quality
factory loads as well as my hard ball handload.
One-hand “slow fire” at 25 yards.
The coned, bushing-less barrel and captured one-piece recoil spring/guide
rod enjoy their own very special take down procedure. They display a bit
of individuality on re-assembly too.
Plus and Minus
On the negative side, I found the full-length guide rod somewhat tedious. It’s the only way to go when you have a coned-bushingless barrel fit but dismounting requires capturing the spring assembly with an L-shaped wire and re-assembly was inexplicably difficult given that there is really only one way to complete the assembly. The guide-rod spring assembly tied up preventing full travel of the slide until it decided, on its on, to re-assume normal function.
The rear sight is, of course, adjustable for windage and elevation. I found the entire assembly to be quite tight. The windage adjustment turned with some difficulty and backing off on the elevation adjustment merely raised the screw above the sight body. It required manual assistance to get the sight to actually move. The elevation setting lacks any positive indexing and it is not possible to determine if spring pressure alone will be sufficient to maintain adjustment when the unit loosens up. In any case, the sight presents the preferred wide and serrated rear aspect standard on high grade bulls eye pistols and the front sight is of the appropriate width with visibility enhanced by the fiber optic element.
Dovetail mounted front sight with fiber optic element.
It is very easy to pick up.
The rear sight is a near-copy of the superlunary Bomar product.
It’s always refreshing to find a member of any industry that regards good manners and excellent customer service as virtues rather than, is often the case, signs of weakness. Both Eagle Arms and Metro are dedicated to providing support for their products. Eagle maintains a comprehensive network of authorized repair stations. The warranty/repair expert in this area is John Ridlehuber, a master gunsmith, instructor and action pistol competitor. He does custom work on 1911’s and can use and carry any gun he deems appropriate. On a recent visit to his isolated rural location, I noticed a Metro 1911 in his holster. He told me the Metro pistols in general, provide excellent service and that Eagle and Metro work well in concert and are very responsive to his requests for product support.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index, (732) 493 0302.
By Mike Cumpston
Metro Classic MAC 1911
Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel Length: 5 inches coned, fully supported full length guide rod.
Weight: 40.6 ounces
Sights: Bomar-type Metro adjustable
Frame: 4140 steel
Slide: 4140 Hammer forged
Safeties: Ambidextrous , grip safety
Capacity: 8 round magazine
Finish: Hard chrome.
Price: $1,112 ( blued -$1,038 )