The MAC-11 is an interesting little pistol. Though it resembles a brick-on-a-stick more than a GLOCK does, I still prefer it for some reason. Regardless, the MAC-11 has a few neat features about it. This pistol is based off of the MAC-10, however. What is a MAC-10? During the Vietnam War, some Special Forces units (SEALs, for example) were given a few MAC-10s. They fired the .45ACP cartridge and had a small, retracting wire stock. They also featured one of the best suppressors available at that time. Fast forward several years and you get the MAC-11. A somewhat elongated MAC-10 chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum.
This particular MAC-11 was produced in the 1980s by Cobray. When the owner of the firearm approached me, it had been unfired. It has currently had eighteen rounds fired through it, enabling me to write this review, but I digress. Back on topic, this firearm was produced in the 1980s. It was about the same time that Uzis, Tec-9s, and AP-9s were beginning to achieve their popularity. That is, the MAC-11 was introduced during the machine-pistol craze of the '80s. The pistol came with two magazines and that was more or less it. The original owner of this firearm later purchased an extended "barrel" with a shroud as to provide a decently-sturdy improvised handguard. Some people have mistaken this item for a suppressor. I fired this with the attachment on and off. The difference in the loudness of the round was minimal. Also noticed during firing, the "barrel" began to unscrew itself. Unlike most threaded barrels, this one does not feature a locking mechanism for attachments. They are simply screwed on and held in place (for a little while) by friction alone.
Moving on, the sights are very similar to the Uzi carbine. What do I mean by this? I meant they're almost completely useless in pistol form. Whoever decided aperture sights on a handgun was a good idea must have ate a lot of glue as a child. Follow up shots with this handgun are difficult to align without a good amount of practice. Also like the Uzi, however, the cocking "knob" is cut out as to allow a clear line of sight when aiming.
The magazine release is a bit strange. It's better for me than an Uzi as it doesn't require you to pinch-and-pull. Rather, it's some sort of variation on the European-style magazine release. The lever is on the bottom-back of the grip. The user simply places their thumb down on it, grabs the magazine, and pulls down. Simple as that.
Going back to the bolt on this piece, it has a nifty little feature that I don't believe any other model of handgun has. The bolt on this pistol, when pulled most all the way rearward, has the ability to lock open. How so? By moving the knob 90* over the circular cut in the receiver's path, the bolt is locked open. It's a little tough to do, but it is very possible to do. The springs in these pistols are pretty stout. You'll also note the cut-out in the photo.
You may have noticed the safety in the last photo. It's the little switch just above the trigger guard. It resembles the AR-15/M16 selector switch very closely. It looks like it may be an odd place for a safety, but this safety is actually very easy to engage and disengage with the trigger finger. I enjoy the placement of the switch.
The last feature I'd like to point out on this handgun is the threaded barrel. It's pretty self-explanatory, but this pistol can accept a fairly wide range of barrel attachments. If one were wanting to go the Class III route, this would be an easy pistol to suppress. Unfortunately, you almost have to go Class III with this as it is very difficult to aim very well without a stock. Then again, it doesn't matter all too much. If I remember correctly, this one was sighted in for what we believe to be ten meters.
So there you have the MAC-11. They're pretty cool pistols, but parts aren't all too common and, to my understanding, most every commercial model has had a few flaws to them. The Cobrays (featured in this review) have a near diamond-sharp trigger guard, or so it seems when firing. They like to eat up your middle finger during firing. The new-production MAC-11s (VMAC) are priced about the same as they were in the 1980s, but there have been a few reports of them being of a lesser overall quality. That being said, the MAC is purely a "fun gun." They aren't good for much, but if you're wanting to just have some fun, they definitely won't disappoint. Just watch your fingers if you decide to hold it "SEAL-style."