American Rifleman | Evaluation: EAA Girsan MC1911 Match Elite
by B. Gil Horman –
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Girsan Gun Industry (Girsan) was founded in Giresun, Turkey in 1993. The company’s first pistol was the Yavuz 16, based on the Beretta 92. She passed Turkish military trials and won several contracts with law enforcement and military organizations in the country.
Since then, Girsan has continued to improve its production standards while expanding its range of affordable pistols inspired by popular designs. This manufacturer has a knack for adding its own accents and upgrades to these platforms while maintaining a high standard of quality and reliability.
Girsan continued to expand its Beretta-inspired line of pistols with the release of the Compact MC and Regard MC in 2004. In 2010 the semi-car series MC1911 was launched, which is based on the classic Browning platform.
That year, Girsan, in partnership with European American Armory (EAA), launched two new competitive-grade 1911s and a range of striker-fired polymer pistols that come with red dot optics. Here we take a closer look at the MC1911 Match Elite in .45 ACP.
I remember when building a tricky, competitive quality pistol from 1911 was a tedious and expensive process that could cost thousands of dollars. Although the more expensive custom models are still available, Girsan’s MC1911 Match Elite offers the whistles and bells competitors are looking for at a suggested retail price of $ 873.
The MC1911 Match Elite is a full-size, semi-automatic .45 ACP modeled after popular government models. The sled and frame both have a matte hard chrome finish that is applied to carbon steel for a combination of strength and corrosion resistance. All of the pistol’s features, including the sight, trigger, grip and magazine well, have a matt black finish that contrasts well with the matt chrome.
The top of the slide, dust cap, and trigger guard are rounded in the classic style, just as Mr. Browning intended. The slide has deeply cut front and rear beveled partitions and the discharge opening has been bevelled to improve function. The metallic visor system is integrated into the slide. The visor blade is serrated to reduce glare. The competition-style square visor is click-adjustable for height and drag.
There is no liner on this model. Instead, the muzzle end of the 5 “long barrel has a tapered lock at the muzzle end. It appears to have the same matte chrome finish as the slide and frame. The traditional blunt return spring guide has been replaced with a full-length steel guide rod that comes with The return spring plug has been replaced with a guide that allows this rod to pass through it during the action cycles.
The slide lock and round button magazine release are located on the left side of the frame in a typical 1911 fashion. Both controls have textured touch points for a better purchase. The exposed hammer is a skeletonized variety with a long loop. It’s paired with an extended beaver tail handle security that has a grooved memory bump. Thumb security is ambidextrous with extensions that are just the right size. They are long and wide enough to make them easy to use without being large enough to hamper quick holstering.
The skeletonized aluminum competition trigger has a grooved surface, but no exposed spring travel adjustment screw, as is the case with some models. The print showed just a hint of uptake before a crisp, clean pause. According to my handy Lyman digital trigger indicator, the deduction for this particular weapon was £ 5. 8 ounces. But the print was smooth enough that it felt lighter.
Due to their relatively large size, the grip frames of the .45 1911 caliber benefit from a checkerboard pattern combined with grip scales, which enable a better purchase. This version of the MC1911 has a narrow checkerboard strip along the front strap that engages the ring and little finger, while keeping the edges of the strap smooth for a less abrasive feel. The straight main spring housing is fully checkered from top to bottom, which is a plus.
The two-tone G10 handle shells are attached to the frame with standard handle screws. The texturing of the panels looks good and is effective without being overly abrasive. The front half of each panel has irregularly shaped divots to capture the fingertips with beveled straight cuts that hold onto the palms of the shooting and supporting hand. The result is a handle that feels comfortable and stable to pull out of the holster quickly and complete longer workouts.
The magazine well is equipped with a beveled aluminum extension that makes it easier to reload quickly. Some competition expansions are quite large and blocky. This is compact and neatly rounded to match the dimensions of the handle frame. Like the thumb safety, it’s a handy upgrade for the competition, but it won’t interfere with this pistol used in home defense or carried for personal protection.
As is so often the case, this upgraded 1911 ship comes with just one 8-round blued steel magazine made by ACT-MAG in Italy. Fortunately, this fairly universal type of magazine is easy to find. I have decided to include a new Mec-Gar 8-round Match 1911 magazine for 2020 in the range for the time being. Both magazines worked properly and fell out of control when the magazine release was pressed.
While there are many good reasons to build modern concealed carry guns with polymer frames, pistols intended for competition benefit from an all-steel construction. The added weight helps tame the recoil of the .45 ACPs and gives the 1911s government greatness a good sense of balance. The fit and finish of this weapon were consistently top notch. All controls worked smoothly and properly.
Sometimes all-steel guns require a break-in period of 50 to 200 rounds to smooth things over for the gun to run reliably. This was not the case with this MC1911. Aside from a single stovepipe during the first 20 rounds fired, the pistol ticked like a metronome with all of the ammunition fired, from exercise-quality charges to premium hollow points.
Formal bench rest accuracy tests were conducted by firing five groups of 5 rounds for each charge at targets set at a distance of 25 meters. Hornadys Critical Defense 185-gr. FTX produced a best single group of 3.09 “with a five-group average of 3.22”. Steinel ammunition 185-gr. Solid copper hollow tips gave a best group of 3.05 “with an average of 3.27”. Winchesters 1911 230-gr. The full metal jacket nickel plated load gave a best group of 3.39 “with an average of 3.53”.
When I was given the opportunity to work with these Girsan pistols, I accepted not knowing exactly what to expect from them. I have never worked with Girsan branded products before, and budget-friendly imports can be a mixed lot. Some of them offer real value at a discounted price, while others fit into the “you get what you pay for” category. However, the EAA has a reputation for importing solid and reliable products to be brought to work by their owners rather than living in a showcase.
The MC1911 Match Elite looks and handles like an all-steel half-car in competition quality. There is nothing in its appearance or handling to suggest that it costs less. In fact, the features are on par with other Factory 1911s, which typically retail for about $ 300 to $ 400 more.
Importer: European American Armory
Manufacturer: Girsan (Turkey)
Model: MC1911 Match Elite (Article number: 390095)
Action: 1911 government single-action semi-auto
Caliber: .45 ACP
Foil: carbon steel, matte hard chrome finish
Sliding functions: Round teeth on top, front and back
Frame: carbon steel, matte hard chrome finish with matte black appointments
Front strap: partially checked
Main spring case: flat with checkerboard pattern
Handle scales: Textured G10, standard handle screws
Sight: dovetail serrated target
Visor: Fully adjustable competition
Barrel: Connected competition barrel with muzzle lock
Barrel socket: None
Guide rod: full length steel
Return spring: simple, round wire
Hammer: long bow skeleton
Thumb Security: Extended Ambidextrous
Secure grip: Extended beavertail with memory bump
Magazine release: Round Button
Trigger: Skeletonized aluminum
Deduction: 5 lbs. 8 ounces. (As tested)
Magazine slot extension: aluminum, black finish
Barrel length: 5.00 “
Overall Length: 8.75 “
Height: 5.9 “
Gliding width: 0.92 “
Handle width: 1.30 “
Weight: 42.9 ounces. with empty magazine
Capacity: 8 + 1 rounds
Twist: 1:16 ”RH
Gun grooves: 6
Accessories: Hard Sided Carry Case, an 8-round magazine, bronze bore brush, cable lock, instruction manual.
MSRP: $ 873