The Metro Arms MAC 3011 SSD in .40SW is a double stack 1911 style pistol aimed directly at competition shooters looking for a solid firearm on a budget. Hit or miss?

 

The MAC 3011 SSD a good-looking gun right out of the box; characteristically blocky and heavy in the right places for an overall “race gun” look. The dark blue/black steel works particularly well with those aluminum grips.

If you’re thinking a gun made in Manilla must be poor quality, think again. It’s obvious that the 3011 wasn’t made on worn out machinery or by people who weren’t paying attention to what they were doing.

Like the other Metro Arms guns I’ve reviewed there were no tool marks, gross chattering, or unpolished parts either inside or outside of the gun. The lockup is solid, as is the overall fit of the parts.

When it comes to double stack 1911s, not all grips are created equal. The 3011 reminds me much more of the Para-styled double stacks than the STI‘s  and SVI‘s versions, though it’s a little wider and a little rounder.

For my hands, for a pistol focused on competition, that’s not a problem. To be clear, if you have smaller hands, this is not the gun for you. Then again, any double stack 1911 will be a challenge for someone with tiny mitts.

The MAC 3011 SSD’s aluminum grip panels are adorned with the Metro Arms logo and fish scaled throughout.

Both the front strap and back of the mainspring housing are textured, the front being finely so.

Prior to shooting the 3011, I was a little concerned that the overall smoothness of the grip surfaces would slip in my hands once things got sweaty. Though the temperature hit 90 degrees with 90+ percent humidity during one of the days shooting for this review, I’m happy to report that the grip stays put, even when it’s dripping with sweat.

The MAC 3011 SSD’s a comfortable gun to shoot.

Given the pistol’s overall geometry and its thin trigger guard, I could get my hand high on the gun without any undo smashing of my firing hand fingers. The ambidextrous thumb safety was easy to reach, and snapped right on and off without any hesitation. It was just the right size to allow my thumb continued purchase for my grip in long strings.

The grip safety never failed to disengage, even when I had a less than perfect grip. This is something a lot of manufacturers get wrong. Metro Arms got it right.

Then there’s that giant magazine well. Though not aesthetically pleasing, with little done to meld the mag well into the handle, it’s extremely practical. Even blurry peripheral vision gives the shooter enough clues on where to drive the magazine home. I never hand any hang-ups or catches.

As far as the finish itself, the 3011 exhibits different levels of polish. Nothing is marred or uneven, but the flats of the slide got one treatment, the rounds another, and the frame another as well. That leaves a bit of a disjointed look on a well executed design.

There are no sharp edges where there aren’t supposed to be, and all of the lines flow well for a purpose-built gun. The front dustcover, although not full-length, is thick, blocky and heavy. On the 3011, that actually works well. It also helps to mitigate recoil. The five-inch bushingless barrel ends in a reverse crown about a quarter inch outside of the slide.

The sights are perfect for their task. A thin but brilliant fiber optic front sight sits on top of a long flattened slide. The rear sight is a fully adjustable serrated black ledge. The front sight is bright enough to pick up in any light and contrasts against the target, yet thin enough to get precise shots from the 25 to 50 yard line.

I’m not sure why the Eagle Imports website for the MAC 3011 would list it as having a “flat competition trigger.” It’s most certainly textured and curved, and not bad at all. Breaking at 3.7 lbs on my scale, the trigger has very little grit or creep after the initial pre-travel. It resets about 5mm away from the frame, solidly and crisply.

The trigger certainly fits the bill for a competition gun; I wasn’t fighting it throughout the test. Fast follow-up shots were easy, and a slow, surprise break during accuracy testing was easily achieved. I’ve definitely handled more expensive guns with lesser triggers than this one.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer only included a single magazine with this gun. From everything I can find online, that’s how the gun ships to the customer.As this is a competition-oriented gun, shipping with only one mag is a big failing. At least three would be appropriate. I’d point to the high bar raised by Bersa’s Thunder Pro 9 XT, another competition gun at an affordable price, which ships standard with five magazines.

I didn’t have a double stack 1911/2011 .40SW magazine of another manufacturer laying around — they aren’t easy to find — so I couldn’t verify if other magazines work with the gun. Chatting with some folks on an IPSC forum, at least a couple of people are home-modifying STI magazines to work in the MAC 3011.

My other disappointment: the full length guide rod. It requires a tool to disassemble. I don’t get why anyone is doing that now, when tool-less guide rods abound. Doubly frustrating: the tool wasn’t included with the pistol. The manual makes it appear as if one normally ships with the gun, but it didn’t arrive with my test gun. Yes, it is easy enough to bend a paper clip to remove the guide rod, but the customer shouldn’t have to resort to office supplies.

On the range, the gun is fun to shoot. Although some people [endlessly] complain about the snappiness of a .40SW, I’ve never had much of a problem with it. You certainly won’t with this gun.

At just shy of three lbs, you wouldn’t expect too much recoil from a 10mm, much less a .40 S&W. You will definitely feel some recoil on the palm of your hand, but you won’t likely see it in the muzzle. Full magazine-long strings were both comfortable and fast. It took a lot of shooting to get worn out by this gun.

Once again, I appreciated the flat-top slide with a fiber optic font sight. That red dot hovers right there as you pull the trigger, without much movement during the cycle. I was impressed with how the gun handled in fast fire. Over the few days I took to shoot the gun, I was surprised each time at how well it performed.

I was impressed by many aspects of the 3011. Sadly, reliability wasn’t one of them. Over the course of three consecutive days of shooting with two shooters, the gun had a total of seven malfunctions in 440 rounds of familiarization fire. It had two more during accuracy testing.

Those malfunctions occurred with both hollow points and FMJ rounds from three different manufacturers and two different shooters. All of the malfunctions were failures to feed, causing the to-be-loaded round to end with the nose too high in the chamber. I suspect that this is a magazine issue, but since the manufacturer only shipped me one magazine, I was unable to verify that.

That’s just too many malfunctions in a competition gun to be acceptable. When the difference between winning and losing is measured in fractions of a second, a mis-feed will cost you a match.

As far as accuracy, the MAC 3011 SSD performed consistently well.

Both the Blaser 180gr FMJ and the Remington 185gr HTP/JHP round scored 2.5″ five round groups from a bag at 25 yards. The Federal 180gr FMJ scored a 2.6″ average at the same distance. A tenth of an inch difference over 60 rounds is the definition of consistent.

I would have like to see these rounds right down at the 2″ mark, considering the length and size of the pistol, but that’s plenty good accuracy for IPSC .

If you can find magazines, and they are in fact what is affecting the reliability of the gun, the Metro Arms MAC 3011 SSD is a great value for anyone getting into competition shooting. Another “if”: finding a 3011 to buy. Every retailer listed on the Eagle Imports site is currently sold out of the .40 S&W version of the gun. And for good reason.

Specifications: Metro Arms 3011 SSD in .40SW
Action: Single
Capacity: 15+1
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Front Sight; Dovetail with fiber optic
Rear Sight: Fully adjustable Bomar-Type
Finishes: Blue
Grips: Aluminum
Construction: 4140 Steel Frame/140 Hammer Forged Steel Slide
Safety: Ambidextrous Thumb Safety/Beavertail
Weight: 46.54 oz
Length: 8.91 inches
Height: 6 inches
Width: 1.25 inches
Price: Found online from $828 to $1,006, but not actually available in stock anywhere.

 

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * *
I usually don’t like a blocky look, but it works on this gun. The aluminum scales and the black/blue finish work well together, as does the large squared dust cover.

Reliability * *
This was the guns big problem, though it very well may be a magazine issue. As the gun shipped, there are too many malfunctions to be acceptable.

Accuracy * * * *
Not bullseye-ready but plenty good for the sports it’s built for. Consistent 2.5-inch groups at 25 yards off a bag is more than close enough for rock and roll.

Overall * * *
Despite, the required but missing tool and the mis-feeds, I’m giving this gun one more star than I regularly would. I’m almost positive the misfeeds were due to a magazine issue. But it is what it is. With better reliability, this gun would be a great competition gun at a great price, and rate higher still.

11 Responses to Gun Review: MAC 3011 SSD in .40S&W

  1. But…But I thought 40 s&w was a dead caliber. All the internet gurus said so! That the wave of the future was 9mm. That I was a fool to continue to use it, and if I didn’t stop it would gives me the “pee-pee cancer”.

    • Not bad at all, and all of the basics are there, and quality too. Except for the magazine. I’ve asked for another to test and I’ll report back here if it runs with another mag. If so, this would be a good buy for competition.

  2. That is a surprisingly nice price for a competition gun and a pretty nice capacity on the gun to boot.

    I’ve never really understood the haters of .40, but to each their own I guess.

  3. I own a para 16-40. And I love it. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these. 40 s&w is not dead in my house.

  4. Reliability issues are a death sentence for a gun as far as I’m concerned. As soon as I read that it has reliability issues, I immediately cross it off the list of firearms I’ll ever own.

  5. I own this in the 14-45, it is a pleasure to shoot. Never had a feeding issue with it and the slide to frame fit was very tight out of the box. Only issue was that it came with one mag, but the para mags work in this with no problem. Highly recommend this gun.

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