From the first time I saw the CAA MCK, or “Micro Conversion Kit” I fell in love with it. At first blush I thought the $250 device would turn my GLOCK into a pistol-caliber carbine. In fact, I had high hopes for it to provide me a low-cost, personal defense braced pistol.
First off, the MCK itself isn’t a firearm. The device (you can call it an accessory if you like) acts as a chassis into which you can mount your handgun. No tools required.
Mated with a pistol, it looks a lot like a subgun of sorts. Illegal to shoulder and fire, you worry? Not thanks to an ATF Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch determination letter, which says users may lawfully shoulder and fire the device with the pistol brace.
Why stuff your pistol into this device? In a nutshell: improved capabilities, especially for novices, along with those with hand strength issues or the disabled. Also under the hand strength category, the charging handle on the MCK has nice wings for ambidextrous use, making it very friendly for disabled or differently-abled (arthritis, etc.) users.
The MCK is readily available for three types of guns: the GLOCK 17-18-19 size models, the SIG P320 series and another for the S&W M&P 2.0 series. See the CAA website or The Glock Store for further details.
The MCK allows the addition of all manner of helpful accessories to your pistol via the device. Flashlight(s), sling, iron sights (with a longer sight radius for increased precision) all would potentially improve versatility and ergonomics of the pistol platform. Toasters, compasses, bayonets and other stuff that will mount to pic rails, maybe not so much.
Throw on a holographic red-dot sight and even novice users (or those with disabilities) can shoot reasonably well with faster target acquisition and better recoil control. Co-witnessing is a breeze.
Whoever designed the MCK did so with a lot of thought. It even stows a spare magazine for a handy reload. A little leverage is required to retrieve the spare magazine that’s held primarily through friction. It won’t fall out on its own. Not even close.
At the same time, the brace conveniently folds. In the folded configuration, the whole thing becomes a nice, easily transported package that fits in a computer bag. It even fits in my range bag, albeit snugly.
What will it cost you? The device itself sells for about $250 from The Glock Store (where I got mine) and other outlets. Every once in a while, they go on sale for $200.
An optional accessory kit runs about $185 (or $150 on sale). The accessory kit includes a single-point sling, sling swivel, right and left side thumb rests, a flashlight and some generic-looking pop-up “iron” sights made mostly of plastic.
I had to Dremel about an eighth of an inch off my front sight to allow it to go down far enough to properly co-witness the irons with the SIG Romeo 5 red dot.
Overall, if you get the MCK, I recommend the accessory kit. The thumb stops are very nice
They claim the flashlight has an output of 500 lumens. Not a chance. I’d say it’s closer to a hundred lumens to be generous. However, that’s plenty for its intended use. It fits very nicely into the designated slot in the MCK chassis without the use of tools.
By rotating it 180 degrees, you control which side to activate it with a “clicky” on-off switch. There is no momentary function (sad face).
For my first of two rigs, I installed the accessory kit and the SIG SAUER Romeo 5 red dot with a G17 (Gen3 for those counting…a Gen2 would not fit). The second kit got dressed up with a GLOCK 19 (Gen2 fit fine…), another Romeo 5 but with Magpul pop-ups and no accessory kit.
While I’m not reviewing the accessory kit per se, I will say the CAA pop-up irons lacked the dead-nuts rigidity of Magpul’s pop-ups. They didn’t suck, but they weren’t Magpuls.
One observation: the MCK was not auto-zeroing for me. Once I removed my gun from the MCK and reinserted either the same gun or a different one, it caused a change in the point of impact. I noticed a pretty consistent change of about 12 MOA (three inches at 25 yards, often at about the 10:00 position). The same thing happened when swapping out different guns.
Specifications: CAA Micro Carbine Kit (MCK)
Price: $249 (street)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Reliability: * * * * *
I experienced zero malfunctions while using either of the MCKs. At the same time, the Gen2 GLOCK 17 would not fit into either of the units, while a Gen2 GLOCK 19 would, without any issue. In other words, you’ll know right away if the MCK won’t play nicely with your gun. If it fits properly, at least with the GLOCKs, it doesn’t create reliability problems. Which is good if you’re going to use it for personal defense or defense of the homestead.
Accuracy: * * *
Short version: admittedly (and like most) I don’t shoot like Travis Haley or Bill Oglesby. At the same time, this device easily provided me the means to shrink my group size at 25 yards by half or more. That borders on dramatic.
Longer version: with patience and care, I struggled (often unsuccessfully) to keep five-shot strings at 25 yards in a 3-inch circle with both units from the bench. That’s easily half the group size of what I can do firing the handgun conventionally. Even with the slightly shorter barrel, the G19 didn’t seem to shoot bigger groups than the G17. Both guns were equipped with the 3.5-pound GLOCK “target” triggers.
Meanwhile, at fifty yards (pictured, above), the groups opened to closer to 8-inches (and about 6” low from the 25-yard zero). It is no rifle, that’s for sure. Not even close.
Moving back to 100 yards, I could keep most shots on a B-27 target, but the rounds fell about 26 inches(!) below my 25-yard zero. This disappointing accuracy came about using the G19 and the finest Federal 115gr. FMJ, aluminum-cased ammo Walmart sold prior to Wally World selling out gun owners. I didn’t run the GLOCK 17 at 50 or 100 yards. (I had seven guns to sight in and limited time that day. Not to mention that conditions were hot and sunny.)
Also worth noting: The rail on top seemed like it was made of plastic (polymer) and was mounted to the chassis with some screws. There was a tiny amount of play, at least with the CAA Accessory Kit pop-ups.
Ease of Use: * * * *
Yes, it’s easy to use once you get your gun mounted and sighted in. However, that auto-zeroing issue means you have to go to the range to re-sight it in each time you remove the gun from the chassis is a major PITA if you want optimal accuracy. And I prefer optimal accuracy.
Versatility: * * * * *
The MCK has all manner of options for accessories and you can dress it up, just like a Barbie Doll for adults. You can add lights, lasers, pop-up iron sights, holographic sight(s), as well as a sling and a host of other devices to improve the MCK’s performance for an individual’s needs.
An additional versatility aspect? Putting an MCK in your car as a “trunk gun.” If a bad guy breaks in, at most he steals a bunch of accessories that won’t do a thing without a real gun. And with a pistol, suddenly you have something that will make consistent, solid hits out to 50 yards or even 100, depending upon your skill sets.
Value: * * *
Is is a great value? It depends(tm). Maybe, if you have a bunch of accessories laying around the house, then yes.
Are you’re trying to save a bunch of money over buying a dedicated pistol-caliber carbine…not so much. The math comes easy: $250 for MCK, $185 for the accessory kit, $190 for Romeo 5 plus a $600 GLOCK equals $1250-ish. Sure, you can get some of these on sale now and then, but you’re still over a $1000 on your best day. And you don’t get a fraction of the performance of a nice pistol-caliber carbine like the Freedom Ordnance FX-9 braced “pistol.” ($650 street plus $190 Romeo 5 plus sling & swivel: $900.)
However, you can leave the MCK assembly in your car or trunk to give you the ability to reach out to 50 or maybe even 100 yards without worrying that a thief will break into your car and come away with a gun.
Overall: * * * 1/2
The MCK will help you open new doors to getting more from your pistol. But it won’t turn your pistol into a real pistol-caliber carbine.
Personally, I felt a little let down as the device didn’t turn my GLOCK 17 or 19 into the pistol-caliber carbine like I’d hoped. Yet for young teens or those without solid handgun skills, I suspect the MCK would offer them a big improvement in their ability to confidently and reliably make good hits, especially in less than ideal conditions. Also, those with hand strength issues will probably like the big ambidextrous charging handles.
At the same time, the lack of “auto zeroing”/retaining the point of aim/point of impact when removing and re-inserting the gun into the chassis is a disappointment. Obviously, the MCK isn’t for Olympic-level marksmanship. At the same time, three inches at 25 yards certainly meets the “minute of bad guy” standard of accuracy needed for self-defense.