The MAC 3011: A Beautiful Beast

“That’s a 40?” and “That thing shoots soft” are the most often heard remarks after putting a couple of mags of 40S&W downrange with the just-released MAC (Metro Arms Corp) 3011 SLD (Standard Long Dust cover) Tactical pistol.  Now I have to say just about any handgun tipping the scales at 46 ounces will elicit similar responses, but this Beefy yet comfortable double stack 1911 pattern handgun has a lot more going for it then just mass.

Ruggedly Handsome Piece.

The Eagle Imports/MAC webpage proudly displays… “Hand-Fitted by Skilled Gunsmiths just for you”  “Each and every MAC is designed to win with custom features at a price you can afford. From the match barrel all the way to the beveled magwell, you’ll know you picked up something special.”  It is readily apparent that hand-fitting work was done by those who are skilled in what they are doing as the 4140 Forged slide and 4140 cast frame mate up rather well as do the other element of this sporting pistol!

I tend to “pick-on” 1911 patten guns as they all too often need some level of hand-fitting to run well. Either before they go in the box to you (as MAC does), or after you open the box when it is on your dime. What “we” will put up with to have a good running 1911 patten gun is a far cry from what we expect and generally, receive in the monotonous reliability from the polymer/striker guns of our time.  But, 1911’s have a soul and that needs nurturing…right?

Deputy “Kyle” helping with the 3011 Break-in Duties.
The 3011 Likes to Eat!
Lovely Lady Breaks a Clean Shot.
And Plate Number Three is History!

Well my example of one did need some “nurturing” out of the box in the form of 300 rounds of ammo!  Now I have no problem with “break-in” to get a good running 1911 pistol (or new engine for that matter) so my range time was well used.  As per my custom/ semi custom 1911 pattern protocol, I detail strip, wipe done the gun and then “paint” the barrel with Dykem (aka layout fluid) so I can see how well it fits after a few hundred rounds. 

Upper Lug Making Good Contact
Lower Lugs Nearly %100 Contact!
Proper “Bedding” Contact Between Barrel and Frame.
Muzzle End Fit Marks at Top Side. (Nice)
Muzzle End Fit Marks at Underside (Proper Good)
Hood Fits the Slide Mortise Very Well.

My photos show the 3011 bull barrel to be very well fitted with proper lug engagement, fit at the muzzle end and solid “bedding” at unlocking. This gun is sure to be long lasting. Beyond that I check frame to slide fit both fore and aft using a fixture and a dial indicator. 

Rear of Slide Total Vertical Movement
Total is Virtually Zero! <0.001″
Rear of Slide Total Horizontal Movement.
Looks Like About 0.003″ to My Eye.

While “we” make a lot out of slide to frame fit, so long as the gun runs and is accurate, we are good to go, but I do like to see how much care is taken in this area as it can translate into care taken elsewhere. Although the MAC Tac SLD 3011 can be expected to be less “tight” than a full custom job $$$,  I am well pleased to report that this 3011 is very nicely assembled. In fact, it’s fit trumps that of a brand new Para Pro Comp 9 to the tune of 50% tighter on average!

Slide Front Total Vertical Movement
Total Vertical is less than 5 thou.
Front of Slide Horizontal Movement
Even at 0.010″ it is about half of some other guns

The trigger is good right from the jump as is the thumb safety.  Why do I lump those two together? Because I like my triggers to break at weight (this example was just under 3#) and I want my thumb safety to do the same. Rolling the safety off AND on should be smooth, positive and do it at a “wall” or “breakpoint” just like my preferred trigger. Again, this chunk of a handgun does that perfectly. 

This is particularly important as a lefty, where the action of the thumb safety is translated through a tenon joint to the side that has the detent.  I have had too many guns that feel good from “your side” but don’t from mine! Either they don’t fully release or go all the way on due to the springiness of that tenon joint and how the detent side is fitted! The skilled hands at MAC must actually shoot in competition where “weak hand” exercises are seen or in tactical training where the non-dominant hand is your only hand. I love it!

I only asked her to shoot the 3011 for some photos…

Speaking of competition, that is where this gun shines and also why I got it in 40cal. USPSA/IPSC mandates 40 as the minimum to get the benefit of major caliber scoring. That also means the ammo used in competition meets the standards for Major Power Factor (PF). 165PF would mean any combo of bullet weight (times) velocity (divided by) the constant 1000 equals 165 or greater. i.e. 165 grain bullet @ 1000 fps.  All the ammo I shot was comfortably above that threshold, but the weight and feel of the gun made fast and accurate shooting almost easy. I say almost as ya still got to be a good driver to make use of this guns full potential!

One photo turned into many enjoyable rounds down range!

I hoped my deadline for this article would have let me attend a “speed steel” event where I could ring the MAC 3011 out under competition pressures, but you will have to settle for some video of me running the gun at my local range.  Check the video for a few of my attempts at “strafing steel” And before you judge me too harshly…I was running factory 40 ammo putting out every bit of 170+ power factor, not bunny fart handloads.

Malfunction Shown is “typical” of too Much Extractor Tension.


Keep in mind that my video day at the range was after the 300 round break in where I did have 5 failures to feed.  I am confident that extractor tension was the culprit as the malfunction showed itself to be so and it went away after a few hundred firing cycles.  Accuracy was very good, but I always want more!  Not that it is needed for the indented purpose of the gun, but hand-fit had me “expecting” groups closer to 1” than 2” at 25 yards.  The brawny 3011 nearly got me there averaging 1.58” @ 25 yards and that is impressive considering how important a role ammo selection plays!

I am happy with this level of accuracy…with my 59 year old eyes!

So I have a solidly built, well assembled, sub 2” @25 yard gun that after a short break-in runs quite nicely. It feels good in my hands and is remarkably easy to shoot well. Sports all the cool stuff you should expect on a full house competition pistol. Like a large magazine well, ambidextrous thumb safeties, comfortable “beavertail”, nice grips, fully adjustable “Bo-Mar” style rear sight and a lovely fiber optic in front. Full-length recoil spring guide rod, bull barrel, and a trigger that breaks cleanly at 2# and 10 ounces! All this right out of the box! 

Noisy End Sporting Bull Barrel.
It is a Big Mouth to Feed!

Now how much would you expect to pay for that? (sounds like an infomercial)  well if ya had to pay the MSRP of $1289 I think it is still a deal, but a quick online check shows this handsome beast to be available for under 900 bucks! AND magazines are 40 dollars!  Now ya got something. SO…if you are even thinking about a “hi capacity” 9, 40 or 45…think MAC and Eagle Imports…oh and did I mention all the MAC’s carry a Lifetime warranty? Oh yeah, I just did! 

“Tac-Rail” on Heavy Dust Cover.

As I close this article out, I would be taken to task by some of my more “experienced readers” if I did not at least mention the predecessor to the MAC 3011, the Remington R1 Limited Double Stack and the RIA Ultra FS HC…and that would be the Canadian born Para-Ordnance.  All of these gun share DNA with “father” Para-Ordnance. Widebody cast steel frame with a double stack magazine that takes “standard” 1911 slides, barrel, and fire control components except for the trigger itself.   I have a soft spot for these guns as I ran the dog snot out of an early Para P45 back-in-the-day and earned a Grand Master card in doing so  Now this one has a special spot in my gun safe.

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***Shop GunsAmerica for your next Metro Arms Pistol***

About the author: Patrick Kelley is a champion shooter, noted competitive shooting authority and brand ambassador for several companies. He loves to share his extensive knowledge of guns and his competitive shooting experience (which spans several decades) and runs the entire gamut of the shooting sports.Patrick has earned numerous first-place finishes at major matches in 12 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, including two Gold Medals at the Pan American Shotgun Championship in 2013. He has mastered several shooting disciplines, from NRA Bullseye and Metallic Silhouette to the world of Practical Shooting. Patrick is also a member of the NRA 2600 Club and was ranked in the USPSA’s top twenty early in his shooting career. Patrick’s deep-seated interest in firearms has led him well beyond the basics of routine maintenance into gunsmithing and competition tuning.Mr. Kelley is also a respected and prolific outdoor communicator. His articles on shooting and firearms, as well as his photography, have been published in Shooting Illustrated, Outdoor Life, 3-Gun Nation, USPSA Front Sight and most recently GunsAmerica. His YouTube channel features instructional and exhibition shooting videos, as well as his very own “Out of the Box to the Match” gun reviews. This very popular format has Patrick shooting guns for the very first time at shooting competitions around the Pacific Northwest.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Jay February 1, 2020, 2:16 am

    So, the purpose of being chambered in 40 as opposed to 9 is to qualify for a broader range of competition categories?

  • Mrs Larson June 3, 2019, 7:10 pm

    For the public school grads, it’s “…then just mass”.

  • Brad June 3, 2019, 11:33 am

    Try Greg Cote shooting sport supplies . The ATC mags he sells are very low priced and high quality and are OEM for my MAC 3011. I believe they will work in the Para guns.

  • Aaron Davis June 3, 2019, 10:26 am

    Than. Than just mass. Than means besides. Then means at that time, the next step in a procedure.

  • Torn June 3, 2019, 7:57 am

    Ah somebody who knows about Para Ordnance, been trying to find a mag for a Para .45 “Tac Four”. Been to all the usual suspects and all I get are blank looks. Suggestions?

    • Steve in Detroit June 3, 2019, 9:41 am

      Sarco?

      • torn June 3, 2019, 10:38 am

        Thank you but no dice, they had no Para magazines.

    • Benja June 3, 2019, 12:41 pm

      Mec Gar makes after market Para mags… I have several for my Black-ops. Not sure about “Tac Four”s, but worth a try! They’re great mags!

    • TJ Reeder June 3, 2019, 5:02 pm

      I have a pile of mags for P-14 and P-18 mags but I’m at a loss over this Tac 4 ?? Off to internet search

    • Torn February 2, 2020, 6:46 am

      Try CDNN, purchased 2 from them. OEM Para made in Canada. at 10 bucks plus shipping, they also have the 12

      rounders. Don’t you just love that LDA trigger!

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