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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2011, 09:11 PM
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Default Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

posted this on Sigforum but thought some of you local guys might be interested...

So today I decided to become a guinea pig and buy a brand new gun...I mean brand new. I might be the first one in the world to get it...lol. But seriously I searched forums high and wide for a hands-on review of this gun before I bought it...nothing!

So anywhoooo this is Masterpeice Arms' (AKA Mac-10 clone maker) new mouse gun. As you can see it is a Seecamp 32/380 clone. I'm guessing that MPA purchased the rights or tooling for this gun from a company named Autauga that used to sell a Seecamp clone in 32 (MKII I believe.) The grip and mag release leads me to believe this is true.

As for the gun itself...I am very impressed. The level of workmanship on this little blaster is not congruent with the $299 price tag...yes $299. The gun is incredibly well fit with no rough or sharp edges. The finish appears to be a nitron type of coating. The DAO trigger pull is a very consistent and smooth 7lbs with the trigger itself being nicely radiused and polished; it has second strike capability. It has a Seecamp-esque extractor on the right side of the slide and a loaded champer window slit. Unlike the Seecamp this pistol has a different grip that seems to swell as it gets closer to the mag well. It is more comfortable to hold then a typical Seecamp or NAA. As for size it is almost identical to the Seecamp. I compared to the NAA 32 and it is a good bit smaller. The dimensions are...

Length: 4 3/8"
Height: 3 1/4"
Width: 1"
Weight: 11.7oz

It was the smallest 380 in the case by far. As for materials these little buggers are CNC machined from a 4140 solid billet of steel. No MIM or cast parts are used. The company makes it a point to stess the fact that these are all machined parts. You can read the story behind the Protector series here...

https://www.masterpiecearms.com/special-info.php

The company does acknowledge the fact that this gun is a high quality clone...something a lot of companies are not willing to admit. This particular pistol is not +p rated.

Take-down of the gun is similair to a Seecamp where punch, a pin hole, and 3 hands are needed. The only difference is that the pin hole is on the opposite side. When taken-down it is evident that the gun is well made. I owned an NAA 380 that looked like hell when broken down; this gun seems to have the same level of quality throughout. Other differences include the mag release which is located on the left grip panel and is unlike any other mag release I've used. To eject the mag you have to use your nail and pull the tab/ mag release towards the rear of the gun; it is not easy to do. If I remember correctly Autauga did this purposefully so the mag could not be ejected acidently. Lets be honest this gun is designed as a last ditch effort, not for quick mag changes. Another major difference is the trench sight that runs along the top of the slide; a nice touch but something that is probably not needed with this belly gun. The Protector does not have the usual vertical serrations but instead fish gill serrations ala Glock RTF.

Now for the only issue I have found with this gun. The one magazine supplied holds 6 rounds and the gun is marketed as a 6+1 but there is no way the gun will seat a magazine loaded with six rounds. It does come with 2 magazine springs (one standard and one extra power) but neither fix this issue. I will call MPA tomorrow and investigate.

The store I bought this from (ACE) was happy to use me as a test dummy with this little guy..they went as far as giving me a free box of ammo. I will take it to the range in the next few days and update this thread then. With it's tiny size I am sure it will hurt to shoot but sometimes size does matter.


















Last edited by dusty78; January 13th, 2011 at 09:21 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2011, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

Well thanks for taking the bullet, as it were, for us jaded bastards that won't even look at a gun that hasn't been on the market for a few years.

I had looked at their website a while back and couldn't find any info elsewhere either. Hopefully your experiece will prove the gun to be all MPA makes it out to be.

Did you try giving that mag a healthy slap into the gun? I know my Kel Tecs have always needed some manly vigor when using a new, fully loaded mag. Not trying to offend your sensabilities if you have indeed tried that, just saying a good wack is all it takes sometimes. Or you could try loading from slide lock... (If the slide locks back? Which I'm guessing it probably doesn't?)
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Old January 13th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

yep...no joy with the smack.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

As with most pocket .380's, use .5 grip and .5 Kung Fu grip when you shoot it, that way it won't hurt so much.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

Great review and I love the pics. I might have to go take a looksy when I go up to the gun shop next week. Let us know how it shoots.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeKnight View Post
Great review and I love the pics. I might have to go take a looksy when I go up to the gun shop next week. Let us know how it shoots.
will do



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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

Size wise, it makes my Colt Pony .380 look like a 1911 in comparison!


Great photos! It does look like it was well made.
Good luck with it.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

**UPDATE**




I spoke with MPA today and the gun is a 5 + 1, the 32 version is 6 + 1.
I took the MPA Protector to the range today and put 50 rounds of American Eagle 95gr ball, and a handful of hallow points through the pistol. This is not a fun gun to shoot but I have shot worse. Most of the discomfort is felt in the web of your hand. I actually developed a small abrasion ; I later realized that it was from the end of the plastic grips which are not rounded. I will take a file to them and round them out ASAP.

after 50+ rounds I encountered 0 malfunctions. This little blaster just kept one plugging along. All in all I think it wasa good buy and definitely fill a spot in my carry rotation. Sometimes You just really need a tiny gun. For instance I would sometimes carry an NAA mini 22WMR when out to nice dinners or places were real concealment was an issue. Although I like the NAA mini i really couldnt hit anything with it with any real accuracy. I found the MPA 380 to be accurate for a little tiny gun with no sights.

my first two mags at 7 yards off hand.



the web of my hand from the sharp edge of the grips

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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

Dusty, Thanks for the review, i'll make sure Chris B. at Ace links this thread to our sight.

thanks
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Masterpiece Arms Protector 380 pistol review (Seecamp 380 clone)

I picked up a Don Hume pocket holster for the Seecamp and the MPA fits perfectly.

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