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Thread: handgun carbine

  1. #1
    buzzoo63 is offline Junior Member
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    handgun carbine

    Does any one have any first hand experience with the Mech Tech carbines that use the bottom end of a 1911 to make a rifle? Just wondered if they were any good.

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    While I have absolutely no experience with the specific device to which you refer, my past experience with similar schemes indicates that the idea is not a good one.

    Devices like this are suitable only for people who are permitted to own only one serialized gun part (frame, receiver, etc.). In such a case, you would want to add a conversion kit of the highest quality, but I have never seen a high-quality conversion-to-carbine kit for the M1911 frame.
    An old-line Los Angeles gunshop used to make a M1911 conversion that used the pistol frame and a rigidly-attached, single-shot, barrel-and-receiver arrangement that would handle anything up to .308 and .30-'06, but very few of them sold, and they were discontinued.

    If you have a dream of instantly converting back and forth, pistol to carbine, forget it. Sufficient parts have to be switched, for which tools will be required, that the conversion is anything but "instant."
    Then there's the accuracy question. The kits I've seen use the M1911's slide, and the pistol sights upon it. The greatest advantage of a pistol-caliber carbine is its much longer sight radius, which makes the carbine a good deal more accurate than a pistol. But if the conversion uses the pistol's original sight radius, there really is very little advantage to be gained from switching.

    It's most likely a very bad idea.

  3. #3
    2ndChildhood is offline Junior Member
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    Mech Tech 1911 Carbine Conversion Unit

    Steve - I think you may need to revisit the subject. I have a Mech Tech unit and it is precise, accurate and well made. The conversion process takes all of 1 - 2 minutes without tools. The BATF recently ruled that it is perfectly legal to attach a 16+" barrel and shoulder stock to a pistol and then convert back to the original pistol (see the Mech Tech forum for documentation). The Mech Tech CCU is a complete upper consisting of an integral stock, bolt and barrel all in a separate housing into which a 1911 lower slips. Take a look at their site:
    www.mechtechsys.com and their forum. Google Mech Tech CCU and you get more of what others who own them have to say.
    They also have a model for Glocks.

  4. #4
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    OK. I looked.
    Here's what I think.

    First, there's the price. The cheapest conversion costs a little under $400.00, and you can buy a real (albeit used) bolt action or semi-auto rifle that fires a real rifle cartridge for that money. That rifle would also have sights, while for the conversion one would need to buy them as extra-cost "accessories."
    The least expensive version with sights runs almost $600.00, so think of the real (and probably new) rifle you could buy with that much cash. With a laser and a flashlight, you're up to $700.00.

    Second, why carry a complete pistol and a carbine top end, and try to switch between the two while in the field or maneuvering against an enemy? For very little weight penalty, you could carry a fully-assembled pistol and a fully-assembled carbine, or even a real rifle. What's the point of the conversion?
    You will have to fiddle with relatively small, easily lost parts like (in the 1911) the slide stop, the recoil-spring cap, the recoil spring, and the pistol's barrel. Are you going to be doing this while under attack? While watching a good-size buck walk by...and away?

    Last, the "advantage" of carrying two different guns that use the same ammunition disappears when you examine the true ballistics of a pistol cartridge fired through a rifle-length barrel. Such a weapon is not even a very successful carbine.
    You're using a short-range cartridge, no matter which gun you fire it from.

    It's a gimmick with very little practical use.
    It is best suited for removing money from your pocket and transferring it to the pockets of the MechTech people.

  5. #5
    2ndChildhood is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Steve - you may have a philosophical point in what you say. My post addresses only the thought that there may be a quality/functional issue with such a conversion. The Mech Tech is definitely a quality and functional design and has a good reputation in the forums. Price and utility are separate issues from the quality of the unit. I personally find it advantageous to have a carbine conversion unit with the same ammo, magazine and feel as my pistol. Not everyone will agree. As far as ballistics, there are folks on the Mech Tech forum who would disagree that the pistol caliber carbine is not successful - take a look at some of the 100 yard targets with what I consider a diminutive round - the 9mm . Several other commercial manufacturers have marketed pistol caliber carbines: Ruger, Marlin, Uzi, Kris, HiPoint, Keltec and several AR type uppers, as well as lever action carbines. The Mech Tech is being employed in 3-gun competition and hog hunting. My favorite caliber is the 10mm and loaded for the longer barrel it is a real sizzler. In any event people differ in what they consider useful and this is OK - enjoy the discussion.

  6. #6
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    What is the barrel length on the carbine conversion?

    Here is a review: http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Wea...1/Arsenal.aspx

  7. #7
    2ndChildhood is offline Junior Member
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    Hello Packard - the Mech Tech barrel is 16+". Take a look at their website: MechTech - Home
    for all the details.

  8. #8
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndChildhood View Post
    Hello Packard - the Mech Tech barrel is 16+". Take a look at their website: MechTech - Home
    for all the details.
    You have to be real careful with the barrel length. There was a local public range on Long Island, and a guy showed up with a gun he had had cut down by a gunsmith at Leslie Edelman (a large gun store). The gunsmith either measured wrong or made a bad initial cut so that the barrel was just under 16". The Feds arrested him. The only thing he had going for him was the original work order and receipt that read: cut down to 16" length. I don't know how this was finally resolved.

    But you do have to be careful on this as it is a federal offense and you can get in serious trouble if you get caught with a rifle stock on a "pistol" under 16" in length.

  9. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Always cut to 161/4"!

  10. #10
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Always cut to 161/4"!
    I agree. But if the smith cut the original cut on a bias by mistake he might have had to make a second cut to correct that. And that might have been the problem. Or he did not know how to use a ruler. Or (and this is my belief), on some weapons it might be difficult to decide when the barrel ends and the receiver begins, and this might have been a misinterpretation of the length of the barrel.

    In any event you need to check the length yourself. Even if your are not at fault you would have to hire a lawyer; at the minimum you are looking at $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 in hassle (lawyer fees, etc.). And an error like that might be enough to get your license pulled. Having the FBI or the BATF agents looking into your life cannot be a good thing. (I don't worry about those guys, but if they bring Interpol into this, well that's another story altogether.)

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    BTW: Once such an error has been made, it can be easily corrected by threading the end of the barrel, adding a short, hollow extension, and silver-soldering or brazing the extension in place on its threads. As long as the extension isn't readily removable with "ordinary tools," the problem just goes away.

  12. #12
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    BTW: Once such an error has been made, it can be easily corrected by threading the end of the barrel, adding a short, hollow extension, and silver-soldering or brazing the extension in place on its threads. As long as the extension isn't readily removable with "ordinary tools," the problem just goes away.
    If the gun smith had manned up and admitted his mistake. But if you had this job done at a major local gun store would you have measured the barrel before accepting it? I think most of us would have taken on faith that the barrel was cut according to the purchase order. I would not make the assumtion now, but I think I would have before I heard this story.

  13. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    ...But if you had this job done at a major local gun store would you have measured the barrel before accepting it?...
    No. Of course not. You're completely correct about that.

    My remarks were meant only to be helpful in future, similar situations.

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