MAC 1911 JSOC 45 Review: Retro-Tactical 1911 With A Special Forces Heritage

by Vern Evans

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Back in the early 1980s and ’90s, the Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC), the Armys SFOD-D or Special Forces Operational Detachment, Delta more commonly known as Delta Force and the Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable (MEUSOC) guys didnt care for the new Beretta M9 bumping the tried and proven 1911 to the side lines. They preferred the thump the .45 Auto gave, so they took 1911s left over from World War II and decided to enhance and update the platform by combining combat and competition features of the time. That’s where Military Armament Corporation (MAC) JSOC 1911 gets its inspiration.

Don’t let the dated 1980s Delta Force demeanor fool you, the MAC JSOC is an old-school 1911 fighting pistol circa 1980s that’s just as relevant today as it was back in the jungles of Central and South America and the dry grit of North Africa and the Middle East.

The metal finish of the MAC 1911 JSOC is a matte QPQ Tennifer that looks all business. Robert Sadkowski Photo

The Gun

The JSOC 1911 is built in Turkey by Tisas, and I have had good luck testing Tisas-made 1911s. The JSOC starts with a forged frame and slide that is mated to a stainless match-grade barrel, and it uses a Series 70 mechanism.

The retro look comes from the domed, GI-style slide vertical serrations only on the rear of the slide. The rear sight is a Bomar-style fully adjustable rear target sight with the side facing the shooter serrated to cut glare. The notch is wide so it offers a good and fast sight picture. In lieu of a fiber optic, the front uses a brass-bead on the serrated blade. It pops on dark targets. The rear sight has sharp edges, and you will tear up the palm of your hand racking back the slide on a reload. Use the slide stop.

The MAC uses a GI-style bushing, and the cycling was fairly smooth. I like GI bushings since they don’t require special tools to field strip the pistol. Adding to the old-school look is a frame. It doesn’t have a rail which is fine by me for an EDC gun, which the MAC JSOC can easily fill.

The metal finish is a matte QPQ Tennifer that looks all business. There’s nothing flashy about the MAC JSOC. The flat mainspring housing is checkered. The front grip strap wears a toothy 25 LPI checkering, which is more common on pricier 1911s. That texture ensures a grip when shooting fast. A beveled magazine well is nicely blended into the frame, and that tapered mag well funnel helps speed up insert the skinny single stack magazine into the pistol. The grip, frame and mag well were all nicely blended.

The wood grips also give the gun a retro look. They are checkered dark walnut with the MAC logo tastefully laser engraved in the center. That’s another thing about the MAC JSOC, the roll marks are tasteful and discrete, keeping with the military theme. They aren’t billboards announcing the brand.

The beavertail grip safety was comfortable offering a high hold. The finely serrated trigger is curved with an 1/8-inch take up before you hit the wall then a crisp break.

Reset is an eighth of an inch, while the trigger pull weight averaged 6 pounds. I prefer a trigger closer to 4 pounds, but I had no issues with this trigger. The ambi safety had low profile paddles like one you would find on an EDC 1911. The magazine catch was GI style, so not too tall, not too short. Just right.

The wood grips are checkered dark walnut with the MAC logo tastefully laser engraved in the center. Robert Sadowski Photo

Range Time with the MAC

When shooting the MAC, groups averaged across all ammo about 2.73 inches. The best group measured 1.34 inches with Winchester Silver Tip loaded with a 185-grain JHP. The next best load was Hornady Critical Duty, which measured 2.46 inches. The Armscor Ball ammo had a best group of 2.63 inches. Accuracy was good. There were two initial failure to fires (FTFs), but that sorted out quickly and the gun ran well with all magazines. The FTFs could have been due to the ammo.

Test ammunition consisted of an assortment of defense and training rounds. In the training category was Armscor 230-grain FMJ ball ammo, a classic GI-style ammo for 1911s. Defense loads included Winchester Silver Tip ammo with a 185-grain JHP and Hornady Critical Duty .45 Auto+P with a 220-grain FlexLock bullet.

Accuracy was tested at 25 yards using a rest. At seven yards, I ran a modified Bill Drill by firing as fast as I could into an 8-inch circle and performing reloads. I also loaded different round counts into all the magazines so I never knew when I’d have a slide lock and need to reload.

Winchester Silver Tip had the smallest 5-shot group at 25 yards, measuring 1.34 inches. That made me smile. The best groups with the Hornady and Armscor was 2.46 and 2.63 inches, respectively. Average accuracy across the three ammo choices was 2.73 inches for the MAC.

The heft of this pistol makes it easier to shoot faster. Speed shooting groups measured 2.6 inches for the MAC. In the speed shooting, I didn’t count flyers but looked at the concentration of the holes or on some cases one massive ragged hole.

In the first magazine, I had two FTF jams with the MAC. The gun is new and needs to be broken in. I squirted lube on the barrel without field stripping the gun and continued to run the MAC hard. From that point forward, the MAC JSOC preformed perfectly.

The mag well made reloading smooth and quick.

After running a few hundred rounds though the JSOC at one time, the checkered wood grip started to rub the web of my hand. Not a deal breaker by any means just a characteristic of a retro pistol.

The MAC JSOC comes with two, eight-round MecGar steel-body magazines. These magazines have polymer followers and bumper pads. The bumper pad ensures you seat the magazine all the way. A cleaning brush and rod are also included in a hard case.

With a street price running about $685, the MAC JSOC 1911 is an exceptionally well-built pistol with excellent accuracy, a decent trigger, user-friendly sights, texture where you need it on a .45 Auto 1911 and mag well that speeds reloads.

If you like retro-looking 1911s or just want a 1911 for EDC, take a look at the MAC JSOC.

When shooting the MAC, groups averaged across all ammo about 2.73 inches. Robert Sadowski Photo


Military Armament Corporation MAC JSOC 1911 Specifications

  • Make: Military Armament Corporation
  • Model: MAC JSOC
  • Caliber: 45 Auto
  • Action: Semi-automatic, Single Action Trigger
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Grips: Checkered wood
  • Frame & Handle Finish: QPQ Tennifer
  • Overall Barrel Length: 5 in.
  • Overall Length: 8.5 in.
  • Overall Weight: 32.4 ounces (unloaded)
  • MSRP: $685


Fit and finish                    ****                     Notes: Very good even for the price point

Reliability                         ****                    Notes: Initial FTFs, then no issues

Accuracy                          ****                    Notes: Average group size at 25 yards measured 2.73 inches, plenty accurate for defense work

Handling & Comfort           *****                  Notes: Smooth cycling, fast to reload, user friendly sights

Overall                               ****                  Notes: It may look a bit dated by today’s 1911 standards, but still a solid choice for EDC.

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