This pistol came about part by chance and part by events leading up to it. I have been favorably impressed by pistols manufactured by Bul LLC and marketed in America as the Desert Eagle 1911. These pistols are now simply called the Magnum Research 1911.
There was nothing wrong with the Desert Eagle pistols but since Kahr purchased Magnum Research it seems quality may be up a notch. I like the new layout, finish, and markings. I have enjoyed excellent performance from the MR1911 .45. When I ran across a used MR1911G10 at a fair price I thought I would give the 10mm a try. I have tried to like the 10mm but things have gotten in the way. The excellent performance of several .45s and a fascination with the .38 Super are among these distractions.
The original Colt 10mm 1911 was ok but the recoil system was a poor design that resulted in battering, and cracked frames in extreme cases. Colt eventually fixed these problems and is credited with saving the 10mm from obscurity. I won’t comment on the Bren Ten debacle, it is a thrice told tale.
The problem with 10mm reliability is that the pistol must have proper recoil springs and a heavy hammer spring. Some re-design is needed to shoehorn a high velocity cartridge into a handgun designed for a low pressure cartridge. The 10mm is intended to offer greater velocity, penetration, and range over the .45. That is a key as handguns are intended for short range use. It is difficult to better the .45 ACP for personal defense. For hunting and use at 50 yards the 10mm has an advantage. I have tried two 10mm handguns in the past few years that more or less served well. The Ruger 10mm is a good performer but beat me up with recoil. I suspect the recoil spring was too light. It ran well with all loads including some in the .40 S & W velocity range. The Kimber 10mm seemed to recoil less but choked on light loads. It ran well with full power loads.
The new Magnum Research has a proper recoil spring and full power hammer spring.
The pistol has several features that differ from the usual 1911. The barrel features a bushingless lockup. The 1911 barrel bushing is a good design but when it comes to the greater slide velocity of the 10mm cartridge bushingless lockup works better. The belled barrel mates directly to the slide. This is a ramped design eliminating the original 1911 two piece feed ramp. The recoil assembly is a full length guide rod, required by a bushingless lockup.
Take down is slightly complicated, although you may also break down the slide assembly in one piece for routine cleaning. Another advantage of the full length guide rod is that when you butt the pistol against a barricade the full length guide rod will prevent the pistol from going out of battery. The pistol may be less likely to be knocked out of battery in some situations.
The sights are good high profile types. The G10 scale grips offer a good balance of adhesion and abrasion. The pistol frame features a dip behind the trigger guard that lowers the bore axis. The front strap is nicely checkered. The beavertail is good design that properly releases its grip on the trigger about half way into compression. Trigger compression is a smooth consistent 4.9 pounds. I find this ideal for general purpose and personal defense use.
In the midst of this panic driven shortage folks like us that like to shoot a lot are the ones hurt the most. I was able to find several types of 10mm ammunition but none I have traditionally used. There was no Federal, Hornady, Buffalo Bore or Winchester on the shelf. I located some PPU, Georgia Arms, and two types of PMC.
And you know what they all ignited and functioned just fine. As I mentioned the pistol was comfortable to fire. All loads fed, chambered, fired ejected normally. Combat results were good- excellent, really. You have to remember the horsepower you are dealing with. The cadence of fire is dictated by how quickly you are able to recover the sight picture and get back on target. If you fire too quickly after trigger reset you will fire high.
The 10mm isn’t as fast as a .45 in addressing multiple targets but what is hit stays hit. I used the two supplied 8 rounds magazines and an additional Wilson Combat 9 round magazine, all with good function. So far I have expended 220 rounds with good results. Combat accuracy is there and the pistol is reliable. As for accuracy the 10mm isn’t renowned for accuracy potential. Just the same the pistol is accurate enough for most chores including taking deer sized game to 35 yards or so.
I fired several loads for accuracy. Firing from a solid benchrest using the MTM K Zone shooting rest. Recoil is more noticeable firing from a braced position. The pistol was a pleasure to use, however, recoil was simply more noticeable. At 20 yards the PMC FMJ and JHP loads each averaged 3.0 inches for five shots while the PPU FMJ loading went into 2.0 inches. Georgia Arms remanufactured loads averaged 2.4 inches. This is accuracy enough for most chores.
The pistol will probably be carried as a hiking and woods gun. Bears are not really a problem although there are plenty not far from my home. The big cats, feral dogs, and our protein fed ex-con criminal class are my primary concern. I have a Bullard Leather basketweave holster that rides high and offers a sharp draw.
The Magnum Research 1911 and the 10mm have grown on me.