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MasterPiece Arms Protector Pistol (A Review)
This is my first gun review. I’m not going to do this review like you read in the gun magazines or most websites. Sure, I’ll give all the technical specs at the end, but in my gun reviews, I’m going to focus on what I think people really want to know.
Is it easy to shoot?
Is it expensive to shoot?
Is it fun to shoot?
Is it comfortable?
Does it clash with my shoes?
The first review is of MasterPiece Arms’ new MPA380 Protector Series pistol.
For my review, I tested only the best ammo out there, in my opinion: Hornady 380 Auto 90 Grain Critical Defense ammo.
Being a small .380 pistol, the first thing I wanted to do was test its concealability. The MPA380 is small enough to fit in just about any pocket or ankle holster undetected. I carried mine in my front pants pocket and even when sitting down, it only appeared to be a cell phone or set of keys. If you wear a suit jacket, the pistol fits conveniently in there too. For the ladies, the MPA380 would easily find a place in most purses with it’s 4.4 inch length and barely 3″ height.
Easily concealable? YES. I actually don’t think I’ve seen a pistol much smaller than this one, even though my wife has a Taurus TCP. Which leads me to the one real downside I found. Because of the size of the pistol, big hands would find it difficult to shoot. My uncle has large hands and could barely fit his finger into the trigger guard. Additionally, the rear grip, right at the base of the pistol, has a sharp lip to it. After firing off about 20 rounds, I noticed that it was eating into my thumb.
Masterpiece Arms seems to have noticed this in the time it took to ship me the gun for testing. They’ve already modified newer versions of the pistol for greater grip confidence and trigger feel. The new Protector Grip Extension is an American made magazine floorplate made from durable composite that provides the shooter with a more comfortable grip. The Grip Extension will now be standard on all Protector models, as well as, the traditional flat magazine floorplate. With the new Grip Extension, MPA has also designed the magazine catch to manage the additional downward force required by the new grip extension. Another enhancement to the incredibly small and accurate Protector series is the Rev B Trigger made from stainless steel. The improved profile affords the shooter a smoother, more comfortable and controlled trigger pull.
So, in the end, it seems like they already knew what I was going to write.
The MPA does not have traditional sights, with a front sight post and dual rear sight posts which line up with the front. Instead, the MPA380 has a groove that runs down the length of the pistol. If all you see is the “u” shape of the site and no part of the barrel while aiming, the bullet will go where you point it. Of course, this pistol isn’t exactly a pistol you’re going to be shooting at long distances. Pistols like this are made for shooting at closer distances in self defense. However, I was still fairly accurate at 30 feet away, at least hitting my human-sized target. Using the right ammo, that’s all you need to do in order to stop an attack.
The MPA380 IS fun to shoot. In the hands of a trained shooter, there isn’t a lot of jumping around with each squeeze of the trigger, which is substantial. The trigger squeeze is both a positive and negative in my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever shot a pistol with such a long trigger squeeze. It may just be that I’m not used to it. It threw me off as I expected the firing pin to spring earlier than it did. This is really only important for target shooting since shooters won’t need to worry much about trigger squeeze when used in self defense. The plus side of a long trigger squeeze is that you won’t accidentally shoot your junk off while its in your pocket. You pretty much have to WANT to shoot the pistol to fire it. I can’t imagine what an accidental discharge would take.
Taking slow, well-aimed shots proves that the MPA380 is very accurate. I also squeezed out five rounds in quick succession (the pistol holds six rounds plus one in the chamber) and didn’t have trouble keeping it on target. While not as accurate, I would definitely feel sorry for anyone on the receiving end.
SRP for the MPA380 in black is $322.90. MSRP for both with a stainless steel upper is $345.90. The gun is heavier than most of its peers, but also more inexpensive at slightly more than 11 ounces. Without the new modifications mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t take this pistol very often to the range. The rear guard digging into my hand is uncomfortable. However, for customers that have previously purchased Protector pistols and would like to receive the newest pistol enhancements, MasterPiece Arms is offering an Upgrade Kit for $20 that includes a new trigger, grip extension, the newly designed magazine catch and includes shipping. So, there you go. Problem solved.
Fun: Yes. Any gun you carry around and no one is the wiser is always fun. Shooting something that looks like a squirt gun only adds to it.
Concealable: The only thing more concealable would be one of those belt buckle guns.
Expensive: The gun itself is quite affordable, but .380 ammo has been rising quite a bit recently. One box of 25 rounds of Hornady 380 Auto 90 Grain Critical Defense ammo cost me $26.95 at a gun show. A box of cheaper Winchester ball ammo costs about $18. So, yes, it’s expensive to shoot.
Comfortable: Not if you have big hands and not without the modifications mentioned above. Otherwise, the ergonomics of the grip fit perfectly in the hand.
Clash: Offered in both all black or stainless steel, there’s an option available for all occasions. Yes, I know this is a stupid category.