Review: Military Armament Corporation JSOC 1911

A modern reinterpretation of a classic fighting pistol.

by
posted on May 30, 2023
MAC JSOC 1911

Military Armament Corporation describes itself as a “retro-tactical” brand, and when it comes to the company's brand-new JSOC 1911 handgun, that description could not be more apt. The JSOC 1911 is a full-size .45-caliber 1911 and is outfitted with everything an operator would want in a “fighting 1911 pistol.” In fact, when I first removed it from its case to look it over, the JSOC 1911 evoked a sense of nostalgia about for the guns that were the epitome of tactical .45-caliber handguns some 25 years ago. This 1911 is equipped with ambidextrous thumb safeties, a flared ejection port, a skeletonized trigger, a combination flat mainspring housing and beveled magazine well, 25 LPI front strap checkering, a beavertail grip safety and a commander hammer. Lastly, it has a brass-beaded front sight blade and a Bo-Mar style adjustable rear sight: Retro-tactical, indeed.

How The JSOC 1911 Came To Be

It is no secret that Military Arms Corporation drew inspiration from .45-caliber 1911s carried by the US Army’s SFOD-D (Special Forces Operational Detachment, Delta) aka “Delta Force.” Their aim in selling these pistols to American shooters is to bring a taste of a match-grade tactical 1911 with some retro styling at a more affordable price. The full-size government profile 1911 pistol, which has been around for over a century, is one of the few guns that captivates shooters in ways that few guns ever do. For high level shooters in both the sport and tactical world, these full size .45-caliber handguns were the undisputed kings of their disciplines. 1911s offer unique sliding triggers, pointability and shootability that can lead to tremendous accuracy, even at extended distances. With Delta Force being an elite military unit, the serious use of these guns was therefore a given. Back in the day, the then-members of this unit were lucky to train with the cream of the crop of sport shooters. As professional shooters, their job was to know everything about shooting 1911s in order to exploit every last ounce of performance. Suffice to say that with the type of talent both coaching “the Unit” and the level of performance expectations amongst “the Unit” itself, Delta Force had good reasons to outfit their men with fighting 1911 pistols. Those guns are the inspiration for the Military Arms Corporation JSOC 1911 pistol.

The JSOC 1911 On The Firing Line

Hammer and sightsFor the hands-on portion of this review, I fired 138 rounds of both factory and hand-loaded .45 ACP ammunition. These included Hornady’s 185-grain Critical Defense JHP loads, Fiocchi’s 230-grain ball rounds and 20 rounds of 200-grain LSWC handloads using 5.4-grains of HP38. During the evaluation, I experienced a total of four malfunctions–all part of the break-in process. The first three stoppages occurred prior to round number 50, and the last one happened intermittently around the 120th round. This brand-new pistol was lightly lubricated and somewhat stiff out of the box. Given the 1911’s all-metal classic design, a break-in period is not out of the question. In hindsight, extra lube might also have been helpful. After shooting the first fifty rounds of Fiocchi FMJ ammo at a 5-yard Dot Torture target, I loaded 38 rounds of the Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr carry ammo and proceeded to shoot several magazines of controlled pairs at an NRA-B8 target at 7 yards. My intention was to run the gun quickly and aggressively to see how it handled. Not surprisingly the JSOC 1911 got very hot in a short amount of time but suffered no malfunctions. The rest of my round count was fired for accuracy and at a few 25-yard NRA-B8 targets I shot for fun. The felt recoil of the MAC JSOC 1911 is on par with other full-size steel framed .45-caliber 1911 pistols. It is best described as a slow shove instead of the brisk snap of a typical polymer framed 9mm pistol, so a strong firm grip is advised to keep control of a 1911 during rapid fire.

The MAC JSOC 1911 is eminently shootable. It handles as well as any full-size .45-caliber 1911 should, and the extras only make the gun more pleasant to shoot. The combination flat mainspring housing mag well adds some length to the gun’s grip which provides extra space for the shooter’s hands. It’s very subtle but noticeable compared to a standard 1911 grip. In the hand this gun feels like any other full-size 1911. Even before being fully broken-in, the JSOC 1911’s trigger is more than adequate for a fighting-pistol. Regarding the slide to frame fit, the JSOC is not extremely tight with a slight bit of play, but no rattling.

A Bo-Mar-style adjustable serrated rear sight and a gold-bead front sight help the shooter aim the MAC JSOC 1911 pistol, and a sight picture can be easily acquired when using either a front sight or a target focus. Most 1911 pistols that wear adjustable Bo-Mar style rear sights are cut so that the rear edge of the sight is flush with the back of the slide. This is not the case on the MAC JSOC 1911. On this gun, the rear sight cut is about ¼ inch in front of the typical spot to reduce the probability of the rear sight snagging on something. The MAC JSOC 1911 sports a pair of ambidextrous thumb safeties which add another layer of practicality. Left handed shooters can start shooting it immediately without worrying about fitting a pair of safeties. The same goes for the tactically minded shooter who’d like to fully manipulate the JSOC 1911 with either hand. Comparing the MAC JSOC 1911 to similarly priced 1911s, the latter guns typically do not include the trove of features that the JSOC does.

The Takeaway

magazine wellHandguns like the 1911 can be viewed as somewhat old-school compared to more modern higher-capacity duty pistols. They lack capacity and are more maintenance intensive. However, these guns can still reward a dedicated, informed and committed shooter with a high degree of accuracy and shooting prowess. Residents of states with magazine capacity restrictions can take advantage of a gun like the Military Armament Corporation JSOC for carry and defense without sacrificing performance. The MAC JSOC 1911 pistol specifically is somewhat of a bargain. For the JSOC’s $900 suggested retail price point, guns that are similarly outfitted with adjustable sights, beavertails, ambidextrous safeties, frame checkering and beveling can cost three times more than this gun.

MAC JSOC 1911 Specifications:

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Action: Single-action, semi-automatic
  • Barrel Length: 5 inches
  • Frame/Slide Material: Steel
  • Finish: Parkerized black
  • Overall Length: 8.7 inches
  • Overall Weight: 40 ounces
  • Height: 5.5 inches
  • Width: 1.3 inches
  • Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Magazines: Two 8-round Mec-Gar magazines

25-yd Accuracy Evaluation:

Ammo

Average Group (inches)

Smallest Group (inches)

Largest Group (inches)

Hornady Critical Defense 185-grain

1.94

1.75

2.25

Fiocchi 230-grain FMJ

1.94

1.75

2.25

 

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