Caliber arguments are older than arguments over sports teams so let’s nip that right here with this maxim: a well-placed shot of any caliber is better than a miss with any other caliber. With that settled we can move on to the real subject which happens to be chambered in another of Browning’s calibers, the .380 ACP.
In today’s buying trends, most people go to the .380 as a means of achieving a smaller handgun that is easier to conceal. What about those who for whatever reason such as health, age, or hand size are actually looking for a good gun in .380? The industry has largely forsaken us to a list of handguns that are so small they are almost laughable, have limited capacity and generally limited features. This was started by the micro-gun craze that eventually morphed into the popularity of single-stack 9mm guns and the idea of a shootable .380 was lost.
The Beretta 84 was available once but is no longer listed on their US site. Recently Zenith introduced us to the Girsan MC 14. The MC 14 is strikingly similar to the Beretta 84 and offers a full list of features as well.
To start the MC 14 is a double-stack which not only offers 13+1 capacity, but also means there’s actually enough handgun to hold on to. While still a small gun, the width fills the hand nicely and tames the already mild recoil of .380 ACP to a gentle nudge. New shooters will find this less intimidating and easier to learn with while experienced shooters will think they’re shooting a grown up .22.
Serrations on the front and rear strap aid in grip as do classic serrations on the rear of the slide while the pinky rest on the three included magazines accommodates most shooters of average to small hand sizes. The safety is ambidextrous and the slide release has a nice contour making it comfortable for use in reloads and definitive in the upward motion as a slide stop.
Zenith rounded out the comfort for newer shooters by turning the case into a sort of starter kit. In addition to the obligatory cleaning rod are both nylon and brass brushes, three total magazines, a soft cloth, and a small oil bottle. They even cut holes in the foam for ammunition; a nice spot to store your defensive rounds while using the magazine at the range.
All counted the red box delivers a great package for introducing a new shooter or offering a defensive option for those looking for something gentle to shoot but that will still deliver the force needed. Modern ammunition has revived the potential of the .380 ACP and it’s nice to see a handgun able to help us take advantage of that.
For Complete shooting impressions and table-top review see the video here: