In today’s review of the Girsan MC1911 CT, I take a look at a classically designed .45 ACP pistol with modern updates including a red dot sight.
What might draw a lot of people in is the low price tag: only $661 at full retail.
With the standard features, the gun seems like a great bargain.
But, is it?
I liked the gun but ran into a problem that might not make it the bargain you are hoping for. Read on and let me explain.
The MC1911 CT is a 1911-type pistol manufactured by Girsan in the nominally allied country of Turkey. Turkey is well known for its firearms craftsmanship with companies like Stevens and Winchester manufacturing shotguns there.
It is roughly the size of a Commander 1911 variant, though not identical to Colt manufactured 1911s. A 4.4″ barrel and 8 round magazine help to define the size of the gun. Unloaded, it weighs in at nearly 42 ounces on my scale.
Girsan uses a steel frame, slide and barrel. On my review pistol, the frame and slide have a dark earth finish. The grip panels, barrel, trigger and other parts are finished in black. Other finishes are available from the US importer, EAA.
Girsan upgraded this pistol with an ambidextrous thumb safety and oversized beavertail on the grip safety. Both worked exactly as intended throughout my testing.
If you would like to hang a light on your pistol – a good idea on a defensive weapon – Girsan machined a four-slot Picatinny-type rail into the frame below the barrel. My Streamlight TLR-1 and Olight Valkyrie both attached to the rail without any issues.
Other than the dark earth finish, one of the first things you might notice about the pistol is the included red dot optic. The standard reflex sight uses an ADE-branded sight with a model number of RD3-009.
The RD3-009 turns on manually and purports to use a 4 MOA dot for aiming. Pressing the power switch rotates you through brightness settings.
The ADE sight caused problems in testing. Scroll down to the Range Time section for additional information.
Girsan mounts the optic in a slide cut that removes the rear sight. Co-witnessing the sights through the optic is simply not possible. However, the company does include a plate that covers the slide cut. The plate includes a two-dot rear sight.
Included with this pistol was a lock, bore brush, a pair of 8-round magazines, hex wrenches for sight removal, a screwdriver for adjusting zero on the sight and manuals for the gun and optic. Everything arrived packed in a hard case.
Girsan MC1911-CT specifications are as follows:
|Standard Magazine Capacity||8|
|Weight (unloaded)*||41.9 oz|
|Sight||ADE red dot|
|Trigger Pull Weight*||6.0 lbs|
All of the specifications are provided by the company except the weight of the pistol and the trigger pull.
I weighed the gun on a postal scale, together with an empty magazine and the mounted optic.
I measured the trigger pull using a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. It is an average of 10 pulls.
At my local gun shop, a number of the employees expressed an appreciation for the Girsan as a quality, but affordable, 1911 pistol. As this was my first Girsan review, I looked forward to getting it on the range.
For my range testing, I ran eight different loads through the gun which totaled about 600 rounds. You can scroll down a little farther to see the chronograph results of those loads.
1911-style pistols are generally known for great ergonomics and good accuracy. They are sometimes known for being picky about the ammo they prefer. All three of those things summed up my experiences with the Girsan MC1911 pistol.
For gun fit and feel, the Girsan excelled. While the 1911 is not my favorite pistol design, I freely admit it is one of the better feeling guns when held. It has a pleasing heft and a grip that just seems right. The Girsan is well balanced and points naturally.
I found the accuracy to be excellent with this pistol. At 20 yards (the longest distance at the indoor range I was using), all of the rounds were kept inside of a paper plate. Closer in, the groups were pleasingly tight.
Unfortunately, there were occasional hiccups when it came to reliability. It’s been my experience that 1911 pistols can require a break-in period. Even then, some never achieve the same reliability of a modern, striker-fired pistol.
During my testing, the Girsan failed to extract a number of spent cases. These seemed to be spaced fairly evenly over the course of the testing.
The number of malfunctions was not so high (in my opinion) as to be abnormal for a 1911. However, I believe they are too frequent to want to carry the gun for self-defense.
Of course, your mileage may vary.
Here is the ammunition I tested in the pistol along with the recorded velocities.
|Armscor 230 gr JHP||889 fps||404 ft-lbs|
|Fiocchi 230 gr FMJ||915 fps||428 ft-lbs|
|Hornady Critical Duty 220 gr FTX +P||953 fps||444 ft-lbs|
|Magtech Guardian Gold 185 gr JHP +P||1,061 fps||463 ft-lbs|
|Remington 230 gr FMJ||883 fps||398 ft-lbs|
|Steinel 185 gr SCHP||981 fps||395 ft-lbs|
|Wilson Combat 160 gr TAC-XP +P||1,017 fps||368 ft-lbs|
|Wilson Combat 185 gr TAC-CP||999 fps||410 ft-lbs|
I was greatly disappointed by the performance of the optic included on the Girsan MC1911-CT pistol.
As I mentioned above, the optic is branded by ADE. It is made in China and claims to be (among other things) shockproof.
With less than 15 rounds through the gun, the glass pane of the optic shattered. I observed nothing striking it, nor did I feel anything strike the gun, optic or me. I looked like the glass simply cracked from the recoil of the pistol.
EAA was quick to send me a replacement optic. The replacement featured EAA branding, but it is the same model optic as the ADE branded one.
The new optic performed adequately.
Please read my ADE RD3-009 red dot sight review when I publish it in a few days. There is all sorts of weirdness going on there.
While the Girsan MC1911 handgun was a fun gun to shoot, I don’t know if this has quite the value I’m looking for in an inexpensive 1911.
A 1911 that lacks complete reliability isn’t exactly an uncommon issue. However, modern 1911 construction offers out-of-the-box reliability with increased regularity.
I’ve had great luck with Rock Island Armory 1911s on the inexpensive end and Wilson Combat on the upper side. However, the best values I’ve found so far have been SIG SAUER and Smith & Wesson 1911 pistols. With price tags starting around $1,100, the S&W and SIG pistols have been extremely well built and reliable.
However, the Girsan is still a lot less expensive than many alternatives. It also offers a number of nice features that elevate it above the typical no-frills pistol.
If you are looking for a 1911 for range duty, I have no issues in recommending the Girsan MC1911-CT. However, I am hesitant to recommend it as a self-defense or carry pistol.
No matter what your need is, I recommend tossing the attached red dot and upgrading to a superior sight like the Swamp Fox Sentinel or Trijicon RMR. Without co-witnessing sights, you cannot afford to have the optic go down on you.
Where to Buy the Girsan MC1911-CT
Your local gun dealer should be able to order one of these for you.
Unfortunately, I cannot locate any of these online (including GunBroker) to give you an idea of what the street prices might look like.
All of my reviews include a full disclosure of any biases that might have impacted the review.
Believe it or not, there are some popular websites and YouTube “influencers” that take money for reviews.
You, the reader, is who I am responsible to – not the manufacturer. So, when things go awry, I’m going to tell you about them. I don’t want you buying inferior gear that you might rely on for your protection.
This gun was provided by EAA for the purposes of a review. The company made no requests for a positive review nor did I offer them one.
Neither EAA nor Girsan paid me for the review. Neither company is a sponsor of this site.
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Last update: June 4, 2021