I just finished a piece on the MPA 9mm Carbine for home defense. https://tacticalgunreview.com/blog/2013/05/staff-review-mpa9300sst-9mm-in-the-home-defense-roll-masterpiece-arms-a-great-mac-11/ I really like that little rifle. Well this is the same gun in a pistol configuration. The MasterPiece Arms MPA930SST Mini Pistol in 9mm. Aside from obviously the barrel length and stock there are a few significant differences in this latest version of the MPA 9mm. Lets go over them.

Before we get into this I wanted to establish a use/uses for a pistol like this MPA 9mm. I called them “bullet wasters” in my previous article. That’s true and then it may not be true, depends on the user and the reasons they have one. I’ll explain.

Most people I know buy these for fun, they spray bullets from the hip or one handed “drive by shooting” style I’ll call it. That’s why I call them bullet wasters. Now if you actually aim the thing it shoots as well as any pistol I have. It just holds 35 rds and looks menacing. In the end though it is as viable a defensive weapon as any 9mm pistol is. It all depends on the operator whether this is a fun gun or serious defensive tool.

One last thing on this weapon as far as usage goes. It’s large in spite of being the “mini”. It has the “scary” to “lib-a-tards” and “dumbass-o-crats” look to it and would likely be frowned upon if you had to use it in a concealed carry scenario. I can hear the “Dem-wits” on Huffington Post crying now about how you ran around like a madman shooting everybody with the “full auto machine-gun” that should be banned when all you really did was defend your family from a violent criminal or two with a 9mm semi-auto pistol. Except maybe in a time of serious civil unrest, I would not carry this pistol as a carry gun. Simply put, you’ll look like a nut-job to all the idiots who live in this country and they may quite possibly be on your jury.

Ok, so that having been said let’s go over the differences I found compared to my Carbine version. I apparently have an older Carbine and a newer version of the pistol – learn more about pistol to carbine here.

Difference #1: The safety is a two piece deal. It has an extended control button hex bolted to the shaft going inside the gun. I’ve only been playing with this button since yesterday when it came in. I am not sure about this thing yet. It almost seems to hang up my finger when flipping the safety off and moving my finger to the trigger. It’s a minor thing. I don’t want to blow it out of proportion. Probably I am just used to the smaller older style safety and I just need a bit more time getting used to it. If I had nothing to unlearn I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it. So bigger, extended safety is the first thing I noticed. I really have nothing for or against it, it’s just different.

Difference #2: The trigger guard has been redesigned. It now has beveling and shaping to the bottom of it that spares your middle finger a whole lot of abuse. This was a God send change. Having messed with Mac style weapons for years now the trigger guard would chew the holy hell out of your middle finger. They were squared off before and were tearing off skin one layer at a time for as long as you were shooting. Many Kudo’s to whom ever fixed that!! Good job!

Difference #3: The rear sight is an adjustable unit now. Previously it was just a hole in the rear of the receiver. The sights have white outlines and are easy to see and line up. The down side to this is there is no tang sticking up on the rear of the receiver that used to be the sight. So that means there are no secondary holes to attach a single point sling too. I don’t see many (or any) MPA 9mm holsters anywhere. So I kind of wanted that hole to attach a sling too. How else would you carry it? If you have an idea please let us know. I will be looking for a way to get a single point sling mounted to this. Once I figure that one out I will update you.

Difference #4: The magazine release is extended now as well. It looks to be made from some kind of plastic. I have reservations on this change too. First I think it seems like it is extended too far. I wonder if it would easily be bumped and drop your magazine?? I also wonder if it is going to take any kind of impact?? It sticks out quite a bit, seems to me it could easily be broken off. Perhaps this should have been made from metal. I don’t know yet on this, and I won’t know for awhile. This is one of those things that will take some time and use to see if I like it or not. I will say I trust that MasterPiece Arms turns out a great product. I have confidence in them and if they are doing this I have to believe some thought went into it and they decided it was for the better. Time will tell on the mag release. It does help speed up your mag change but if it is prone to breaking or releasing the mag accidentally then I’ll stick with the old style.

That’s it for the changes. Summing up the latest model of the MPA 9mm pistol exudes all the quality of any gun they ever made. I think the thing looks great. I have the reservations I mentioned but time will tell if they turn out to be anything real or not. It came NIB with two 35rd mags, a barrel extension and some paperwork. It also has a nasty looking muzzle brake on it. When I say nasty I mean it in a good way. It has several sharp teeth on the front as well as plenty of recoil reducing ports. I love a muzzle brake with nasty, pain inflicting teeth. 🙂 Enough conjecture, let’s get out there and bust some caps.

Shooting: I decided to test the MPA 9mm against my XD-Subcompact because of similar barrel lengths. I expected the XD to group better. It did NOT! I was pretty surprised by that. One of the XD groups was terrible in fact. It’s pictured here and was 3.5 inches wide and almost 4 inches tall at 25 yards. Kind of embarrassing. I really didn’t even want to post it but that’s what happened. “TGR your source for unbiased reviews” so there it is. You can review the groups, some at 35 feet and some are 25 yards. All have a description of which gun it was and range/ammo. The MPA 9mm fired better than the XD through the entire course of the afternoon. MasterPiece Arm’s doesn’t make junk that is for sure.

Summary: I bought this just because it makes a nice pair with the MPA 9mm Carbine. It clearly needs a sight adjustment but that is fine the sights are fully adjustable. It shoots strait and with total reliability. I didn’t expect anything less from MPA.

The safety was better for me out on the range as I got used to the different button in no time. With further research I found a metal mag release button here http://www.usmachinegun.com/proddetail.php?prod=MSA-0127 I intend to buy this and then I won’t worry about that anymore.

The sling issue can be addressed with this part here: http://www.usmachinegun.com/proddetail.php?prod=MPA9-RASL

Spare magazines can (maybe) be had cheaply at either of these 2 links depending if you want 32 rd mags or 35 rounders. Both are out of stock at the time of writing but have low prices for when they get another shipment.


All in all for a fun gun or a HD weapon I think this works out just fine. It is user friendly and I like it. I said before I wouldn’t carry it but I am happy to have it at home to go with my rifle. For $404 I think I did just fine here.

As always thanks for reading and train often.

By: Cary Kieffer

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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran/MUESOC/Sniper School - Med Retired LEO w/ 8yrs on job before Iraq wounds caught up with me.

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