Masterpiece Arms’ Defender Series | MPA30T-A 9mm & MPA10T-A .45 ACP Pistols

MACs are back with improved features— MPA30T-A 9mm and MPA10T-A .45 ACP handguns!

Both substantial pistols, the MPA10T-A (left) and the MPA30T-A (above) are robust and sturdy semi-automatic handguns.

Taking an appealing design that has had more than its share of underserved troubles, the Masterpiece Arms Defender Series provide shooters with a series of MAC-style firearms that are even better than the originals—and are here to stay.

Sometimes, it just seems as though the stars are aligned against the success of particular firearms. While this may not be of too much concern when it comes to mediocre or unremarkable designs, sometimes truly innovative firearms simply get a raw deal. And, a classic example of this is the family of firearms known colloquially as MACs.

masterpiece1However, the series has been revived through the efforts of MasterPiece Arms, a company that has taken these appealing designs and given the MAC-style firearm a richly deserved new lease on life through its extremely high-quality Defender Series product line. But first, we should consider the complex, murky and hotly debated history of this class of firearms.

With a timeline dating back to the 1960s, what is now known as the MAC series began its life as a sub-machine gun design created by Gordon B. Ingram and dubbed the Model 10. While Ingram had a history of developing sub-machine gun designs in preceding years, none would become as well known as the Model 10 would eventually be.

The Model 10 (or M10) had many appealing characteristics. First and foremost, it was extremely affordable to produce, made up of a significant amount of simple sheet steel stampings. Further enhancing its low cost was its means of operation, functioning as a straight-blowback, open-bolt, select-fire firearm.

masterpiece-arms-defender-seriesThe MAC-style firearm is minimalist in its design, made up of a combination of sheet steel stampings and milled steel parts.

In addition to its low cost of production, the M10 was also extremely compact for such a powerful sub-machine gun. In fact, Ingram was purported to have developed the compact design with clandestine operations in mind. The M10 also proved to function extremely well with silencers, further burnishing its credentials as a covert weapon. By the late 1960s, Ingram began working with a silencer company name Sionics to produce the M10.

Ultimately, Ingram developed both .45 ACP and 9mm variants of the M10 with both featuring the same overall dimensions despite the difference in the cartridge sizes. In addition, he also developed a radically downsized variant of the design dubbed the M11, chambered for .380 ACP. It featured a similar general overall design and operation as the much larger M10. All of the variants featured steel retractable stocks. In addition, the famous Cobray logo (a logo that combined visual elements of a cobra and a moray eel) is attributed to have been created at this time at Sionics.

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  • Eyes wide open

    This is really a well built firearm with many options for customizing.

    My started life as a 9mm 30SST pistol but I soon purchased the carbine conversion to really increase the versatility of the firearm. Converting only take a minute with the exception of adding or removing the stock. Unless you pay the $200 tax stamp so the stock can remain on as a pistol. Not only is it fun but very accurate and with magazine capacities of 30 to 37 rounds better buy extra targets or you will be shooting though one big hole!

  • 103 softail

    Just picked up the MPA30T model. Very nice fit and finish paid 410.00 at local sports shop. Now they come with 35 round tapco magazine ….nice. Haven’t shot yet but been busy watching youtube vid’s on this unit. Lotsa bumpfire video’s which are crazy. Chose top cocker , just don’t feel need for the sidecocker. How you gonna hold this for optics anyways? It has small rail on bottom in front and I will put a laser there.

  • DRH

    I have both the MPA10 and the MPA tactical 9mm. As a Army and Marine veteran I can honestly say these are very accurate being able to punch rounds through the same hole in very tight groupings. The weight of it allows for fast hammer pairs on target and for home defense I think it would be hard to beat. It digests cheap ammo and if you want to really strip down the bolt just punch the roll pins out…….extremely simple to clean to say the least. It would be nice if they made some polymers grease gun mags from tapco but overall I called customer service about further field stripping after a thousands of rounds and the armorer gave me his cell phone number should I have any issues. These are hardly junk but it is junk when you can pay 800 bucks and not get a weapon nearly as reliable or as dead on

  • Dont buy this

    Avoid this garbage. I had the long-receiver version in 9mm, magazine fell out after each shot, paid to send it back to the factory, said it was fixed, got it back, it wasn’t. Dealer had no idea what was wrong with it, sold it to a guy for $199 just to recoup some sort of loss, he could never get it to run right. Waste of money.

  • loc and load

    I just got my MPA-10 last and took it to the range. It jammed every time. Should i try to send it back or what ammo do you guys suggest. I tried winchester 45acp and the mactec 45acp.

  • Derek

    I own the MPA-10 and it is built like a tank. It weighs several pounds fully loaded but considering that it makes up by having 30 rounds of 45acp my arms can get stronger. It is by far not only a great part of my collection but also grabs a lot of attention at the range. I hope the wife will let me get the 9mm and 22lr down the road.

  • Eric

    Bought the MP30 defender…What a blast to shoot! Very cool in appearance, it gets the stink eye at the local shooting ranges and I love that! Lots of looks and questions about it. It is surprisingly accurate! Functions fine with the right ammo and so easy to strip down and clean.

  • Shawn Ewashko

    I have had the MPD .45ACP with the exact flash suppressor for over a year. It is by far one of my best investments. Fun to shoot, accurate and totally functional in every manner. Strip down to clean is a breeze and Masterpeice Arms is awesome to work with.

  • James

    I just purchased a MPA 30 SST-X mini 9 mm. It is bad assed .I will use it for home defense .

  • Nick

    Just bought one in –( California! )– cannot wait to see it in person. It is a revival of a classic, well known firearm and I have high hopes of performance. Time will tell on reliability, but one thing is sure, firearm owners should swoop these up fast before the next -seemingly inevitable- ban on these again. Thank you very much to Master Piece Arms for your hard work and dedication to a classic reborn.
    From California with love 🙂

  • Eric Neifert

    Looks like an interesting article. I’d love to add a MAC to my collection.