I’m not a big fan of small guns, but I could really use a gun small enough to carry when I go running, and last week I was having a bad week and decided, screw it, pocket guns are fairly cheap, and I could use a present. I’m not a fan of plastic guns, so I had two in mind, either the Micro Desert Eagle or the Sig 238. The combination of reliability concerns and a limited budget, I picked up the Micro Eagle.
900 reloads, 2.7gr Bullseye under a 95gr Missouri Bullet Co. LRN.
100 Winchester PDX1
Cleaned after every range session, lubed with FP-10.
The manual doesn’t give any suggested recoil spring change interval, and Magnum Research just gave me the not-so-helpful suggestion of “Just replace them whenever the slide starts to cycle improperly” so I’m going to wait it until it starts to screw up, then subtract 1 or 2 hundred rounds from that and use that as my change interval.
Zero. When it first came into my FFL I stripped it, lubed it, then gave it a reliability workout, running 500 of my filthy lead handloads through it in one go without re-lubing. No issues. Here’s a few pics of how dirty it was when I was done:
Fit and finish
Everything is very well fit – slide to frame is tight and smooth, barrel to frame seems to be good as well. There are machining marks visible everywhere on the gun. Those on the outside are almost polished away, but still readily visible close-up. Not really a big deal. The marks on the inside are far deeper, and also they don’t seem to affect function or the smoothness of the trigger pull or slide movement, they’re fouling magnets and rather difficult to clean.
I haven’t really had the gun long enough to assess finish durability, especially since my holster for it hasn’t come in. A little bit of wear on the barrel is all that’s shown up so far, everything else looks exactly like it did new, even the slide rails.
Surprising. With pocket pistols like this, everything about the gun is a compromise to cut size. There’s no sight radius to speak of, the grip is too short and thin to get a proper grip that isolates the motion of your trigger finger, and the trigger pull is designed for safety rather than shootability, so I wasn’t expecting much. Results were much different. Here are my targets from my first range session, the first at seven yards, the second at 15, 50 shots per bull, emptying each six round mag in 3-4 seconds:
The gun has excellent, full-size sights, and although the trigger is heavy (8 or 9 pounds, it feels like, and after a few hundred rounds of breakin, it feels like it dropped by a full pound) it is very smooth and it breaks with amazing crispness. I can’t understate how startling clean the break is, its on part with my tuned DAO S&W Model 64. The trigger also stacks slightly right before it breaks, so that combined with the good sights and crisp break make for a very shootable gun. What really blew my mind is when I was shooting at 100 yards with some friends, ran out of rifle ammo before and decided to play around with the Micro Eagle while I waited for a target change. It took two or three shots to get the holdover dialed in, but once I did, I was holding about a 24″ group and putting most of my shots in the 12×24″ cardboard box I was shooting at. Most of my misses were horizontal stringing from poor trigger control, so I imagine the gun itself is capable of much more.
The first thing that strikes you when you open the box is how tiny the pistol is:
And with my cell phone – if you have an iPhone or one of the flagship Android phones, it’ll be just a little bit bigger than mine:
I forgot to take side-by-side pics when my friend had his LCP at my place, but the Micro Eagle is actually slightly smaller. Its a fair bit heavier, though, but I consider that a plus.
For those of you not aware, the Micro Eagle is a licensed, American-produced copy of a Czech pistol, the ZVI Kevin. This has to be one of the most uniquely-designed pistols I’ve ever seen.
Its a delayed blowback, utilizing two little ports just in front of the chamber to blast gas into the the front of the ejection port, slowing slide movement:
Unlike most fixed-barrel blowback guns, it does not have a single recoil spring surrounding the barrel, but two guide rods and recoil springs held inside the frame rails. And unlike most guns with guide rods, they’re not held stationary in the frame during recoil, the reciprocate with the slide:
Also unlike most fixed-barrel blowbacks, the barrel isn’t attached to the frame. Instead, the barrel has a locking lug underneath the chamber that engages a coutout in the frame. To field strip the gun, you line up two notches on the frame and slide, which lines up the frame cut with a relief cut in the slide, then you rotate the barrel 180 degrees and slide come right off the front.
With a gun this small, there’s a fair bit of recoil force even with .380, and although its pretty straight back with little muzzle rise, the smooth front and back straps still let the gun move around a fair bit in your hands. I put grip tape on the front and back strap, as well as on the front of the magazine baseplate.
The shiny nickel-teflon finish makes the sights, especially the front, rather difficult to see in certain light. I masked off the slide and hit the front and rear with some black grill paint. Hopefully it will hold up well over time. We’ll see.