Budget pistols usually have a slightly bad sound to them. Every time I hear “budget gun” I cannot help but to picture a gun that is poorly made, is a bit uncomfortable, and does not have a very good record for reliability or durability. I would argue that the definition of a budget pistol is definitely changing these days. The amount of people owning guns is increasing, and these people are not willing to pay $1000 for a pistol just because of the name engraved on the slide. The Girsan MC-28 is the type of pistol that I think of when I think of what a budget gun can be.
I paid $250 for the pistol not including shipping and the FFL transfer. Just keep that in mind throughout the review. Usually you can find these pistols for a little more than $300, which is still an amazing price in my opinion. Anyways, let’s get on with it.
GIRSAN AS A COMPANY
Girsan has been around since 1994 and started out with the Yavuz 16, which passed the Turkish military trials and won many contracts with certain military and Police elements within Turkey. Girsan has a history of taking popular designs and reverse engineering them in ways that will suit their own needs without compromising the original design too much. They seem to be quite good at this, and it seems that they know what kind of improvements are needed to make these popular designs more reliable and durable. Just from the guns I have had the opportunity to look over, Girsan is very attentive to precision and quality in their manufacturing. They don’t seem to skimp on things much at all. Springs are tight, the metal is robust and precisely machined, and you can tell that the guns are built to last and last and last under harsh usage.
In 2016, Girsan was awarded a contract in Turkey for producing the MC-28, which is basically a clone of the S&W M&P. The MC-28 has a few different variants such as trigger types and barrel lengths. I am unsure about which variant was chosen, but the designs are so similar that it is just nitpicking at this point and all models function the same.
Though the MC-28 is made in Turkey, Zenith Firearms imports them and sells them direct from their website. When Zenith receives these firearms, they make it a point to offer a good package deal for the consumer.
GUN BOX AND EXTRAS
When you buy the Girsan MC-28, or any pistol from Zenith, you get what they like to call “the lunchbox.” It is a nice red box with goodies to get you started with your firearm.
In the box you get three magazines for the pistol, two more backstraps, a cleaning kit(nylon and bronze brushes, patch rod, red cloth, bottle of oil), speed loader, a metal punch, gun lock, manual, and of course the MC-28.
This firearm coming with three magazines is a big deal. Even today, manufacturers still don’t seem to understand that people want three mags with their guns at least. It is nice of Zenith to make it standard for all their guns, rifles included, to come with three magazines.
I know that there are some companies that provide cleaning kits but it isn’t quite to this extent where the kit is complete with a rag and a reusable bottle of oil.
Also the box has an area where there are 20 holes in the foam. This is probably best used as an area where you can store your carry ammo while you practice at the range. It is these small things that make this gun go up in value for me.
For specifications on this pistol, I will just refer you this link where all the information can be found.
The Girsan MC-28 is basically a reverse engineered S&W M&P, which is in line with what they are well known for. Personally, I think that there were a few good improvements that make the MC-28 a serious competitor to the very popular and well respected M&P design. First thing you will notice about the pistol is that the overall silhouette and profile looks exactly like the M&P.
The controls are virtually the same as the M&P, though the slide stop is not ambidextrous and the magazine release is almost too low profile.
The magazine release is very interesting to me. It is flat, the spring is tough, and it takes a concerted effort to actuate it at first. After a while, it gets easier to actuate through working the spring, but it can be very challenging up until that point.
The slide is made out of carbon steel, unlike the stainless steel M&P. The slide is coated in a black Cerakote from Turkey, which I found to be very well applied. The serrations are not the same scaled profile anymore and they are almost slick due to the Cerakote job. Also of note is that Girsan retained the chamber view port on the slide so you can see if there is a round chambered or not.
While we are on the subject of the slide, I think it is worthy of mention that they added a big red “charged striker indicator” to the back of the slide. Now of course this is of dubious value to many of us, but some may find this to be a helpful feature.
In the above picture you may also have seen the big white rear sight dots. The sights are metal and you can actually fit M&P sights into the dovetail with little modification. The one thing that makes it a big win for me is the fact that Girsan improved the rear sight and gave it a nice aggressive shelf for one handed manipulations.
The grip of the Girsan MC-28 is a much needed improvement over the classic M&P design, in my opinion. It has subtle but effective texturing on the front of the grip and each of the backstraps has matching texturing.
The ergonomics of the MC-28 is almost exactly like that of the M&P but with a more secure grip. It is also worthy of note that you get three backstraps total with the pistol so you can make it fit your needs. The backstrap pin also acts as a lanyard attachment point if you should need such a thing.
The magazines for the MC-28 are merely 15 round magazines, which understandably seems low in capacity. I would agree with this because it appears that more rounds could be fit in the magazine if there were not clamps on each side of the magazine blocking the follower from going down further. The good news is that Zenith is reporting that CZ75 magazines work in this pistol. I personally cannot test and confirm that claim at this time.
One thing that I will add is that I have had one issue with doing speed reloads with this pistol. In the front of the grip inside the magwell, there is a shelf that houses the base of the magazine release spring. On this shelf, I have had one occurrence where my magazine got caught on here and gave me an issue in reloading. Since it only happened once so far, it doesn’t bother me too much, but is something to be aware of.
The trigger is the part of this pistol that really separated it from the M&P and made it almost unrecognizable in my opinion. Every trigger has a different feel and characteristic that we have to learn and adjust to.
This trigger, when being shot, reminds me of a stock Glock trigger. I personally like the travel and break on the Glock trigger and it shows in how well I shoot them. The sensation is almost the same but without the abrasive nature of the Glock trigger. The MC-28 trigger by contrast is very smooth and rounded.
The wall on the trigger is where every bit of the weight is since it is a single action system. The trigger is coming in at about 6.5lb now that I have used it and practiced alot with it. The cool thing is that it feels more like a 4lb trigger due to how smooth it is. The reset is about the same distance as a Glock but lacks a loud reset.
Now don’t get confused about whether or not the trigger is good or bad. My description of the trigger is just to please the crowd of people who are curious. I do not care about, notice, or even use resets. And I could care less about the trigger weight or characteristics. None of these characteristics register when I come out of the holster and shoot fast. If you are concentrating solely on how the trigger feels during this time, you are wrong and need to reevaluate your priorities. A failure to hit with this pistol or any other pistol is not a sign of the pistols capabilities, but your own. At least that is how I see it.
When I first shot this pistol, I had been out of practice for a while and it didn’t take me too long to get reacquainted with the principles of competent shooting. My best advice would be to take this pistol to the range, dry fire the heck out of it, and shoot it fast. The internals such as the striker, sear, and all the springs need a workout. It could be 500 rounds before you see the trigger smooth out. Personally, i see that as a testament to how tough the pistol is and how serious Girsan is about manufacturing top notch firearms.
The internal works of the MC-28 is a bit of a departure from the M&P, but not by very much. The big difference is that Girsan made most of the components thicker and redesigned the trigger system. The camming block area is pretty much the same as an M&P and it is said that you can use an Apex trigger in the MC-28.
The back area where the striker and sear do all their magic is where I see a great improvement.
The method in which the sear is actuated by the trigger bar in the M&P is somewhat sketchy in my experience. The rolled piece of metal that pushes up on the front of the sear sometimes came misaligned in my .40 VTAC M&P. With the MC-28, the trigger bar merely pushes on a ram that pulls the sear down and out of the way of the striker.
The first time I shot the MC-28 was at SHOT show. From my experiences that I have had with my own MC-28, I am inclined to believe that the pistol I shot the first time was completely new. The trigger was stiff and I had trouble getting on target initially. Now with only a few hundred rounds through the pistol, the pistol seems to function better all around. The recoil is smoother, the trigger seems lighter and smoother, and the action on the pistol has smoothed out considerably.
The pistol has very little FELT recoil, but does need to be held onto if you are going to prevent the pistol from jumping around on target. As long as you maintain a firm grip, this pistol will be very easy to shoot fast and accurate followup shots will be easy.
Build Quality– 4/5
I feel like Girsan did a good job on making this pistol more robust and durable. Everything from the Cerakote finish to the little springs seem to indicate that Girsan built these guns to last.
When it comes to ergonomics, the MC-28 is not really much better than the M&P, but it is better in the grip design and texturing.
The pistol is the same height, if not a shade higher than the M&P, yet holds less ammo. Though you can get higher capacity magazines, stock is what is being graded here.
The trigger took some getting used to for me. Personally, that is not something that bothers me, but it is something a newer or inexperienced shooter may find themselves having trouble with.
The MC-28 has a very nice recoil impulse that tames even hotter +P loads and gives the shooter good confidence. Between the recoil, the grip, and the trigger, the pistol works well with the shooter after a little break in. Though I would say that the weird issue I had in the magwell and the stiff mag release is an obvious deduction.
Usually you will only find guns like this in the $400-$600 range. With the entire package coming in around $300 as a base price, this pistol is probably the best value I have seen.
Overall Rating– 23/30
I bought this firearm with my own money and the information is based off of my own research and experience with the firearm. I am under no written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. The opinions and views displayed here are my own as an independent reviewer, and they do not reflect the standing of Spotterup as a whole.