The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Gutter Ball: EAA Imports a Turkish Take on an Iconic American Carry Gun

Photos by Niccole Elizabeth

What makes a good carry pistol? The answer varies for everyone, but there are some things we think are safe to call constants. It should be easy to conceal and easy to draw from concealment. The sights and trigger should both be fast to use and consistent. It should fire a cartridge suitable to the task of defending life and limb. Reliability should be beyond question, even under adverse conditions — being wet, dirty, and well-worn shouldn’t cause any concern.

Nowadays, we’re blessed to have a handgun market rife with choices that make most of these requirements all but guaranteed. But that wasn’t always the case. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, an ideal carry pistol had to be hand-built by artisan gunsmiths with exacting craftsmanship and ideas well ahead of their contemporaries. Some of these ideas were so well executed that their designs continue to echo through the concealed-carry pistol market, more than half a century later.

The MC1911SC Ultimate has all the features that you’d expect to see in a modern carry 1911.

European American Armory made their name in the American market by importing Tangfolio-designed hammer guns to the U.S. market, which continue to maintain a presence in competitive shooting circles. More recently, they began importation from Turkish manufacturer Girsan. Among other offerings, Girsan offers a line of 1911s meant to offer maximum bang-for-buck. Their top-tier carry option, the MC1911SC Ultimate, offers a robust suite of features drawing directly from one of the most advanced carry guns of yesteryear. Best of all, this modern take on a cult classic can be yours for the impressively low price of 4,118.50 Turkish Lira — or $723. Whichever you happen to have handy. Since “MC1911SC Ultimate” isn’t a particularly smooth mouthful to say, or type, we got to simply calling it the Guttersnipe. Why? Glad you asked …

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BACKSTORY

The name Paris Theodore is all but obscure gun trivia now, but in the early 1970s, he ran a small holster shop in New York known as Seventrees Ltd. His holsters were designed for deep concealment and rapid access. They were known to be popular among undercover police officers and intelligence agents — so popular that he was awarded small contracts by federal agencies whose people specialized in this kind of work.

While gun leather was his primary front, Paris was a dedicated tinkerer and basement engineer. Seventrees had a much smaller sister company known as Armament Services and Procedures, based out of the same office on West 39th St in Manhattan. ASP focused on designing and building clandestine and concealed weapons for several intelligence organizations. If ever there were a real-life (American) counterpart to James Bond’s quirky techno-nerd “Q,” Paris Theodore was it. But beyond the mythos of being a super spy gadget guru, Theodore conceived and implemented some cutting-edge handgun improvements that we still consider ideal on a self-defense gun.

The Girsan features a bushing-less cone barrel and full-length guide rod.


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His most well-known design was a compact 9mm pistol with no name, eventually known simply as the ASP 9mm. The ASP started life as a Smith & Wesson M39 or M39-2. For those unfamiliar, the M39 is a double-action/single-action, single-stack 9mm auto with an aluminum frame and steel slide. It was the first of S&W’s “first gen” semi-autos and one of the oldest mainstream American-made auto-loading pistols. It saw use by everyone from the Illinois State Police to Navy Special Warfare units. When Paris Theodore started building ASP pistols in the early ’70s, it was one of the most widely used duty pistols of the time.

The list of modifications made by Mr. Theodore was extensive. The slide and barrel were both shortened. The barrel was throated and ramped. He replaced the traditional bushing system with a fixed version. All metal parts were coated with Teflon-S. On the outside, he checkered the front and backstraps of the frame. The side panels were deliberately left smooth to avoid snagging on clothes, and also made of clear Lexan, offering an instant visual index of your round count. The trigger guard was reshaped to include a hook for the support-side index finger, a popular shooting grip at the time. The trigger guard was also thinned out along one side, the shooter’s dominant side, to facilitate a higher grip.


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