I normally carry a 9mm, .357 or .45 ACP. However with advancing age my hip and back get sore with any kind of weight on them like a gun pressed against my hip. When I belt carry I know that I am in for anywhere from a few hours to a day of mild pain afterwards. Although I have several nice pocket pistols like the Sig P238/938, .357 LCR and XDs, I wanted something smaller for the hot humid summers of Florida and also to give me some leeway in which pants I can wear. Although my existing guns fit in my pockets as I make sure that all my pants have large pockets, the grips just barely are smaller than the pockets are deep. I had tried the LCP twice and although it fit nicely and was very lightweight, it was too lightweight and its sights were not to my liking. I bought it twice and I had to concentrate on my grip or it would jam. I am a big guy at 6', 240 lbs. ex-jock, combat vet and competitive shooter for over 40 years. I know a little about guns but until recently, never even bought a gun smaller than full sized or even a polymer gun. It was always a 4" barrel .357 or 5" 1911 for me because in my day, that is what real men carried. :smoke23: On the practical side my personal experience proved to me the effectiveness of these calibers on humans. So it was a real and expensive, learning experience for me when I started looking for pocket guns.
The only very small gun that I liked was a Seecamp .32. Easiest to carry semi that I ever owned. However it was ammo fussy and a pain to take apart to clean. Plus no sights which limited its effective use. I considered the NAA Guardian but they are heavy little suckers. Then I saw the MDE advertised and read all I could about it. Like most posts about guns, a lot of stuff from many years ago was still making the rounds about problems with the gun that no longer exists. What attracted me to it was its 14 oz. weight which I already know is comfortable to carry as my Sigs are that weight and I was not scared off by its 8 lb. trigger pull since I am very used to DA revolver triggers and when I finally did buy a Glock I installed an eight pound trigger as I found the stock trigger to be too light for my tastes in a carry gun. So I took the chance and ordered it.
It arrived on Wednesday and I shot it yesterday for the first time. Only one failure to return to battery but I suspect it was my loose grip or perhaps the truncated cone ammo I was testing out which I know that many of my guns do not like due to the sharp edge on it rather than a smooth rounded shape. Aside from that 100 Blazer aluminum case and Federal brass case FMJ feed 100% reliably. My standard ammo for small guns, Hornady FTX, feed with no problems at all. The gun was surprisingly accurate for a gun I could only get a finger and a half on (extended grip on order). I liked the trigger. I know a lot of guys who hate it but they were brought up on Glocks and striker fired guns while I was brought up on 12 lb. revolver triggers. There was no creep, creak, or all the other fine wine terms used these days to describe a trigger that will not make a wit of difference when shooting defensively. It was smooth for a short distance and then you felt the resistance. At that point you could do precise aiming if you wanted to because a little more pressure resulted in a nice clean break. The flat, rather than sharply curved trigger aided in pretty good trigger control for a gun so small that it is actually smaller than my hand when I shape it into a pretend gun. My indexed trigger finger extends past the muzzle. That is how short it is. The gun did not even feel as heavy as its weight indicated.
I shot the gun one handed. My experience in using a handgun for defense has shown me that I will point shoot, use one hand and just slap that trigger with no regard for trigger resets, something best left for target shooters. Those who shoot at targets that do not shoot back are free to disagree with me all they want. The MDE pointed very well and was easy to shoot with one hand. I tried some two handed shooting but it did not help that much and with the very short barrel, not a very good idea either.
When I first held the gun I was immediately concerned about slide bite because that is always an issue with guns that put the slide close to the top of my hand like this one. The Sig P232 was that way and I had to sell it as every time I shot it I had two red lines on the web of my hand. In my hand I could see very little space between slide and hand so I brought along a shooting glove just in case. My fears proved to be unfounded as I did not get any slide bite but I do have two small red spots where the slide obviously was rubbing me but nothing that hurts. Just a little red. The problem I did have was my trigger finger slapping against the very large trigger guard. It took off some skin. I never experienced that before even when shooting .357 through an 11 oz. snub nose or a 2" .44 magnum. The reason for this is that I could only get a finger and a half on the grip so the gun rode up on me with each shot. Perhaps when I get the grip extension for my magazine that will be different. However the physical damage was the culmination of 50 rounds before it was noticeable and I have competed/fought with hands wet with blood in the past so a little thing like this was no problem for me. It would not be a factor at all in a self defense situation and that is all I am expecting of this gun. I have plenty of guns for range use and this one will only be shot 2-3 a year to test for reliability and my ability to shoot it well. I have a custom Mika pocket holster on order, only $30 and the only pocket holsters I have used that stay in the pocket without the use of any gimmicks that require you hook or press anything. For now I am using a Sticky holster because I was able to get one before the gun arrived. It works pretty good in the pocket and also when tucked between belt and body. The gun is exactly what I was looking for. The top of the grip is set well below the top of the pocket so no one can peek in. I once saw a young man with the black grip of a gun near the top of his pocket who I kept an eye on and prevented from robbing the store I was in so I was acutely aware that others can see your gun unless your shirt covers your pocket. This gun hides well in my pockets. The weight minimizes recoil but then again I really do not notice recoil when I shoot and never have had it bother me. As I get older I may feel it when I get home but while I am shooting I could not tell you how the trigger felt of how bad the recoil was. I shoot guns because of the recoil which is why I dislike shooting .22's out of heavy guns.
The sights were nickel on nickel (the gun is made of nickel, not SS as some websites claim) so hard to see in sun light. Just added some green acrylic paint to the front sight to cure that and since the gun pointed so well I was able to shoot 2-3" groups at 7 yards just pointing at it. The gun shot where I pointed which is all I can ask of any gun. For slow fire you can use the sights for more accurate shooting but defensive shooting is not about getting groups. The grips are plastic or whatever synthetic material they call it. Wooden replacements are available for those who prefer to show rather than go. The gun is the old ZVI made in the Czech Republic and licensed by Magnum Research who is now owned by Kahr, so it is an old and tested design. The gun was originally made to be a BUG for police or for civilian personal defense and I think it does well in that role. The slide does not lock back on the last round but as we all hear all the time, most civilian gun fights only involve a few rounds. I tend to believe that because I cannot recall hearing, reading or seeing a gunfight that required a change of mags involving civilians although I am sure it has happened somewhere, someplace.
It has a unique delayed blowback design that uses two small springs on small guide rods on either side of the barrel. The barrel has two small ports to vent gas to delay the slide just long enough for the bullet to exit. It worked well and I think that due to the venting of gas, recoil was reduced and muzzle rise more controlled. That was more evident when firing with two hands. To disassemble you move the slide back a little to line up the two lines and then twist the barrel a little until it drops free of the slide and remove the slide at that point. Really easy once you get the hang of it. That is about it. The average time a gun spends in my possession is about 2 months but I think this on is a keeper and will become my gun for when I do not need a gun. It will also serve as a BUG when necessary. I can recommend it to anyone looking for a gun that feels solid, is well built and short enough to easily fit into most pockets.
As you can see, I like to write. I have written a lot of technical articles for magazines and co-authored a book and enjoy writing about technical things. I do not come to gun forums to learn about defensive shooting as I have done that and too old to change my ways now. Plus so few have ever fired a shot in anger and just refuse to believe that things will not go at all like they picture it in their minds and I try to open them to the possibility that what we think in safety is not what we may do when threated with death. I am fond of saying that many of my men who entered combat for the first time never imagined that they would soil their pants when they came under fire for the first time and yet some did. Even those who thought they would not. Hope you enjoyed the review and stories. I have bought hundreds of guns in my life and have a good idea of the good ones and this is one of those.