After a long wait the Llama Micromax is finally here and in our hands. If you’re not sure if you’ve heard of Llama before it’s because you have and you haven’t. The original company closed down some time ago but their ideas are now living on through the craftsmen of Metro Arms and brought to us by the selective scouts of Eagle Imports. Metro Arms is the same people who make the incredible Bobcut we covered in an earlier article.
On to this gun. This is not the first .380 1911, but it may be the first good one. Others have tried with moderate success to combine the blow-back operation generally affiliated with Browning’s .380 ACP and the styling and feel of the 1911. For some reason success has escaped those makers and now Metro Arms and Llama are giving it a stab. You may be wondering why.
Contrary to popular misconception, .380 ACP (9x17mm) is a Browning round and was based on .45 ACP. It’s actually about a 7/8 scale down. Set the two rounds next to each other and observe their shapes. .380 is NOT related to 9x19mm which was developed in Germany. Before the era of the wonder nines .380 was the best you could get in a tiny gun. With proliferation of single-stack 9mm handguns .380 fell a bit to the wayside. Ammunition makers did not give up and today there is a plethora of options chambered in .380 ACP. We have fourteen different loads on hand for testing ranging from 56gr up to 102gr. What .380 does undeniably provides is the opportunity to make smaller handguns and feature the reliability of blow-back operation.
Here’s a look at the MicroMax on the bench.
For the numbers fans here are the specifications taken directly from the product website:
|Contoured for comfort
|4140 Steel Frame / 4140 Hammer Forged Steel Slide
|Ambidextrous Thumb Safety / Beavertail