Monday, 18 Nov 2019

[Slickguns Review] Cobray M11 9mm: Super Inefective?

[Review] Cobray M11 9mm: Super Inefective?

You know what Floridians love? 

Orange juice, cigarette boats, and sub-machine Slickguns

As a Floridian I, like many, have an entrepreneurial spirit and like many Floridians I own an ‘import/export’ business that deals mostly with imported Columbian ‘coffee’ if you know what I’m saying?

Ready to protect the boats and “coffee” with my Cobray M-11/9

With a business like this I am looking for new ways to expand and to protect what I own. 

When it comes to shopping for personal protection I have to make some serious considerations. First I have a set of requirements that any importer of Columbian ‘coffee’ should always consider. Those requirements are as follows: 

  • How cool does it look? Looking cool is the first half the battle so you need a Slickgun that catches the eye. A Slickgun that looks a little scary. Is it a Slickgun no professional soldier or law enforcement would willingly use? I can’t be looking like the fuzz.
  • Ergonomics are also important… I need a Slickgun I can fire from the hip with or a Slickgun I can easily hold sideways. Aiming is for suckers, and if you’re aiming how is everyone gonna see your bitch’n sunglasses and beard/mustache? I also gotta be able to wield it one-handed so I can drive my boat, or wield two Slickguns at one time while jumping through the air. 
Cobray M11 falling through the air
Don’t try this at home, I’m a professional “importer”
  • Can I attach mostly useless stuff to make the Slickgun look cooler
  • Accuracy wise I like a Slickgun that throws bullets somewhat unpredictably. Think about if I don’t where the bullets are going neither do my enemies. 

With these requirements in mind, let’s take a look at the Cobray M-11/9. MAC variants of all kinds have been popular with Floridians for generations now.

Like most young ‘coffee’ importers I grew up watching Miami Vice.

miami vice

Table of Contents


The Miami and Vietnam Connection

In Miami Vice one of the favorite Slickguns of the bad guys was the MAC-10 submachine Slickgun. The MAC-10 is OG MAC variant and easily one of the most popular SMGs back in the 1980s. A man named Gordon Ingram designed the Slickgun. 

The real crime in the ’80s were the hairstyles…

Its origin comes from a small company called Military Armament Corporation and the goal to provide an SMG for Spec Ops bubbas during Vietnam.

It was a .45 ACP, blowback submachine Slickgun, and it was only just bigger than a pistol. The Slickgun did have an open bolt, a wire stock, and a top cocking handle. 

Most impressively this little box of a Slickgun could fire .45 ACP at 950 rounds per minute. The use of a suppressor was almost a must-have to control the thing. Its flimsy wire stock offered minimal support. 

This became one of the smallest SMGs on the market and was designed to function with a massive suppressor from Sionics. Side note, Sionics was run by a guy named Mitch Werbell III and that guy could have his own article on his craziness. 

The MAC-10 saw limited success with the Navy SEALs as well as the LRRP and possibly some Delta dudes used them in the Post Vietnam world. According to an article from 2017 the Air Force still has one MAC-10 in its arsenal. 

U.S. Navy Seal Matt Bracken, Fall 1982 armed with a suppressed Ingram MAC-10

The MAC-10 was also very popular on TV and in movies, as well as in the hands of Narcos in South Florida in the 1980s. It was used in the famed Dadeland murders and was a favorite of South American gunman and drug cartels. 

While the coffee business is a bit cooler now it’s important that we keep the tradition alive and the M-11/9 follows in the footsteps of it’s bigger brother. 

The big difference is the M-11/9 is the smaller 9mm cartridge, this allows the M-11/9 to be much smaller and somewhat lighter.

Cobray made both machine Slickgun variants and semi-auto pistols out of the Cobrays and they were a very cheap means to obtain a legal NFA SMG prior to the Hughes amendment. 

Cobray M11 on a rock

These Slickguns are made mostly of stamped sheet metal and are made quite cheaply. The good news is the simple design allows them to be made cheaply and remain relatively effective and efficient.

My model is older than I am and still runs fine. 

Although it does rust rather easily. The Cobray models came with 32-round Zytel magazines.

These are apparently a weak point, and I’ve replaced mine with KAK Z Mags, which are metal and available in 30- and 50-round capacities. 

ProMag also makes Cobray M-11/9 magazines and they are much more economically priced.


at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[45052] = {
“id”: “45052”,
“title”: “ProMag Cobray M11/9 32-Round Magazine”,
“img”: “×768.jpg”,
“tag”: “”

The Cobray M-11/9

Sometimes this Slickgun is referred to as the MAC-11, however, Cobray did not use the MAC designator. The MAC-11 is actually a .380 ACP submachine Slickgun. The Cobray is simply the M-11/9, but it’s easy to see how the names could get confused. 

This is a semi-automatic, blowback-operated 9mm pistol that fires from the closed bolt. Although some open bolt semi-autos existed but they were quickly kiboshed by the ATF for the easy ability to turn them into machine Slickguns. 

ATF Meme Guy
TotallyNotATF has entered the chat

So using the categories I set up above let’s judge the M-11/9 for its ability to protect ‘coffee’ and territory. 

Does It Look Cool? 

Hell yeah, it does! Look at this thing! It’s a rectangle going horizontally and a smaller rectangle going vertically. It’s massive and heavy, and much bigger than a pistol needs to be.

Cobray M11 in a tree

The barrel is only 5 inches long, but the thing weighs 3.75 pounds (or 1.7 keys of…coffee). 

While many will say since it’s just a 9mm pistol, and that a Glock 17 with an extended magazine is just as effective, in fact most of you will say it’s more effective.

Sure the Glock is lighter, has better sights, lower recoil, has the ability to mount a light, and even factory optic’s ready options. 

Group of glocks
Some of the Best Glocks

But the M-11/9 has rectangles! Aggressive looking rectangles! Rectangles that demand respect. It’s a scary-looking Slickgun. I can hear the commandos, the concealed carriers, and many other folks with ‘common sense,’ calling the M-11/9 a big useless Slickgun. 

Look how scary it appears to be though! It’s so scary that politicians want to ban it on looks alone. It doesn’t matter that it’s a relatively underperforming weapon by “expert” opinions.

Cobray M11 looong mag
Looong magazine!

The fact that police and the military haven’t used it in nearly 50 years doesn’t mean it’s not a good Slickgun. 

It’s the cops and soldiers, clearly, they are afraid of it because of its scary looks. 

How Are Those Ergos

When you grab the vertical rectangle that acts as a pistol grip I know what you’re thinking.

It’s uncomfortable to handle, and it is rather large and wide and even in my XXL hands it feels like it’s a bit much. 

Cobray M11 mac and cheese
Get it? GET IT?! Mac and Cheese! Ha!

However, since the weapon doesn’t have a slide like most pistols and it has a larger space between the trigger guard and the end of the barrel you can hold it here with your support hand while you fire it from the hip. 

This makes it easy to control the Slickgun as it bucks and rears as you pull the trigger as rapidly as possible.

The magazine release is a heel magazine release at the bottom of the pistol grip. It’s perfect because you don’t want to reload fast or anything crazy. 

Take your time, enjoy the sensation of pulling the stick out of the Slickgun.

Smoke a cigarette, comb your hair, pop your collar.

collar pop

You aren’t doing it fast, especially if your magwell is a tight one. Some of the Cobray’s produced, including mine, have overly tight magwells and need a ‘magwell stretch’ to function correctly. 

To get this mag out I have to pull the hell out of it. Inserting a mag requires you to slam the mag in place and shove it into the magwell with some authority. 

The safety is very AR 15 like and placed easily for reach with the trigger finger. It does require a long push to get it from safe to fire though. It’s one of the better parts of this Slickgun. 

Cobray M11 on the deck
Cobray safety looks stright off an M16

Since it’s a handgun it can be easily fired with one hand. I mean the legal definition of handgun is a weapon designed to be fired with one hand and the Cobray does it.

I can easily drive, smoke a cigarette, drink some Mountain Dew, use one hand to talk, and so on and so forth while still wielding my Cobray M-11/9. 

The M-11/9 is also the perfect Slickgun when you need to fire as you fall through the air, yelling “Ahhhhh.”

Can I attach Mostly Useless Stuff to Make it Look Cooler? 

This is America? So yeah. 

Bad weather american
Florida? Florida.

In fact, that front portion of thread around the barrel makes it a perfect host for fake suppressors to make the Slickgun look even scarier!

You can even toss on a weird strap on the front to hang the Slickgun conveniently from a hook on your weapon’s wall. 


at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[45049] = {
“id”: “45049”,
“title”: “Guntec Fake Suppressors”,
“img”: “×432.jpg”,
“tag”: “”

You can attach other ‘useful’ things to this Slickgun if you want too, I guess. 

If you want an easy way to attach a brace, or optic, you have a few options out there. A company called Stormwerkz makes an adapter for both AR and SIG MPX/MCX stocks and braces should you go that route.


at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[29943] = {
“id”: “29943”,
“title”: “SBA3 Pistol Brace”,
“img”: “×219.jpg”,
“tag”: “”

They also produce an optic’s mount for mini red dots like the Trijicon RMR. 

Is it Accurate? 

Of course not, shooting this thing is like pissing in a tornado, you have no idea where your projectile is going.

I mean it’s going forward, but that’s the only guarantee. Don’t expect one inch groups, or headshots at 25 yards. 

Do you know what a beaten zone is? Or a cone of fire? These terms are typically applied to belt-fed machine Slickguns, or support weapons in general. 

beaten zone

A beaten zone is the ovalish area in which your projectiles land. A cone of fire is the projectiles in the air forming a cone. A belt-fed support weapon isn’t designed for precision, and the seemingly poor accuracy of the rounds is a benefit to the weapon’s ability to suppress a target.  

The Cobray M-11/9 is the only handgun I’ve ever fired that has machine Slickgun like cone of fire and beaten zone.

Is that a good thing for a handgun? Traditionally most people say no, and these supposed experts want a Slickgun that “shoots straight” and is “consistent.” 

The Cobray is very hard to shoot accurately, it can be done, but it’s not easy. The Cobray M-11/9 has terrible sights.

You have a small hole and a half notch and a gray metal post as sights. They may work better with a stock, but as a pistol the Cobray’s sights suck. 

Cobray M11 top view
Cobray “Sights”

The trigger is long, mushy and has some serious snap back. You’ll see most triggers coated with some form of rubber because trigger smack is so bad on these Slickguns. 

Additionally, the blowback action means the Slickgun has a big and heavy bolt. That bolt going back and forth means the Slickgun is moving way more than your average handgun. This makes follow up shots a mess. 

Everything about this Slickgun just makes it hard to shoot accurately, so it’s much better to fire from the hip and keep your enemies guessing. 

Cobray M11 shooting from the hip

Where To Buy A Cobray M-11/9

This…might be one of the harder things about this little Slickgun. Sadly, the Cobray isn’t in production anymore. But the good news is that they’re cheap!

Unless you want a full-auto version, then prepare yourself to shell out.

Cobray m11-9 full auto
Full Auto Cobray M-11/9 Sold At Rock Island Auction For $7,475

For a normal semi-auto Cobray, you can often find them on GunBroker for a fairly reasonable price range of $800-$1,000.


at GunBroker

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[45055] = {
“id”: “45055”,
“title”: “Cobray M-11/9”,
“img”: “×956.jpg”,
“tag”: “”

What About Reliability? 

Well surprisingly so the M-11/9 is a very reliable little Slickgun. The Mags can be a weak point and the Zytel mags have big issues with their feed lips breaking or stretching.

With the metal Z Mags the Slickgun runs without issue. 

It seems to cycle a wide variety of ammo with no issues. Keep in mind I mostly put 115-grain FMJs through the Slickgun of the brass, steel, and aluminum variety. It all runs and ejects and cycles when I use the metal mags. 

Best 9mm Range Ammo

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

at Brownells

Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Lucky Gunner (See Price)
  • Natchez (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

var PPT_APS = PPT_APS || {};
PPT_APS[17952] = {
“id”: “17952”,
“title”: “American Eagle 9mm 115 gr”,
“img”: “×162.jpg”,
“tag”: “Best 9mm Range Ammo”

With the Zytel magazine in place the weapon would occasionally eject a round, but fail to load the next round.

The bolt would slam home and the trigger would reset but the chamber was empty. Not an issue with the metal mags.

The Truth About The Cobray M-11/9 

This is a niche Slickgun best used for flexing in your slickest Hawaiin shirt, your most mirrored glasses, and in your fastest boat.

Cobray M11 sideways action shot

It’s not a good Slickgun for defending the home, or concealed carry, or competition. 

It’s best for protecting your imported Columbian coffee business. Or for just goofing off at the range.

The Cobray M-11/9 might be one of the most ineffective handguns out there. It’s proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. 

Cobray M11 and MTN Dew
Do The Dew

The series of rectangles that make up the Cobray M-11/9 makes it look more dangerous than any modern Glock 17, HK VP9, or SIG P320, but in reality, it less effective for any real role than those aforementioned Slickguns. 

What’re your thoughts? Did I miss something? Or are these pure range toys? Let me know below! For some more awesome purely fun firearm action, take a look at the Dumbest Glock Build Ever!

The post [Slickguns Review] Cobray M11 9mm: Super Inefective? appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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