MasterPiece Arms .45 ACP Semi-Auto Carbine


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

September 10th, 2009




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MasterPiece Arms of Braselton, Georgia is producing a line of semi-automatic pistols and carbines that are similar in design to the MAC series of pistols and sub-machineguns of years past, with a few improvements to the design that makes the MasterPiece guns easier to use. Shown here is their side-cocking .45 ACP carbine. The model shown here is a closed-bolt blowback operated semi-auto with the cocking handle on the left side, leaving the top clear to attach a sturdy Picatinny rail for the attachment of optical sights. The carbine has a set of rugged fixed sights, but I really like a good dot sight on such a weapon, and the rail makes attaching a dot such as the superb Trijicon Reflex unit quick and easy. The Picatinny rail has a channel down the middle for use of the aperture rear and post front sight, without removing the rail.

The MasterPiece carbine wears a fairly heavy sixteen inch barrel, which measures .885 diameter in front of the CAR-15 style hand guard. The muzzle is threaded for the attachment of a sound suppressor, or the muzzle brake that is offered as an accessory. The barrel is threaded 11/16-16. The carbine came supplied with one thirty-round magazine, and a loading tool is also offered as an accessory. The magazine is contained within the vertical grip, and locks into place solidly, but has some movement laterally, and should never be prone to jamming in place.  The magazine release is at the bottom rear of the grip.  The safety lever is on the right side, and rotates 180 degrees from “safe” to “fire”.  The trigger pull is very good on this carbine. It is not a crisp release, but the pull weight measures only three and three-quarters pounds, and feels much like a lightened Glock trigger pull. Very smooth.  The skeleton polymer buttstock is held on with one machine screw, but is very solid, with no movement at all. Removing the buttstock is quick and easy, and makes for a more compact weapon. The carbine can be fired with or without the buttstock attached. However, removing the buttstock is in violation of Federal law, making the weapon under the legal minimum for a rifle, which is set by statute at twenty-six inches. Some Federal prisons are pretty nice, but you might get sent to one of the facilities that are not so pleasant, so just keep in mind that it is a felony to remove that buttstock without submitting the proper paperwork, paying the tax, and getting BATFE permission to do so.

The overall length of the MasterPiece carbine measures 31.75 inches, with buttstock attached, and 21 1/16 inches with the buttstock removed. The carbine is fairly heavy, weighing in at 9.75 pounds with an empty magazine in place.  However, that weight really helps to soak up recoil, and there is almost no felt recoil when shooting this carbine.

I tried many different brands and types of ammo in the MasterPiece carbine, and full metal jacket (ball) ammo is the way to go. The gun would not reliably feed hollow point ammo, but for a high-performance load, Cor-Bon Pow’RBall worked perfectly, and grouped accurately from this carbine. Pow’RBall is a specialty load that has a nylon ball inserted into a wide hollow nose bullet to mimic the shape of ball ammo, but offering much better terminal performance.  Pow’RBall will feed in any weapon that will feed ball ammo, and is the perfect choice for a defensive load in this MasterPiece carbine.  The 165 grain Pow’RBall ammo averages 1335 feet-per-second from the barrel of the MasterPiece carbine, and consistently groups under two inches at twenty-five yards. This carbine loaded with thirty rounds of Pow’RBall makes for a formidable weapon for close quarters work, being compact with or without the buttstock in place.  The MasterPiece carbine weighs about two and one-half pounds less than a Thompson 1927 carbine, fires the same cartridge, is just as accurate, and costs a lot less.  It would be a good choice for those who want .45 ACP power, but without the recoil.

For details and specifications on the MasterPiece pistols and carbines, go online to

To order the MasterPiece carbine online, go to

To order Cor-Bon high performance ammo, go to

Jeff Quinn


To buy this gun online, go to:


Cor-Bon Pow'RBall ammo proved reliable and accurate in the MasterPiece.



Buttstock attaches with one screw.

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Click pictures for a larger version.


MasterPiece Arms .45 ACP semi-auto carbine.



Side-mounted charging handle.



Muzzle is threaded for attachment of accessories.



Fixed sights are rugged and useful.



Picatinny rail allows attachment of optics...



...such as Trijicon's excellent reflex sight.



30-round magazine.