So, I have this boring old gun…
Pistols are terrific for defense on the go but their very nature makes them unsteady. This is the major reason behind a handgun’s “inaccuracy,” not necessarily the shorter barrel or reduced sight radius. In other words, the platform has tremendous potential, it just needs a little help getting there. Meet the CAA MCK, or Micro Conversion Kit. Simply insert one of the country’s most popular handguns into it and you’ll have features like a folding brace, full Picatinny rail, and even a well for an extra magazine or your favorite stabby. Best of all, it’s a perfect way to breathe life back into a pistol that doesn’t see a lot of range time anymore, which is exactly what I did with my semi-retired Springfield XD.
When you buy this MCK (caagearup.com) it’ll come with an adjustable barrel shroud as well as a variety of charging handles and gun doors. This allows it to accept a multitude of models. The way the MCK holds the gun is rather unique and the entire installation process is tool-less, once you have the proper gun door in place, and the shroud length set.
Once I had that squared away for the pistol I tested, I picked the correct charging handle and simply slipped it inside of the housing. The charging handle slides over the rear of the pistol’s slide and interlocks with the cocking serrations, allowing you access once it’s buried inside of the kit. With the charging handle in place, the next step was to slide the gun forward until it “clicked” into place. That sound is the locking mechanism engaging the pistol’s accessory rail, holding it securely to the MCK. From here all you have to do is snap the gun door closed and you have yourself an adult Mr. Potatohead onto which to strap whatever you wish!
I took advantage of the full-length Picatinny rail and added an Axeon MDSR1 Micro Dot, although with nearly 11 inches to work with I could easily have mounted up a sight system with a flip-over magnifier. I mention this because once supported, putting 9mm on 100-yard targets is a breeze, and magnification only makes it easier.
The MCK also has Picatinny sections at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, to which I attached a set of thumb stops. CAA also makes a nifty little flashlight that mounts in a pocket below the barrel shroud, but I skipped this addition for now with the hopes of one day slipping in the laser targeting system that is also available. From here all that was left was to test it, so I was off to the range.
I set up in a pit that gave me the ability to fire at CQB-distance targets and presented full-sized IPSCs hovering at the 100 and 200-yard berms. I started things off by testing out the ease of brace deployment. I was glad to see that it was just a simple one-finger operation (ha) and it snapped into place with absolutely zero effort. Best of all, the MCK can be fired with the brace closed, so there’s no reason to worry if you don’t have the opportunity to flip it out. I zeroed the optic at 15 yards and got right to work on the close-range targets.
The first thing that I noticed was that whatever recoil this pistol used to have was gone. This meant faster follow-up shots, tighter controlled pairs, and target transitions that were beyond pistol class. The ambidextrous charging handle didn’t get in the way with either right-handed or left-handed use, and after chambering the first round of the day, I didn’t touch it until it was time to clear the pistol.
To that point, I will make a little PSA here, and that is that the thumb safety needs to be depressed on the XD to retract the slide. In its standard configuration that happens automatically because there are few ways to hold the gun without doing so. However, once the MCK is installed, you have the option of gripping the forend and yanking back on the slide. If you do that, it’ll only move about half an inch before getting stuck. I didn’t realize this at first and was cursing the MCK to high-heaven before concluding that I’m just an idiot.
I ended my day by testing the capability of my XD in the prone position. The spare magazine made for a decent monopod and the overall compact nature of the platform made it extraordinarily easy to get behind. On the 100-yard target, all I had to do was put the dot on the target’s head to land a body shot, scoring 10 for 10 as if I were shooting a rifle. Feeling my Cheerios, I decided to push out to the 200-yard target, and once I found my hold, nailed it with just about every shot I sent downrange.
As I went over the events that day, I realized precisely how valuable a piece of kit like the MCK is. In the world of disaster preparedness, it would be handy to have one of these pre-set for the gun you are carrying stashed in your trunk or go-bag. It’s a great way to get carbine-like accuracy without needing to invest in a second firearm. Of course, if you do have a second firearm there’s no reason not to dedicate one to the MCK and have a home defense package that allows for more control and all the accessories you can ever want. Above all, I loved what it did to this old XD and it was great to have it on the range again!
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