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Review: EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 3

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The Beretta Model 92 is easily one of the most recognizable pistols on the planet. Whether it be on a soldier’s hip or in an action movie, most Americans have seen one, and many would love to have one of their own—but they can be pricey. Imported by EAA and manufactured in Turkey by Girsan, the Regard MC line closely mimics Beretta’s iconic pistol, but it is available at a significantly lower price. And one of the most recent additions to the family—the Regard MC Gen 3 Optic—doesn’t stop there, as it not only incorporates a major change to the Beretta’s control scheme, but also adds some new features, including an optic-cut slide with a factory-mounted micro red-dot.

EAA Regard Gen 3 Optic pistol fieldstripped

Fieldstripping reveals that, at its core, the EAA Regard Gen 3 Optic pistol relies on the time-proven Beretta 92 design that has served the U.S. military for decades.

The Regard MC Gen 3 Optic is a hammer-fired, double-action/single-action semi-automatic pistol that feeds from a detachable box magazine. Girsan includes only one 18-rounder, but sourcing extra magazines is a simple matter, as they share compatibility with the Beretta 92. Also similar but not interchangeable are the barrel, slide and locking block. When the gun fires, these three parts recoil together until, eventually, the locking block falls away, allowing the barrel and slide to separate, but only after chamber pressure has fallen to a safe level. Upon return to battery, a fresh round is stripped from the magazine and the locking block inserts its lugs back into their respective cutouts in the slide.

EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 3 features

The pistol’s dustcover features a built-in Picatinny rail, and its slide incorporates vertical cocking serrations at the front (l). An adapter plate for the Derry Far-Dot optic fits the Regard MC in such a way as to extend the slide’s cocking serrations. (ctr.) The Derry Far-Dot optic features fiber-optic rods at its rear that can be used in combination with the post front sight dovetailed to the slide. (r.)

Unlike most Beretta 92s (and more like the Taurus line of Model 92 clones), the Regard Gen 3 employs bilateral frame-mounted thumb safeties rather than the typical pair of slide-mounted levers. This feature allows the end user to either carry the gun “cocked and locked” like an M1911 or carry with the hammer down after manually decocking it. If one does choose to carry in double-action fashion, this Regard also features a half-cock safety that precludes the hammer’s contact with the firing pin. The pistol also features a firing pin block for added reassurance. Other modern features built into the pistol’s aluminum frame include synthetic stocks and a four-slot accessory rail machined into the dustcover. Purists will rejoice in the fact that Girsan retained the classic lanyard loop and push-button magazine release, the latter being reversible for left-handed operation.

EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 3 features

Bilateral thumb safeties (left) make the Regard Gen 3 stand out from the Beretta 92 pack, and vertical serrations on the frontstrap (right) help anchor the gun during recoil.

While the frame is exciting, the biggest news lies in what Girsan has done to the slide. Through only minimal machining, the company fit an adapter plate over the rear of the slide to accept the included Far-Dot red-dot by Derry. This Shield-footprint optic remains perpetually lit and dims or brightens automatically based on the ambient lighting conditions. The aft of the unit also houses a pair of fiber-optic rods that act as a rear sight and align naturally with the elevated front sight that is dovetailed into the slide. The optic adapter plate features deep serrations that align with those cut into the slide, providing a much-increased gripping area when compared to other models built on the Model 92 platform.

Our range day was met with hot and hazy conditions that made holding the all-black pistol challenging at times. Accuracy testing from a sandbag rest was conducted using factory-new offerings from Federal and Speer and re-manufactured range fodder from Patriot Defense. Taking advantage of the red-dot, we fired 25-yard groups that measured as small as 1.38—excellent results at that distance. All accuracy testing was fired in single-action mode to take advantage of the shorter, lighter 5-lb., 15-oz., trigger pull.

SHOOTING RESULTS

We then moved on to function testing by engaging a variety of steel targets set at different distances. All shooters agreed that the eye found the dot without much fuss and that the optic aided greatly in transitioning between targets and shooting on the move. The overall function was flawless, as the Regard MC ate everything we fed it and didn’t experience a single issue during our 250-round test. We wrapped things up with a fieldstrip that involved disengaging the takedown lever retainer by pressing it in from the other side of the pistol and then rotating the takedown lever. After which, the slide assembly can be slid off of the front of the frame. Lastly, the spring, guide rod and barrel assembly can be lifted free from the slide, providing access for cleaning and lubrication.

The Girsan Regard Gen 3 Optic proved to be an outstanding target pistol that performed extremely well given its price point. It is obvious that Girsan puts a high level of pride into its work, as our test pistol was free of tool marks and retained an even Cerakote finish on par with some American makers. Overall, this gun would make a fine addition to the collection for anyone who enjoys collecting Beretta 92-style pistols in specific or who just wants a premium-quality firearm without the premium price tag.

EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 3 specs

Article by AMERICAN RIFLEMAN STAFF

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