The patents on many common firearms are starting to expire, and so the word “clone” pops up a fair amount in the gun world these days. The word “clone,” however, implies that the newer version is pretty much indistinguishable from the original, but the fact of the matter is, most guns considered to be “clones’ ‘ have tweaks and improvements over the original version. No one would consider, say, an LWRC IC-SPR to be a “Colt Sporter” clone, and it’s a fool’s errand comparing a Nighthawk 1911 to the original 1911 model which won the army contract lo these many years ago.
Because of this, the first thing that enters many people’s minds when they look at firearms like the MAC 2 Tactical Wood shotgun from Military Armaments Corporation is that “It’s a Benelli clone.” While the MAC 2 may have the same internals as a Benelli gun, I don’t think it’s fair to call it a clone.
The first, and most obvious difference between the MAC 2 Tactical Wood and its Benelli forerunner is the furniture on the gun. The stock and forend on a Benelli gun is no-nonsense polymer, as befits a gun with a military heritage. The MAC 2 Tactical Wood, however, is adorned with gorgeous Turkish walnut that sets it apart from other scatterguns using the same operating system.
Let The Furniture Move You
On top of the receiver is the rear half of a ghost ring sight, and in front of that is a short length of Picatinny rail to mount your choice of optic on the gun. At the end of the 18.5-inch barrel is a blade-style front sight which completes the ghost ring sight set. Inside, you’ll find a barrel that’s set up for Mobil chokes, with cylinder, modified and full chokes included with the gun.
Underneath the barrel is the magazine, which holds 5 rounds, as well as a sling swivel. The magazine is threaded to accommodate an extended tube, however, the tube is not compatible with those for a Benelli. Instead, Military Armaments will be bringing their own extended tubes to market very soon. The usual Benelli operating controls, such as a lift release, non-reversible safety and charging handle are in the usual places. Wrapping up our tour, at the rear of the knurled walnut stock that has a sling swivel and a rubber butt pad.
True to its Benelli roots, the MAC 2 Tactical Wood uses an inertia-based operating system, where the bolt is held immobile initially and the rest of the firearm is allowed to recoil. The design of this system means that, in theory, it should be able to shoot just about any kind of 12-gauge ammo on the marketplace. However, since the springs inside an inertia-driven shotgun are set up for use with a gun that weighs a specific amount, adding your body weight in accessories is probably going to affect the reliability of the MAC 2 Tactical Wood.
Range Time With The MAC 2 Tactical
Speaking of reliability, I took the shotgun to the range to see just what it could handle. I shot 250 rounds of 12-gauge ammo ranging from lightweight target loads to #4 hunting rounds to buck-stopping 3-inch-magnum shells, and then topped that off with some of my favorite shells for 3-gun competition and defensive purposes. I had two failures to eject that I attribute to me not holding the gun securely enough against my shoulder, causing the inertia system to not have enough oomph to fully eject and feed the next round.
Next, it was time to pattern the shotgun to see how it works in a defensive situation. I installed the Full choke in the gun and set a target at 10 yards. The first round I tested was Rio 12 pellet 00 buckshot, which spread out just over 4 inches. Next was Fiocchi low-recoil 00 buckshot, which produced a group about 2¾ inches in diameter. Finally, it was a headshot with Federal FliteControl 8 Pellet 00 buckshot, which sent all the pellets (and the wad) into a hole about 1½ inches across. FliteControl has been my defensive round of choice for a number of years now, and these results are right in line with the results I’ve had from other shotguns using the FliteControl wad.
Is the Military Armament Corporation MAC 2 Tactical Wood a Benelli clone? Well, sort of. Rather than “clone,” though, let’s call it a “first cousin,” as it has a lot of the same DNA, but with some unique features all its own. Best of all, the MSRP for the MAC 2 is under $600, so you can get a first-rate defensive shotgun without blowing a hole in your wallet.
Military Armament Corporation MAC 2 Tactical Wood Specifications:
- Caliber: 12 Gauge, 3-inch chamber
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
- Overall Length: 48 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds 8 ounces
- Action: Inertia operating system, semi-automatic
- Stock: Turkish walnut
- Capacity: 5 rounds (2¾-inch shells)
- Sights: Ghost ring rear/blade front
- Finish: Anodized
- Choke Tube: Benelli/Mobil
- MSRP: $549.99
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