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Book Review – The Mac Man: Gordon B Ingram and His Submachine Guns

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Gordon Ingram served as an infantryman during World War Two, and decided to get into the gunmaking business after the war. He though there was a market for a submachine gun for police and military forces, and to that end designed the very Thompson-esque Model 5 and Model 6 guns. These were not major successes, but did sell well enough to keep Ingram in business. Eventually he would change his focus to gun which were very cheap to make, in hopes of finding contracts with small foreign governments, if not the US.

The .45 caliber Model 10 would be his iconic breakthrough design, most commonly referred to as the MAC 10, as it was initially manufactured by the Military Armament Corporation. In addition to this, Ingram produced a scaled down Model 11, chambered for the .380 cartridge. These two cartridges were specifically chosen for their subsonic nature, as one of the Ingram guns’ key selling points was their pairing with suppressors made by the Sionics company.

Eventually MAC would go out of business, and a rather sordid trail of companies would follow, acquiring and auctioning off assets and patent rights. These would include RPB and SWD, as well as other smaller shops, making receiver flats, fully automatic guns, semiautomatic guns, and more. That tale is a complex one, but one which Thomas and Iannamico do a good job of retracing. This book is an essential resource for anyone considering purchase of a MAC-type submachine gun, to demystify the complex world of models and manufacturers.

A few neat elements I picked up form reading this book, which I had not previously known:

* The MAC logo was a combination of a cobra and a moray eel…a Cobray.
* A major reason for investor backing of MAC in the early days was the possibility of the US Army replacing the 1911 with the .380 M11 as an “individual weapon”.
* In an effort to avoid ATF ruling of open bolt guns as machine guns, at one point a single-shot M-10 was marketed, in which one would manually drop a round into the ejection port before firing.

At $40 and still easily available, “The Mac Man” is a good book for those who are interested in a more modern side of firearms design and manufacturing – and especially a side with lots of sketchy and quasi-legal twists and turns. And, of course, the book is a must-have for anyone who owns or plans to own a registered Ingram gun.

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