Let me start this review by saying, I absolutely love the MR9 from Magnum Research. If there was ever a gun that I wanted named after me, the MR9 would be that gun. This pistol has it all. It looks beautiful, has excellent ergonomics, is feature loaded and shoots outstanding. Hey Magnum Research, TheFireArmGuy MR9 Eagle has a nice ring to it.
The MR9 is a double action/single action striker fired handgun in 9mm. The trigger action offers the shooter to use single action or double action only. When charging the pistol, the trigger is set in single action mode which measures 4.5 pounds on my trigger scale. The single action is smooth and very quick. The trigger reset is extremely short creating unbelievably fast double taps and follow up shots. Simply by pressing a decocker safety button on the back of the slide, the trigger will move to double action mode. The double action decocker safety button rests flush with the slide and is easily reached without the need to change the grip position with the shooting hand. The shooter could choose to shoot in single action mode and then in a split second change to double action.
This feature is just one of many the MR9 offers so stick with me on this review and you will understand better why I feel the MR9 is an outstanding handgun.
Model: MRFA915FL (MR9)
Type: Locked breech semi automatic
Barrel Length: 4.5” (also available in 4”)
Overall Length: 7.63”
Slide Width: 1.28”
Construction: Black polymer frame, 416 stainless steel slide
Finish: Textured polymer frame, matte stainless slide w/ laser engraved markings
Trigger: Double Action / Single Action (DA/SA) with a decker safety button on top of slide
Trigger pull: 8.5 lbs (Double Action) 4.5 lbs (Single Action on my trigger scale)
Weight (empty): 24.8 ozs
Rifling: 1 in 10” RH twist, 6 grooves
Sights: White three-dot, fully adjustable rear sight for windage, Replaceable front sight blades for different heights
Sight Radius: 6.26”
Safeties: Manual decocker / Striker block, safety decocker button, Internal safety drop plunger, Internal trigger safety
Magazines: 2 – 15 round or 2 – 10 round
The MR9 featured in this review is the full size model with the 4.5 inch barrel. They also have the same model available with a 4 inch barrel. I have seen this gun selling on various online sites and even large outdoor stores like Cabelas for $400 or less. That is an amazing deal for a handgun of this quality. Let’s get right into the features to get a better idea what makes this pistol a great choice.
Magnum Research calls the MR9 a joint American/German effort. The polymer frame with integral steel rails is imported from Walther in Germany. The full size grip has excellent ergos and offers the choice of three backstraps. It has fairly aggressive texturing on the back and front with slight finger grooves that feel comfortable. The ambidextrous magazine release is located on the bottom of the trigger guard which is known as a paddle release or European style release. However one labels it, the magazine release position sure works well for this pistol. The magazine deployment is quite forceful which aides in quick reload mag changes. The 15 round magazine has sight holes and is built very strong which is consistent with all Magnum Research products. The trigger guard is squared off and has slight texturing on front for shooters who prefer to place their off hand forefinger around it when shooting. The trigger guard is large to allow the space needed for shooters who wear gloves and for shooting in double action given the forward trigger position in that mode. The forend has a full 1913 rail to attach one’s favorite accessories. A quality light/laser combo would make the MR9 a perfect home defense choice.
The upper slide is a stainless steel matte finish that is angled on top much like the full size Desert Eagle. It also has beautiful laser etched engraving on both sides of the slide. The rear slide serrations are over two inches long and are cut fairly low on the slide. The low cut allows room for the decocker button located on the left side directly above the serrations. The serrated decocker button is one inch long and rests flush with the slide. It is positioned to never interfere when shooting. When depressed, the trigger will safely decock and move the trigger into double action mode. The trigger action was explained in the second paragraph of this review however I feel it is worth mentioning that I love the mechanics and the options it offers. The “fast action trigger” when shooting in single action is like nothing I have experienced with a striker fired pistol.
The back of the slide has a red charger indicator button that appears when the slide has been racked. It offers the shooter a clear visual as to the condition of the chamber without the need for a press check. There is also a red loaded chamber indicator located below the extractor on the right side of the gun. When chambered, the extractor exposes a slight red marking giving the shooter yet another visual on the gun’s condition. The sights are a three dot formation in which the rear sights are adjustable for windage. Magnum Research also offers additional front sight posts. The shooter can custom select the height of the front sight to fit their shooting style. That is definitely a nice touch however the front sight included in the case fit my shooting style perfectly.
OK, let’s get to the meat of this review. The MR9 is an outstanding shooting pistol. It is very reliable and extremely accurate. I have shot thousands of rounds through my MR9 and have yet to have a failure of any kind. Everything from full metal to various defensive ammo gets eaten up with the MR9 like a fat man at a Chinese buffet. I’m serious, for a gun that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for incredible reliability, I would put the Magnum Research MR9 up against any other handgun out there. As for accuracy, it’s among the best. I shoot the MR9 incredibly well. It’s not just me either. I love passing the MR9 to a friend at the range to get their impressions and the response has become quite typical. “Hey, this gun is amazing. Who did you say makes this?”
Disassembling the MR9 is a simple process that many of us are familiar with. Once assuring the gun is unloaded and safe with the magazine removed, simply pull back the slide approximately a half inch. With the opposite hand push down the takedown levers located on the frame just above the trigger. At that point, point the gun in a safe direction and pull the trigger. The upper will slide off the frame. The captured recoil spring/guide rod and 4 ½ inch barrel can be removed to complete the process. To reassemble, insert the barrel and place the recoil spring/guide rod into position. Align the upper slide to the frame rails and pull the slide back. At this point, the pistol is reassembled.
Overall, I feel the Magnum Research MR9 Eagle is the most underrated pistol on the market. It’s amazing to me that so many people do not know everything this gun has to offer and more importantly, how well it shoots. I am often asked, “what is the best compact size 9mm pistol for the money?” Without hesitation, I say it’s the Magnum Research MR9. For $400, this pistol has everything anyone would want in a compact handgun. Attributes such as extreme accuracy, reliability, nice ergonomics, good capacity, safety features and grip, sight, and trigger action options make the MR9 a preferred choice when looking for the best 9mm handgun available for the money. Whether you are looking for a handgun for home defense, carry or just a great time at the range, check out the Magnum Research MR9 and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.