Mab pa15


September 26, 2013, 07:16 PM
Any active members with experience shooting the original Wonder Nine from France? I'm considering one as my next odd/unusual gun purchase, and I'm curious how good this would serve as a frequent (not daily) shooter. With the exception of a CZ52 and a Swedish K, I have no other 9mm (nor desire for a modern 9 besides a $teyr GB), so the Frog would probably get the most use ;)

I was looking at BHPs when this model came up, and aside from missing the heavy DA trigger and weighing a bit more, they seem to hold similar niches to a collector/casual shooter


If you enjoyed reading about "Mab pa15" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 26, 2013, 11:11 PM
Kind of a rare pistol, not many were imported. I saw them still carried by Gendarmes in Paris in '99.

Magazines are hard to come by, as are parts. Supposedly a SW model 59 magazine can be modified, but I have only read about that online.

As an all steel pistol I don't doubt they could be a regular shooter.. but without SOME supply of springs and such it's a curiosity rather than a carry gun.

On a side note I found the Steyr GB to be the most unreliable center fire pistol I have ever shot.

September 27, 2013, 07:00 AM
I had one many years ago. Great range gun as it was really kind of heavy for a 9mm. to make me want to carry it all that much. Definitely in the category of a pistol that was built like a tank as it felt like a very solid chunk of steel in your hand. The rotating barrel system was interesting as I could load a mag with a mix of ammo that was from "mild to wild" and it never missed a beat. I also think that it contributed to there being almost no felt recoil; that and the fact the gun was so solidly built. The trigger was okay and it could have benefitted from having an adjustable rear sight but the intrinsic accuracy was certainly there. The other pressing concern I had was the lack of spare parts availability, especially in regard to magazines.

September 27, 2013, 02:22 PM
I'm a collector and own many unusual handguns. I've had a PA-15 for quite a while. It's one of my favorite 9mms. (

September 27, 2013, 10:29 PM
Sounds like these guns are legit. If I can keep from getting distracted by another shiny object this'll be the next piece I save up for. Knowing my luck, they'll be over two grand by then :( (just like the Mateba, P210, C96, Luger, etc...)


*too late; Steyr M34 :rolleyes:

September 27, 2013, 10:49 PM
They are great solid guns as others have noted. Got mine for around $300 on GB about 4 years ago.

September 28, 2013, 09:27 AM
Had one too. Very, very nice pistol. I sold it when I got sick of tracking down proper magazines.

September 28, 2013, 10:31 AM
My other concern with the MAB PA-15 was that the original finish, a sort of matte blue, seemed to be very thin overall and didn't hold up very well in use. Never any signs of rust; more like a nagging question of durability over time. If I had kept it I probably would have had to have it refinished.

Later ones that I saw (I think they were being imported by Howco at that time), appeared to have had a much better finish to them.

September 29, 2013, 05:18 PM

I own one. It is accurate, very strong and has a large magazine capacity. Also, it feeds WINCHESTER Silvertips which was my carry load for it. It was so long ago, that the Silvertips were the "WONDER BULLETT" at that time.

The down side that last time I shot it were the weight, the recoil seemed harder than my BERETTA 92, which is similar in size but 6 ounces lighter.

Also, the terms "DEHORNED and MELTED" do not apply here. The edges are old world sharp. The other thing that I disliked was the trigger. Mine was ok when the competition was the BHP and S&W 59, but is heavy compared to my BERETTA'S and SIG'S.

It was really overbuilt for the 9m.m. I met an ammo seller who carried one for self defense. He explained he handloaded (this was back in the early 1970's) a hollowpoint to the same pressure used in factory proof loads without a problem in the MAB.


September 29, 2013, 11:22 PM
the terms "DEHORNED and MELTED" do not apply here
Yeah, that's definitely a French thing, just like odd protrusions is a British thing and evil looks a German thing :D. The French especially put slab-sides on everything going back to WWI

That's interesting to hear the gun apparently held up (reportedly) to hot loads. I suppose that makes sense, since IIRC there was high pressure subgun ammo in 9mm floating around if not issued alongside the pistol stuff. It's too bad the guns are too few and far between to determine for reals whether or not +P is okay in them. 18 rounds and +P capability would actually make it a pretty desirable piece for some folks. Being blowback and as heavy as they are, makes me wonder if they are built like the old Star pistols in 9mm Largo...

I figured the recoil was somewhat harsh, owing to the delayed blowback action as opposed to a true locked breech. You're gonna feel more of the bolt thrust no matter how heavy you make it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Mab pa15" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!