Mateba Range Report (pic heavy)


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Justin
July 23, 2004, 04:59 AM
Ok, so after snagging a bunch of .38 Spl. on sale at Wally World, I decided it was time to take the Mateba out for a spin. After field stripping the beast, changing out the heavy .357 mag recoil spring for the lighter .38 Spl one, I packed it up, grabbed a friend, and headed out to the range for some shootin'.

http://www.justinotis.com/images/firearms/mateba01.jpg

This is really only the third time I've taken the Mateba out for a spin, and this time I was much happier with the accuracy of the firearm. I had almost no trouble keeping all of my shots within the black at 10 yards on an international style air pistol target. Here is a typical example:

http://www.justinotis.com/images/firearms/mateba_targ.jpg

According to the ruler marks on my leatherman, the black area measures just slightly over 2.5 inches in diameter. That should give some idea of general accuracy. This was a fairly warm day, and more or less an informal plinking session, nothing too hardcore.

The Mateba is touted as the world's only currently produced semi-auto revolver. Basically this means that the gun is designed so that after each shot the weapon will cycle, rotating the cylinder and cocking the hammer. In this way, it's much more like a DA/SA semi auto than a traditional revolver. In this pic, my friend Scott is holding the, for lack of a better term, slide back and you can see the recoil guide rod protruding from the front of the frame, where the arrow is pointing to. If you look closely, you can see the grooves for the slide as well.

http://www.justinotis.com/images/firearms/mateba03.jpg

Unlike traditional revolver designs, the Mateba fires from the 6 o'clock cylinder, which gives it a lower bore axis and reducing felt recoil. The cylinder also rotates clockwise which, iirc, is the opposite of the traditional designs. However, the Mateba doesn't have as low of a bore axis as you would think. Remember, there's got to be room for the recoil spring, guide rod, and slide grooves. This raises the bore axis somewhat, though not a tremendous amount.

http://www.justinotis.com/images/firearms/mateba02.jpg

Recoil with the .38 Spl was quite pleasant, with the nearly 3 lbs. of Italian steel soaking it up quite nicely. It didn't feel as snappy as my P7 9mm. I found it very easy to shoot accurately as well as quickly. Double taps with the Mateba are quite easy to do. :)

There has been quite a bit of interest in this design, but not a whole lot of info is available. Hopefully I've been able to shine some light on the subject of just how this Italian contraption works.

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Soap
July 23, 2004, 08:54 AM
Good review! The pics are helpful in understanding the operation. Can you lock the "slide" back?

Erich
July 23, 2004, 09:51 AM
What a nice review. Thanks for posting.

(I like the magazine on the bench in front of the open-cylindered Mateba. Throw some Dardick "trounds" into the photo and you'll really confuse folks! :) )

Tamara
July 23, 2004, 09:51 AM
Can you lock the "slide" back?

Nope.

Double taps with the Mateba are quite easy to do. :)

With .357, one might say they're too easy. :uhoh: :o



("Mateba! The only revolver you could bump-fire!" -Rejected ad slogan. :D )

Black Snowman
July 23, 2004, 10:17 AM
I saw one used and almost picked it up but it was only a 4" barrel and I wanted longer than that in a target gun. After the gun sold used I finally found someone who still stocked the barrels (which are interchangable in the same caliber as I understand it). :banghead: They were asking $450 for it and I probably could have gotten it for $400. I love collecting strange actions and this would have been a wonderful addition.

5Wire
July 23, 2004, 10:31 AM
Thanks, Justin. After having learned from you about the Makeba, I was hoping you'd post a range report. What an interesting revolver.

GunnySkox
July 23, 2004, 02:54 PM
*drool* Oh ma' gawd. In the eternal words of my brother, "I want three!"

~Slam_Fire

Justin
July 27, 2004, 01:00 AM
Can you lock the "slide" back? To expound on Tamara's answer, there's really no need to. Unlike an autochucker, moving the "slide" back doesn't really get you anything. You make the Mateba safe in the regular old way.

(I like the magazine on the bench in front of the open-cylindered Mateba. Throw some Dardick "trounds" into the photo and you'll really confuse folks! ) That, or maybe a Gyrojet. :D

They were asking $450 for it and I probably could have gotten it for $400. I love collecting strange actions and this would have been a wonderful addition. Oh man. Yeah. That's a smokin' deal.

Das Pferd
July 27, 2004, 03:56 PM
So I see there are two advantages to this gun.

1.) The pull of the trigger is in single action everytime. How does the trigger pull feel compared to a traditional single action? Compared to a double action?

2.) It will feed any rounds just like a traditional revolver. You dont need to worry about hollowpoints jamming etc. You know that when you put any .38 spl or .357 magnum in, the gun will fire. Is this true?

Weaknesses maybe:

1.) It has no top strap.

2.) It no longer has the same reliability that a traditional revolver would have because of the moving parts and gas system. More parts to break or let you down.

fourdeuce82d
July 27, 2004, 06:07 PM
I didn't post this, but I owned one...so I'll hop in.

1.) The pull of the trigger is in single action everytime. How does the trigger pull feel compared to a traditional single action? Compared to a double action?

it is single action after a)the first round is fired (sa/da) or the hammer is manually cocked. SA felt a LOT like my 1911s, including the short re-set.

2.) It will feed any rounds just like a traditional revolver. You dont need to worry about hollowpoints jamming etc. You know that when you put any .38 spl or .357 magnum in, the gun will fire. Is this true?

Need to switch springs to go from .357/38. Mine seemed to like all different bullet profiles. Occasionaly choked on a hard primer.

Weaknesses maybe:

1.) It has no top strap.

2.) It no longer has the same reliability that a traditional revolver would have because of the moving parts and gas system. More parts to break or let you down.

Additional moving parts, but no gas system- recoil operated.

One additional problem that relegates this gun to a "range toy" as opposed to a hunting/self-defense weapon- there is no decocker, nor is there an external safety. From the first round until the last, each "bang" leaves you with a cocked, light-triggered gun until you manually lower the hammer. Not my idea of an especially safe SD gun.

GREAT fun to shoot- the recoil system and low bore axis reduce the recoil, and send it straight back- tight double traps are a breeze- you hear a very loud noise, and you know something exciting is happening up at the front end of the gun...but the muzzle doesn't rise at all!

P95Carry
July 27, 2004, 06:10 PM
Filled some useful ''curiosity gaps'' Justin - thx.:)

FSCJedi
July 28, 2004, 02:33 AM
I've been lookin' to get one of these for some time. So has a friend of mine. We're debating between the .357 and the .454 (for it's .45LC capability).

ZeroX
July 28, 2004, 04:23 AM
Oh man, I've wanted a Mateba for awhile but they're so expensive. I'd have to find a really great deal to pick one up.

Mannlicher
July 28, 2004, 09:13 PM
I can see no compelling reason to buy a Mateba. There sure are ugly too :)

Tamara
July 28, 2004, 10:52 PM
I can see no compelling reason to buy a Mateba.

So don't; it's a free country.

For most folks, "I want one" is all the reason they need to buy any gun. :)

P95Carry
July 28, 2004, 11:19 PM
I can see no compelling reason to buy a Mateba. There sure are ugly too Following on Tam's post - I'd say too (personally only of course) ... no compelling reason to buy a Glock!! They are ugly!! :D :D

Other folks think different ...... :p

Coronach
July 29, 2004, 10:33 AM
Yeah. I can think of no reason to buy a Mateba. None whatsoever.



























































Damn, do I want one! :D

Mike

DMK
August 1, 2004, 09:05 PM
2.) It no longer has the same reliability that a traditional revolver would have because of the moving parts and gas system. More parts to break or let you down.

Additional moving parts, but no gas system- recoil operated.So it could be limp wristed? Say it does not cock for whatever reason, or hits a dud primer, can you just cock the hammer and shoot the next round just like a conventional DA/SA revolver?

One additional problem that relegates this gun to a "range toy" as opposed to a hunting/self-defense weapon- there is no decocker, nor is there an external safety. From the first round until the last, each "bang" leaves you with a cocked, light-triggered gun until you manually lower the hammer. Not my idea of an especially safe SD gun.
How is this different from a conventional DA/SA revolver? My S&W Model 28 has a light SA trigger when cocked and has no safety or decocker.

Ian
August 1, 2004, 10:21 PM
How is this different from a conventional DA/SA revolver? My S&W Model 28 has a light SA trigger when cocked and has no safety or decocker.

The difference is that a DA/SA revolver doesn't automatically cock itself after each shot.

Justin
August 1, 2004, 11:22 PM
So it could be limp wristed? Say it does not cock for whatever reason, or hits a dud primer, can you just cock the hammer and shoot the next round just like a conventional DA/SA revolver? I don't know if limp-wristing it would cause it to fail to cycle. However, if it did, you could just pull the trigger to fire it double action, or cock the hammer manually.


How is this different from a conventional DA/SA revolver? My S&W Model 28 has a light SA trigger when cocked and has no safety or decocker. The main difference is that if you cock the hammer on a traditional revolver you only get one shot in SA mode. Once you start shooting the Mateba it's pretty much assured that you will have six shots, all of them single action. This means that the only way to lower the hammer is to thumb the hammer and pull the trigger, which is not something I do not advocate.

Justin
August 1, 2004, 11:28 PM
1.) The pull of the trigger is in single action everytime. How does the trigger pull feel compared to a traditional single action? Compared to a double action? I don't really know if I can answer this as I'm primarily an autoloader guy. Comparing the SA trigger pull to that of an autoloading target pistol wouldn't be unreasonable. It isn't as crisp as a nicely tuned 1911 trigger, though. There's a teensy bit of creep.

DA trigger pull is heavy, but interestingly enough, it seems almost like a two stage trigger. It's very easy to stage a trigger pull, with the first, heavy part rotating the hammer, and then drawing the rest of the way to fire it.

2.) It will feed any rounds just like a traditional revolver. You dont need to worry about hollowpoints jamming etc. You know that when you put any .38 spl or .357 magnum in, the gun will fire. Is this true?

Yes, the cylinder and barrel work just like a standard revo. The only problem is that .38 spl won't always cycle the action with the .357 recoil spring. I would assume that shooting .357 with the .38 spl. spring could cause damage after prolonged shooting.

For the record, I have to agree with fourdeuce82d that the Mateba wouldn't be a fantastic choice for a defensive gun. Even though it's pretty heavy, it strikes me as being a fragile gun. Besides, it's far too pretty. :D

Bill Britton
February 16, 2005, 02:51 AM
I just bought a used Mateba, .357 Mag, 4 inch barrel. Unfortunately for me, the previous owner has misplaced the instructions detailing the procedure for swapping the springs.
Can anyone out there help me out by copying/scanning yours and either emailing, or snail mailing the copy to me?

I've been given to understand that these things are like watches, and that I could get it apart easily enough-but probably would never get it together again.

Thanks,
Bill Britton

Standing Wolf
February 16, 2005, 05:51 PM
I'd like to see more guns with hexagonal cylinders.

docgbrown
August 25, 2005, 05:48 AM
Where might I find a MATEBA AutoRevolver (in .357) and at what price range should I expect to pay? I don't care if it is new or used or how long the barrel is.

docgbrown

middy
August 25, 2005, 02:41 PM
I don't really care about the self-cocking feature, but I'd like to see more experiments with revolvers firing from the 6 o'clock chamber... :cool:

fogus
October 28, 2008, 08:24 PM
I would like to second docgbrown's request. Where can we buy these and how much should we expect to pay?

Cheers

Rmac58
October 29, 2008, 07:01 AM
Cheapest .357 on gunbroker is $1700.
I'd like one, but can't afford it.

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