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The Calico M-100P Pistol

Calico M-100 Pistol
Caliber Dimensions Barrel Weight Magazine Action Type
.22 Long Rifle 17.9"x6.9" 6.1" 3.75 pounds 100 round Helical Semi-Auto
    The ultimate plinker. This is a 100 shot .22 pistol, though it is a pistol only in the broadest sense of the term. Strange looking, isn't it? It is also a great deal of fun, and fairly inexpensive to shoot (though not to buy, these days). The long overhang of the magazine, in combination with the short barrel, give it a cut off look, and a rather odd balance. With the magazine removed, the appearance becomes fairly conventional, except for the high mounted front sight, and the rather odd looking channel along the top, which houses the magazine. This is a pre-ban pistol, though I see little difference between the pre-ban and post-ban models. Both have the same (pre-ban) magazine included, and seem to be identical. The goofy gun bill of 1994, banned guns like this, in theory, but left some loopholes in practice. One of these loopholes was that older weapons, and older magazines may still be used. Today you can buy a new version of this gun, with a magazine that Calico produced before September of 1994 (but no flash hider), for about $600. This is over double the cost of what these weapons sold for previous to the ban, but who ever said that government regulation helped to drive efficiencies, or lower costs. There is also the fact that, politics and ideology aside, firearms enthusiasts and dealers are not exactly above doing a bit of gouging.
    This is a straight, blow back design, of the simplest type, with nothing distinctive about it, until you get a look at the magazine. The 100 round, helical magazine of the Calico absolutely dominates the look, feel, and function of the gun. It is almost as large, and as heavy, as the whole rest of the gun put together. It is also the most complex, and, these days, expensive part of the weapon. There is a standard, thumb safety, a pair of magazine catches, and a set of drums with which to adjust the front sight. Thre are no other controls. Though not as accurate as the 9mm Calico, I can still hit into a couple of inches at pistol ranges; plenty good enough. I must admit that, the large magazine capacity allied with the weight of the gun, and the mild recoil, has encouraged me to perform some feats of rapid fire work which I would ordinarily never consider. The gun will fire 100 rounds as quickly as the trigger can be pulled, and the recoil is so slight, that the gun seems to be encouraging the shooter to pull that trigger very rapidly indeed.
    I have a pair of magazines for this gun, and I will probably not get any others. The reason for this restraint is the cost of the extra magazines. They are little different in price from their 9mm counterparts, and though it may be possible (just barely) to justify this kind of cost for a 9mm weapons system, it is a bit more difficult to use the same tricks of logic to justify these costs for a plinker and fun gun. The two magazines that I have now, will have to suffice. This is hardly a handicap, however, and a pair of 100 round magazines on tap can make for a pretty interesting time at the range, or out in the woods. There are even a few mild tempered fellows out there who might consider 200 rounds to be a pretty full shooting session, all by itself. For those of us made of sterner stuff, the magazines must be reloaded, and there is the rub. There is no speed loader available for the .22 Calico, as there is for the 9mm model. Loading up the waxy little cartridges, can be an excersize in patience, particularly when done 200 times. I have heard rumors of jamming, improper feeding, and the like, about the .22 Calico. I am happy to say that I have not encountered these types of problems yet, but there are some fixes for them, if they should occur, on the unoffical site given on my links page. The fix invloves some grinding on the face of the chamber, and is not something I would be real happy to have to do to a gun which is getting to be so rare and expensive.