First look: Masterpiece Arms Defender 9mm Carbine statement of compliance: This product was provided at no cost for the purpose of review. Masterpiece Arms has not paid We Like Shooting or provided any financial compensation for this review.

20160313165706_IMG_0747-2Masterpiece Arms Defender 9mm Carbine

We shot the Masterpiece Arms Defender 9mm Carbine, to be exact the MPA20DMG 9mm carbine, and had a good time once we placed an optic on it. That is, until it completely stopped working. We really were having a blast and after about 100 rounds it no longer was touching the primers. We will be disassembling and troubleshooting to see what went wrong.

This $899 carbine is completely based on their defender pistol which is a pretty fun little uzi’ish gun. In order to make it a a carbine, they put a longer barrel, a folding stock and free float handguard. Boom, it’s a carbine. Not sure who the target market is for the 9mm carbines, but they really are a ton of fun. Without being a ton of weight, this thing weighs in at 5lb.

Right off the bat, we noticed that the sights left a lot to be desired. They are part of the pistol, and are left on the carbines even though they are relatively useless. A very short sight radius and very low profile, makes it very difficult to use them at all with the stock extended. Easy enough to fix, we threw a TruGlo optic on it and got back to work.

We really liked the folding stock, right off the bat. The mechanism is simple and effective. The aluminum stock would get uncomfortable after a while, but was definitely a bright spot on the gun.

When we received the gun, we noted that it took Glock mags and that was great. Until we realized it only works with Glock 17 mags, not Glock 19. A universal approach might have been preferred by us. The mags drop free easily and we didn’t see any issues with it. We also noted that the bolt doesn’t lock to the rear on the last round.

The magazine inserts into the pistol grip and leaves the aesthetics of the gun clean. The grip has finger grooves which were fine for the shooters at the range, but for someone with sasquatch hands will definitely be uncomfortable. Texture is added with a grip-tape that is adhered directly to the all aluminum lower.

Left handed firing was successful, however, because of the ejection pattern the cases whiz right past your face over the right shoulder.

The item we liked the least is the safety selector. It is very awkward to manipulate and requires a different manual of arms than most AR or AK pattern rifles that people are used to.

We’ll spend more time with this and report back!






About The Author

Shawn Herrin

As a certified NRA instructor, fervent shooter and IPSC competitor, safe, responsible, ethical and legal gun use are my passions. Whether handloading, practicing, studying or reviewing items, I am constantly focused on guns and shooting. Staunch supporter of the Bill of Rights and very proud American.


  1. Alex Nelson

    Looks like an Uzi with a Glock grip and 16″ barrel….. +1 for a Georgia company though!! lol I’d like to see that vs the JR Carbine

  2. Jon Fye

    Good thing all my mags are G17 mags 😀

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