Calico Field Strip (100 Round 9mm Magazine!)

    Ahhh the Calico. A relic of the 1980s that probably should have… died in the 80s. These strange roller delayed blowback 9mm carbines, pistols, and rifles make use of a very strange helical magazine that holds up to 100 rounds (or 50 if your a low capacity kind of guy) and are a bit notorious for not running to well. However underneath the magazine is a pretty interesting gun.

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    Transcript …

    – [Alex] Hey guys, it’s Alex C with TFBTV, and for today’s field strip, we’re gonna be taking down a Calico carbine.

    These are of course 9mm carbines that have a very strange, very unique helical magazine design.

    And they’re also roller-delayed blowback like an MP5.

    They are possibly one of the most ’80s firearms I know of.

    But they certainly look interesting, they just really are notorious for being unreliable.

    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten through an entire magazine without some sort of malfunction, and I’ve tried all sorts of different things.

    They do come with a 100-round magazine or, if you’re into low-capacity firearms, a pathetic 50-round magazine.

    You have to wind the big one 23 times and you have to wind the small one 10 times.

    Which is a real pain.

    To release the magazine, press these tabs located on both sides of the gun and it will come off there.

    And, like I said, it is a 100-round magazine.

    It’s also quite heavy and very cumbersome.

    I imagine it would be very uncomfortable to carry it full-loaded.

    Go ahead and check the chamber, make sure there’s nothing in there.

    And it looks like we’re good to go.

    Now everything starts with this pin located towards the front of the lower receiver.

    Go ahead and push that out, and it is not captive, so make sure you don’t lose it.

    It’s a pushpin that’s a lot like an HK pushpin.

    That’ll allow you to slide the fore-end right off there, exposing the barrel, the charging handle, and the spring that makes the charging handle go back forward.

    You can also then pull off the lower grip frame.

    These are striker-fired, unlike an MP5, so you can see that mechanism there that would normally release the striker.

    So, pulling out the bolt and carrier, just pull it back a little bit by grabbing the front, and then pull up and out once it gets to that recessed section of that receiver.

    There you can see the bolt-head along with the rollers and everything.

    Very MP5-like in that it’s a 9mm roller-delayed blowback carbine, but unlike an MP5, it doesn’t work.

    So there you go, a field-stripped Calico carbine.

    The pistol’s field-stripped the same way.

    These are really interesting firearms.

    I would like nothing more, though, than for them to be extremely reliable, because running through 100 rounds of 9mm in one go would be pretty cool, especially if you had a select-fire version 9.

    I know the company’s still technically in business but I don’t think they manufacture the subguns anymore.

    I find it unlikely that anyone would adopt these for that, given that they are kinda goofy, but.

    Thanks to Venture Munitions for helping us out with our shooting videos, guys.

    And we hope to see you next time.

    (gunshots booming)

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.