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KSC M11A1 Review Add-On

First of all, I will not be reviewing this piece in the normal way. It’s a popular and oft-reviewed gun and I don’t need to repeat what’s already out there.

Instead, I’ll focus on information to be taken in addition to the rest of the reviews out there. This article gets into issues that don’t get covered in normal reviews; like carrying methods, the practicality, and the durability of specific parts.

Some Existing Reviews

Arnie’s Airsoft

Redwolf Airsoft (as always, take a retailer’s review with a grain of salt)

Note: Many images on this page are images I found floating on the net, sites (except where I saw it was expressly forbidden). If I am using an image of yours and you would like me to give proper credit, or remove it – please email me and let me know.

So – Nothing about the Gun, the Performance, the Looks? What else is there?

I’ll be addressing some of the points of the M11 that aren’t a staple of reviews.

Some of this information is possible due to my personal M11 and that of others, who have all used them in the field countless times and personally run them until the bolts have become a splintered mess.

The Bolt


First of all, the bolt (which is made mostly of plastic) is probably the single highest stress part of the gun. It is durable enough, but eventually it will need replacing. Magnesium replacements (as light as plastic but much much stronger) are available.

Still, you should get many thousands of rounds out of your bolt before you need to think about replacement. Even then, the bolt will likely be the only part that needs replacing. There just aren’t many moving or error-prone parts in the gun.

Loading Damage

When pressing in a loaded magazine, the top of the mag puts a lot of pressure on the thin metal tube of the gas chamber. After enough abuse in this way, the metal warps and impedes proper operation.

Note that on the well-worn bolt to the left, part of the gas chamber (metal tube in front of the rectangular hole) is slightly bent. This is from fully-loaded magazines being pushed in while the bolt is closed.

This issue can be completely avoided by cocking the M11 before inserting the magazine. However, doing this means you now are carrying a gun that has a nice big hole in the side that opens directly into the firing chamber. That’s what it means when you have a gun that fires from the open bolt.

An alternative I have been using is to load the magazine almost full, then when inserting the mag, pull the spring tab down – so the mag inserts but the BBs are not under tension to push into the gas chamber tube when you do so. After insertion you can release the spring tab. You now have the mag loaded into an uncocked M11, and have placed a bit less stress on the bolt than if you jammed the mag straight in.

The Open Bolt

As mentioned, when you are carrying a cocked M11, you are carrying a gun that has a nice big hole in the side that opens directly into the firing chamber (see left).

Doesn’t sound like a big deal for indoor games or basement shooting, but it becomes a concern when you think about hauling the gun through the bush and think of all the things that could get inside the chamber.

Workarounds to carrying an open-bolted gun:

1. Cover the ejection port with something.
2. Insert the mag without cocking the M11 (see above section about Loading Damage).
3. Insert the mag before releasing the loading spring in the mag (see above).

There is no way to de-cock the M11 once you have started firing, though. Your only option then is to remove the mag, pull the trigger to release the bolt, then re-insert the mag. With an open-bolt gun, de-cocking is synonymous with firing.

The Magazines

Not much to say other than the magazines are almost as much a pain outside the gun as inside the gun!

They’re so long I have yet to find a decent way to carry them. There are short M11 mags available, though – see below.
I have been kindly notified of some known good magazine packing options!

I wanted to add some comments on your MAC-11 review. I don’t personally own this gun, but I did own and use a real MAC-11 professionally for a few years.

Blackhawk Industries make a magazine pouch which should hold 3 MAC-11 magazines. It’s called the Duty SMG pouch. There is also a BHI Omega pouch which should work as well. The pouch you want is the one for the Hk UMP or Mp5 .40 cal. This pouch also works well with the Uzi and M1 Thompson.

Hauling The M11

Despite being a tiny SMG (or a large machine pistol, depending on your perspective) the M11 is surprisingly cumbersome. Not for holding it – for packing it.

I’ve narrowed the options down to the following (by no means complete, but just what I have found):


Nothing special. Just loop a plain old nylon strap around the front sling mount and attach it to the horizontal bar on the stock (stock being in the folded-in position).


  • Must keep sling clear of the charging handle on top of the M11 (since it moves back and forth when firing).
  • Not particularly secure – M11 will be slung on you but it will flop around freely, since it is an awkward shape.


  • Cheap!
  • Reasonably quick access to the M11 when it is needed.


Specialty item sold once upon a time, but I have not seen them since. I got my hands on one and tried it out for a time.


  • Not heavy duty.
  • Expensive for what you got.
  • Inserting a magazine in the M11 makes it cumbersome once again (a long mag sticking out just gets in the way no matter what).
  • Tight fit for the holster – needs to be broken in. Re-inserting the M11 into the holster one-handed is pretty much impossible.


  • You can carry the M11 and one magazine in a side pouch.
  • Very adjustable.
  • It is possible to ditch the long belt loop and wear it instead directly on the belt, like a belt holster (not a drop leg holster). This helps hold it secure, but it will be in the way if you are wearing a load-bearing vest or chest rig.


Eagle Industries makes a nice SMG Harness if you can get your hands on it. It is pictured to the left with an MP5.

Mil-Force makes a cheaper and inferior knockoff, but the M11 magazines don’t fit in the mag pouches.


  • Mag inserted into the M11 is still unwieldy (but not as bad as on the leg holster).
  • Mag pouches on the Mil-Force version don’t fit the M11 magazines.


  • Allows for easier carry of the M11.
  • Can be used for other guns.
  • Gun is anchored via a quick-release clip, and can be fired while still attached.


Other holsters may fit the M11 if they are large enough.

For example, the holster pictured on the left is a no-name leg holster for the Mark 23 SOCOM, but it fits the M11 just fine.

It was made specifically to fit the MK23 while the LAM was still attached. (Otherwise it surely wouldn’t fit the M11.)


  • No way to carry an extra magazine, unless the holster also has a pouch for the Mark 23’s suppressor (which is large enough to fit an M11 magazine).
  • Still cumbersome if you carry the M11 with a magazine inserted.


  • Actually fits the M11! Chances are that you can find a Mark23 + LAM holster easier and cheaper than a specialty M11 holster.


As you can see, the short magazine (22 round) helps tremendously in the storage department, as you are eliminating one of the biggest obstacles: the huge mag.

Some carrying methods are impractical purely because of the long mag – you can address that here!


  • Smaller capacity.
  • One more mag to buy (and they are not always easy to find.)
  • They are not cheaper than the full size magazines.


  • Easier to fit in a mag pouch.
  • Far less awkward to carry while inserted into the M11.


The short M11 magazines can be tough to get a hold of, and is pretty much the key to completing a decent M11 packing setup if you are uncomfortable with the long mag. Otherwise, your only option is to carry the long magazine and insert it into the gun once it is needed.

I had a hard time sourcing my single short M11 magazine, but you can probably get away with only one. That will allow you to carry the M11 as a sidearm easily, and you can use your long mags when reload time comes (which comes very quickly with the M11).

Otherwise, either carry the M11 with the magazine uninserted (which presents a tactical concern as well as possibly allowing foreign material into the gun) or accept that the M11 will simply be unwieldy no matter what.

Finally, removing the shoulder stock completely can help give the gun a slightly smaller footprint.