By Bill Wood.
I recently made the decision to sell my Race gun & go totally Standard as that has been my preferred division since 1994. I wanted to try out a Polymer framed gun but my budget did not stretch far enough to build or buy a STI/SVI framed gun. So I was left with a couple of choices, either buy or build another Para or take a chance with the relatively new kid on the block, The polymer framed 1911 style Bul M5.
So I contacted Dale Anderson at GI services who proceeded to surprise me with the very attractive pricing on all of the Bul M range of product’s. So we came to an arrangement that we were both happy with & I sent my cheque away & waited in anticipation for the pistol to arrive at my local dealer (The Adelaide Gun Shop) so I could at least check it out while I waited for the 28 day period to elapse. I happened to be in the shop when the parcel from QLD arrived & when we opened it up I was pleasantly surprised.
The fit & finish was very good & when I picked it up the shape of the grip felt very comfortable, someone once described it as a cross between a CZ & Para & having shot both of those pistols extensively I can only agree. The pistol seemed to “point” well for me & that helped pick up the excellent sight picture quickly. The pistol I ordered was from the old stock that GI services had on hand it’s model designation is HSIP that indicates it is their High Standard IPSC model & it came packed with features such as, Chip McCormick Internals, Match hammer, sear ,disconnector etc, High rise beaver tail grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safety, Adjustable rear sight, dovetail front sight, front & rear cocking grooves, guide rod, stainless steel barrel & aluminium match trigger. Bul M describe the frame as a precision injected, fibre reinforced polymer(that feels just like plastic to me!) that is moulded around a stainless steel insert. It has checkering moulded into the front strap & comes with a plastic checkered mainspring housing.
When I finally got the chance to try it out at the range I was again pleasantly surprised, I initially shot the pistol as it came straight out of the box & it was pretty good. It was on par with a stock Para as far as muzzle flip & felt recoil was concerned. The only concern I had was with the barrel in this model as it comes standard with a unsupported barrel. But this has proven not to be any problem at all in the 1500 or so rounds I have put through the pistol so far. In fact the barrels come with what seems like a match grade chamber that is very tight. The only modification I have made to the pistol since I have had it is having the chamber reamed out so I can load 200 grn projectiles to 1.200″ or just under & so I won’t be troubled by slightly oversize projectiles that won’t chamber in the close tolerances of the standard chamber. The pistol is very accurate at all common IPSC ranges out to 50m, while I haven’t done any formal accuracy testing I can safely say the pistol will shoot better than I can!
This is aided by the slide to frame fit & excellent trigger pull that Greg Toms of GT Custom Guns did for me. Dale told me that the trigger pull out of the box was quite acceptable but as Greg was going to fit the custom Bul mag well she said I should get him to “slick up” the trigger while it was there & Iam glad I did! The 2 magazines that come with this model are only 14 round capacity but the new model magazines that I bought as well, take 16 rounds.
I ordered a couple of Arredondo followers from Ed Danko at JPP Imports that gave me 17 + 1. I have found the “shootablity” of the Bul to be on par with my Custom Para P16, the main difference is in the felt recoil the plastic frame seems to soak up some of the felt recoil a bit more & the overall lighter weight seems to aid in target to target transition a bit better. I have been using a Harrt’s recoil reducing guide rod in my Para for several years now & find it to be very effective so I put it into the Bul & found it to be equally as effective in making the pistol more comfortable to shoot but I had been talking to a shooter in Norway (via email) who has been shooting a Bul M for a while & he recommended I try the Sprinco Tungsten recoil reducing guide rod. So I contacted Sprinco in the USA & had one sent out. It works well but probably not much better than the Harrt’s rod. Either system would serve you well.
I was told that the new model Bul M5 will be fitted with supported chamber barrels & come with 3 16 round mags for under $2000 dollars represents pretty good value for money as far as Iam concerned. The only extra’s you need would be at least 1 more Magazine, mag well, extended mag release & a recoil reducing guide rod if you wanted one, still have change from $2500 & have very competitive Standard Division pistol. They are available in .40 cal (like mine) .45 & 9mm.
For further information contact G.I.Services on 07 3252 8212 or email [email protected]