Rifleman Q&A: Mamba Pistol

by
posted on February 15, 2019
mamba_lead.jpg

This Q&A first appeared in the January/February 1995 American Rifleman.

Q: A friend showed me a double-action 9xI9 mm pistol he says is called a "Mamba." It looks like a modern, high capacity 9 mm made of stainless steel, but I'd never heard of it. Can you tell me anything about this pistol, in particular how to field-strip it? 

Answer: The Mamba was a South African design introduced to the United States in 1978 by Navy Arms Co. of Ridgefield, New Jersey. Despite a number of promising features that have since come to be expected on 9 mm autoloaders, it never went beyond the prototype stage here in the U.S., and no more than a handful are thought to have been imported or assembled from parts. 

Made of almost all stainless steel investment-cast parts (including the barrel), the Mamba externally resembled the S&W Model 39. The frame, barrel and trigger were also similar to the Smith product. Unlike the Model 39, the barrel had no bushing. Externally, the slide was modeled after that of the Browning Hi Power. The ejector and firing pin assembly closely followed those of the M1911 and the Browning Hi Power. 

The 14-round capacity magazine was removed by depressing the release on the left side of the frame behind the trigger. The ambidextrous safety lever (relatively rare in 1978) was on the rear of the frame, like the M191 l's. The trigger guard's forward edge was dished out for two-handed shooting. The hammer spring was allegedly adjustable, but no means for doing so was supplied in factory literature examined here. 

An adjustable trigger stop, mounted on the frame, was standard equipment, and the stocks were shown in both wood and neoprene in Navy Arms brochures and advertisements. 

According to a manual put out by Sandock-Austral Small Arms, with instructions in both Afrikaans and English, field stripping of the unloaded Mamba begins with retracting the slide fully rearward and driving out the slide stop from right to left. The slide is then free to move forward and off the frame. Release the recoil spring and recoil spring plunger and remove them from the slide. This allows the barrel to lifted rearward and out of the slide. 

Depressing the firing pin with a small punch frees the firing pin retainer to drop out of the rear of the slide, allowing removal of the firing pin assembly. Reassembly is in reverse order.   —M.A.K. 

Latest

S&W Model 350
S&W Model 350

S&W’s Model 350: The ‘Mild-Mannered’ X-Frame

The 350 Legend-chambered Model 350 represents quite a departure for S&W’s family of X-Frame revolvers, but it is no less capable of taking medium-size game—and it’s a lot easier to shoot and keep fed.

Product Preview: Infinity X1 Hybrid Power Flashlight 5000 Lumen

We are currently experiencing an arms race among flashlight companies, with each seemingly trying to out-lumen the competition with increasingly powerful models.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 6, 2023

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

New For 2023: Bond Arms Stinger 22LR

Following the success of the company’s lightweight Stinger derringers in several centerfire chamberings, Bond Arms has developed what is certainly the most easily shootable derringer in the bunch with its .22 Long Rifle Stinger.

Australia’s Lee-Enfield 'Jungle Rifles'

While the British No. 5 Lee-Enfield “Jungle Carbines” are well-known guns, the Australian No. 1-based jungle rifles have languished in obscurity. They never went beyond the trials phase and are commonly faked. Here’s the real story on what are likely the rarest versions of the World War II Lee-Enfield.

Suppressor Ownership Growing in Popularity

The number of applications for a National Firearms Act (NFA) tax stamp—federally required for lawful ownership of suppressors, short-barreled rifles and similarly configured shotguns, among others—has more than doubled in the past four years.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.