Gun Review | SDS MAC 2 Tactical Wood

by
posted on March 3, 2024
SDS MAC 2  Tactical Wood
Photos: Peter Fountain

A good shotgun doesn’t have to be exorbitantly priced, especially since the patents on many time-tested designs have expired; for example, the Benelli M2’s robust, rotating-bolt, inertia-driven mechanism with its proven track record has inspired dozens of modern clones. However, originals aren’t always copied well, and the result is sometimes a product that simply doesn’t function as intended. Therefore, the key to a good clone isn’t the original design so much as the standards of those recreating it. SDS Imports has gained a stellar reputation for getting it right and has worked with several Turkish companies to bring products of this sort to the U.S. market. One of the latest is the MAC 2 Tactical Wood 12-gauge shotgun, a retrograde shotgun drawn from the influence of the venerable Benelli scattergun.

SDS MAC 2  Tactical Wood

Reclaiming the Military Arms Corporation moniker, SDS designed the MAC 2 Tactical Wood in the image of the original. Before high-temp polymers and carbon fiber were around, the furniture material of choice was hardwood. Using locally sourced Turkish walnut, this recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun retains that classic look, which is also tough. Mildly aggressive texturing is cut into the grip and fore-end for enhanced purchase, which is essential if you plan on taking advantage of its three-inch chamber.

I was pleased to see that the texturing extends rearward, creating an area that supports your entire palm, not just your fingers. Spreading out the gripping surface reduces the chance of creating a hotspot. Combined with the enhanced rubber recoil pad, the MAC 2 is built to be easy and enjoyable to shoot.

The receiver is made of aluminum to help mitigate the overall weight. This metal is also easier to machine, so it helps SDS keep the price down. On the underside of the gun is an enlarged loading port that agrees with dual- and quad-loading techniques. This is aided by a sloped trigger guard, which not only stays out of the way but guides your hand to where it needs to go.

MAC 2 Tactical Wood features
The MAC 2 Tactical Wood sports handsome walnut furniture with modern features like a Picatinny rail and oversized controls for expeditious handling. Its extended texturing at the grip and fore-end ensure excellent control.


The theme of expedited handling is continued on the right side, where the gun sports an elongated, knurled charging handle and an oversized cross-bolt safety. The bolt release is also here, but it is what most would consider standard-sized.

Things start to get interesting when you reach the top of the receiver, as there are bountiful sighting options. The MAC 2 arrives ready for service via a fully adjustable rear sight and a protected, white-dot front sight; however, given the popularity of optical devices these days, there is also a 10-slot Picatinny rail mounted just forward of the rear sight. Lastly, both the rail and the rear sight are completely removable, should you wish to run the shotgun with nothing other than an unobstructed front sight.

SDS MAC 2  Tactical Wood specsAs the MAC 2 is designed for use in tight places, it wears an abbreviated 18.5-inch barrel that is free of any ribbing or other possible snag points, save the front sight post. While not intended for field use, it is indeed threaded for choke tubes. As you might have already guessed, the MAC 2 uses the Benelli/Mobil pattern and includes the full, modified and cylinder options.

Although it is a capable slug gun, I swapped in the cylinder bore choke for use with buckshot during my testing. My fodder of choice was Hornady’s 2 3/4-inch Critical Defense, which delivers eight 00-sized pellets onto target in some of the tightest patterns I’ve seen. It achieves this through the Versatite wad, which assures proper constriction for defensive encounters and mitigates collateral damage. Additionally, these are formulated with semi-automatics in mind, and, given that inertia guns can be picky, I felt this would ensure that I had a smooth, trouble-free testing session.

I began my range day with a bit of dry practice to get a better feel for the trigger. Using a Lyman Digital Trigger Gauge, I measured the trigger break at just north of 5.5 pounds. I found this reasonably light for a defensive-oriented shotgun, while being smooth and consistent beyond its class.

SDS MAC 2  Tactical Wood shooting resultsTossing the stock up on my shoulder, I rapidly filled the five-shot magazine, chambered my first round and fired at a full-sized AR-500 IPSC target. Although inertia systems have a bad reputation regarding felt recoil, the rotating bolt helps with that, as it delays and slows down the reciprocation. I knew I had just fired a shotgun, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I followed up by emptying the rest of the magazine in short order and examining my general pattern. While most of the pellets were on target, everything was a touch high and left. I dialed the rear sight to center things up and repeated the process until I was happy with my zero. A formal accuracy test confirmed Hornady’s claim, as this was one of the
tightest-grouping 00-buck loads I’ve shot.

I finished my ammo by engaging the steel, moving to cover and reloading. This gave me a chance to manipulate the MAC 2 under relative stress and build a more-realistic use case. Overall, I found it to be nimble and consistent. Most importantly, it was reliable and I experienced no hangups, even when things got hot and heavy. Moreover, it was enjoyable to shoot, so owners shouldn’t have many qualms about getting out to practice with it. In closing, I think this Turkish import ought to be valued far above its $549 MSRP, so you might want to check one out before they change their mind!

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