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BUL Transmark M-5 Jet



20 years ago the BUL M-5 Jet offered many features still sought today.
20 years ago the BUL M-5 Jet offered many features still sought today.

This is a fun one. This pistol has been out of production for more thhan two decades, but gives us an insight into what was popular then from which we can infer how things have changed.

I bought the M-5 Jet from Atlantic Firearms, a long-time source of dreams for me as they seem to always have an interesting selection of guns from around the world, including many you might not have heard of before. This post was in no way sponsored by Atlantic Firearms and I have no affiliation with them aside from being a long-time customer. I should also tell you, that most of the firearms I've bought from Atlantic Firearms over the years have become collector pieces if they weren't already at the time of purchase. Those looking to collect and invest should strongly consider them a source.

Yes, the ports are so big you can see the rifling in the Bul Transmark M-5 Jet.
Yes, the ports are so big you can see the rifling in the Bul Transmark M-5 Jet.

What Is It? The BUl Transmark M-5 Jet is a doublestack 1911 from 1999 and 2000. It features an aggressively-ported slide and barrel and a full polymer frame with a steel insert. Capacty is assumed as 17+1 as that is the magazine that came with my used model. BUL Transmark became BUL Armory when the company was privatized.


After seeing so many ambi safeties the spot for it sure looks naked on the M-5 Jet
After seeing so many ambi safeties the spot for it sure looks naked on the M-5 Jet

Whos' It For? Personally I'm strongly against the use of ported barrels (or add-on compensators) for personal defense, and in the era this gun was produced it was strongly oriented towards competition shooters.


Unlike modern doublestack 1911s the M-5 Jet has a completely polymer lower with a steel insert.
Unlike modern doublestack 1911s the M-5 Jet has a completely polymer lower with a steel insert.

What Do We See That is Different? Long before red-dot, or any accessory mounting became "mandatory" the M-5 Jet lacks a way to mount anything on the frame or slide. The full-polymer exterior frame is interesting, as is the steel insert which appears to be cast.


The "jets" of the M-5 Jet truly are massive. Carbon buildup can be seen from gasses hitting the slide.
The "jets" of the M-5 Jet truly are massive. Carbon buildup can be seen from gasses hitting the slide.

This review is a bit different as it's a decades-old used gun, but something definitely worth looking into to learn the heritage of modern firearms and also BUL Armory. I've been able to confirm that BUL Transmark was a state-run company which became the BUL Armory we know today when it transitioned to a private company. Take a look at this piece in the tabletop video below.


Specifications are scarce as this handgun has long been out of production, but here's what was listed on Atlantic Firearm's listing. Note they liikely got this information from wherever they sourced the guns.

  • BUL M5 1911 9MM Pistol 

  • 9MM

  • 1911 Style Pistol

  • Made in Israel

  • Ported Barrel

  • 18rd Mag

  • NRA Rated-Very Good to Excellent

  • Price as of the time whis was written: $1,000

On my own I can tell you:

  • Barrel length: 4.25"

  • Safeties: Grip and left-side manual

  • Weight w/o magazine: 29.8ox

Trigger weight will of course vary by use and if any modifications or repairs were done on a 23-year-old gun. My example has a VERY light and short pull.


It wouldn't be a GBGuns review, nor very fair to treat this gun any differently than we have hundreds of other handguns, so the range protocol is the same, plus a magazine compatibility test with both the common "2011" magazine design using DuraMag Prodigy magazines and modern BUL Armory magazines.

  • Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun, on camera, with first thoughts shared. For the Witness 2311 things are a bit different because I needed to verify if the pre-mounted red dot was on target or not.

  • Full Mag +1: Not all guns are happy at full capacity. This is a combination of pistol design, magazine design, and ammunition used. Unloading the pistol rapidly helps me get a feel for recoil and trigger control.

  • Magazine Compatibility: The Witness 2311 only comes with one magazine. That would normally be an irritation if there weren't already plenty of other magazines available. I have DuraMag magazines from the Springfield Prodigy and BUL Armory magazines from the BUL Armory SAS II TAC. A basic test to ensure they work before moving on to the next segment.

  • What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.

For this gun following ammunition was used:

90gr 1776 USA Lead-Free Sporting $14.79 / 50 at GrabaGun 

100gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite $23.89 / 20 at Global Ordnance 

100gr S&B Non-Tox

115gr Blazer Aluminum Case $17.59 / 50 at Optics Planet 

130gr Federal Syntech PCC $19.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA 

138gr Federal Syntech Defense $33.99 / 50 at TargetSportsUSA

140gr S&B Subsonic FMJ $19.47 / 50 at Firearms Depot 

147gr Federal Syntech Training Match $19.76 / 50 at Global Ordnance 

147gr Federal HST $38.99 / 20 at Optics Planet

158gr PPU Subsonic FMJ $25.70 / 50 at Global Ordnance


  • Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.

  • Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of the shooting experience and time to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.

  • After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.

You can watch the process from first shots to comparison in the Shooting Impressions video below:

Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared.


Any time you buy a used firearms there is risk. I can't count the times I've seen, "It was junk so I sold it" in the comment section of videos. While I understand wanting to get rid of something you don't like, and that there are folks who are willing to work on something to save some cash, I find that comment highly irresponsible. Fortunately Atlantic Firearms delivered a solid gun.


Even 20+ years ago, a bushingless barrel was used on the BUL M-5 Jet
Even 20+ years ago, a bushingless barrel was used on the BUL M-5 Jet

I had an issue with the supplied magazine which caused the slide to lock open with one round still in the gun, the good news is that both modern BUL Armory and DuraMags worked in the M-5 Jet. Accuracy was incredible, but point of impact was strangely low. At first I thought that might be my eyesight and the challenge of seeing a blacked out front sight, but as the range session went on it became clear that it was not my sight picture.

The recoil impulse felt flat, but there appears to be more nose lift in video than I was feeling while shooting. Aside from construction technique, I think this also tells us that while aggressive porting changes feel, full flat-shooting performance does not come from porting alone. Looking at modern pistols that shoot flatter with the same action type, the differences are improved grip and more non-reciprocating mass in the form of heavier frames, especially in the area of the dust cover. Even in watching footage of my shooting at the Guardian Conference with a smaller pistol, shots were either flatter or the slide moved so quickly the camera made it look that way shot after shot.

I'm curious to hear what your thoughts, especially if you've seen how how the M-5 Jet behaved in my hands versus other pistols.

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