The Polish government has been replacing military and law enforcement pistols of the Soviet era with one of domestic design and production. The Vis 100 (in service since 2019 (sometimes refered to as the PR-15 Ragun), and represents this return, borrowing its naming from the Vis 35 which saw service in WWII.
Unlike the Vis 35, the Vis 100 is a double-stack double-action/single-action (DA/SA) with a decocker and full ambidextrous controls. We'll end the history talk there as we take a look at the civilian market model now available in the US, the Vis 100 M1.
As best I can tell, the "M1" differs from the current military service Vis 100 only in sighting systems. The Vis 100 M1 features fiber optic sights and an optics cut. Two features that may not always survive military use (fiber optics come loose, red dots aren't infallable), but are in high demand among US shooters.
What Is It: The FB Radom Vis 100 M1 is a refreshing reminder of how pistols used to be built. Aluminum framed and hammer fired. Instead of a manual safety, the Vis 100 M1 employs a decocker which safely lowers the hammer for a double-action first pull and all subsequent shots being a lighter and shorter single-action pull.
What Comes in the Box? Inside a standard hard-plastic box proudly marked with the Fabryka Broni branding is a manual, warranty card, cleaning brush, jag rod, additional magazine (two total), flush magazine baseplates (+2 pads are installed), alternate grip pannels, and a steel optics mounting plate that appears to have the pattern for just about any common red dot.
My initial thoughts were that something about the Vis 100 M1 seemed odd visually. I think it's because it's such a large, yet thin pistol. After changing the backstraps (a more involved process than with other guns) it seemed to have a better visual balance as well as feel in the hand. The slide rides rather high above the hand and the recoil spring feels very stiff. This immediately made me wonder how it would do in What's For Dinner™.
The trigger feels like a duty gun, and overall the Vis 100 M1 has a very serious, duty-like feel to it. Not a pistol designed to show off, or full of little tricks to help one shoot better, but one designed to serve and be functional in all weather for years on end.
Cartridge: 9x19mm Luger (Parabellum)
Magazine capacity: 15 or 17 rounds (both floor plates included)
Length~197 mm = 7.76"
Width~32 mm = 1.26"
Height~142 mm = 5.59"
Barrel Length:~ 110 mm = 4.33"
Sighting radius (removable):~180 mm = 7.08"
Empty weight: 695 g = 24.5oz
Pricing: $969-1,149 at Atlantic Firearms
For the range experience I of course used our standardized format including:
Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun.
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 we used the following ammunition:
Priced and linked where found at the time this article was written
50gr+p Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense: $27.54 / 20 at Sportsman's Guide
65gr ARX Inceptor: $18.67 / 25 at Firearms Depot
65gr Liberty Ammunition Civil Trainer $24.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA
100gr Fiocchi Lead Free Frangible $28.49 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
115gr Fort Scott TUI $17.99 / 20 at Optics Planet
115gr Blazer Aluminum Case $17.59 / 50 at Optics Planet
115gr Wolf Steel Case: $13.77 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
124gr Remington LeadLess $12.99 / 50 at Target Sports USA
138gr Federal SCHP $19.59 / 20 at Optics Planet
150gr Federal Syntech Action Pistol $21.05 /50 at Palmetto State Armory
158gr PPU Subsonic $23.74 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
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 our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.
After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.
You can watch the entire experience including some interesting notes learned while shooting 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. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
On the Range The FB Radom Vis 100 M1 proved to be soft shooting, no doubt in thanks to that heavy recoil spring and main spring absorbing slide energy. What impressed me was that it did not struggle with softer-recoiling loads as I had expected. The muzzle was a bit flippy, but as you saw I created a fix to that by simply changing my shooting grip. Accuracy was decent, but I think if anything it was me learning the trigger that made accuracy less-than stellar. I'm sure that mechanically the pistol is fine. I found the double-action very learnable once I stopped trying to stage it and just learned to pull through.
Like most guns on the market there are other options availabel for less money or that have the same features executed in a way more to your personal liking. What sets the FB Radom Vis 100 M1 apart for me is that it's a current foreign-military service pistol and one of cutlural signifcane for its nation. That makes the Vis 100 M1 a piece of shootable history and something of a collector's piece. Combine that factor with the pistol being a DA/SA with decocker (more expensive to manufacture than a striker-fired gun) and an aluminum frame instead of molded polymer (also more expensive to make) and the asking price of around $1,000 makes a lot more sense.