The Arcus 98DAC Pistol: modern Hi-Power lookalike
by J. B. Wood
Even among those who like the modern polymer-frame pistols, the venerable FN/Browning Hi-Power is held in great respect. Its design has inspired a number of guns that have several of its features, and often one thing it lacks has been added a double-action trigger system.
I have just tried out an excellent compact version by the Arcus Company of Lyaskovets, Bulgaria. For those who might be suspicious of eastern-European manufacture, I will note that Arcus is fully certified under ISO 9001-2000 and NATO AQAP 2110 quality standards.
In my 98DAC, it shows. Fit and finish are flawless, and it worked perfectly with all of the loads that were fired. This compact version has a 13-round magazine. There is also a “full-sized” version, the 98DA, and its magazine holds 15 rounds. On both, the regular finish is a nice matte blue. A two-tone finish is also offered.
The construction is all-steel, and the 98DAC sits solidly in the hand. The good hold is enhanced by a soft-polymer grip that wraps around the front-strap of the frame, and has three generous finger-recesses. The grip sides have a “raised-dot” surface. At upper rear, an ample frame extension angles downward. Definitely, no “hammer-bite” here.
The classic ring-type hammer is easily thumb-cocked for single-action firing. The double-action (DA) trigger pull is smooth and quick, with no loading at the end of the stroke. An automatic internal
firing pin block is cleared in the last fraction of the pull. The trigger is nicely-shaped, and has no vertical ridges (which, when present, I often refer to as “annoying”).
The manual safety and slide latch are within easy thumb-reach without changing the hold, and in appearance they are very much like the ones on an FN Hi-Power. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to, but if you need cocked-and-locked carry, it is possible. The locking system is the familiar falling-barrel type, and the recoil spring arrangement is exactly like the FN HP.
Takedown is also the same.
The square-picture sights have three white dots. Both are dovetail-mounted, but the front one should not be drifted, as its sides are finished-over. The rear notch has ample width for easy pick-up of the front sight. On my 98DAC, the sights were perfect as received, with no adjustment required. At the range, several 9mm loads were tried, and there was no problem with Plus-P or hollow-points.
Shooting was at the realistic social-encounter distance of 7 yards, with no rest. On the Champion VisiShot target, using a two-hand hold, some ancient Black Hills 124-grain FMJ rounds grouped nicely into 2.5 inches, with two of them in the small dead-center circle. With a one-hand hold, the Black Hills 115-grain JHP stayed within 3.75 inches, also well-centered. The 98DAC is quite accurate. With the good grip, the felt-recoil was mild.
Empty, the pistol weighs 33 ounces. It is 7.3 inches long, 5.1 inches in height, and 1.1 inches wide. Barrel length is 4 inches. The suggested retail price is around $425, a real bargain. The Arcus has been imported for several years by Century International, 236 Bryce Blvd., Dept. GWK, Fairfax, VT 05454; phone: 888-448-6723; online: centuryarms.com.
If you want a compact Hi-Power with a DA trigger, at about half the usual price, then this is the one to get.
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