Mateba Fan - The internet's only fansite dedicated to the curious firearms of Emilio Ghisoni

TYPE: Double-action/single action revolver (NOT semi-automatic)
CALIBER: .38 special / .357 magnum
WEIGHT: 34.9oz / 990g (2" and small grips), 37.7oz / 1070g (4" and medium grips), 40.6oz / 1150g (6" with large grip)
CONSTRUCTION: Blued steel, wood grips (also interchangeable - small, medium, large and ergonomic), aluminum barrel shrouds
BARREL LENGTH: 8 interchangeable lengths of 2"-6" (catalog says 51, 64, 78, 89, 102, 115, 127 and 153 mm)
IMPORTATION HISTORY: There are currently five in the United States. I believe I had the first two ever to land on our shores.
OTHER NOTES: This unusual revolver was based on Ghisoni's MTR-6, the first Mateba with his "trademark" 6 o'clock bore position. After a few changes, the MTR-6 became the 2006M. The cylinder swings upward to open instead of downward. It was the inspiration for Togusa's revolver in the anime Ghost in the Shell.

The Mateba 2006M was long a white whale for me. None were ever officially imported into the United States during its production run. This always surprised me a little, because the US has the largest gun market in the world and the gun clearly meets ATF import regulations. Nevertheless, the gun was produced in such small numbers that even my quest to find one in Europe proved to be quite difficult. Eventually, I found one to buy. Shortly after buying that one, an owner in Germany found my site and contacted me about the 2006M he was looking to sell. When it rains, it pours? I bought it from him and added it to my import order. Unfortunately, my chosen importer proved to be a bit incompetent and the process took three times as long as it should have. Finally, in February 2013, literally a full year after I bought the first 2006M, the guns arrived safe and sound at my FFL.

Needless to say, I was absolutely ecstatic to pick them up. My excitement was barely tempered by the dirty condition they were both in when they arrived. One of them was shipped in a case in which the foam was 20 years old and had completely disintegrated into dust, coating everything.

Build quality on the gun is good enough, but there is a certain crude charm present in its construction. It is not that it's poorly made, as much as it is simply made. This is a good thing, in my mind, as it's far less complex than an MTR-8 or 6 Unica, which I am always afraid of breaking in some exotic and unfixable way. They are decently polished, though not to the level of a Python or high-polish Smith. The frame is steel and the barrel shrouds are aluminum.

Mateba 2006M vs Colt Python vs Beretta 92 size comparison

Mateba 2006M vs Colt Python vs Beretta 92.
The Python and Beretta 92 are two relatively common guns to compare with the 2006M's size.

The 2006M's size is unremarkable. It's basically the same size as an N-frame Smith and Wesson, slightly larger than a Colt Python. Weight is between 40oz and 45oz, depending on which barrel is attached.

The 2006M had three different grip sizes available. Mine have the medium grip and the large grip. The medium is a little on the small side for my hands. The large feels good, if a bit thin near the top.

Balance in the gun is good. Most of the weight is above the hand. Apart from the slightly oddly shaped grips, the gun feels like a typical revolver in terms of balance and handling. Because the barrel is at the bottom of the cylinder, the hammer mechanism resides at a correspondingly low position in the gun. This precludes the ability to get a high combat grip, so the gun has a tendency to sit a bit higher in the hand than a typical revolver.

The cylinder release is one of the gun's most striking diversions from revolver tradition. It's not a button that you push in, forward, or pull, like on other makers' revolvers. On the 2006M, it is a rotating lever. By swinging it towards the front of the gun, the cylinder is released to flip upward and outward, over the top strap of the gun. This takes getting used to at the range for sure, especially when swtiching between it and other revolvers.

The hammer is flat and protrudes at about 45 degrees with respect to the bore. It is easy enough to thumb back, although not extraordinarily comfortable due to its shape.

There are no other controls to speak of on the 2006M. The barrels are removable, though, by use of a special wrench, as is done with the 6 Unica.

The front sight could be described as low-profile, as it doesn't raise far off the barrel. This gives the sight picture an unusual flat feeling. It is easy to see, though, and mostly makes for a precise aiming procedure.

Overall, the ergonomics are good. The cylinder release can be activated with one hand, but some practice is recommended to become proficient and fast with it.

Mateba 2006M - closeup of hammer and cylinder release

The 2006M's unusual hammer and cylinder release.
The cylinder release is a strange rotating lever. By pushing it forward, the cylinder is free to swing up and over the gun. The hammer is shown fully decocked. Note that there it is more or less a flat plane.

Mateba 2006M barrel weight

2006M barrel weight.
This may be the rarest Mateba accessory of them all. The weight affixes to the end of the barrel shroud, above the barrel itself, to keep muzzle flip even lower.

The 2006M is a joy to shoot and is very accurate. I haven't found a Ghisoni-designed gun yet that wasn't exceptionally accurate.

The trigger in double action is very smooth. It is easy to stage by pulling it most of the way back and feeling the stop point. Single action isn't too heavy, but it's not super light. It breaks very cleanly with no creep or overtravel. Overall, I'd say the trigger is very good.

With its 6 o'clock bore position, felt recoil is minimal, as is muzzle flip. This is most noticeable when switching between the 2006M and a conventional revolver. During extended sessions with the Mateba, it's easy to forget how the upside down barrel is helping. Then, after switching to another 357, which invariably demonstrates much greater muzzle rise, the difference is obvious.

Pictured at right is a factory barrel weight installed on one of my guns. It makes some difference in muzzle rise, but not a lot.

Because of the good trigger, good sights and low recoil, the gun is extremely satisfying to shoot. It has actually become one of my preferred range revolvers, which I'd never thought I'd say of a Mateba. They tend to shoot well, but can seem delicate or finicky. This gun has been totally reliable and seems perfectly capable of surviving thousands of rounds of 38spl. Other shooters have agreed that it is an outstanding and impressive gun for rangework.

The upward swinging cylinder, with its unusual arc of travel, is something to adapt to over time. It feels odd at first, but it soon becomes an appreciated feature, as it makes loading and unloading easy and unimpeded.

Mateba 2006M sight picture

Mateba 2006M sight picture.
The 2006M's sights might be described as low-profile. The front blade does not protrude very far, and the rear sights are built into the top strap.

There are a few shortcomings in the 2006M. I won't even get into the rarity - I "specialize" in rare and unusual guns, and this is possibly the rarest of them all.

One criticism is the unusual cylinder release technique. The upward swing motion of the cylinder is good for speed loading, but it has a tendency to want to swing back down unless the gun is held firmly in the correct position to allow gravity to hold the cylinder in place.

Another minor quibble is that the cylinder stop drags quite heavily into the cylinder. It is impossible not to form a drag line. I typically apply black tape to portions of the cylinder where a drag line is likely to form, and the 2006M's stop drags so hard it tends to tear through the tape.

My 2006Ms are my proudest acquisitions in the Mateba collection. They are actually very adept shooters and I enjoy taking them to the range. Their simplicity gives a feeling of robustness that I appreciate; I don't worry about the guns breaking. Other shooters are always quick to remark about the gun's impressive accuracy and shooting characteristics.

The two images on the left are from materials for the 2006M. The two on the right are related to the MTR-6, the forerunner to the 2006M.

Mateba 2006M catalog information Mateba 2006M catalog informationMateba MTR-6 advertisementMateba MTR-6 specifications sheet

Embedding on these videos is disabled, but I encourage you to watch:
Mateba 2006M and Unica
Sil in practice with 2006M revolver

None that I know of. Everything online pretty much is airsoft related, thanks to the gun's role in an anime show. If you know of any 2006M-related link, please send them to me.