Beretta M92FS Elite CQB - Western Arms
I like Berettas, but the vertical grip/rail framed styling of the Elite Vertecs has always left me a little cold. The sensual curves of the standard 92 design are lost in the Vertecs in the same way the Ferrari 348 lost the stylishness of the 328s that preceded it.
Experience with my TM S&W PC356 springer also led me to dislike the vertec grips (designed for people with small hands) from an ergonomic point of view.
However, this was the first time I'd actually encountered a Vertec Beretta, so perhaps the experience could overcome my preconceptions.
In the Box
This is standard fare for a Western Arms. The box is plain cardboard, with the gun, loading tool, allen key (for the Hop Up), small bag of BBs and a few manuals and other paperwork. The main manual relates to the M92FS range, whilst there's a strip down diagram specifically for the Elite CQB.
One thing you cannot say about Western Arms Berettas is that they look unrealistic. Even before you lift it from the box, the heavyweight material of the frame and slide and trademarked grips look solid and highly realistic.
Unlike the other KSC and WA Elites, the CQB has a plain black barrel, which lends it a lower key appearance than them, especially the Elite 2.
The Elite CQB is modelled on the gun Beretta call the Vertec. This features a modified frame, with a rail on the frame, under the barrel and a vertical backstrap to the grip, rather than the curved backstrap seen on normal M92s. The latter feature is designed to allow those with smaller hands better control of the trigger.
Picking the CQB up, it feels a good solid gun.
After handling a lot of 1911 derivatives, it was actually very good to have a modern pistol to handle. With double action, a decocker and ambidextrous safeties, the Beretta is a so much more user friendly gun than the Wilsons, Infinities and Para-Ordnances. Some will point out that the Beretta is less 'special', but sometimes something you can just pick up and shoot is just what the doctor ordered.
Other than the different shaped frame and grip, everything here is familiar M92FS/M9 Beretta. The Brigadier style slide is just like that on the other Elites and only the black barrel differentiates this immediately from the Elite 1A.
Markings on the gun are nothing extraordinary. The verbose WA/Beretta licensing agreement is on the front right of the frame (above the rail), whilst the front left bears the serial number "BER051502". The left side of the slide is marked "BERETTA USA CORP"/"ACKR.MO. USA" and the right "MOD. 92FS - ELITE - CQB"/"CAL. 9mm Parabellum - PATENTED". There is an ASGK mark above the trigger on the right side of the frame and the grips both bear the Beretta logo.
The decocker/safety (ambidextrous), disassembly lever, trigger, slide lock, trigger bar, serrated (skeletonised) hammer, magazine release (reversible as on all Beretta 92s and Cougars), recoil rod and front and rear sights are all metal.
The grips feature the trademark Elite 1A finish, described by Beretta as "Dual-textured thin polymer grips. Designed by a team of experienced pistol shooters, the innovative new grip panels on the Beretta Vertec have two different style gripping surfaces. Checkered at maximum friction points and pebbled exactly in those places where you need some freedom of movement, this revolutionary design improves both controllability and comfort. "
Whether they are identical on the WA is impossible for me to say. They feel like simple plastic, but the appearance certainly looks accurate to photographs of the real thing. Personally, I still found the Vertec grips too small to be truly comfortable. When I grip the gun, with distinctly average sized hands, there is a gap between the palm of my hand the back of the grip. I guess my hands are just made for the normally shaped Beretta grip.
The rear sight is a fixed unit, with two white dots. This is matched to the removable dovetail front sight, which features another white dot for quick acquisition. This all works well enough for a tactical, rather than target, pistol.
Secondly, the gun comes with a bumperless magazine. All the other Elites have plastic (Rubber on the KSC) bumpers on
the bottom of the magazine.
Given some of the issues with some WA 92s with the standard magazine not being able to empty all 25 rounds on a single gas fill, I tried filling two magazines until no more gas would go in and then firing, quickly, repeatedly. On both occasions the gas ran out before the BBs, with 1 and 3 BBs remaining in the magazine.
In warmer conditions, or with pauses between shots, it would probably be possible to empty the magazine on a single fill, but the decision to use the standard magazine is less than ideal, although I assume the thinking is to keep the CQB more compact and easier to insert and remove from a holster.
Finally, the recoil rod is worth a look. Rather than being a simple rod, as with the M92FS with a single spring, it has two springs. The main one, which extends forward to the slide and a shorter one behind a buffer, about an inch long, at the rear of the rod. This feature is shared with the Elite 2 and so, presumably, the other Elites.
Like the Elite 2, the CQB has a good, sharp cycling action. Better than most of the standard 92s I have tried. The sights are clear and quick to acquire a target with, making the CQB and easy gun to come to terms with (which is exactly what Beretta intended).
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I was astounded to produce a cluster of 6 shots just 1 inch (2.5 CM) in
diameter. This is even better than the Elite 2's 1.25 inch grouping. Repeat shooting also produced very tight clusters.
This a very accurate airsoft pistol, suggesting the whole Elite range are very good.
Power-wise, over 10 shots, the 92FS CQB averaged 252 fps (using 134a gas) indoors (around 10C).
Take down is standard Beretta 92.
Remove the magazine. Push down the disassembly lever, whilst pushing the pin through from the other side of the frame.
Slide the slide, barrel and recoil spring/rod forward off of the frame.
The recoil spring and rod can be removed as a unit and the barrel can then be slid forward and then down and back to remove it from the slide.
Overall, the Elite CQB is an excellent Beretta from WA. It feels good, looks realistic and has all the normal attention to detail I've come to expect from WA. The cycling action is also better than I have experienced with standard WA 92s, being close to that of my Cougar and the Elite 2, both of which I consider very good by any standard.
What stands out as remarkable is the accuracy. Given the similarly good results with the Elite 2, the WA Beretta Elites seem to be strong challengers for most accurate GBB available.
Personally, I still would not buy a Vertec, but I found the Elite CQB to be much more to my liking than I expected and I fully acknowledge that it is only personal taste that would prevent me buying one.
If you don't actively dislike the Vertec grip, or want a railed Beretta, the Elite CQB, at £112 (current price), is an excellent buy for any Beretta fan or even someone looking at their first WA pistol, being cheaper (in the UK) than a TM Tac Master.
Western Arms have now released a silver version of this gun.
Weight : 930g
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : *****
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