Beretta M92FS Inox - Western Arms
OK, OK, I'll come clean, I really like the look and feel of Berettas. There's something so right about the design for me and I love all the twiddly bits and the working decocker. I've had a number of airsoft Berettas, including TM springers, KSC GBBs and a WA M8045 and M84, but I've never seen a standard Western Arms M92/M9; for many the benchmark of airsoft Berettas.
So, when Elite Airsoft offered me a few guns to review, I couldn't resist the chance to see an Inox version (all my WAs so far had been black) of the M92FS.
It certainly looked good in the box, but would it measure up?
In the Box
In the very familiar, by now (and to think I once questioned whether WA were worth the money!), beige box was a loading tool (just like KSC's or any other WA, but better quality than Maruzen's similar setup), two Allen keys (one for Hop Up, one for some other purpose not explained in the manual.), a small bag of 6mm BBs and a Silver Beretta M92FS.
I'll be honest, I'd been expecting a shiny, chrome finish (I'd never seen an Inox WA, remember) and the initial feeling was of slight disappointment that this looked very like the silver finish on my Marushin Raging Bull or Tanaka M29 Classic. If I'd read the Beretta website, though, I would have known, as "Inox" is an abbreviation for the Italian word "INOSSIDABILE" (stainless), and is the designation used by Beretta for stainless steel pistols.
However, that soon faded when I took a closer look. Unlike with the KSC Berettas, I'd never feel the need to swap the grips on the WA, as they (unsurprisingly, given the licensing agreement between the companies) look like the real thing. The slide is also nicely marked with simple Beretta logos and the Red-dotted sights are very easy to use and make a welcome change from the usual white dot setup.
A couple of things slightly disappoint, though, on this silver gun. Firstly, the weight. At 900g, it's a fair bit lighter than the KSC M9 and WA's own, smaller, Cougar (at least in black). Secondly, the silver finish on the metal parts looks thin and rough (on this example), which, again, isn't noticeable on the Cougar or the Cheetah, in black. On the other hand, if you've come from a springer or a TM Beretta, you'll find the gun reassuringly heavy.
Metal parts include the sights, trigger, safety/decocker, magazine release, hammer and disassembly lever.
Taking a closer look, I have to say that the Inox finish is very good on the plastic parts of the gun. It really looks like stainless steel to the eye, but has none of the metallic feel of the heavyweight material when you pick it up. You really expect it to be cold, but, of course, it isn't...
The markings, as already mentioned are, generally, very good with PIETRO BERETTA GARDONE V.T. on the left side of the slide along with the PB in a circle logo. Between the two (in a shallower and smaller form) is MADE IN JAPAN BY WESTERN ARMS (over two lines). Below that, on the frame (behind the MADE IN JAPAN sticker) is a serial number. On the right hand side of the slide is MOD. 92FS - Cal 9mm Parabellum - PATENTED and BERETTA USA CORP., ARRK, MH, but below that, on the frame, is WA's common (and overly verbose) licensing information, which intrudes more on this silver gun than it did on the black 8045.
Looking at the frame and slide, the moulding is, as expected, excellent, with no signs of any seams anywhere on the gun. The metal parts, silver finished notwithstanding, are all nicely finished and precise, although they (as with my other Berettas) seem a tighter fit than the KSC equivalents - Whether the WA parts will bed in with use and the KSC become loose is impossible to say.
Little details catch your eye as you examine the WA Beretta more closely. The recoil rod has a much more substantial feel than the KSC equivalent (which feels solid enough in itself) and the sights are much better than on any other Beretta 92/M9 I've seen (with red dots, front and rear).
The barrel assembly, whilst superficially similar to the KSC Berettas, is more complex (and presumably, more accurate to the real thing) in construction, although this gives no obvious advantage in use.
Whether you prefer silver or black guns, I guess, is very much a matter of taste. Certainly, to my eye, the black finish on my Cougar is more convincing, but the quality of the silver finish is not done proper justice by these photos.
The felt recoil is not particularly impressive (again the Cougar is surprisingly fierce, but whether that is due to materials or design is impossible to say), but the gun feels pretty much like any other decent Beretta 92/M9 to shoot and not everyone considers kick a positive thing.
Gassing up the gun and popping off 6 rounds suggested that accuracy is good, but nothing astounding. The shots went pretty much where I aimed, but not in a particularly tight grouping. Good enough for skirmishing, but maybe not for ISPCC shooting.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the gun performed well, but not outstandingly. I've fired a fair few Beretta airsoft pistols now, so I pretty much know how to reach my optimum level with one.
To be fair, the day I did these tests was cold (around 15C) and I only had 134a gas, so power was way down on the norm and I did notice significant cool down with all 3 guns I tested (M92FS, PO Ultimate Comp and SV Hybrid 6").
My first attempt achieved a 2 inch (5 cm) diameter with all 6 shots in or, very close to, the centre area. Not bad at all, but not up there with the Cougar.
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I then decided to warm the magazines indoors for a while, getting them up somewhere near room temperature.
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The first shot went wildly high (it's the high left one) as I snatched the first shot, but 4 of the remaining 5 were within 2 inches again and well within the central area. The last shot was again high.
I suspect with stronger gas I would have seen better consistency on target.
Finally I dropped 20 rounds into the magazine and blasted away until the gas ran out (which was around 15 shots - with my other shooting this was around 40 rounds - a mag and a half).
The shots are pretty well centred around the bull (aiming wasn't careful, this was just a case of pretty much point at the centre of the target and keeping firing as fast as I could until the rounds or gas ran out), with the majority in the bull or 8/9 rings. Even the worst shots were in the rings - Certainly good enough for skirmishing and without the benefit of a suitable gas for the conditions.
Remove the magazine and press the disassembly button on the right side of the frame in. At the same time rotate the disassembly lever (on the left of the frame, over the trigger) downwards. The barrel and recoil rod may pop forward at this point. The barrel, slide and recoil rod will all push off the frame at this point.
The recoil rod can be removed by pushing it gently forward and down and then back. The barrel should be slid forward and down, once clear of the nozzle. Note that the recoil rod slots into a metal shroud inside the slide, which isn't present on the KSC guns.
There is a wedge shaped metal part at the rear underside of the barrel which ensures correct alignment between barrel, slide and frame. This just slides into place.
When reassembling, give the barrel a little push backwards, into the frame, when turning the disassembly lever - This has caught me out a number of times on WA Berettas, as you don't need to do it on KSCs.
Overall, if you're sold on the stainless look, this gun is well worth considering as it really does look like stainless steel from even quite close in and the expected WA quality is present in spades.
Accuracy isn't outstanding, but it's quite acceptable for skirmishing.
The slightly disappointing weight and finish on the metal parts would mean this wouldn't be my first choice for a Beretta airsoft pistol, but a black WA one would do just fine.
Weight : 900g
Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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