Beretta M8045 Cougar - Western Arms
I'd had a Cougar before (a TM springer), but somehow I'd never warmed to it and it was soon on to a new owner. However, when a nearly new WA Cougar, with a spare magazine, came up on a forum, I snapped it up, having been impressed by the M84 Cheetah I'd acquired.
In the Box
In the typical WA box was the gun, some literature, an Allen key (for adjusting the Hop-Up) and a few BBs in a bag. I also got a spare magazine in a WA box, inside the main box.
Cougar's are not, to my eye, attractive. Somehow the grip and the slide shapes seem to compete with each other, leading to a bulky looking gun.
That said, WA's Cougar is very nicely made and finished and, at almost a kilo, certainly feels solid and realistic.
The Beretta trademarks are good on this gun and, by contrast with the M84 Cheetah, the WA ones do not seem intrusive.
The WA Beretta M8045 Cougar is certainly a nicely detailed gun.
The slide and frame are of the heavyweight material seen on a number of WA guns and on KSC slides, it is plastic, but with elements of metal mixed in to give a 'metallic' feel. It looks less metallic than the KSC Mk23's slide, but certainly feels good, in both terms of weight and touch.
The grips are, as expected of WA Berettas, excellent, being exact facsimiles of the real thing, if they are not.
Trademarks, as already observed, as strong and well defined on the 8045, whilst the WA ones (whilst clearly present) are less intrusive on the bigger Cougar than they are on the M84 Cheetah.
On the left of the slide is "PIETRO BERETTA GARDONE V.T. - ITALY", followed by the PB in a circle logo. On the frame, below the barrel, is "040599MC CAT.10170" On the right hand side of the slide is "MOD. 8045 F - PATENTED" with "MADE IN JAPAN BY WESTERN ARMS. ASGK." in a slightly smaller font. On the frame, there are numerous proof marks above the trigger and "This product is made in Japan by WESTERN ARMS CO., LTD.","and Beretta trade marks are affixed under exclusive","license of FABBRICIA D'ARMI PIETRO BERETTA S.PA." in three lines under the barrel.
The breech is marked ".45 AUTO" (this is a 8045, not a 9mm 8000) and "040599MR".
The gun replicates the Beretta's complex Rotating Barrel is accurately replicated. The idea of this is that "by channeling part of the recoil energy into barrel rotation, and by partially absorbing the barrel and slide recoil shock through the central block before it is transferred to the frame, the Cougar can achieve unusually low felt recoil. When the Cougar is in battery (ready to shoot with the slide closed), the positive lock-up of barrel to slide assures perfect alignment of barrel and sights. Upon firing, the barrel travels and rotates with axial movement. The result is superior accuracy and quicker recovery for second shots." - Whether this is true of the GBB version is uncertain, but the gun certainly seems very accurate.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test with 134a gas and .25g BBs I was impressed by the amount of kick the gun produced and stunned to find that 4 of my shots had made 1 hole!
The 6 shots were all within a 1.75 inch (4.5 CM) radius, with 5 within that single hole and half an inch of it and just low of the aimpoint.
This is probably the best accuracy I've seen from any gun.
Out in the garden, where my testing is less controlled, the Cougar seems to drop shots after around 50ft or so, but, to be fair, I've not touched the Hop-Up which would probably correct this.
UPDATE May 2004: I think of the Cougar as a keeper, so it was inevitable that I would chrono it when I purchased a chrono some time after gettting the gun.
Performance is strong, with the gun averaging 291 fps over 10 shots with .2g BBs and 134a gas at around 21C.
I was able to carry out a trigger pull weight test on this gun and it produce a figure of 670g (23.6 ounces), which is at the light end of the trigger spectrum.
Take down on a Cougar is very similar to any other Beretta, but more complex.
The initial steps of removing the magazine and rotating the disassembly lever (on the right of the frame, over the trigger) downwards are familiar. 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.
At this point things become more complex than with other Berettas. The recoil rod and central block come away and the barrel/ breech assembly can be pushed forward and down and back to remove them, but this requires a little manipulation to achieve, compared with all the other Berettas I've encountered.
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, this has to be one of the very best gas guns I've ever seen. The accuracy is excellent and the look, feel, finish and markings on the gun are equally good.
Not a terribly exciting looking gun (certainly no S&W 945), this would, however, make a truly excellent target pistol or skirmish sidearm, although the short barrel may be against it at greater ranges.
I really like the Cougar and thought it would look good with an Inox barrel to accent the black gun.
Elite Airsoft managed to get me a silver barrel and it was an easy fit (as easy as changing a KSC Glock outer barrel).
I also switched the magazine left to right, so that I can release it with my left thumb. I really like this feature on Berettas and it involved nothing more complex than remove the grips, turning the catch around and refitting the grips.
What I felt it needed to finish it off was some wood grips for the gun, but only Hogue seemed to make them and, with shipping from the US, they are quite expensive. That was, until, Hogue launched Hogue Auction. There they auction of grips with minor cosmetic faults and, conversely, exceptional grips. Even with $9.45 shipping, these lovely grips came to less than £20 and, I think, really do complement the flat black of the slide and frame and the silver barrel.
Weight : 960g
Realism : *****
Quality : *****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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