Beretta M8045 Cougar SCW Version - Western Arms
I have had a Magna R Cougar for some time, it being one of the very best guns Western Arms make, in my view, so I was very interested to see whether the SCW system Cougar, released in 2005 was going to be a notable improvement over one of my favourite airsoft pistols.
Thanks to Elite Airsoft, I was able to.
In the Box
In the typical SCW grey with white text 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, particluarly 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 SCW gun is, externally, identical to the excellent Magna R version.
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". All these markings are unchanged from the Magna R version.
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.
The most noticable difference is not visible until you strip down the Cougar. Whereas the older gun had a separate barrel and support block, the SCW gun's is joined in a single unit and features a buffer unit on the front of it, using a metal bar sprung with two coil springs.
This unit acts like the buffers on a train, to reduce the impact stresses of the front of the slide on the barrel support block. Presumably this is to reduce wear on the front of the (already solid) slide especially with stronger gasses.
The other difference, but only noticable side by side, is that the SCW system allows the hammer on the new Cougar to sit down much better in the slide than the old gun did. Where the old hammer floated slightly, the new gun's is solidly set against the firing pin area.
The old Cougar was an impressive airsoft pistol and, fortunately, WA have done little harm to it in the conversion to SCW form.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the best 5 shots were all within a 1.75 inch (4.5 CM) radius, which I managed to group all 6 rounds in with my Magna R gun. However, these differences are small enough to be down to my shooting rather than any particular differences in the guns' performance. You can also see that 4 rounds are very tightly grouped, with two going a little high.
Firing six rounds as fast I could still put all the rounds comfortably on target, although spread a little, left to right.
Performance is strong, with the gun averaging 284 fps over 10 shots with .2g BBs and Abbey Ultra gas at around 19C.
I was able to carry out a trigger pull weight test on this gun and it produce a figure of 640g (23 ounces), which is at the light-medium end of the trigger pull spectrum for a GBB.
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.
WA obviously recognized that little was wrong with the old Cougar and only small changes have been made to it, to convert it to a SCW gun.
The accuracy is excellent and the look, feel, finish and markings on the gun are equally good.
Although, not the most exciting looking gun, the 8045 Cougar remains one of WA's best guns in SCW form.
Weight : 960g
Realism : *****
Quality : *****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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