Strayer Voigt Expert 5" - Western Arms

This, and the 4.3" and 6" barrelled versions, were much awaited (by me, at least) WA releases.

The Strayer Voigt Infinity range are WA's flagship guns and these were the closest thing to an SCW gas system version of the excellent Limiteds yet released in black.

They also feature a number of 'improvements' over the old Ltds and so promised much.

In the Box

Both the 5" and 4.3" come in the, now familiar, grey SCW boxes, with only a sticker on the side to indicate what is within.

Contents, too, are pretty standard for a WA SVI with BBs, manuals, a couple of Allen keys, the standard tube, hopper and rod loader and 2 interchangeable triggers. All familiar fare for some time with the SVI range.

First Impressions

First impressions were pretty good. The first thing which grabs your attention IS the new grip. It's smooth and looks more comfortable and smaller than the familiar SVI double stacker grip, which many gripe about, due to the aggressive chequering. I was slightly disappointed to find that it is hard, rather than rubberised and, initially, at least, the grip feels a bit slippery, coming from a traditional SVI grip.

The gun itself is smart in its plain black with gold detailing, much like the SVI Xcelerator and I, personally, prefer the plain dust cover with simply a rail, rather than grooved Xcelerator finish. There is also, on this and the longer 6" version (but not the shorter 4.3") a raised ridge on the front of the slide, which continues into the frame.

The slide is a 5 sided shape, rather than the curved top of the old Ltds and all the controls, plus the frame and hammer are metal, as you would expect of an SVI double stacker.

As usual, there is a lot of metal on this SVI, with the frame, hammer, slide lock, thumb and grip safety, recoil rod, outer barrel, trigger and front and rear sights all being metal.

Closer Look

Let's start with that grip. It is smaller in diameter than the familiar SVI grip and lacks the sharp and pronounced chequering. No doubt many, especially those with smaller hands, will find it more comfortable, but even after shooting if for some time on the 5" and 4.3", I found it did not provide the same security of grip as the standard grip.

The metal frame is plain, like the Limiteds, but feature a rail. I found this combination more attractive than the rather flashy grooves on the Xcelerator frame, but again that it is a matter of taste. From reading the forums, it seems that many will consider the plain frame and rail combination the ideal, though.

The slide itself is probably the most notable difference (aside from the grip). The actual shape has been changed from the traditional curved top Infinity slide to the '3 sided' shape, which gives the gun a sharper, cleaner look to my eye (A bit like an SVI in a Hugo Boss suit). The sights, too are notably different, with the familiar unmarked Bo-Mar being replaced with a fully adjustable Novak-style sight with white dots (as well as on the dovetailed-in front post).

There are 'free-form' slide cuts (again see, SVI's site for an explanation) on the rear of all the Expert models, which are wider and less sharp-edged than those on the older Limited models.

Markings are very traditional SVI, with each side of the slide bearing the word INFINITY. The left side of the frame is marked with the SV logo and a fairly inconspicuous WA ASGK mark. The gold chamber is marked "INFINITY .45 ACP" and the grips bear SV stickers and that it is it, for markings.

The 5" (and 6") Expert have gold chambers and barrels, much like the Xcelerators, as opposed to the silver of the 4.3" and the Ltds. The finish is good, but, to my eye, the black/silver combination lends a classier look. Still, that is hair splitting, really, as the barrel and chamber are bright, smooth (with just a hint of 'milling' on the barrel, as with the silver 4'3") and solid in appearance. I imagine the after market will eventually catch up with WA's use of this colour for these parts.

The hammer and interchangeable triggers are matt aluminium in colour and the safeties and slide lock are painted black. The recoil rod is silver.

There's no mag well, so the bumpered magazine extends well below the grip base. The magazine is a new model, featuring 33 round capacity and plastic jaws (apparently these are replaceable without junking the whole magazine, probably something Practical Shooters, who dump magazines on the ground during rapid reloads, have been asking for.

New 33 round magazine for Expert is interchangable with old 30 round version.

These magazines are completely interchangeable with the older 30 round magazines, so you won't need to buy all new magazines if you already own an SVI...unless you want to, of course!

Otherwise, the SVI Expert delivers the usual high quality you expect of a WA Infinity, with (on the ones I have seen, so far) none of the occasional issues with the metallic finishes. Having seen silver and brushed nickel SVIs, I found the Expert's matt black finish is especially smart and a refreshing return to a no-nonsense finish, certainly more usable as a skirmish sidearm or dual purpose pistol.

Shooting Impressions

A lot is made on WA's website of the Expert's 6.03mm 'Accuracy Barrel' and Mike Cripps (of Elite) had written of accuracy good enough to persuade him to adopt an Expert 6" for Practical Shooting competitions, so I was interested to see how this translated into performance in my tests.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the best 5 rounds group in just 3.3CMs (1.3 inches), suggesting that the tight bore barrel was giving an advantage in terms of accuracy (best 5" SVI results before was 4.7CM (from a 5" Xcelerator).

Over 10 shots, the SVI Expert 5" averaged 281 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and .2g BBs) indoors (at 12C) - Interestingly, I also tested a 6" SCW silver SVI and my Magna R system 6" Ltd the same day and saw 297 and 289 fps from them, respectively, so there is not a great deal to choose power wise across systems OR barrel lengths.

Shot      FPS
1 289.5
2 285.0
3 283.6
4 285.2
5 284.8
6 277.0
7 279.8
8 275.0
9 275.2
10 275.3

Trigger pull weight is 32 Oz (910g), which makes it a medium weight pull for a GBB.

Take Down

Take down is pure SVI, with the new styling not hiding anything significant under the skin, as you would expect.

With the magazine removed, the slide should be slide back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. At this point, the slide, barrel and recoil rod/spring can be pushed forward off of the frame.

To remove the barrel from the slide, you must separate the two halves of the recoil rod and pull the front through the front of the slide bushing.

This done, the front of the barrel can be unscrewed and pulled out of the front of the slide. Then the rear half of the barrel and chamber can be pushed back and down out of the slide.


Overall, I liked the Expert. It looks undeniably smart, which WA needed with the competition from the much praised, but rather plain TM 5.1 Hi Capa and delivers improvements in accuracy, at least at Practical Pistol ranges.

Quality is exactly what you would expect of the SVI range and the SCW system provides good power and the Expert sounds noisier (which will appeal to some more than others) than most other GBBs.

Personally, I am not yet convinced about the new style grip, but I would not let that stop me buying an Expert. You will soon adapt to it, even if you preferred the traditional SVI grip.

Would I swap my Ltd for one? Well, that decision will have to wait for me to get my hands on a 6", but on the strength of the 5", I suspect I would be tempted!

Weight : 1000g

Realism : ****
Quality : *****
Power : *****
Accuracy : *****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Strayer Voigt's Website

Buy this gun from Elite Airsoft

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