Glock 17 (Metal Slide) - HFC
HFC used to be a purveyor of (really not very good) spring pistols, but increasingly, of late, they have earned themselves a reputation for good honest, value for money GBBs and NBBs.
Before TM launched their Glock 17, HFC had one out and it appears to be a clone (in advance, so possibly a joint venture or based on the older G26 design internally) of the TM gun.
A chance meeting with those nice people from Elite Airsoft at Bisley's Phoenix event put one of these in my hands for review.
In the Box
The box itself is worthy of note as it is a black plastic gun case, lined with egg-crate polystyrene.
It bears a sticker identifying this as a Green Gas/metal slide version (there is a CO2 magazined version and one of each with a plastic slide, too) of the HG-185.
The gun, a bag of BBs and a speed loader are held between the two sides of the case and lifting a tab on one side reveals a manual (partly in English), target and some other paper work.
Glocks aren't my favourite design, rewarding the viewer with little in terms of detailing, but that's what Glock intend, so the plainness of the HFC G17 cannot be held too much against it.
There are no trademarks on the gun, except the amusing "Read Menu before use" at the top of the right hand grip and a HFC Spider's Web sticker on the left grip side. This is a better solution than the rather silly 'trades' the HFC M9 190 used to have (recent models of that gun are also plain), but not as good as some even 'lookalike' trades to my eyes.
Another noticeable absence is the two part trigger. This gun has a plain flat trigger, rather than the correct design, with the moveable centre section. Glock have been notably litigious in recent years and one suspects that this trigger design is to avoid problems with this copyrighted feature of real-steel Glocks.
The metal slide is painted plain black and looks ok, as does the frame, which is very matt and almost feels slightly rubbery to the touch.
The metal slide is smart looking and quite well finished (even if you'd never mistake it for a SD or Prime aftermarket one), with the familiar Glock cocking serrations to the rear only.
The outer barrel is metal, too, and painted black like the slide. Again with an even semi-gloss finish.
There is an unusual Matt surface to the frame - It almost feels slightly rubbery to the touch and I always had the feeling my hands would be blackened after handling it, much as with a newspaper, but there was no transfer. It's different, not very realistic, but somehow works rather well, lending the frame a more substantial feel than a KSC or TM Glock's.
As mentioned before, there are no trademarks to identify this as a Glock (the shape more than suffices, though). At the top of the right grip are the words "Read Menu Before Use"/"Made In Taiwan" and at the bottom of the grip are the words "COMPLETED 2001".
On the other side of the grip, where the TM has a Glock-alike logo, there is a removable HFC Spider's web sticker in Gold.
The gun features good, clear sights, with white dots on front and rear sights, much like any other Glock. Sadly, there are no night sights - a la TM, although it would be easy enough to paint the white dots with luminous paint.
The front of the grip is grooved for fingers and features chequering, as does the front of the trigger guard.
Under the frame, where you would find a serial number on a real or KSC Glock, there's a Safety catch, which slides to lock the trigger, as with TM's Glock 17.
In a typically lax piece of airsoft proof reading (Stones? Glass houses?), the safety is marked SAFTY.
There are not a lot of controls on Glock. The slide lock is metal, whilst the take down catches and magazine release are plastic.
The HFC is lacking the trademark, two part Glock trigger, having just a plain curved trigger.
The recoil spring guide rod is also plastic, and looks incredibly weak, although I encountered no problems with it whilst testing.
The Outer barrel would appear as if it can't be removed without removing blowback chamber, although the inner barrel slides out as on KSC Glocks. The adjustable Hop-Up uses the same wheel style adjuster as TM, but we'll come back to this in a moment.
The magazine is plain aside from some fake bullet index marks on the rear face and features a very loose fitting mag base, which slides to cover the fill valve at the bottom. I can imagine these getting lost very quickly.
One thing is certain, though, this is NOT a clone of the TM G17.
With the slide off there is a clearly a longer metal internal frame and chamber/hop adjuster on the TM Glock 17. This tends to support the theory that the HFC Glock 17 is based on the smaller, older TM G26 design, rather than that HFC somehow got a Clone out quicker than TM did the original.
This does mean though that parts are not interchangable. The top halves from the two guns will not fit each other, which will disappoint anyone looking to fit a trademarked slide designed for the TM to this cheaper base gun.
Interestingly, the HFC magazine works fine in the TM Glock, but not vice-versa as the TM magazine is fractionaly wider at the top. This will disappoint some people, as TM magazines are easy to find, but apparently magazines for the HFC Darkhawk will also fit their Glock 17.
So it's nothing to get excited about looks wise, how does it shoot?
I picked this up at the same time as a WE Hi-Capa 5.1 and 3.8 and both those seemed much snappier and more impressive to shoot, with a louder report and bigger kick.
I happened to have a TM Glock 17 to hand whilst testing the HFC and the TM gun, admittedly with a plastic slide, has a much snappier action, but feels to kick harder than the HFC gun, despite the lighter slide.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the HFC G17 was a fairly uninspiring performer.
The best I could do at this range was to put the best 5 of 6 shots into a 55mm (2.25 inch) grouping, although they generally fell in or around the target centre.
Shooting at greater range, though, things were better. The HFC G17 consistently hit to aim point over about 60ft with a commendably flat trajectory, suggesting the hop-up is stable and able to deliver decent accuracy at the ranges Skirmishers require.
Subjectively the HFC Glock 17 gave the impression of being a weak shooter too, with a soft kick and low volume report.
Over 10 shots, though, the HFC Glock 17 averaged 273 fps (using Super Power Green gas) indoors (at 15C), which would equate to about 298 at 20C - A decent performance and on a par with the TM Glock 17.
Trigger pull was a heavy 1085g (38 Oz), although the pull wasn't unpleasant and it didn't seem to affect accuracy adversely.
Take down on the HFC Glock is very, very simple.
Drop the magazine and then push the disassembly catches (on either side of the frame, over the trigger) down. The slide, barrel and recoil rod will then push forward off the frame.
The recoil rod can be removed by pushing it gently forward and down and then back. The outer barrel can be slid forward and pivoted down so that the inner barrel can be withdrawn, once clear of the nozzle. To remove the outer barrel appears to require you to take the blowback chamber out of the slide first, as the barrel cannot clear the nozzle otherwise.
Overall, the HFC Glock 17 is a perfectly good GBB for anyone looking for a plain and simple airsoft handgun.
It looks much like any other Glock 17, is robust, accurate and delivers good performance.
It doesn't look great, it won't excite anyone much when they shoot it and collectors won't find much to like, but that won't bother the budget minded, no-nonsense skirmisher or target shooter.
For the money, it's hard to quibble with its ability to do the job.
Weight : 700g (285g magazine)
Realism : ***
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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