Jati-matic GG-95 PDW - Western Arms
This interesting piece of airsoft history came my way courtesy of US Classic buff, Antagon (often found on Classicairsoft.net).
He had bought it from a UK forum member and wondered if I would like to review it before sending it onto him. Of course, I jumped at the chance to try something unusual.
Originally made in 1986, the Western Arms Jatimatic is an ununsual combination of battery powered action and gas propulsion systems in the shell of a Finnish Jati-Matic SMG.
The slightly awkward styling is a result of some lateral thinking. The bolt recoils up an inclined plane at angle to the barrel, giving an element of braking to the bolt, and also resisting the upward movement of the barrel during the fire.
In the Box
Despite its age, the Jatimatic was remarkably complete (and in excellent condition).
Inside the WA box, looking very familiar in uncoloured cardboard, with WA and Jatimatic logos, was the gun, a couple of magazines, a loading hopper, a small bag of delightfully coloured blue-green BBs(!) and a manual (featuring Sylvester Stalone in Cobra) and a target.
Plastic technology has come a long way since 1986. The Jati-Matic is, without doubt, the cheapest looking airsoft gun I have seen.
This is a shame, as once you pick it up, you realise that it is actually pretty well made, but the shiny plastic is something you would only ever expect to see on a $20 Chinese springer nowadays.
Aside from that criticism, the Jatimatic is quite delightful. It's fairly compact (much like a H&K MP5K, although it is longer) and quite sturdy at over a kilo, with the batteries fitted and neither flexes or creaks noticably.
The magazine creaks a bit and looks flimsy (like that of the MGC Beretta M12S). The only external metal part on the gun are the token sling 'swivels' on the rear and to the left side of the front sight, the rest is made of the cheap looking, shiny plastic.
The Western Arms Jati-Matic is really like nothing else I have ever reviewed before.
Even the year younger MGC Beretta M12S is a comparatively simple gas system (using the famouns 'Bullet Valve' mechanism.
The Jati-Matic (first launched in 1986), by contrast, features a hybrid electric and gas system.
The gas is used, as in most classic guns, to propel the BBs, but the Jati-Matic uses an electric mechanism to cycle the gun.
This gives the Jati-Matic a sound rather like a mini-AEG (one of those cartoonish MP5s, for instance) when you fire it, with a distinct motorised whirr, but
none of the CLUNK that accompanies it in a full blooded AEG. However, that sound is combined with the usual NBB putt as the BB is fired.
It is most unusual.
There are not many markings on a real Jati-Matic and WA seem to have done a reasonable job (even 20 years ago) of replicating them.
On the left side of the receiver, over the mag well, is the wording "Jatimatic"/"Made in Finland"/"9295", further back, above the trigger, is 9.00 Para (refering to the ammunition type), right at the very rear of the receiver is an ASGK marking.
On the right side is a rather nasty silver sticker with a red arrow with a "FIRE" written on it, which looks horrible, but seems to be at least an approximation to the real thing, from the few photos I can fire that show this side clearly (notably this one).
This, I must say, the only WA I have ever seen with seams and they are pretty significant, in that the two sides of the receiver are separate mouldings, bolted together around the mechanism and there is actually SPACE (albeit only a hair's breadth) between the sides in places.
If you look at the manual pages at the bottom of this section, you will see there are a number of options for gassing the Jati-Matic, including external gas rigs, but it works pretty well on normal Cybergun Winter gas, injected into the reservoir in the grip in the normal way.
The trigger works similar to that on a Steyr AUG or FN P90, in that a short pull will fire single shot and a longer one full auto, but the gun will not fire unless the forward handgrip is folded down. To fold the handle back up, you have to pull back a small catch behind it, on the upper inside of the receiver.
The magazines are simple, plastic spring fed boxes, but they also hold the batteries (see photo below) to drive the mechanism (straightforward AA/MN1500s as far as I can tell) and there are metal contacts at the top of the magazine, which contact with others inside the magazine well.
The gun comes with a simple hopper which attatches to the top of the magazine, holding open the catch which prevents BBs from flowing back out of the magazine. To load, you need to pull the magazine spring down and pour the BBs in, through the funnel. The magazine holds an impressive 50+ BBs (I actually squeezed in 53).
The sights are pretty basic, (presumably like the real thing) and, of course, made of plastic. However, with little kick, they are effective enough.
At the front there is a fairly chunky squared-off post, protected by two 'ears' either side, whilst the rear is a simple block with a square notch cut into it.
Below are a couple of photos of the manual. They feature the Cobra movie quite heavily (seems the Sly Stone character used a Jatimatic in the film's climax and the posters all feature the pose shown) and it seems WA made quite an extensive collection of accessories for the Jatimatic.
I did find one photo on the web of a WA Jatimatic with a silencer.
Carrying out my standard 5m off hand test, I fired off 10 rounds. The variable pressure trigger makes it hard to reliably fire off a single shot (or at least, I found it so), but I was impressed by the accuracy.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
All 10 shots were within a 10CM (4 inch) diameter and the majority were in the centre area of the target.
Powerwise, for such an old design, the Jatimatic was good, too. Over 10 shots, the WA Jatimatic averaged 218 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and .2g BBs) indoors (at 12C). This, roughly, equates to about 250fps at 20C, from experience. The actual power, as you can see below, varied quite a bit over shots, though, suggesting the gas system is not as consistent as modern ones, which comes as no great surprise.
I didn't bother trying to test the trigger pull as the whole mechanism is so unusual and there is no way to cock the gun.
I decided not to even attempt to disassemble the Jatimatic, as it wasn't mine and my experience is that older designs were never intended to to field strip.
The manual does not show any take down procedure, and, although the frame features pins, not unlike those on the MP5K, these are simply cast in.
Overall, the Jatimatic is quite an appealing piece.
The finish is very plasticky, but the novel gas/electric system produces an unusual firing experience, which proves remarkably effective, given the great age of the design.
For me, the integrated gas reservoir is also a big plus.
For someone looking for something unusual as a self contained SMG, it might be worth hunting out a Jatimatic.
Weight : 1,250g
Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ***
Accuracy : ****
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