Beretta M84 Cheetah - Western Arms
I like Berettas. I've had a springer Cougar, a KSC Beretta Elite and an M9. I still own a KSC M93R with metal slide upgrade and a UHC M9 springer (my first ever airsoft gun) and now I've got a Western Arms Beretta - a M84 Cheetah.
In the Box
I don't know what you'd normally get as my M84 was bought second hand. In the box in this case, was the gun and the manual and a few other sheets of paper.
The box itself is the standard brown cardboard WA box, but compared with the similar Infinity boxes, it is TINY!
Opening up the box, my first impression was just how small the M84 is. This isn't an earlier version of the 92 or even a cut down 92 (a la compact carry 1911s), but a scaled down version.
The WA gun is licensed from Beretta, so it carries all the correct markings (and then some). To be honest, on such a little gun, it's a little too complete, with the markings almost distracting you from the shape and finish of the gun.
That, however, is very good, as you'd expect of WA. Aside from a rattle from the magazine base, the fit and finish is excellent and all the controls, including the working decocker, nicely (and accurately, as far as I can tell) reproduced in metal.
Weight isn't the gun's most notable feature, but as it's a small gun, this doesn't detract greatly and it feels well balanced.
Metal parts include trigger, hammer, recoil rod, safety/decocker, disassembly lever and pin and front and rear sights.
Western Arms pay Beretta to licence their guns, so there's no issue of fake trademarks or look-alikes on the WA M84. If anything, there are too many markings, with all the Beretta ones and then quite prominent ones, proclaiming Western Arms rights to use the Beretta ones. Someone at WA should take a look at Marushin's output to see how to combine real-steel and airsoft specific trademarks.
For the record, the markings are, on the right hand side, the barrel is marked "Cal .9 Short"&"380 Auto", the slide is marked with the PB in an oval logo, "READ MANUAL BEFORE USE" and "PATENTED" as per the real steel, plus (in slightly smaller lettering) "MADE IN JAPAN BY WESTERN ARMS ASGK.". The right hand side of the frame is marked "This product is made in JAPAN by WESTERN ARMS CO., LTD. and Beretta trade marks are affixed under exclusive license of FABBRICA D'ARMI PIETRO BERETTA S.P.A.", below that is an ASGK logo with "PB" stamped just above the rear of the trigger. There are also numerous marks on the front right of the trigger guard and the bottom front of it. On the left hand side, the slide bears the legend "PIETRO BERETTA" with "GARDONE V.T. - ITALY" in smaller lettering, whilst the frame bears the legend "CAT.5802 - MOD.84F - Cal .9 Short". The grips both bear the correct Beretta logo.
On the plus side, the M84 is, like all Berettas, a fiddler's delight. The antithesis of a Glock, there are metal controls for stripping the gun, cocking it (the hammer) and decocking/safing it. All the operations will be very familiar to anyone who's used a GBB Beretta of any sort (except the decocking action of the safety, for TM users, perhaps) and work very well.
The fit and finish is excellent and the markings are deep and sharp, unlike the fake markings often found on KSC guns, of all types.
I believe WA procure genuine Beretta grips and those on the M84 certainly look very similar in finish and quality to the real steel ones I had on my Elite.
The foresight is a metal blade, whilst the rear sight is metal (but non-adjustable) combining to give a 3 dot system for speed of acquisition.
When I got the gun it was gassed already and I did a bit of plinking. At 5m, accuracy was good (achieving a grouping of around 2"), so, feeling happy with the gun, I regassed it with AE Winter gas and carried out my standard 5m/6 round test.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
The grouping was more widely spread, which I can only put down to the higher power gas (I'm assuming the original gas was 134a, as recommended for WA guns). The gas system on WAs is supposed to be optimised for 134a and, although the Infinities seem happy enough with AE Winter Gas, it may be that the extra 'kick' on the light and small M84 affects accuracy more dramatically.
The results, for the record, are all six shots in a 2.5 inch (6 CM) diameter. 5 were in the central area (in a 1.5"/4 CM diameter)
The sights on the gun are nicely outlined in white and are easy to use.
Take down on an M84 is very similar to any other Beretta.
Remove the magazine and rotate the disassembly lever (on the right of the frame, over the trigger) downwards. 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.
The recoil rod can be removed by pushing it gently forward and down and then back. The barrel should be slid forward and down, once clear of the nozzle.
Overall, the M84 is a much overlooked gun. The normal WA quality shines through and accuracy is good on 134a gas (although less so on more powerful gas, it would seem). The detailing is, possibly, a little fussy, but generally the fit, finish and appearance of the gun is very pleasing.
For the Beretta fan, or anyone looking for a small backup pistol, but tired of the usual Glock options (19/26), the M84 would make an excellent choice, being small enough to fit comfortably into a jacket pocket.
Weight : 570g
Realism : ****
Quality : *****
Power : ***
Accuracy : ****
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