Beretta M84 Cheetah Spypack - Western Arms
I'd already reviewed my own m84 Cheetah, but John at Elite Airsoft sent me a spypack edition, which was released hot on the heels of Halle Berry's toting of one in the James Bond film, Die Another Day (partly filmed, strangely enough, about a mile from where I'm writing this review).
The most notable feature of the standard spypack that arrived, is the black metal silencer. There's also a 'deluxe' version with an Inox M84, with wood grips and an inox finish silencer.
In the Box
There really isn't a lot in an M84 box, just the gun/silencer (fitted together), the manual, a few BB, the usual two allen keys and a few sheets of paper. The gun is protected by a polystyrene liner.
The box itself is a departure from the familiar WA beige cardboard, being a nice gloss black, with BERETTA and the Beretta logo in a large white font on the front.
As I already knew, the M84 is a compact gun, but the extra length of the silencer gives it a different feel.
The silencer is all metal and nicely finished in black and fits seamlessly to the barrel, lending the gun a distinctly sinister elegance that it lacks in the normal form.
Being a WA gun, it's 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. 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. This new gun, didn't exhibit the base plate rattle that my used Cheetah did.
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.
The silencer is very neat and simple, with no adornments or decoration. It's a simple black metal tube. Fixing it is very ingenious. Rather than fit an ugly extended outer barrel with a thread, the silencer extends down into the outer barrel and the inner barrel is threaded to receive it. This increases the stiffness of the silencer on the gun as the barrel holds it in place.
The silencer is foam filled and reduces the muzzle sound considerably, but this was never WA's loudest gun and there's still considerable noise from the slide action.
As with my own Cheetah, plinking at 5m, accuracy was good (achieving a grouping of around 2"), so, feeling happy with the gun, I regassed it with 134a gas, which was all I had on a cold (15C) day, and carried out my standard 5m/6 round test.
Firstly I fitted the silencer and fired a group of 6 shots, shown in the triangles below.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
The grouping was highly impressive, although the BBs seemed to fly very slowly with the silencer fitted.
The results, for the record, are all six shots in a 2 inch (5 CM) diameter, with all the shots falling in the central area.
I then removed the silencer and fired again. I don't know why, but the group fell very low, perhaps subconsciously I changed how I used the sights without the silencer.These are shown as dashed squares on the target.
The grouping was, again, very tight (around 2 inch/5 CM) and some practice would surely correct whatever I was doing wrong, to get the grouping on target. Without the silencer the smack of the BBs on the target was louder and it was not possible to see them flying as it had been with the silencer, which gives you some idea of the effect on FPS of the silencer.
Kick isn't dramatic on this gun, but it's not pathetic, either. It's certainly stronger than you would expect from such a light gun, being more impressive, say, than a KSC Glock 17.
The rear sights on the gun are nicely outlined in white, whilst the foresight has a white dot, and they 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.
As I observed before, the M84 is an overlooked gem. The normal WA quality shines through and accuracy is very good. The detailing is, possibly, a little fussy, but generally the fit, finish and appearance of the gun is very pleasing.
If you like a silencer on a gun, the Spy Pack option is pretty good with some clever thought going into the design of the silencer and gun. It feels like an integrated setup, not a standard gun with an afterthought of a silencer. FPS suffers (but I saw this with the TM NBB Mk23 too, so it's probably a common problem) and the gun is not SILENT, but there is a reduction in noise and accuracy (over limited ranges, at least) is not affected at all.
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/660g with silencer.
Realism : ****
Quality : *****
Power : ***
Accuracy : ****
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