Beretta M93R - KSC
Ever since KSC released their cheaper and (they claim) improved Beretta M93R II, I've been keen to get one.
The M93R (as you'll know if you've read about the springer version) is a select fire version of the M9/92, the well known Beretta automatic used by the US Army.
The M93R was designed for anti-terrorist/close-protection use and features a modified 92 frame, with a bigger trigger guard and a fold down steadying handle.
In the Box
The KSC Beretta M93R II comes in a very neat little blue box, with just text on the front to tell you what's inside. Inside the polystyrene packaging is neatly cut away and a fetching grey in colour, but slightly annoying is the fact that the small box doesn't let you store the gun with the 38 round magazine attached (and no chance of storing a second mag in there).
The box also contains a manual and the loading tool (typical tube-hopper and rod affair).
The first thing that strikes you about KSC Berettas is they are nice and heavy. With the magazine in, this gun is up there with the WA Infinities.
Overall finish is excellent too, with only the plastic 'wood' grips looking less than top quality, although these are miles better than, say, Marushin's fake wood. Real steel replacements seem to be unobtainable, although there are some real wood replacements (priced around $60) available from some Hong Kong suppliers.
The real thing is able to fire semi-automatic (like a 92) or 3 round bursts. This airsoft version, like KSC's earlier models, but unlike the Omega version, adds a full auto option to those. You can think of the KSC M93R as a Beretta enthusiast's alternative to the Glock 18C, although it's a bigger and better built gun.
The gun features an extended magazine (which holds 38 rounds in airsoft form) and has a butt extender built in (there's also a 50 round mag, which lacks the extender and fits the 92/M9 replicas too), which is plenty when firing in 3 round burst or semi-auto mode, but quickly exhausts in full-auto mode.
External metal parts include hammer, trigger, selector, safety, forward grip, magazine, magazine release, slide lock, recoil guide rod and disassembly lever.
Locking the slide back shows how well made these KSC Berettas are. The nozzle is metal, even WA can't claim this, and this is indicative of the general level of quality found throughout the M93R II.
The selector and safety are a complicated affair and it appears that the safety ONLY works when the hammer is cocked (a bit like that on a 1911). There's no decocker on a M93R (unlike on the M9/M92F), which I miss and is such a good feature of the KSC Berettas (over then TM ones, for instance).
The folding front grip works quite well and, being all metal, is solid and sturdy and doesn't feel as though it will easily part with the frame.
I've also picked up a folding metal stock for the M93R, making it into an effective small submachine gun and greatly improving the effective accuracy on full-auto and burst mode.
Stripping the M93R is JUST like the M9 or the Elite, with the disassembly lever in front of the slide lock releasing the slide and barrel assembly and making cleaning/lubricating a very simple task.
There are no Beretta trademarks on the gun (WA have the rights), but there are (rather thin and shallow, as is often the case with KSC, as compared with Marushin, for instance) markings on the slide to break up the expanse of ABS. On the left side is : "POLIZIA di STATO Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza" (Filipe Oliveira got in touch to let me know it translates to "Police, Security Operative Central Core"!) and on the right "P.P. - Mod 93 RAFFICA - Cal 9mm Parabellum" (Raffica translates to "Squall", or "Burst", which I guess refers to the 'hail' of bullets the M93R will pump out!). Wikipedia informs me that the real thing is only marked "PIETRO BERETTA GARDONE V.T. Cal 9 Parabellum" on the left side of the slide.
The single shot and 3 burst settings are marked by 1 and 3 dots, but there's an unmarked setting between these two, for the selection of full automatic fire.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
During my standard accuracy test, the shots were slightly left of target, but the accuracy was good, with the grouping being just 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) across for all 6 rounds. 3 of the rounds, 1.75 inches (4.5 cm) apart, were in the centre of the target, with a similar grouping slightly higher and to the left.
I also carried out automatic and burst tests, which you can read here and in which the gun performed very well.
Kick is not extreme in semi-auto mode and easily controlled in full-auto or burst mode, thanks to the forward grip and, even more so, with the stock.
Power-wise, over 10 shots, the 93R averaged 287 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas) indoors (at an icy 9C, but with the magazine warmed to around 18C first).
Rate of Fire in full auto mode is around 690rpm, with the metal slide upgrade, which may slow the ROF compared with the standard plastic slide. I recorded the sound of the gun firing and counted the 'peaks' in the wave file (below); a technique I first encountered on this website.
Click here to hear the KSC M93R in action. This is with the metal slide fitted, you won't get the lovely metallic sound from a stock version.
The trigger pull weight test produced a figure of 1,240g (43.8 ounces), which is a medium-heavy weight trigger pull.
Remove the magazine and press the disassembly button on the right side of the frame in. At the same time rotate the disassembly lever (on the left 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.
There is a wedge shaped metal part at the rear underside of the barrel which ensures correct alignment between barrel, slide and frame. This just slides into place.
Overall, the KSC Beretta M93R II continues the good work started with the Beretta M9 and the Beretta Elite. Most of the workings are lifted from those guns, renowned for their solidity, rather than the earlier M93Rs and it is possible to swap magazines between the models (Interestingly, the Elite mag was a tight fit on the M93R, but both worked in either gun) and there's also a 50 round mag for those wanting really hi-capacity.
I'd recommend the M93R II over the Glock 18C, simply because it feels a more sturdy gun. Add to that, the option of the stock and the 3-round burst mode and the M93R II becomes a great multi-purpose handgun.
Metal Slide & Barrel
I really liked the M93R and when I saw a metal barrel and slide kit for a reasonable price I ordered it from UN Company. The slide is virtually identical to the original plastic slide, but cold to the touch and clearly metal. All the markings are the same (except the O in Operativo is lower case...) and it has a flat grey metal colour. It looks very good. Strangely, the barrel has a gloss appearance (very much like the finish Tanaka call Midnight Blue), which is a attractive, but slightly at odds with the slide.
Fitting the slide was easy. Once stripped down, the innards of the slide are easily removed with a single allen bolt and a couple of small screwdrivers to lever out the spring clips either side of the slide. Refitting (as famously stated in Haynes manuals) is "simply the reverse of this process" and it is trivial.
The barrel was a bit more complex as it involves removing the inner barrel from the plastic outer. I actually used the plastic barrel from my M9 and I needed to tap the pin holding the inner barrel (which goes through the forward barrel support) out with a hammer and small rivet. The similar pin, in the rear support, came out with rivet and hand pressure. Once that was done, the inner barrel dropped smoothly out of the chamber end of the outer barrel and dropped into the metal barrel directly. Fitting the pins was quite easy, with finger pressure sufficing for the front pin and a light tap with a hammer and rivet for the rearward one.
The gun was a little reluctant to cycle for the first dozen rounds or so, but soon bedded in and seems to work well on all modes. The sound is altogether more 'metallic' and convincing, but the cycle time is a little slower than with the plastic slide. Overall, though, I'd recommend this upgrade to anyone with an M93R II.
However, there is something to carefully watch. I decided to just check the accuracy hadn't been affected by fitting the slide/barrel and the results are shown below :
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
As you can see, all the shots pulled right. This wasn't a freak set of shots. I fired off around 100 rounds and they all showed this problem. Clearly, at 5m the gun was still easily capable of hitting a man sized target (the furthest off target shot is only 3.5 inches (9 cm) away from the aim point) and grouping remained impressive (just 2 inches - 5 cm across), but fitting the new barrel/slide had negatively affected the accuracy of the gun.
I mentioned this to Nikoneko (from the Airsoft Retreat Forum), who had fitted this kit and he asked "did you align the little "nipple" that's on the rubber hop-up/chamber thingy to the right looking down range? so that the Hop-up bearing on the rubber is EXACTLY at the 12o'clock position? and also the rubber thingy must be also obviously at 12 o'clock." - This was exactly the problem. Basically the Hop up was offset to the 2 O'Clock position and was causing the gun to Hop-RIGHT! I reassembled the barrel assembly and now the gun is, at least, as accurate as before.
So, the metal slide/barrel is a great upgrade, just make sure you fit the barrel correctly and don't offset the Hop-Up (This will apply to pretty much ANY Hop-Up equipped barrel on any gun).
Weight : 1180g/1300g with metal slide & barrel (Xg magazine)
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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