Beretta M92FS Heavyweight - Western Arms
Western Arms have, for a number of years now, made the most accurately replicated airsoft Berettas.
They went to the extent of getting Beretta to license their replicas and are generally seen as the most 'beautiful' replicas of Berettas available. On the downside, the standard M9/92FS magazine has a reputation for not always being able to empty all the BBs with one fill of gas and accuracy and power have not always been the very best available, partly as the WA Beretta is now quite an old design.
Recently, many WA guns have been re-released with the SCW system, but the recently announced Heavyweight M9s (and this 92FS HW) still featured the much admired Magna R system, so it would be interesting to see what this new release WA Beretta had to offer.
In the Box
The box is typical WA, in the normal uncoloured cardboard, with WA and Beretta logos.
Inside is the Beretta M92FS HW, a bag of BBs, an Allen Key to adjust the hop-up and a set of manuals. Standard fare for a WA Beretta.
When I first saw the M92FS Olive Drab, I thought "Oh no, WA are making a green Beretta like the Wilson Combat and Para Ordnance", thinking it was just a 'me too' gun, but a quick scan through the excellent "World of Beretta" book showed that Beretta do, indeed, make an olive drab Beretta M92FS and this replica looks very much like it.
The heavyweight material is good and makes the M92FS feel noticeably heavier than any WA Beretta I've handled before. The grips are unusual, too, looking like standard Beretta grips, but having a rough, non-slip texture.
As you would expect, all the controls (hammer, safeties, mag release, trigger, slide lock) are metal and the gun, on the whole, looks and feels solid and well made.
The only place where you could level criticism at this gun's finish is in this paint finish on the black metal parts.
Even in fairly long shots, it is apparent that the paint is either unevenly applied or that the metal underneath is roughly finished (I suspect it is the paint). This is odd, but I have seen it before on a few WA guns. The M92FS HW is new, but the silver SVI's I received in the same batch were exemplary in their finish, so you have to assume that something is slipping, just a little, in WA's paint QA department.
Still, it would be grossly unfair to say this is a bad airsoft pistol in any way. I, in fact, would say it is probably the best standard style WA Beretta I have seen and quite likely the best from any maker. The olive drab paint on the frame looks a good match to the colour of the real thing (as shown in my book) and the slide material is consistent and flawless in its finish.
I have to say I am not convinced, yet, of the 'non-slip' grips. At first, I thought they were faulty in some way, but WA's site refers to this finish. They almost certainly ARE more secure to grip, but they are not pleasant, feeling much like a fairly coarse sandpaper!
The markings on the gun consist of the following :
On the right front of the frame is the usual, verbose WA/Beretta licence wording, which (as noted elsewhere) is less intrusive on the larger framed guns, than on the M84 Cheetah. There are a couple of small proofing marks ahead of the trigger on the right, too, with "MOD 92FS - Cal 9 Parabellum - PATENTED" on the slide. Below that, in slightly smaller font is "MADE IN JAPAN BY WESTERN ARMS ASGK"
On the left of the slide is the legend "PIETRO BERETTA GARDONE V.T. ITALY" (followed by the PB in an oval logo), with the serial number "D071516Z" on the frame, this latter number being exactly the same as on my M92FS Competition!
The actual frame colouring is less green than it appears in some of these photographs and much less so than the Wilson Combat CQB, being a slightly sandy colour. It looks very good, to my eyes.
Otherwise, this is much like any other WA Beretta 92FS, which is to say, a highly accurate, beautifully made replica of the real thing.
This M92FS feels much snappier than the standard WA 92s I have fired before and it performed well, too.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I achieved a best 5 grouping of 3.3CM (1.3 inches), which is pretty good by any standards and not far behind the excellent performance seen with WA Beretta Elites.
In power terms, too, the M92FS HW impressed. Over 10 shots, the HW M92FS averaged 281 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas) indoors (at 12C), which is ahead of a KSC Glock 18C and right up there with the latest SCW SVI Expert 5", tested at the same sort of temperatures. Whether this is a particular good example or WA have actually done something new with the gas system (it does NOT use the SCW system as far as I can tell, and I am sure WA would have made sure we knew if it did!) I cannot say, but this is the best performing 'normal' Beretta 92 I have seen (only bettered by the very long barrelled Competition).
The trigger pulls at 21oz (600 Grams), which is a light-medium pull for a GBB.
Someone asked about the performance of the standard magazine in this gun. There is an issue, under some conditions, where the magazine is unable to fire all the BBs on a single gas charge. At 12C, with Abbey Ultra gas, I filled the magazine with both gas and BBs and then fired all the BBs as quickly as I was able to. All were fired, with no noticeable decline in fps, but there was insufficient gas to fire any additional BBs when I tried loading some more.
Take down will be familiar to anyone used to the Berettas and is simple to master for even the most cack-handed.
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. Note that the recoil rod slots into a metal shroud inside the slide, which isn't present on the KSC guns.
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.
When reassembling, give the barrel a little push backwards, into the frame, when turning the disassembly lever - This has caught me out a number of times on WA Berettas, as you don't need to do it on KSCs.
Overall, this is a very impressive airsoft Beretta M92FS. It delivers the usual WA quality (paint on the metal excepted) along with better than usual performance for a standard style WA 92FS.
I am not entirely convinced about the non-slip grips, but the Olive Drab finish is both attractive and practical looking. It would look right at home in a thigh holster.
I have not been able to recommend all WA Beretta 92s without reservation in the past, but this is one I feel happy to.
Definitely a step forward for WA's Beretta range, even if the lack of the SCW system seems like a missed opportunity - Still, that is something to look forward to!
Weight : 1050g
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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