Most recent acquisitions at the top.

Luger P08 - Academy

I picked this up cheap off the forums. I had looked at one many moons ago, when I was first getting into airsoft and bought quite a lot of springers.

The cheapest way to get an airsoft Luger.

What put me off buying it then, and I still find off putting, is the barrel shape. There is something very wrong about it.

That aside, the Academy Luger P08 is not a bad bit of kit for the price (which is generally cheap).

The general shape is very good, except for the barrel.

Everything except the barrel is well shaped and proportioned and the grip feels every bit as comfortable to hold as that of the Tanaka GBB version.

The photograph below shows the Academy next to my Tanaka Luger and, as you can see, the general grip and receiver shape is very similar, although picking the two up leaves you in no doubt as to the value of the £150+ Tanaka - It's the better value if you ever intend to pick the guns up.

Next to the Tanaka Luger the very cheap Academy doesn't disgrace itself.

There is a full size, decently replicated magazine and, best of all, the gun is cocked with a correctly operating toggle action.

Magazine is properly sized and shaped.

This feels pretty robust, too, which is reassuring. The circular parts on the sides of the toggle are bigger than the Tanakas (and look too big to be the right ones), but to a degree that may be forgivable as you need to get a secure grip on them to pull the toggle up to cock the gun, so this may have been a compromise the designers were forced to make.

Toggle action cocks the spring - The Academy Luger's best feature.

The trigger, safety and take down lever (which lets you remove the outer and inner barrels, suggesting, somewhere, there's the option of longer barrels) are all metal.

The trigger is the distictive crescent moon Luger shape and there is a "GESICHERT" marking under the safety.

Marking, rather wasted, under safety lever.

The take down lever allows you to remove the outer and inner barrel, suggesting that, somewhere, there may be a Navy or Artillery version, or possibly that this is a variant of that rather nasty 'carbine' Luger springer that exists.

Oddly outer and inner barrel are removable using the takedown lever.

The Academy Luger is not a powerful spring pistol, though.

Over 10 shots, with .12g BBs, it produced an average of 125 fps, usable for plinking indoors, but that would be about its limit.

Shot      FPS
1 111.3
2 116.7
3 117.7
4 132.7
5 134.4
6 130.0
7 150.9
8 126.2
9 118.1
10 120.5

It's not accurate, either, mainly hampered by the lack of power, although it can hit an A4 sheet at 12ft or so repeatedly, which isn't always true of cheap spring pistols.

So, certainly not a great amongst the spring pistols, but not a total disaster either. It's of decent quality (for the price) and with a bit of brown paint on the grips and you could have a presentable holster gun for a WW1 or 2 German loadout or just a wallhanger/plinker Luger.

Weight : 250g (45g magazine)

Realism : **
Quality : ***
Power : *
Accuracy : **

Real Steel link at World Guns.

IMI Desert Eagle Supergrade - KWC

See the full review here

Buffalo SS-2 7mm - Masudaya & Browning Hi-Power 7mm - Yonezawa

See the full review here

CZ75 - Tokyo Marui

I acquired a broken CZ75 for parts some while ago, but recently picked up a working one, to give it a proper review.

Stylish and different.

This gun is a high-grade Hop-Up version and should, presumably, offer the normal level of TM performance.

Typical TM HG HU box.

This gun, however, is very complicated internally compared with, say, a Beretta or a H&K SOCOM having around double the number of moving parts and, as evidenced by the fact that my original one only worked maybe 1 cock in 20, seems more likely to be prone to breakdown.

As expected overall look and feel is good for a springer.

The gun also seems to have a delicate hammer spur, which had been broken off the original one I had.

There's a full size magazine, needing loading one BB at a time (RedWolf say it has a stick magazine, which is wrong) and there are lots of nice trademarks on the slim framed gun (similar in feel to the KWC S&W 4505, but not quite so good). The gun also has a reasonable weight for a TM springer, despite it's relatively small dimensions.

Usual nice detailing from TM - Note detailed extractor in chamber.

The CZ is as good as most of TM's recent springer output visually, with typically well rendered CZ markings on the grips, frame and slide. There are, however, noticable seams on both the TM CZ75s I have.

On the left side of the slide is the CZ logo followed by "MODEL 75 CAL 9 PARA", below this on the frame is "MADE IN JAPAN" in a smaller font.
On the right side of the gun the slide, frame and chamber are all marked 19951. The grips both bear a CZ logo near the top.

The sights are fairly simple with no adjustment or dots, whilst the barrel, chamber and trigger are all the often seen (on springers) silver-grey, which makes a nice contrast to the dark grey of the rest of the gun. The hammer falls with the trigger, even without the spring being cocked and the safety operates, although the slide lock is simply moulded into the frame.

Sadly, stripping of the CZ75 involve complete disassembly of the gun, which, given the complexity of the internals, should ONLY be attempted if the gun has totally ceased to function.

Cocking the CZ75 is difficult, as the slide is very low above the frame for most of its length and much of the detailing is sharp and digs into the hand. It also feels quite fragile when you cock it, although the newly acquired one has worked flawlessly in testing (and was used when I bought it).

Once you do cock it however, it produces impressive power, with .2g BBs leaving the barrel at around 200fps, right up there with the much vaunted S&W PC356, which is a more modern design.

Shot      FPS
1 199.8
2 201.0
3 203.0
4 198.8
5 196.3
6 207.5
7 197.7
8 208.8
9 220.6
10 199.8

Accuracy is pretty good - The hop, even with .25g BBs seems quite fierce, with all shots going high of the aimpoint, but this would be a positive for range.

Carrying out my standard, 6 shot off hand test, I placed all 6 shots easily on target, with the best 5 in a group 2.5 inches (6.5 CM) across - The best 4 shots, however, were in a sub 2 inch group with the other 2 around an inch part close to the target centre - I am sure with more practice (these were my ONLY shots with this gun at a target, so far) I could easily match the groupings of around 4 CM that I achieved with other TM springers.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Visually, this is a nice springer, even by TM's high standard, but the overly complex innards and inability to field strip it, mean that you have to wonder how reliable it will be long term.

If you're looking for something different in a springer, or an affordable CZ75 particularly, the TM CZ75 is probably a good choice (I believe UHC make a copy too, which will be cheaper if you can find it), but I would not recommend it over the similarly priced PC356 or H&K Mk23 generally.

Weight : 410g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns.

Beretta M9N Dolphin - Kang Nam


Looking around this website, you might well ask yourself that question. Amongst the works of Tanaka, Western Arms and Maruzen or even springers from Tokyo Marui and KWC, a 'market stall', Chinese spring pistol might seem a little out of place.

Dolphin's distinctive closed slide is the unique feature of this springer.

However, there is method in this seeming madness... The Beretta M9N Dolphin is an interesting gun with a history shrouded in rumour and mystery .

According to BerettaWeb, the"DOLPHIN semiauto combat handgun is not an "original" Beretta product, but a custom modification by a small USA manufacturer...seen at a SHOT SHOW, some years ago.
The M9 DOLPHIN is a "closed bolt" pistol (when the gun fires and the slide goes back, only the EJECTION PORT opens, not the whole barrel, as in other BERETTAs). I remember to have spotted somewhere on the web, VERY, VERY LONG TIME AGO, a picture of this gun with a 25 rounds magazine in (as the BERETTA M93-R's one)."

Further conjecture suggests it was a special, produced for the US Navy, maybe even SEAL teams, and that it may be a select fire gun.

However, it is also possible that all this originates from the imagination of a Japanese Model Gun designer, as there is a select fire Marushin Model Gun, which looks like this and I have been unable to find any photographs of any Dolphin which is not an airsoft replica.

Most likely, though, is that this a replica of the special model, briefly produced, for the US Navy after a few 92SBs broke their slides after less than 1,000 rounds.

I found the following on a Beretta forum.

It was after that that they let a R&D contract to explore replacing the slides on all pistols to a solid toped slide. The contract was let to Phrobus who subcontracted Rock McMillan to design and manufacture the test units.
After testing several over 70,000 rounds they were about to make a change to them when Beretta cleaned up their act and quit making the parts in Brazil which was against contract rules.

and this, on another.

A company called Phrobis International developed an enclosed slide with some reinforcements around the locking area. This was done for an order of the US Navy. These slides were tested on a device simulating recoil stronger than the ones due to NATO ammo.
During this simulation, these slides proved more than satisfactory. They resisted more than 77000 manipulations and set a new record.
Unfortunately the US Army killed the project.

The mystery, however, is now solved!

Overall Beretta shape is respectable.

In airsoft form, there was a Marushin NBB version and Hap Dong make a better quality springer version (on which, I suspect, this one is based). There is also a conversion kit to turn a TM GBB M9 into a select fire Dolphin, but I just wanted a Dolphin to add to my Beretta collection and this one was very cheap!

Unsurprisingly, then, it is not of high quality. The box lid features a gold gun with brown grips, but fortunately, the gun is all black.

Ghastly, and small, box. BBs probably the worst I have EVER seen.

The slide is two part, with screws holding the sides together and there's a notable seam gap along the top, but then this gun retails for under £10!

Most controls are simply moulded in.

On the plus side, the overall shape is generally good, with the closed slide being replicated well. The slide lock, hammer and safety/decocker/selector(?) are all simply moulded in detail, with no moving parts. The takedown lever does not move, either, but pushing the pin engages a trigger safety, which prevents normal pressure firing, although it would be easy to break the trigger with force with this style of safety.

In the ejection port, there is a horrible chrome sticker, which looks horrible. There's a suspicously 1911 looking bushing (moulded in) at the front of the slide. With no photos of the real thing I cannot say this is unrealistic, but it is distinctly un-Berettta-line.

Dolphin markings OK - I have painted them white.

The gun has a few markings. There are Beretta logos on the grips (which look as though they are apeing the Vertec grip finish) and the left side of the slide is marked with the Dolphin logo and the text "U.S.N. 9mm M9". On the other side, the slide is marked "KANG NAM MODEL"/"MADE IN CHINA", with "AK577" on the frame. This side is best ignored...

Range is not great and, unsurprisingly, there is no hop-up. Accuracy, however, was very good. All BBs were grouped tightly, although slightly above and to the right of the aim point (the 5 in the centre) and the best 5 grouping was just 3 CM (1.25 Inches) across, by far the best springer accuracy I have recorded.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

With .12g BBs, (this really is not designed for .2g BBs) the gun produced the following results on my chrono :

Shot      FPS
1 169.8
2 165.0
3 193.5
4 185.8
5 200.2
6 237.2

This is an average of 192 fps, roughly equivalent to 150 fps with .2g BBs. Not TM territory, but not as disgraceful as you might fear for the price.

There are other ways of getting a Beretta Dolphin, but until I feel rich enough to buy a TM or KJW M9 plus the conversion kit, I will make do with this cheap and not awful (for the price) springer.

Springers all - Dolphin (bottom), UHC M9 and HY M93R.

Weight : 280g

Realism : ***
Quality : **
Power : **
Accuracy : ****

Update : The FACTS behind the Dolphin, finally explained!

AMT Automag 3 - Tokyo Marui

Neil Cooper kindly contributed this review of his TM AMT Automag.

This review is of the High grade Hop up version from Marui.

The real steel Automag 3 is a large single action semi automatic weapon in stainless steel. The original automag was designed by Harry Sanford. The gun is made by AMT (Arcadia Machine and Tool) and branded IAI ( Irwindale Arms Inc) The automag 3 fires the .30 carbine load, a cartridge originally designed to be used in light rifles and the M-1 carbine. The Automag III was the first automatic pistol to fully utilise this ammunition.

Long barreled and highly distinctive gun.

The model is shipped with 200 0.25 gram Marui BBs, and a magazine. Magazine capacity is 23 shots.

The length of the pistol is 266mm, width is 33mm, and weight around 380 grams.

This is a large gun, similar in looks to the AMT hardballer, with a satin silver finish.

Sights are easy to use, black and fixed. When the slide is pulled back, the shell ejection port opens to reveal the loading port of the barrel which is a nice feature and makes the model more realistic.

Open ejection port.

A safety catch is located on the inside top of the trigger.

Hop up is fixed for 0.25 gram ammo and BBs fly very straight , making the accuracy fair. When I used 0.2g BBs, they tended to arc upwards at close to medium range.

This was bought for £35 in 2004, from zero one airsoft.

Features of real gun well reproduced.

Weight : 380g approx

Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Glock 17L - Tokyo Marui

Neil Cooper kindly contributed this review of his TM Glock 17L.

My first Tokyo Marui gun, and as I had heard so much about TM and their guns being the best, I has high expectations! This was purchased for £27 in 2003, and my review is for the non Hop-Up model.

As for the real steel, the Glock 17L is the long barrelled version of the popular Glock 17, 9mm handgun, which is made in Austria and used by many service and police departments around the world. A large percentage of the real gun is made from plastic and as such is only 670 grams. See here for the Glock website.

Long barreled version of distinctive Glock styling

The gun takes around 15 BBs, the clip insertion action is fine. Dimensions are length 226mm, width 32mm and height 132mm. Weight comes in at 380 grams. Power is around 0.4 to 0.5 joules, cocking the spring is reasonably easy.

Full size magazine feature of Glock 17L

Glock handguns employ a patented ‘safe system’ whereby the trigger can only be depressed if the finger is around it. The TM glock faithfully reproduces this safety mechanism and adds a second, in the form of the take down levers, as can be seen in the picture (note also the markings), which can be latched into the locked position, to comply with Japanese regulations.

Two safeties - Ones on frame are takedown levers on real steel.

Accuracy is reasonable, the lack of hop-up proving a problem at longer distances. Once used to the gun and how it fires, I can manage to get 10 BBs within 2 inches at 7 metres.

Weight : 350g(approx.)

Realism :****
Quality : ***
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

Colt Delta Elite - KWC

Neil Cooper kindly contributed this review of his KWC Colt Delta.

The real steel takes the colt government automatic and after modification to the frame, barrel and internals, the calibre is changed from .45 ACP to the powerful 10mm auto cartridge. Traditional blued steel and stainless steel versions are available.


KWCs offering (similar to the 1911 custom below) is a well built pistol, the finish being semi-gloss black. It would appear all the proper markings are in place, including the delta elite red triangle, which unfortunately does look a bit plasticy.

Distinctive 1911 design, but real steel features 10mm ammo.

The length of the pistol is 216mm, width is 36mm, and weight around 360 grams.

The pistol is comfortable to use, well weighted and target acquisition is made easier by the inclusion of a painted white foresight. Power is quoted as around 0.4 to 0.5 joules, but I have not chrono’d it. MS - Personally I suspect it would prove to be a little lower than that.

The standard slide safety catch that the 1911 range have is well reproduced and works fine.

 Hop up is fixed and 0.2 gram BBs fly verystraight , making the accuracy very reasonable. Price was £35 in 2003 MS - Hunt carefully on eBay and you can probably knock a fiver off that.

Nice KWC feature is field stripping, just like the real thing.

A nice feature of this pistol is the field stripping capability, achieved by removing a pin just above the trigger, this allows the slide to be pulled forward and off, and allows cleaning and re-lubing of the internals.

The build quality is good, the pistol being made of a tough yet pliable plastic/ABS type material. The pistol has been in use now for about 6 months, and I cannot report any problems with either breakages or jamming.

Weight : 365g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns.

Heckler & Koch Mk23 SOCOM - Tokyo Marui

See the full review here

Beretta M93R Assassin - Huaying/Snowman Armouries

I sold one of my two springer M93Rs to a guy in the US (the better one) and the other gathered dust, until I got a bee in my bonnet about modding a gun.
What better starting point than the cheapy Beretta? First off I took it apart and stretched the spring. This made a little difference to the power, but not a lot.

From Ugly Duckling to Swan with a bite!

After that I swapped the spring from my TM Cougar into the M93R and the power was amazing - It (perhaps unsurprisingly) was as powerful as any of my other springers. The spring had to go back in the Cougar, but the seed was sown.
The plan in my head was for a long barrelled gun with a silencer hiding the inner barrel and Hop-Up. I managed to source a broken CZ75 for the spring and Hop-Up and Mike Poole (originally seller of the M93R and StellaArtois on eBay sold me a heavyweight SOCOM silencer.

Silencer hides 10.5 inch inner barrel - good for accuracy over 80ft

The spring was an easy swap, but finding decent sized tubing for the extended barrel was a nightmare - In the end, I used alloy tubing from B&Q (8mm OD) and sanded and polished it like mad, until it was JUST wide enough to take a 6mm BB without blocking. Getting the inner barrel replaced was fairly straightforward, with just a little modding of the inside of the outer barrel, but I couldn't get the Hop-Up to fit the unit, so it's a non-Hop gun still...

Nice trades look even better highlighted in white.

Finally, I read a quick review on how to paint markings on a gun and decided to try it on the Beretta. This involved painting, fairly generously, over the markings with acrylic paint and then wiping off the excess with a damp cloth. As you can see above, it works pretty well and highlights the nice markings on the HY Beretta very well.
Power is good - The gun will fire a .2g BB the full length of my garden (around 80ft) and it is pretty accurate, although I've not yet carried out the full accuracy test and the silencer slightly obscures the front sight, anyway.
Weight is also up, thanks to the silencer and the addition of some extra weights from my CZ75 in the grip.
Personally, I think it's great, but I've invested a fair bit of time and a tiny bit of money in it, so the fact it works as well as it does is probably clouding my judgement!

Weight : 660g

Realism : ***
Quality : **
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

Heckler & Koch P8/USP - HFC

After my Sig P228, I vowed I'd never buy another HFC pistol. Sure, they're nice and heavy, but the finish was horrible.

Gun was supplied with silencer

Time and again, though, I read on the forums that the USP/P8 from HFC was 'the nicest around' and in the end, my curiosity and a great price on eBay got the better of me and I ordered one.
The P8 I bought came from the US, but fortunately only the threaded adaptor for the (included) silencer was orange, so there was no need to break out the nail varnish remover or paint the whole slide. As I'm in the UK, I'm painting the adaptor black which will help the look a lot (Somehow it seems crazy that, in a country where real guns are so easily available, airsoft guns have to be so garishly marked - I guess the argument is to protect the carrier, but I doubt a policeman will hold fire too long when faced with a handgun, orange barrelled or not...)

Suppresor adaptor orange as US sourced.

First impressions were favourable. The gun is heavy and has a white painted dot on the foresight, making target acquisition easy (Why don't TM do this? Their sights are terrible!), both traits shared with the SIG, though. The slide is a grey colour, whilst the frame is black, but the photos exaggerate the difference. The metal parts on this gun (the slide lock, mainly) are nicely finished (unlike those on my SIG) and, like most KWC guns, the slide locks back when the magazine is emptied (In fact, better than KWC guns, which tend to leave a round chambered after locking). So let's see how it shoots...
The mag is easy to fill with 15 rounds, although a little strange, as you put BBs in near the bottom...and the slide is easy to rack (No sharp edges, like the TM CZ75). One thing, though, it's easy to knock on the slide lock with your left thumb if, like me, you're left handed. Still, it's a nice, brisk action.

Working slide lock and full size magazine. - A bit of black paint improves the realism dramatically!

Firing was OK - The sights are quite accurate and power is UHC/KWC good, without quite reaching the best levels from TM. I don't think the gun has Hop-Up, but it seemed to handle .2g BBs without problem.
Closer examination, however, showed that the finish still lags behind the KWC/UHC brands, let alone the best TM can offer, with odd 'pools' of paint or molten plastic in places. Overall, though, the gun is miles ahead of the nasty silver finish on the SIG. The lack of H&K logos is cleverly made up for with 'HF' logos (on slide and grips) in the H&K style, which, whilst not a purist delight, do help to make the gun look finished, another big fault of the SIG.

Open ejection port, but detailing poor by KWC/UHC/TM standards.

Overall, I don't think this is 'the nicest USP available', but it's not terrible. There are some very good prices on eBay and elsewhere for this gun and it's weight is comparable with many GBBs, which makes it a nice gun to handle. Worth getting for plinking or a skirmish backup, if you can find it below $30.

Smaller than the SOCOM, but with similar look and feel

If you like the SOCOM look, but the Mk23 is too big or dear for your tastes/wallet, consider the HFC - Never thought I'd say that!

Weight : 640g (without silencer)

Realism : ***
Quality : **
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns.

Smith & Wesson PC356 - Tokyo Marui

I really liked the feel of my KWC Smith & Wesson, but the slide mechanism was a bit sticky and I kept hearing how good the latest TM springers were, including the Performance Center version of the M4505, the PC356. When I ordered my Tanaka revolver, I got a good price on the TM springer, so I added one to the order.

Full size mag and part silvered frame.

When it arrived, I realised it's quite different in some respects to the M4505. Firstly, the grip is of the 'Vertec' style, being straight down the back, rather than curved out to fill the hand - I prefer the curved feel. Secondly the grip is quite a bit wider, but I suspect the M4505 from KWC may be narrower than the real thing. The trigger is also set noticeably further forward and in a smaller trigger guard. There's a strange mag release on the PC356 (designed for a unique .356" round) and the safety catch is only on one side, rather than ambidextrous like the M4505 (neither replica has moving safety catch).

PC356 vs M4505

Aside from these differences, the guns reflect the difference in their prices as airsoft weapons. The KWC gun has a spindly magazine, whereas the TM's is a replica of the real thing (and can hold 30BBs!). The KWC gun's trigger is single action, whilst the TM's will cock and trip the hammer (although you still need to rack the slide for actual firing).

The TM gun has a very good part silver frame. This is the best silver I've ever seen on a springer and comparable to the matt stainless finish on my Raging Bull.

Good quality detailing - as expected from TM, but cheaper KWC is also good.

The TM gun's recoil guide is metal, the KWC's plastic, but both can be stripped down as the real steel. The PC356 also has a stainless barrel and the chamber is stamped .356". The gun also feels heavier than the KWC gun in the hand, which is not always apparent even with notable weight difference.

Excellent trademarks.

Field stripping is a feature of TM's latest range (a common feature of many KWC's for some while) and the PC356 requires no tools to strip right down.

Field stripped.

So far I've not really extensively tested the gun. It seems reasonably powerful, but I've not got a MK23 SOCOM to test it against to see if it lives up to claims it's as powerful, and accuracy is very good.

I can't really say which S&W automatic I prefer - The TM is undoubtedly better made, but the KWC shape fits better in my hand and the slimness of that gun never ceases to impress. Once I do some serious shooting, though, I expect the TM to emerge as the favourite.

With .2g BBs, the gun produced the following results on my chrono :

Shot      FPS
1 198.2
2 240.6
3 196.8
4 267.3
5 172.8
6 194.1
7 202.4
8 187.2
9 201.7

This gave an average of 206 fps or .39J. The readings were surprisingly erratic, which might be due to hop up set for .25g BBs or the relatively little use the gun has had.

Trigger pull weight is 920g (32 Oz), about the average for GBBs.

Weight : 450g

Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns.

Colt 1911 A1 Custom - KWC

Like the Desert Eagle, there's a feeling that you really should have a Colt 45 Model 1911 in your collection.

I'd had one, in the form of the Centimeter Master, but that was a tricked out race gun and lacked the grip safety of the REAL 1911.

As I was so pleased with my KWC Smith & Wesson, I decided to look at what KWC could offer in terms of affordable 1911s and, sure enough, there on eBay was a Colt 1911 A1 Custom.

KWC trademark - Locking slide

Unlike the Centimeter Master, this KWC gun only has minor mods, such as an extended thumb safety and a faux-rubber grip, from the standard "Colt 45" and I consider these mods positive, unlike some those on the Centimeter Master.

In terms of finish, power and accuracy, this gun is VERY like the S&W. It has nicely detailed markings (although NO official Colt ones, in contrast to the S&W), a nice shiney panel in the, closed, ejection port and clearly marked sights, with white markings to improve acquisition.

Good markings, but no official Colt ones.

The overall finish is very good. Again, close to the standard setting Tokyo Marui. The gun is around 100g heavier than the, smaller, Smith & Wesson, too, meaning that it doesn't feel too toy like in the hand.

This replica reproduces the grip safety accurately, by which the trigger cannot be pulled unless your hand is gripping the grip and depressing the safety. I felt this was an important feature of a 1911 replica as this is one of the really distinctive feature of the gun. It also fields strips just like a real 1911 (I followed this site's instructions to work out how to do it).

Real steel safeties well replicated.

Power wise, the gun seems to lack the punch of the S&W, lagging, also, a bit behind the Tokyo Marui Cougar and UHC M9, but still in the upper range of spring pistol power. Once again, there is no hop-up and initial tests suggest it's not as accurate as the S&W, although it has to be said the grip safety takes a little getting used to and this may be causing me to pull and/or push shots. The magazine is, slightly, bigger than the S&W one, and seems better made, although it's not as realistic as UHC, TM or even HFC full size ones. The slide locks back, as on the KWC P99, but not the S&W, once the last round is chambered. This is cool, but a little annoying, as there's still on BB in there (ready to fire) and (so far) the only way I can find to release the slide, is to release the mag...

Smart example of the 1911, with comfortable grips.

Like the other recent KWC's, this bears comparison with the TM range, but comes in at prices on a par with the UHC range, which it betters in terms of finish, but perhaps not robustness. Overall, though, an excellent replica of the "Colt 45" for the money and all I need to satisfy my urge for a 1911!

Weight : 420g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns.

Smith & Wesson M4505 - KWC

Lovely detailing for a cheap gun - Lots of trades

Every now and then I'll spot a springer on eBay and buy it on a whim. Having sold a number of items, I had a bit of cash in Paypal and this was a well priced KWC gun and I knew next to nothing about the S&W automatics.

I'd seen the box top on the auction, so wasn't surprised to find the gun is a lightweight at only 360g. What did surprise me, though, was how slim the gun is. I've tried to find out if this is a fair reflection of the real steel as it's certainly a wonderfully comfortable fit in the hand.

Closer look.

The quality of finish is, if anything, better than I've come to expect from KWC (and I like their springers), with neat moulding (only a few minor seam marks - up there with Tokyo Marui) and a very neat brushed chrome insert (which someone tells me is actually a sticker) in the (non-opening) ejection port. There are also excellent trademarks on the gun and on the faux rubber grips (which are much more comfortable than those on my S&W M19 revolver, although not actually soft), making it a very attractive replica in anyone's books.

Some of the trades.

Equally amazing is the gun's power. The magazine is a little flimsy and has an annoying habit of leaving BBs in the gun if removed part way through, whilst the slide isn't the smoothest in operation (I shall lube it to see if matters improve), but it shoots like a good 'un. Mine shows no claims to hop-up (they do make a Hop Up version), but it appears accurate at close ranges (up to 15 ft) and is quite capable of penetrating thick cardboard (which some of my gas guns struggle with) from such ranges.

Slim frame is a pleasure to hold.

Overall, this was a great buy for $20. I'd really like to see a heavyweight version and would love to know if the neat dimensions of this springer are a true reflection of the real steel, which would be a lovely gun to handle, if so. Being a lightweight, you'd have to be concerned a little about skirmishing with it, but at such a price, you could afford to break it!

Weight : 380g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns - The 5906 is closest to my 4505.

Beretta M8000 Cougar - Tokyo Marui

Sharp moulding, as expected from TM

I'm a bit of a Beretta fan, so getting a Cougar was always likely.

Like lots of my airsoft purchases, this was on a whim (having made some money on eBay) and it makes an interesting contrast to the more common M9/92F.

Overall the gun is smaller, but the handgrip, trigger guard and lower frame are nearly identical (the frame is slightly shorter).

M9 Vs M8000

Whilst most M92s are 9mm, the M8000 is available in .45, making it (I believe) a popular gun in the US - This is the gun Tom Clancy chose to arm his Rainbow Six characters with.

The TM M8000 is a nicely detailed gun, especially around the slide/chamber, with lots of smart looking trademarks (although no official Beretta ones), but somehow it feels insubstantial in the hand, although it can't be a lot lighter than the UHC M9 I have, weighing them by hand, side by side.

Good detailing.

I've not really tried firing it yet, but it seems about as powerful as the M9 (remember UHC's guns are close copies of the TM range and the M8000 isn't far removed from the M9 in Beretta's range). It lacks, however, Hop-Up, so it should be a little more accurate, but have less range.

Weight : 330g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

Walther P99 - KWC

Excellently reproduced replica of the distinctive P99

I was very impressed by my KWC Glock and, when I sold that, I decided that a KWC Walther P99 (James Bond's latest carry in the movies) would make a good addition to my collection. I wasn't disappointed.

Like the Glock, the P99 has a polymer grip and frame, which is nicely replicated by KWC. The slide and grip, like the PPK (perhaps that's a KWC too, since 3PSA is a relabeling brand for other makes), have excellent Walther markings and trademarks and the slide locks back when the last BB is used in the magazine, as on the Glock - this actually means there's still one in the chamber, so you can release the slide lock and fire or fill the magazine and have 12+1 rounds (compared with UHC & TM, KWC replicas have small magazines). Compared to the Glock, the finish is less shiny, which, especially on the slide, looks more realistic.

I've read reports of people having a springer KWC P99 with a working chambered round indicator (a little pin which shows red and points out of the back of the slide when a round is chambered), but mine doesn't have this feature. If you can find one, I imagine it simply adds to the realism, which is generally good, for a springer.

In action, the P99 is much like the Glock and the UHC Beretta. It's fairly accurate and powerful and the slide racks nicely, although overall it's a bit lighter than the Beretta.

I'm a Beretta fan, but this KWC Walther P99 makes a nice alternative to the UHC M9 and it's hard to differentiate between the two. Either would make a good first airsoft pistol or last-ditch skirmishing backup.

Slide locks back on last shot.

Weight : 320g

Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Colt Centimeter Master - Tokyo Marui

Colt Centimeter Mauri

A 1911 based special model, the Centimeter master fires the modern 10mm round and is a IPSCC target shooting gun.

I bought this as everyone raves about the quality of TM springers and it certainly exhibited this.

The silver finish was the disappointing greyish colour that many springers exhibit, but the quality of moulding was extremely good and the extended safety and Pachmayer grips are nicely replicated.

This was a very powerful and accurate springer and a pleasure to shoot, but somehow I never warmed to it and sold it fairly soon after buying it.

Weight : 300g (claimed)

Realism : ***
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Sig Sauer P228 - HFC

Ugly silver paintwork

Used by British Special Forces (SAS, etc) and as seen in the TV series 24.

HFC pistols are not pretty, let's get that out of the way first . The silver finish on this P228 was like that thin silver paint people spray on windows at Christmas. The metal parts, by contrast, were too bright a silver and the black plastic grips were too shiny.

Also, there are virtually no markings on the pistol at all, except for a very faint P228 on the slide.

Nice heft, but poor detailing.

On the positive side, this gun is very heavy for a springer, being close in weight to a good GBB pistol. It also has good sights, the foresight has a painted red dot and it is very easy to acquire a target with these sights - probably the best I've seen on a springer. It's fair in terms of power and accuracy, but not up to the best standards.

Overall, not a collectors piece, but maybe ok for skirmishing, the downside being that HFC heavyweights are often expensive in the UK, compared with UHC.

Weight : 600g (claimed)

Realism : **
Quality : **
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

Walther PPK - 3PSA

Walther PPK

This 3PSA branded replica of James Bond's weapon of choice is interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it's licensed by Walther and, as such, shows all the proper trademarks of a real steel Walther PPK. From that point of view, it's an excellent replica, especially by Springer standards.

Secondly, the magazine has a very large capacity...in a way. You load BBs into a space in the magazine through a sliding cover in the base. Then you depress the magazine spring and invert the magazine, which causes BBs (about 12) to pour in front of the spring, which you then release and the 12 are loaded as you rack the slide. Once they are exhausted, you simply depress the spring and transfer another 12 from the reservoir. It's a novelty, but of little real value (the gun's way too weak to skirmish with) and causes the thing to rattle.

Overall, this is a very nice collector's springer, with excellent markings, but it's not a powerful gun, so more suited for display.

Weight : 175g (claimed)

Realism : ****
Quality : **
Power : **
Accuracy : **

Real Steel link at World Guns

Glock 17 - KWC

Glock 17 KWC

For a long time I disregarded Glocks because of their simple appearance. For me, a handgun needs some kind of visual interest to appeal to me (especially in airsoft form) and the Glocks look too plain, but I got this gun (cheap) on eBay on a whim.

It proved to be an excellent buy and introduced me to both the wonders of Glocks and the KWC brand.

Note lack of rail, as seen on KSC GBB Glocks.

As the real steel Glocks have polymer frames, the plastic frame on an airsoft Glock doesn't have to pretend to be metal and feels good in the hand. In fact, I liked the feel so much I decided that I really had to have GBB Glock.

The KWC springer (I think this model is out of production) is an excellent springer (probably my favourite). It had all the correct trademarks (Glock have cracked down on this in recent years), well rendered (nice and deep) and the KWC feature of a slide which locks back when the magazine is emptied, which of my other makes of springer, only HFC replicate.

Weight : 350g (approx)

Realism : ****
Quality : **
Power : **
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

Beretta 93R - Huaying

HY Beretta M93

I saw this on eBay and, being a big fan of my UHC M9, decided to get another Beretta. The seller did state that the gun "isn't the most powerful gun" and he wasn't kidding!

BB's really don't fly with any force out of this gun, which is a shame, because in some ways it's pretty good. It's big and has good markings (although not the Beretta logo) and replicates the steadying handling (made of metal and correctly folding), compensator, extended magazine and lanyard ring (on the bottom of the butt) well. However, once you pick it up, you realise where this replica fits in the pecking order of the airsoft hierarchy and it's not near the top...

Nice 'trademarks'.

The whole thing is cheaply made and finished. The magazine works like that on the Walther PPK in that you pour lots of BBs into a reservoir and then transfer them a few at a time. The first one I got was really weak in power terms and had a nasty habit of misfeeding bbs (sometimes none, sometimes two or three!). The dealer was really good and simply sent me ANOTHER one (not a replacement, but a second one!), which gives you some idea how cheap these must be!

If you really like Berettas and want a replica of a M93R, this is the only one, this side of $150, but you won't enjoy shooting it, so only get it to look at (and then, from a distance!).

Weight : 390g

Realism : ***
Quality : **
Power : *
Accuracy : **

Real Steel link at World Guns

IMI Desert Eagle - UHC

Desert Eagle UHC

The mighty .44 magnum automatic is a legend in handguns and nearly everyone feels the need to have a Desert Eagle in their airsoft collection. I did and this was my second gun, after the UHC Beretta M9.

However I was always in two minds about this gun. On the positive side, it was very powerful (possibly the best Springer I've owned) and equally accurate. With the laser you can see on the trigger guard correctly zeroed in, this gun would hit exactly where the red dot was placed, time and time again.

On the negative side, this big gun was very light (probably less than the Beretta) and toy like with all the catches and switches moulded rather than moving separate parts. The finish was also poor (this was my first encounter with the springer grey/silver) with visible mould marks and joints along the grip and barrel. The hammer, as with many springers, was fixed.

For me, the handgrip was too big to be truly comfortable (but that's a factor of the Desert Eagle, not UHC's replica), but the gun was commendably easy to cock, bearing in mind the power it produced.

In my opinion, this is really not a collectors piece, due to the poor finish and not a good skirmish gun as it's just too big, but no doubt this is one of UHC's biggest seller, simply because of the Desert Eagle's image.

Weight : 438g (claimed)

Realism : **
Quality : **
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Beretta M9 - UHC

Excellent moulding - Near TM quality.

This UHC Beretta M9 (basically the US Military version of the 92) was the first airsoft gun I bought and I expect I'll keep it and not just for sentimental reasons.

The UHC Heavyweight Beretta M9 is often touted as the best value spring airsoft pistol available and I find it hard to disagree. It's, like all of UHC's range, a copy of the Marui range (people say you can swap magazines between the two makes) and this is reflected in the quality moulding, ability to field strip it (usually reserved for the GBB models), quality feel and power and accuracy.

From a few feet away, it's hard to notice any significant differences between the UHC Beretta and much dearer models and it certainly stands comparison with Tokyo Marui, HFC, KWC or any of the other springers.

The finish is very good, a nice black, but not shiny and the grips (although greatly different from the real steel ones) bear a very passable Beretta lookalike logo, which some GBB makes would do well to think about.

Good to handle and shoot.

This is a good, powerful springer, with good accuracy (and hop-up for range), which feels good in the hand and has a movable hammer (unlike many springers).

Overall, I can't recommend this airsoft pistol enough. If you only have one springer, choose this one.

I bought a Chrono and tested the UHC M9.

With provided .2g BBs, the gun produced the following (rather disappointing) results :

Shot      FPS
1 176.8
2 177.1
3 175.9
4 172.6
5 177.8
6 171.7
7 174.3
8 172.3
9 179.7

This gave an average of just 175 fps (or .28J), but the results were much more consistent than the TM PC356 I tested at the same time.

Trigger pull weight is a just 640g (22.5 Ounces), amongst the very lightest of any type of gun measured, but feeling a little 'hair trigger' to use.

Weight : 400g

Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ***
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

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