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Home > Articles & Reviews > KWA Glock 19 Metal Slide Review
KWA Glock 19 Metal Slide Review

Please note - above picture shows gun with slide sanded. This is NOT it's stock appearance.

Ever since I picked up my first gas blowback pistol, I've been in love with them. There's just something about the recoil, the intensity of having a small gun that actually feels like you're firing the thing, rather than making noises akin to a seriously p*ssed-off sewing machine.

My first GBB was a Marui Glock 26 (which I have recently traded for a WA Vreaker 12 Gilded), and it may have been small, but it sure packed a mean punch and a good little kick. Then came the inevitable delve into the world of Western Arms guns. I got a 6" single-stack Infinity, but it left me cold. There was nothing new about it...I needed more...

Many GBBs came and went, including WA Para Ordnance, but there was still something missing, until I decided to pay a visit to the rather wonderful Airsoft Armoury shop in Cannock (one of my regular haunts...), where I stumbled upon my next purchase - the KWA Glock 19, with metal slide, for the princely sum of £64.99. I couldn't help but relieve AA of one of the guns...

I lifted the lid, and was greeted with a handsome black gun. The metal slide was perhaps a little too shiny for my liking, and the white lettering looked a little tacky to me, but at least it had full trademarks - more than can be said for the standard KWA or KSC versions!

Unfortunately these trademarks do not carry over to the frame, as the mould used for the frame is the same trade-less one as used for any other KSC or KWA G19. Nevertheless, it looks nice, and in my opinion looks nicer than the KSC frame, which is made of a 'heavyweight' material (the KWA is made of the non-heavyweight plastic, but it's still very solid indeed) that appears dark green under certain lighting conditions. The frame is nicely textured, and feels good in the hand. There is a seam line quite clearly visible running down the centre of the frame, but I understand that this is true to real-steel Glocks too. There's a little silver plate with a serial number on it (the same for all KWA G19s, apparently). To top it off, a small 20mm rail is present forward of the trigger, to allow the mounting of tac-lights and lasers (and mini-launchers, if you're daft enough...).

The front of the frame features a rail, allowing the attachment of tac-lights, lasers, or even a mini-launcher... Here you can see the little serial number plate, and also the seam line running the length of the frame.

The real gun has no proper safety, and this carries over to the airsoft version. The real safety here is the little sub-trigger, mounted into the middle of the proper trigger. This means that unless you grip it properly and get a proper finger hold on the trigger, it's impossible to pull it, and this (theoretically) impossible to fire a shot. There is a secondary safety of sorts on the airsoft replica that isn't present on the real steel, and that is once again related to the little sub-trigger. It's hard to work, and very flimsy, but I suspect it's there to comply with the Japanese airsoft laws that KSC will face (and of course, KWA follow exactly the same design). Basically, you have to get your nail into the trigger guard, and you can snap the sub-trigger out forwards, so that the normal 'top' part of it rests against the back of the trigger guard, thus preventing the trigger from being pulled. It's hard to describe, and I couldn't get it to come out well in a picture, but just take my word for it - it's rubbish, and you shouldn't bother with it.

The sights are fairly nice, with the notch in the rear sight outlined with a white U shape, and the front sight having a nice, clearly defined white dot. The frame is just the right size for my hands, as the controls (mag release, slide release, trigger) fall naturally into reach. The grip itself is very ergonomic and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time, with a nice texture including checkering on the front finger grooves and back of the grip.

The magazine falls very smoothly from the magwell when the mag release button is pressed, and reloads in the field are easy. Another nice thing about the mag is that no fill valve is present - a small tab at the bottom of the BB follower must be pulled up towards the top of the mag, and the mag's base plate can be slid forward to reveal the fill valve. This is nice as you can crawl and roll around all you like without fear of getting dirt in the fill valve - especially nice in a woodland environment, such as my local site.

Above you can see how the mag's baseplate slides away to reveal the fill valve

Takedown of the gun is easy as pie. You simply remove the mag, rack the slide fully once, and then pull down simultaneously on the two takedown tabs located just in front of and above the trigger on either side of the frame. The slide should...well...slide forwards, straight off the frame. From here, the recoil spring assembly can be pushed forward, and then lifted out of the slide, and the outer barrel is equally easy to remove. That should get you far enough for basic maintenance, and with practice the gun can easily be stripped like that in well under 30 seconds. Now compare that to the takedown procedure of the 1911 series...

The G19 in its component parts - took less then 30secs to strip it down to this point

Overall, I don't think first impressions could have been any better. I was in love straight away, apart from perhaps the slightly tacky-looking slide markings.

I'm not going to bore you with accuracy diagrams and FPS results. Rather, I'll simply describe what it's been like as a skirmish sidearm, both in CQB and woodland, in the last couple of months.

Let me simply put it this way: it's stunning. I run my G19 on HFC green gas, with 0.2g Excel BBs, which I expect brings it to about 300fps (can't remember what it chronoed last time out, but it was definitely under the 328fps limit). I can hit targets out to a decent range, and it provides everything you need in a skirmish sidearm - it's tough, reasonably accurate, powerful, and most importantly it's fun to shoot.

With a spare magazine (sadly lost a month or so ago), it was extremely impressive as my primary weapon for 2 days of CQB (the Arnie-Geddon 2004 event, without a doubt the best national event I've been to thus far) down at Spectre Wargames in Hereford, despite some cold temperatures, rapid firing, and rough handling.

As a woodland backup weapon, it's got me out of some sticky situations, and has gotten me some supremely satisfying stealth kills. Hiding in a bush, motionless, for 30mins suddenly becomes a whole lot more satisfying when you finish it off with a single shot to the guy who walked straight past you, less than 10ft from your position (true story)...

Let me top off the skirmish report (north-westerly gales, and some light rain, etc) with this single comment: it sounds mean. Run this thing on a decent power gas and see people run, as the 'clink-clink' as the slide racks with every shot is unmistakable and very satisfying to hear.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I recently aquired a Surefire Z2 CombatLight from 'lionel' over on the Arnie's Airsoft forums. Rather lovely it is too, and it's designed to be used with a special grip technique called the Rogers-Surefire technique, which allows you to easily switch the torch on and off by changing your grip pressure, while holding a pistol. It also makes the beam of the light sit almost perfectly in the firing line of the pistol, illuminating anything you point the gun at. I haven't used it in a skirmish yet (CQB obviously), but having tried it out and got it down to a fine art, I can say that this pistol is the most suited out of my collection for use with this grip, meaning that in dark CQB games, this is the gun to use.

This is the favourite gun in my arsenal. It cost me £65. Need I say more? Oh, ok then... Just get one, ok? You really owe it to yourself, and the pleasure of a metal-slide gun is hard to match, especially at this price!

I've had no problems at all with it so far, and it's the cheapest of all my guns, including second-hand buys from forums. Good value? Yeah, just a bit...

Basically, this 4m teh b3st3st v4lu3 GBB!!!11oneone

The gun's current appearance, with sanded slide, Hurricane recoil spring/guide set, and Hogue HandAll rubber grip

If you knew me, you'd know that I can't just leave a gun in stock form. Usually I'll save up for some expensive mod parts, and then use the cash to buy another damn gun, but hey - I'll then go off and paint it or something! This gun is no exception...

As I originally stated, I wasn't keen on the black shiny slide and silver markings, and I've always loved Will Smith's dual silver-slide Glock 17s in 'Bad Boys 2'. You can see what's coming next, can't you...

Using a range of different grades of wet-and-dry, and a wet sanding sponge or two, I proceeded to wet-sand the slide until the black paint was removed, leaving me with a VERY shiny gun. I left the black in the cocking grooves at the rear of the slide, though, as I thought these livened up the slide a little and broke up the otherwise-monotonous shiny silver. I then made sure the slide rails were clean and free of residue from the sanding process, allowed it all to dry for a few hours, and then gave it a protecting coat of Abbey 35 Gun Oil (100% silicon oil). This gave it a lovely sheen, too, and made it really smooth to the touch. Perfect!

The slide's now picked up a whole bunch of little dents and marks, but they look good in my opinion, making it look worn and authentic.

While I was downat Spectre Wargames, at Arnie-Geddon 2004, I picked up a Hogue HandAll rubber grip for the gun. Although the G19 already has finger grooves, I thought that this would make it look nicer, and so after much stretching, rubbing spit on the inside of the grip, and gratuitous swearing, on it went. This added a pleasingly custom look to the gun, for all of £10. Not bad.

The one other thing I could criticise about the gun is that it uses the standard G19 recoil rod and spring, but has a metal slide, so recoil is a little sluggish. When I ordered a G&P Aimpoint (lovely bit of kit, by the way) from Wolf Armouries, I decided to pick up a G19/G23F enhanced recoil spring/rod set too (turned out to be made by Hurricane). It was only £7.99, took less than 30 seconds to install (make sure to transfer the little rubber buffer from the end of the rod if you replace this part), and now the recoil is super-snappy, and as a bonus the recoil rod is a nice silver colour rather then the boring black of the stock one.

I think this gun now offers everything I strictly need from a skirmish sidearm, but it seems to have become my trusty project gun, so no doubt more stuff will be added eventually (in which case this review will be updated). A set of enhanced sights (preferably Tritium sights, but they cost way too much...) and a rail-mounted tac-light are on the list already...

This review was brought to you by HaVoC.
July 26, 2005. N. Wales, UK.

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