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
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
|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.
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
July 26, 2005. N. Wales, UK.