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Home > Articles & Reviews > Western Arms Beretta M9 MilSpec Review
Western Arms Beretta M9 MilSpec Review

I’ve always been a sucker for Beretta M9s and decided to buy the best airsoft replica there is by Western Arms. Western Arms is authorized by Beretta to use the original trademarks on their replicas and it’s not by chance that there are some WA Beretta replicas on display in the Beretta Museum and official Beretta website…

This gorgeous GBB was bought from in Hong Kong for about 185 EUROS (including shipping). Excelent prices and excelent service. It arrived 5 days after making payment but due to customs and import procedures which involed lots of paperwork, the GBB was at my posession 4 months after arrival in Greece… Don’t get me started on this one…

The box is plain cardboard with the WA and Beretta logos printed on top and other info around the sides which are in Japanese and carry a secret message to everyone who knows how to read Japanese. Didn’t bother with it, myself… The secret message, I mean…

As you can see, the box includes the GBB, two allen wrenches, a small bag of BBs (spent most of them but you can still see three remaining…), the loading tube and rod and the loading adapter that sits on top of the magazine for loading the BBs. There are also documents like the manual (again in japanese only, like they don’t know that the whole world wants desperately one of their GBB pistols), a safety mezures brochure and of course paper targets in case your brother wont sit still or the cat moves too fast or the dog eats the flying BBs or you’re out of china plates in the living room…

The gun is cosmetically perfect, more or less, with mould lines no where to be seen. I ordered the grey parckerised version, even though there is an all black model, because I find it more intriguing :P

Come on people! It’s not nuclear physics! Follow my lead…
Press the mag release button, the mag slides out.
Place the loading adapter on top of the magazine, insert the loading tube (brass tube) in the adapter’s circular hole.
Insert 25, I say 25, no more, no less, BBs in the loading tube and push them in the magazine using the loading rod (black plastic). There you go!

Now, let’s try filling the mag with gas, shall we?
I’d stick to HFC134a if I were you because it’s an expensive replica and Top Gas, Green Gas or HFC22 will damage your GBB for sure!
If you still want to use more powerful gas, upgrade the slide to a metal one.

At the bottom of the mag you can see the gas valve. Hold the mag upside down and insert the gas canister into the gas vlave. Try and keep it vertical and alligned with the magazine or you might damage the valve and have leak problems afterwards. Press the canister downwards for 3-4 secs. The mag is full of gas when excess gas starts spurting out of the canister. Extra mags cost around 40 EUROS in case you break it, butterfingers…

There is an output valve safety on the back side of the mag, right under the output valve where the pin strikes the valve. It is a black metalic plate that goes up and down. In order for the magazine to be filled succesfully with gas, this plate should be DOWN! In case you forgot and the plate is up depressing the output valve, the gas will go out from the top of the magazine.

Done with the gas!

Now, insert the mag into the magwell and press it up until you hear a “click”.
“Click” means that the mag is secured in place by the mag release button.
Put the safety lever up so you can rack the slide and shoot. When the gun is “HOT”, i.e. no safety, you can see a red dot below the safety lever.Then you pull back the slide as far as it goes and let it return forward. You’ve just loaded your first BB in the chamber! Yay! The gun is ready to fire so be very careful!

After that, what you see is the hammer cocked and the trigger depressed almost completely. This is the single action trigger position. Whenever the hammer is cocked, the trigger is in single action mode. Either you press the trigger to shoot or decock the hammer by putting the safety lever to the down position, covering the red dot.

Once you shoot, the released gas sends the BB flying, cycles the slide, which in turn reloads the chamber and recocks the hammer, thus “BlowBack”, people. Then you can shoot again untill no BBs are left in the mag. Once the last BB is gone, the slide stays open as shown in the main picture of this review.

To close the open slide, press the slide release lever.

If you choose to decock the pistol, put the safety lever over the red dot. When the pistol is “SAFE”, the trigger mechanism is disconnected from the hammer and the slide is locked in the closed position.

To shoot again, safety OFF, cock the hammer with your thumb and shoot. Alternatively, you can shoot without cocking the hammer, just buy using the double action mode of the trigger which cocks the hammer for you and then releases it.


Note that the safety is ambidextrous and, you can take the mag release button and place it for left hand use, i.e. on the right, same as the real steel.

In order to disassemble the pistol, put the safety OFF (up position, red dot visible), remove the mag, press the slide disassembly button (right side of gun, not visible here), turn the disassembly lever 90 degrees down and the slide moves forward a few milimeters. Slide it off the lower receiver. Take out the barrel unit (outer barrel, inner barrel).

Reassembly is like all previous steps backwards but pay attention when repositioning the disassembly lever. When the slide is in position, push it back a few milimeters and then rotate the disassembly lever 90 degrees to the right. It’s a bit tricky at first but after a while it becomes mechanical.

Maintenance consists of ceaning the dust from all parts of the gun using a simple canister of compressed air like the ones used to clean PC keyboards and a brush to get to those “hard to reach” areas. Lubricate the gun using only silicon oil, in drops or in spray, because any other type of oil damages the gun’s O-rings. Make sure you put silicon oil on the friction areas where the slide meets the lower receiver, into the magazine, onto its output valve and finaly, into the valve on the slide.

It’s located in the BB chamber and you need the appropriate supplied allen wrench to adjust it. It’s quite a pain actually because you dissasemble, adjust, re-assemble, shoot, dissasemble, re-adjust, re-assemble, shoot again and so on…

It gets boring even if you write about it, imagine how boring it is when you have to do it over and over again and again…
But the good thing is that you have the option of Hop Up, which is far better from the GBBs that don’t have any, since proper adjustment of the Hop Up will give your GBB a very good range.

Because of the Magna Blowback system that Western Arms has patented, this replica is by far the best, as far as performance out of the box is concerned. It’s build quality has yet to be surpassed and the M9 MilSpec version reviewed here is even of the same weight as the real steel. The blowback is fast and crisp and that makes the fastest double taps you can shoot. Accuracy is good, even though I didn’t test it thoroughly since I find it difficult to aim properly in the heat of battle. Let’s see you keep a cool head when BBs are flying past your head… They hurt you know!

In the pictures you might have seen some worn out areas due to heavy use, especialy on the metal parts that just have the black paint removed over time. There are several accessories out there like tactical rails for flashlight, laser and scope, silencer adapters, reinforced parts, metal slides and receivers so you can customise your M9.

Overall, every WA Gas BlowBack pistol is an investment and should be handled like one. A gun stand wouldn’t hurt so you can show off your “precious”… Muahahahahaaa…


Built Material - ABS
Magazine Capacity - 25+1 in chamber ( 6mm BB )
Length - 217mm
Weight - 960g
System - Gas Blow Back / Hop-Up / R-Type Magazine


This review was brought to you by Journeyman.
July 26, 2005. Athens, Greece.

Pictures of the Magna System taken from the article here.

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