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Thread: M1911A1 ** by KWC

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  1. #1
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    M1911A1 B S by KWC


    Introduction


    For this round of testing we have something a bit different. The airsoft pistol (“handgun,” really, because there are airsoft revolvers, as well as pistols) market can be roughly broken down into three levels, based on a combination of cost, realism, and operating system. The low end is defined by spring action pistols, and we will cover a pair of those in another review. It’s an arbitrary break point, but based on prices we have seen let’s call the low end of the market those airsoft guns (pistols and revolvers) costing under $50. The mid-range of the airsoft market is occupied by pistols and revolvers selling for $50 to $149. and the high end of the market is occupied by pistols and revolvers costing $150 and up.



    The pistol that is the subject of this review occupies the lower segment of the mid-range. It was supplied by forum sponsor Airsplat. It is difficult to define this range by price alone, because some of the spring action pistols approach the lower end of the mid-range gas pistols in price. This pistol is listed on the Airsplat web site as selling for $59.95.



    An opening surprise with this pistol is that it arrived in a hard, molded plastic pistol case with “eggcrate” foam liner. This is the only pistol we have seen throughout these airsoft tests to arrive in a hard case. Even the Western Arms Infinity “race gun” arrived in the standard cardboard box with Styrofoam tray. The pistol case in which this pistol arrived is good enough that I would not be ashamed to carry a real pistol to the range in it. It utilizes two sliding catches, and the meeting rails are drilled to accept a small padlock to prevent the case from being opened. It’s a nice touch.



    The pistol itself is visibly not equal in quality to the Western Arms pistols tested previously. Nor should we expect it to be. The WA pistols are high-end airsoft pistols that sell for over $200. The list price for this pistol on the Airsplat web site is $59.95. There’s clearly a difference, so what do you get for $60 … and what do you miss out on?



    This pistol is plastic. The frame and the slide are plastic. The description on the web site says that internal parts are metal, but I did not attempt to detail strip the pistol to verify this. The weight of the pistol with empty magazine is 29 ounces (815 grams). This is only a couple of ounces less than most of the WA pistols, so the KWC doesn’t give up much there.



    Visually, detailing appears good. The slide is a matte grey, mated to a satin silver frame that is completed with rubber wrap-around grips that appear very similar to Pachmayr signature grips. The magazine has an extended slam pad on the base. Even though I don’t particularly care for two-tone pistols, it is an attractive package.




    The rear sight is a flat target style sight, but close examination revealed that although it is adjustable for elevation by a standard screw set in the top surface, there is no windage adjustment screw. The sight is set in a dovetail and held in place by a small Phillips-head retaining screw, so windage adjustment will require removing the elevation screw, flipping up the moveable section of the sight, and loosening the retaining screw to drift the sight in the dovetail. Obviously, this process will result in losing the elevation adjustment. This was disappointing but, fortuitously, the lateral zero on the test pistol was vary close to perfect and didn’t require my tender ministrations.



    This pistol came with an extended, ambidextrous thumb safety. The trigger is a long trigger with a curved, serrated face. Thankfully, there is no phony overtravel screw to make the trigger appear to be something it is not. An interesting touch is that the outside vertical surface of the front of the trigger guard is neatly checkered. My two-handed grip would not take advantage of that, but anyone whose support hand wraps around the trigger guard might find this useful.



    There were no instructions packed with the test pistol. Although the pistol appeared to be in perfect condition, the paint on the magazine showed enough wear that I suspect this pistol was a showroom demo model and that the instructions may have become separated from the pistol before it was sent to us for evaluation.



    In the next page, you can read how to disassemble the pistol and our shooting tests results.

    [BREAK]

    Due to the absence of instructions, I approached field stripping the pistol very cautiously. And it was well that I did so, because there are internal differences between this pistol and a real 1911. The slide stop pin and the barrel bushing remove just as on a standard 1911, but the recoil spring does not come out the front of the slide. (*) Instead, the slide, barrel and recoil assembly must be removed from the lower receiver as an assembly. The rails on the frame are vestigial, occupying only the rearmost ½ to ¾ of an inch of the frame. The recoil assembly is attached to the barrel and locks into the forward portion of the frame, although I wasn’t able to discern exactly how all this prevents the forward end of the slide (and the barrel) from experiencing significant vertical movement when shooting.



    Although all the 1911 operating controls appear to be functional, I noticed some nit-picking discrepancies: The thumb safety can be engaged regardless of whether or not the pistol is cocked. This perhaps is not a “bad” thing, but it is not correct for a 1911 and thus reduces this pistol’s appeal for realistic training. Also, although the grip safety is nicely detailed and appears to move normally, the pistol can be fired without depressing the grip safety. This, too, is not correct for a 1911, and in my opinion makes this pistol less attractive for use by younger children despite its affordable price. Finally, although the notch is correctly present in the left side of the slide for disassembly, the slide stop can be removed and replaced without aligning the notch to the slide stop.



    With description and criticisms out of the way, let’s move on to the important information: How does it shoot?


    Shooting

    To load the pistol, the magazine is removed just as on a real 1911: depress the magazine release button, and the magazine drops out into your hand. The nose has a small orifice for 6mm BBs, and a hole in the baseplate provides a nozzle for filling the gas chamber. The loading procedure is to first charge the magazine with gas, then load the BBs. Charging is simple. Insert the tip of the gas canister nozzle into the valve on the magazine base plate (being careful to align the nozzle perpendicular to the valve), and press the nozzle against the valve to release the flow of gas. Hold until you no longer hear the hissing of gas transfer. The slam pad is not so deep that it interfered with charging the gas reservoir in the magazine. The Airsplat web site indicates that this pistol is optimized for .20g pellets, and that is what I used for this test.



    With loading out of the way, we were ready to shoot. As with my other tests, I was able to set a target 25 feet away from the firing station. As a backstop I used a large corrugated cardboard box with the flaps cut off, and several additional layers of corrugated cardboard at the bottom of the box (which was oriented as the back of my target stand) to stop the pellets. And the several layers are necessary. This pistol will punch through two to three layers (and maybe more) of corrugated cardboard.



    My best group with this pistol was fired using a center-of-bullseye hold and using the tops of the sights rather than the white dots. I fired 6-shot groups with the intent of discarding the worst shot from each group. In this test, I can honestly say that the discarded shot was a “called flyer,” as the professional gun writers like to call it. The five shots I counted made for a best group of 2-1/4 inch, and the best four out of those five were grouped in 1-1/4 inch. The discarded sixth shot opened the group up to a hair more than 2-1/2 inches. The five shots that counted were neatly clustered almost on the vertical axis of the target and centered approximately 2 inches below point of aim. The discarded sixth round was well to the left and away from the group.



    The trigger had virtually no takeup and broke cleanly. I did not measure trigger pull weight. The slide locked open correctly after the last shot.



    This pistol is a true blowback pistol; the slide racks after each shot, cocking the pistol for the next shot. The spring-operated pistols selling for just a few dollars less do not do this. Those require that the shooter manually rack the slide to cock the pistol for each shot. Recoil from this pistol is, of course, negligible, but at least the shooter feels, sees and hears the slide cycling as the rounds go downrange.

    Poor Man's Chrono

    Moving to the Coke can chrono, the pistol neatly blasted through both sides of the can when fired at the side. A shot at the center portion of the can bottom yielded a significant dent, but no penetration. This would appear to establish the muzzle velocity at 350 to 370 f.p.s. Interestingly, the Airsplat web site only claims a velocity of 300 f.p.s. for this pistol, so it easily exceeds the advertised performance.


    Rating

    Accuracy: 2
    Upgradeability: 1
    Training Capability: 3
    Realism: 2
    Quality: 3
    Power: 3

    Overall: 14

    EVALUATION



    Although some of the operational discrepancies between this pistol and a genuine 1911 make it less useful than the high-end pistols for teaching the 1911 manual of arms, for actual shooting this pistol feels about the same in the hand as the more expensive guns, and shots just as accurately. For just plain shooting, as well as for “tactical” training (other than the manual of arms) and for airsoft competition, this pistol represents a bargain, sacrificing a bit of authenticity in small details in exchange for a price significantly lower than the high-end pistols.



    As a final bonus, although I had no instructions to show where the adjustment is and there was no tool included with the test pistol, the Airsplat web site indicates that this pistol even includes adjustable hop-up.



    John's Notes


    I haven't found a single Airsoft 1911 yet, in which the recoil spring assembly is removed as in a real 1911. The recoil spring plug is (in all of these I tried) a reverse plug, which has to be removed from the rear. Also, the barrel bushing, where it exists, turns only anti-clockwise, which means it does not allow you to turn it clockwise to remove the recoil spring plug, obviously since this cannot be removed from the front. I have to asssume that the reason for this setup (reverse plug, even if the pistol uses a normal bushing) is done so that the pressure of the recoil spring is not exercised on the bushing alone (which is secured in the plastic slides with a small edge only), but on the whole recoil spring tunnel, which offers more surface to absorb the pressure.


    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside


  2. #2
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    Airsoft Pistols

    Hi I have a lower end Airsoft called the SD-KG-CASPIAN 45 as stated the gun feels pretty close to that of a real 45 weight was close to that of my Kimber Tac 2. It aprears that the gun was make be KWC and licensedby Caspian Arms Ltd. After reading your evals of the Wilsons and the High capa K-1 I desided to try my own test. It was done at 25 feet on a standard NRA target. I used 5 shot groups and thru out the flyer it also shot 1 1/2 to 2 inch. I also tested the High Capa I had in stock and with some adjustment it shot sub 1 inch groups. Both guns where shot useing the Green Gas and 20 gram BB's. For the money in my opion both will work for traing purposes and maybe even some force -on-force training with the right saftey equipment. I didn't do the coke can test as of yet but probably will just to see how it will do. Thanks for all your work on these test it is really great. Thanks Again, Kurt Pietrzak, Maricopa Shooting Service, NRA Pistol and Self-Defense Instructor and DPS aproved CCW instructor.

  3. #3
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    Welcome on board, nice to have another Airsofter among us.

    How is the barrel to slide fit of your Hi-Capa?
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  4. #4
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    The Caspian is very tight I oiled it just like a real 1911 helped a bunch. The Hi-Capa is also fairly snug did the same to it and oiled the slides on both guns very lighty they funtion much smother after the oil job.

  5. #5
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    I hope you didn't use the same lubricant you use on the real guns, did you?

    I asked for the Hi-Capa, because on mine, the barrel to slide fit was very poor, I had to do some ... surgury to tighten it up there.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  6. #6
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    Nope used Sync motor oil

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rezmedic54
    Hi I have a lower end Airsoft called the SD-KG-CASPIAN 45 as stated the gun feels pretty close to that of a real 45 weight was close to that of my Kimber Tac 2. It aprears that the gun was make be KWC and licensedby Caspian Arms Ltd.
    I believe you are correct. Although we have not tested a Caspian airsoft, I have seen it and I believe it is essentially the exact same pistol as the KWC that I tested. In particular, the rear target sight without any lateral adjustment appeared to be exactly the same, and I think I saw "KWC" either on the Caspian pistol itself, or on the box.

    We'll look forward to your participation in the airsoft forums (as well as the "real gun" forums, of course). Thanks for the feedback.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  8. #8
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    Rezmedic54, I would not suggest you use motor oil on the airsofts. Since these are plastic/metal parts put together, your best bet is to use silicone oil.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  9. #9
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    I use the oil on the metal to metal parts and used a silcone based grease on the slide to frame. As for the Caspian your right it's a KWC. How did you tighten up the bushing to barrel fit on the Hi-Capa?? Last night was just messing around and found that the Caspian has a tendency to make the BB climb as the distance increases. to where at around 100 feet the gun appears to shoot all most flat. Have you noticed this with your KWC or the HI- Capa?

  10. #10
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    There is an article in the Airsoft modifications forum on how I tightened up the slide to barrel fir in the hicapa.

    The phenomenon you describe with the KWC is possible, if the gun has a hop-up, a system that spins the BB to the rear, so that it gives it more range. I am not sure if it is adjustable on the KWC as it is in the Western Arms and other pistols, but yes, it is normal. If you check your barrel, a little bit inside the area where the BB loads, you will see a little thing protruding in the barrel. That's a rubber piece, which spins the BB.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

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