Sunday, December 12, 2004

KSC Glock 17

Since its release, the KSC Glock 17 has been a benchmark of cost-efficiency and performance. Like it real weapon it modeled, it was reliable, accurate, inexpensive, and very popular. It is therefore no great surprise that the Glock 19, the logical progression of the G17, also made its way into airsoft form. The KSC G19 retains all the positive aspects of the older model and adds an attractive heavyweight frame and a more proportional profile. Building onto this strong base is the overwhelming current availability of metal slide and barrel sets as part of both factory import-friendly KWA guns and airsoft shop “custom” packages. Certainly by now, the majority of KSC or KWA G19s in the United States are equipped with metal slides. These aspects add up to what is arguably the best airsoft gas blowback gun for the money on the market today. This review is partially an analysis of a single “custom” Glock 19 (or rather, two essentially identical Glock 19s) assembled in Hong Kong. However, since the differences between that model and other similar models available are arguably negligible, the review also covers both the KWA G19 and original KSC factory model.

Specific Unit Specifications and History

The model under scrutiny here is a “custom” gun produced by UN Company of Hong Kong, consisting of the KSC Glock 19, a TW metal slide and barrel set, and the HurricanE Glock 19 upgrade spring kit (hammer spring, floating valve, high-flow valve, and recoil spring and guide rod). “Custom” has been mentioned in quotations previously for the reason that none of the upgrade parts have been original products of UN Company and that the product shipped without the upgrade hammer spring or floating valve installed. Therefore, while it is sold as “custom,” it also serves as a fairly accurate representation for the entire G19 line. After this, it will be referred to as the “UNC custom” model, by reason of specific model name rather than strict description.
My first UNC custom G19 was purchased in October of 2002 (assuming the timestamps on my photos are correct). The HurricanE floating valve was replaced by a Firefly Rocket Valve a few weeks later. The original magazine was lost in the field by a friend and replaced by a new magazine with a KM high flow valve. The second was purchased by my friend sometime in early spring of 2003, subsequently to be completely destroyed by said friend, and then somehow wound up in my possession. It was the exact twin to first G19, with the exception that the silver HuricanE recoil spring guide rod assembly had been switched to the black Guarder one at UNC for unknown reasons. The upgraded hammer spring has since been installed on both Glock 19s, though the second retains the stock floating valve. Both have also had polishing work done to their barrel/chamber and slide surfaces, which will be discussed later. The package deal from UNCompany is still available at the time of publication - $175 with overseas shipping included, a very good deal considering the parts. Both guns have never had orange paint on their barrels, since both were shipped with a red plastic G17 barrel installed, with the metal barrel packaged separately in the box.

My two UNC Custom Glocks 19

Though there are several points of contention regarding the nature of KWA guns as differentiated from KSC ones, I have seen little evidence that the two are very dissimilar. I will write only of the undeniable external differences and leave the rest up to the reader to decide for him or herself.

Design and Appearance
First, I will say that the G19 box is pretty gaudy. It’s got these bright lights and “G19” written in some cheesy Photoshop purple chrome gradient. Certainly not up to the level of simplicity and elegance as, say, a Western Arms box. Proceeding beyond the lid, the box is made of styrofoam and contains a loading tool, hop-up adjustment tool, the typical manual/safety card/target combo common to most airsoft pistols, and the case of the UNC custom, the aforementioned metal barrel and a foam insert holding the stock valve, upgraded hammer spring, and upgraded floating valve. And of course, the Glock 19 itself.

KSC G19 Box Left side

Right Slide locked back

The design of the G19 is essentially the same as previous KSC Glock models, just shorter. 17mm shorter, to be exact. The most obvious feature of the UNC custom models and the KWA import models is certainly the metal slide and barrel assembly. These are made of fairly decent quality aluminum and painted in semi-matte black. The metal used is noticeably better than the “pot metal” typically used in airsoft internal components, but there are still minor cosmetic flaws. The right side of the slide on the first G19 I purchased has a small and shallow scar running along the right side. It is visible in pictures above. This scar is not present on the second Glock I purchased and the rest of the slide and barrel on both guns are generally homogenous in texture. It is not really a great problem. Both guns have full trademarks on the slides as is typical of non-export distribution slides – the Glock insignia, the model number 19, “Austria,” and the chamber caliber 9x19 on the right side. The left side is imprinted with the serial number “COP471” below the chamber cut which is duplicated on the side of the chamber itself. The top of the chamber is marked with “9x19.” The slide trademarks seem to be generally well cut. The Glock logo is quite crisp and deep - very satisfactory to the eye. On the other hand, the “A” in Austria is cut deeper than the rest, enough to slightly distort the letter very slightly. This is evident on both of my guns, which supports the conclusion that it is a collective production error. Regardless, it really is very much nitpicking – it isn’t even visible from more than a foot away. The fit of the slide to the frame is fairly loose for both guns, but it is not a great annoyance. It is firm enough not to be generally noticeable and cannot be felt while the slide is in motion. The chamber recesses as the slide moves backwards and locks back into position when it returns. This action is very smooth without any lockup (such as on the KJW USP, for instance). The opening at the front of the slide is not cut exceptionally well and leaves a bit of a gap around the barrel. But this fact is only evident upon close inspection and does not really affect the overall aesthetics of the gun. I’m merely being picky. I believe that these properties hold true for the KWA G19 as well, though their import-friendly nature of course precludes the inclusion of Glock trademarks. The black paint covering the slide and barrel is quite smooth and attractive, but scratches off fairly quickly. After moderate use, the sides of the barrel and the top of the chamber will quickly show signs of wear. Under the paint, the aluminum is capable of being polished to a fairly high gloss (for aluminum) with minimum effort. After a few months, I polished the chamber of the first UNC custom G19 to a silver sheen, as seen in pictures below. The same process was applied to the second G19, but to the entire slide as well. Manually cycling the slide creates a very satisfactory metallic noise, a much more pleasing sound than the plastic thud of the original KSC ABS slide, which also lacks all trademarks save a stylized “G” where the Glock logo is on the metal slide. Compared with G19 and G17 OEM plastic slides, the metal slide of the custom and KWA guns are an exceptional improvement for aesthetics, especially with a little polishing work on the chamber or slide.

Slide Trademarks, Left Slide Trademarks, Right

The frame itself is also a great improvement over past models. The original KSC G17 frame was fairly shiny black textured ABS plastic. The “heavyweight” material that the G19 frame is made of is far more convincing. It is a dull dark gray, reported produced with plastic mixed with metallic powder. It is more receptive to temperature changes than conventional plastics, which gives it a very nice tactile coolness. It is also very matte in color and texture and is very pleasing to the touch. The frame design is very comfortable – the finger grooves are very naturally placed and do not bite into the hand and the thumb rests comfortably on the intended groove. Grooves on the backstrap and texturing on the sides allow a firm grip on the gun. The controls are easily within reach by a primary hand and ejecting the magazine and pushing down the slide stop lever is far more natural than on some other guns. Mold lines are present down the middle of the frame, but again, it is not quite as bad as on other guns. The thickness of the material to an extent helps disguise the lines and maintains the image of sturdiness – that is, even with the lines, there is not the typical associated notion of a mere flimsy toy. And indeed, the material seems to be quite hard and resilient, and the aforementioned thickness brings with it a solidity that is lacking in almost any other stock gas or spring gun. The rails are of the same frame material and I feel the utmost confidence when forcefully attaching a tight-fitting Insight M3 light, even given its metal attachment components. The frame of this gun inspires an assurance in its toughness that my KSC M9 or Western Arms 1911 does not quite achieve. The frames of all factory KSC/KWA Glock 19s share the complete lack of real trademarks, unlike the older KSC Glock models. The Glock logo is missing from both the magazine baseplate and the lower side of the grips. Instead, on the rear top right side of the frame, “MIL SPEC STANDARD” is inscribed, along with an NSN number, continuing the same theme as the factory KSC slide trademarks. At the bottom of the grip on the same side is some sort of US lot or item number, a meaningless placeholder. As mentioned before, the front of the slide contains a rail allowing the attachment of optical sighting or illumination accessories. On the underside of that is a stainless metal serial number plate with the same serial number as on the slide and chamber. Although the color of the frame is slightly lighter than the color of the real Glocks, it is not such a significant departure. The overwhelming positive aspects of the new frame material over that of the older KCS G17 and to a somewhat lesser extent over the Marui Glock entries makes such minor foibles like this or the mold lines essentially inconsequential. That is, I cannot over-emphasize how nice the frame is.

Left side frame Right side grip, markings

The magazine is of nice weight, completely black in color and metal. The baseplate is matte black plastic and is latched in place by a plug pushed down by the main spring. To fill the magazine, the latch needs to be lifted by the fingernail from the front of the magazine so the baseplate can then be slid forward to reveal the fill valve. The fill valve works like any other average Japanese airsoft gun fill valve – no better and no worse. The back of the magazine has two columns of indentions and markings that on the real magazine would be holes to indicate the number of rounds remaining in the magazine – from 4 to 15. The maximum capacity of the airsoft magazine is 20 BBs. The magazine itself has a fair heft, which gives a good impression of a real loaded 9mm mag and allows more confident reloads than with cheaper and lighter mags. The magazine follower locks at the bottom and allows the pouring of BBs into the mag, so instead of a loading tool, a plastic funnel is provided.

G19 Magazine w/ Huricane High Flow Valve

The sights are exact dimension duplicates of real factory Glock front and rear sights. This means that replacement of both front and rear sights with OEM Glock or aftermarket night and adjustable target sights should be painless. There was not a problem at all at the very least with the factory Glock sights. My friend, in his period of ownership of the second Glock 19, apparently inadvertently melted the original rear sight, which is why I had to replace it. The front sight is held in place by the same method, with split arms pushed against the top of the slide by a plastic wedge. The actual design of the rear sight is a bit different. On the KSC OEM part, the rear sight seems to be one piece of plastic with the sight markings painted on in white. On the real steel sight, there is a metal sheet of unknown purpose embedded inside and the sight markings at least seem to be a thin sheet of a slightly off-white plastic. The front sight seems to be set in place very firmly. I believe that a typical amount of normal wear from drawing from a well-fitting holder would not dislodge it. The rear sight is attached by friction very firmly from the factory, but if it is pushed out of place it can quickly become loose. Because of this, it is generally standard operating procedure to glue the sight down in place with a small drop superglue or Loctite. There have been many stories of lost Glock rear sights, especially since the KSC/KWA design sight is not screwed in place like on the KJW/Marui Glock designs.

OEM KSC Glock sights

The KSC G19 is equipped with adjustable hop-up of similar design to their Beretta series. In my experience, this is a very well designed system, allowing for a very consistent spin. Given the performance disparities of various types of BB weights, adjustable hop-up is quite a nice feature to have. Unlike most Western Arms designs, the KSC hop-up here is adjustable by simply pulling back the slide and inserting the provided key to the adjustment groves inside the chamber. The original G17 had two grooves on which a metal key with two teeth provided leverage for adjustment through rotation. The new G19 design provides rather a set of indentions all around and a similarly designed key. This minor modification allows a bit easier and faster access to the hop-up. Though it has been suggested that adjustable hop-up in this manner is undependable and liable to shift in the long run, I have not seen it happen on either Glock or on my KSC Beretta M9, which has probably gone through more than 7000 cycles.
The internal design of the Glock is an elegantly simple one. Unfortunately, this also means that the parts are there and do their job, but are really quite annoying to take apart and mess with. The vast majority of internal parts are metal and seem to be well designed. The springs are well positioned and designed; all of them are quite strong and resilient with the exception perhaps of the one that keeps the slide stop lever down. But that’s hardly a high stress area. The otherwise excellent Beretta M9 design comparatively has a myriad of strangely shaped weak springs that range in ease of replacement. It does not appear that the problems especially plaguing the trigger spring are prevalent in the Glock. The internal hammer assembly cycles very crisply, as on the Marui/KJW design. The recoil spring and guide rod assembly is especially well designed. It is one self-contained all-metal assembly, which means that unlike the majority of other guns I’ve taken apart, the recoil spring is contained within the guide rod and does not fly out at the slightest diversion of attention. This is very useful in the quick disassembly and reassembly of the gun. The blowback chamber is held in place by a screw, which must be tightened from time to time or else the gun will cease to cycle properly. The blowback chamber contains a cylinder and two redundant springs that help cycle it. This is especially helpful as spring can easily be caught on the blowback chamber and bent when re-assembling the gun if not careful since the gun will cycle on only one spring. The cylinder is lightweight black plastic and contains the floating valve to direct gas towards either propelling the BB out of the barrel or towards cycling the slide. The stock floating valve is plastic, with the upgrade HuricanE and Firefly valves being metal. These plastic parts have no important bearing on the durability of the gun. It is hard to imagine the floating valve breaking, for instance. There is an internal metal skeleton along much of the frame which holds the internal assemblies together and no doubt helps provide strength and heft for the frame.
The KSC G19 retains the unique Glock trigger safety duplicated on the KSC G17, which prevents the trigger from being pulled without the central safety lever being also depressed. Due to the patented nature of this mechanism, the import-friendly KWA version lacks this Glock safety trigger – there is simply no central bar. The only other two parts of note are the magazine release switch and the slide stop lever. The mag release is of a plastic material like the frame and is more than adequate for the task. I can hardly imagine it wearing out. However, it simply does not provide the satisfying metallic click of a metal switch, which I had installed on my old Marui G26. Aftermarket parts are widely available, but removing the OEM switch is quite a bit of a pain. The slide stop lever is very well designed. The low profile design is attractive and will not allow it to be snagged on anything and the positioning makes its manipulation quite easy. The paint on it wears off very easily – looking through some pictures of the gun taken only a day out of the box, wear is already evident on the lever. Additionally, the ledge inside of the switch, which connects with the magazine follower that pushes the lever into position to lock the slide back, occasionally gets bent, requiring minor adjustment with a pair of pliers to straighten out. Without this small adjustment, catching the slide upon an empty mag becomes increasingly inconsistent.

The ubiquitous Glock "safe action" trigger

Overall, the gun is very comfortable to shoot. It points fairly naturally, allowing fast reaction shots. The lack of a “real” safety is a bit disconcerting, but not pressingly so. The grip is thin enough without grip panels to easily allow a wide range of hand sizes to comfortably grasp it. Tactical gloves are no problem and will not typically make the controls any less accessible. Magazine reloads are generally very fast given the fat size of the mags and also the smooth design of the inside of the magazine well. It is much easier to push in a new magazine in the middle of a firefight than, say, with a Marui Mk.23 NBB, which has a few problems with it. As mentioned before, the magazine release switch is very well positioned, but it is a bit of a problem that it protrudes from an otherwise flat frame. Thus, it is quite easy on most holsters to depress the switch and unknowingly lose the mag, especially when crawling. Given the expense of a Glock mag with high flow valve, I began to tape my magazine in with a strip of duct tape, which works fairly well. The sights are well designed and functional, but I do still prefer the tri-dot snowman sights of the Beretta over these.

Size comparison - KSC's Glock 19 and Beretta M9

The listed weight for the stock gun is 750 grams. With the metal slide and barrel, overall weight with magazine is raised to around 850 grams. This is about the exact weight of a real G19 with a fully loaded standard magazine according to the Glock website. Given the relatively small size of the gun, it is very satisfactory and feels much denser and more solid than any of the current generation Marui gas guns.


As mentioned before, my Glocks are upgraded with a variety of internal parts. With only the high flow valve (and the upgraded recoil spring guide rod, which should not affect muzzle velocity), the gun shoots about 300-304 ft/s on green gas if memory serves, which is about the same or marginally higher than a completely stock gun, if my friend’s Glock 17 is a good point of comparison. With the addition of the upgraded hammer spring and a consistent floating valve like the Firefly Rocket Valve, typical muzzle velocity is boosted to around 310, about the same or marginally lower than the stock KSC M9. With .2g BBs and hop-up adjusted to a fairly liberal level to encourage a slight spin upwards, this translates to a maximum effective range of around 120 feet. In its stock form, performance would likely only be slightly than with the high flow valve, in the neighborhood of 300, perhaps slightly less. This figure would be consistent with out-of-the-box KWA guns as well. The muzzle velocity difference with the upgrade parts is not very important unless one really wants to have the most out of the gun without resorting to higher pressure gasses or custom hackjobs.
Accuracy is notoriously difficult to judge, given inconsistent variables modifying BB trajectory, especially with the additional considerations of the various parts I’ve installed. I will merely say that the Glock 19 is sufficiently accurate if tuned correctly for the range within which it can launch a BB. In my experience, I’ve found that both HuricanE floating valves which came with my Glocks produced extremely inconsistent muzzle velocities and thus by association extremely inconsistent accuracy. The Firefly rocket valve remedies this, but the original part does just about as good a job. The KM high flow valve produces somewhat less power than the HuricanE valve, but not by too much. It will also occasionally have a single shot significantly more powerful or less power than the average, which hurts accuracy.
The relatively small velocity advantage of having a high flow valve is made more palatable by the significant increase in recoil and cycling speed. That is, it makes the gun a hell of a lot more fun to shoot, the HuricanE valve especially. Cycle speed is not a problem regardless, even with the metal slide. I can’t exactly say the exact force exerted in Newtons over the exact time, but it is considerably crisper than the KJW USP with metal slide. Cycle speed is faster than on the somewhat sluggish KSC M9, but the perceived recoil is slightly less. However, it is still considerable, especially given the smaller size of the gun.
The G19 magazine holds 20 BBs, but the G19 itself can take any Glock magazine made, from the 49 round extended Glock 18 magazine to the 23 round G17 mag, both of which will protrude from the mag well. Presumably, the G19 should also fit the smaller 15 round KSC G26 mags, provided that the magazine baseplate is removed. Given the variety of models of KSC Glock pistols on the market, it is quite nice to be able to exchange magazines between them. For a standard stock G19, the magazine should be able to fit enough gas for at least 40 shots if spaced out. However, both the high flow valve and the hammer spring severely reduce this figure. With the two parts installed, barely one magazine-full of BBs is able to be shot off before no gas remains. The price of power and recoil is quite high, and I would likely have chosen to remove the upgraded hammer spring if the damn thing wasn’t so annoying to install in the first place.


The gun is extremely easy to field strip. Simply pull down on the takedown latch on the frame to the front of the trigger and pull off the slide while the magazine is removed. The gun field strips to five parts – the slide assembly, frame, outer barrel inner barrel, and recoil spring guide rod. In the slide, the blowback chamber is held in place by a single spring. When that is removed, the chamber slides out and allows the removal of the cylinder. The cylinder has a pin through it which keeps the floating valve in place. Removing this pin and swapping out the valve is a fairly simple procedure. On the other hand, the hammer assembly is a much more annoying nut to crack. Unconventional Airsoft has a guide to changing the hammer spring of a KSC Glock 18C, which is similar enough to be used as a tutorial on the G19. It involves the removal of several hard-to-remove pins that scratch very easily and a veritable bevy of springs which, once released, want to go back in as much as a prison riot at Attica. Needless to say, unpleasant work. Continue at your discretion. Aside from the expected lubrication required for any airsoft gas pistol, the only KSC Glock specific issue in sporadic maintenance is the checking and tightening of the screw which holds the blowback chamber in place. This screw will become loose quite easily, Left unchecked, it will prevent the gun from cycling fully.

Field-stripped G19

After-Market Parts

Aside from the TW metal slide present on my Glocks, GRS produces several metal slide and barrel sets with Caspian trademarks. These are available in black, side-polished, and full polished stainless sets and contain the wreathed “C” Caspian logo at the rear. Shooter’s Design also makes a variety of G19 metal slides and barrels, from “Signature” series slides with race gun style lines and different types of ported G19C slides/barrels to their own line of Caspian sets and compensated Hybrid designs, which looks especially interesting. Both Guarder/Intruder Shop and G&G make metal slide catches to replace the OEM plastic part. SD and G&G both make 14mm threaded barrels (Click for ASR Shooter's Design threaded barrel review) for the attachment of mock sound suppressors, though the G&G reported has some problems cycling with even a moderately weighing silencer. Quite a few manufacturers produce scope mounts for the Glock series which attach to the front rail and allow a huge assortment of extraneous accessories to be attached. The popularity of the KSC Glock 19 has prompted KM to produce a TN-coated tightbore barrel for it, though it may be of fairly limited utility in a combat sidearm, a role which perhaps places absolute dependability rather than a slight increase in muzzle velocity and accuracy. Freedom Art makes high visibility fiber-optic replacement sights compatible with the entire KSC Glock series, which may be a somewhat cheaper option than tritium night sights.
The front rail can accommodate a wide array of optical sighting units. Insight Technologies makes the M3 Tactical Illuminator (click here for my ASR review), designed specifically for the Glock. It works very well and G&G, Guarder, and G&P have all made copies of the general design to varying successes, but all for a similar price as the original. Given that case, the original Insight/Streamlight unit is probably the best, as it is still quite a good deal even for airsoft use. There are other lights in the series, including the M6 (which includes a high powered laser) and the M3X, with a deeper reflector for a brighter and longer-throwing beam.

Insight M3 on Glock 17 (Insight Tech. photo)

G&P makes a large laser suitable for the Glock series, but there are many other smaller laser sights out now designed for use with either the real Glock or the KSC replica. Most notably, LaserLyte has a QD mount which fits the Glock and can be used with both their normal and super-bright (635nm) laser models. Finally, of course there are a variety of holsters designed for the Glock 19, from Kydex and Fobus molded models to tactical drop-legs from Blackhawk and Eagle. It is obvious that given the popularity of the real Glock, these would be far too many and varied to get into in this review.

Conclusion / Reviewer’s Perspective

In recent months, much of the forum populace have essentially began to collectively tout, for the most part, the KSC Glock 19 in one form or another as a universal recommendation. For newbie, collector, or serious player alike, the G19 offers reliability, attractive looks and customization potential, and performance for a very reasonable price. It is indeed difficult to find fault in this recommendation or in fact in the gun itself. There are small points of criticism – the mold lines and the lack of trademarks on the frame, the loose fit of the rear sights. But there are simply too many positive aspects of the G19 that the flaws disappear like a Chinaman at a basketball player’s convention. I’m Chinese, so I can use racial stereotypes like that. I stray from my point. The KSC Glock 19 is a great airsoft gun, especially for the price. But with a metal slide and barrel (the domestically-available KWA model or an overseas “custom” gun, if you’re willing to pay for the trademarks and the upgrades), the gun is absolutely sublime. Absolutely sublime. To look upon it is to be blinded by the glare of perfection. If God was going to buy an airsoft gun… but I begin to exaggerate. But I have no doubt that the metal-slide equipped KSC design Glock 19 is one of the best airsoft guns for skirmishing available for the price. I have owned my Glock 19 for more than a year and it has replaced my KSC Beretta M9 as my sidearm of choice, something that I would never have foreseen when I bought it. When it was my backup for my upgraded 550 ft/s APS-2, I would get more kills with it than the rifle. I trust it to shoot then I pull the trigger, and to always bring a slight, vaguely megalomaniacal smirk to my face.

Appendix I: Why Your Glock Isn’t As Cool Looking As Mine
and how to get it there)

Polished KSC G19 slide

Okay, so as should have been very obvious, my Glocks are polished to a stainless finish on various surfaces. This is actually becoming quite a popular way now to attain an attractive and different look without spending any money. That’s right - forget that shiny silver Caspian slide. You can be Will Smith for a lot cheaper. There are several different techniques, but I’ll detail what’s worked best for me without resorting to power tools or polishing compounds.
First, of course remove the slide from the gun and everything from the slide – blowback chamber, blowback chamber, and especially the front and rear sights. Wet sanding is key. It produces a much smoother finish than dry sanding with higher grit sandpapers. Most of the exterior black paint can be quickly removed by the use of a fine grit sanding sponge. The sponge is softer than sandpaper is much faster than using sandpaper. Just apply a bit of water and the paint comes right off.
Then, I use 600 grit waterproof sandpaper to remove any paint still remaining and to begin to work it up to a shine. This will actually achieve a nice finish, so it’s entirely possible to stop there. I continued on wet sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper to refine the finish a bit. Finally, I completely dried out the frame with heat and dry-sanded with 1200 grit paper so that there would be no danger of oxidization.
Voila! An instant improvement to your style and charisma.
When I sanded down the slide of the second Glock, I decided that it was missing a bit of something. So, taking a hint from my friend and his stainless Glock 17, I painted the rear slide indentions in black for a slightly greater emphasis to the two-tone scheme. Another variation is to keep the chamber and barrel black with a stainless slide. Whatever works for you, I guess. The stainless barrel with black configuration is especially neat with a ported slide and barrel set.

Appendix II: Media

I took a few pictures of my Glocks a while back and after a few hours in Photoshop, what do you know? They look good now! Take a look at this semi-pro photo gallery of my first Glock that I’m fairly proud of.

Photo Gallery

And a short video from our video archive from Fremont of a KSC Glock 17. Not a G19, but still pretty cool. You get the idea…

Appendix III: Quick Reference Data Table

KSC Glock 19
Type Gas Blow-Back
Fire Modes Semi-Automatic
Magazine capacity 20
Overall Length 185mm
Barrel Length 90mm
Height 132mm
Stock weight 750g / 850g with metal slide
Hop-up Adjustable
Stock Velocity (Green) 300ft/s
Stock Metal Parts Recoil spring guide rod
Internal parts (Various)
Slide catch lever
Inner barrel
Serial number plate
Take-down switch
Slide / Barrel (KWA & Custom)

Accessory Rail 20mm Glock, Weaver-compatable

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Yet even more airsoft information to handle

Huh.. i'm looking over my blog and it seems to have too much information in an unorganized manner. i should organize it somehow. don't know how. i've seen some other bloggers pages now. seems like they're all just as disorganized. A couple that I've seen are (this guy is clueless), (likes airsoft too), (he has some cool pictures, almost like consumptionjunction), (this guy has lots of time), (cool pictures).

Anyway, i'll figure out what I need to do to have this more organized. too bad I can't create pages like on geocities or something like that.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Western Arms ProKiller Airsoft Gun

I have always been very found of gas blowbacks, although they do tend to be a little unreliable. Then again, they are a back up, so they don't need to work all the time. And while I have owned and toyed around with several, I have never really had one that suited me or that I liked enough to hang on to. Western Arms guns have been spoken of highly for quite some time, and the amount of accessories (slides, frames, grips, hammers, triggers, mag wells, etc.) and upgrades available are almost mind boggling. With that in mind, I decided it was time to take a look at another one and hopefully find a suitable GBB that I liked and enjoyed. I did quite a bit of research into the WA line of guns, and found that the Prokiller MK II hasn't seemed to get a lot of coverage. The Prokiller Limited 2000 has been reviewed a few times, but not this newer and still available version. So why not take a look a look at it now and spark a bit more coverage of it.

When the Prokiller arrived, I was immediately aware of why people rave about WA GBBs. The Prokiller truly is a beast of a gun. While the slide slide and grip (including the trigger and trigger guard) are composed of ABS, the lower rail and trigger/safety/fire selector assembly are made of metal. This adds a good bit of weight to the gun and also balances it perfect for my hand. I don't care for the grips too much. The raised pyramid affect tends to snag the fabric of my gloves (just some cheap SpandoFlage gloves), and doesn't feel all
that great when bare handed. It does, however, make it so that the gun doesn't slip or move around during firing.

After looking over the gun for quite some time I was almost convinced that the slide was metal. After much consideration and disassembly I did finally realize that it is indeed ABS, but it looks and feels incredibly robust. On the left side of the gun, the slide bears the Prokiller Mark II markings, and on the right it has "Infinity .45 ACP" on the bolt cover and "Law Enforcement Only" on the slide. The metal lower frame also has the SV Logo to the upper left of the trigger assembly.

Left side: Prokiller Mark II
Western Arms Factory Right side: Law Enforcement Only
Infinity .45 ACP & the SV Logo and WA ASGK stamp on the metal lower frame.

Unfortunately the gun comes with standard front and rear sights. I say unfortunately cause the rear sights can't be adjusted all that much. I'll probably look at replace these with a Bo-mar Rear Sight in the future (probably when I get around to adding a metal slide).

The Prokiller MK II has the added benefit of Full and Semi Auto over it's SV Infinity 5" Semi-Only counterpart. This functionality was one of the main reasons why I chose to go with the Prokiller MK II. I have owned a Glock 17, and a friend had a Glock 18, and I wasn't overly impressed with them. I have always been less then impressed with the G18c; including its track record and their fickleness. Not to mention they just seemed a bit too small to me. I guess I'm not a Glock person. I'm hoping the Prokiller doesn't succumb to the same problems as other full auto GBBs. When fired on Semi-Auto the blowback is very nice and crisp. And when fired on Full Auto, the blowback is just as nice. It doesn't cycle quite as fast as the 3.9" SV Infinity but that was to be expected with the larger and heavier slide. The fire selection switch is located on the right side of the gun, just above your thumb. The placement stuck me as being pretty cool, as it tends to look just like a gun that has dovetail safety. The downside to this is that if you don't keep a solid grip during firing the recoil can (and I have) cause you to push the selector switch from full to semi while firing the gun. The safety is on the left side of the gun, just opposite of the fire select switch, and only functions when the hammer is cocked back.

Fire Selection
Up = Semi
Down = Full (shown) Safety

Disassembly of the gun is rather quick (well, slide disassembly at least). Just pull the slide back to free up the slide catch and push the catch out (make sure the mag is not in the gun). Once the slide catch has been removed, just push the slide assembly forward and off it slides right off. To remove the slide internals just push the barrel assembly forward a little to expose both the outer barrel and the recoil guide rod. Unscrew both of those and gently slide the barrel assembly back being careful not to bend or let the spring pop out. At this point, just take out the spring and lift the inner barrel assembly from the slide.

The inner barrel assembly is an area that concerns me to some degree. The threaded end that the outer barrel connects to is just plastic and from the few times that I have disassembled this gun, it already shows a good bit of wear and tear. Also make sure that you don't mis-thread the barrel on or you'll end up stripping the threads, which also seems to be happening a little even when threaded on correctly.

Inner barrel assembly threads

The Prokiller Mark II does have an adjustable hopup, and while that may cause several GBB purists to cringe, I think it is pretty cool. After all, I doubt this piece was designed for accuracy or target shooting. As a skirmish worthy GBB, the adjustable hopup is a welcome addition. Adjustment of the hopup on the other hand is definitely not cool. In order to adjust the hopup, you must disassemble the slide as mentioned above. On the back of the inner barrel assembly, there is a very small hole in which you insert a small allen wrench (included with the gun) in and adjust the hopup. One thing I noticed is that the hopup adjustment is not overly touchy (as opposed to what I've read concerning other WA guns). Also something that struck me as odd and maybe some of the other GBB Experts out there can shed some light on this, is that the Inner Barrel seems to have 2 HopUps. The lower part of the inner barrel looks to have what appears to be a fixed hopup, while on the other side of the inner barrel is the location of the adjustable hopup. I tried to get a decent picture that would show it, but I couldn't get any of them to turn out. Maybe I'm just seeing things? (Anyone who can answer this definitively, please post in the forum below and I'll be sure to edit this section). Maybe if I take the entire inner barrel assembly apart I'd be able to tell for sure, but I haven't attempted complete disassembly at this point. Nor do I really want to unless it's completely necessary - which it's not right now. As it stands using .2g BBs (and HFC134a) I didn't have to adjust the HopUp at all and was able to get fairly decent accuracy in regards to hitting a man size target.

HopUp Adjustment Hole

The bolt assembly in the rear of the slide is also an area that I didn't attempt to disassemble. Several springs and parts are there that I don't want to mess with at this point. That can wait until later when it's necessary or when I get to the metal slide. As you can see by picture, there is already a bit of wear showing up on the bottom of the assembly and I haven't used the gun all that much (maybe 10 - 12 mags total). This section is also where a lot of the slide weight comes from as from what I can tell, the whole (or at least a majority of it) thing is metal.

Slide - Rear Internals Rear Hammer Assembly

The magazine for the Prokiller is WA's current R-Type Double Stack Mag. The standard magazine holds 31 rounds, which is a pretty good amount of ammo for a backup. A 52 round hicap is also available, but will extend a good bit out from the base of the grip. I don't really care for the look of that, so I doubt if I'll ever have one of them. The gas fill valve is at the base of the magazine, and of course make sure to push the valve-lock down to free up the gas release button.

Full Mag
(31 Rounds) Double Stacking BBs Valve Lock and
Gas Release

On to performance and the one thing that I was not impressed with right out of box. As with all WA GBBs it is highly recommended that you use HFC134a gas as the slide and internals aren't made to support the use of the stronger HFC22 Green Gas. Using HFC 134a I was a bit disappointed. The slide movement and recoil of the gun when fired seemed a bit anemic and weak, quite unimpressive for what I was expecting from a gun that looks and feels like a beast. (Ever honk the horn of a truck or SUV only to hear a pathetic little squeak and wonder why they took the horn out of a Geo and didn't use a larger more ominous horn? That's sort of the same feeling.) Of course, I couldn't stand it and just had to try it out with something a bit more powerful. Having a can of Green Gas I promptly filled the mag and hoped for a more impressive report. Luckily, I got just what I wanted. The recoil, report, and blowback was much much stronger and much more impressive then the previous use with HFC 134a. At this point, I started looking around and trying to find out just how back it would be using the more powerful gas instead of what was recommended. As usual I found several differing opinions. From reports of other users who have been using HFC 22 exclusively in their WA guns with no ill affects, to others that have blown internal components from using HFC 22. At this point I even tried using a combination of each gas. Filling the mag a little with 134a and then add a bit of Green Gas after it. The mixture of gasses didn't exhibit a remarkable impact and in fact managed to be quite inconsistent with some shots having more power then others. Due to the inconsistency, I have chosen to just go ahead and use Green Gas, and while I know it's not "recommended", I'll just be content to use it as is and at least prepare myself until such a time as something does to go wrong. When I'll take the steps and upgrade whatever is needed at that time.

I managed to forget to chrono the gun with HFC134a, but did get it chrono'd with HFC 22. With HFC 22 (Green Gas) and .2g TM BBs, the gun performed at an impressive 331 FPS (High of 340 FPS, low of 318 FPS). As soon as I get my new chrono in (about two weeks) I will chrono the gun again and update these readings (or lack thereof).

From my experience with the WA Prokiller Mark II so far, I am quite pleased and impressed. As mentioned the gun is rather large, which was a good thing for me; but may prove to be a bit bulky or cumbersome for some users.

I have now seen first hand why the WA line of GBBs receives as much praise as it does. This gun has earned a permanent spot as my sidearm. Now to get a good thigh holster or cross draw vest.. and a slew of other accessories. Now comes the joy of customizing the gun and fitting it in with the rest of you gear. The fun never ends. Purchase yours overseas in Hong Kong or in the US at