Glock 34C (Straight Frame) - KSC
hkssr20det kindly provided his review of the KSC Glock 34C Straight Frame.
He is based in the United States, hence the blaze orange barrel end on the gun, which is not required in other markets.
You can read his other reviews at Airsoft Barracks.
If you are looking for a GBB Glock there are two basic options right now, KSC (and their KWA counterparts) and Tokyo Marui (HFC and KJW also make airsoft Glock replicas - Editor). While there are plusses and minuses to both, the real historic king is the KSC Glock.
Manufactured basically unchanged for almost a decade now, the KSC Glock is one of the most reliable GBBs available, as well as the most recommended first guns. If you are a Glock lover, you need a KSC Glock in your collection.
Up for review is a true Japanese made, limited edition KSC Glock 34C Straight Frame. Based upon the real steel competition Glock 34, KSC has chosen to further distinguish this particular model with the addition of a metal insert which flattens out the rear of the grip, eliminating the rather large "hump" on the stock Glock grip. Otherwise this is a faithful replica of the replacement for the G17L, chambered in 9mm (.40 S&W in the Glock 35) the Glock 34 is a reliable IPSC or IDPA choice and comes tuned from the factory for competition use with adjustable sights, extended controls, and a lighter 3.5 lb trigger pull.
Purchased from Dentrinity for $155, this is not a cheap GBB commanding a good $20-30 premium over the standard Glock 34 price. The gun is still wearing the federally mandated blaze orange tip (which was applied by Den) but I have removed the putty used to cover the trademarks for importation. I personally have never seen this particular model available for sale in the US (though Poweredge USA does carry the G18C and G19C straight frames for a real premium), I believe these were manufactured a few years ago and have not been reproduced lately.
In the Box
The 34C comes securely packaged in a bright purple (the pictures make it look blue, but it really is purple) package which is really reminiscent of a SCW Western Arms package. I don't know if all KSC Glocks come in this packaging (the writing on the top seems to imply this is the case) but it is certainly much classier and certainly stronger than the KWA Glock packaging here in the states. Also like the Western Arms, the side is where the individual model designation is located.
Inside we find the pistol held securely in a bed of Styrofoam. Included are the usual assortment of papers (including a KSC Catalog from 2004), and in another wrapped packaged there is a hop up adjustment tool, bbs, and a loading tool.
The KSC Glock 34C is a large gun. Built on a modified Glock 17 frame (same dimensions with a slightly larger trigger guard) there are a few easily noticed additions. Like the real steel model it is based upon, the G34C sports a slightly elongated slide with a prominent opening on the top of the forward portion of the slide. Not quite as long as the G17L, it brings the total length of the pistol almost to the length of a full size 1911. KSC has chosen to also add a set of compensator notches into the outer barrel. I don't believe the RS model has this addition (and thus the "C" in the model designation) but they are not only replicated on the straight frame model, but rather all the G34s produced.
Like most KSC models this replica is manufactured primarily from plastic. The frame is pure abs, but the slide is made from heavy weight material, which adds a lot of weight and increases the over all feel and look of the replica. Weighing in at 844 grams (314 grams are in the mag), the G34C is nicely weighted. The non-heavy weight model is significantly lighter at 740 grams or so. Metal parts are few and far between, mainly the internals of the slide and frame, plus the slide stop and magazine; while this would usually be looked at as a weakness, it can be overlooked in this case since the RS Glock is also made out of plastic where possible. The recoil guide rod, sights and trigger are plastic.
The most striking feature of this particular Glock would have to be the straight frame. KSC seems to have used a stock Glock 34 frame, which is then cut to accept an aluminum back piece, which eliminates the rather large "hump" which the stock Glock frames all have. I personally find this set up much more comfortable and easier to use, since it more closely approximates the grip position of a single stack 1911, rather than the aggressively angled Glock position, but your results may vary. Be aware that it is not just a cosmetic accessory, but does affect the way you handle the replica.
One thing that is always nice about a KSC Glock, rather than a KWA Glock, is that for the most part, they sport full trademarks. In this case, the frame is missing the prominent Glock logo on the right side, as well as the "Made in Austria" tag on the right, but otherwise all the necessary trademarks are accounted for. Like most HW KSC guns, the trades a full reproduced, but they are a bit shallow. Not as crisp and deep as a Tokyo Marui or Western Arms. Under artificial light, they are hard to see and tend to blend in with the slide. This is compounded by the remaining putty that is left inside the trademarks, I usually let that putty work it's way out on it's own.
The right side of the frame does have a decent Glock logo as well as full model designations. Not fully real steel, since there is no Glock 34C (just a Glock 34), they do look the part.
The right side of the slide and chamber also sport matching serial numbers and the Glock logo. Again these are not fully real steel replica's, but do look the part. Again, notice how shallow they are. I much prefer the crispness displayed on their metal slides.
The right side of the grip has filled in trademarks, which are not close to RS. Better looking than the empty slots found on the KWA, but nowhere near as nice as the old school KSC frames with all the true trades.
Underneath the front of the frame, KSC has included a serial number plate, and inside the rail they have hidden the JASG tag.
While the base plate of the magazine does not include the Glock logo, the rear does have the round indicators and a little Glock logo at the base.
Again, the most striking feature of this gun is the redesigned frame. One of the main reasons I have never been a huge fan of Glocks in general is that I find the grip position to be uncomfortable, being a single stack 1911 kind of guy. One novel approach to curing this "problem" is to redesign the rear strap to make more room for people with smaller hands to get a firm grip. In RS form Bowie Tactical Concepts accomplishes this through hard-core stippling (check it out here) but KSC has chosen to cut the stock frame and insert a rounded, lined, aluminum grip insert. This does decrease the circumference of the grip, as well as allowing a more comfortable position since the frame is linear rather than humped. One thing I have noticed on these straight frame conversions (this is my second model) is that the cut leaves a few "sharp" edges that can irritate the hand. I will be devising some method to smooth the edges, but it is a drag that KSC didn't bother to just sand the cut edge down before inserting the new back strap.
Another point in the KSC's favor over the KWA is the inclusion of the patented Glock safe-action trigger system. KSC has faithfully replicated the system, and it does work. You can see that the trigger has a leading edge that juts out from the main trigger pad. Unless this center bar is firmly depressed (such as when you actually pull the trigger) the rear edge blocks the trigger travel, thereby eliminating accidental discharges from snags or drops. Be aware that this is the only "safety" on the KSC. Unlike TM, there is no hidden safety, like the RS Glock the only way to make the firearm fully safe, is to pull the magazine and drop the striker.
The Glock is a single action, semi-automatic firearm. What this means is that despite the "look" of the gun, you must physically cock the gun before firing, like a 1911. Since the gun does not have an external hammer, this can only be accomplished by racking the slide. You can tell the status of the striker by looking at the trigger.
Like the real steel G34, the KSC has an extended slide stop and mag catch. While not as obvious as the models for say a competition 1911, they are much more user friendly. The slide stop is metal, but the mag catch is still a plastic piece. A word of warning, the mag catch is truly an extended piece. It can easily be bumped while holstering and will interfere with a left handed shooter. This can easily be cured by fitting either a RS mag catch or one of the many aftermarket metal mag catches.
Unlike the RS Glock 34, the KSC comes equipped with a compensated barrel. Made out of the same heavy weight material as the slide, the outer barrel features prominent cut outs. Interesting to look at, the cutouts do not do anything for the shooting experience in airsoft form.
Like the Glock 17 & 18C, the G34C frame comes equipped with an integral accessory rail. Located on the forward section of the frame, this allows for the addition of a Tac light or laser. While this makes sense for KSC to include, interestingly the RS G34 also comes equipped with the rail which would be unnecessary on a true competition gun.
The Glock 34C comes equipped with the same plastic front sight as pretty much all other non-hybrid KSC Glocks. The rear sight is an accurate replica of the adjustable set up on the RS Glock 34. Adjustable for both height and windage through two set screws on the right side, it is an interesting feature that fits into the match nature of the piece.
While both front and rear sights feature prominent white markings, the rear sight is just a tad too small to really aid in target acquisition. I much prefer the standard sights (if not the perfect Proud Night sights). I might just need to get used to the rear aperture, but for now I find it far too short and narrow to accurately match the front post.
Since the G34C has the same frame dimensions as the G17/18C it uses the same magazine. With a capacity of 23+1, and full metal construction, it does the job with a minimum of fuss. Easily loaded, the magazine sports the locking follower found on many KSC guns. Once firmly locked in place at the bottom of the magazine, BBs can be poured through the mag lips.
To load the gas, the base plate of the magazine must be slid forward. At the bottom of the follower, there is a tab that must be pulled, which allows the base plate to be slid forward, exposing the fill valve.
The G34C comes equipped with a plastic recoil guide rod and a captive recoil spring. The system also makes use a foam buffer which ensure a firm fit, and often must be used when swapping to an aftermarket recoil guide set up.
A common problem with new Glock owners is not properly seating the recoil guide rod when putting the slide back on, which results in the slide locking and then the usual mayhem. Here is a picture of how the guide rod should be seated. Notice how the end is on top of the outer barrel chamber legs, and is seated against the end of the hop up/loading ramp (not on top of it).
Like all KSC Glocks, the G34C comes equipped with the standard KSC adjustable hop up. While not easily adjusted through the ejection port, the system does allow for reasonably quick adjustment without having to field strip the gun. Using the supplied tool, the hop up is adjusted by rotating the toothed ring around the barrel. Counter clockwise adds hop, clockwise lowers it.
Not the most stable, or accurate system out there, the hop up is one of the weakest features of all KSC Glocks (if not all KSC guns in general).
So how does it shoot? Like most Glocks. The action is crisp, but not as fast as a 1911. The kick is pretty light, but I have found most Glocks (no matter the make) aren't the hardest kicking guns out there. Since the slide is in fact heavy weight, the cycle speed is down from a fully ABS gun, but the recoil is higher. It is certainly a trade off.
In terms of power and accuracy, the G34 has the longest slide of any currently available Glock, the power and accuracy are up there. The trigger is the real down side to the Glock. With a long pull (especially including the safety trigger) the action is notchy and doesn't have a clean breaking point. I need to find a good way to smooth out the trigger pull.
Chrono results are from .20 Toytec BBs, using a XCortech X3200 at 67 degrees and delivered an average of 311 FPS over 10 shots.
As you can see the shot to shot consistency isn't the greatest. This is a "problem" I have seen with all KSC Glocks I have chrono'd. In terms of sheer power, there is much more to find depending on temperature and upgrades. G34 tight bores have yielded upwards of 380 fps with full tuning.
This test target was shot at 5 meters using KSC .25 gram bbs (6 shots),on green gas, with the hop up set to level the shot path. This target was the most representative of the 5 targets I shot. Some where tighter, some where looser, but this is a solid average grouping for the G34.
The test target is a standard 8" x 11" piece of paper. Obviously you can see that the gun groups well, right on the point of aim. Accuracy is certainly helped by the light recoil.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
The six shot groupings was a decent 2", but this is entirely due to the two fliers. The other four shots were closely grouped right on the point of aim. If we throw out one of the fliers, the grouping drops down to 1.25". With more practice and a tight bore sub 1" groupings would be possible.
Field stripping is easy. First remove the magazine. Then pull the slide to cock the internal hammer. To unlock the slide from the frame, pull down the tabs located on the front of the slide (one on each side), at the same time.
Gently push the slide off the frame.
Once the slide has been removed, you can pull the recoil guide assembly from the inside of the slide (it will come out as one piece). Once you have removed the recoil assembly, you can then pull out the barrel assembly.
In the end I really think there are Glock people and 1911 people. I really must say that I am a die hard 1911 guy. With that bias out of the way, I must say that I am happy with this Glock. The power is great. The accuracy is certainly good enough for the field and with some practice the range. The build quality is right up there with the best of them. The Straight Frame model is more of a collectors piece, but since it performs the same as the regular G34 you aren't losing any performance. If you suffer from smaller hands, you might want to search one of these out since the slimmer grip is certainly a help.
In terms of negatives, there are a few. The trademarks are disappointingly shallow. The missing trademarks on the frame wouldn't really be a problem if the TM didn't come with almost all of them, as it is, the fact that they are missing doesn't distract too much. The notchy trigger and the less than perfect shot to shot consistency are mostly relics from the fact that the general design was done an age ago. I really wish that KSC would update their hop up and blowback mechanism (thought the new PTPs gas system seems to be a great improvement).
A great deal of the deficiencies can be cured with the almost unlimited upgrades available for KSC Glocks. When choosing parts remember that the frame is the same as the G17 so you can use the same recoil guide rods, and internal upgrades. The only difference between the two is the slide and barrel, so you do need to find a G34 spec tight bore (KM and DB Customs produce them).
Weight : 845g (315g magazine)
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : *****
Accuracy : ****
Read hkssr20det's other reviews at Airsoft Barracks.
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