Beretta M92FS - Western Arms (Early Model)
You would be forgiven for thinking that this review must already be here, as I have (thanks to Elite Airsoft) already reviewed a number of WA's excellently replicated Beretta 92s, notably the Inox M92FS, the Heavyweight M92FS, and much of the Elite range.
However, this example of the Beretta M92FS is a much earlier example of WA's landmark GBB (although I am not sure exactly when it was produced) and is interesting in a number of ways, as much as an indicator of how GBBs are developing, as in itself.
In the Box
I was under the impression that WA boxes were ALWAYS plain coloured with a simple logo on the lid. Even the 1986 Jati-Matic box conformed to this pattern, but this M92FS has a positively garish box, by comparison.
I suspect, from the cutouts that there was once a tube, hopper and rod loader and the manuals are all still with the gun.
Lying in the box, this old M92FS actually looks distinctly different to any WA Beretta M92FS I have seen before.
I think the reason for this is the ABS slide and frame, which have the look of a realistic blued finish to them, which modern heavyweight materials lack. It is shiny and slightly blue in colour. All the markings are, as you expect of a modern WA Beretta, present. All, that is, except for the somewhat intrusive Beretta licensing text, which is a feature of the modern Beretta frame.
Presumably, this gun was made before WA or Beretta became concerned about copyright - Interestingly I saw an Omega M92FS recently and it looked almost identical in markings and material and the magazine featured the sliding catch seem on Magna R system mags, so it is likely to be a copy of the WA Beretta M92FS.
Next to a modern WA M92FS, however, this older gun feels light and a little toy like.
Aside from the difference in ABS density, though, the gun is very familiar. The trigger, sights, mag release, hammer and safeties are all metal and all identical to those on the latest WA Berettas.
In terms of the actual parts involved, this early M92FS is virtually identical to the most recent of WA's Beretta 92s (such as the HW 92FS Olive Drab, although the material used in the frame, barrel and slide is, as mentioned above, completely different, being pure plastic, very similar in weight and consistency to the material used in Airfix and Tamiya model kits.
Indeed, the look is of an unpainted kit, being shiny and plasticky.
Detail such as the safeties, hammer, trigger, sights and recoil rod are all metal, giving the gun some weight, but nothing like the real steel equalling weight of the later guns.
Overall, the gun is a very familiar Beretta 92, with the ambidextrous safeties/decockers (They don't work on my gun, but this seems to be a fault, rather than a design omission, as the top from my newer Beretta decocks the gun fine. The gun arrived with some parts missing from the top end and I suspect I have not 100% correctly reassembled them).
Aside from the shiny, bluish finish, the most notable difference from a current WA Beretta 92FS is in the markings. The left of the slide is marked "PIETRO BERETTA GARDONE V.T. MADE IN ITALY" (followed by the PB in an oval logo), with the serial number "WA48693Z" on the frame. On the right side of the slide, there is "MOD 92FS - Cal 9 Parabellum - PATENTED"/"BERETTA USA. CORP. ACK. M.D." and "WARNING READ MANUAL FOR SAFE OPERATION"/"AVAILABLE FREE FROM BERETTA USA ACK. M.D." on the right side of the frame.
There are a couple of small proofing marks ahead of the trigger on the right, too. whilst the grips bear the correct WA markings.
Interestingly, Garry, from Arnies Airsoft forum, had an Omega Beretta of a similar vintage (I suspect) and it looked almost identical in every way to this early WA.
Another interesting aspect is the magazine. It looks very much like the standard WA M92FS magazine, but the gun does not operate correctly with the magazines from my later WA M92s and they produce very high FPS figures with the magazine from this gun, although they work fine.
It is only fair to say this is an old gun and may have some technical faults, although it seems to function properly.
The gun is a fair bit lighter than a recent WA Beretta, so the action is a little sharper, but there is less kick.
In terms of actual performance it lags behind the more modern guns, too.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I was able to produce a best 5 grouping of 8.5 CM (3.5 inches), which is pretty poor really, although
all the shots were on target and, subjectively, it doesn't feel that inaccurate, with BBs seeming to go roughly where you expect them to. Few airsoft guns are truly
terrible, but this one falls far short of the performance of WA's latest latest M92FS models.
Over 10 shots, the early Beretta M92FS averaged 286 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and .2g Excel BBs) indoors (at 25C). Previous experience
suggests this would equate to about 261 fps at 20C, quite low power by the standards of today's WA Berettas, but pretty much on a par with TM's latest
Interestingly, as you can see below, the performance was more inconsistent than poor, as the later shots were certainly up with the power of
recent WA Berettas.
Over 10 shots, the early Beretta M92FS averaged 286 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and .2g Excel BBs) indoors (at 25C). Previous experience suggests this would equate to about 261 fps at 20C, quite low power by the standards of today's WA Berettas, but pretty much on a par with TM's latest guns.
Interestingly, as you can see below, the performance was more inconsistent than poor, as the later shots were certainly up with the power of recent WA Berettas.
Trigger pull was 955g (33 Oz), which is a medium weight pull for a GBB.
No surprises here.
Remove the magazine and press the disassembly button on the right side of the frame in. At the same time rotate the disassembly lever (on the left of the frame, over the trigger) downwards. The barrel and recoil rod may pop forward at this point. The barrel, slide and recoil rod will all push off the frame at this point.
The recoil rod can be removed by pushing it gently forward and down and then back. The barrel should be slid forward and down, once clear of the nozzle. Note that the recoil rod slots into a metal shroud inside the slide, which isn't present on the KSC guns.
There is a wedge shaped metal part at the rear underside of the barrel which ensures correct alignment between barrel, slide and frame. This just slides into place.
When reassembling, give the barrel a little push backwards, into the frame, when turning the disassembly lever - This has caught me out a number of times on WA Berettas, as you don't need to do it on KSCs.
Overall, this gun is more interesting than impressive.
It is clearly a WA Beretta, but highlights how they have improved the model over the years. Side by side, you would never consider then guns to be from the same manufacturer, until you look at the details and see that, material aside, they are almost identical.
No-one would choose this older gun over the latest WA models, but it's probably better than a current TM Beretta in terms of build quality and material.
Like the 7mm springers, it is an interesting step in the evolution of airsoft pistols.
Weight : 830g (280g magazine)
Realism : ***
Quality : ***
Power : ***
Accuracy : **
You will need to hunt around the forums for a 92 just like this, but you can Buy a similar gun from Elite Airsoft
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