WA Berreta M8045 Cougar-F review

WA
BerettaM8045 Cougar-f

review by Pedro
of the DolphiNs

Stock
Specifications
FPS
324fps
(0.2g) (fps may vary)
Length: 187mm
Weight: 960g

Ammo
capacity:

25 Round (Standard
Mag)


So
what is it?
The m8045 cougar-f is one of the less commonly
seen semi-automatic pistols from Western Arms. The real steel 8045 is a 8
shot .45cal pistol and a fairly new offering from Beretta in an effort to
appeal to the ‘bigger bullet/lower capacity’ following in the States, growing
steadily since the imposition of a 10 round maximum magazine capacity a few
years ago. In fact the m8045 is the only .45acp handgun that Berreta currently
offer.

Out
the box:
First impressions of this airsoft gun are very, very
good. It looks like metal, the slide and frame are made of plastic but the
finish is such that it takes more than a casual glance to determine it’s
not metal. Top marks to WA for this as many good quality gbb guns can look
a bit ‘plasticky’. The box that the gun comes in clearly states
that the Beretta trademarks are under license and the markings on the gun
look pretty authentic.

External
metal parts include trigger, hammer and sights as well as all the operating
controls. Weight wise the gun is a very solid 980g. Although the same weight
as a KSC mk23 it feels heavier because of its more compact dimensions. The
m8045, and the similar 8000, look a little like compact 92’s but without
the open-top slide.

Overall the
guns size is similar to a Glock17, Sig226 or any other medium frame semi-auto
but due to the more ergonomic curved design of the grip it feels much more
comfortable in my medium sized hands than the square Glock. Anyone who has
handled a 92f will find no surprises when looking for the 8045’s operating
controls, all in just the same place with the same functions. These are, magazine
release, ambidextrous safety/de-cocker, slide lock/release, take-down lever
and finally the take-down release button.

Lefties?
Pressing in on the metal mag release, which is reversible for lefties btw,
allows the all metal magazine to drop free from the gun, a good idea for a
real handgun but for airsoft I suggest catching the mags before they hit the
ground. Filling the mag with gas is the usual affair of holding the mag upside
down whilst pressing the gas bottle down onto the mags inlet valve, of course
as its a WA gun don’t forget to reset the outlet valve first or you will
end up spraying very cold propellant all over your clothes. The magazine holds
25 rounds which are easy to load manually, just hold down the follower and
pop the ammo in one at a time. No loading tool came with the gun, don’t
know why, perhaps to reduce the chance of loading deformed ammo.

Obviously
the next step after loading a magazine is to insert the full mag into the
gun. Racking the slide to chamber the 1st round is very satisfying as the
slide has good weight and the sound generated is more like that of a real
gun than any other unmodified airsoft gbb I’ve seen. Also when the slide
is back you can see how well WA have copied the unusual rotary breech design
of the m8000 series of pistols.

Firing the
pistol is a joy. For a gbb handgun recoil is very impressive, sending a sharp
jolt down your arm for each shot. Just watching someone else shoot this gun
brings a smile to your lips. The gun can be fired as fast as the trigger can
be pulled and suitably predictable the slide locks back on an empty mag, after
a fresh mag has been inserted the slide lock/release can be operated to allow
the slide back into battery with another satisfying ‘clunk’.

Now that
the pistol is cocked again we have two options, either fire a round or use
the guns ambidextrous de-cocking lever/safety. This device safely lowers the
hammer on a loaded chamber and disconnects the trigger mechanism as an added
safety feature, just like the original.

After de-cocking
the gun, the hammer is also blocked so that pushing in on the back of the
hammer wont fire the gun – handy if you intend to carry the gun securely in
a holster with a thumbreak strap. The last operating controls so far unmentioned
are for field stripping the gun. The ‘take-down’ lever located in
the normal Beretta position of just forward of the trigger on the left hand
side of the frame, with its release button on the opposite side of the frame.

Taking
it to bits
Field stripping the gun is a little tricky but gets
easier with practice and as the new parts wear in a little. To take down the
gun for basic maintenance, or adjustment of the hop, the slide has to be removed
from the frame. To do this first the empty magazine has to be removed, also
make sure the safety/de-cocker is ‘off’ or in the upper position.
After removing the magazine press in on the small release button on the right-hand
side of the gun opposite the take-down lever, whilst holding this button in
rotate the take-down lever 45’ clockwise. The slide should move forward
about 2mm. Now just push the slide from the rear with the right thumb whilst
holding the recoil spring underneath the slide with the left hand.

Fed
up of stripping?
With the slide off, the recoil spring and
guide are loose so pay attention to their orientation before putting them
down. Stripping the gun is necessary for access to the hop mechanism. A small
hex key is provided with the gun for adjusting the hop. As always the instructions
are in Japanese, however the diagrams clearly show the location of the adjusting
grub screw. I found getting the right balance of hop to be a particular pain
in the rectum, no-hop, strip gun, no-hop, strip gun, no-hop, strip gun, no-hop,
strip gun, no-hop, bb’s jamming cos too much hop, strip gun a couple
more times and finally get it right. Hmm can we say “fu**ed off”.

The good
news is that it was worthwhile in the end to get the hop just right. Re-assembly
is a tad more fiddly. The recoil spring guide-block is held in place under
the barrel, arrow pointing toward muzzle end. Now the recoil spring itself
is slowly threaded through the guide-block, flat end first, till it comes
to rest on the inner front of the slide in its recess. Holding this assembly
gently slide it back onto the front of the frame. When the slide is back on
the gun it needs to be pulled all the way back and locked open with the slide
lock/release lever. Then the take-down lever can be returned to its locked
position and the gun is re-assembled. A little daunting at first but it gets
easier with practice, which you get plenty of adjusting the hop, hehe.

Hows
it run?
Performance on the range shows how WA quality standards
pay off. Not only is the gun impressive to shoot as I mentioned earlier but
power and accuracy are both absolutely top-notch. On a warm day at Combat
South
the m8045 chronoed at 324fps consistently with excel bio 0.2g ammo.
Accuracy at 10m was fine out of the box but for longer ranges the hop needs
to be very carefully adjusted. Patience however pays off and now my 8045 is
giving accurate shots out to about 30m, by accurate I mean reliable hits against
a stationary human sized target. That is pretty good from a gun with a short
3.5 inch barrel. All of these tests were conducted on days when the temperature
was about 20-22’c and using ‘top-jack’ gas.

This
replica is now about 3 months old and has had about 2000 rounds fired through
it. Some in a game environment (got 3 of the buggers on it’s first outing-hehe).
The gun has loosened up a little which is to be expected but still feels solid
and chunky in the hand. Reliability has been good with the only malfunctions
due to my failings in getting the hop just right, none since.

Another first
for this gun is it’s the first gbb pistol I’ve handled that doesn’t
have loose magazine syndrome – a problem on my KSC mk23 which was only solved
with about 8 or 9 short lengths of electrical tape for each magazine. Not
so with this WA gun, magazines seat solidly and do not rattle. The magazine
release does not sit too proud of the frame so the gun is usable in a holster
without worry of accidentally dumping the magazine whilst rolling on the ground.
Also as mentioned earlier the mag release is reversible for left-handed use,
a nice touch and when combined with the ambi safety/de-cocker worth noting
for any left-handed airsofters out there tired of using index fingers to remove
pistol mags.

UPDATE
(Jan ’02)
Well
my 8045 is now about 2yrs old and still working. I’ve had to take the magazines
apart a couple of times to counter leaks from the baseplate seal, and the
slide has a little play (no doubt from constant use of high powered gas),
but apart from that its mechanically sound. After sitting un-used in my holster
all day at a recent skirmish the 8045 happily emptied both magazines with
no stoppages and only a couple of under powered shots – not too terrible for
a gbb that hasnt been shot or lubed in 6 months and was just loaded and taken
into the field.

I have tended
to use the 8045 more in the colder months, the crisp blowback allows it to
perform better in those conditions than my other gbbs, so it has certainly
suffered the worst of the rain and mud. Apart from some minor wear it still
looks great. Recently Iadded a houge universal grip to the pistol and it has
improved handling (and looks) no end. I havent seen many WA 8045’s in use
at skirmishes, so even though an older model it still generates some interest.
The weight and very solid feel of this pistol are always points for comment
by ppl holding a 8045 for the first time.

I still really,
really like my 8045(even more with the hogue grip on it) and I can’t recall
a game situation where it ever let me down – good gun.


Conclusion

The only
bad points of note are:

  • Hop-up – quite
    tricky to set just right.
  • Field Stripping
    – easy to strip, awkward to re-assemble.

Overall
a very good result with only a couple of more minor niggles which a little
time and practice will solve. This gbb pistol has easily impressed me
more than any other, a conclusion I’m sure any other m8045 owners
would agree with. –
Pedro

Appearance

4/5
faithful
replica.

Build
Quality

5/5
outstanding.

Performance

5/5
WOW
!!

Value
for Money

4/5

Overall
Potential

4/5
lots

 

External
Links:

WesternArms
– the offical homepage of WesternArms

Comment
about this review in the forums


Last modified:
Friday, January 25, 2002 11:55 PM
Copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft




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