Beretta M93r Review

 

images
and review by

Arnie
(includes
stills from ‘Broken
Arrow
‘ and ‘RoboCop‘)

 

TM HKG3SG1

(click
for a larger image)

Stock
Specifications
Model Beretta
M93r 1st Gen
FPS

240
– 300fps
Chrono’d
@ 305fps with HFC22 on 14/04/2001

Length: 249mm
Weight: 1185g

Ammo
capacity:

38
+ 1 rounds

KSC Guns Japan

m93r
short-review page
| m93r long-review page | m93r
technical page
| m93r
images page


Say,
that’s a big gun.
..
(That’s why
I have it!) The theory goes that by the time you need to use a
pistol sidearm, you’re in some deep, deep “do-dah”.
In a situation like this it’s fairly likely that either:

    • your
      opponent is getting too darn close, and/or you are using a
      sniper rifle,
    • or
      your main firearm is out of action, either because of a lack
      of ammo, or because it’s jammed (up the creek without a working
      rifle).

From
this scenario you can gauge that there are several properties
of a sidearm you need and several you don’t. Accuracy, is
something that you really won’t care about, as the chances
are that you’re either firing to get the opponent to keep
their head down (so you can leg it), or they are so close
it really doesn’t matter. Ammo capacity is a distinct advantage,
so the larger the better. The ability for the sidearm to
fire in full auto mode has obvious advantages..

This
is where the Beretta M93r comes in. It isn’t amazingly accurate
when compared to the likes of the Western Arms SV 5″,
but it carries 38 rounds, it fires in full-auto, and it
makes a real loud and scary noise when fired. For those
of you with itchy trigger fingers it also features a three-shot-burst
system. This is very handy, as it stops you emptying the
entire clip, rather spectacularly, in under 3 seconds.

Welcome
to the world of the M93r. Personally when I think of the
Beretta M93r, I think of an M9 on anabolic steroids. It
just bulges out of all the right places. For example take
the standard M9 as an starting point: Not enough ammo ?
That’s not a problem, just extend the magazine. Not full
auto ? – Then make it full auto! Now add a
folding
front foregrip to steady the muzzle under
sustained firing, extend the barrel and integrate a flashhider
at the end. Voila! – You now have a rather tasty and mean
looking M93r.

When
fired the stock power varies from 240fps to about 280fps
– power varies considerably depending on the ambient temperature
(see later note). The standard extended magazine holds 38
rounds. As for weight, it is fairly heavy, coming in at
just over 1kg.

 

So
what is it ?
The
KSC M93r is a lovely copy of the real Beretta. Sadly because
of the lawsuit instigated by Western Arms, no one else may
place the word ‘Beretta’ on a replica. It’s only a small
issue, but it is slightly annoying (and pointless) none
the less. I am only aware of Beretta making 3 models of
this gun, which were unimaginatively called the 1st, 2nd
and 3rd Gen. KSC build 2 versions of the M93r, which are
the 1st Gen and the 2nd Gen. The KSC 1st Gen copy is actually
the newest of the 2 models that KSC offer.

I
own the KSC 1st Gen, which is listed as a ‘HardKick’ model,
which basically means it has a much more realistic blow-back
operation, as they have added mass to rear of the slide.
This has the disadvantage that the slide takes (slightly)
longer to recoil per shot. The 1st Gen has a lovely hand
grip that’s a mock effect copy of (what looks like) walnut
– it looks the part and, more importantly, it is very comfortable
to hold.

As
for construction, the vast majority of it is made of good
quality, high density ABS. The steel parts that can be found
on the pistol are:

  • Hammer
  • Trigger
  • Magazine
    release catch
  • Slide
    release
  • Fire-select
  • Safety
    catch
  • Front
    foregrip

 

Most
of the magazine is made of steel, apart from the lower half
that comprises part of the hand-grip, which is again made
of ABS plastic..

Omega
also supply a replica airsoft model of the M93r. It only supports
triple and single shot firing though, and the build qualify isn’t
up to the standard of the KSC versions (e.g. the grips are simply
brown). But if you’re on a budget you’ll be pleasantly surprised
to find that the Omega version is very cheap. You can find the
contact details of a UK supplier I know on my other (older) M93r
page here.

 

Functionality

Disassembly,
Cleaning & Assembly

Disassembly:
Taking the pistol apart, cleaning it and reassembling it
is easy, but it takes a bit of practice to get it perfect.
To remove the top slide, first secure the slide back using
the catch at the top of the handgrip on the LHS. Then drop
the magazine out, using the mag release catch, again found
at LHS of the grip, at thumb height. On the LHS of the pistol,
you’ll find a leaver that is shaped rather like a ‘P’ on
it’s side. At the corner of this leaver there’s a button,
depress this button, and turn the leaver down, and away
from the slide. You should now be able to move the entire
slide forward (away from the hammer), you should find that
it slides right off the rails, leaving you with the pistol
in 2 pieces.

It should
be noted, that the spring inside the slide in NOT captive,
so exercise extreme care when removing the slide, and when
you put it down try not to dislodge the spring as it will
fly across the room.

Cleaning:
Make sure you get plenty of silicon spray on the inside,
specifically around the spring, slide and moving parts.
I tend to coat plenty on, and then wipe of any major excess,
and then fire a couple of shots through it when assembled.

Assembly:
Assembly is basically the reverse of disassembly
(not a great stretch of the imagination). The one thing
that is a slight problem is the correct location of the
“slide return spring” under the slide. When you
place the slide on, you may have to slide the top, back
and forth a bit until you are happy that the spring is correctly
located. From experience it seems that the slide goes on
better if you hold the pistol upside down.

 

Fire
select
Fire select has 3 positions, single (denoted
by one dot), auto (denoted by the ‘infinity loop’ symbol) and
triple shot (denoted by 3 dots). The fire select is at the rear
of the pistol, slightly above where you’ll place your thumb if
you hold the pistol in your right hand. One problem I found is
that the white paint that is used to put the markings on the side
of the slide is water soluble, so after I had the pistol in my
rather snug and sweaty tac-vest for an afternoon the ‘full-auto’
symbol wore off.

Safety
The safety is near the ‘fireselect’ switch, but is
the closest to the hammer. When the red dot under the switch is
uncovered – the safety is off, and the pistol is ready to fire.
IMPORTANT: Don’t trust the safety catch on any airsoft weapon
– they are really just there to copy the reel steel weapon. They
cannot, and shouldn’t, be relied upon. If you require a weapon
to be safe, remove the mag, and clear the barrel of any rounds
present.

Mag
Release
The mag release catch is right where
your thumb goes on the grip, simply depress the button and the
mag will drop. Be careful – these magazines are heavy, so don’t
let them fall, especially onto a hard surface like concrete. I
accidentally dropped one of mine and managed to put a rather big
dent into the corner of the bottom of the mag.

 

Run
away!
So
what’s it like to use in the field ? Well after much thought,
I really decided that there’s only one thing better than
a Beretta M93r, and that’s two of them. I’ve never had any
feed jams or misfires with the pistol, and I’ve now had
it for 6 months. It’s been used at almost every skirmish
I’ve been at.

The
ability to lay suppressing fire with a pistol is great,
the pistol however comes into it’s own when your primary
weapon fails. Last time I was out, my SG1 battery finally
died (I put about 14 mags of ammo through it), so I dropped
the SG1 and took out the M93r.

Surprisingly
the pistol fairs rather well against the likes of the MP5
and M4, as a few guys who were hiding behind a couple of
trees found out at a recent CS skirmish.

 

Upgrade
Details
There are upgrades available to crank up
the power, using HFC22 gas, to roughly 350fps. To do this several
parts in the pistol itself need to be replaced (because of the
strain placed on the internals after the power upgrade), I understand
that this consists of: a new valve assembly (for one mag), blowback
piston, and a few other bits. Each mag that is intended to be
used on the upgraded pistol needs a valve upgrade fitted, one
such upgrade is included with the pistol upgrade. I had a look
today (02/02/2001), you can get the upgrades from RedWolf
: the pistol upgrade set costs $85 ,and the upgrade for each
additional magazine costs $30.

I
have no idea about the effect of this upgrade on the usable lifetime
of the pistol. Obviously any power upgrade will increase wear
and tear on the pistol’s working parts. Again, it seems that when
correctly fitted, and properly maintained there shouldn’t be any
problem. I may invest in such an upgrade in the future, when I
get a chance. It’s worth remembering though, that unlike an AEG
upgrade, each magazine you have must be upgraded too. In my case
it’s a bit of a bummer as I have 3 mags.

(KSC
1stGen M93r with silencer, sight and stock)

Add-Ons:
You
can get a silencer and a folding stock for the M93r. This
allows you to convert the look of it, and make it look more
like an SMG (sub machine gun). The folding stock is handy
if you have trouble keeping the pistol steady when firing
in full auto mode. The silencer will not actually function
as a silencer – in that it won’t actually quieten the
firing sound, although it does provide the possibility to
extend the inner barrel into the silencer and thus improve
power and accuracy. Personally I don’t see much point in the
stock, as I don’t have a problem firing the pistol one handed,
or keeping it still when firing. As for the silencer, I have
enough trouble getting the pistol to fit in a holster as it
is, so a silencer really wouldn’t improve matters.

 

“Dead
or alive, you’re coming with me.”
If
you’ve read any of my other work on the site, you may have
noticed a regular occurrence of sci-fi screen-shots. Well
I’m happy to say that the M93r is not an exception to this
phenomenon.

I’m
hoping that most of you have seen the film ‘Robocop’. If
you have seen the film, you’ll know what I’m on about; if
you recently awoke after being held in stasis in a cryogenic
freezer, and missed the past 20 years, (welcome to the year
2001), then you won’t. For those of you still thawing, this
is the ‘Auto – 9’, and the pistol that is used in the film
by the half-human, half-machine hero, Murphy.

The
pistol is built on the M93r, it features an extended barrel,
a widened grip, and is set (permanently) to triple shot.
There is also a larger backsight on the top of the slide.
This large backsight also doubles as a handy grip for the
steel-mitten loaf to cock the weapon.

I’ve
pulled a few rather nice images of the gun from the film.
You can click on any of the embedded images in this review
to view the larger version.

The
Auto 9 is also produced as a replica by KSC. I’m not sure
that it’s particularly suitable for airsoft skirmishs, but
it does make a rather nice collectors piece.

You
can find more images from the RoboCop DVD under the (separate)
images page
for the M93r, which contains all the images I
have for this weapon, including the ones in this review.

 

Issues
to be aware of:

Gas
blowback performance:

As with any gas blowback, performance and hence the fps, is limited
by the ambient temperature. When the pistol is fired in the cold
the fps is lower than expected (230fps ish). I get around this
by keeping the spare mags and the pistol close to my body, which
keeps them nice and warm when I’m running around. It sounds stupidly
simple, but if your spare mags are kept in a chest rig rather
than a holster or a thigh rig, you’ll find that the performance
is improved on a cold day.

Magazine
capacity:
You can fit 38 rounds in the magazine (2 loads from
the mag loading tube). If you push it you can get 39 in.
I really wouldn’t recommend it though, as the slack in the mag
spring is needed to allow the mag to securely locate itself.

Proper
care:
To maximise the life of your pistol, I’d recommend keeping
the valves, and the internal rubbers found inside the barrel,
well lubricated in silicon spray. It’s also a good idea to keep
gas inside the magazines, as the valves will last longer if the
gas cylinder is kept pressurised.

 

Conclusion

Advantages

Large
trigger guard
– This allows you to fire the pistol even if
you have ‘podgy’ fingers, or you are wearing tac-gloves.

High
ammo capacity
– 38 rounds is a large amount for a pistol.
Although it’s not as high as the 40 odd you can get in the Glock
18c high cap mags, the magazine is much smaller in size. The real
thing only carries 20 rounds.

Sensible
design –
The Beretta’s of this world are fairly sensible in
design. They are well balanced, practical to use, and comfortable
to hold. The addition of a foregrip provides extra flexibility,
and greater control of the pistol in difficult situations.

‘Self
cocking
‘ – If you have the slide cocked back, and you load
a new full mag in, the pistol will close the slide, and load a
round ‘automatically’. This is a really useful feature, that I
haven’t seen on any other pistols yet.

Disadvantages

Holsters
– Well I’ve searched high and low, and finally found a few
that apparently fit
. I went through the entire collection
at Wolf
Armouries
, to no avail. Thankfully I have found a few that
apparently will fit. I’m shortly going to place an order with
DenTrinity
for a large thigh holster and a large shoulder holster, both of
which are quoted as the correct size. Update 10/05/01
– I found a nice holster that fits the M93r beautifully, the BagMaster
Vertical
Shoulder Holster
(medium size) – part # VSH-DH/M.

Firing
angle
– As this isn’t a pistol made by Western Arms, the gas
firing mechanism cannot be fired at an angle of more than +/-
25degrees from vertical. If you try to fire the gun at an angle
past that you’ll simply get a spout of gas/liquid shooting out
of the slide , which will use up the gas much more quickly than
usual. You’ll be lucky to get enough power in this situation to
fully ‘blow-back’ the slide.

No
‘lefties’
– Unfortunately most of the levers and switches
on the M93r are designed with a right handed person in mind. You
can fire it left handed, as I have done, but you’ll have to invent
your own way to change mags, and operate the switches on the left
side.

Summary
I really love this gun, and I really wouldn’t swap it for
anything else. When I get a chance I’ll get another, and
a proper crossdraw tac-vest for the pair. I really like
the ability (occasionally) to move very quickly with limited
equipment, as my SG1 really isn’t a rifle you can run any
great distance with quietly, especially when you carry 6
mags and a pistol backup.

Want
something that looks mean ? Bored with the rather ugly looking
Glocks ? Then go and get an M93r, and at least 2
extra mags. If you find someone glassy eyed, walking aimlessly
around an airsoft site, chances are they’ve just fired an
M93r for the first time… Either that or a bb grenade went
off too close to them – the effect is much the same.

Appearance

5/5

Build
Quality

4/5
More metal in the construction
would be nice

Performance

4/5
As stock, it has very good performance.

Value
for Money

4/5
I didn’t buy if from the cheapest
place though

Overall
Potential

5/5

 

If
you are tempted, Wolf
Armouries
have the M93r for £185, and spare mags are
(about) £35. Dentrinity
also have the M93r in stock for $200 US, and the mags are $40
US, they’ll ship it to the UK for you in about 2-3 days.

Further
Links

There’s
a nice review with parts listings and a dissassembled parts list
here
at ExecutiveAirsoft

You
can find a further review here
from AirgunBase.
They also detail a few tips and hints on use and car of the M93r
pistol replica.

For
information about the real steel Beretta M93r (written by Stefano
Mattioli
), have a look at this page
http://www.cpu.lu/handguns/document/bm93r/bm93r.htm
.

You
can find some nice images and information about the film ‘Broken
Arrow’ here,
at the official site www.brokenarrow.com.
There’s not much technical content, but there are a few clips
from the film, and some information about the special effects.

Movie
of the KSC M93r in action

Comment
on this review in the forums


‘RoboCop’
images are copyright MGM

. ‘Broken
Arrow’
images are copyright 20th
Century Fox
This page last updated:
Monday, January 13, 2003 2:53 PM

Copyright 2003 Arnie’s
Airsoft




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