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Squad 701

VFC S&W M&P [Photo Comparison]

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Here I give a quick photo comparison featuring the newly released (about time) VFC S&W M&P.

I compare it with the previous VFC M&P compact and the earlier WE Toucan (Big Bird).

As the only regular stock WE pistol I have is in the middle of a transformation, I am using the 'First-Batch Custom' limited release HK3P for comparison shots.

 

These photographs are only intended to give a quick look at the cosmetic differences between the VFC & WE,

as I wouldn't have time to do a full scale performance review.

 

The barrel to slide fit must have been a tight fit initially as the barrel chamber shows sign of in-factory testing, the clear parts on the frame are slightly more textured on the VFC.

The front sight is quite loose as the dovetail cut-out is a lot bigger than the base of the front sight, but it is tightened from underneath so doesn't wobble from side-to side.

The mag-release is smaller than the WE version so may be compatible with RS (?) the ambi slide-stops are more flush with the frame than the slightly angled WE version.

The back-strap lock is smaller on the VFC the same as the RS, and the mag base is more accurate in detail.

There are probably a few other finer details like the roll-pins, but you should be able to see them for yourself in the photos.

Most of these differences would have been noticed already on the VFC M&P compact.

 

VFC M&P and M&Pc.

 

IMG_4196_zpse3e39e61.jpg

 

IMG_4197_zps1a16909e.jpg

 

VFC M&P (659g) and HK3P M&P (703g).

 

IMG_4177_zpsefee869c.jpg

 

IMG_4183_zps2772e3e7.jpg

 

VFC

 

IMG_4188_zpsd8685add.jpg

 

HK3P

 

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VFC

 

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HK3P

 

IMG_4193_zps52fabf19.jpg

 

VFC - maybe the only part that is inferior is the takedown lever which looks cheap, even compared to WE !

 

IMG_4195_zps34641c0d.jpg

 

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A shot comparing barrels, the VFC compact version and the HK3P have RA Tech steel barrels, the HK3P barrel having a more blued finish.

the chamber indicator hole is smaller on the WE version, and the VFC full-size barrel-chamber has marks from the factory.

 

IMG_4206_zps286d6e80.jpg

 

A look at the rear-plates, the VFC being more favourable to the RS, I'm not sure if the seam-marks are present on the RS (?)

 

IMG_4202_zpsc73bc87c.jpg

Edited by Squad 701
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Here's a shot of the *albatross* end of an RS for you. Seam mark is visible.

 

photo_zps16bcdb5b.jpg?t=1396130576

Edited by Leon Kennedy
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About 4000. ;P

 

Pity that ALL of those replicas are using old-gen sights.

Edited by Leon Kennedy

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Can either of you Real-Steal guys weigh the M&P frame without magazine if possible ?

 

I'm just trying to get an idea if much weight is lost in the VFC frame compared to the RS,

as the VFC/SA Glock 19 frame was 195g without magazine.

 

Cheers.

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RS frame is 198g

Thanks for that information Planeman ;)

 

Here are the weights of the Airsoft frames without magazine :

 

VFC/Cybergun - 182g.

 

WE/HK3P - 231g.

 

I'd prefer if the VFC frame had more weight, but all their Airsoft frames are very light.

You can actually hear a hollow sound when inserting the magazine into the VFC compared to the smoother WE.

I suppose the extra weight on the WE Airsoft version is good to have as an alternative if making a custom build on a fully functioning pistol, as they have their new quality control stickers :)

as the weight on the RS with a fully-loaded 17 round magazine is quite heavy.

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It looks nice but how does it shoot? As I can't take out the enemy by showing how pretty my pistol is. :D

 

As I already mentioned on the top of the thread, this is NOT an in-depth review, just a quick photo-comparison as I haven't got the time to do a complete review.

 

CKinnerley was good enough to do a Video Review, so I suggest you check that out for further information.

 

There is an iPhone App you might be able to use instead of the photograph, it would be a tiny bit more effective ;)

But still won't take out the enemy, or even mildly scare them come to think of it. :)

 

If I get a chance later I will Chrono the three of them, VFC M&P, VFC M&Pc and WE M&P.

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I managed to do a quick shooting comparison between the VFC and WE M&Ps, there wasn't a whole lot in the difference.

The temperatures weren't ideal for chrono'ing a pistol accurately.

But with .20g Excel BBs at average room temperature of 14oC the WE seemed a tiny bit more powerful at 285-300fps,

the VFC was very close behind at 275-290fps with a snappier trigger pull and slightly more accurate groupings, but very little between them.

Where the WE was slightly more powerful, the VFC had more accuracy and mags lasted that bit longer.

But a more in-depth analysis would have to be done at a constant temperature, as its still Winter/Spring here in Dublin.

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Well I finally got mine last weekend so here is my experience with it(I might compare it to my TM PX4 only because thats the only other pistol I have at the moment):

The gun looks nice the trades are well done. There is a seam line in the mid of the lower frame tough it doesn't bother me at all. The front sight looks like it is simply pinned in a small hole yet it can move a bit up and down like its on a spring. The gap is not too big between the slide and the frame(unless you are really nitpicky), tough the front part of the slide does rise up a bit more. Suprisingly despite the gun being full metal it felt and I think it is actually lighter then my TM PX4. There were two things that annoyed me: first it was overlubed, it almost felt like they dropped the whole pistol in a tank of silicone oil. Second, the pistol had an awful smell, which resembled to burnt plastic. Also note that the gun comes with full auto switched on by default.

The magazine holds the gas fine, tough you can only load the bbs by holding the follower down, at least I was not able to load from the lips like my PX4 mags. The mag does not wobble at all inside the pistol(unless you directly push the mag but that is still almost nothing).

The hop-up was my biggest issue as just by looking into it I saw that the rubber(which had split nub) is not pushed down evenly and my shots tended to go left. Also silicone everywhere so I cleaned it up. I bended the hop-up arm and changed the rubber to a Modify one. It was still not perfect but much better(didn't want to bend the arm anymore). Also watch for the two screws holding the chamber sides together, if you don't twist them hard enough your hop-up could get misadjusted from shooting.

Performances were good: you can shoot it rapidly without cooldown and the magazine seemed pretty gas efficent(tough maybe because of this the kick felt weaker than my TM PX4). The hop(tough at this point I was using the Modify rubber) had no problem lifting even 0.3g BBs. The slide locked back everytime I emptied the magazine. According to my UFC chrono it shoots about 250 FPS with 0.25g BBs(had no 0.2s with me at that time).

Tough I had no issue with it the slide-return spring felt just a bit weak.

Trigger pull wise altough I never shot a real pistol(and Im not really bothered by it) Im pretty sure its not like the real one, in fact its worse than my PX4 I think. You won't feel any resistance through the whole pull and then just suddenly: click!

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Hehe, I find it funny when people mention things like seam lines and slide-to-frame fit :D

Airsofters are more nitpicky than RS guys :P

Sorry, OCD guy talking. They are close as to the RS deal.

 

Also, trigger on real M&P is notorious for being *suitcase* out of the box. Except for the trigger pull weight I think, IIRC, the owners of the real one say it feels about the same as the real one.

Edited by NonEx

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Ok then, my thoughts after the small amount of time I spent with mine.
 
Video review covers a lot, obviously there's things you can't really put across in stills.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq4gHYZ7unY
 
In the Box
 
13511208984_827d88598f_c.jpg

  • The M&P9 with the Medium backstrap fitted
  • 1 x Magazine
  • Spacer to allow dry firing of the magazine without the slide locking
  • Small backstrap
  • Large backstrap
  • Serial number plate to cover up 'Made in Taiwan'
  • Plastic inserts for the front sight and both dots of the rear sight

Packaging itself is pretty plain, not exactly TM standards but there was plenty of plastic and bubble wrap inside to keep everything secure and free from any moisture ingress.
 
Externals
 
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The plastic of the frame has a fair amount of seam line going on and the trigger is particularly bad for seams and some flash, but it's not something you actually feel in the hand (much to my relief).  Overall I generally feel like the shape of the M&P is what a Glock should be and isn't miles from the the way many Glocks end up once they've had a professional re-profile.  No stupid finger bumps that imply everyone in the world has the exact same sized hands.  The plastic itself is certainly decent enough, there's a bit of a sheen but nothing offensive and nothing creaks, flexes or wobbles.
 
The take-down lever on mine seems to either have had something go a bit wrong in the machining of the serrations or there's something left in there from the factory, but I've seen pictures of the RS with a similar effect.  The slide lock/release and the arrow around the pin hole that would mount the manual safety on the RS guns that feature said safety are accurate.  Although technically there should be a spring pin in the rearmost space that's purely an aesthetic issue where the VFC gun doesn't have a hole all the way through like the S&W does.  The 20mm rail is obviously an expected feature on a modern pistol of this type and from my quick tests it appears to be fine in terms of dimensions, which elevates this gun significantly in terms of practicality for CQB skirmishing in my eyes.
 
The fit between the slide and frame is a tiny bit loose but there's certainly much worse out there in airsoft.  The visible gap is pretty much comparable to the RS.  It definitely wants some breaking in from the factory, particularly when it comes to the field strip.  I had some real troubles getting everything to line up just-so the first few times I took the slide off and attempted reassembly but after a few repetitions it started to improve.
 
The slide appears to be of a good quality metal and the machining inside and out looks pretty precise.  The cocking serrations are particularly grippy compared to most handguns, although with the weak recoil spring that comes in this gun you won't need to worry about that too much.  I'm not sure if the extractor itself is actually a separate piece but it certainly looks that way and it is a different colour to the rest of the slide so that's a nice aesthetic.  Finish on the slide is pretty good from my initial look, certainly better than my KJW 1911 and a lot of other metal pistols I've seen that are only cheaply painted.  As with any metal-slided GBB you'll obviously get paint wearing away in high friction areas inside such as the grooves for the rails and where the outer barrel cams downwards, so keep those spots clean and lightly oiled.
 
As you'll note from the pictures my outer barrel had already seen a lot of cycles before the gun even got to me, which is slightly annoying, but the paint wear is consistent with that seen on the RS.  You can always get the thing cerakoted if you want the top of the chamber to stay black for longer.
 
Personally I'm not a mega stickler for trades in terms of them being rolled/stamped/engraved in the exact same way that the real firearm features/when it comes to the nuances of the font etc.  However VFC's partnership with Cybergun has allowed them to include a full set of realistic trademarks on this M&P replica and still openly sell it internationally, unlike the traded Stark G series.  I think they're nicely done on both the slide and frame and certainly seem quite close to the real gun, but the main thing is that there aren't any screaming, nasty, airsoft specific, whited-in trades on this pistol.  The one way they deviate from the Smith & Wesson gun is the 'Made in Taiwan' on the right side of the frame, which is nicely covered up by the included serial number plate (which you'll want to secure with a dab of glue).
 
Here's some macro shots of each trademark.
 
13511207094_cb29f9a67e_c.jpg
13510863425_57705ce442_c.jpg
13510863085_82cdecdb6b_c.jpg
13511205464_188d7304f6_c.jpg
13511205344_4893b85871_c.jpg
13510949953_431b8a457c_c.jpg
13510950893_5b66be2bf5_c.jpg
13510861215_1db9973a52_c.jpg
 
Internals
 
One great thing about this design is that you can break it down to what you see below in about 7 seconds with no tools of any sort.
 
13510861885_80be4f9b3a_c.jpg
 
It's similarly quick and simple to re-assemble (once you've worn it in a bit) which makes adjusting the hop much less of a chore than some designs and it's obviously very handy for general cleaning and maintenance.  Even compared to the Glock design I find it a lot better, both in terms of the field strip and switching the backstraps (which do make a significant difference depending on which you fit so this gun will cater to a wide range of hand sizes).
 
The bits inside the frame and slide aren't exactly beautiful but then they obviously don't need to be, they certainly appear sturdy enough, and again, very comparable to a Stark G17.
 
13510864605_8a51f3f1b5_c.jpg
 
The recoil spring (which is captive on the guide rod) is very weak as I mentioned, so if you're at all ginger/tentative with cocking the gun or pressing the slide release you can end up with a failure to battery, especially when the gun's not yet worn in and before you clean out what little grease is put in by the factory and add some silicone oil yourself.  But I didn't have any issues with returning to battery during firing or when cocking the gun properly at speed/with some force.
 
The hop unit is a Marui type although this is one area I did come across an issue, mine does not apply even pressure to the bucking.  The metal arm that is moved up and down by the adjustment wheel doesn't sit dead straight/flat and tends to be pulled slightly further down on the side of the wheel, creating more of an impression on that side when you look down the barrel.  I stripped the unit down and reassembled to check it wasn't the screws being loose but it appears not, the arm itself may need some modifying to prevent shots hooking left at longer ranges.
 
The inner barrel was very mucky from the factory so definitely give that a clean.  Although the groove in the end of it near the muzzle with the fitted o-ring is very good to see and stops the inner barrel rattling around inside the outer during firing, something a lot of cheaper pistols can suffer with due to omitting this simple feature.
 
The full-auto mode can be easily accessed with the gun assembled by locking the slide back and looking under the rear sight.  Not sure why VFC included this (apart from just copying the mechanism from the M&P9c) and I've not tried it at all myself, would've preferred it not be included.  But fingers crossed it doesn't cause the gun to last any less time than it would being semi only, in which case it'll just be a nice little feature for people to play about with on occasion.
 
Features and Function
 
The movement of the slide on the frame probably won't win an awards for smoothness and the sort of robust feel that inspires the confidence a high quality RS pistol does, but for a metal slided gun in this price range it's certainly comparable with the competition.  I'm probably judging it somewhat harshly for various reasons, but overall it's perfectly fine and doesn't have any problems cycling.
 
The trigger to my mind isn't particularly impressive, but I think a lot of this comes down to the two-part design of the M&P family trigger, which to me always just looks like a sideways version of the Glock trigger safety.  I've been spoilt by some very expensive, highly modified RS M&Ps but I think the plastic VFC have used is just a tad too flexible when it comes to small/thin parts like the trigger.  End of the day the average airsofter won't notice this so as a skirmishing gun it's not much of a negative, just a point for the shooters.  It hits a fairly predictable wall before the break which certainly isn't the most sharp and crisp in the world and is overall a tad sponge'y, but I haven't noticed any grit to it.  The reset is annoying to me personally in that it is neither audible nor tactile most of the time (for some reason it occasionally does click), but again most airsofters (certainly in the UK and most of Europe) won't be bothered by this in the slightest and from what I've been told this is accurate to the RS trigger when the gun's in stock form.
 
The slide lock was almost a bit disconcerting at first, because rather than the piece you physically interact with locking the slide there's a protrusion that goes further in which catches on the notch in the slide.  As I noted in the video it doesn't take much of a knock to dislodge the lever and send the slide home, but I'd imagine the worst case scenario of this is that you might occasionally have to power stroke on a reload.  Although it does mean as a side effect you can reload that fraction of a second faster every time because slapping in the mag will send the slide forward consistently in my experience thus far.
 
The magazine catch is an area that maybe needs breaking in as I found my pistol somewhat inconsistent in releasing magazines compared to others I've owned and used.  The protrusion on the frame feels like a real obstruction, as if you have to reach over it with your thumb to actuate the button.  It's not a flaw specific to the VFC and it's not insurmountable, but getting a good press on the button will take some getting used to vs a 1911/P226/G17.  The mag catch can be swapped around for any left handed users who prefer that.  Which combined with the dual-sided slide lock and symmetrical frame makes this pistol essentially full ambidextrous.
 
The blowback is what you'd expect, perhaps a tiny bit on the sluggish side due to the slide/frame interface not being the smoothest and the weak recoil spring.  Overall though we're talking very small fractions of seconds between this and the various other comparable GBB pistols on the market.
 
Firing and feeding was consistent although I'm unable to provide any sort of range or ranged accuracy report at this time due to the constraints of the job.  The pistol did fine with hitting a 12" square paper target (typical mesh BB catcher box) at roughly 5-6m, but I've no idea as yet how that wonky hop unit will affect things at further distances.
 
In Conclusion
 
I don't particularly like to use the phrase "for the price" because that just always seems to imply a lesser quality somehow, but in its' truest sense I feel it's very relevant to this pistol.  Given the spotty reputation of the WE with regards consistent, reliable function (along with said pistol's lack of accurate trades) and the fact the Marui M&P quite likely won't handle propane too well when it eventually arrives (whenever that is); I strongly believe the VFC is a strong entry to the market.  I think it will suit a lot of people who wish to own an airsoft version of one of these guns, be it for skirmishing (perhaps more suited for CQB), collecting/plinking or as a cost effective training tool.
 
It looks good inside and out with a complete set of fully correct trademarks with no airsoft 'extras' or alternations, the magazines hold gas reliably and feed perfectly fine.  The M&P design is highly ergonomic and one of the most modern designs of pistol that exists in airsoft form.  I've no doubt that a good selection of high-end slides, barrels, triggers and other parts will be forthcoming for this platform for those that want the ATEi/Salient/Costa custom type look and if the Stark Glocks are anything to go by the supply of stock parts to keep these guns running in the event of breakages should be plentiful.
 
It's a shame the mags aren't compatible with WE and you know TM won't copy anyone else so unfortunately we are going to end up with 3 types of mags, but I think if you want a really good looking M&P that's also decent for skirmishing and can handle the same gas as your GBB rifles this platform is a very sound bet overall.

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Great write up. Good to hear the mag release is ambi. I'm really curious about the compatibility with the following RS parts:

Front and rear sights

Mag release

Back straps

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Cheers dude.

 

Somebody over in the news thread mentioned that sights did not look to be a drop-in fit, though the modification necessary didn't sound extensive or difficult.  I would take a guess that the mag catch and the straps might be compatible but that's a very hazy guess to be honest.

Edited by CKinnerley

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Finally got mine in today, from France at that. A couple of things to note:

 

- Mine is serialized sta4819, making it slightly older than both the other ones in this thread. I ordered it from France like 2 weeks ago.

 

- Mine did not have the out of the box barrel wear from factory testing

 

- The factory grease smells like *albatross*, seriously.

 

- The magazine is by far the worst part of the gun, more on that later.

 

So after years and years of waiting for the marui, I finally got an m&p after refusing to get the WE. After having been reading I immediately tested my ambi slide release, and it works. It's just a bit stiff on the right side.

After some fun shooting I got into a very one-time-ever situation. Somehow a bb escaped the magazine mid-insertion and lodged itself in the space between the mag release spring and the frame, locking up the magazine in place. It was quite a struggle to get that thing out. In my struggle I discovered a few interesting things about the magazine.

 

The baseplate for the magazine is not held by anything. In mine the part that's supposedly pressing down on it (right below the magazine follower spring) is stuck in a more upwards position. That's something to worry about if I was in a crazy skirmish, I might loose the baseplate and not even feel it.

The ugliest thing, however... the lower portion of the magazine itself is not pinned.... it's held on by 3 screws with very VERY thin walls (I'll take pics later).

And what caused (or contributed) to the bb escaping the magazine, the follower can and will tilt backwards a bit.

 

Otherwise it's pretty much on-par with the review. The front sight feels spring loaded but has no side play. My particular pistol does have an audible reset for the trigger (no reason for it not to, it's a G18 mech in disguise). Lastly, mine has a surprisingly healthy recoil spring. The only thing that catches the slide is the G18 mech being what it is.

 

The M&P so far works well and is snappy. Pics will come later. 

 

Also will someone please try RS sights on? I'm dying to know if they're compatible.

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