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seth

WA SW M4013 TSW REVIEW AND FIXES

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SWTitle.jpg

 

Introduction.

 

My love for Smith and Wessons began shortly after a friend gave me his trusty KWC M4506 springer pistol, and while being light and plasticky, had remarkable balance in the hand and looked great. After handling a real-steel SW M500 revolver, buying the airsoft version, then owning various Tanaka SW revolver replicas, I decided I wanted to buy a Smith and Wesson automatic GBB to see if SW was just as excellent in the autoloader department as they are with revolvers. Also, knowing that Smith and Wessons in airsoft are rare, I wanted something I could use to stand out from the typical Glock and 1911 crowd.

 

The M4013 TSW (Tactical Smith and Wesson) is a third generation Smith and Wesson autoloader. It differs from previous generations with its one piece wraparound grips, ambidextrous safety/decocker levers, and a new coding system to identify each particular model: (table kindly provided by the Modern Firearms and Ammunition Website)

 

First two digits - caliber and frame type (for 9mm only).

39xx - 9mm single stack magazines

59xx - 9mm double stack magazines

69xx - 9mm compact, double stack magazines

40xx - .40 S&W

10xx - 10mm auto

45xx - .45 ACP

 

Third digit - trigger type and frame size

xx4x - DAO

xx5x - DAO, compact

xx8x - DAO

xx2x - DA w decocker

xx3x - DA w decocker

xx7x - DA w decocker, compact?

xx0x - DA

xx1x - DA, compact

xx6x - DA, large frame

 

Fourth digit - Frame material (all models had stainless steel slides)

xxx3 - Aluminium alloy frame

xxx6 - Stainless Steel frame

 

As you can see from the table, the M4013 is a .40 caliber, double action automatic with an aluminum alloy frame.

It is the compact version of the larger-framed SW 4006, also chambered for the Smith and Wesson .40 round.

 

Just as a quick fact, the Smith and Wesson 3913 (the 9mm variant of the M4013) is used by many police departments across the United States, the Honolulu Police Department included.

 

First Impressions.

 

Weight

 

This gun is surprisingly heavy for its size. It's lighter than the KJW Para Ordnance Full Metal GBB that I compared it to, but without the magazine inserted, the gun is STILL heavy, unlike several Marui and KSC guns handled. This is due to Western Arms's "heavy weight" plastic, which is a polymer created from standard ABS and mixed with metal dust. That being said, the gun is quite balanced in the hand, comfortably sturdy, and the blowback is crisp.

 

Fit & Finish

 

The silver finish on the TSW is brilliant and right up there in terms of quality with the silver Tanaka revolvers, but truth be told, just isn't as robust as say, your standard black finish on KJW FMVs or the plain surface ABS on Maruis. When removing the thick layer of orange paint sludged on by WGC (thanks, guys!) some of the silver paint underneath began to rub off, even when being careful and using non-acetone diluted nail polish remover (which never caused any harm to any other of my guns). The silver paint won't scratch off with a few accidental bumps against a shrub or wall, but try not to say, holster and unholster it 50 times a day. That just may accelerate the process of wear on the finish ;)

 

Performance Factors/Features

 

The SW M4013 is equipped with removable front and rear Novak 3-dot combat sights, just like its real-steel counterpart. Also included in all real-steel TSW guns is an underside accessories rail which will take all your favorite goodies lights and lasers. If you want to install a Mosquito Molds Mini Launcher, be my guest, though the launcher may be larger than the gun itself. :)

 

SW1.jpg

 

Power:

 

I was pretty curious on how hard this little thing could hit, so while buying some BBs, Grant from Impact Games generously allowed me use of the store's chrono for the sake of this review. Using green gas and KSC .2 BBs, the WA M4013 TSW chronoed a consistent 299-301 FPS on a relatively cool magazine. Excellent consistency and resistance to cool down, thanks to the SCW system.

 

Accuracy:

 

SWtarget.jpg

 

Doing my usual 6 shot, 20 foot indoor accuracy test, a 1.5 inch grouping was achieved with Excel .25 BBs and green gas.. Great accuracy for such a small gun, which I originally conceived to be a "prettier KSC USP Compact." This is way better than the Compact, and I found that when doing a long range accuracy evaluation, the BBs fly straight and true for about 85 feet with .25 BBs and green gas before dropping. You may be wondering why the range is significantly shorter than other GBBs, like the Marui P226. Read on....

 

Thankfully, WA woke up and decided to do away with their erratic adjustable hops in their 1911s and gave the M4013 a fixed hopup rubber, set for .2 BBs. This gave the M4013 remarkable accuracy and consistency, especially when coupled with the stock 6.03mm tightbore barrel. The M4013 actually fires remarkably past 50-60 feet, where the WA SW1911 and 5 inch SV I tested earlier had problems holding a BB straight with the good ol' WA-esque hooking/swerving. What WA has done is trade off a bit more potential range for accuracy, something, in my opinion, is alot brighter than having a hopup that CAN shoot a BB out 100-120 feet, but randomly hooking towards your opponent's neck or groin (actually some people may LIKE that feature....)

 

Despite what the manual says, the hopup is NOT adjustable in this M4013. The adjustable hex-wrench hop was on the TSW's predessecor, the original Shorty 40.

 

Skirmishing:

 

While I've yet to take out this gun to any games, it will be in my belt holster during the upcoming 2005 ASH BASH. The accuracy is reasonable at longer ranges even with the short barrel; I feel confident that if a person is crouching 75 feet away, I will hit him with a .25 BB. Due to the TSW's excellent balance, checkered SW grips, and size, the pistol would be great in CQB upon entering a room when you need to quickly acquire your targets. The Novak combat sights, my favorites, are clearly painted with large white dots to aid in this task.

 

SW2.jpg

 

Conclusion:

 

I've never been a fan of Western Arms, due to the fact their guns are over 200 dollars new and they're still comprised of plastic, with hopups that send shots all over the place. I'd have to say that they're very poor pistols for the money, as a Marui with a full metal body would give you the performance AND the trades/feel, compared to a full metal WA which still has the accuracy issues.

 

Before the WA "fanboys" start piping up though.....

 

I have to say I was very impressed with the TSW, both in terms of performance AND looks/feel. It seems to be a compromise between Marui and Western Arms, offering the best of BOTH worlds. It's the only WA right now I'd recommend to anyone wanting the WA that excels in ALL departments.

 

I've been pounding down mag after mag (over 1500 shots already) of green gas in this gun, and it's still alive. The heavyweight slide is great at taking a beating, but with Creation (designers of one of the TM P226 metal slides) bringing a metal TSW slide into the game, I'm not too worried. The cominbation of good looks, accuracy, and comfort has made this gun one of my favorite GBBs, next to the Marui P226 and WA/KJW FMV Hybrids.

 

 

ADDED---- WA M4013 PROBLEMS....and FIXES!

 

Out of the box, my M4013 had a few annoying issues....

 

When using Excel .2 BBs, the nozzle would push the BB too far into the barrel, causing them to "poof" or "roll" out of the barrel every 2-3 shots. After the barrel, hop, and nozzle were cleaned, the problem persisted. The issue disappeared when using Excel .25 BBs and KJW .2 BBs....so stay away from them Excel .2s if you want your BBs to fly past 5 feet.

 

When firing, the hammer wouldn't always stay cocked, so when you're doing some rapid firing, you would be interrupted as the trigger doesn't stay back and pushes against your trigger finger as it returns to original position. VERY annoying.

 

This happened to an Arnies member's TSW as well, who gave me some pointers on how to address the problem, so I have to give much credit to Twin_Cam. Unfortunately, I couldn't replicate his setup exactly....so I came up with a final step-by-step guide through about 1 week of straight trial, error, and dozens of trips to City Mill. Note: If this is happening on your TSW, FIRST tighten the two halves of the recoil spring guide (recoil guide head has a flathead screwdriver indentation so you can use a driver to get a tight twist). If the gun still has the issue....read on. If your gun does NOT have the issue....stop reading. :)

 

---Let's refer to the following picture.=====>

 

SWFAQ.jpg

 

Disassembly is exactly like a 1911- align the slide disassembly notch with the disassembly pin, pull the pin out (comes out very easily), then pull the slide off the frame. BE VERY CAREFUL TO DO THIS SMOOTHLY AND CAREFULLY---PARTS E AND F MAY POP OUT AND CANNOT BE REPLACED (or they can, but its a pain)

 

•Part A: Plastic outer barrel and chamber (one piece)

 

•Part B: 6.03mm inner barrel (slips into the above piece)

 

•Part C: Recoil spring guide, two pieces, screwed into each other. Seen is a clipped stock WA 1911 recoil spring. Stock, you will see two fine recoil springs overlapping each other rather than the clipped 1911 spring shown.

 

•Part D: Steel metric washer gleaned from City Mill (hardware store). (measurements: 11mm outer diameter, 5mm inner diameter, 1mm thickness) This washer has replaced the stock setup of two washers separated by a poor quality rubber O-ring that keeps slipping off. Part D separates the two halves of the recoil spring guide when they are screwed into each other and seperates each of their spring(s).

 

•Part E: Recoil guide head retainer pin spring (sits in the recoil guide head and provides tension for Part F below) The original part was ruined when it kinked up badly after the guide kept hitting the inner barrel guide at an odd angle. The replacement is a much better fit, and is an AEG fire selector switch spring kindly provided by Grant of Impact Games. The spring was clipped two coils so it would provide tension to Part F without popping out by itself.

 

•Part F: Recoil guide head pin (secures recoil guide into Part B)

 

•Part G: Recoil guide head spring, seen on the actual recoil guide head. Provides tension between the two recoil guide halves. Combined with the two recoil springs that come stock and overlap, the M4013 has a "triple spring" recoil setup.

 

What we want to do is prevent the recoil guide from pushing against the inner barrel guide at a crooked angle, part 303 in the manual, seen as the matte silver metal piece housing the inner barrel itself (look at "Part B" in the picture).

 

For this operation, you'll need some patience, a Dremel with coarse grinding/cutting disc head, wire cutters, and teflon tape. All can be found at your local hardware store.

 

Procedure is as follows.

 

1) Disassemble the gun as shown. Take the slide off the frame, push the recoil guide rod towards the barrel, then lift it out. The outer barrel and inner barrel will slide out after that is removed.

 

2) Remove the double spring setup on Part C (recoil guide). At this point, you can add some recoil and reliability by throwing this out and putting in a stock WA 1911 recoil spring with 8-10 coils cut off of it. You could also try this with a 10 dollar 150% WA 1911 recoil spring bought from your local airsoft store, but you may have to cut a few more coils off because the tension may prevent your slide from locking back. After cutting, this should leave you with 2/3 of the 1911 spring. Set this aside.

 

3) Unscrew the two halves of the recoil guide, using a screwdriver inserted into the recoil guide head (see Part G) or doing it by hand. When separated, remove the O-ring and dual potmetal washers (Part D). Throw these out or set them aside.

 

4) Remove the stubby spring, Part G, and use your Dremel with grinding/cutting disc to file one end of it down so that it is flat. This will take alot of eyeballing and a few minutes---the stock spring doesn't sit completely flush to the guide head and the washer, and you want to remedy this. When reasonably flat and smooth, do the reverse to the other side. I personally cut a coil off with the dremel then smoothed it down on one side to relieve some of the extraneous tension. (Don't go any farther than that!)

 

5) Put your grinded Part G back onto the guide rod head.

 

6) Replace the dual potmetal washer/crappy O-ring setup with your steel washer. It will fit over the guide rod head's threading. If you use a steel washer that is too thick, or try to couple that with an O-ring, the gun MAY fire incorrectly and the guide rod will protrude out of the gun farther than normal, which looks quite strange and ugly. Just stick with the single washer. If you got one made of steel, it will NOT warp under green gas like the stock setup does.

 

7) Wrap some teflon tape around the guide rod head threads before screwing it back into the longer half of the rod. TIGHTEN with a screwdriver.

 

8) Reinstall the components. Reinstall your cut down 1911 spring's CUT side towards the barrel, with the flat side sitting flush against your washer.

 

Fire the gun. This should have taken the problem out completely or cut it down by a large margin. If it's still horrible, or if the gun jams, be sure you're using the correct size washer (too big and it'll bump against the outer barrel), haven't cut part E down past 2 coils (if you're using an AEG spring). Ensure your recoil spring isn't bunching up or kinking---if it is, you're using the wrong size washer, or you have WAY too many coils remaining on your spring that should have been cut. Remember, 2/3 of original size for a 5 inch WA 1911 recoil spring. The KJW spring works also.

 

Run the gun with 5 mags of green gas and BBs. Whether it fires good or not, take the slide off and look at the guide rod. If the recoil spring(s) aren't kinked up against your washer, you are good to go, and now have a 100% reliable Smith and Wesson M4013 to blast away with.

 

--------------------------

 

If there are any questions, or have tales of your M4013 kicking "*fruitcage*" hit me up.

 

---SEC

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Nice review, Seth.

 

I've still yet to see the recoil spring/hammer not cocking problem, though and I use Excel .2g BBs for most of my test firing (except accuracy testing) as I bought a big batch of them some while ago and I've not had any issues with them either...

 

Seems unlikely it's a batch problem (as with the Marushin Raging Bull at one point ,for instance), though, as I can't imagine they've made more than one batch of these...

 

Other than you and Twin Cam has anyone else got this gun and encountered these problems?

 

BTW, have you seen a real 4013? Is the sandpapery finish on the grips realistic?

 

Cheers.

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Nice review, Seth.

 

I've still yet to see the recoil spring/hammer not cocking problem, though and I use Excel .2g BBs for most of my test firing (except accuracy testing) as I bought a big batch of them some while ago and I've not had any issues with them either...

 

Seems unlikely it's a batch problem (as with the Marushin Raging Bull at one point ,for instance), though, as I can't imagine they've made more than one batch of these...

 

Other than you and Twin Cam has anyone else got this gun and encountered these problems?

 

BTW, have you seen a real 4013? Is the sandpapery finish on the grips realistic?

 

Cheers.

 

It's funny that yours didnt exhibit the DAO or Excel .2 problems (the Excels in mine work sometimes, then don't....). For total reliability, I use Excel .25s, but even the cruddy KJW .2 BBs work awesome.

 

Twin Cam and I are both in the states---think a "UK" version has something different done to it? Was it worked on before you received it?

 

Oh well, no matters. If anyone experiences the problems Cam and I faced, there's a guide to walk them through the fix. If not, better for them.

 

SC

 

EDIT: I've not handled a real M4013, part of the reason why I bought the WA was to train to use the real one when I am old enough to buy the real thing (very soon, mind you). However, on my next trip to the gun store, I will see if they have the M4013 in stock and if I can play with it. I've seen pics of the real thing and it seems to be identical to the WA.

 

EDIT2: Snowman, unless they addressed this too (doubt it) your WA M4013 should have the crappy dual washer/Oring setup in place of "Part D" in my parts diagram. I replaced this with the steel washer out of necessity because the O-ring kept curling out from between the washers, and also, the washers are both made of potmetal and were warping/stretching on green gas.

 

I would check to see if this is happening---I noticed this after 10-20 mags of green gas. If it is, a single steel washer is all you need.

 

...Edit3: The double overlapping spring setup is absolutely horrible when providing the TSW with recoil and a satisfying slide rack. The WA 1911 5 inch stock recoil spring (I am sure you have a few lying around) fits the guide perfectly and brings the gun to life, especially on green gas. Even if your TSW doesn't have any problems, I'd recommend tossing out the weak/###### recoil spring setup and slapping a cut WA 1911 one in there to improve the shooting experience.

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It's funny that yours didnt exhibit the DAO or Excel .2 problems (the Excels in mine work sometimes, then don't....).  For total reliability, I use Excel .25s, but even the cruddy KJW .2 BBs work awesome.

 

Twin Cam and I are both in the states---think a "UK" version has something different done to it?  Was it worked on before you received it?

 

Oh well, no matters.  If anyone experiences the problems Cam and I faced, there's a guide to walk them through the fix.  If not, better for them. 

 

SC

 

EDIT: I've not handled a real M4013, part of the reason why I bought the WA was to train to use the real one when I am old enough to buy the real thing (very soon, mind you).  However, on my next trip to the gun store, I will see if they have the M4013 in stock and if I can play with it.  I've seen pics of the real thing and it seems to be identical to the WA.

 

EDIT2: Snowman, unless they addressed this too (doubt it) your WA M4013 should have the crappy dual washer/Oring setup in place of "Part D" in my parts diagram.  I replaced this with the steel washer out of necessity because the O-ring kept curling out from between the washers, and also, the washers are both made of potmetal and were warping/stretching on green gas.

 

I would check to see if this is happening---I noticed this after 10-20 mags of green gas.  If it is, a single steel washer is all you need.

 

...Edit3: The double overlapping spring setup is absolutely horrible when providing the TSW with recoil and a satisfying slide rack.  The WA 1911 5 inch stock recoil spring (I am sure you have a few lying around) fits the guide perfectly and brings the gun to life, especially on green gas.  Even if your TSW doesn't have any problems, I'd recommend tossing out the weak/###### recoil spring setup and slapping a cut WA 1911 one in there to improve the shooting experience.

 

 

Yep. Are you both in Hawaii? I notice your fps are about 10% up on mine, too, which tallies with our relative results with the TM Hi-Capa, too, I think. Perhaps there's something about the environment (humidity, perhaps?) that exacerbates some problems?

 

I've been watching for the spring problem, but, so far, no sign and I've pretty much decided I won't be keeping the S&W, personally, so I guess I'll never see if it develops with more use.

 

Cheers.

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Yep. Are you both in Hawaii? I notice your fps are about 10% up on mine, too, which tallies with our relative results with the TM Hi-Capa, too, I think. Perhaps there's something about the environment (humidity, perhaps?) that exacerbates some problems?

 

I've been watching for the spring problem, but, so far, no sign and I've pretty much decided I won't be keeping the S&W, personally, so I guess I'll never see if it develops with more use.

 

Cheers.

 

It's a shame you're getting rid of the SW--- may I ask why you're giving away WA's only decent handgun? ;)

 

I'm in Honolulu, Hawaii (well, specifically, Aiea) and Twin Cam, to my knowledge, is located in SoCal. It's always hot and humid in Hawaii, I am sure that has something to do with the increased FPS over results from the UK.

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Well, first off, it's FAR from WA's only decent handgun, but I think we've thrashed that particular discussion to death on numerous occasions before... ;)

 

I'm not a great fan of compact pistols (A quick mental check suggests I don't have any in my collection) and I don't much like the silver finish, personally, although it looks OK and seems resilient.

 

It's a shame, as I was quite excited about a S&W GBB Auto from the premier GBB manufacturer (:P), before I got it.

 

However, especially in light of numerous posts about the old Shorty Forty being great, it just fails to really interest me much. It shoots fine, feels solid and well made and is well finished, it just doesn't 'do it' for me.

 

It's entirely personal taste, but this isn't to mine...

 

Now, if it'd been a full size 4006 :)

 

Cheers.

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Well, first off, it's FAR from WA's only decent handgun, but I think we've thrashed that particular discussion to death on numerous occasions before... ;)

 

I'm not a great fan of compact pistols (A quick mental check suggests I don't have any in my collection) and I don't much like the silver finish, personally, although it looks OK and seems resilient.

 

It's a shame, as I was quite excited about a S&W GBB Auto from the premier GBB manufacturer (:P), before I got it.

 

However, especially in light of numerous posts about the old Shorty Forty being great, it just fails to really interest me much. It shoots fine, feels solid and well made and is well finished, it just doesn't 'do it' for me.

 

It's entirely personal taste, but this isn't to mine...

 

Now, if it'd been a full size 4006 :)

 

Cheers.

 

Heh, the full size 4006 would be nice.....but knowing WA...what, dozens of copies of the same gun?

 

That being said, I wouldn't mind the silver SW 3913 with the gray checkered grips (saw them on your Maruzen SW full size NBB review, forgot which one specifically), non TSW, so without the black rail.

 

I usually never use the pistol rails so the TSW's rail is wasted with me, but it *would* look pretty wild with a Mini Launcher (with 40mm gas grenades!) mounted on the underside, or a LAM unit ;)

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Updates to the review, because the server gives me an error when I try to edit it.

 

"•Part F: Recoil guide head pin (secures recoil guide into Part B) " should read

•Part F: Recoil guide head pin (secures recoil guide into "Part B") The silly forums turned my wording into a smiley.

 

Also, I'd like to add to that as Snowman didn't have any issues with his TSW, it doesn't seem to be in ALL the TSWs. If you order one and it fires good, great, if not, the fix is simple and also adds a bit of recoil and robustness to the gun in the process. Point is, this shouldn't detract people from buying this gun.

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After lots of debate, I finally broke down and ordered a WA 4013 from WGC on Wednesday (thanks to Seth, Twin Cam, and Snowman for good advice). To my great surprise it came early this afternoon (Sunday) and I have a preliminary report to follow up on Seth's excellent review.

 

Basically, I am extremely impressed so far and think this is a great gun. The details are wonderful and it feels exactly like the real thing. Using HFC22 and .20 g KSC BB's, I can keep 4/5 shots in the 9 or 10 ring of a standard target at 7 yards and 19/20 in the 8-10 ring. This is much better than my KWA G19. Power with HFC22 is very nice and seems equal to the G19. I'll be trying HFC134a later this week for comparison. Operation is very smooth, although I have experienced the "double action" issue that Seth reported a couple of times. However, I don't find this very objectionable, as the double action trigger pull is so light and smooth, much nicer than the real thing that I often rent (actually the S&W 908, a "base" and 9 mm version of the 4013).

 

In summary, this was well worth the money and I much prefer this to my G19. I think the 4013 will be a very worthwhile practice arm for both me and my son (great way to practice stance, breathing, and sight picture). It's also a real blast! :D

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Does it LOOK like the real thing?

 

I've wondered about this flake finish for a while. Is it realistic or not?

 

Cheers.

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