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Bargainsoft P90

by Arnie

“Bargain” P90

By Nuno Cabeçadas

Make: VB Sport (some others identical guns with diferent labels are
Model: P90 (some brands use D-90)
Size: 490 mm without supressor 665 mm with supressor
Weight: 1.200 g
Magazine: 450 bb’s gravitacional feed
ROF: +/- 400 rpm
Price: Euro 55

Its difficult to explain why decided to test a gun that costs less than £40.00, however having a pending order with a supplier in Germany mostly composed of non Airsoft bits and paid for a flat shipping cost, I added a P-90 in at the last minute. Mostly because I was curious about how it’s possible to promise so much for so little.

When I selected the package, I immediately realized how light the gun must be, enclosed in a fancy box including lots of options, almost looking like a Xmas tree. Nothing unusual, as the target customers are people in the 14-18 range, at least according to German laws.

Inside the box you’ll find the gun and lots of accessories, including battery, charger, glasses and suppressor and lots of catalogues from the supplier including almost anything from air guns to pepper sprays.

I’ve started by removing the target, a very typical folding model, with net to catch the bb’s and a zipper to remove them easily. Included are also a few paper targets suitable for use with the frame holder. 

As a bonus, nothing to complain about, just I rather doubt the gun can actually hit the target at this point.

I then grabbed the battery and charger and started to charge it. It’s a 7.2 Volt of unknown capacity , made from AA rechargeable cells and should by all accounts be of low capacity. The charger has all the electrical indications and a small led lights up when charging. Connectors are identical to the TM small batteries and I wonder if this charger would be able to charge a standard Academy 7.2 V battery.

Indication is that should be left overnight or “until hot” when charging for the first time. I’ve waited for near 8 hours and the battery start to become hot, so was probably was time to disconnect it.

Meanwhile, I spent a few minutes examining the remaining items still inside the box.

Inside I found a bag of yellow bb´s, labeled heavy weight, that seem to be 0.12g, a SOCOM style suppressor and a pair of shooting glasses were the next item I had a look at.

The glasses are obviously impossible to use for skimishing as the yellowish plastic its very low quality. I imagine that the main purpose of th glasses is to complete the kit providing some safety to the shooter from the P90 inthe box.

The suppressor is almost identical to those I use with my KSC Mk23 but without any markings and being made of plastic instead of metal. Only the thread is metal and attaches directly to the metal barrel of the gun.

With a little work and a black spray it can be visually improved and eventually used as a spare unit. The main advantage is that the thread is compatible with my KWC Sigma 40F, using a inner thread instead of a standard external 14 mm. The same paint spray also can be of good use to paint the metal barrel and the receiver parts, slightly improving the general appearance.

As I have lots of reliable BB´s from well known sources, these yellow ones were sent directly to the recycle bin without any testing.

The last items still inside the box are the sling which is very light, of low quality with a metal hook in each end and adjusting rings, and a so called “Red Dot”.

This RD is just a plastic part to be mounted over the top rail and has a small transparent part at the front. It’s not really useful and almost impossible to use. If it’s possible, this is the worst part of the whole set because is impossible to adjust rendering it completely useless.

The image doesn’t do justice to the real problems when trying to aim using device.

With all the items in place, its time to install the battery. The compartment is in the rear and the door is kept in place with a small plastic tab. The door also has the ring to attach the sling, another potentially problematic feature. It would have been a much better idea to install the ring in the receiver than using such a weak part.

Inside there’s a connector and the gearbox can be seen in the receiver.

Another lets say interesting feature is the gravity feed magazine. This mag doesn’t have any spring inside and relies only in the fact that it is above the gun.

Don’t have many doubts – this is cheap and unreliable and won’t allow long bursts of fire because of feed reliability issues. Maybe this is to avoid destroying the motor as the capacity is 450 BB’s – the same as many high-caps.


The mag feeds the gun trough a hole in the upper part of the receiver. This should be connected to a long inner pipe dropping the BB’s in the chamber near the release lever. It’s a correct feature and works without problems.

As with any P-90, installing and removing the magazine it’s a matter of practice.

The mag has a small door in the top and can be refilled while in the gun just by dropping BB’s . If using a large bb container connected with the feeding door, the gun can fire as long as the batteries have charge.

The picture bellow shows the mag opened, ready to be replenished with ammo. The door slide back, closing the container and the process is complete.

The gun now has the battery charged and in place, a few BB’s inside the mag, so its time to press the trigger. After switching the safety to on, a quick press in the trigger shows a full auto only gun as I expected. The TM system is too expensive and a trigger safety only allow for one firing method. No problem, as it was to be an auto gun according with the seller.

The gun is internally very different from a TM gun, with only two gears and the parts including the motor being inside a large gearbox externally shaped to be in contact with the receiver wall. Another difference is the absence of a tappet plate and a moving loading nozzle, making the design far simpler than most gearboxes. This design is less efficient and much cheaper to produce omitting a well known failure point and reducing the moving parts to the gears, piston and motor.

The sight is dreadful, making it impossible to aim the gun; however the rails are standard and can be used with any RIS sight. Also the small side rails can be put to work with a tactical lamp or a laser sight without problems.

The selected target is the airsoft standard for testing, the Coke can able to replace the chrono, currently not operational. Obviously, I’m not expecting to see any BB go inside, but a small impact mark would be a good sign. Thinking about it, hearing the target can being hit would be good enough.

The heavy barrel, with threads, isn’t as good as a TM barrel and with the help of bad sights, accuracy is bellow standards, however hitting a Coke can at 3 meters is easy and the impacts are easy to spot in the surface. Some of the BB’s hit the wall behind and broke in half, others suffered extensive damage from impact, making difficult to believe that this is a under 0.5 J gun.

Firing against a paper target shows that impacts are dispersed all over the target, even with almost no movement from the gun. Firing from 3 meters, most BB’s are inside a 15 cm circle and from 5 meters, the limit inside home, most hits are inside a 25 cm target.

As this is a CQB fully auto weapon, the accuracy should be enough and the gun didn’t jammed ever, something that I cannot say from owning several TM guns. The large BB reservoir rattles as much as any high-cap mag with any movement and seeing BB’s inside isn’t very aesthetic, but it still does the job and provides more than 400 shots. The feeding system relies in movement from the shooter to shake the BB’s and help loading them into the feeding tube.

Without the chrono working, it’s hard to tell what energy it’s firing at, but I admit that it could well be over the stated 0.5 Joule, and much more than a mini or an EBB. For somebody with limited funds, it’s a much wiser choice than to buy an EBB, a mini or even most springers. If your choice is CQB, then is difficult to buy anything else with only £40.00 available.

And as it works, deserves to have the top receiver and suppressor painted and maybe a functional red dot later, just to help aiming in a future playing session.

In the picture to the side here, the receiver is already painted, contrasting with the unpainted red dot scope and the metal ring in place to hold a tactical lamp or a laser. Finish is better looking after a quick paint, however it’s still impossible to reach the quality level of plastic found in a TM gun.

What to conclude from all this testing? Well it’s still a toy, however it can also be an entry level to those who don’t want to invest in a real AEG and want to try airsoft with the pleasure of full-auto fire. Its more affordable than a TM Boys range and 1:1 size, but lacks the semi-auto fire to faithfully reproduce the real gun. Weighing a little more than 1.300 g, it feels too light, but the construction being made of two main parts feels more solid than most springers I’ve tested.

Maybe this is the dawn of bargain-soft?

By Nuno

on this review in the forums

Saturday, December 4, 2004 3:48 AM
Copyright ArniesAirsoft

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