KJW M9 Full Metal GBB Review – March 19, 2005
Introduction As someone who grew up watching John Woo’s Hong Kong gangster movies, I grew to love the Beretta 92. Being one of the most popular modern handguns, the Beretta 92, designed originally in Italy, is now produced in several countries. The US military officially adopted the Beretta 92 as its standard issue military side arm, the M9. Despite some controversy over the adoption, and some early reports of catastrophic failures and un-reliability of the M9, the M9 is still in service in the US military today, and the early problems seem to have been purged. It also has a huge group of followers in either law enforcement or civilians. KJW offers a full metal Gas Blowback version of the M9, which has proven to be a worthy side arm for airsoft players.
This review is my experience with the KJW full metal M9, and it aims to complement the existing reports already in the airsoft community, and add my personal opinions. I will first describe the external build of the KJW replica, then the functions, followed by its performance, and finally concludes with some take away points. Throughout the rest of this review, I’ll use M9 to refer to KJW’s full metal version M9 GBB unless otherwise explicitly specified (note: KJW also produce a full plastic and plastic frame with metal slide versions of the M9).
External Build The M9 comes in a conventional KJW GBB box. In fact, the styrofoam cut-out is exactly the same as the box for the KJW 1911A1 full metal GBB. The box contains the, may I add “beautiful”, M9, a bag of BBs, and the usual leaflets and manual in English.
Examining the M9, the whole gun, the slide, outer barrel, spring guild rod, frame, and grip panels are all black. The black paint is quite even and smooth. The metal finish is also quite good. Compared to the KJW full metal 1911A1, the finish on the M9 is a notch higher. The parts that are less smooth are small parts like the sides of the trigger, the hammer, take down lever, and the safety lever, which cannot be noticed unless examined closely and carefully. I’d say that KJW has really outdone itself with its full metal M9.
Picking up the gun, it has a nice weight, around 800g to 900g, heavier than the KSC G17 or USP Compact, about the same as the KJW full metal 1911A1. It also feels cold due to the full metal construction except the grip panels which are plastic with checkered pattern and a KJ logo mocking the Beretta logo. The gun feels quite solid. The slide fits almost perfectly, and has less rattle than the KJW 1911A1, which didn’t have too much rattle to start with. The magazine rattles a bit in the mag well, but you’ll have to be really picky to be bothered with it. The overall feeling when holding the gun is just solid, like you can hammer some nails with it. (The Customs officer was quite amazed by it, but that’s another story).
As with KJW guns, there is no official trademark of Beretta (I believe WA has the sole licensing rights for Berettas). Despite what pictures you may have seen, even the pictures on the box cover, the slide is plain black and smooth on both sides without any text. On the left side of the frame, there’s a mocking serial number, “K29598J,” and on the right side of the trigger guard, there are some symbols whose meanings I do not know. The grip panels features the mock KJ logos I mentioned earlier. The last bit of text is on the button of the magazine that says, “KJWORKS” in tiny fonts.
The sights are unpainted, but there’s a circular dent on the front sight that’s supposed to be painted white or some other color to assist aiming in low lights. Neither the sight is removable nor adjustable. The safety, on the other hand, has a nicely painted red dot to show when the gun is off safety. The outer barrel also has nice mock rifling.
Functions The M9 has the standard double/single action trigger configuration. When the hammer is un-cocked, the trigger is in DA position, and it has a long, hard, but smooth trigger pull. When the hammer is cocked, trigger moves to the SA position, and the trigger pull is much shorter, and provides easy rapid successive shooting. During normal shooting, the hammer is automatically cocked by the blowback action of the slide every time the gun is shot.
On a real M9, the safety lever also acts as a decocking lever when the hammer is cocked (at least on some variants if not all), but on the KJW model, the ambidextrous safety lever does not decock the hammer, and the only way to decock the hammer is by removing the magazine, and pull the trigger (this can also be done with the thumb holding the hammer back, then pull the trigger; while keeping the trigger pulled back, release the hammer slowly. CAUTION: unlike the KJW 1911A1, if the mag is in the mag well, this will cause the firing pin to strike the gas release valve and fire unintentionally). When the safety lever is moved down to safe, the trigger is disengaged from the hammer, and pulling the trigger will not cause the hammer to fall.
The magazine release button is on the left side of the frame, and can be easily accessed by the right thumb if holding the gun right handed. I heard that the mag release button can be moved to the right side for lefties, but I have not confirmed this. The mag falls out freely once the mag release button is pressed. BBs can be easily loaded into the magazine by pulling down the magazine spring lever, and dropping the BBs in from the top. The Mag holds 25 BBs in double stacked formation. Inserting the mag is smooth, and the mag clicks in place easily.
The slide pull is light and smooth. With an empty mag in, the slide locks back. The slide release lever can be easily accessed by the right thumb without the need to shift my grip position, and this is nice when I need to rapidly change mag and resume shooting since I can keep the gun trained on target at all time.
Performance Finally, the interesting part. Gasing the mag is no different from the KJW 1911A1 (or any other regular GBBs): hold the mag upside down, and fill the gas into the gas inlet on the button plate of the mag. Gas will not spill out when the mag is full, so either listen for the gas to stop flowing out of the gas can, or just count 3 or 4 seconds before stop filling. Throughout this review, I use green gas for all shooting tests and in room temperature (around 20 degrees Celsius).
Inserting the filled mag, and racking the slide, a nice metallic clank is heard. There are some reports saying that the KJW full metal m9 has a sticky slide, and sometimes the inside needs to be filed a bit for it to move smoothly, but the one I got has a silky smooth slide action right out of the box (smoother than my KJW 1911A1). Lining up the sights at a target I set 5m away, and I pull the trigger, “bam”, a satisfying hit. The blowback action is nice, but about the same with all my other GBBs (e.g. KSC G17, USPc, KJW 1911A1) using green gas (except the TM Desert Eagle Hard Kick, but that belongs to another review).
Emptying all 25 rounds on the target, I found the accuracy is a little bit worse than the KJW 1911A1 or the KSC GBBs, certainly not a competition pistol, but good enough for CQB. I use 0.2g BBs and the points of impact are just a bit to the right of the point of aim, and the grouping is slightly worse. It has a fixed hop up, but the vertical hop up is perfectly calibrated for 0.2g BBs.
A couple odd occurrences during the shooting. One is that a BB rolled out of the barrel one time, and this seems to be a generic problem for KJW guns because it also occurred in my 1911A1, but on the M9, this is really rare. So far, I’ve only experienced this a couple times out of the over a hundred shots I’ve fired. Another odd thing is that a BB flew out of the chamber like a shell ejecting when the slide was blown back, and this happened just a couple times too. It looked kind of cool, and I have no other GBBs that ever done this. Not sure what caused these problems (could be just faulty BBs), and I haven’t been able to reproduce these odd occurrences, so I’m not sure what I can do to prevent them from ever happening again, or even if they’ll happen again.
The gas efficiency is about average, one fill of gas supports about two mags of BBs (around 40 to 50 shots). And the slide only fails to cycle right before the gas completely runs out (or maybe when it’s really cold, but I haven’t done test in extremely cold condition). Rapid firing can cool down the mag somewhat, but double tapping, or emptying the entire mag in rapid succession with the slide still locking back at the end is no problem at all. The power seems to be comparable with the KJW 1911A1, but I don’t have the proper tools or even a coke can to measure this, and I’m merely estimating it from the sound of impact on target compared with my other GBBs. Haven’t noticed any sign of gas leakage, and have not heard any such reports either.
Take down Field stripping the M9 is quite simple: release the mag; cock back the hammer; push down the button above the trigger guard on the right side while rotate the take down lever on the left side clockwise by 90 degrees; and slide the slide assembly right out. One thing I’m surprised to see is how much metal weight the internal has. It’s really built like a rock. Getting the spring guide rod out can be a bit more trickier. You need to first pull out the end that’s inserted inside the chamber, then rotate the springer guide rod by 180 degrees, and then slide it back out under the chamber.
Conclusion In conclusion, the KJW full metal M9 is a solid side arm, has nice blowback action and decent power; certainly a worthy kit especially for a US military load out. I haven’t handled either WA, KSC, or TM’s Beretta GBBs, but KJW’s full metal M9 cost less than half of the price for a full metal upgrade on either WA, KSC, or TM’s M9, and the only downside that I feel is the lack of Beretta’s trademarks, and maybe the accuracy is not as good (but good enough for close range, 5m to 10m or so). So far, the BB rolling out or BB ejecting haven’t repeated enough to be a problem.
External links: Links to external sites of interest.