Well I have never been a fan of KJW its true, but it seems that they have got their finger out in recent times, as the M9 series is very, very good as are their Glocks & Para-Ordinance copies.
I’ve heard many negative things about the KJW P8 & owned the older all-plastic version which was just hideous to look at & boasted very poor performance & reliability. But as I wanted a metal version so badly for my extensive collection I weighed up the pros (cost) & the cons (previous experience) & ordered one from the nice people at BB-Toyz.
So upon receiving my parcel from Big Boyz Toyz, I did the routine of closing my eyes, praying it wouldn’t be a complete turkey, lifting the box lid & taking a deep breath…
I opened my eyes to find it neatly wrapped in a plastic bag Western Arms Style. I unfolded & reached in, it looked & felt gorgeous. I gave it a shake to see if it rattled which we all know is a full M.O.T. for a new pistol.
The overall look of the Metal slide version P8 is very good. The slide has a smooth jet-black finish as does the outer barrel & I was very pleased to find that the metal is practically blemish free. The frame matches the colour of the original real steel frame very closely.
It has no Heckler & Koch Trademarks anywhere, which is a big shame as it makes the gun look a little bare but this is to be expected.
Many reviews have noted it to not have hop up but I’ve found that it actually does have a fixed hop-up which is clearly visible when you look down the inner barrel & even more visable when you fire light-weight ammunition & see the shot go skywards after about ten metres. Its unclear to me why this detail is not noted in the instruction manual.
It is very meaty to hold & has quite a weight to it (more than my KSC Sig Pro SP2340 with metal slide set). Although the slide & barrel are very heavy the blowback is still nice & crisp on HFC134a gas. Accuracy & power are good with 290-295 fp/s on HFC134a.
This is where certain problems become apparent though. Firstly I will note that as KJW guns are copies of other manufacturers pieces, the P8 is a copy of the Tanaka Works (TW) USP/P8.
This gun (as with all TW auto’s) was good but the Magazine was awful & you were lucky to find one that retained gas for more than a month.
The Mags in the KJW version are better but still a bit delicate & although BB-toyz are willing to extend a full warranty on the gun using Abby Ultra gas (a bit less powerful than HFC22 Green gas) I really wouldn’t risk it. They also advised that you be VERY careful not to drop the mag as it is a bit more delicate to this than other mags, although not a great deal. I’ve had mine for a while now using HFC134a gas & it seems sound.
It also has the same valve safety mech as Tanaka Works auto’s & a lot of Western Arms mags where by when the mag is empty of gas the valve gets held inward by a spring loaded plate which you will have to reset before filling the mag with gas. If you dont the gas will go straight through the mag & out the top. This feature is not really useful & is a pain in arse when you have to refill your mag in the heat of battle only to get lit up by incoming AEG fire because your gun is actually empty.
Mechanical problems: I found that the spring in the mag that pushes the BB’s upward was a bit too strong causing it to double load BB’s. With the OK given by BB-Toyz who agreed that this can occasionally be a factor, i cut 3 rings out of the spring which solved the problem.
The magazine release is plastic so be gentle & if you slap the mag in too quickly it doesn’t always catch if the slide is forward. Give it a good, firm press & it will click into place. If the slide is locked back it will go in perfectly every time.
If you tilt the gun to the left so it is completely sideways & pull the slide back slowly (when your trying to be sneaky & silent) the slide lock/disassembly switch will drop out. fast slide movement &/or upright usage will prevent this.
(Quick point – When the slide is off Try not to use the safety/hammer release switch as parts will start flying out all over the place!)
The final big point is the trigger. Many, many people have complained that the trigger snaps or shears off very easily. The Tanaka Works model had the same problem but i assure you that this only happens when the safety is engaged & the trigger is pulled by accident. Doing this on most guns will break the trigger. The safety also acts as a de-cocking lever (a little known fact) & works the same way as a Socom or Sig but due to the cheap nature of the gun, when you pull the switch down, the hammer still very lightly hits the valve & releases about 40 fp/s worth of gas, which is enough to fire the chambered round out about 3 meters but not enough to cycle the slide at all.
The markings on the opposite side of the gun ‘S’ for safe & ‘F’ for fire are not filled with the appropriate colour but you can do it your self with minimal hassle. Doing so really makes the gun look better as the real steel ones are coloured. (Note:- the ‘S’ is white & the ‘F’ is red)
As mentioned before the slide lacks the H&K logo & all the bizarre symbols that are also present on the real steel & TW model.
The H&K logo is also missing from the port cover & the grip.
Conclusion I don’t like rating guns on an ‘out of 10’ scale as I often disagree with the ones I see, so I will make a summary.
I don’t think this gun is the best skirmish tool considering the extensive Gas Blow Back market, nor is it a great collectors piece due to lack of trademarks, But it serves its purpose as a back-up weapon to a more than satisfactory degree & is easily the best full size gas blow back P8 that has ever been produced out of the four manufacturers worth mentioning. You get your £65 worth with excess plus at the price its not so heart-breaking when it falls out of your holster to get scuffed or worse still, lost in vast woodland & any one who’s lost a £200 sidearm knows the pain of this!
External links: Links to external sites of interest