Real-steel history S&W released is Sigma series in 1994, when the 40F model was presented, followed by a 9×19 mm version.
These guns are very similar to Glock’s and the Austrian maker raised a lawsuit that result in S&W paying an undisclosed sum to continue producing the Sigma with many features patented by Glock.
Sigma guns are recoil operated, firing form a locked breech made upon the modified Browning-style link less locking system. Many Glock features are present, as the single action-type trigger with automatic half-cock and manual striker cocking during trigger pull and no external safeties.
Even the build is similar to Glock’s, with polymer frame and slide and barrel made from stainless steel or the carbon steel.
In 1999 S&W improved the Sigma series. Main change was shortening the barrel and the slide by .5 inch (12.7 mm). Other improvements included more comfortable grip checkering, slightly enlarged ejection port and addition of the accessory rail at the front of the frame (under the barrel).
The KWC modelThe KWC draw my attention because of the CO2 powerlet inside the magazine, instead of a reservoir to be filled with gas. CO2 guns aren’t new for KWC and an adapter is available for a while, however this solution still rely on the magazine reservoir and is an upgrade for a conventional gas pistol.
The new model its completely different, the CO2 powerlet replacing the magazine gas reservoir and thus eliminating a failure point. Instead of checking for magazine leaks, this layout allow for the easier solution of replacing the faulty powerlet.
The room need for this setup lead to an oversized magazine, with 39 rounds capacity, very similar to most large magazines seen in automatic pistols.
Another interesting feature is the standard metal slide and outer barrel, which is more than needed for such a powerful gun. Even with this feature, the Sigma is still among the cheapest GBB available and the use of cheap readily available CO2 powerlets made it truly cost effective.
After checking all these features, I order one from Campobase where they are being sold for Euro 97,00, a much lower price than any
Looking at the gun, some features are readily visible. The gun have S&W markings in the left side of the slide, including “Smith & Wesson Springfield MA USA” and “Model SW40F”, however in the right size is readable “Caution Energy 1.0 J Max. Incapable of firing with magazine removed. Made in
Over the slide, sights are easy to use, with white dots and the cut of the ejection port its perfectly done. Unfortunatly unlike many guns, the extractor its just a mould mark, not a part on his own, something that many other brands just refuse to do.
The barrel is aluminium, with an inner thread to allow a suppressor to be installed, and the ejection port cover contrast with the black slide. The touch is good, metallic and the metal parts seem lighter than those from my KJW Glock 23.
Some features are very similar to those we may found in most Glock’s. The frame is polymer, there is only a visible trigger safety and a slide stop lever. As some Glock models, this gun also have a metal plate with the serial number 757979 bellow the frame.
Real guns have a trigger safety, similar to the well known Glock feature, and the KWC version reproduce it However, this version have an additional safety bellow the grip that isn’t available in real guns, something similar to what KJW or TM have bellow the frame to add some safety. The gun also is safe when the barrel is pull back, preventing from firing.
Field striping it’s also very similar to Glock’s, just a small side lever in the frame to be push down and the slide/barrel goes forward. With the inside barrel exposed, the small hex screw to adjust the variable hop-up become visible.
Loading the Sigma is similar to any CO2 pellet gun. A screw bellow the magazine must be removed with a coin or the tool provided, a CO2 cartridge is inserted and tightening the screw pierces the powerlet. Up to 39 bb’s are loaded in the rather bulky and heavy magazine that easily slips inside the frame.
This is a single action gun, so the slide must always be cock to load the first round and pull back the hammer. The safety lever in the grip must be up to allow the gun to shoot.
When comparing with other polymer frame guns, the Sigma doesn’t fell as good as the Glock 23 or the USP. The frame looks more plastic and the grip isn’t as I expect. Still is easy to handle being the major drawback the long and somewhat wobly magazine. Weighting near 960 g, its surprisingly much heavier than the real gun and feel solid when handled.
The Sigma is pretty much a airgun firing 6 mm’s airsoft ammo, being much more powerful than most airsoft guns I handled. Most likely, there are no available upgrades to the Sigma with the exception of a couple KWC parts that include a longer inner barrel and a suppressor. KWC also have spare magazines in the catalogue, as seen in the website, but these aren’t available when I buy the gun.
Until now, all good news, however there is an important question remaining, the energy level is far higher than reported. Rated 1.0 J in the box and slide, a small sticker inside point to 1.5 J and the chrono it’s even higher at 1.6 J. This represent near 415 fps with .2 g bb’s and is more than acceptable for a close range backup gun. As the energy level isn’t variable, the gun keeps shooting between 1.5 and 1.6 until the canister start to be almost empty.
Sure can be an IPSC gun, but I doubt that most people allow it in a skirmish.
The gun was originally chrono by Campobase and the new tests I made with a Combro chronograph confirm that is firing above 1.5 J. When trying the old can test, bb’s go in and out and still hitting hard the sand beneath.
As most GBB’s, this guns is loud and even in the basement is possible to hear next floor, so firing it repeatedly here is out of question. As I suspected it’s louder than most airsoft guns and the blowback is crisp. Grouping are normal for a medium sized handgun, nothing really special and maybe this is the reason KWC have a longer barrel available. I also suspect than the longer barrel will increase the speed of the bb making the gun only suitable for targeting.
A single CO2 powerlet can provide gas for up to 50 shots, a little more than the magazine full capacity. When using it in a skirmish, its easy to made the equivalence of one CO2 cartridge to a full mag and be certain that there is gas enough to fire all rounds without problems.
This isn’t the prettiest or best finish gun I have. Some details are missing, others aren’t up to current levels. Even my KJW guns have better finish and more elaborated details than this KWC model, however this is the cheapest high power gun currently available. It’s also the first of a new line of KWC guns that should include several automatic firing guns, as the Desert Eagle, a micro Uzi and a new rifles series, all using CO2 as power source instead of relying in more expensive airsoft gases.
It’s also interesting to wait for new releases and the market reaction to these new guns. For many people the combination between cheap CO2 and airsoft is a step in the right direction, others consider that with this power level this is hardly an airsoft gun. With lower power and a better finish, this could be the right path for a new generation of airsoft guns, with a simpler design, eliminating magazines leaks and difficulties to find the correct gas.
For those who want to try something different or need a cheap gun to practice in a firing range, the KWC Sigma its a winner, however people that are after a backup gun should think twice before becoming the most unpopular person in the field.
Additional: Spare CO2 magazines, available from the same supplier and costing €43.00.
A shorter Green Gas magazine, with 26 bb’s capacity and that reduce the power to near 1J. This is maybe the reason the guns have the 1J message engraved in the slide.
A CO2 external adapter that can be used with this and other KWC guns and its able to push this gun almost up to 400 fps.
A set including a longer inner barrel and a suppressor to hide it. According with KWC, this set can improve speed by 30%. This figure seems too high to be true because a 30% speed increase represent almost doubling the energy, but energy can really increase some 20-25%.
A sight base mount that its kept in place using two screws that tighten the base mount to the frame. Near the serial number, bellow the frame, a couple threads are included to install this option. This mount allow RIS scopes and other devices to be installed above and bellow the gun. These are available in black and aluminum.
The version known as “De Luxe Set” include both the sight base mount, the longer inner barrel and slide and the CO2 magazine. This bulky gun with 310 mm length and 1200 g its probably the most powerful stock GBB available and fires 0.2 bb at some 450 fps.