Let me preface this with the fact that I actually wrote this review months ago (before I started blogging), and never got around to posting it. So, that being said, the review here will be close to the original but I will be adding information at the bottom about the performance over the past several months.
The USP .45 Full Size has always had a special place in my heart. Not just in the airsoft world, but when it comes to real steel as well. It’s a magnificent piece made by a manufacturer who knows how guns should be made. Let’s see how this replica holds up to the original passion of my heart.
The packaging is quite nice for an airsoft piece. The high gloss finish and clean logos, which all in all look nearly identical to the KSC brand. KWA uses the same packaging for both the USP compact and the USP .45 so don’t fret if you ordered a USP .45 and it comes in a box for a USP Compact. Inside the box, the gun is packaged with plenty of styrafoam padding. Here you will find a small bag of bb’s, manual, loading tools, some silicone oil, and hop-up tool. The only thing I found missing that is included with the KSC brand is a hammer-lock key. The hammer lock feature (which locks the hammer to prevent firing regardless of safety lever position) prevents the pistol from firing and is functional in both the KSC and the KWA versions.
The magazine is made of metal and feels hefty and durable adding to the realism of this replica. On the back of magazine are numbers and indentations that would be holes on a real steel model used to check the number of rounds loaded in the magazine. The capacity of this magazine is 25 rounds. The manufacture recommends the use of high quality .2 gram bb’s.
The gun grip is made of ABS plastic, and realistically replicates the real steel model. Unlike the KSC there are no trademarks on the KWA USP .45. The grip is textured with a checkered pattern on the front and rear, and a rough texture on the sides of the grip. This gun fits well in medium to large hands. People with smaller hands might prefer the USP Compact instead.
The slide is made of metal which is a considerable upgrade to the KSC which comes with a plastic slide. The use of the metal slide makes it possible to use propane in this gun as opposed to regular green gas. The slide also lacks the trademarks found on the KSC version. On the right side of the slide is a red mark, which on the real steel model indicates that there is a chambered round. This feature does not function, but is a nice touch. Other metal parts include the cocking hammer and the front and rear sight. The sights feature white dots that are actually plastic inserts as opposed to paint, thus they should last longer.
The trigger is smooth and metal The guard itself is also features the same grooves found in the real steel model.
The safety lever also functions as a decocking lever allowing you to safely holster it with a round chambered and the gun in a half cocked position. Like the real steel model, the hammer can be placed in 3 positions, each taking up various amounts of draw on the trigger. It can be placed in uncocked, cocked, and half cocked positions. The “S” and “F” on the safety lever are engraved and painted white and red respectively. The recessed or engraved surface helps keep the markings from rubbing off easily.
The mag release (like on the real steel) is ambidexterous , although the safety lever is not.
At the base of the gun is an attachment point for a lanyard retention system, handy to have as you don’t want to loose your gun or drop it to a hard floor.
The hammer lock out system can be found inside the magwell and operates just like the real steel model. It is unfortunate that KWA chose not to include the key for this feature. I found using a stiff paper clip bent into the appropriate shape worked reasonably well (not that I’ll use that feature much).
Field stripping the gun is easily accomplished. Simply release the mag and rack the slide and make sure the chamber is clear. Then release the slide. Pull the slide till the notch on the left of the slide lines up with the slide release lever. Pull the slide stop out of the left side of the gun and remove the slide. Reverse to reassemble.
As I don’t have a chrono, I can’t attest to the actual velocities of this gun. The vendor I purchased this from states it will shoot 295 feet per second with .2 gram bb’s. From my use of this, I see this as perfectly plausible although possibly a touch high. The magazine will fit 25 rounds, and slides easily into the gun. The mag release lever holds the mag firmly in place with no questions. Racking the slide is smooth as it chambers a round and cocks the hammer into a fully cocked position.
Gassing of the magazine is a bit tricky on this model, as it has a tendency to leak gas around the gas inlet nozzle while filling. This is easily fixed by removing a rubber o-ring from the fill nozzle of a disposable lighter, and placing it around the fill nozzle of the magazine. If you do not have a o-ring that fits, then cut a rubber band to fit and press it into place using the tip of a knife.
Now that we’re loaded and and the magazine is fully charged, let’s have some fun.
The blow back and cycling of the side is very realistic, although I do feel that an upgraded recoil spring might be warranted as the gun could cycle a bit faster. The gas consumption of the gun is very good, as I was able to fire 4 full mags on a single charge (although the slide did not lock back due to low gas at that point). Keep in mind this was in 85+ degree Farenheit weather.
The hopup in this gun is fully adjustable and is easily done without the removal of the slide using the supplied tool through the ejection port. The manual has very good instructions on adjusting the hop up appropriately.
The gun is fairly consistent and shoots in a very predictable manner.
Overall this gun is a good quality replica of the real steel item. The overall likeness of the unit is excellent, and accurate minus the trademarks. Functionality of the replica very closely mimics that of the real steel as well. For a full size pistol the accuracy is good and gas consumption is very low making this a great gun to shoot. I would highly suggest anyone planning on purchasing one of these to hold it and use it before making your purchase as the magazine release and the over all grip might not fit smaller hands well. Overall I find this gun a blast to shoot, and would recommend it to anyone who needs a quality sidearm to accompany their main load out or as primary weapon in a CQB environment.
I’ve had chance to shoot this gun quite a bit in my backyard and in some skirmishes, and I need to point out somethings. Shortly after the original review was composed, the front sight wiggled itself loose. Now, the front sight is held in place by friction, not by screws. This makes it difficult to fix. I tried what several people suggested, putting a piece of paper under the sight so that it would stay in place. Problem is that there was just not enough room for a scrap of paper. So I ended up putting a drop of superglue on it to adhere it. Turns out the glue will only hold for so many cycles of the gun before the sight becomes loose again. This might just be a oddity on my gun, so I would not expect to see this on others.
Groupings of shots also began to diminish. I was sad to find out that my hop up was undoing itself on it’s own. At first it wasn’t too bad, but it eventually got to the point where the hop up would not stay past a few shots. I called JSportsUSA (the distributor of KWA in the USA), and they sent me out a new hop up rubber, bearing, and adjustor ring. I had these installed at Airsoft Atlanta, just because I was tired of mucking about in the internals of the gun. For a few bucks they put it all in. I found out afterward that the bearing that was installed was way too big, and was causing the bb’s to fly straight up even when the hop up was turned all the way down. Unfortunately I was unable to get another bearing that was the right size. I eventually wandered into a craft store and found a metal ball bead used for jewlery and tried it. It seem to work okay, but not as well as the original bearing. The advantage to the bead was that it was slightly larger than the original bearing and would hold the hop up in place better.
Another problem crept up when I was firing it and suddenly the recoil spring guide slid forward and almost fell out of the gun. Turns out it broke inside the gun while I was firing. I called JSportsUSA and they sent me a new one at no charge. I have not had a problem with it since.
Overall, I still like the gun, but would consider replacing it with a WE Hi-Cappa 5.1, but that might just be because my taste in real steel firearms is changing. I’m begining to prefer a good quality 1911 over a USP, but I digress. Maybe it’s because of the problems I’ve had? I do think that some of the problems are products of abuse. I’ve put over 2K round through this gun in about 6 months time. I shoot it constantly and love to shoot it. I also use propane in it ALL THE TIME. That in itself could be why it’s had these issues. I had the gun chrono’d with propane in the gun and it shot about 280-290. I later installed a tightbore by KM and had the new hop up put in at the same time. It then shot a max of 320 (only once though) but averaged just over 300. I can say the kick is much stronger when using propane instead of green gas, which in turn means more wear and tear on the gun.
Would I recommend this gun? If you’re looking for a good back up or a gun that can be used in a CQB environment without shooting too hot, then this is a great gun. If you’re wanting to go pistol as your primary or are using it for woodland play (and yes some people are that crazy), then I might suggest a Hi-Cappa 5.1.
tags: airsoft gun review kwa usp 45