Thursday, 9 April 2015

Swiss Arms GSG/P 92 .177 BB Pistol, First Month Review, Field Strip and Lube.

The P92 comes securely packaged in a box with snug fitting polystyrene.

This is another KWC blowback pistol sold through Swiss Arms. Like the 1911 and Sig X five, it is a field strippable replica with the magazine holding BB's, Co2 and valve. What it is though is an unlicensed copy of a copy of the Beretta 92 fs, an Italian 9 mm pistol introduced in 1972 which is now also made in America under license for the police and armed forces and replaced the 1911 in 1985 as the standard issue side arm. You can also find copies of this gun produced in many countries around the world, the most well known being Taurus in Brazil. In fact you will find that this Co2 pistol is actually an unlicenced replica of the Taurus PT 92 B firearm itself, but it still originates from that iconic Italian 9 mm pistol that has proved so popular over the last 40 odd years.

This is what comes out the box, as well as a Chinglish instruction manual.

There are a couple of things that differ from the original Bereta firearm; these are the safety, which denotes it as the Taurus and is on the frame below the slide at the rear and not the slide, and the magazine, which is shaped slightly different at the base so a Co2 cartridge will fit below the valve. It's not a problem though as it looks like a high capacity magazine, and is roughly the right shape for a Taurus mag base.

This pistol has the usual light engraving of the lengthy warning on the other side of the slide as well as brand name and calibre on this side.

There is a weaver rail at the bottom of the frame which you could attach a bridge mount rail for a red dot sight, a laser designator, or even a torch, which is in keeping with it's tactical look. With the front post and unadjustable rear sight set so at 8 yards the BB's fall to the right and 2 inches down, the notch in the rear sight is quite wide and it would improve accuracy to have one of these things fitted. However there is a white dot at the base of the rear notch that helps to align the front post, it helps but only when there is plenty of light about. Considering it's not a target pistol but a tin can blasting BB gun, it works fine as it is, but it would be a lot easier to aquire targets if the white dot was on the front post instead.

The safety is a three position lever; it gives you 'safe', which can only be applied when the hammer is cocked or half cocked, 'semi auto' and 'full auto', but the gun is hobbled to give you semi auto in the semi and full auto positions. You can find the mods very easily to convert the gun to full auto on You Tube, but in the UK full auto is not allowed and you would get your pee pee severely slapped by the law of the land. 

This in another world is the selector position for full auto, it goes semi auto just as it does when the switch is horizontal.

Besides, it's wildly bloody inaccurate in full auto and a waste of Co2, basically I wouldn't bother as it will totally bugger your gun up. With the safety on, the trigger moves freely because it is disengaged somehow; remove the grips and you see how that works to some degree.

This is the selector position for safe, also the slide lock holds the slide back after the last shot.

What I do find totally amazing is the trigger in single action. It's really light and is set back to just before breaking point when the hammer has been cocked, and utterly predictable when compared to all other KWC blowback products I have come across. This, plus the solid, heavy feel to the blowback are most likely the main attractions to this gun. Double action isn't too heavy either which means you don't need to rack the slide to fire it, but you might as well as a BB is only loaded when the slide has been racked, besides, that's half the fun. Another groovy thing is that the trigger works just like the original with the metal bar on the right side of the gun swinging forward, as does the takedown bar and mag release. 

More moving parts than you could shake a stick at

In fact the only molded features are the trigger pin and of course the sights which have already been mentioned.

The magazine which is released by the button catch on the front of the grip by the trigger guard is a self contained ammo and power unit, just like the real steel. 

you can buy spare magazines for the P92, they're just not in stock very often.

It contains space for 21 steel BB's at the front which are loaded from the top, while the spring and follower are held down by your thumb as there is nowhere to lock it when loading. The 12g Co2 capsule fits in the bottom of the mag and is secured in place with a circular screw cup made of plastic; with fresh Co2 in the mag the cup is tightened with an allen key until just past the point the Co2 stops hissing after piercing. Tighten too much and you can damage the seal between the capsule and the valve sat at the top of the mag. A couple of times, I have had to tighten a little further when a slight hiss starts after a couple of shots into a fresh Co2 capsule, but that seems to have settled down now.

To strip the gun down for cleaning and lubrication the mag needs to be taken out so the slide can be removed. Press in the button on the right side of the takedown lever which is above the front of the trigger guard, so the switch on the left hand side can be moved 90 degrees to point downwards.

Press the take down lever button with your for finger,

and move the lever down 90 degrees with the thumb of the same hand. Or you could use both hands, it's up to you.

Now the slide is free to be removed by pulling forward off the pistol frame, which is cool as you don't have to pull the slide back to move the take down lever like you do on many other guns.

The slide comes off easy... Did you know that originally the Bereta did not have a take down lever and an assialant that was too close to you could reach out and just remove the slide, disarming your gun.

Then, turning the slide upside down, turn the recoil spring guide around 180 degrees and push all the way forward, compressing the recoil spring completely.

Note the flat on the collar of the recoil spring guide, facing at 90 degrees at the moment.

This now gives space for the barrel and breech unit to be removed by lifting at the breech and sliding out to the rear.

The barrel and breech do not come out until the flat of the guide is facing the barrel and the spring fully compressed.

Now that you have the slide in it's three main components, it is ready for a clean and lube.

 All ready for cleaning and lubrication.

l must admit that when it came to giving the now stripped pistol a wipe down with some kitchen towel, I found it to be pretty clean compared to say the Sig X Five which was fairly grubby. So silicone grease was dabbed on to the exposed outer barrel and rubbed in with kitchen towel to spread it sparingly.

That's too much grease really

This removes the excess.

Then, removing the recoil spring from the guide, more grease was applied to the guide and spread around between finger and thumb before replacing the spring.

More grease here and after a few shots it gets worked into the spring.

Next, using a mix of mostly silicone oil with a dab of silicone grease, I lubricated where the slide, frame and breech all came into contact; this was spread into tight corners with the aid of a little rolled up paper towel.

Add mixture along the runners on both sides here.....


and here.

Once it was cleaned and lubricated it was a simple matter of reversing the take down instructions to put it back together.

Fit and press in recoil spring and guide making sure the flat on the guide faces the barrel.

It's a snug fit but the barrel and breech slide in.

On releasing the recoil spring make sure the flat on the guide is facing the pistol frame, then he slide simply slides on again.

And push lever back into position to lock the slide in place.

Then using just the silicone oil, I lubricated the spring and BB follower in the magazine, as well as the slide lock tab at the top of the mag for good measure.

Even though silicone oil won't do any damage, it's still best to avoid getting any on the transfer port on top of the magazine.

Any excess oil and grease is wiped away and the pistol is ready for shooting again, once some more Co2 and BB's have been loaded into the magazine.

Wiping oil and grease can give the pistol a more realistic look

All in all, this is a pretty cool replica of the Taurus PT 92, apart from all the white writing all over the slide and frame. There are several methods to remove this, from sanding down and respraying to filling the writing with acrylic paint or permanent marker. Dispite the BB's not landing where the sights say they should, they do however group as small as just over an inch at six yards if care is taken. Two inch groups are the norm when shooting off hand or rapidly, and as there is no catch for the follower in the mag you can load and fire the full compliment of 21 BB's without problems.

It's not too loud either as the report and blow back can be heard in equal measure when you shoot it, in fact the most noticable noise comes from the BB's hitting the target. I have hours of fun quick drawing from my waist band and shooting at multiple 4 inch square metal plates at 6 to 9 yards, rebounding BB's were a problem until I started to angle the metal target plates pointing down.
Spare magazines are pretty hard to source unlike the 1911, but I recently managed to find one for my Sig X Five and they're hard to find as well. So i'm not abandoning all hope of finding one just yet, just be in the right place at the right time, or the right air gun shop web site.


Best wishes, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

SIG Sauer P226 X Five Field Strip , Clean, and Lube

Like all KWC blow back pistols, they are designed to be as realistic as possible and that means field stripping amongst other things. The good thing about field stripping is that they can be cleaned and lubed so they work a little smoother, and of course it will prolong their life a tad longer. They're not designed to last a long time as they are quite cheap to begin with and generally made out of pot metal, but as most things wear or break they can be replaced, and with the slide removed this is possible for many parts.

Besides a box of cheap steel BB's, this is what you get out of the box.

Many people have wondered if with a bit of tinkering they could improve the power output, though most likely you would just end up with a stronger kickback and a slight drop in power which can only lead to the pistol wearing out and breaking sooner. Believe me, a lot better minds than mine have looked into this and I am quite happy to defer to their judgement for now, so i'm happy just to get a smoother running pistol that can happily decimate empty energy drink cans at a rapid rate.

So, down to business and the joys of field stripping your lovely SIG X Five, which has to be one of the major attractions in the purchasing of this fine Taiwanese replica. 

The X Five is a fairly large pistol
First thing to do is drop the mag out of the pistol as nothing is moving anywhere until it's out of the way. It's also a good idea to rack the slide and check for any BB's in the barrel. 

Checking to see if the air pistol is clear.

The top slide, which is made from Zinc alloy I believe, has to be racked back until the semi circular cutout on the bottom left side of the slide lines up with the take down lever. 

The semi-circular cut away in the slide allows the take down lever to turn 90 degrees.

Once here, the lever will be allowed to turn 90 degrees within the ark of the cut out in the slide, so when the lever is pointing downwards you are able to pull the slide all the way forward and further till it slides off the front of the pistol frame.

The slide moves freely to this point where it meets a little resistance,

but give it a little jiggle and it moves on and off the pistol frame.

Cool, the gun's in three bits now; the magazine, which could do with a spot of lubrication, the pistol body which only needs a wipe and some lube, and the slide which will dismantle further for cleaning and lubrication and is the part we're concentrating on mainly for now.

Flip the slide upside down to start removing the recoil spring, guide and barrel.

Note which way up the recoil spring guide sits where it sits against the breech block.

Push the guide forward and lift, then remove by pulling it back. 

The spring and guide are easily removed with one hand, the square lug on the end of the guide sits inside the slide.

Note which way around the square block at the end of the guide goes for when you put it back again.

Well it's a start, but there's more.

The barrel housing, inner barrel and breech lift out easily in one unit, 

Inner, outer barrel, and breech assembly

Outer barrel lifts off lug on the breech.

.177 smoothbore  brass inner barrel with rubber O ring to hold it in place inside outer barrel.
and once out, the inner barrel removes quite easily from the outer barrel.

Pistol fully field stripped, you want to strip it any further and you will need a tool kit and lots of photos for putting it back together correctly.

Now it's in bits, it is a good time to clean all the parts before applying grease and oil; these pistols are always dry and a bit dirty out of the box by all accounts.

For something so new I was surprised how much crap came off of it.

Just wiping a piece of kitchen towel over any parts that will come into contact when the slide moves is a good start, in fact a good wipe on all the internal surfaces won't do it any harm at all.

Kitchen towel removes nearly all the grime, but a dab of white spirits will do a better job.

Once any grime was removed, I started by removing the recoil springs and washer and applying a thin smear of silicone grease to the guide and springs, making sure I remembered which way around they were originally fitted.

This pistol has two recoil springs and a washer, whereas most others have just the one spring. The collapsed ends of the springs go on the outside.

I made a mix of silicone grease and silicone oil which I smeared over the outer barrel with kitchen towel, 

All it needs is the thinnest of coatings, and it looks oh so shiny.

and all the touching parts of the slide had a smear of silicone oil as well as the parts they touched on the pistol frame.

Smear the oil along with a finger.

A little silicone oil is all you need, though a little fine graphite powder mixed in would be even better.

Now that all parts were evenly lubricated, it was a simple matter to reverse the disassembly guide to put it back together, and it is pretty straight forward and simple as these pistols go.

The magazine just needed a little silicone oil along the BB tension spring and follower, 

just to help it along I worked the follower up and down the mag with my thumb.

Once the spring and follower are oiled it will not need doing again for quite a while.

Another drop of oil to the lip of the BB feed at the top of the mag and where the follower connects with and pushes the slide stop into position for good measure. 

Just the tiniest drop here, and wipe any excess that goes near the square Co2 transfer port seal behind it.

By using silicone oil you are using an oil that does not damage rubber and plastic seals, but it's still best to wipe away any excess as you only need a little to do the job properly.

As this pistol is pretty easy to field strip it should be no problem to clean and lubricate at any time, and for me this is one of the main attractions in owning a replica like this.


Best wishes, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe