Got this from a coworker who picked up an used SystemA PTW from Airsoft Canada as a package. His PTW should be really cool, but I haven’t seen it yet. Anyway, that’s beside the point… I have a M9 now!
The following are just some of my preliminary thoughts about this KWA M9 (I just picked up a few hours ago). Note the lack of KWA PTP markings, this is interesting to me, as this is likely an early model of the KWA M9 with the NS2 gas system, rather than their more recent KWA PTP with lasered trades. Read on and see pictures, after the break.
Not going to lie, prior to hearing about him getting the KWA M9 with his SystemA PTW, I wasn’t actually ever intending to buy another Airsoft M9 variant. I previously owned a full-metal, silver KJW M9 that I personally rebuilt. I had picked it up for super cheap on Airsoft Canada and expected that it would need some love – this was my first project relying almost entirely on KJW Taiwan’s customer support in terms of ordering parts and the like. The customer service from KJW was excellent (this is what has led me to love KJW as much as I do now), but the M9 just wasn’t cutting it for me. I worked on a few TM, KJW and WE M9 variants for clients thereafter, though I just couldn’t get used to the feel of the gun and of the controls. Upon first handling the KWA M9 PTP’s when they came in at my former place of work, I was impressed with the fit, finish, functionality and feel of the KWA version. However, my experience with M9’s has led me to dislike how they feel in my hand.
I find that M9’s are very bulky in the grip area. They feel wider than a USP .45 , in my opinion. The USP has almost too big of a grip for my hands, so that makes the M9 feel very uncomfortable. That being said, the KWA grip panels felt slightly better contoured to the palm of my hand than the KJ or TM ones; the KWA actually feels smaller to me, even though the difference in grip sizes is incredibly minimal. The KJ and TM options lack a working safety/decocker, whereas the KWA’s safety lever also decocks the hammer, similar to the commonly available version of the M9 (this is the same feature found on US military M9’s – important to me as I can use this in an impression). The real steel M9 was known for being not quite as refined as some other options out there – both in writing from the US military and users of the M9, as well as from my talking to with local guys who shoot real guns. The KJ, TM, WE and KWA all have issues concerning certain parts falling off the gun with little to no precautionary bolts to tighten or threadlocker to apply.
Despite my dislike for the M9 design from a shooting standpoint, I do like the aesthetic look of the gun. It is simply put a very good looking gun, IMO. The larger opening in the slide adds quite a bit to this, as well as significantly lightening the slide (which is very good in terms of gas consumption in an Airsoft GBB reproduction of the real thing). The barrel does not tilt, hence there are less important parts to the locking up of slide-to-barrel to wear out (especially important in the KWA version, as the outer barrel is plastic instead of metal). The safety/decocker is operated in one motion, which streamlines my process for putting the gun on safe and holstering. I do like my double action/single action pistols, though I’m not sure I would leave my M9 holster decocked, with the safety on (even though this is what it is designed to do). I’m very much used to shooting my KSC P226R (decocker only, no safety), which I holster decocked and thus can draw, present, and fire much quicker than having to disengage external safeties. The mag well is nicely beveled, mags have a tendency to just fit right into the frame when loading. The integral lanyard loop is important to me, as I can attach a lanyard and have my sidearm permanently attached to my gear, even if my holster’s retention fails and my gun happens to drop out of my holster when I’m out shooting stuff.
I’m not the biggest fan of M9’s, but for this price, I just couldn’t refuse this KWA. I haven’t gamed it yet, though I’m interested to see how it shoots in this colder winter weather that we’ve got right now in the Vancouver area (it’s about 6 degrees Celsius outside today). We’ll see how it performs in a later article. I’ll do a more in-depth review at that time, as well.
P.S. got a camera borrowed from my team mate “p3rc” – older model, but it is (in my opinion) good enough to keep up with my photography skills thus far. Thanks, p3rc!