A box from Pyramyd Air is a happy day. The one that came a few days ago is additionally significant because it marks my first step into the world of Airsoft, which I've been anticipating for a bit now.
A few notes for now, just to document.
The order contained two guns, a spring-piston design Walther PPS and a gas blowback Commander-length 1911 from WE. The choice of the PPS was a bit arbitrary, based on the fact that I wanted to try a spring-piston powerplant, and I wanted something as close to my Kahr CW40 firearm as I could get in design and size. Now...Kahr has put its stamp on a spring-piston Airsoft gun of its own, but it's the "TP" frame size, which just seems stupid to me. If you're going to put only one of your designs out there, put out the design you started with, for crying out loud, not the least popular among everything you make. Jeez. Anyway, the PPS is nearly identical in dimensions to the CW40, and with nearly the same manual of arms. I admit, if I didn't already have the Kahr I might seriously consider the .40 caliber PPS firearm for the role. Anyway, here's what that looks like:
We had an inauspicious start, but are improving together. I'll have more to say about this soon enough, but suffice it to say that if I can keep the crosspin in the buttstock from falling out of the gun (!), this may wind up to be precisely what I thought it might be. Not bad for under $20.
The 1911, of course, was the primary objective. As you might imagine there are competing manufacturers of gas blowback 1911s, and I wound up going with the WE brand primarily because they offered a Commander-length single stack, and I wanted to be able to use it in both my 5" leather and my 4" leather.
Again, more details to follow, but initially at least it seems pretty impressive. I haven't shot it yet, the box having come earlier than expected and my not having yet acquired the light silicon oil that you add to the propane, but we'll get that squared away soon.
Thus far it seems like there are a few things to watch out for, including one potentially serious one, but other than that, and presuming it runs, I suspect this experiment is going to stick around a while.
Manual of arms is indeed just like the firearm, with one potentially problematic exception: the slide release does not cam down when you run the slide fully to the rear. You actually have to push down on the slide release to release the slide, and this is contrary to my training. Hm. Of far lesser importance, the thumb safety isn't as positive as I like them, but it works. (All springs are conspicuously lighter than you're used to on firearms.)
The magazine has a short "tower" above where the topmost cartridge would be on a firearm magazine, to elevate the BBs in line with the chamber; this will make reloads more technically difficult, but otherwise the magazines are very impressive (they're even weighted similarly to a full firearm magazine), and I suspect that the tower on the magazine will actually encourage if not quite demand the proper technique for magazine inserts, so I'm not even sure that tower is a "bad" thing.
The trigger is exceptional, nearly a bit too light for training for the street, but I'll make do. :-) The grip safety is functional and most other details are nicely done. All in all, now that I've met the piece, I want even more for it to do what I'm hoping it will do.
Also in the box were two bags of Airsoft BBs, 5,000 rounds apiece. The "biodegradeable" ones (I plan to test that to see what they actually do up here) came in white, and the plastic "competition ones" came in black. The multi-color thing turned out to be a good idea since both bags decided to burst somewhere along the way, and nothing quite says "welcome to the world of Airsoft" like 10,000 co-mingled BBs loose in your box.
Yeah, I'm excited about this. Testing will commence soon, and hopefully I'll document a lot of it here. :-)