ASG STI Duty One Blowback
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Call of Duty!
Action Sport Guns (ASG) may not be a name airgun shooters are familiar with, but airsoft players will definitely have heard of the firm. ASG is a Danish company which was founded in 2003 when the two biggest Danish Airsoft distributors joined forces. Between them they know a lot about the model gun manufacturing business, and they specialize in 1:1 (full size) replica guns, including airsoft, airguns, toys and collectables. They take out license agreements with the original manufacturers of firearms to produce airsoft and Co2 powered airguns that look like - and in many cases operate - like the real thing.
The Test Gun
The STI Duty One ASG blowback Co2 pistol in this review is - as the name suggests - based upon the STI pistol of the same name. STI is already a famous name in America, it started in the 1980’s with Virgil Tripp making competition 1911 pistols, soon he began using CNC and the highly accurate EDM machines to manufacture his own pistols based on the ergonomic1911 dimensions. STI handguns are widely used for competition shooting in America, and the ASG model of the Duty One is a faithful copy of one of STI’s best selling guns.
I have shot a few 1911’s in my time (real ones that is) and getting the ASG out of the packaging took me back to the last time I shot one (it was while on honeymoon… don‘t ask!).
The 1911 is a big’ol gun as it is based around the massive 45 calibre ACP round, so the dimensions of the pistol, Co2 or not had to match the ammo. The big grip of the 1911 is not every pistol shooter’s cup of tea, but I for one am a big fan. The ASG Duty One uses the ubiquitous 12 gram Co2 bulb. One of these is loaded into the gun via the back strap of the pistol grip. To get at the Co2 aperture you have to push a button on the very bottom of the grip. This allows the cover plate comprising the back strap to be removed and a Co2 bulb can be inserted.
The piercing screw is on the bottom of the pistol grip. When tightened it allows the gas into the gun via a valve. The trick with the manual Co2 screw system for the bulb is to try to complete the piecing process in one smooth and fast turn for the final piercing bit. If you get ‘out of sync’ with your turns it allows precious Co2 gas to escape, and could even damage the sealing “O“ ring on the valving system. Turn the screw in until it is nearly at the piercing point (you can see how far you have left by looking at how the bulb sits in the aperture and when the screw starts to get harder to turn. Rotating your wrist anti clockwise as far as you can give you the extra angle needed for the final turn, minimising the wastage of gas. The removable backstrap covers up the piercing screw when it is put back onto the pistol. The synthetic grip scales have deep angled ridges cut into their surface along with an STI logo on each side.
The top slide and hammer are made of metal and it has a slide release catch on the left hand side of the action. To the rear of this is a manually operated safety catch, again this operates just as a 1911, push up for safe, it shows a small S and a white dot on the frame. Push back down for fire, where a small F and red dot can be seen. I would have liked to have seen the beaver tail safety grip work - as on the real 1911- but this is not possible due to the Co2 bulb location.
Sights and Magazine
The Duty One has open post and notch combat sights, the rear notch sight can be adjusted for windage but I found it near as damn it spot on for me, so I left it were it was. On the other side of the action is a faux ejection port and an outline of the state of Texas with another STI logo, STI want you to know the origins of the pistol. The gun can be de-cocked by holding the hammer and pressing the trigger, slowly allowing the hammer back into its un-cocked position.
The Magazine Catch
operates from the left side, press in with your thumb and out drops the metal magazine clip by the force of gravity. The mag takes 20 X 4.5mm (.177) steel BBs. There is a spring loaded catch to pull down, then BBs can be dropped into the magazine from the top, do be careful when you release the spring loaded catch from the rear notch. Do it gently and the catch engages, holding the BBs in column, but let the catch go willy-nillly and you could find all the BBs you previously loaded flying out of the top of the magazine.
The gun is single action only, meaning you have to cock the hammer or operate the slide in order to able to fire the gun. You cannot simply pull the trigger for double action, this is due to it being the blowback version of the ASG, the non-blowback version is double as well as single action. The non-blowback version is slightly more powerful and gives a few more shot due to it not having to operate the top slide on firing. However this blow back version is cooler… which does matter.
The trigger is the only feature on the gun which is not like a real STI Duty One. It does not have the classic solid looking 1911 trigger blade; instead it has a thin curved trigger blade. The single action blowback trigger pull feels nice and light, even though it came in at 2.6kg (5lbs) on my electronic trigger gauge. The non-blowback version comes in at 3.6kg (8lbs) in double action mode and slightly more than the blowback version for single action. The Duty One is an ultra-safe pistol as when the magazine is not in the gun it cannot discharge a BB, as the BBs can only be fired from the magazine.
Over the chronograph the STI gave figures of around 320 feet per second or just over 1.1 ft/ lbs. The non-blowback version gives slightly higher figures, but I would still plump for the blowback model as the kick you feel in your hand when it shoots is worth the loss of power. At six yards range it shot 22mm groups with five shots. They only recommend you shoot steel/copper BB’s in the ASG and not lead ones. I shot off a full magazine of twenty shots, which took 21.38 seconds, after a few more attempts I was getting it down to the 18 second mark. As for number of shots per Co2 bulb the blowback gave 80s shot or four magazines out of a 12 gram Co2 bulb which is very good for a blowback action, the non-blowback version gives slightly more. The high number of shots is due to the relativity low power of 1.1.
Mounts and Moddies
The gun has a sight/laser rail molded into the synthetic part of the frame right in front of the trigger guard. This has two locating grooves for Weaver type mounts. It is also where you can fit a wrap around optical sight rail which AGS have made for the gun, be aware however that the frame is synthetic and when you screw in the four small Allen screws to attach the sight rail onto the gun you cannot feel where the frame starts and it is very easy to damage the guns frame.
I have left one interesting feature of the gun till last - you can fit a moderator. The larger opening at the end of the barrel has an Allen key section which can be screwed out to fit ASG’s own muzzle brake or steel moderator. With the sight rail and moderator fitted along with a small reflex red dot sight it transforms the gun into a fun plinker. You can even purchase spare magazines, and the magazine release lends itself to fast mag changes. The heavy metal magazine is long enough and big enough to make for very realistic pistol drills. I found a drop leg holster on the Flecktarn web site which fit’s the gun perfectly, adding even more to the realism of the scenario.
ASG have made a quality pistol which for fans of 1911’s ticks all the right boxes, especially in the blowback version. GM