KWA KM325 pistol
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
As a new airsofter you are no doubt finding out all about the rules and regulations which govern us as players. In a nutshell you will need an exemption from the VCR Act of 2006 to legally own a Realistic Imitation Firearm (RIF). This means having a Defence in Law for owning such a replica, and the best way of gaining this is to be a member of an insured airsoft site and meeting the Home Office requirement of playing 3 times in more than 2 months there.
Making a purchase is then far easier if you have registered your site membership on the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) system as it means the sale of a RIF can take place without the retailer needing to contact the site to verify your membership, which means there is no delay in getting your new replica whilst waiting for a site owner to reply. Before you try to buy a RIF please visit the excellent Q&A page on the UKARA website to find out what you need to do to become a legally registered player in the UK. (http://www.ukara.org.uk/questions.php).
One of the first things that I’m asked by new airsofters is “Which gun should I buy?” and inevitably my answer will be “Well, what do you like?” In reality there is an ongoing debate in the airsoft world over which is the best, the latest, fires the fastest, and which is the most durable and no doubt this will go on and on.
All that said I’m going to look this month at a great little pistol, which is sensibly priced, has darn good build quality and reliability, and shoots accurately; to me those are the essentials when it comes to buying. The KM23F from Taiwanese manufacturer KWA is basically a replica of the G23 from Glock, a compact handgun which in the real world which is chambered for the hefty .40 calibre cartridge. Many folk will go for a Glock 17 “9mm”, especially now as they are the issued handgun for the UK Armed Forces, but the “23” is just that little bit more compact, shorter, and just a wee bit different.
KWA are well known for their gas blowback pistols, and they’re well also for being an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) working with other, allied companies in the airsoft industry. The “KM” rather than “G” prefix for the pistol is there purely to avoid legal wrangles with licencing, but believe me when I say you’re going to get a really good replica of the real thing if you buy from KWA; I’ve had several of their Glock handgun replicas over the years and they’ve all worked faultlessly.
In airsoft guise the “23” comes with a full metal slide and is ready to run on good quality green gas straight out of the box; it’s a sturdy beast that will put up with the rigors of the game well. As with the real thing the lower is of polymer construction with a comfortable, stippled pistol grip and a small rail at the “sharp end” for attaching accessories, should you wish. At 860g when fully loaded with 25X .20g bbs in the extended, double stack magazine which comes as standard it feels great in the hand, but it’s not too heavy to carry when relegated to secondary status in a holster; unlike some Glock replicas out there I’ve not yet found a holster for the “real deal” that the KWA doesn’t work with.
In use this is a very reliable handgun, sending .20g bbs downrange at a site friendly mean velocity of 320fps. Sights are simple with just a front blade and rear notch, but these are easily acquired thanks to three white beads, two rear and single front. The added bonus, if you’re not an absolute purist, is that the KWA KM23F actually has a fire selector which enables you to switch to full auto fire should the need arise!
As a first airsoft pistol this is worthy of serious consideration; although the RRP is £114.95 you can often find them for under a hundred quid at shows, so picking one up once you’re registered isn’t going to empty your wallet. Available from most good airsoft retailers this unbranded test model came courtesy of Badgertac (www.badgertac.com).