The lovely KWA/Umarex H&K .45 GBB

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Big, pleasingly chunky black DA/SA automatic, with polymer frame, metal slide and plastic inner barrel. Large, imposing and looks fantastic with that typical H&K look of good, solid but styled design.

The BMW M5 of pistols? It looks and feels like the kind of thing Schwarzenegger would wield but is very comfy in the hand even if you aren't an Austro-Californian weightlifter.


I originally went shopping for a VFC/Stark Arms Glock 18C but found it to be not so different enough to my Tokyo Marui model while not accepting the same magazines that I couldn’t justify it. Then I saw this, I compared it to the TM version and the officially licensed by Heckler und Koch Umarex/KWA feels much nicer with better weight. I looked at one with a flat dark earth frame but it looked nastier somehow, the "FDE" was more like a yellowy colour.

· Packaging is lovely, securely nestled in a foam cutout inside an H&K branded box in black and red and I must admit this gives a sense of childish satisfaction.

The well written manual  is also officially branded H&K in the same vein with clear well labeled pictures and is good as far as it goes… which isn’t very far. It does not give you any hint on how to strip it or change the backstrap or even that these things are possible. If you want to practice your German, French or Spanish though you’re in luck.

· Contents: KWA type hop adjuster key (Or “Shoot Up” as the manual more accurately names it). A safety key to lock it in case of discovery by curious little fingers (also like the real thing), and a second backstrap for those with larger hands.  Oh, and some BBs.

· Exterior: Markings, seem to be authentic as Umarex are a German company like Heckler & Koch and have used that connection to get the rights, although the "HK45 .45 Auto" on the left of the slide are in white paint rather than engraved as per the "Real Steel", otherwise it seems 100% faithful.  HK .45 auto and the serial number are stamped into the breech of the plastic outer barrel. There is a non-functional, dummy “chamber loaded” indicator showing a sliver of red. All other controls are real and work as per the Real Steel. Frame mounted Safety/Decocker is right hand only although the slide and magazine releases are ambidextrous with a paddle style mag release at the back of the trigger guard like on Walther P99s.

· Ergonomics and operation. Ambidextrous slide and magazine release but not safety/decocker despite that it seems set up for it. Controls are similar to a 1911 for those used to the old .45 auto, this is like it's German grandson.

Very suitable for use with gloved hands, well sized trigger guard, nicely sized in all respects with forward serrations. The super comfy grip has finger grooves and a great stippling type pattern.The magazines have a heel on them that extends the grip if you need to and the design means you can grasp the mag to pull it out should that prove necessary (it hasn't).

Lightweight and plasticky at 830 grams, despite the metal slide. The outer barrel is plastic, disappointingly, I didn’t notice that in the shop, although the inner seems not to be brass but is silver in colour. Steel possibly?

Big Picatinny rail with four "gaps".

Operation: Double Action/Single Action with a decocker that works as a safety catch, although confusingly you have to switch it off “Safe” onto “Fire”, and past that it decocks. But when you let go of the switch smartly it snaps back onto “Safe”.

Like a lot of German designs it requires you to operate it in a certain way as the designers have already thought through the correct way to do it. And they know best. So dogmatic, so Cherman.

Trigger pull feels nice and fairly crisp (for an airsoft gun) and the metal trigger has grooves down the length which make it nice and smooth to use.

Sights are three white dots.

The long grip is suitable for larger hands, especially with the interchangeable backstrap. As it is I have smaller hands so kept it as it came, the grip is narrower than guns based on “double stack” 9mms and perfectly comfortable for less than huge hands. It has a shallow but nicely “grippy” rough pattern that should keep al but the sweatiest hands firm. The mag locks down so you can just use a BB loader to feed 25 rounds in through the feed lips then press the follower and it snaps up under spring pressure. Nice and easy to load, it says it's 28 rounds but I play safe and load no more than 25 .25s.

· Hop up is via the aforementioned KWA style “key” that goes into a castellated piece around the breech. The slide must be pulled and held halfway back to adjust, locking it back will mean you can’t reach. Having had experience of this system via my KWA/PTS Mega rifle I must admit this was almost a deal breaker. The rifle version is made of the crappiest, softest metal they could find and wears out immediately. Literally immediately.

However this pistol’s seems to work thus far, but it’s early days yet and the pistol version is a different size to the rifle, the keys are not interchangeable. So maybe it won’t have the crippling weak spot that the LM4 and MKM have.

·  Disassembly is much like an M1911A1, pull the slide halfway back to a notch cut in it, push the left side of the slide lock latch out and release the slide forward. The right side latch remains in place.

·  Shooting, range and accuracy. 6.05 apparently, the combination of the new type gas system with a good hop rubber means it reaches out beyond what you'd expect a pistol to. 

Metal slide so it can handle Guarder Black Gas and .25s right out of the box, indeed it needs .25s at a minimum - anything less it doesn't shoot as well and .28s seem ideal. Typically I get two magazines worth out of on gas fill, it might not lock back on the second lot though.

Consistently reaches 30 metres/yards ish with ease and I think with that maybe with careful hop adjustment and pellet choice that 40+ accuracy beckons, I’m waiting for a still day but I was getting 9 out 10 shots hitting a steel oil drum at 35 yards in a fairly stiff breeze. This looks to have the potential to be an actual useful game gun, not so much CQB but I think maybe it could hold enemy off at AEG distances!

No idea how fast it shoots, don't have a chromo.

Cost: Yes it was pricey at £160, magazines are expensive too at about £40. And holsters for it are rare I had to buy a Real Steel Blackhawk Retention Holster meant for the 9mm version, that was another £40 too. So altogether I'm up to around £290 so far. I don't regret it though as this seems like a practical and reliable choice for games (as opposed to my much modded KJW 226 which is somewhat temperamental after all my fiddling with it).

I didn't like the plastic outer barrel, I felt it detracted from the realism and sounded sort of crappy too. I ordered an RA Tech steel outer and it looks, sounds and feels great... as it bloody should do for £50! It doesn't seem to have affected the thermal efficiency as I was warned it would, still shoots the same to me. Feels properly hefty and weighty in the hand and the grey steel breech has the same serial number and H&K logo, and it now looks and feels complete.

I do however take care to keep the outer and slide very well lubricated as it has been pointed out that the softer alloy slide sliding over the harder steel outer will result in undue wear. I could have got a brass one instead and I could see how the aesthetics of that might appeal - imagine polished, shiny brass and black. It would make it quite bling.

Durability: I've put several bottles of .25s and .28s through it now and it's still going strong, hop might be wearing as seems like it's a bit less accurate than it used to be (although it's difficult to tell with airsofts).

Slide sounded kind of "twangy and scrapy" to begin with but the combo of use, lubing and the steel outer solved that. I later learned that the Real Steel sounds the same! 

Magazine fill valves kept going at first but that seems to have stopped now. I ran it on butane and MAPP gas in the winter and it seemed to like it. in the last 2 weeks the safety/decocker no longer "clicks" into place and doesn't spring back from decock so readily - I'm guessing a spring?


Verdict. Excellent; accurate, good range, easy to shoot and hold, high end GBB pistol that looks and feels like a movie hero's gun. Worth the money despite the plastic outer barrel.


I'm not the only one who rates this GBB either: KWA HK45 Green Gas Pistol by Elite Force & Umarex | Airsoftology ...


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