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CKinnerley

VFC M&P9 Full Size GBB

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VFC M&P Full Size

Gas Blowback Pistol


Video review covers a lot, obviously there's things you can't really put across in stills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq4gHYZ7unY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq4gHYZ7unY

In the Box

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  • The M&P9 with the Medium backstrap fitted
  • 1 x Magazine
  • Spacer to allow dry firing of the magazine without the slide locking
  • Small backstrap
  • Large backstrap
  • Serial number plate to cover up 'Made in Taiwan'
  • Plastic inserts for the front sight and both dots of the rear sight

Packaging itself is pretty plain, not exactly TM standards but there was plenty of plastic and bubble wrap inside to keep everything secure and free from any moisture ingress.

Externals

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The plastic of the frame has a fair amount of seam line going on and the trigger is particularly bad for seams and some flash, but it's not something you actually feel in the hand (much to my relief). Overall I generally feel like the shape of the M&P is what a Glock should be and isn't miles from the the way many Glocks end up once they've had a professional re-profile. No stupid finger bumps that imply everyone in the world has the exact same sized hands. The plastic itself is certainly decent enough, there's a bit of a sheen but nothing offensive and nothing creaks, flexes or wobbles.

The take-down lever on mine seems to either have had something go a bit wrong in the machining of the serrations or there's something left in there from the factory, but I've seen pictures of the RS with a similar effect. The slide lock/release and the arrow around the pin hole that would mount the manual safety on the RS guns that feature said safety are accurate. Although technically there should be a spring pin in the rearmost space that's purely an aesthetic issue where the VFC gun doesn't have a hole all the way through like the S&W does. The 20mm rail is obviously an expected feature on a modern pistol of this type and from my quick tests it appears to be fine in terms of dimensions, which elevates this gun significantly in terms of practicality for CQB skirmishing in my eyes.

The fit between the slide and frame is a tiny bit loose but there's certainly much worse out there in airsoft. The visible gap is pretty much comparable to the RS. It definitely wants some breaking in from the factory, particularly when it comes to the field strip. I had some real troubles getting everything to line up just-so the first few times I took the slide off and attempted reassembly but after a few repetitions it started to improve.

The slide appears to be of a good quality metal and the machining inside and out looks pretty precise. The cocking serrations are particularly grippy compared to most handguns, although with the weak recoil spring that comes in this gun you won't need to worry about that too much. I'm not sure if the extractor itself is actually a separate piece but it certainly looks that way and it is a different colour to the rest of the slide so that's a nice aesthetic. Finish on the slide is pretty good from my initial look, certainly better than my KJW 1911 and a lot of other metal pistols I've seen that are only cheaply painted. As with any metal-slided GBB you'll obviously get paint wearing away in high friction areas inside such as the grooves for the rails and where the outer barrel cams downwards, so keep those spots clean and lightly oiled.

As you'll note from the pictures my outer barrel had already seen a lot of cycles before the gun even got to me, which is slightly annoying, but the paint wear is consistent with that seen on the RS. You can always get the thing cerakoted if you want the top of the chamber to stay black for longer.

Personally I'm not a mega stickler for trades in terms of them being rolled/stamped/engraved in the exact same way that the real firearm features/when it comes to the nuances of the font etc. However VFC's partnership with Cybergun has allowed them to include a full set of realistic trademarks on this M&P replica and still openly sell it internationally, unlike the traded Stark G series. I think they're nicely done on both the slide and frame and certainly seem quite close to the real gun, but the main thing is that there aren't any screaming, nasty, airsoft specific, whited-in trades on this pistol. The one way they deviate from the Smith & Wesson gun is the 'Made in Taiwan' on the right side of the frame, which is nicely covered up by the included serial number plate (which you'll want to secure with a dab of glue).

Here's some macro shots of each trademark.

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Internals

One great thing about this design is that you can break it down to what you see below in about 7 seconds with no tools of any sort.

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It's similarly quick and simple to re-assemble (once you've worn it in a bit) which makes adjusting the hop much less of a chore than some designs and it's obviously very handy for general cleaning and maintenance. Even compared to the Glock design I find it a lot better, both in terms of the field strip and switching the backstraps (which do make a significant difference depending on which you fit so this gun will cater to a wide range of hand sizes).

The bits inside the frame and slide aren't exactly beautiful but then they obviously don't need to be, they certainly appear sturdy enough, and again, very comparable to a Stark G17.

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The recoil spring (which is captive on the guide rod) is very weak as I mentioned, so if you're at all ginger/tentative with cocking the gun or pressing the slide release you can end up with a failure to battery, especially when the gun's not yet worn in and before you clean out what little grease is put in by the factory and add some silicone oil yourself. But I didn't have any issues with returning to battery during firing or when cocking the gun properly at speed/with some force.

The hop unit is a Marui type although this is one area I did come across an issue, mine does not apply even pressure to the bucking. The metal arm that is moved up and down by the adjustment wheel doesn't sit dead straight/flat and tends to be pulled slightly further down on the side of the wheel, creating more of an impression on that side when you look down the barrel. I stripped the unit down and reassembled to check it wasn't the screws being loose but it appears not, the arm itself may need some modifying to prevent shots hooking left at longer ranges.

The inner barrel was very mucky from the factory so definitely give that a clean. Although the groove in the end of it near the muzzle with the fitted o-ring is very good to see and stops the inner barrel rattling around inside the outer during firing, something a lot of cheaper pistols can suffer with due to omitting this simple feature.

The full-auto mode can be easily accessed with the gun assembled by locking the slide back and looking under the rear sight. Not sure why VFC included this (apart from just copying the mechanism from the M&P9c) and I've not tried it at all myself, would've preferred it not be included. But fingers crossed it doesn't cause the gun to last any less time than it would being semi only, in which case it'll just be a nice little feature for people to play about with on occasion.

Features and Function

The movement of the slide on the frame probably won't win an awards for smoothness and the sort of robust feel that inspires the confidence a high quality RS pistol does, but for a metal slided gun in this price range it's certainly comparable with the competition. I'm probably judging it somewhat harshly for various reasons, but overall it's perfectly fine and doesn't have any problems cycling.

The trigger to my mind isn't particularly impressive, but I think a lot of this comes down to the two-part design of the M&P family trigger, which to me always just looks like a sideways version of the Glock trigger safety. I've been spoilt by some very expensive, highly modified RS M&Ps but I think the plastic VFC have used is just a tad too flexible when it comes to small/thin parts like the trigger. End of the day the average airsofter won't notice this so as a skirmishing gun it's not much of a negative, just a point for the shooters. It hits a fairly predictable wall before the break which certainly isn't the most sharp and crisp in the world and is overall a tad sponge'y, but I haven't noticed any grit to it. The reset is annoying to me personally in that it is neither audible nor tactile most of the time (for some reason it occasionally does click), but again most airsofters (certainly in the UK and most of Europe) won't be bothered by this in the slightest and from what I've been told this is accurate to the RS trigger when the gun's in stock form.

The slide lock was almost a bit disconcerting at first, because rather than the piece you physically interact with locking the slide there's a protrusion that goes further in which catches on the notch in the slide. As I noted in the video it doesn't take much of a knock to dislodge the lever and send the slide home, but I'd imagine the worst case scenario of this is that you might occasionally have to power stroke on a reload. Although it does mean as a side effect you can reload that fraction of a second faster every time because slapping in the mag will send the slide forward consistently in my experience thus far.

The magazine catch is an area that maybe needs breaking in as I found my pistol somewhat inconsistent in releasing magazines compared to others I've owned and used. The protrusion on the frame feels like a real obstruction, as if you have to reach over it with your thumb to actuate the button. It's not a flaw specific to the VFC and it's not insurmountable, but getting a good press on the button will take some getting used to vs a 1911/P226/G17. The mag catch can be swapped around for any left handed users who prefer that. Which combined with the dual-sided slide lock and symmetrical frame makes this pistol essentially full ambidextrous.

The blowback is what you'd expect, perhaps a tiny bit on the sluggish side due to the slide/frame interface not being the smoothest and the weak recoil spring. Overall though we're talking very small fractions of seconds between this and the various other comparable GBB pistols on the market.

Firing and feeding was consistent although I'm unable to provide any sort of range or ranged accuracy report at this time due to the constraints of the job. The pistol did fine with hitting a 12" square paper target (typical mesh BB catcher box) at roughly 5-6m, but I've no idea as yet how that wonky hop unit will affect things at further distances.

In Conclusion

I don't particularly like to use the phrase "for the price" because that just always seems to imply a lesser quality somehow, but in its' truest sense I feel it's very relevant to this pistol. Given the spotty reputation of the WE with regards consistent, reliable function (along with said pistol's lack of accurate trades) and the fact the Marui M&P quite likely won't handle propane too well when it eventually arrives (whenever that is); I strongly believe the VFC is a strong entry to the market. I think it will suit a lot of people who wish to own an airsoft version of one of these guns, be it for skirmishing (perhaps more suited for CQB), collecting/plinking or as a cost effective training tool.

It looks good inside and out with a complete set of fully correct trademarks with no airsoft 'extras' or alternations, the magazines hold gas reliably and feed perfectly fine. The M&P design is highly ergonomic and one of the most modern designs of pistol that exists in airsoft form. I've no doubt that a good selection of high-end slides, barrels, triggers and other parts will be forthcoming for this platform for those that want the ATEi/Salient/Costa custom type look and if the Stark Glocks are anything to go by the supply of stock parts to keep these guns running in the event of breakages should be plentiful.

It's a shame the mags aren't compatible with WE and you know TM won't copy anyone else so unfortunately we are going to end up with 3 types of mags, but I think if you want a really good looking M&P that's also decent for skirmishing and can handle the same gas as your GBB rifles this platform is a very sound bet overall.

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Fantastic review, I'm still a bit hesitant about ordering this because, well, it's a GBB made by VFC, and we all know how 'amazing' their GBB range is. :wacko:

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Cheers.

 

I wouldn't be too hesitant, when people talk about VFC GBBs in a negative sense they're referring to their rifle line (which itself has improved a lot in recent times apparently). The original VFC M&P9c has a pretty good reputation and has been around for some time, same story with the Stark Glocks which are pretty popular indeed. You don't see/hear about them as much here because they're not available in the UK, but the Stark G19 has probably the best all round reviews of any G19 from what I can see, heck likely in the top few in terms of all airsoft Glocks.

 

The VFC line isn't TM I'll say that, they are cheaper and with metal slides which means they aren't as nice internally there's no denying it. But they're at least as good as the new WE stuff or KJW, if not slightly better.

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Nice review, I've been looking at the compact version myself.

(http://www.rsov.com/product.php?langId=1&currencyId=4&manufacturerId=10&prodId=18692&cateId=54)

 

Although I am actually going to get the WE Glock 17, I really like the design of the S&W M&P.

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It is spectacularly sexy. I want it.

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It's on my buy list, the WE has issues and the TM appears to be a way off still so this looks like the best bet.

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The WE definitely has issues, I'd sooner recommend a piece of turd moulded into the shape of an M&P.

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Some say WE are currently putting out a newer batch of M&Ps with a new QC process in place, but I'm yet to be convinced by any of that. I'd never say it was a 'bad' brand as such but to me QC from the factory is paramount and WE still don't have a solid track record in that respect, even with their recent stuff, reports are very much mixed. VFC aren't the king in that respect either but the Glock line has been good enough in the quality and consistency departments for me to give them a fair chance, certainly over WE.

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