I’m partial to King Arms’ products- they are more than decent in quality and very, very competitive priced. Their range of products is impressive and covers almost every niche of airsoft products, from replicas to accessories.
Airsoft News EU editorial staff is extremely proud and grateful to King Arms, which offered us chance to introduce KA M79, which is officially not yet announced. We reviewed a finished product, but there may or may not be slight changes on final products. Actually, our review version came in AEG box, as M79 boxes are not yet available.
The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, break-open, breech-loading, shoulder-fired weapon (Figure A-1). It consists of a receiver group, fore-end assembly, barrel group, sight assembly, stock assembly, and sling. A rubber recoil pad is attached to the butt of the stock to absorb some of the recoil.
FM 23-31 APPENDIX A 40-MM GRENADE LAUNCHER, M79
This is pretty accurate, but clinical definition of M79. Blooper (as it is affectionally called, due to “bloop” sound grenade makes when leaving the barrel) is certainly one of the iconic weapons of Vietnam war, together with Matty Mattel M16. Operators became so proficient with M79 that they were able to hit window on hut from 250 meters away. Blooper is only one of the nicknames, others are Thumper, Bloop Tube and others.
40mm grenades fly very slowly and it is possible to see them in mid air. Speaking of ammo, considerable number of different grenade types, from flechette rounds to tear gas grenades were developed. And of course, they are fully compatible with newer M203 grenade launcher. M79 may be old, but it is not obsolete. Recently, USMC was again issued a number of M79 for destroying suspected IED sites in Iraq.
Introduction is over, to the actual review. As always, first impressions: KA M79 is very solid, with full metal and wood construction. Finish is very good and visual quality is simply stunning. There is no gaps where metal and wood parts meet, which is impressive. Replica looks tough as nails and I’m pretty certain that one could drive mentioned nails into the wall with one.
Barrel is full metal, made out of high quality metal (not pot metal, for instance). Stock and fore grip are made out of wood with dark finish, which is quite resistant to scratches and wear. Sling attachments are very rudimentary, but than again, so are on the original – just simple rings on the stock and fore grip. Rubber recoil pad is covering the end of the stock, just like on the original.
Sights are yet again replicated in detail- rear one looks very complicated- more about that later. Rear leaf sight is simply screwed to the barrel with the bracket and can be removed if user wishes so (just to cut down weight, also this was often done in Vietnam as grenadiers seen sight just as another thing to snag at wait-a-minute vines).
Front sight is fixed type, rear sight has full adjustability of the real one, which means that it can be adjusted up to 375 meters. Also, windage is also adjustable. I’m fairly sceptic that due to very limited range of M203 grenades in airsoft it is useful… but it is replicated in details.
Operation is idiot proof. As said, it works much like “your daddy’s shotgun.” You flick the lever, swing the barrel down, insert grenade and close the launcher. Your M79 is ready to fire.
Thumb switch (or more accurately, latch) has to positions, first enables you to automatically lock barrel into position, so you clear the barrel locking latch lock. When you close the launcher, latch automatically secure the launcher. If you flick the latch all the way, you will have to manually secure the latch.
Safety is conveniently located beneath the thumb. There are two positions, which are self describing marked as S (safe) and F (fire).
Another closely replicated feature is trigger guard detant assembly. This are fancy words for possibility that trigger guard can move in either left or right position, if there is a need to operate M79 with mittens.
This can be achieved simpy: Depress the detent assembly (the large knob on the trigger guard ) to move the trigger guard right or left. I find this feature fairly useless, as gas hand grenades and cold weather don’t really mix to well. However, this is feature on the real one and it is again faithfully replicated.
We tried this replica with King Arms, Madbull and Vanaras M203 grenades. Compatibility is guaranteed, however, certain grenades slightly rattle in the barrel. This is barely noticeable, but can be distracting if you are perfectionist.
Insertion and clearing of the replica grenades is simple and should pose no problem, even if you wear gloves.
I tried to find some serious flaws with this product, but I managed to find only two – safety is bit flimsy and the rifling in the barrel, just linear lines, no twist. Another rather annoying feature is that the trigger detant mechanism is prone to unscrewing itself. Since you won’t be using this feature anyway, screw the knob as hard as you can or glue it to position. Problem solved.
That is pretty much it. Replica is realistic, heavyweight and certainly looks menacing, like the real one.
This one is a winner. Really. It is superbly made, from good materials and using and handling is a delight. It is a perfect accessory for either Vietnam reinactors and everyone else, who want a M79. You won’t be disappointed and King Arms did it again. Two thumbs up!
Test item provided by King Arms