KWC: SIGARMS 1911 GSR

Nine out of ten experts agree: good old Colt 1911 is certainly one of the three best, if not the best pistol platform ever. It is simple, reliable, time proven, no nonsense platform. So, if constructors want to design a reliable pistol they should simply give up and manufacture a carbon copy of venerable design from John Moses Browning? No, certainly not. It means that excellent platform for service weapon can be made even better with application of new materials and other developments in the field (sights, for instance). This proves that there is more life in the old warhorse, called Colt M1911.

When SIG (and their US subsidiary SIGARMS) announced SIGARMS GSR (Granite Series Rail) 1911 aficionados knew that end product will be described in superlatives. Nomenclature may be a bit confusing: Granite is reference to SIGARMS’ home state (New Hampshire is also known as the Granite state) and rail refers to the integral rail on the lower receiver.

KWC probably also does not need special introduction. Their products were actually one of the first Taiwanese manufactures available in Europe (my first replica was KWC springer). Recently they focused their attention to CO2 models.

Until recently only Western Arms offered a replica of SIGARMA GSR 1911. KWC’s product is fairly new as it was introduced only few weeks ago.

First impression can be summarized under one word: heavy. Quick check with the scale: replica weights impressive 810 grammes with empty magazine. Much of the weight comes from slide, which is die casted and very solid. Slide has laser engraved full trades (GSR SIGARMS). KWC’s marking is discretely hidden on the frame.

Frame is plastic, including rails. Rails are compatible with all aftermarket laser and tactical lights. Colour and finish of frame is fairly nice and not very shining.

Original GSR comes with Novak sights. As I played with real ones, I must say that they are very, very good, if not the best sights for handguns.
Sights on KWC GSR follow the general outline of the Novak sights and have three painted dots. Sadly, it appears that they are not adjustable.

Another prominent feature is extended (non functional) beaver tail. As it is part of the lower receiver, it is all plastic, as are trigger and hammer. We will return to those features shortly.

Grips are excellent replica of Falcon Industries 1911ERGO Grip XT, originally made from Nitrolon. KWC used no fancy materials, just bog standard- metal. Yes, grips are metal. Yes, no mistake, they are metal. They offer very good grip, which is ensured by the grip’s rough texture.

Thumb safety is metal and located only on the left side of the frame. It is interesting that it does not block the trigger (making it impossible to press), but rather disconnects the trigger from the striking the valve pin. It is still possible to press the trigger, just nothing happens.

Magazine is full size affair, with place to put in the CO2 capsule. Capacity of magazine is 15 BBs, which are stacked in single column. Installation of the CO2 capsule is uneventful: with hex key loosen the bottom of the magazine, insert CO2 capsule and re-tighten the bottom of the magazine. Insert the loaded magazine and…
…start shooting. I was testing this replica after the rain and the shooting range was covered in mud… and I couldn’t help myself. I shot in the big mud puddle and BBs made an impressive indentations. Yes, KWC GSR shoots hot. Very hot.

Quick check on the chronograph later revealed that .20 BBs are propelled with 130 m/s (428 fps). Consistency of speed is good and there is very little variation- until the last magazine or so, where BBs are spatted only couple of meters. With one CO2 capsule we managed to get around 120 shots.

However, there are several features which are not so impressive:

– no adjustable HopUp. There is rubber chamber, which is described in the manual as rubber chamber BAX, but I’m not entirely convinced that it works like HopUp chamber. This may not be a problem, as primary function of this replica is not skirmish, but rather precise shooting on the targets. High output speeds offer considerable range and consistency at 35 meters was excellent- for short barrelled replica pistol, that is.
– hammer is plastic and has no function.
– Trigger is plastic and looks somewhat cheap.
– Beaver tail safety is non functional.

Field stripping is very simple: it is necessary to remove slide stop and remove the slide. There is very little serviceable parts inside, and assembly is somewhat annoying, as it is necessary to persuade loading bar connector (which is separate part) to stay in position. Replica is very simple, which means that not many things can go wrong mechanically.

Shooting is uneventful, however, trigger pull is very long and quite stiff. It takes some practice to place accurate shots, which are not disturbed by long trigger pull. But it is possible and replica is tremendously fun to shoot, it is accurate and on improvised BB IDPA track it showed its true purpose.

What to say? Being a CO2 replica means that it is most probably banned from regular airsoft skirmishes. KWC SIG GSR in CO2 version offers good base for KWC’s engineers to develop a KWC GSR GBB pistol, which might with certain improvements, like adjustable HopUp, realistic disassembly and working beaver tail safety prove as an effective companion in airsoft skirmish.

Test item provided by KWC

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