Cybergun GSG92 (Swiss Arms P92)

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I have owned of three Cybergun blowback 4.5mm pistols:  The Tanfoglio Witness, SIG-Sauer P226 X-5 and the GSG92.  I like all three because they replicate so accurately the feel and operation of real semi-automatic pistols.  Being BB shooters, they aren’t as powerful as some of my pellet firing pistols, but they are moderately satisfying to shoot.  In some ways the GSG92 is the neglected blowback Cybergun pistol.  The Tanfoglio Witness and SIG seem to be much better known and more popular, but I do think that the GSG92 is worth considering.

Incidentally, the GSG92 seems to have been rebranded by Cybergun as the Swiss Arms P92, though I believe that both pistols are identical other than for markings.

Background

I normally start my reviews with a look at the real weapon on which the replica is based, but this is more than a little muddled in the case of the GSG92, so instead I’ll try to explain what this is actually a replica of.

Indeed, the first question that probably occurs to most potential buyers is; what the hell is a GSG92 anyway?  Unfortunately answering that is a bit complicated and requires a trip around the world so pay attention at the back folks, I may ask questions later.  The GSG92 obviously looks a lot like the Beretta 92 but GSG actually stands for German Sports Guns GmbH, a Dortmund based firearms manufacturer which is best known for its .22 rimfire replicas of military firearms – for example the company produce a GSG1911 in .22 calibre.  But confusingly GSG don’t make a replica of the Beretta 92.  So, despite the fact that this pistol bears the GSG name and logo, it isn’t a replica of anything that company actually make; instead it’s a pretty accurate replica of the Taurus PT92B, which is itself a Brazilian copy of the original Beretta 92.

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Taurus PT92B

In the early 1980s Forjas Taurus bought the Beretta plant in Sao Paulo and began production of the PT92 there in 1983.  The PT92 is based on the Beretta 92 and is a semi-automatic, short recoil pistol chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum round.  Taurus makes these pistols without the need for a license as they are based on the original Beretta 92 design, the patents for which have now expired.  The principal visible difference between this and the modern Beretta 92 is that the Taurus has a safety catch mounted on the frame rather than on the slide (as did the very first versions of the Beretta 92).  From 2005 the Taurus PT92B featured a modified, three-position safety catch/de-cocker and an under-barrel accessory rail.  The GSG92 is a replica of the Taurus PT92B.  This replica is made in Taiwan by KWC for French distribution and marketing company Cybergun.  There were obviously licensing issues which prevented Cybergun marketing this pistol as a Taurus, which is rather a pity because it’s a very accurate replica, visually and operationally.  So to summarise, this is a Taiwanese replica of a Brazilian copy of an Italian gun which is marketed by a French distribution company, though it bears the name and logo of a German firearms company which really has nothing whatever to do with it.  Got all that?  Good, let’s talk about the replica.

The Cybergun GSG92

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The Cybergun is an all metal, blowback replica powered by CO2 and shooting 4.5mm steel BBs through a 4.1″ brass barrel.  The pistol shoots in single and double action and up to 22 BBs can be loaded into the full size drop-out magazine.  A standard size accessory rail is provided below the barrel.  In some markets the pistol is provided with the ability to shoot in full and semi-auto modes.  In the UK and other countries it is supplied able to shoot semi-auto only.

Spec;

Calibre: 4.5mm

Capacity: 22 round magazine

Propellant: CO2

Barrel length: 4.1″

Weight: 2.24 pounds

Overall length: 8.7″

Sights: Fixed, white dot on rear sight only

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation  3/5

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The Cybergun GSG92 comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a an expanded polystyrene insert cut-out to fit the pistol and accessories.  The pistol comes with a magazine, a ¼” allen key for tightening/piercing the CO2, a spare CO2 retaining plug and a small box of Cybergun steel BBs.  The box and instruction sheet mention a speed loader “which is provided in the box“, but I have never seen such an item included with a GSG92.

Like the Tanfoglio Witness, the box and instruction sheet claim that the GSG92 has BAXS, the Cybergun proprietary hop-up adjustment system.  This is incorrect – no hop up is provided on this or any other 4.5mm BB shooting replica as it’s not possible to impart the required spin to the heavier steel BBs.  The instruction sheet also notes that the GSG92 shoots 6mm plastic BBs, which is also obviously incorrect.

Visual accuracy  7/10

gsg1Beretta 92F, left, Cybergun GSG92, centre, Taurus PT92B, right

Other than the GSG markings and a nasty block of white safety text on the right of the slide, the GSG92 is an extremely accurate visual replica of the Taurus PT92B.  The slide profile, frame, grips and location and shape of all controls are accurately replicated.  The base of the magazine protrudes from the frame a little further than it does on the original weapon, presumably to accommodate the CO2 cartridge.

Finish is matt black painted, and looks good.  However, the paint doesn’t appear to be particularly thick, and the GSG is prone to scuffing and scratching, as well as showing signs of wear very quickly.

Other than markings, this is a very good visual replica of the Taurus PT92B.

Functional accuracy  13/15

The magazine release, slide release and takedown lever all look and function as they do on the original.  The ambidextrous safety catch/fire mode switch is slightly different.  On the real PT92B the safety catch has three settings; safe, fire and de-cock.   On the GSG92 the de-cocking function is missing, and in UK and some other countries, placing the catch on either of the two lower “fire” positions will allow the gun to fire in semi-auto mode.  In some markets however, placing the safety catch in the lower of the two “fire” positions allows the replica to fire full auto.  It is possible to modify semi auto only versions of the gun to fire full auto, but you should note that in some places (such as the UK) this is highly illegal and likely to land you in a great deal of trouble.  Full auto mode is also utterly crap (see Shooting below) so it isn’t worth taking the risk.

gsg6The safety catch on the GSG92 is also slightly idiosyncratic in that it will only engage properly when the hammer is cocked.  Although it may appear to move to the “safe” position with the hammer down, the pistol is still able to fire and the catch will click back to the “fire” position on its own if the trigger is pulled.  The best advice here, as with all guns, is that you should never rely on the safety catch to make a pistol safe – safety is achieved only by correct handling and usage.

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Field stripping is simple and similar to the real PT92B.  The magazine must be removed and the slide racked back and locked.  A button on the right of the frame is pressed, and this allows the takedown lever on the left to be rotated 90˚ clockwise.  The slide can then be released and slid off the front of the frame.

Other than the lack of a de-cocker, functional accuracy is very close to that of the Taurus PT92B.

Shooting  28/40

Lifting the pistol out of the box, the first thing that becomes apparent is that this is a heavy replica.  At 2.4 pounds, it’s actually slightly heavier than the (unloaded) real weapon.  For me, this is a very important aspect of a good replica.  I own a couple pistols which are visually very accurate replicas, but their lack of weight makes them feel more like toys than firearms.  Real guns are heavy, and I believe that any good replica should feel like the real thing as well as looking like it.  However, this is also a large pistol.  I have average to big hands, and gripping and aiming the GSG92 is a stretch.  If you have small hands, you may want to try before you buy.

Preparing the GSG92 for shooting is simple.  The plug in the base of the base of the magazine is removed using the allen key provided and the CO2 cartridge is installed.  The plug is then replaced and tightened until the cartridge pierces.  This usually happens without drama or undue leaking.  When tightened, the plug fits flush to the base of the magazine, which looks good.  Up to 22 steel BBs can be loaded into the magazine though there is no retaining catch, so you have to hold down the follower while loading.  The slide must be racked and released to move the first BB to the chamber and cock the hammer.

gsg9The sights are fixed and, strangely, the rear sight has a single white dot in the lower centre.  Acquiring the target is simple but the rear sight has a very wide notch which makes accurate sighting difficult.  The trigger operates in both single and double action, but as this is a blowback pistol, in practice you’ll be using it almost exclusively in single action.  In this mode it’s light, smooth and has a clearly defined and consistent break point.  On pulling the trigger you’ll immediately notice the sound and  recoil.  The GSG92 fires with a satisfying bang and the recoil is strong and pronounced, causing the gun to jerk upwards after each shot.  This means that you’ll have to re-acquire the target after each shot, but this realistically replicates the use of a real semi-auto pistol.  The slide locks back when the last shot is fired.

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The loud bang and heavy kick make the gun feel powerful, but this isn’t really borne out by the numbers.  Using Blaster steel BBs and a fresh CO2 I saw an average of 302fps for a six shot string (with a high of 311 and a low of 294).  No more than average for a blowback BB pistol and slightly lower than the 312fps claimed by Cybergun, though this may well be possible in warmer conditions.  Accuracy isn’t particularly impressive – I was getting groupings of approximately 1½”-2″at 6yds.  At that range the pistol was shooting about 1½” low and 2″ to the left.  As the sights aren’t adjustable, there isn’t a lot you can do about this.  CO2 usage is fairly heavy, probably unsurprising given the strong blowback and heavy slide.  If you can get two full magazine’s worth of shots out of a single CO2, you’re doing well.

I lived in the UK when I owned my GSG92, so it was semi-auto only.  Since leaving the UK I have had to opportunity to try this pistol in full auto.  And frankly, it’s rubbish.  The heavy slide and strong blowback make it wholly inaccurate in full auto mode, with BBs spraying in the general vicinity of the target and ricochets a real possibility.  Honestly, at 6yds, you’d achieve  more accuracy by throwing the pistol at the target rather than trying to fire it in full auto.  It also gobbles CO2 and I suspect that you can expect accelerated wear to internal components.  Trust me on this, other than a brief initial smile at the extended RARRP when you pull the trigger, you aren’t missing anything worthwhile by having semi-auto only.

Quality and reliability  10/15

The GSG92 feels well made and put together.  It appears to be almost all-metal, apart from the grips and some internal parts, and the inner barrel is brass.  There is no play or rattle from the slide and all controls work crisply and cleanly.  The semi-matt black painted finish looks good, but I’m not sure how durable it is – it certainly doesn’t look as thick as the finish on the Tanfoglio Witness, for example.  I have read several reports of owners complaining about rapid wear of the finish.

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Adequate finish, but how long will it last?

Like many Cybergun products, there also seem to be some questions about the longevity and reliability of the GSG92 – rapid wear of the slide locking catch seems fairly common and a number of owners report jamming and misfeed problems.

Overall Impression  10/15

The GSG92 feels good – it’s big, heavy and handles just like a real firearm.  If you want to impress someone with how a replica can look and feel like the real thing, this is the one to go for.  The problem is, it doesn’t actually shoot all that well.  The sights are poor, power and accuracy aren’t great and a tendency to shoot low seems to be a common issue with GSG92s.  When I had a collection of replica pistols, this wasn’t one which was taken out of the gun cabinet all that often.

Conclusion

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Would this pistol have more appeal if it carried Taurus markings?  Probably.  Would it be better if it was a true Beretta 92 replica?  Almost certainly.  Having said that, it’s still a weighty, visually accurate and convincing replica which shoots moderately well (though I found the fact that mine shot low and to the left very irritating indeed).  The full-auto option is unrealistic and seems like a pointless gimmick which burns through CO2 alarmingly fast and will see you picking ricocheting BBs out of adjacent walls, furniture, pets and spectators.

The finish doesn’t seem to be particularly durable and there are niggling concerns about the long term reliability of some parts.

Part of the problem is that the GSG92 is trying to compete in a very crowded market – there are lots of good Beretta 92 and Taurus replicas out there.  The Umarex Beretta M92FS for example, is better made and finished and much more powerful and accurate (though it doesn’t have blowback).  There are a number of well made and accurate blowback replicas of both types of pistols available in 6mm.  So unless you absolutely must have something that looks a bit like a Beretta 92 in 4.5mm calibre, there isn’t any particularly strong reason to go for the GSG92.

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Cybergun Swiss Arms P92.  Looks a lot like the GSG92 to me.

It also notable that the GSG92 no longer appears as part of the current Cybergun range – though there is what appears to be an identical pistol branded as the Swiss Arms P92.  I suspect that all comments made here on the GSG92 would also apply to the P92.

Overall this is a fairly appealing low cost replica, but perhaps not a classic.

Total score: 71/100

Related pages:

Cybergun Tanfolgio Witness review

Cybergun SIG Sauer P226 X-Five review

UK airgun law

Lubricating air pistols

Links

Cybergun web page

7 thoughts on “Cybergun GSG92 (Swiss Arms P92)

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