Umarex H&K G36 C IDZ

OK, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a funny-looking pistol…” And you’re right, this is something a little different, a review of a 6mm Automatic Electric Gun (AEG) by Umarex. I have owned a couple of AEGs in the past and I didn’t particularly like them. They were nice enough replicas, but I didn’t care for the way they shot. When you pulled the trigger in semi-auto mode, they went “whizz.” In full auto they went “whizz, whizz, whizz…” I found the experience of shooting unsatisfying.

Using them for target shooting did not replicate in any way the experience of shooting a firearm because they were virtually silent and had nothing to replicate recoil effect. That’s not surprizing because most AEGs are designed for skirmishing where reliability and long range accuracy are more important. However, there are now Electric Blowback (EBB) replicas available, and I have been considering one of these for back-yard plinking for a while. I spotted this replica the website of a German distributor recently for not much money at all: considerably less than the price of any CO2 powered blowback pistol. So, I thought I’d give it a try.

I am by no means an expert on AEGs. This review is really intended for other people who, like me, may be considering dipping their toes in the world of AEGs but don’t know what to expect. Does EBB make them more fun to shoot? Is an AEG as cheap as this worth having? Does an AEG have a place in your replica collection if you aren’t interested in skirmishing? Let’s try to answer those and other questions…

What is an AEG anyway?

AEGs use electrical power from a rechargeable battery pack to drive a mechanical gearbox which in turn operates a pneumatic piston that fires the BB down the barrel. Just as on other Airsoft replicas, a hop-up system is used to adjust the flight and trajectory of the BB. It’s a fairly complex system first developed by Japanese company Tokyo Marui in the early 1990s – TM also had experience of producing electrically powered, radio-controlled toys and used similar technology in their early AEGs.

Tokyo Marui FAMAS 556F1 AEG from 1991. One of the very first AEGs.

AEGs quickly became very popular with Airsoft skirmishers. mainly because they had some significant advantages over spring and gas -powered replicas. AEGs are affected much less by temperature changes than either gas or CO2 replicas and they are capable of full-auto fire, unlike spring versions. They also tend to be reliable and consistent in terms of power and accuracy and they are cheap to use. Some AEGs are also very powerful indeed – a few have claimed power of over 5 Joules (over 700fps) though most operate around 250 – 400 fps.

Now, virtually all major Airsoft manufacturers produce AEG replicas of submachine guns, assault rifles and machine guns. There are also AEG pistols, though I have never tried one. Somewhere around 15 years ago, some AEGs were offered for the first time with Electric Blowback (EBB), which uses a mechanical or pneumatic system to operate the bolt and/or charging handle each time the replica is fired. Opinions seem to be divided about this. It uses additional electrical power, so you get fewer shots per charge. The recoil effect is also generally weak compared to, for example, a gas or CO2 blowback replica and there still isn’t much sound when you pull the trigger. But at least an AEG with EBB doesn’t just go “whizz” when you pull the trigger…

The Systema PTW Evolution M4A1 Max CQBR AEG. Nice, but it will cost you more than €1,300! I hope it comes with batteries and a charger at that price…

AEGs range from expensive, powerful, full-metal replicas (the Systema PTW Professional Training Weapon range, for example, are very nice indeed, but will set you back up to €2,000) to lightweight mainly plastic replicas that cost less than €50. The cheapest AEGs with EBB cost from around €80. Most come with a battery pack and charger, i.e., all you need to get you started shooting.

The Heckler and Koch G36

The Heckler & Koch G36 was first produced in 1996. It is an assault rifle which was based on the existing H&K G3 but which was chambered for the NATO standard 5.56mm round. While the G3 was mostly metal, the G36 made extensive use of polymer to reduce weight. It allows both semi and full automatic modes via an ambidextrous fire select switch on the receiver. The G36 was adopted by the German army and as the main battle weapon of the armies of more than 40 countries around the world.

A Latvian Army soldier using a G36KV in Iraq, 2007

Image: US Department of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons

A distinctive feature of the G36 is a transparent magazine that allows the user to see how many rounds remain. A shortened version of the G36, the G36K (Kurtz – short) was introduced soon after launch and this was followed by the even more compact G36C which has a shortened barrel and fore-end and a folding plastic stock and is intended for use by special operation forces and airborne troops.

Officers of the French National Police Intervention Group (GIPN), a tactical unit of the French National Police, with a G36C fitted with a dual sight setup.

As part of the Infanterist der Zukunft (IDZ – Infantry of the future) project, an improvement program for the German army, the G36 has been upgraded slightly to an IDZ version that includes an adjustable, folding plastic stock 

The Umarex H&K G36C IDZ

As with many of their Airsoft replicas, this isn’t made by Umarex. Instead, it appears to be produced by Ares, an airsoft manufacturer with a good reputation for producing high quality, reliable replicas. It’s distributed by Umarex, and because they have a licensing deal with H&K, it carries full markings. One thing that I found a little confusing is that Umarex offer several different AEGs based on the G36C. Each is a little different, but if you’re an AEG newbie like me, you do need to know what you’re looking at.

This is the cheapest and lightest Umarex G36, but as you can see, it comes with some useful extras.

All versions feature selectable semi and full auto modes. The G36C is the most basic version. It’s mostly plastic construction but comes with some nice extras including a red-dot sight, forward hand-grip and mock silencer. It’s fairly light at 1.7kg but it includes a nice representation of the transparent magazine on the G36. This is available from around €50, but don’t be put off by the low price. If you’re interested in getting into AEGs, this may a good way to start. Next is the G36C IDZ. This is a little weightier at 1.9kg and it does have EBB, but it doesn’t come with any accessories and it has a generic, Hi-Cap magazine. It does have the adjustable IDZ stock and an “improved gearbox for increased performance” and it’s available from around €80. Both these replicas have relatively low power at under 0.5 Joules and both shoot at around 230 fps.

This is the heavier Umarex G36C Sportline. Nice, but no accessories, battery or charger.

The more upmarket version of the Umarex G36 has a metal gearbox and weighs in at 2.85 kg, close to the weight of the original. The G36C Sportline doesn’t come with any accessories, but shoots at a power of 1.25 Joules (350+ fps) and retails for around €150. Some versions such as the G36C Blowback come with EBB and some such as the G36C don’t and these cost anything up to €300. So, it depends what you’re looking for. If you want a weighty, powerful replica, go for one of the heavier models. If you’re less sure about an AEG, go for one of the cheaper models to see if you like it. Here, I’m reviewing the middle of the range, the 1.9kg G36C IDZ.

This version is sold as a “dual power” AEG, which simply means that it’s primarily intended for use as an AEG, but you can also use the charging handle to cock it and fire, in effect turning it into a spring-powered replica. External construction is mostly plastic, though the three forward accessory rails and some parts such as the trigger are metal. This is available in both black and tan colours.


Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: Up to 400 BBs

Propellant: Electric (or mechanical)

Barrel length: 9.72″ (247mm)

Hop-Up: Adjustable

Weight: 1.85lbs (1.9kg) is claimed, but mine weighs in at just over 2kg with batteries and an empty magazine.

Overall length: 29.3″ (745mm) with stock unfolded.

Sights: Front: circular “peep” sight, fixed. Rear: flip-up V-notch and circular, adjustable for elevation.

Action: Semi and full auto.

Claimed power: 230 fps (70 m/s)  with 0.2g BBs, which equates to a whisker under 0.5 Joule

Packaging and presentation (2.5/5)

This replica  comes in a large, sturdy card box liberally provided with H&K branding and the H&K “No Compromise“ slogan. A plastic insert holds the replica and other bits and pieces in place.

The box contains the replica, a single Hi-Cap magazine, a charger and battery pack, a sheet of brief user instructions and a box of H & K branded 6mm, 0.2g BBs. This replica has front and rear sling mounts which are plastic, but they look robust and easily capable of supporting the weight of this replica.

This replica also comes with a charger and a pair of 7.2v, 700MaH, NiMH rechargeable batteries with a Mini-Tamiya connector. That’s  fairly low spec. but personally, I don’t care too much and I’m just happy to have batteries and a charger that I know will fit this replica and won’t damage it. If you were planning using this for skirmishing, where you might want to use your replica for several hours at a time, this might be an important limitation. For occasional bouts of target shooting, I’m hoping that the provided batteries will be up to the job.

Visual accuracy 8/10

As far as I can tell, the Umarex G36C IDZ is visually and dimensionally pretty much identical to the original weapon. All fittings and even fixing screws are identical to the original and everything is where it should be. This has H&K markings and the only non-original white text is on the left side of the receiver and reads “cal, 6mm BB, Energy <0.5J.” On the right side of the receiver you have “Licensed trademark of Heckler and Koch GmbH”, but this is small, unobtrusive and moulded into the plastic rather than painted.

Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this from the original. The only exception to that is the magazine. The original comes with a transparent magazine that shows rounds remaining. Here, you get a solid, black M4 style Hi-Cap magazine. However, several manufacturers do make replacement magazines for the G36C that are similar, so this doesn’t entirely spoil the look of this replica.

Functional accuracy 10/15

The magazine release and fire select switch operate as per the original, though only the select switch on the left side is functional. The ambidextrous charging handle also works as per the original, though it moves only through a limited range as does the ejector port cover.

The sights and accessory rails also seem to be similar to the original and the IDZ stock extends, folds and adjusts as it should.

There is no way to strip down this replica other than by disassembly. The trigger, obviously has no feel at all – it’s simply an electrical on/off switch which means that the pull is short and very light. Putting the fire select in the “safe” position simply blocks the trigger from moving. Within the constraints of the fact that this is an AEG that doesn’t mimic the function of a firearm in the same way as, for example, a gas or CO2 powered replica, this isn’t a bad functional replica of the G36C.

Shooting 38/45

Preparing this (or any other AEG) for shooting is a little different to a gas or CO2 powered replica. The first thing you have to do is to charge the battery pack. And the user manual provides no clues about this at all. I plugged the battery pack into the charger and then plugged the charger into the mains.

At that point, a red light illuminated on the charger, which I assume means that the battery pack needs to be charged. After around 45 minutes, the light on the charger turned green which I presume means that it has completed charging. Now, you have to install the battery pack in the replica. First, you remove the outer shell of the fore-end by removing a single plastic split-pin (arrowed below).

This doesn’t require tools – just squeeze the end of the split-pin with your fingers and remove to the left side. Then, the entire outer cover of the fore end can be removed.

This reveals the connector for the battery pack. You must now connect the battery pack and hold it in place under the flat area behind the connector and then slide the fore end cover back into place, being careful not to trap or pinch the wires. Happily the wires do seem fairly heavy-duty and I think it would probably be difficult to damage them unless you were to really force the fore-end back into place.

Now, it’s time to load the magazine, and that’s a bit different too. You load BBs through a small flap on the top of the magazine.

No speed loader is needed as the opening in the top of the mag is large enough to allow BBs to be poured in. Then, the instructions note that you need to “Turn the click wheel to tension the spring.” This wheel is located in the base of the magazine, arrowed below. Turning this wheels also moves BBs from the main storage area into the loading chute and towards the feed nozzle.

However, there are a couple of things you need to know about the magazine that the instructions don’t mention. First, there is no point in turning the wheel to tension the spring until the magazine is inserted in the replica. That’s what I did and, to my surprise, the magazine spring unwound with a loud whirr as I inserted the mag. Apparently that’s normal – you must insert the mag first and only then use the wheel to tension the spring.

When I first tried shooting, I had multiple feed problems and sometimes turning the wheel in the base of the magazine failed to tension the spring at all. I would get one or two shots, then the replica would fire but no BB would come out of the barrel. After some browsing on Airsoft forums, I discovered that these Hi-Cap mags work best if they are well-filled with BBs. Being more used to replica pistols, I had tentatively loaded only a dozen or so BBs, just to try it out. When instead I poured a generous measure of BBs into the mag, the feed problems disappeared. This is the first time I have used an Airsoft Hi-Cap mag, and one thing I don’t care for at all is the fact that the BBs rattle around in it every time you move the replica.

When you’re ready to start shooting, the first thing you’ll notice are the sights. These comprise a flip-up rear sight where you can choose between a circular or V notch aperture and a peep front sight. The rear is adjustable for elevation and I found the V-notch rear sight more useful for target shooting. To prepare to shoot, you simply place the selector switch in the semi or full auto position. The trigger pull is light, short and has almost no feel, not surprising given that it’s really just an electrical on/off switch.

When you pull the trigger, the electric blowback rapidly opens and closes the ejection port and the replica fires. This doesn’t really go “bang,” it’s more a moderately loud clatter, but IMHO, it’s a great deal better than the subdued whirr when you pull the trigger on a non-blowback AEG. There is really no felt recoil effect, but at least there is a direct audible response to pulling the trigger.

Given that this is a low power replica, shooting is way more fun than I had expected. The first shots, were all over the place, but it quickly settled down. On many Airsoft replicas it takes time for the hop-up to break-in and some people claim that the motor on AEGs also takes time and use to achieve optimum efficiency. After 50 shots or so, this had achieved perfectly respectable accuracy at the ranges at which I tried it. It may be my imagination, but it also seems to be gradually improving in terms of accuracy. The more I soot, the fewer flyers there seem to be and the tighter groups get.

Umarex recommend 0.12 – 0.2g BBs for this replica. I wasn’t able to try it with 0.12g BBs, so almost all my shooting was done with 0.2g. I did also try 0.25, just out of interest, and it seems to shoot these with no problems, but with no more accuracy than 0.2g. And when you’re ready to dial the fun-factor up to 11, you can simply move the fire select switch to full auto. This has a very rapid rate of fire – Umarex claim 1,000 rpm and I have no reason to doubt that. At that point, the blowback effect is much more notable and a stream of BBs is sprayed towards the target.  

Mine was shooting about 3” high initially, but you can adjust the rear sight using the single crosshead screw or adjust the Hop-Up unit to change the trajectory of the BBs. To do this, you use the charging handle to cock the replica, which also locks the ejection port open. The Hop-Up adjustment wheel (arrowed above) is then visible. I found it possible to get the point of aim and point of impact to coincide forelevation at between 6 and 10m, though I must confess that I have never been particularly good using the peep-type iron sights on this type of replica.

Around 40 0.2g BBs, fairly rapid semi-auto shooting, freestanding at 8m.

Accuracy seems fair with the majority of BBs grouping at 2-2½” at 10m, though there are occasional flyers that hit anything up to 1½” above or below the main group. Mine shoots about 1½” to the right of the point of aim at this range and it isn’t possible to adjust the sights for windage. At my usual replica pistol shooting range of 6m, it’s possible to see groupings of 1 – 1½”, though there are still occasional vertical flyers.

OK, I know, 6-10m isn’t really a fair test of the accuracy of any AEG, but that’s all the range I have available in my back-yard. And at that range, it’s just fine for shooting targets or hunting stray soda cans though I can’t say how it performs at longer range where the lack of power may become an issue. Accuracy seems notably worse in full auto, though perhaps that’s to be expected? 230-240fps is claimed for this replica with 0.2g BBs. My chrony is now officially dead, so I wasn’t able to test that. All I can say is that at 10m, BBs are hitting the target with a satisfactory whap and easily punching holes in the fairly thick card targets I use.

How long do the batteries last? I don’t really know! Despite using this for several extended shooting sessions, I have never run out of charge while shooting and I tend to charge the batteries before each new session. I did use the ability to fire without electrical power a couple of times, just to test it. If you use the charging handle to cock, you get a single shot. There is no blowback, so it’s very quiet in this mode but seems to fire with the same power and accuracy. This dual function might be useful if you are skirmishing and run out of battery power, but for target shooting the mechanical fire ability probably isn’t something you will use much.      

Quality and reliability 12/15

This is a relatively low-cost replica, but this is only apparent in a couple of ways. It’s a little light and the fire select switch on the right side is fixed in place and has no function, which may be an irritation for left-handed shooters. There are some fairly obvious moulding seams on the top and bottom. The plastic upper rail in particular has a very noticeable seam running along it.

The more expensive Umarex versions of the G36C are up to 0.8kg heavier than this, so I guess they have more robust construction. However, they are also anything up to three times the price of this one. It all depends what you want and what you’re willing and able to pay. At least the plastic external construction here looks sturdy, matches the original and means that there is no paint or other finish to wear, scratch or flake off.

Overall Impression 7/10

This feels solid and well put-together. It’s mostly plastic, but nothing flexes, rattles or appears to be loose. The IDZ stock is fairly sturdy and the ability to adjust it is a nice touch. This does feel a little light, but it has just about enough weight not to feel toy-like.

Downsides? I’d have liked to see a fire select switch that was operational on both sides, I don’t care for the way that BBs rattle in the Hi-Cap magazine and I have never particularly liked peep sights. That’s it really. Otherwise this seems very easy to use for an AEG newbie and it has been reliable so far, once I understood that it’s best to pour a generous measure of BBs into the magazine. 


This is simply lots of fun at a cost below that of virtually any gas or CO2 powered blowback replica pistol. It’s also a very different experience from shooting with a replica pistol. It isn’t very powerful, but I didn’t find that a problem for target shooting at up to 10m and I enjoyed this replica much more than I expected. The lack of power and low-spec battery pack might be an issue if you plan using one of these for skirmishing, but for back-yard plinking, it’s really a joy to play with.

I just don’t have sufficient experience of AEGs to say how this compares to others, so all I can do is to give you my impressions. For what it’s worth and in my opinion, if you have been considering an AEG but you don’t want to spend a great deal of money, you could do a great deal worse than the Umarex G36C IDZ.

It’s fairly quiet, which can be a good thing if you don’t want to perturb your neighbours, and it seems nicely built and finished. Any problems? Well, you’re going to need more BBs! I’m used to relatively leisurely sessions with replica pistols where I shoot perhaps 60 – 100 BBs at a time. This shoots 100 BBs in 6 seconds in full auto, and even in semi-auto you’ll be squeezing off far more shots than you might expect. I went through my entire stock of 0.2g BBs in my first bout of shooting and had to wait impatiently for a new consignment to arrive in order to continue.

There are some changes I would  like to make. In particular, I would like to change the magazine for a Mid-Cap or Lo-Cap that won’t rattle like a maraca whenever I move, but I’m not sure that’s going to be possible because the magazines in this replica seem to be of a design that’s unique to the Umarex dual-power G36C. Replacements are available, but these all seem to be the same Hi-Cap design. I found the power and accuracy of this replica to be perfectly adequate for my needs, so I won’t be attempting any internal upgrades (and I’m not even sure that’s possible on this replica) but that upper rail is just crying out for some sort of optical sight. A vertical foregrip might be nice and perhaps a sling too? And there is plenty of space on those rails for other accessories… I can feel a whole new obsession coming on!

You do have to be careful with AEGs that the whole accessory thing doesn’t get out of hand…

I like the fact that AEGs can be used in any temperature. I tend not to shoot my gas-powered replicas in chilly weather because their power drops notably. However, this just doesn’t apply to AEGs so I should be able to shoot this one all year round. This is also relatively cheap for an AEG with EBB (you’ll find a link below to a German site where it’s available for just €85) and it’s better-made and more fun than you might expect for such a low price. If you have been considering adding a low cost, reliable and fun AEG to your replica collection, this might be the very one to tempt you.

Total score: 77.5/100


Seems well-made

Good visual replica

Easy to use for an AEG newbie

Decent shooter

Low cost


A little light

Mainly plastic construction

Relatively low power

Related Posts

E&L Kalashnikov AKM   


Umarex G36C IDZ on the Versandhaus-Schneider website

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 update


I promised at the end of the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review that I’d post an update, and here it is. Has my opinion of this replica changed since the first review? Well, let’s have a look…

Reading back over the original review, it’s interesting to see how my initial reaction has modified after around four months of ownership and after having had a chance to compare the PPQ M2 to other 6mm replicas such as the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c and the KSC H&K P10.

However, before I talk about what the Walther PPQ M2 does, it may be worth mentioning something it doesn’t do. After the initial review was posted, a couple of people have asked why I didn’t mention that the PPQ M2 can be set to fire in full-auto mode. The reason is that it can’t – the Umarex PPQ M2 is semi-auto only. If you look at the rear underside of the slide, the PPQ M2 appears to have the same switch that is used on the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c to swap between semi and full auto modes. However, the switch is non-functional on the PPQ M2. Good thing too if you ask me. Full auto on a short-barrelled pistol is fairly pointless for target shooting and accelerates wear on all components. It may be useful if you want to use it for CQB skirmishing, but otherwise I can’t see much point.


Cybergun S&W M&P 9c (left) with fire mode selector switch (arrowed). The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 (right) appears to have a similar switch, but it is non-functional. You can also see the adjustment screw for the PPQ rear sight.

Quality and Reliability

Build and finish quality on the PPQ M2 seem very good indeed. Other than the issue with the slide failing to lock back (now fixed thanks to the Umarex repair service), I haven’t had any issues with this replica. There are no obvious signs of wear on any internal components and only slight wear to the paint on the top of the inner barrel. Otherwise the finish is holding up well. Looking at the PPQ M2 next to, for example, another VFC replica, the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c, the PPQ seems to be better made. Internal parts like the trigger system and the slide release are more robust on the PPQ and work more precisely. I also note that I failed to mention in the original review that the PPQ has a metal outer barrel and a brass inner barrel, both of which seem to very precisely made with good fit and movement. The slide and magazine releases are also metal, but the trigger is plastic, though robust and heavy-duty plastic.


Good fit of inner barrel/outer barrel/slide probably contributes to accuracy

Since posting the initial review, I have read a couple of other on-line pieces suggesting that the PPQ M2 has reliability issues. In particular, it has been suggested that the metal slide can split at the front edge of the ejection port. The alloy is certainly thin in this area, but so far, mine has not shown any tendency to split. My example is still fairly new (I have fired somewhere under 1000 BBs with the PPQ M2 to date), so I suppose this could be an issue which only affects well-used versions. However, I am aware of a knowledgeable and experienced owner who has fired more than 12,000 BBs with his PPQ M2 with only minor issues (a small internal spring came loose and the slide occasionally fails to lock back on empty). So, overall, I see no reason to change my initial claim that the PPQ M2 seems to be well made and finished and reliable.

Ambidextrousness (is that a word?)

In the original review, I praised the PPQ M2 because it can be configured for left-hand operation. This involves swapping the magazine release from the left to the right side. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the photographs here show the pistol with the mag release back on the left. I’m embarrassed to admit that I found it hard to deal with a left-hand mag release. Although I soot mainly with my left hand, I guess that I’m so conditioned to swapping pistols to my right hand to drop out the magazine, that I can’t get used to doing it with my left. Time after time with the PPQ I’d automatically swap the pistol to my right hand to release the mag, only to realise that I needed to swap it back to my left hand. Finally, I gave up and reverted to a left hand mag release. If the PPQ was my only pistol, I’d probably get used to it in time. As it is, most other replicas need to be swapped to my right hand to release the mag, and I just can’t seem to get used to doing it the other way round on the PPQ. So, full marks to Umarex and VFC for providing a fully ambidextrous replica, and zero marks to me for failing to re-learn my pistol handling to take advantage of this.


I gave the PPQ M2 reasonable marks for its accuracy at 6 yards in the original review, but I don’t think I emphasised enough that it shoots to the point of aim out of the box. This is so uncommon with replicas that it bears repeating. Fine-tuning with the hop-up (which incorporates a “v-notch” nub, claimed to give more stable spin to the BB) means that I can reliably place 0.2g and 0.25g BBs precisely where I’m aiming. This is very satisfying and is a massive help in any kind of action shooting. The fit of the brass inner barrel within the metal barrel and the fit of the outer barrel in the slide are very good indeed, which probably helps here. On many replicas, the opening in the front of the slide is oval, allowing the outer barrel to droop and the inner barrel can be a loose fit within the outer barrel, both of which can cause a replica to shoot low. Neither apply to the PPQ.


The only slight issue with shooting is that the notch in the rear sight is rather wide. The foreshortening effect of a photograph doesn’t show this clearly, but with the PPQ held at arm’s length, the front post looks rather small within the wide rear notch. It’s not a major issue: the sight picture is still clear in all conditions and this does accurately replica the sights on the original.

Blowback is notably strong and snappy (see the video review below). Shooting the PPQ M2 side-by-side with a KSC System 7 equipped H&K P10 (System 7 is claimed to have enhanced blowback), the PPQ seems to have the stronger blowback and the slide on the PPQ appears to move faster and more freely than on the KSC replica. The trigger on the PPQ is very good indeed when compared to other replicas. The single action only trigger pull is short, light, consistent and with no discernible creep. I’m still not entirely comfortable with the fact that I can’t de-cock this replica, nor apply a manual safety before storing it. Putting it in its box cocked and ready to fire feels wrong somehow, and there isn’t room in the box to store it with the magazine removed. But that’s how the original works, and it would be possible to de-cock by pulling the trigger with the magazine removed.

Accuracy seems to have improved with use. There are now fewer flyers and these are generally closer to the main grouping. At six yards, freestanding, it’s possible to consistently put 90% of shots in or touching the 1½” centre circle on the target. Best accuracy and consistency seem to be achieved when using 0.25g BBs. Gas consumption is good with 50+ shots from a single fill and I have experienced no leaks or loss of gas when filling.


The ergonomics of the Walther PPQ M2 are excellent. The grip has a pronounced hump at the rear, which looks a little odd, but this locks in to the base of the thumb, providing a comfortable, precise and firm grip. The slide and magazine releases are easily operated while gripping the pistol and the slide incorporates both front and rear cocking serrations.



So, four months on, how do I feel about the Umarex Walther PPQ M2? I still think it’s an absolute cracker. A combination of good ergonomics, good build quality and finish and excellent shooting ability at a reasonable price make this a winner. There aren’t many Walther replicas available (Umarex and Walther belong to the same group of companies and so Umarex has an exclusive license to produce Walther replicas) and it also makes a nice change to shoot something other than the ubiquitous 1911/Sig/Beretta 92 clones. Overall, the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is as good as any 6mm replica I have tried and better than most. You really need to try one of these.

Video update

Related pages

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 original review

Cybergun S&W M&P 9c review

KSC H&K P10 review


You can buy the Umarex Walther PPQ M2 at Pyramid Air here.



The KSC Heckler & Koch P10 isn’t a particularly handsome pistol. In fact, it’s kind of plain. Not that you can blame KSC for this, because it’s a very good visual replica of the original handgun. Maybe that shouldn’t matter: after all, this is a replica handgun, not a fashion accessory. But the truth is that those of us who shoot and collect replicas are often influenced by how a pistol looks. I know that I am generally drawn to a replica in the first instance by its visual appeal (or lack of it) or the history behind the original. Which might lead you to overlook the P10.

And that would be a pity, because the KSC P10 sort of reminds me of BMW 5 Series saloons from the 70s. Huge, ugly, boxy things that sat on the road like a shed on wheels and made no concessions to looking “nice“. However, I owned a couple of those 5 Series Beemers in the late 70s and early 80s and despite looking plain, they were very good indeed. No frills or flounces, no pretty styling elements, just fast, competent and well made cars. And the KSC H&K P10 is a little like that. Not much to look at perhaps, but beautifully made and finished, efficient and reliable.

Real steel background

In the 1970s Heckler & Koch produced some innovative handguns. The VP70 from 1970 was the first polymer framed handgun and featured a DAO trigger (unusual at the time) and a combined holster/shoulder stock. The P7 from 1976 was a more conventional design but it was cocked, not by thumbing back a hammer or racking the slide, but by squeezing a cocking handle at the front of the grip. However, when H&K began work on a replacement for the P7 in the late 1980s, they returned to a much more traditional design.


In 1993, the USP (Universale Selbstladepistole) was released. The USP is a short recoil operated, locked breech, semi-automatic pistol which uses a conventional Browning locking system (the functional design is actually similar to the Colt 1911). Most models feature a combined manual safety/de-cocker on the left side of the frame. However, moving the manual safety from “fire” to “safe” does not automatically de-cock the USP – the lever must be depressed to a lower position to de-cock. This means that the USP can be carried “cocked and locked”, like the 1911. The USP also incorporates a novel recoil reducing captive coil spring on the guide rod and provides extremely good corrosion resistance through the use of a hard, nitro-gas carburized black oxide finish, which gives the USP a distinctive matt black/dark grey appearance. Original USPs were chambered for 9x19mm and .40″ S&W rounds.

The USP quickly gained an enviable reputation for durability and reliability. It was subjected to a range of tests including exposure to extreme temperatures, use in hostile environments including mud, sand and salt spray and endurance tests which involved firing up to 24,000 rounds with no component failures. By the end of the 1990s the USP and derivatives had been adopted by military and law enforcement agencies in a number of countries including the US, Australia, Denmark, France, Spain and Greece. A slightly modified version of the USP (the P8) was also adopted as the main service pistol of the German Armed Forces (the Bundeswehr).


H&K USP Compact

In 1994 the USP Compact was introduced, a scaled-down version of the full size USP which was not equipped with the recoil-reduction system. The USP Compact has a bobbed hammer and a 3.58″ barrel (compared to the 4.25″ barrel on the full-size version). A slightly modified version of the USP Compact with a spurred hammer was adopted as the sidearm of a number of German state police forces as the P10. The P10 is available chambered for the 9x19mm round only.

The KSC H&K P10


I have talked about KWA and KSC before, in the review of the KWA HK45 (you’ll find a link at the end of this review). KSC is Japanese and KWA is Taiwanese and though they sell what appear to be almost identical replicas, nobody seems to be certain what the commercial relationship between the two companies is. Most people assume that KWA manufacture replicas in Taiwan and these are sold by both KSC and KWA but I don’t know if that’s actually the case. The review here is of a KSC product, but I think you are safe to assume that KWA products based on the USP Compact will be very similar if not identical.

In addition to replicas based on the full-size USP and the HK45, KWA and KSC also produce several replicas based on the compact version of the USP. These include the USP Compact, the USP Compact Tactical and the P10. All appear to be mechanically identical and differ only in markings, hammer, outer barrel and sights. The original version of the USP Compact produced by KSC featured a plastic slide but around four years ago a new version was introduced featuring a metal slide and the improved System 7 gas feed system (KWA versions have NS2, which appears to be identical). KSC claim that System 7 incorporates a new, advanced lightweight piston which increases the speed of slide movement and provides a harder kick as well as improved power and accuracy compared to older models.

The KSC H&K P10 reviewed here is the newer version with a metal slide the System 7 gas feed system. This version also has a metal trigger, hammer and controls and the magazine is also of mainly metal construction.


Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 22 BBs

Propellant: Green gas

Barrel length: 90mm (3.54″)

Weight: 726g (1.6lbs)

Overall length: 185mm (7.3″)

Sights: Notch and post, three white dots, rear sight has windage adjustment only.

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation 3/5


The KSC H&K P10 is provided in a sturdy card box with a polystyrene interior with cut-outs to house the pistol and accessories. It is supplied with a tool to adjust hop-up, a locking key and a small bag of unidentified BBs. It also comes with what appears to be a comprehensive user manual which includes some background to the USP series. Unfortunately the manual is wholly in Japanese without translation of the text to any other language.


An alternative magazine baseplate is also provided which does not incorporate a “pinky-grip” extension.


Visual accuracy 10/10


H&K P10 (left), KSC H&K P10 (right)

The KSC P10 is a very good visual replica of the original though it incorporates features more commonly seen on “tactical” versions of the USP and USP Compact including a threaded extension to the barrel for mounting a suppressor and high level sights (to maintain a good sight picture with a suppressor fitted). The P10 is more commonly seen with the standard barrel and sights though it’s certainly possible that some may have been modified in this way.


Some of the markings of the KSC P10

Markings on the KSC are very good indeed. On the left of the slide you have the Bundesadler (Federal Eagle), “KH” (indicating a pistol manufactured in 1997) the “stag horn” proof mark from Ulm and a (non-unique) serial number. Markings on the left side of the slide are laser etched in white – all other markings are engraved. The serial number is repeated on the outer barrel and on a metal plate under the accessory rail. The pistol also features assorted “Heckler & Koch GmbH” and “GE/Polizei” markings. There are no markings referencing KSC or Taiwan as the country of manufacture nothing noting indicating that this is a 6mm replica. Even the “WARNING REFER TO OWNER’S MANUAL” text engraved under the trigger guard is an accurate reproduction of what’s on the original. There are no markings here that you wouldn’t find on the original and nothing from the original has been omitted.


The finish of the slide is a good match to the non-reflective nitride finish on the original and finish on the polymer frame and metal slide match well. There are no prominent moulding seams and generally, it’s difficult to see how you could have a more accurate visual replica.

Functional accuracy 14/15

Some KWA/KSC pistols are intended as training aids for the cartridge versions, and the functional accuracy of the KSC H&K P10 is extremely close to that of the original. The hammer, trigger, slide release, magazine release and safety/de-cocker lever all operate here precisely as they do on the original.

p1017The only thing that I can see which doesn’t work on this replica is the ejector pin. On the real weapon, the ejector pin projects slightly when a round is in the chamber and the upper surface of the pin is painted red, acting as an external visual loading indicator. The red paint is present on the replica, but the ejector pin is fixed in place, though this hardly a criticism given that I’m not aware of any replica which currently includes this function.


The KSC P10 field strips as per the original – the magazine is removed, the slide is moved back until a cut-out is aligned with the combined slide release/locking pin on the left. The pin is then pushed out from the right side and removed, and the slide can then be pushed forward off the frame.

Shooting 34/40

The KSC H&K P10 magazine is filled with gas in the usual way, though it does seem sensitive to different nozzle types on gas cannisters. While most filled without leaks or issues, one can of green gas (which works without problems on my other replicas) produced a noticeable loss of gas while filling. There do not appear to be any leaks from the magazine, and the follower locks down to allow up to 22 BBs to be loaded from the top.


When inserted in to the grip, the magazine locks positively and cleanly though I did notice on a couple of occasions that inserting a loaded magazine caused the slide lock to release, causing the slide to move partly forward. This doesn’t happen with an empty mag, and it seemed to happen more often while the pistol was very new.

p101With the magazine in place and the slide racked, you’re good to shoot. The sights are a simple notch and post design and the white dots allow a clear sight picture against any background. The rear sight is adjustable for windage only. The KSC P10 doesn’t offer anything in the way of alternative backstraps, but the grip is a reasonable size and should comfortably fit most average sized hands. The “pinky-grip” extension on the magazine does help to give a positive grip, though an alternative flat version is also supplied. Although the magazine release is ambidextrous, the slide release and safety/de-cocker are left side only, so this isn’t a particularly lefty-friendly replica. The slide operates through a full range of movement, releases with a satisfying clank and moves positively and with authority.

p1011In single action mode, the trigger pull is short, light, creep-free and precise. In double action it’s obviously longer and a little heavier, but still precise and pleasant to use. Blowback is snappy and strong, but despite KSCs claims for System 7, I didn’t find it to provide notably more recoil effect than most other 6mm replicas I own. The P10 isn’t particularly loud, but it does shoot with a sharp crack that’s quite distinctive.


Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.25g BBs. All but one of the shots is inside or touching the 1½” diameter black centre circle.

Accuracy and consistency are good both with the recommended 0.20g BBs and with heavier 0.25g BBs. Groupings at six yards are generally around 2″ or less with very few flyers. After adjusting hop-up, the point of impact is around ½” below the point of aim at six yards. Adjusting the hop-up is very easy on the P10 due to the use of the KSC tool which allows adjustment without removing the slide. With the slide locked back and the magazine removed, the tool engages with a toothed wheel on the outer barrel, which allows quick and very fine adjustment.


Gas consumption is good with 50 – 60 shots from a single fill of the magazine. Overall, the most notable thing about shooting the KSC P10 is it’s consistency and reliability. I haven’t experienced a single double feed or other loading problem, the trigger pull is predictable and good, the slide locks back on empty every time and I can confidently place BBs on target time after time. As a shooter, this is up there with the very best 6mm semi-auto replicas.

Quality and reliability 13/15

I have shot around 500 BBs of various weights with the P10 so far, and to date I have had precisely no misfeeds or failures to fire. None. That’s pretty impressive, certainly better than most 6mm replicas I have tested and it suggests that the feed and gas system the P10 is carefully designed and well engineered. The KSC P10 just seems to go on reliably and relentlessly pumping out BBs with a minimum of fuss.


Mine did have a couple of very minor issues out of the box. The front sight was loose where it is drifted into the slide, and it moved from-side-to-side due to the effects of blowback. However, this was easily fixed with a thin layer of packing under the sight to wedge it into position. I also occasionally found that the slide would unlock and move partly forward as a loaded magazine was inserted, though this mainly happened when the P10 replica was very new. Otherwise it has functioned flawlessly, finish and overall quality seem very good and there is no obvious internal or external wear on my P10 at all.

Overall Impression 12/15


If you have read this far, you’ll know that the KSC P10 doesn’t appeal to me in the way that some other replicas do. On one level I know that shouldn’t matter, but then I’m shooting these replicas purely for pleasure and I do like a replica that looks good. Consider the Umarex Walther PPQ for example, or the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c. Both are similar polymer framed replicas of modern semi-auto pistols. However, the originals they’re based on have (for me, at least) far more visual appeal than the P10 and both can be configured for left-hand use. And yet, when I want to put some fuss-free BBs on-target, the P10 is often the replica I reach for. It has been completely reliable and I never have to fiddle to get it to shoot as it should. Overall, this one has grown on me. It just does what it says on the box and gives the impression that it will continue to do so for some time to come.


So, the KSC H&K P10 – as ugly as a sack of frogs, but as reliable as if it was carved out of a solid block of granite. It also shoots with good power and accuracy, has nice, strong blowback and a fairly loud report and from previous experience of KSC/KWA products, I anticipate good long-term reliability. And you know, I’m kind of getting used to the way it looks. Perhaps calling it “ugly” is unfair. Maybe “functional” or “utilitarian” would be a fairer description. It may not be a replica you’d choose to display on the wall, but as a shooter it’s very good indeed.


I still don’t care for the extended outer barrel or the raised sights, and I’d like it even better if I could use it in my left hand, but you just have to respect something that’s made and finished as well as this. If you want a replica that has the “wow” factor, you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you want a reliable, well made, well engineered pistol that also shoots very nicely, the KSC H&K P10 could be the one for you. A 1970s BMW 5 series of the replica world.

Total score: 86/100

Pros and cons


Well engineered and finished

Reliable, consistent and accurate shooter

Extremely realistic


More expensive than some comparable airsoft pistols

Not ambidextrous

Not much of a looker

Related pages:

KWA H&K 45 review

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review

Cybergun S&W M&P 9c review


You can buy the KWA USP Compact at Pyramid Air here.

Video review