ASG STI Duty One

Nice replica, shame about the trigger… The ASG STI Duty One is a fairly typical product from Danish distributor ASG – it’s well made, well finished and a good replica of the original pistol.  However, it does have a couple of idiosyncrasies which you need to bear in mind if you’re thinking of buying one.

ASG produce two replicas based on the STI Duty One – one has blowback and one doesn’t.  Apart from blowback, the two appear to be identical (though the non-blowback version is a little cheaper to buy). The ASG STI Duty One is also available in both 6mm and 4.5mm form. I have owned three examples of this replica and all were 4.5mm, blowback versions, so that’s what I’ll mainly be talking about here though I believe that the other versions are similar in function.

Real steel background

In the early 1990s, Texan gunsmith Virgil Tripp started building custom 1911 pistols for the growing IPSC market.  His attention to detail and the quality of his products quickly brought commercial success and in 1993 a young engineer and Computer Aided Design (CAD) specialist called Sandy Strayer joined Tripp Research Inc.  With Tripp’s pistol knowledge and Stayer’s engineering skills, the two revolutionised the 1911 market when they introduced their 2011 range in 1994.  This provided a modular frame using fiber-reinforced plastic for the trigger guard, grip, and magazine well which was attached to the metal upper portion of the frame.  The STI 2011 frame was strong and reliable but less than half the weight of a conventional all-metal 1911 frame.

One of the STI International 2011 range

The company changed its name to Strayer-Tripp, Inc. (STI) in 1994 and focused on two distinct lines of pistol – the 1911 range which provided pistols with a conventional frame based on the 1911 design and the 2011 range which used the new modular frame.  In 1997 the company was bought over by the owners of electronics company Tessco, Inc., and was re-named STI International.  The STI 1911 and 2011 ranges continued to be popular and by 2007 STI International was the third largest exporter of guns in the USA.

The STI International Duty One

The Duty One is one of the most popular pistols in the STI International 1911 range.  However, unlike many STI pistols, this isn’t primarily intended as a target shooter.  It’s a practical carry gun with fixed sights which is available with 3″, 4″ and 5″ barrels and chambered either for the .45 ACP round or the 9x19mm.  The Duty One features a patented STI International lightweight trigger and a commander style hammer and is supplied with a distinctive matte blued finish.  An ambidextrous thumb safety is provided in addition to the grip safety.  The Duty One is available in standard and “lite” form, which incorporates a lightweight aluminium frame.  The Duty One was redesigned in 2014 and current versions feature distinctive “grid” pattern slide grip serrations and a revised grip.

The ASG STI Duty One

The ASG STI Duty One is a CO2-powered licensed replica of mostly metal construction with a stick type drop-out magazine and a short under-barrel accessory rail.  CO2 is retained inside the grip and accessed by removing the backstrap and grip base.  This replica is manufactured in Taiwan on behalf of ASG and is available in 4.5mm and 6mm.  ASG produce two versions of the STI Duty One – one with blowback and one without.  The figures below and the information in this article is based on my experience with the blowback version.  The non-blowback version looks very similar, but I haven’t tried it.  I believe that the 4.5mm version is available in matte black finish only though there is a two-tone version of the non-blowback and the 6mm blowback versions with a polished slide.  All versions include full STI markings.

Two-tone 6mm version

The slide moves through less than the full range of travel during blowback and locks back when the last round is fired.  The thumb safety, magazine and slide release work as per the original but the grip safety is moulded in place and has no function.  The ASG STI Duty One cannot be field stripped. ASG also produce CO2 powered replicas of several other STI handguns including the Lawman, Tac Master, Combat Master and the tiny Off Duty.

Packaging and presentation  2.5/5

The ASG STI Duty One is provided in a card box with a single magazine and a short user manual.

Visual accuracy  8/10

STI Duty One (left), ASG STI Duty One (right)

The ASG STI Duty One is generally a good visual replica of the pre-2014 STI Duty One.  Grips, markings, finish and overall shape and profile are very good indeed and all controls are a good visual match for the original.  The main visual difference is the trigger – the ASG replica uses a pivoting style trigger rather than the sliding 1911 style trigger seen on the original.

Functional accuracy  11/15

The version tested is a blowback replica with a drop-out, stick-type magazine.  The trigger operates in single action only and the slide locks back after the last round is fired.  The slide catch, magazine release and thumb safety work as per the original weapon.  The slide moves through restricted travel compared to the cartridge version.  The grip safety is moulded in place and has no function.

The slide release catch on the cartridge version can be extracted to the left side to allow the slide to be removed.  On this version the slide release cannot be extracted and the slide cannot be easily removed.

Shooting  30/40

The CO2 chamber is accessed by pressing a button in the base of the grip, which allows the plastic panel which forms the base and rear of the grip to be removed.  CO2 can then be inserted and tightened and pierced using the plastic tab at the base of the grip.  The tightening tab is a little small and quite fiddly for use with large man-fingers, but with a bit of practise this can be done without too much drama.  It can sometimes be difficult to remove the used CO2 cartridge.  Even with the cover plate removed and the tab loosened as much as possible, it can take a fair bit of shaking to get the used CO2 to drop out.  Re-fitting the cover panel can also be a little fiddly, though it’s nice to see that this completely conceals the loading tab once it’s in place.

Loading the stick type magazine reveals the first of this replicas’ idiosyncrasies.  The follower locks down, which makes it easy to load BBs in to the port at the top of the magazine.  However, if you then release the follower, the BBs will spray back out of top of the magazine.  To prevent this, you must cover the holes at the front and rear of the top of the magazine with your fingers as you release the follower.

When you have CO2 and BBs loaded, the ASG STI Duty One feels good.  The chunky, deeply serrated rubberised grips and angular frame allow a firm and consistent grip.  STI International obviously knows a great deal about how to make a handgun that handles well, and the ASG version replicates this nicely.  This feeling is reinforced when you pull the trigger – a loud bang and strong blowback make this feel like a powerful and purposeful shooter.

However, pulling the trigger also reveals the second odd issue with this pistol.  Like many blowback replicas, the blowback action cocks the hammer, but it doesn’t queue the next BB for shooting.  This is done during the long first part of the trigger pull and the movement of the BB can clearly be felt.  The problem here is that if you pull the trigger fairly slowly towards the release point, the BB can roll out of the front of the barrel if the pistol is pointed level or slightly down.  The solution is to pull the trigger firmly and fairly quickly (the manual actually warns that the trigger should be pulled “in one swift motion“), but this doesn’t help with accuracy.  This issue does seem to be variable – on one of my Duty Ones, BBs regularly fell out of the end of the barrel before I was ready to shoot, but the other two seemed less prone to this.  And if for any reason you pull the trigger halfway back and then release it without firing, when you next pull the trigger you will load a second BB into the breech and you’ll then fire both at once.  The trigger action on this pistol is a problem and it’s notably worse than, for example, the ASG CZ75 (though it’s identical to the trigger on the ASG CZ P-07 Duty, which has the same fault).  You really must develop a style where you pull the trigger quickly and confidently every time if you are to avoid issues.  Being tentative will lead to double loading or losing the BB before you shoot.

The loud bang and strong blowback make the Duty One feel powerful, but the numbers don’t really back this up.  I have owned three 4.5mm examples of the ASG STI Duty One and all chronoed at around 325 – 350 fps dependent on temperature.  Perfectly respectable figures, but well short of the 436fps claimed by ASG.  Accuracy was also average without being great.  Even though they lack white dots, the sights are clear and easy to read but grouping with two of my Duty Ones was around 1½” – 2″ at six yards – fair but not great.  The third example was notably worse, grouping at 2″ – 3″ at six yards.  These aren’t terrible figures, so perhaps it’s just because the ASG Duty One feels like it’s so powerful that they seem a little disappointing?

CO2 consumption is fair for a blowback replica with three magazines (60 shots) of full-power shots available from a single CO2.  If you continue to a fourth magazine, you’ll gradually run out of puff until the CO2 is completely exhausted somewhere around the 70th shot.

Other than the issues noted, the ASG STI Duty One appears to be reliable.  The slide locks back every time and I had no mechanical problems or failures with any of the examples I owned.  Because the slide and magazine releases and the thumb safety are on the left side only, this isn’t a particularly great pistol if you’re left-handed.

Quality and reliability  13/15

The overall fit and finish of the ASG STI Duty One are very good indeed.  Everything fits well without rattles or movement and seams are well concealed. The rubberised grips are a particularly nice touch and the matte black finish seems more durable than the finish on many replicas (which sadly isn’t difficult).  I have heard of owners who have had the front sight come loose on this model, though I didn’t experience this on any of mine.

The operational issues noted in the Shooting section seem to be design flaws rather than manufacturing defects, and this does seem to be generally a high-quality replica which is available at a very reasonable price.

Overall Impression  11/15

This is a great looking, well made and well finished replica but for me, trigger action is at the heart of how much I enjoy shooting a pistol.  On the ASG Duty One, the trigger action is flawed, which I found very frustrating.  This replica looks good and feels great, but for me at least, the shooting experience just doesn’t deliver what is promised.  I ended up buying three different Duty Ones, in the hope that I’d find one which shot as well as it looked and handled.  I failed, and I’m not sure that I’d buy another.


I’m a big fan of the 1911 platform and I generally like updated 1911s.  There is a lot to like here and in most ways this is a great replica of a modernised 1911.  It’s certainly a good looking and well-made pistol and it’s relatively inexpensive.  However, I found its shooting ability to be fairly poor and the trigger action rather disappointing.  And after all, the ability to shoot is the reason we buy this type of replica rather than a non-shooting wall ornament.

If you can find one that shoots well, or if you’re willing and able to modify your shooting technique to overcome its inherent issues, you may enjoy the ASG STI Duty One.  If not, there are probably better ASG products and better modernised 1911 replicas to add to your collection.


Nice looking and handling replica

Feels solid and well made

Finish seems to be more durable than average

Strong blowback


Trigger action

Accuracy and power aren’t all that great

Non-working grip safety

Not lefty friendly

Total score: 75.5/100

Related posts

ASG CZ75 review

ASG CZ P-09 Duty review

WE Browning “Hi-Power” Model 1935

My review of the WE TT-33 ended by stating, “This pistol has made quite an impression on me …. and has definitely rekindled my interest in 6mm gas-blowback airsoft guns.” — and it had, so much so that a couple of days later I decided upon another of their range of classic pistols… the Browning M1935 or, as it is more commonly known, the Browning High Power…

01 WE Browning M1935-Take3 063 - Copy

Those words were written a couple of months ago, but as soon as I had “put pen to paper” (or rather “fingers to keyboard”!) things went wrong! On collecting my new GBB pistol, I knew something was awry in that the slide did not feel quite right and had a tendency to “jam” if pulled back manually without the magazine in place.

Being rather keen to get home and start the review – along with the fact that I didn’t wish to put my good friend and local airsoft shop owner, K.Don, to any trouble – I convinced myself this would be remedied with a little lubrication and use and so instead of requesting a replacement I took it home. The upshot is that I was unable to get the slide working properly and that, coupled with perhaps some “overzealous” racking and releasing of the slide, I managed to exacerbate the problem causing one of the smaller parts of the hammer assembly to break.

Disappointment reigned, but having tried K.Don’s display gun in the shop I was convinced I had just been unlucky, that this was still a good pistol and one I would like to have in my collection. Last week was the first chance I had had to again pay a visit to his shop. Being the excellent chap that he is he insisted we swap pistols and that he would look into repairing/ replacing the hammer assembly at a later date.

I am a firm believer in the saying “every cloud has a silver lining” and there is an upside to this in that I am now able to comment on a “used” pistol which is at least a couple of years old, albeit with a new magazine. In the process of writing this review I have put over three hundred rounds through it on top of goodness knows how many in the past… and so far, so good!

02 WE Browning M1935-Take3 048 - Copy

Real Steel Background

John Moses Browning designed his legendary “High Power” 9mm semi-automatic in 1925, a year before his death, but it wasn’t until ten years later following some refinements by his understudy, Dieudonne Saive (who later went on to design the FN FAL rifle), that it finally went into service with the Belgian Army as the Model 35 (also known as the Browning HP 35 or GP 35, “GP” standing for “Grande Puissance”).

The pistol was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Belgium and went on to become one of the most widely used pistols of the 20th Century with over one million being produced. A notable exception was the United States Army, but then they already had another of Browning’s famous designs… the 1911A1.

A point worthy of note is that whilst the operation of the Model 1935 is based on Browning’s famous “short recoil” design where the barrel and slide move backwards until the barrel drops away from the slide, it is achieved by means of a downward sloping slot under the barrel interfacing with a stud in the frame as opposed to the swinging link used in the venerable 1911.

03a slide and barrel-bottom03b slide and barrel locking diagram-top

Diagram courtesy of

British Commonwealth countries were quick to realise the value of this pistol. With the onset of World War 2 and the subsequent German occupation of Belgium,  production was moved to John Inglis and Company in Toronto where two variants were produced.

One had a “tangent leaf” rear sight which could be fitted with (and stored in) a detachable shoulder stock whilst the other (more familiar version) came with fixed sights. These were identified as the “Browning FN HP No1 Mk1” and “No2 Mk1” respectively, the former being intended for domestic use and the Nationalist Chinese (some remarkable photographs of a rare Browning No1, made under contract for the Chinese, may be found at the Carolina Shooters Club – a link is given at the end of this review).

04 no1 mk1 right hand side

Inglis Browning FN No1 Mk1* (courtesy of

04a no1 mk1 field slide close-up

Close-up of the left-hand side of the slide. The asterix represented minor modifications not deemed to warrant an increase in the designation mark.

Post-war, the 9mm FN Browning was adopted throughout NATO and it is only very recently that the British Army has decided to replace this iconic sidearm with the Glock 17 (Generation 4).

The term “High Power” (or “Hi-Power” as it is often written) refers to the (then revolutionary) high capacity of the magazine with 13 rounds of 9mm Luger (or 10 rounds of .40 calibre S&W) stored in a double stack magazine. With a muzzle velocity of around 335 m/s its effective range was approximately 50m. However, the adjustable rear sight  was graduated at 50m intervals for distances of up to 500m.

The WE-Tech (WE) “Hi-Power” Browning (Model 1935)


Calibre: 6mm

Capacity: 20 round, double stack drop-out magazine

Propellant: Green Gas (propane)/ HFC-22

Barrel length: 110mm (measured)

Overall length: 200mm (measured)

Weight: 810g (listed)

Sights: Adjustable rear for elevation only; fixed front post

Action: Single-action

Hop-up: Not on mine!

Packaging and Presentation 2 / 5

05 WE Browning M1935-Take3 001

Whilst the box is more than adequate for safe transportation, it is a little lacking in imagination… especially for such a classic gun! That said, it is made of robust cardboard with polystyrene cut-outs to hold the gun and magazine. The manual is also rather basic, although it does describe the main parts to the pistol, its basic operation and how to conduct a field-strip (although two salient points are missing which are described later on). A very useful exploded diagram is included, but the parts listing is only given in Chinese (fair enough, I suppose, as it’s made in Taiwan… but English would be handy as well!).

Visual Accuracy 8 / 10

This replica is similar to the Canadian (Inglis) made “Browning FN HP No1 Mk1” with adjustable rear sights and a slot in the rear of the grip intended for the attachment of a combined wooden stock/ holster.

06 Browning_HP_Inglis-2 - Copy

Browning FN HP No1 Mk1, fitted with a detachable stock, made by the Inglis Company for the Chinese Nationalist Army (courtesy of

The graduations on the rear sight are identical to those of the original and the pistol has an unserrated “ring” hammer in keeping with a High Power of this period.

07 WE Browning M1935-Take3 052 - Copy

(NB. A “Capitan” version of the Browning Mk III, visually similar to the No1 Mk1, was reintroduced in 1993).

The only reason I haven’t given full marks is that no markings are included and I’m a sucker for the odd proof stamp or date somewhere on the gun (after all, lots of different models and variations have been produced). That said, it could well be that WE don’t wish to place any markings and are erring on the side of caution; similarly, it could be argued that no markings are better than the wrong ones… so there we are!

08 browning - left face - 13749113_1 (1) - Copy

Rare pre-war Belgian FN High Power made for the Estonian Home Guard (courtesy of

Apart from that, I’d say that visual accuracy is spot on! There are no seam lines and the plastic grip panels could easily be mistaken for real wood (although I still intend on purchasing some wooden ones for a reasonable sum; something I like to do for my more collectible replicas).

09 WE Browning M1935-Take3 072 - Copy

If you’re feeling particularly pedantic, then on field-stripping the gun you may notice that the outer barrel and slide do not quite feature the same “barrel-locking” detail as the original. Also, the grooves on either side of the base of the magazine are not quite right – as seen in the photo – but in all fairness the position of one of the locking pins prevents these grooves from extending to the bottom.

10 no1 mk1 field stripped

Field-stripped Inglis Browning FN No1 Mk1* (courtesy of NB. the spring guide is shown upside down.

The finish on the WE model is very shiny and I prefer the slightly more “matt” colour of their TT-33. However, it is certainly very durable. In fact, when I asked K.Don for the exchange, he indicated some minor blemishes on the surface, but following a little polish with a cotton cloth (the one I use for all my guns, it having a slight impregnation of Ballistol) only one remains and that is barely noticeable unless you really search for it (in front of the ejection port on the right hand side of the frame).

A lanyard ring was sometimes attached, but none is given on this replica.

11 WE Browning M1935-Take3 025 - Copy

Comparison with the WE TT-33

Functional Accuracy 13 / 15

Again, difficult to find fault. It is single-action only – as was the original – meaning the hammer needs to be cocked prior to being fired. Once cocked, it may then be locked in place by the thumb safety located on the left-hand side of the frame (described by the late Jeff Cooper as “Condition One”). The thumb safety mechanism is sound and works as it should.

12 WE Browning M1935-Take3 078 - Copy

WE Browning “Hi-Power” at “Condition 1”. Note the “ring” hammer and thumb safety set “on”.

Unlike similar pistols, the Browning High Power also features a “magazine-disconnect” safety and this has been replicated here. Ie. the pistol cannot be fired, nor the hammer lowered, unless a magazine is in place. Generally considered to be a bad idea, it was initiated as part of the original design specifications provided by the French Army in 1935 (source: Wikipedia).

In fact, the hammer does not drop completely if slowly released with the magazine in place; it only comes fully to rest once the magazine is removed. At first, I thought this might be a potential source of damage to the firing pin, but as this “pin” is in fact a high tensile spring then I’m not unduly worried.

13 WE Browning M1935-Take3 007 - Copy

To release the hammer without a magazine inserted (or with the slide removed), you need to depress the bottom of the metal plate surrounding the firing “pin” (spring).

Field stripping is quite straightforward and as far as I am aware identical to that of the cartridge firing pistol on which it is based. However, as previously mentioned, a couple of steps in the field-stripping procedure have been omitted from the manual.

The slide is first moved back untill it may be locked in position by raising the thumb safety into the notch just forward of the serrations on the slide. The slide stop is then raised in its cut-out so that it may be properly removed.

There is an indent on the right-hand side of the frame in order to facilitate the extraction of the stop (as there was on the original Model 1935). The thumb safety may then be lowered and the slide removed (carefully as the recoil spring is still under tension!).

14 WE Browning M1935-Take3 030 - Copy

Apart from the slight difference in the shape of the outer barrel and the lack of one “locking lug” the internals are well replicated to those of the cartridge firing original. There is no recoil spring plug in a Browning Hi-Power; the outer and inner barrels are simply moved down and out of the slide once the spring and guide rod have been removed (care must be taken so that the inner barrel does not fall out of the outer as they are not joined together).

There is even a groove offset in the “hop-up chamber” (on the replica) identical to that of the original. This is to ensure the recoil spring guide isn’t put in upside down (comparison courtesy of

15 spring guide comparison

Shooting  25 / 40

I purchased this gun with the intention of using it more as a collector’s piece than for shooting. However, I was pleasantly surprised, especially as mine does not have a grub screw in place to adjust hop-up (point “B” in the photo in the following section). In fact, I am not altogether sure adjustment is possible. However, the breech is fitted with a piece of circular rubber and this holds a loaded 6mm ball firmly in place.

16 WE Browning M1935-Take3 029 - Copy

Gas is loaded by inverting the magazine and filling from a gas cannister via the valve in the base of the magazine. Up to twenty 6mm rounds may be loaded by holding the follower down and loading them from the top (the follower protrudes nicely and is easy to keep in place with your thumb). The magazine sits firmly inside the grip and the release button is under the right amount of tension.

Racking and releasing the slide has a satisfactory “ring” to it and the recoil spring is just strong enough for this kind of gun. Whilst not being particularly loud or feeling particularly powerful, muzzle velocity is not too shabby for a gas-operated blow-back pistol with a metal slide and I obtained velocities in the region of 86 +/- 3m/s using “Bombe” brand gas (HFC-22?) and 87 +/- 2m/s using “Puff Dino” brand “Green Gas” from Taiwan, in the shade at approx. 30°C (for some reason, the first shot is often slightly slower by approximately 5m/s and these were not included in the data sets).

Measurements were initially taken using both TK (white) and FireFly (black) 0.25g ammunition and I was achieving groups of about three inches at six yards using a free-standing, double-handed stance. At longer ranges, you can expect deliberately aimed shots to connect with an 8” target at 12m, about 90% at 15m and with balls flying straight and true towards a man-sized target approximately 20-25m away.

Switching to heavier 0.36g ammunition (FireFly, green) increased the muzzle energy with 77 +/- 1m/s being recorded over ten rounds using green gas. Similarly, 0.30g and 0.40g balls resulted in 83 m/s  and 75 m/s respectively, each over ten rounds at approx. 30°C. These values tend to be reasonably consistent throughout the duration of a charged magazine. Groupings also tightened by about half an inch.

16 WE Browning M1935-Take3 042 - Copy

The bulls-eye targets were shot at the end of the session using .36g ammunition and “green gas”.

Depending on your shooting speed and weight of ammunition, at least 25 good shots should be had from a single three second charge of gas; if shooting quickly then some cooling-down of the magazine will be noticed. I have experienced neither a “double-feed” nor a jam, except when the piston return spring became unhooked.

There’s approximately a quarter of an inch of initial “first stage” to the trigger and some may describe it as being a little “spongy”, but the let off point is still reasonably easy to predict. As previously explained, the rear sights are adjustable in elevation but not for windage and the “dovetail” front post is triangular in shape (similar to, but smaller than, that found on the “Navy” Luger P08). The sight picture has the apex of the front post sitting about one and a half inches below the centre of the target using 0.25g balls and pretty much at the intended point of impact with heavier ammunition.

The slide locks back when the last round is fired and may be released by either pressing down on the slide-stop or by further retracting and releasing the slide. There is no sign of wear to the cut-out in the slide where it connects with the slide stop.

Quality and Reliability 12 / 15

I feel it would be unfair to score this section based on my initial experience, especially as the gun I now have has, if anything, exceeded my expectations and is already over two years old.

It has a fair “heft” to it, especially with the magazine in place. Whilst being made of metal alloy, this alloy is quite substantial and certainly looks and feels as if it could withstand a few knocks. All parts of the gun fit together well, both in the slide and frame, giving an impression of quality and reliability… including the hammer assembly which reinforces my view that I was extremely unlucky with the first gun I bought.

The magazine is interesting in that it has a metal lip and like the gun feels solid and durable. Mine has so far been leak-free, holding its charge of gas for up to weeks at a time.

The field-stripped parts appear to be of good quality with a brass inner and (aluminium?) outer barrel. A screw at the front of the spring guide serves to keep a spring-loaded bearing ball in place which in turn prevents the slide-stop from coming out. I have found that this screw can work itself loose and have applied a drop of low-strength “thread lock” to mine (“A” in the photo below).

17 WE Browning M1935-Take3 022 - Copy

“A” indicates the screw requiring a little low-strength thread-lock; “B” the missing adjustment screw and “C” the lack of one locking lug.

I’ve twice had to re-connect the piston return spring to its pin located on top of the piston. Thankfully, this is a simple operation! It is accessed under the rear sight and all that needs to be done is to remove the slide, raise the rear sight and hook the end of the spring  back over the pin using a watchmaker’s screwdriver or needle (as shown in the photo). I would like to point out that this spring has not become unhooked again (I more than likely did not place it securely over the pin the first time it came off).

18 WE Browning M1935-Take3 009 - Copy

Overall Impression 13 / 15

Having now had the chance to properly inspect and handle the Browning Hi-Power (Model 1935) from Wei-Tech, I’m of the opinion that my initial troubles were an exception, not the rule.

However, it would be extremely helpful if WE was to make available – as fellow Taiwanese firm KJWorks has done – a procedure whereby spare parts may be sourced, at a reasonable price, directly from the parent company (it would also be useful if the parts listing was given in English as well as Chinese).

19 WE Browning M1935-Take3 094 - Copy

To summarise, I am now extremely satisfied with this gun and am pleased to have what I hope will continue to be a reliable, fully functioning replica of the famous WW2 era 9mm FN Browning “High Power” to shoot occasionally and put on display. IMHO, it represents a highly collectible pistol which faithfully replicates the cartridge firing original in both operation and appearance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to echo the comments of others in that a few minor design changes would result in a “Browning FN HP No2 Mk1”… and I would like to have that one in black.

Total Score 73 / 100

Guest review by Adrian-BP


You can buy this replica at Pyramid Air here.


Related Pages

WE Tokarev TT-33 review

Gun Heaven Model 59 (Makarov) review

WE PX4 review


Umarex Walther PPQ M2


I have been looking for a Walther P99 replica pistol for some time. The P99 is a handily sized, distinctive looking semi auto pistol and several replica versions have been produced, but none ticked all the boxes for me. The pellet shooting Umarex CP99 is powerful and accurate, but it lacks blowback and is really a revolver in disguise. The Umarex PPQ (the PPQ is a development of the P99) is also a good shooter, but again lacks blowback and has a very heavy double action only trigger. So I was excited when a new 6mm Umarex replica of the Walther PPQ M2 was announced last year. Especially when I discovered that this replica was to be manufactured by highly regarded Taiwanese manufacturer Vega Force Company (VFC) in collaboration with Umarex. VFC have a reputation for fanatical attention to detail in their production of replicas which are also good shooters. Add to this the fact that Umarex and Walther are part of the same group of companies, giving Umarex unrestricted access to original design information and you have a great basis for a replica. I recently managed to get hold of a PPQ M2 to find out whether it’s as good as I had hoped…

Real steel background


Walther PPQ

Launched in 2011, the Walther PPQ (Police Pistol – Quick Defence) is a development of the Walther P99. The PPQ is visually and dimensionally similar to the P99, though the grip features a new “Hi-grip” finish and there is no de-cocker or cocking indicator on the PPQ. However, the most notable improvement in the PPQ is new trigger system. The wide trigger incorporates a central blade that operates as a trigger safety. The pre-cocked firing pin gives total trigger travel of only 5mm and release travel of less than 1mm. Together, these give a very short, light and consistent trigger pull. The PPQ does not fire in conventional single and double action, it has only one firing mode but the trigger pull is shorter and lighter than on many DA/SA pistols. The Walther PPQ is also fully ambidextrous, with slide and magazine releases on both sides. No manual safety is provided. The PPQ is available in 9mm and .40 S&W calibres and can be factory equipped with a passive RFID transponder in the grip which records weapon specific data.


Walther PPQ M2

The PPQ M2 was launched in 2013 and is identical to the PPQ other than that the ambidextrous magazine release levers have been replaced with a conventional thumb release on the left side of the frame. The thumb release is reversible for left handed use. The PPQ M2 is extremely light, weighing just 680grams (1.5lbs) unloaded.

The Umarex Walther PPQ M2


Umarex bought the Walther firearms company in 1993, so it’s no surprise that they also have an exclusive licensing deal with Walther. A number of Umarex replicas have been based on Walther pistols and several have been manufactured by Asian suppliers. The Walther PPQ M2 is no different, being sold under the Umarex label but manufactured by Taiwanese company VFC (Vega Force Company). VFC have become known for a range of AEG and gas blowback rifles including a range of licensed H&K replicas produced for Umarex. VFC replicas are highly regarded for their extreme attention to detail as well as being reliable and accurate shooters, but the company are relative newcomers to the gas blowback pistol market.

The relationship between Umarex and their Asian suppliers is more collaborative than seen with many OEM companies – Umarex provide detailed design information, advice and even machine tools where required to ensure visual and functional accuracy. The result is good news for replica collectors – we get German engineering experience combined with low cost Asian manufacture, providing great quality replicas at a reasonable price.


The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is a gas powered, 6mm, blowback replica featuring a polymer grip and frame and a metal slide, inner barrel, magazine and internal and external parts. The PPQ M2 is a licensed replica, includes accurate Walther markings and produces less than 1 joule of muzzle energy.


Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 22 BBs

Propellant: Green gas

Barrel length: 4″

Weight: 640g

Overall length:180mm

Sights: Front: fixed, blade with white dot. Rear: adjustable for windage only, with white dots.

Claimed power: 360fps (110m/s) with .2g BBs

Packaging and presentation 2.5/5

ppq20The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is provided in a card box with Walther markings. The box features a card insert to fit the pistol. The PPQ M2 comes only with a single magazine and a short user manual – no BBs or tools are included.

ppq22Visual accuracy 9/10


Walther PPQ M2 (top), Umarex Walther PPQ M2 (bottom).

For visual accuracy, this is about as good as it gets. The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 is virtually indistinguishable from the original firearm. Every line and contour of the original are replicated including the complex “Hi-Grip” texturing on the grip. On the left side of the pistol all markings are precisely the same as on the original. On the right, only very small, engraved text reading “Cal. 6mm BB” and the “F” mark for the German market are different. The magazine and base have authentic markings and even the markings on the transponder housing in the backstrap are replicated.


Visual accuracy is further improved by all controls being accurately replicated (in function as well as visually) and by details such as the extractor being modelled as a separate (metal) part.


If I had to pick out slight visual issues (and I’m struggling to find any), I’d mention that the brass inner barrel is only recessed by around 5mm, and is visible from the front and that there is a light moulding seam on the base of the trigger guard and under the accessory rail. Some people have also noted that the gap between the rear of the slide and the frame is larger than on the original. However, the difference is marginal and doesn’t detract from the overall visual appeal.


Replicas seem to get better and better in terms of visual accuracy, but it’s difficult to see how the PPQ M2 could be substantially improved upon.

Functional accuracy 14/15

When you first pick it up, the Umarex PPQ M2 feels a little light at 640g, though to be fair that’s only around 40g lighter than the (unloaded) original. It does have good balance – on many replicas with a polymer frame and grip the weight is carried high and forward, but the PPQ M2 has good weight distribution.


The slide moves through a full range of travel and locks back on empty. Both left and right slide release catches work. The takedown latches work as per the original and holding down the latches allows the slide to be removed to the front. One quirk of the PPQ M2 is that it can’t be de-cocked. You must rack the slide to cock the internal striker for the first shot but, like the original, there is no decocker. Once cocked, the only way to decock is to discharge the pistol without gas in the magazine.


The full-size magazine latches and releases as per the original. The trigger is a good replication of the original, with a short, light action. Even the trigger safety works as it should. On many replicas which feature a blade trigger safety, this is purely decorative. On the PPQ M2, if you carefully try to pull the trigger without touching the central blade, the pistol will not fire.

This is a very good functional replica and would make a useful training and practice weapon for users of the firearm version. The only feature from the original which doesn’t operate in the same way here is the extractor (on the firearm version, the extractor also acts as a loaded chamber indicator).

Shooting 34/40


To prepare for shooting, the magazine must be charged with gas and up to 22 6mm BBs loaded into the magazine. The magazine follower cannot be locked down, so it has to be held in place while BBs are loaded into the wide part of the loading slot. The slide must be racked to cock the internal striker, and then you’re good to go. The trigger pull is short, light and consistent and with a clear release point.


The rear sight is adjustable for windage only (though strangely the manual claims that the rear sight is fixed). To adjust the sight, the slide must be racked and locked back. Viewed from the underside, a hex screw is then visible which retains the sight. If this is loosened, the sight can be moved from side to side. Front and rear sights include white dots and the sight picture is clear.


Six shots, six yards, .25g BBs, rapid fire.

The blowback is strong and snappy, though the pistol is fairly quiet. Fine if you want to shoot without disturbing the neighbours but a little disappointing if you enjoy a loud bang. The PPQ M2 shoots well and with reasonable power – in the 270 – 290fps range with .25g BBs – well under the claimed 360fps but entirely adequate for target shooting. On my PPQM2 consistent groups of 1½” at six yards are possible for aimed shots with around 2″ for rapid fire. My version is very new, having fired less than 300 shots, and in my experience airsoft GBB pistols take time to bed in, so accuracy may improve with use. Groups are very consistent with no flyers. The combination of hop-up adjustment and the windage adjustable rear sight means that the point of impact and point of aim can be aligned. There is no noticeable cooldown if shots are fired rapidly and two full magazines can be shot from a single fill of gas.


Hop-up adjustment wheel (arrowed)

Out of the box, my PPQ M2 had a very irritating tendency to allow the loaded BB to roll out of the front of the barrel if the pistol was held pointing even slightly downwards. However, a couple of clicks on the hop-up adjustment cured this. No tools are required to adjust hop-up, just remove the slide and turn the knurled wheel under the barrel. On occasion the slide also failed to lock back on empty, but to be fair this may also improve with use.

And it’s lefty friendly too…

I don’t assign points for replicas which can be set up for left-handed use, but if I did, the PPQ M2 would score, oh I don’t know, maybe an additional gazillion points here. You see, I’m a lefty and this is the first replica I have tried (there are probably others, but I haven’t found them) that supports full left handed configuration without spending additional money. Ambidextrous pistols are fairly common in the firearms world, but for some reason very rare in the replica world – I have lost count of the replicas I have owned which have had non-functioning slide release catches on the right side. I knew that this replica had a working ambidextrous slide release, but I was a little disappointed to see the magazine release only on the left side. However, some background reading suggested that the mag release on the original pistol is reversible and that the magazine has cut-outs to allow the catch to be used on either side. One of the first things I checked on the replica was to see if this was accurately modelled, and I was delighted to find that it was.


The theory of swapping the release button over is simple – a grub screw is removed which allows the two halves of the mag release assembly to be separated and removed, and it’s simply reassembled the other way round. In practice, it’s a little fiddly. You need to remove the mag and slide and then use a long, 0.9mm hex key to remove the grub screw, which lives at the bottom of a long channel and is rather difficult to see.


The grub screw is very long and has to be completely removed before the two halves will separate. And putting it all back together takes a lot of squinting into the mag well to get everything lined up. But it makes such a difference. Lefties of the world rejoice! For the first time, you can shoot a replica without having to juggle it from hand to hand.


Right handed shooters just won’t appreciate how good this looks.

Quality and reliability 10/15

The Umarex Walther PPQ M2 appears to be very well made and finished, especially for a pistol in this price range – I paid just €100 (around £84/$135) for my PPQ M2. The polymer frame and grip are robust and there is no flex or creaking when you grip the pistol. The finish on the slide is a very good match for the plastic frame, which helps the components look as if they belong together. Attention to detail is very good indeed in looks and function.


I had no misfeeds or failures to fire with my PPQ M2, once I had stopped BBs from rolling out of the end of the barrel by adjusting the hop-up. The slide did fail to lock back on empty on a couple of occasions. Overall I’m not aware of any reliability issues with this replica, and VFC have a good reputation for the reliability of the other airsoft guns they produce.


OK, so after shooting around 300 rounds with the PPQ M2, the slide now fails to lock back on empty.  As you’ll have read in the review. it was always a bit temperamental, but it now never locks back after the last BB is fired.  It will lock back if you manually rack the slide with an empty magazine, but not while shooting.  With the slide off, everything looks as it should, and I haven’t dropped it or anything stupid, so I can’t tell why it has stopped working.  The question is: what should I do now?  Do I just accept that’s how it is?  Do I contact the German supplier where I bought the gun?   Do I try talking to Umarex?  In the spirit of providing useful information for readers of the Pistol Place, I think I’ll try talking to the supplier first.  I have never done this before, but it’ll be interesting to see what they say.  Surely it’s reasonable to expect a replica, even a relatively low cost replica, to work for longer than that?  In the meantime, I have amended the score for the PPQ M2 accordingly, and I’ll keep you up to date with my efforts to get it fixed.  Watch this space!

Overall Impression 13/15

I like pistols which are good functional and visual replicas of the original firearms, and this is about as good as it gets in both respects. It’s also a good enough shooter to be fun for target shooting, which is what I’m looking for.

And it just feels good when you pick it up. Despite the light weight, there is nothing toylike about this replica. The grip fits my hand very well and the whole pistol feels well balanced and tight. Nothing rattles or wobbles and all the controls work crisply and well.


I might have liked a little more weight (though it’s actually close to the weight of the firearm version) and perhaps it would have been better if the brass inner barrel was recessed more deeply, but otherwise I’m very happy with my PPQ M2. The fact that I also finally have a replica that supports left handed shooting is the icing on the cake, and I can see that this is a pistol that I’ll be using a great deal.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive pistol which is also a good action shooter and an accurate replica, you can’t really go wrong with the Umarex Walther PPQ M2.

Total score: 86/100 (unless you’re left-handed, in which case you should add a whole pile of extra points)

Pros and Cons


  • Functionally and visually accurate replica with good markings.
  • Decent shooter.
  • Can be set up for left or right handed use.
  • Well made and finished.
  • Low cost.


  • Maybe a little light.
  • Visible moulding seam under the barrel/trigger guard.
  • Brass inner barrel could be better hidden.
  • Slide locking failed after around 300 shots (see update)

Total score: 82.5/100

Video review

Related pages

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 update

Umarex Walther CP99 review

Umarex Walther CP99 Compact review


You can buy this pistol at Pyramid Air here.


Walther PPQ M2 on the Umarex web site

Walther website