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


Cybergun Smith & Wesson M&P 9c


As you’ll know if you have read the review (link at the end of this article) I really liked the 6mm Walther PPQ M2 produced by VFC for Umarex. I looked around to see what else VFC have done, and found the S&W M&P in full size and compact versions, produced for Cybergun. I really like compact pistols and I rather like Smith & Wessons, so finding the next pistol to review wasn’t difficult. But would it be as good as the Walther? Well…

Real steel background

By the late 1980s, Smith & Wesson was in decline. Gun sales, especially in the lucrative US market, were relatively flat. Military and law enforcement agencies, the traditional market for S&W revolvers, were looking to swap their revolvers for semi-automatic weapons and Glock and Beretta were taking large chunks of the market away from S&W. By 1986, profits were 41% down compared to 1982. In 1987, S&W was bought over by British firm Tomkins PLC.

In 1994, S&W released their first polymer framed semi-automatic pistol – the generally unfavoured Sigma. In 1997 the firm were sued by Glock for trademark infringement which led to a multi-million dollar payment to Glock and modification of the Sigma. So there was a lot at stake when S&W started development of an all new semi-auto pistol intended primarily for law enforcement use in the early 2000s.


S&W M&P 9mm

The outcome in 2005 was the S&W M&P series of semi auto pistols. Although these may look similar to other hammerless, polymer framed, short recoil operated, locked breech pistols, there are actually a couple of important differences. First of all, rather than being all polymer, a stainless steel chassis is cast inside the grip and frame. Providing, S&W claim, the lightness and good ergonomics of a polymer framed pistol with the strength and durability of a steel design. The design of the stainless steel slide is also different as the slide runs on four ovoid metal blocks at the corners of the frame. The M&P was initially available chambered for 9x19mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W cartridges and with barrel lengths from 3″ – 5″. In 2007 a version chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge was released with a 4.5″ barrel.


S&W M&P 9c

In 2006 the M&P Compact was released, featuring a shorter grip, smaller magazine and 3.5″ barrel. The Compact version is functionally, technically and visually similar to the full size M&P. Like the full size version, the Compact is provided with a steel reinforced polymer frame and is available chambered for 9x19mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W cartridges.

The Cybergun Smith & Wesson M&P 9c

The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is a replica of the 9mm compact version of the S&W M&P pistol. This is a gas powered, blowback, 6mm replica featuring a metal slide, polymer frame and grip (though without a steel chassis) and with full S&W markings. Cybergun also offer a full-size S&W M&P. The Cybergun S&W M&P 9C and the full size M&P are manufactured in Taiwan by Vega Force Company (VFC).


There are a couple of other version of the M&P available in 6mm: KWC produce a version of the full-size M&P and WE Tech produce the Big Bird and Little Bird, which look very similar to the full size and compact M&P but aren’t licensed. And, by the way, a note to whoever chooses the model names at WE: Come on guys, “Big Bird” and “Little Bird” may sound fine in Taiwanese, but in English these are just really stupid names for guns, OK? Umarex also do two CO2 powered replicas of the M&P: the 4.5mm BB shooting M&P 40 and the .177 pellet and 4.5mm BB shooting M&P 45. Neither of the Umarex versions feature blowback.


Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 14 BBs

Propellant: Airsoft gas

Barrel length: 3″

Weight: 580g

Overall length: 170mm

Sights: Front: fixed, blade, white dot. Rear: Windage adjustable, notch, white dots.

Action: SA only

Packaging and presentation 2/5

The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c comes in a rather plain card box and features the pistol, one magazine, two alternative backstraps and a short user manual.

sw2My M&P 9c arrived with an orange plastic tip glued in place. This was easily removed, but note that these orange tips are a legal requirement in some areas, so don’t remove this without first checking that this is OK where you live.

sw6This replica also comes with a small plastic bag containing some very tiny parts. There is a serial number plate (featuring what appears to be a unique serial number) and inserts for the front and rear sights. The sight inserts take the form of very small, opaque circular white inserts, and really tiny transparent inserts which fit inside these. Why VFC don’t just fit these at the factory, I can’t imagine. Take great care when fitting – one sneeze and they’re gone! Oh, and you also get a magazine insert which allows the pistol to be fired without BBs and without the slide locking back.


My M&P 9c arrived totally lacking any lubricant and required a full lube before the slide would cycle reliably.

Visual accuracy 10/10


S&W M&P Compact (above), Cybergun S&W M&P Compact (below)

Like the VFC Walther PPQ M2, this is about as good as it gets for visual accuracy. The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is indistinguishable from the original firearm. Every line and contour of the original are replicated and all markings are precisely the same as on the original. There is nothing here that isn’t on the original -no “F” mark for the German market, no “Cal. 6mm“. Look, I particularly hate white safety text printed on my replicas, but even the safety text here (CAUTION CAPABLE OF FIRING WITH MAGAZINE REMOVED”) printed on the right of the slide is a copy of the text on original. Even the inner barrel is deeply recessed and difficult to see. I don’t see how you could have a better visual replica than this – full marks

Functional accuracy 14/15

At under 600g, the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is light, but its small size makes the weight seem reasonable and it has very good balance. And it’s only around 20g lighter than the (unloaded) cartridge version.

sw9The slide moves through a full range of travel and locks back on empty. Both left and right slide release catches work (after a little modification – see the Quality and Reliability section below for more information). The takedown latch works as per the original. The S&W M&P 9c has no manual safety and can’t be de-cocked, once it is cocked, the only way to decock is to discharge the pistol without gas in the magazine.


The magazine latches and releases as per the original. The trigger is a good replication of the original, with a short, light action. Even the two-piece trigger safety works as it should. If you try to pull the upper part of the trigger only, the pistol will not fire.

This is a very, very good functional replica and would make a useful training and practice weapon for users of the firearm version.

Shooting 28/40

Whether it shooting BBs or bullets, a pistol with a short barrel is generally going to be less accurate than a pistol with a long barrel. Part of the reason is that the longer barrel gives the projectile more time to stabilise, making flyers less likely. But the main reason is that the sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sights) is smaller on a short barrelled pistol. The shorter the sight radius, the harder it is for your eyes to detect minor changes in the position of the front sight. The S&W M&P 9c has a sight radius of just 140mm. Combine this with a 3″ barrel, and it’s clear this isn’t going to be winning any accuracy prizes.


However, a small number of compact pistols have a grip that fits my hand perfectly, and the the S&W M&P 9c falls in to this category. The front of the grip is just long enough to allow a good grip with all my fingers, and the shorter rear of the grip has a curved end which fits precisely into the hollow of my palm, at the base of my thumb. The result is a pistol which seems to lock in to my hand perfectly, making it a pleasure to grip and shoot.

The blowback on this replica is strong and snappy, making it feel more powerful than it is. The sight inserts, though fiddly to fit, are easy to acquire and the sight picture is very good indeed. The result is a pistol that will shoot 2″ groups at six yards, which isn’t bad, though it does shoot about 1½” low with 0.20g BBs. However, it excels at rapid fire snap shooting, which does spread the groups out a little. It also locks back reliably on empty and (now that I have fixed the slide release – see the Quality and Reliability section below for more information) is completely ambidextrous. The magazine holds just 14 BBs (the manual says 16, but it’s not actually possible to squeeze more than 14 into the stubby loading chamber).


Ten shots, six yards, 0.20g BBs, free standing

Target downloaded from: http://umarexboysclubforum.myfineforum.org/index.php

One of the things that really surprised me with the S&W M&P 9c was gas efficiency. With a relatively small size mag, I had expected two mags worth (28 shots) per fill. Maybe. What I got (at around 70°F and using Umarex Elite Force airsoft gas) was 55 – 60 full power shots per fill, with maybe 5 or six more before it ran out ofpuff. After around 50 shots, power and accuracy were dropping, but still, that’s almost four mags worth of full power shots from a single fill of a short, stubby magazine. Highly impressive.

Quality and reliability 9/15

There some really nice detail touches on the S&W M&P 9c. I like the unique serial number, the slide casting is very good indeed and the distinctive serrations are well replicated and crisply moulded. The outer barrel and slide rod are metal rather than plastic and the front sight is drifted in place rather than moulded. The finish on the slide is nicely done (though I don’t suppose it’ll be any more durable than the finish on any other Taiwanese replica) and matches the finish of the polymer frame very well. The alternate rubberised backstraps are a nice feature and ensure a good grip for most hand sizes and the sight inserts work very well. The finish on the slide looks reasonably durable and matches the finish on the frame and grip.


However, there are things that just aren’t done well. Take the ambidextrous slide release for example. As a lefty, this is important to me, and it’s one of the reasons I bought this pistol. The internal mechanism appears to be faithfully modelled on the original, and should work on both sides. However, the operating arms and the sear which engages with the notch in the slide are made of plastic, and if you try to use the control on the right side of the gun, the whole arrangement flexes so much that it fails to release the slide. Looking on-line, most owners report the same thing (most other reviews actually describe the right-hand slide release as “non-functional“, which is sort of correct, but it certainly isn’t designed to be that way!), so I don’t think this is just a fault with mine. I find this very disappointing. What’s the point in spending time and money designing and manufacturing a feature to work, then executing it so poorly that it can’t possibly function? Beats me. It’s easily fixed (I’ll post a how-to article if anyone is interested) but it shouldn’t need to be.

And what about the outer barrel? It’s threaded, presumably to take a silencer, but the process of threading has caused the front 15mm or so to bulge slightly on mine, occasionally making it bind in the slide which fails to move fully forward. It’s also notable that the hole in the slide is oval rather than round, which is evident when looking at the front of the pistol and may be part of the reason it shoots low. And the magazine release is a one-piece plastic moulding which feels as if it’s made of the same soft plastic that was used on my Airfix toy soldiers back in the 1960s. These things don’t ruin this replica, but they do make me wonder if testing and quality control are concepts VFC are familiar with. And using plastic parts in hard-used components like the slide and magazine releases makes me question how long it will all keep working?

This isn’t a terrible quality replica by any means, but my feeling is that it’s not up to the standard of some other modern Taiwanese replicas and it certainly isn’t as good as, for example, the Walther PPQ which VFC also make. This seems as though it has been built down to a price to make a good visual replica but without ensuring efficient, reliable and long-lasting function.

Overall Impression 12/15


Size comparison with the Umarex Walther PPQ M2

If replicas were dogs, this would be a Jack Russell puppy – small, a little ugly and a bit snappy, but kind of cute and lots of fun. Quality isn’t always fantastic and it’s not the most powerful or accurate shooter. But visually it’s indistinguishable from the cartridge version and it fits my hand perfectly. High quality, precision tool? No. But lots of fun all the same.


As noted above, I have mixed feelings about the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c. It has a couple of faults (the poor fit between outer barrel and slide, the bulge in the outer barrel and the non-functioning right hand slide release, for example) which could and should have been sorted before it left the factory. It’s also fairly light, I worry about how long some of the internal plastic components will last and the full-auto mode seems like a pointless gimmick.


And yet, here’s the thing – I like it and enjoy shooting with it far more than the score below might suggest. It’s my go-to gun when I want a quick blast of airsoft therapy. It seems to fit my hand very well indeed and it’s just such fun to shoot. Snappy blowback, very good gas efficiency and just about enough power and accuracy to be lots of fun. I also like the way it looks – it’s difficult to see how you could have a more visually accurate replica. So, I’ll probably have to leave you to make your own decision on this one. If you like compact pistols, try handling and shooting one of these. If it feels as good to you as it does to me, you may want one despite its faults. If not, well, the VFC Walther PPQ M2 is still a fine replica…

Total score: 75/100


You can buy the S&W M&P 9c at Pyramid Air here.

Video review

Related pages:

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review

WE Bulldog (PX4 Storm) review


S&W M&P 9c on the Cybergun site