Here’s a look at a gun that’s a little outside the ordinary here at The Truth About Guns: the airsoft WG M84, a copy of sorts of the Beretta Model 84.
For many years I scoffed at airsoft as a training tool.
And then I started taking some force-on-force coursework – reality based training that helps people learn how to handle the body’s physiological responses to fear and the subsequent adrenaline dump.
I soon discovered that airsoft is an affordable, safer alternative to Simunitions. There’s still plenty of pain penalty for screwing up when using the right airsoft guns – including this M84. The unpleasant sting of getting hit ensures the proper fear-based reactions from the sympathetic nervous systems and the adrenal-cortical systems in participants. At the same time airsoft guns aren’t hundreds of dollars and feeding them doesn’t cost a king’s ransom.
After a number of our GSL Defense Training instructor team had attended a host of force-on-force courses across the midwest and beyond, we launched our own last year. Part of that involved buying a large number of airsoft guns.
We saw at other schools some of the problems with “green gas” guns. Leaky seals meant frequent refills, even with guns costing $150 or more, so we opted for CO2 cartridge guns. We bought dozens and dozens of guns and accessories. We have gotten lots of surprises with both performance and reliability of the various gun models, both good and bad.
Ironically, the handgun that was the most affordable – the WG M84 – has proven itself head and shoulders the best gun in our collection.
Based upon the Beretta Model 84 .380 pistol, this M84 features all-metal construction except for the plastic, slide-on grip panels. It has a safety (which frankly we don’t use) and runs on CO2 cartridges. We paid about $35 each for them from Airsoft Megastore, and currently, they are going for about $50-55 online.
When mated up with a DeSantis Pocket-Tuk inside-the-waistband holster (including left-hand availability) ($19.99 at Midway USA) and it makes a great CCW piece for training exercises.
The literature and promotional materials rate the M84 as shooting at 550fps. I don’t have a chrono, but I wouldn’t dispute the rating. It’s significantly hotter (higher velocity) than guns rated at 400-450 fps.
How powerful is it? Don’t shoot your Weber grill with it or you’ll have a spot of missing paint and a new dimple. It breaks wine and beer bottles when you hit them head-on. And have Band-aids handy if you hit exposed skin at 30′ or less. I don’t recommend having a vehicle downrange within 20 yards of these guns, either.
As for accuracy, they won’t compete at the Olympics, but for minute-of-aggressor, they work well. Hitting a clay pigeon at 30′ is not difficult.
It’s not a “blowback” pistol – the slide does not reciprocate as with some of the higher-end airsoft guns.
We have over two dozen M84s, and about twenty are in service for our classes. They see modest use – usually about sixty pellets per class, and several classes per year. The seals have been impressive. Most of the guns held charge over the winter and we get two to three classes of use on a single CO2 cartridge.
Guns far pricier have crashed and burned during our classes, usually because of a failure of seals. Unlike the guns with the CO2 cartridge in the removable magazine, this gun seats the cartridge in the grip and that seems to work much better. These M84s have been problem free for us, and I suspect they will provide good service for you as well if you’re looking to acquire an airsoft pistol that works reliably and shoots well.
Manufacturer: Win Gun / WG
Gas: 12 gram CO2 cartridge.
Caliber / BB: 6mm Airsoft
Firing Mode: Semi-Automatic.
Action: Non Blowback.
Hopup: Yes, integrated fixed hopup.
Muzzle Velocity: 450~550+ FPS. Measured with 0.20g bb.
Package Includes: Gas Pistol, Magazine, Manual, Adjustment tool and small pack of bb.
Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds. (One Magazine included.)
Current Street Price: About $50-60
Ratings (out of five stars):
Reliability: * * * * *
It works just like it’s supposed to. Point, press trigger, pop and repeat.
Ergonomics (carry): * * * * *
It feels like a Beretta Model 84, in both size and heft thanks to the all-metal construction. Affordable holsters are readily available, including for Southpaws. Unlike all-plastic models, the heft lends to the realism of using it in FoF training.
Ergonomics (shooting): * * * *
It’s fun a to shoot DAO pistol. It handles and shoots well, as one would expect.
Customize This: *
Not sure this is something people do to airsoft pistols, aside from possibly using a rail to mount accessories. No rails for accessories on the M84. No “hop up” adjustment as it comes pre-set.
Overall: * * * *
We bought nearly a dozen different models/brands/types of airsoft guns and this one – the most affordable of all – has performed the best and given the best service. How ironic.
6mm. Not enough stopping power. You need at least an 8mm airsoft pellet for real knock down power.
Do i get to claim credit for starting the airsoft caliber wars?
Last night , I was in the Bass Pro store in San Antonio and as sure as I’m sitting here, they had a special sale tag for some Winchester .9mm! I laughed out loud, then told the staff. Quite chagrined, he shook his head as he pulled the tag down. I couldn’t resist so I said, “Damn, I bet those rounds are pretty fast.”
So, is pfft pfft the new pew pew?
You think you’re being funny, but in reality there is quite the debate on what weight pellets to use. The standard is .2 grams, but most good players have moved up to .25 and some go as high as .4.
You can always count on one thing with us guys. We’ll turn it into a dick waving contest every time.
I’ve been playing for a few years, and the heavier weight BBs definitely outperform the 0.20g ones. I use 0.30g BBs almost exclusively, and I’ll happily recommend to anyone asking that they use the heaviest BB their hop-up can handle. Better accuracy, better retained energy (makes sure they feel it when you hit them), and better penetration of brush.
Typically to get good hop with anything more than about 0.32g BBs you’ve gotta be over 400FPS with 0.20g, which most fields restrict to dedicated sniper roles.
With the “Easy operation patent grip Cover for CO2 cartridge fast replaced” it has to be good!
Airsoft guns that have full weight and all moving parts that correspond to actual models are SUPERB for basic safety training. I almost always start handgun students off with basic handling of airsoft guns if they have zero firearms experience. The student is less intimidated because there’s no chance of a negligent shooting.
They aren’t a necessity for every student, but for certain people who need a slower approach, airsoft is perfect.
So what’s up with the blue tape?
All FoF training guns get taped for easy recognition that they are non-lethal.
Are there any cases where bad guys have marked up real guns with blue paint/tape or have painted the tip orange? I’m not sure that at first glance I would trust that a gun that had hastily applied painters masking tape wasn’t real!
I can’t see California Zimmerman illegally carrying a blue taped firearm in California nor for that matter Illinois Zimmerman semi-legally carrying the same.
Guys like that just don’t use the blue tape.
Yes, there have been. I saw a law enforcement intelligence report from Memphis this spring about just that.
There have also been idiots who have spray painted orange tips on real guns.
Yes but that’s not the point for training purposes… this is to make sure everyone at training can immediately differentiate the ‘good to go’ guns from the ones that fire real rounds (which shouldn’t be in play anyway, but shit happens… too often). Hopefully you’re not training with the gangbanger down the street who decided to stick some blue tape on his gun to screw with the cops.
Yeah, well, since I asked the question, and a lot of other people also seemed to not know the answer, I think the bad guys better not be planning on slack from me, probably anyone else, unless cops are so trained. And apparently cops get so little valid training I can’t imagine blue tape being part of it. Orange tips, maybe.
Why doesn’t it have an orange tip? Does that come off?
Way to think outside the box for a review. If Clinton becomes president we need to get used to these reviews because it’s all gun stores will have.
Also, I already tried to buy one, can’t find any, bummer. Everything similar seems to claim @ 300 fps or less.
Stupid orange tip…………..
A humble request:
Can you try using a 16 gram C02 cartridge?
The dimensions are about the same (slightly larger). I heard they are used for seltzer bottles and DIY sodas. That is a potential customization and you know – more power 🙂
Airguns are coming along in terms of them being legitimate weapons themselves:
There is a whole ‘airsoft culture’ of kids who buy realistic looking airsoft rifles, current battle fatigues and equipment ‘load-outs’ specific to the type of solider they are emulating. Think of it as a Halloween costume that somebody put a tremendous amount of research and money into.
I used to think this was absurd, but I have to concede these kids are the next generation of gun owners. Not everybody has a family tradition of firearms to learn from. A few start by playing with airsoft and eventually buy real firearms when they become adults.
^This exactly. I was one of those airsoft kids who spent enough of gas pistols and AEGs to have bought a few real steel ARs. As stated I did not come from a gun or hunting family so this was the only way to experience firearms under the age of 18. Now at 30, I have over 30 real steel guns of all types and have put the airsoft in storage for when my kids are older.
Playing airsoft is a great way to garner interest in firearms, and besides, it is generally frowned upon in society to shoot at your friends with real ammo….
When I was in Grorious Nippon I stumbled into an airsoft store and found them selling real Eotechs for real Eotech prices.
An airsoft CO2 pistol can break a beer bottle? With the plastic BBs?
I guess I’ve only had CO2 BB guns (i.e. metal) and I didn’t expect the plastic ones to be able to do that.
Good call to start using airsoft stuff. It’s not going to simulate a Zaytsev-style sniper duel, but for force-on-force training, the difference between simunition and airsoft is essentially a lack of marking paint and a difference of $1 a round. Besides, a startup cost of $35 plus a couple bulbs of CO2? Glorious.
For the record, though, a blowback pistol is much nicer since you can teach a manual of arms on it. I like some of KJW’s stuff, though other budget manufacturers such as WE are stepping up their game.
I have the 4.5mm Steel BB version of this air pistol. There are several rebranded versions, like Swiss arms p84, BlackWater and I have the Crosman PFM16.
It shoots great and I’ve chronographed mine with impressive results of around 430 fps with 5 grain Hornady Black Diamond anodized steel BB’s.