WE F226 GBB Replica – Airsoft Replica Review
There’s a lot of commotion at the moment around a couple of new airsoft pᎥstols that have made their way into the market. However, I’d like to divert your attention to something that’s been around for a little while now. Something that you may have already overlooked. Something that might actually surprise you…
Here we have the WE F226 gas blowback replica!
On the surface, it’s just another plain old replica of world renowned manufacturer Sig Sauer’s P226, and although it has no official markings (like the Sig Sauer name at the muzzle or the model number etched across its polymer grips), it’s easily recognisable and comparable in its shape and size to the real-steel counterpart.
Sometimes secondaries can become an afterthought, only being considered once you’ve acquired most of the gear and you’ve boarded the ‘properly getting into airsoft now’ train. At this point, we’ve already spent a ton of cash on a decent airsoft rᎥfle, tactical clothing and carry rig too – so the prospect of spending yet more money on something else can be a tough one!
Out of the Box: Pros and Cons
- Stable FPS with the standard build
- Fully metal construction with realistic weight which allows for stronger gas use
- Decently Gas Efficient
- Smooth trigger pull making accurate shots easier
- Lack of safety features
- Decocking lever seems to put pressure on the polymer hand grips
- Generic GBB issue – will struggle to perform in cold weather without a stronger gas (e.g. red or black gas)
This piece, however, is well worth it. It’s full metal construction gives it a realistic weight and feel, whilst also providing a fantastic element of durability, giving you the reassurance that it’s not going to die on you after a few bumps and knocks.
The polymer grips envelop the pᎥstol grip well and are contoured to give a more comfortable fit whilst holding, which comes in handy when you start shooting as that metal slide gives it an awesome kick when you pull the trigger.
The power output of this tidy little secondary is decent , pushing a somewhat standard 290fps with 0.2g BB’s used along WE’s own high performance green gas. It goes without saying that there will be variations on power output when you use different weight bb’s or different types of gas, as well as considering the environmental conditions – gas blow back systems are notorious for not working properly in overly cold conditions, which is probably its main disadvantage.
The last thing you want is your replica gassing out when you’re head to head with the enemy team… I’m sure you know what happens next.
When the time comes to pull the trigger and the replica is already cocked – you’ll find it to be a light, smooth pull that doesn’t require much effort at all. Even the double action trigger pull isn’t particularly difficult, meaning it can be operated with great accuracy.
When you’re shooting, the response from the slide is crisp, clean and fast and the workings of this sidearm are fairly efficient, having the capacity for more than enough gas to empty its 24 round magazine with enough gas left to lock the slide back. Finally this airsoft pᎥstol is semi automatic, so one trigger pull is one shot so it can essentially shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Like most airsoft replicas, it has an adjustable hop up. Located on the underside of the breech, it is accessible for tweaking when the slide assembly and main frame are separated and is easy to adjust depending on your gaming needs at the time.
When it comes to safety, this airsoft pᎥstol has no external safety catch or trigger safety mechanism, so to prevent negligible discharge you have to be extremely vigilant on properly unloading and clearing the replica when not in use.
Also make sure to get into the habit of exercising trigger discipline – employing the basic but effective form of “keep your booger hook off the bang switch” until you’re ready to fire. Brushing up on a working knowledge of safe handling, I would say, is essential before adding this to your armoury – and don’t forget the eye protection, even when you’re just testing it out in the back garden.
Two aspects that can be considered as safety features are a three position hammer and a de-cocking lever which allow you to release the hammer from the “ready to fire” position to a “safe position” that doesn’t impact the gas valve. This saves you from that rather annoying negligible discharge.
The iron sights that this model is equipped with as standard are in the simple yet functional category, and are more than fit for purpose in regards to indoor and outdoor skirmishing. The iron sights can be upgraded, should you choose to swap them out for something like fibre optic iron sights, allowing for better target acquisition in low light conditions.
Recommended Inner Barrel
Other upgrades you might consider may include swapping out the standard 6.08mm inner barrel for a 6.01mm tightbore barrel to provide even greater accuracy on the field. Just remember this will increase the FPS output due to higher compression!
Recommended Hop-Up Rubber
As with most airsoft replicas, the hop rubber can also be upgraded. For this model, I’d recommend upgrading to a Maple Leaf Monster hop rubber to boost the replica’s overall range.
Recommended Short Stroke Kit
There’s also short stroke kits available that, once installed, prevent the slide from being racked all the way back when a shot is fired, meaning less gas is expelled from the magazine between shots, reducing your wait time between shots and generally being more efficient on gas usage. The downside of this is that the slide won’t go back far enough to lock back when the magazine is empty, so you’d have to count your shots as you fired them.
Written Summary of Pros and Cons
The positives of this replica are a strong majority – it’s well built, sturdy, and efficient. Its out of the box performance is amazing and doesn’t require any upgrading or tweaking (other than the hop up) to be used for skirmishing straight away and it’s pretty darn accurate considering its price.
The most notable negative aspect is the lack of safety features. Having no external safety catch or trigger safety mechanism can result in serious injury if you don’t implement safe airsoft replica handling procedures when using this replica.
Let’s be realistic though, when we’re handling RIFs, that should be something we’re doing anyway…
As mentioned before, colder temperatures can affect gas blowback systems making them less efficient or causing them to run gas out entirely. My advice for this would be to use red gas in colder conditions. Red gas is optimised for gas blow back systems which enables them to perform within temperatures 2 and 10 degrees C.
The final negative is to do with the decocking lever – it seems to put pressure on the polymer hand grips whilst decocking, causing them to push apart ever so slightly at the back. However, it’s not something that affects its functionality or performance as it just clicks straight back together. You can barely even notice it unless you’re looking for it!
Specs and Features
|FPS: approx. 290|
|Effective Range: approx. 50 metres|
|Recommended BB weight: 0.25|
|Inner Barrel Length: 96.8mm|
|Inner Barrel Diameter: 6.08mm|
|Power Source: Gas|
|Recommended Gas: Green Gas on warm days (above 10c), Red or Black Gas on Cold Days (below 10c)|
|Construction: Metal frame and slide, polymer grips|
|Rail: 20mm underside accessory rail|
|Weight: approx 1kg|
|Average Price: £89.99|
Comparison to similarly priced replica
I have a KJ Works Glock 23 airsoft replica which is located in a similar price bracket to the WE F226 and the difference is astounding. The F226 out performs the G23 on so many levels. It’s construction is way sturdier, it has greater accuracy and better range and is much more economical when it comes to gas usage. On the whole, it’s a better replica all round.
Overall, the WE F226 is, in my opinion, a tremendous bit of kit and when you can pick one up for around £89.99, there’s little to argue with.
I would recommend this sidearm to players who are perhaps more confident in their replica handling due to its rather short list of safety features.
If you’re not very familiar with the safe handling of replicas or you’ve never played airsoft before and you’re reading this thinking of your first airsoft replica, make sure you educate yourself before purchasing one of these.
If you get the chance to try one, do it – you won’t be disappointed!