KWA HK MP7 GBB
If you happen to follow my Instagram or Youtube feeds (@stewbacca117 for both) You’l no doubt have seen this in my hands for the vast majority of the games since I bought it second hand (although barely used, and with a spare magazine) off my teammate Luc back in mid January at the KUI ChangHua friendly outdoor shoot.
Since then it’s basically been my go-to-gun for all events or sites. It’s just ludicrously accurate, has a great recoil, is actually fairly lightweight to carry around all day and eminently pointable and controllable with the magazine fitted in the pistol grip and the drop down foregrip and sliding stock.
The action is fast, crisp, extremely reliable and hugely fun and loud - so much so I invested in a pair of Earmor M32 Mod1 electronic ear defenders to try and stop myself going any more deaf than I already am.
On top of the initial NT5500 (GBP 140, would be NT7040 new for the gun, about GBP175) package from Luc with all the original box, materials, gun, and two magazines (which I’ve since had serviced at KUI for a very small fee and are working like brand new in terms of gas storage/ retention and feeding) I also invested in a T1 Microdot with built in riser unit for NT1100 (GBP 30) and two more magazines (NT1280 a piece, or GBP 32 each) and besides that it’s had nothing spent on it since then really.
It functions excellently, reliably and is the most dependable of my GB guns so far - the relatively short GBB pistol like stroke of its bolt carrier group/ action means it is very responsive for follow up shots (Everywhere is semi auto only in games here anyway, although mag dumping on ranges is still hella good fun!) and the 40 round real capacity magazines feed flawlessly in my experience, as well as having excellent gas capacity and rarely failing to feed and fire every round.
It’s just immensely good fun to use and really scarily accurate since I put the T1 Microdot on it and got it zeroed in - I can take people out with single shots in many cases, thus minimising overkill and maximising mic-drop badassery ^^. The noise is also fairly distinctive so you can usually tell when I’m using mine or someone else has one on the opposite team - a very sharp and crisp air-cutting ‘bark’ akin to the real steel gun’s ear splitting report - they seem to be gaining popularity here in Taiwan; I’ve seen numerous other guys and gals at sites sporting them, particularly the KWA model, although the VFC and WE also have varied reviews and ownership here it seems.
Having had a good chat with Jonathan from Airsoftology during MOA 2017 whilst we were hanging around the VFC stand and discussing their offerings (I was still eyeing up their MP7 GBB at the time too but got the deal too good to miss from Luc in the end) he was informing me that the whole incorrect sizing within the various models arose from Marui being first to market with their AEG/AEP model years back - which I also owned and loved, as it happens, back in the UK when I was a much younger player!
Basically Marui rushed to be first to market with an MP7 variant just as the real steel ones were being released to market and still somewhat elusive and very difficult to source reference material for. Unfortunately in their haste they allegedly scaled the gun from a photo where it was being held by an atypically large gent demonstrating it, so they ended up with a somewhat mismatched weapon basing the overall sizes etc on an incorrect dimension.
Thus the Marui (and by extension the KWA and other models which were apparently based off its profile) are only about 75-80% the size of the real steel version - a very odd situation and the only gun I know of that hasn’t always been faithfully replicated aside from minor details on other guns like AK pistol grips having to be made thicker to accommodate motors and whatnot.
So the KWA and related models aren’t exactly the size they should be compared to the VFC (Developed using H&K’s own designs via Umarex’s access to them and officially sanctioned use of the trademarks etc) and the WE version apparently derived from that. That’s obviously a down side for some people although it doesn’t bother me at all as the fun factor and controllability and ludicrously accurate sustained fire it can provide make any such issues wither away from importance.
As yet I haven’t had any real issues with the MP7 besides one of the older magazines not locking the action back on empty and the two oldest ones needing a bit of extra lubrication/ one of the filler valves replacing at very little cost - besides which I just make sure I use that particular magazine last in practice, and I rarely get anywhere near that anyway, in all seriousness I could probably get away with carrying just two mags for the vast majority of games, given the pace, semi auto only nature and the fact I’m a bloody big target and thus usually end up getting taken out before the end of most games anyway - I only really get through the full 160 round compliment I carry with all 4 mags on my KUI JPC1.0 style plate carrier on the long regen games Action Bunker Taipei usually have at the end of each session just to let off a little extra steam and use everyone’s loaded ammo up!
If you are playing outside however, like my first experience using it at the ChangHua woodland (or maybe more like jungle, being on a tropical island?) site then the added magazines are probably worthwhile given the longer ranges and game times, but the accuracy is still consistent with the MP7 even out to any reasonable range you might expect an AEG carbine or similar to reach.
They really are a perfect CQB weapons platform with all of the compact, pointability and ease of carry of something like a pistol, but having the shoulder firing capability and inherent accuracy and repeatability that brings as well as plenty of real estate for mounting optics - to be fair I should mention at this point that the iron sights leave a lot to be desired from what I gathered in the brief time I tried to use them before whacking the red dot on the top rail - my experience with the WE Tech G39/G36C GBBR and KWA HK45 GBB pistol are pretty much the same; most iron sights seem to be pretty useless compared to just looking where your rounds are going in practice.
The only other thing I would mention is perhaps the left hand side bolt release catch - situated forward of the trigger and fire selector, as with some ambidextrous Glock models I’ve heard about; as the whole unit seems to flex across the gun’s axis too much trying to use the left hand bolt release when dropping the bolt with an empty magazine fitted (if for some reason you want to, rather than a fresh magazine with rounds in) is difficult if at all possible as it doesn’t disengage as positively as the right handed one which sits directly atop the magazine follower and bolt release purl - again, a minor inconvenience unless you really have to drop the bolt left handed in practice.
On the note of ambidextrousness - all the controls are ambi, with H&K’s apparently now standard pistol grip rocker style magazine release as featured in basically all of their modern pistols like the HK45, USP range and VP range - this works excellently on the MP7 and USP Compact but I have had issues with my big bear mitts actuating it accidentally on the HK45 where the control bar itself is significantly larger and contoured differently compared with other models.
There are small sling loops both front and rear on both sides, although I just use the rear left hand side one to run a single point male QD clip attachment through, which then attaches to my custom ‘floating’ Female QD clip runner on my KUI JPC1.0 style Plate Carrier - along with my WE Tech G36C and M870 pump action shotgun which have the same single point sling setups to make everything easily interchangeable and also allow ease of transitioning between right and left handed grips on all my weapons platforms. The MP7 is quite good for that given its compact frame, skeletal sliding stock and general handiness and variety of gripping options - I tend to rest my supporting hand’s thumb right up on the front sling loop because I have large hands and I find it makes the whole setup more comfortable and controllable or easy to index instinctively.
The fire selector is also present on both sides although I do find the left side control/ right thumb controlled one easier as I’m right handed and it is physically larger; the left thumb controlled one on the right hand side of the frame is cropped shorter as it has to keep clear of the ejection port in practice for the real steel gun. The fire selector itself is a tad sloppy in its movement and positive location between modes, but truth be told I tend to just leave all my airsoft guns on semi auto and rarely use mechanical safeties in lieu of proper trigger discipline and Normal Safety Procedure clearance drills on re-entering the safe zone (does the Black Hawk Down ‘Hoot’ “this is my safety” thing).
The Armalite/MP9/TMP style butterfly charging handle sits high on the rear of the frame just above the sliding stock and allows very comfortable and positive cycling of the action as well as being non reciprocating so it doesn’t get in your way at all once you’ve charged the action for the first round. The only other down side I will raise at this point is that neither the MP7 or G36C models have a manual bolt stop control - you can’t manually push the bolt release the other way like you would with a pistol’s slide stop lever, nor is there a specific button like there would be on an L85.
I’m not sure if you can even manually do it on an Armalite platform by pulling the bolt release button lever on the left hand side of the frame away from the gun as you cycle the action rearwards - but at any rate, if you want to hold the action open for any reason you basically have to run the gun dry/ insert an already empty magazine in and cycle the charging handle, or if you have fingers long enough (even I struggle with that one) reach up inside and manually press the magazine follower actuated bolt stop to do so. It’s only a minor point really but I like to play safe and treat things as if they are real steel to keep up good habits, and without real positive extraction on airsoft guns it can be a pain to clear the round in a chamber without holding the action open and using a poking device, or having to fire it off.
Maintenance in general is very easy and otherwise minimal - I’ve only had the thing apart twice since I got it, just to take the bolt carrier group out and lubricate its operating faces a little, and of course the minor magazine refits to fix a fill valve issue which was preventing a full load of gas being injected into the two older magazines and thus having them run dry before all rounds had been fired, but besides this it never seems to miss a beat or give me any complaints thus far.
The stripping procedure is fairly standard - cycle the action to cock the action and keep the hammer clear of the bolt moving rearward during removal, remove the sliding stock by extending it and then using the left hand side retainer control opposite the usual adjustment locking control on the right hand side, push out the two horizontal retainer pins then pull the whole assembly out and do whatever needs to be done, then reverse the process and do a function check to ensure proper operation - just be mindful of properly aligning the bolt catching hook on the butterfly charging handle which rides in the track on the top of the bolt carrier group and enables you to, you know, operate the working parts!
To round things off, I really can’t recommend the KWA H&K MP7 GBB enough to people - I haven’t had a huge amount of experience or heard much about the VFC or WE Tech GBB models thus far but I’m very interested to run a comparison of them all if I get the chance to, sufficed to say other members of my team and many other players at the sites I frequent seem to be happy having invested in them. I just know it’s going to work, every time, basically - in contrast I’ve had no end of trouble with my KWA HK45 and WE Tech G39/G36C GBBR in terms of general serviceability, reliability, cycling issues, misfeeds and magazine problems which I’ll address in other reviews in more depth.