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First Look: Baba Yaga by KLI / Classic Army USA

Our friends at Airsoft GI's Texas Location, GI Tactical Texas, recently received a production sample of the brand new Baba Yaga Hicapa by KLI. We had the chance to pour over this up and down along with some other local members of the airsoft media sphere and get some great first impressions. While this is not going to be the usual formal review you get from Airsoft Rifle on a Friday, we couldn't pass up the opportunity.

When you first grasp the pistol, you immediately notice two things: the texture of the grip and the weight. This pistol has a distinct dragon scale-esque texture to the grip. It feels like you won't have to worry about losing your grip when you're dripping with sweat, but it also doesn't cut and bite into your skin the way an aggressively stippled pistol tends to do. It is also much lighter in weight than we anticipated it being from it's appearance.

From the initial grab, you start to notice the other details about the Baba Yaga. It's fiber front sight is very easy to find when you present to the pistol to target. The bronze barrel that I expected to be very distracting is actually very subdued in person, photos don't do it justice. Aiming this pistol is a real treat and a welcome change from white dots and U-notch sights found on every other combat style pistol you typically see.

The controls are easy to reach, but deliberate to activate. The safety and slide stop both had a definitive click to their actuation making you feel like you intended to do it, and not that it would ever slip on accident. Considering this is a production sample that will inevitably receive some changes to make it even better before release, I was blown away with how good it already feels.

I also brought along my Safariland ALS holster to see if it would fit. Surprisingly, it fits snug as a bug after properly adjusting the holster. The pistol is easy to firmly grip when holstered and drive to your target. Finding the sights is a breeze, and shooting this pistol is an absolute dream.

I was lucky enough to get to try this Baba Yaga sample on both green gas and CO2. Now, this is a production model, and I'd expect the chronograph results to change, but Green Gas saw an average of 285-290 FPS, and CO2 saw it creep just above 310. Admittedly, it was a rare cool day in the Texas summer, and that may have played a part. Representatives from the distributor have told us the samples likely do not truly showcase the final FPS.

It doesn't change how this thing feels when you shoot it though. Green gas, while perfectly acceptable, feels like most other Green Gas hi-capa models. Where it shines is in gas efficiency. It sneaks in many more rounds out of a fill than a standard we-tech or KJW pistols does. The big ticket was shooting this pistol on CO2.

The light yet crisp trigger on this Baba Yaga sample gave way to a thunderous report and startling recoil when loaded with CO2. While nothing even close to a proper firearm, this easily rests at the top of my list for highest recoiling airsoft guns. I definitely own a few .22lr firearms that recoil less than the Baba Yaga on CO2. It provides a very snappy and violent sense of kinetic feedback with each pull of the trigger, and honestly I was a bit worried i'd break it while I shot the pistol.

It held up plenty fine though, as I shot magazine after magazine out of this gun. I was able to average about 2 to 2.5 magazines of BB's out of the CO2 cartridge with ease, which for a nearly 30 round magazine is impressive. Accuracy was pretty fantastic as well, and while we didn't get to range test it, representatives from the distributor again told us that we should expect to be in the higher end range of pistol performance in regards to distance. I look forward to testing these claims for myself when the pistol releases to the general public in a few short weeks.

Overall, we were very impressed by the quality of the KLI Baba Yaga. For a brand many airsofters are likely unfamiliar with, in a market where it is not the only contender for your dollar, this pistol had a high bar to meet to keep us interested.

To say we liked what we saw would be an understatement. At the price point this gun will release at, along with the preorder deals available via Airsoft GI, you'd be a fool to consider any other sidearm right now.

It's a spot on shooter, with a rugged durable construction that seems like it will excel at handling abuse. We can't wait to get our hands on the final model and really abuse and stress test the final product. If you'd like to preorder your own Baba Yaga Pistol, Click HERE.

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