The very first airsoft gun review we ever wrote here at Airsoft Rifle was for the Elite Force MP7A1 AEG, manufactured by VFC. It was at the time a brand new release, and a source of some controversy in the airsoft community. Something we wanted to include, but did not have the resources for at the time was a comparison to it's gas blow back predecessor, the MP7A1 Gas Blowback SMG by KWA.
We decided to revisit that idea this week, as we review the current version of the KWA MP7A1, also distributed by Elite Force, and see if it's worth your money!
On first look, it's very hard to tell the difference between this gun and it's electric counterpart from VFC. They have the same general aesthetic and features including a monolithic top rail and folding front grip. Both guns also have the same controls, and sights are very similar as well. What sets these guns apart on the outside?
The biggest difference is size. The KWA MP7 is much smaller than the real MP7 from Heckler and Koch. As the VFC is 1-to-1 scale, this means the KWA rifle is also smaller than it's VFC made cousin. This extends to a few other things as well. You will receive less stock adjustments and less overall rail space from the KWA on the top rail, though it does include side rails (something we disliked about the VFC MP7) which is great and helps make up for some of the loss elsewhere.
The other obvious external difference is weight. Due to the gas blowback components versus AEG parts, and especially the weight difference in the magazines (which also differ in capacity, 40 for the KWA vs 110 for the VFC) the KWA MP7 ends up being drastically heavier. It is smaller and heftier, which can affect the way it feels as you run the gun in the field.
Take a look at the picture above. What do you notice that is different from a typical AEG like the ones we review here?
There's no gearbox.
This gun is a gas blowback, which is by and away the largest difference between this gun and VFC's offering. It is powered by green gas, which puts it's typical velocity between 390 and 410 FPS on average in our testing. This makes it a bit hard to shoot at some fields, but it definitely puts out enough power to be a compact outdoor game play option and products exist to lower the velocity for indoor or CQB play.
KWA also scores a winner here with accuracy, as it easily eclipses the 200 foot mark when shooting if you pair it with high grade heavy weight BBs. We found .28 to .32 gram to be the sweet spot. It keeps up in performance with the VFC AEG and even has the added benefit of a little recoil with every trigger pull. It is not as substantial as the LM4 we reviewed, but that has more to do with size than design.
We didn't have any cycling issues with this rifle, even though it was definitely cold enough to cause issues with other gas guns during our testing. This is a testament to KWA's pedigree as a producer of Gas Blowback Airsoft Guns, as they always seem to run better in cold temperatures where many guns often struggle and fail. We did run into some issues with lubrication out of the box, but if you aren't lubricating your gas guns on your own when you buy them, you aren't really treating them properly anyway. We do wish it had come a bit more lubricated, but it wasn't a huge downer.
When we reviewed the VFC MP7 AEG, we said that while we liked the gun, we simply couldn't justify the $400 price tag unless you were an explicit collector or fan of the MP7 firearm. Did the KWA MP7 fare any better?
Yes and No.
While the KWA is much cheaper, at $269.99, it has a fatal flaw inherent to it's design. It is a gas blowback, which by definition makes this a much more niche product for the end user. Whether or not this gun will be worth it to you depends on if you want a gas blow back gun and the problems they bring with as well as the extended maintenance efforts you'll have to put up with.
If you are willing to put in some work to get ultimate realism, the MP7 definitely hits the value mark. You'll get more than your fair share of performance out of the gun for your dollar, just take out a small loan to handle the cost of the magazines.
If you aren't into the Gas Blowback problems and don't need as much realism, maybe try to catch the VFC AEG on a sale instead. It's also a fantastic gun, just a bit pricy.
Want to snag your own? Click HERE.