Something wicked this way comes, but it's fairly unassuming when you first open the box. The Echo 1 Wolfsbane pistol is a jazzed up 1911 Gas Blow Back pistol, packed with a few extra goodies in the box. We're here to answer the eternal question that has plagued werewolf hunters since the dawn of the airsoft gun... Is it worth the money?
The moment you open the box for the Echo 1 Wolfsbane, you are greeted with what seems like every other gas blowback pistol you've ever purchased. There's a foam lining, a magazine in it's own secluded portion, and the pistol, which to the naked eye looks like a normal gas blowback pistol.
It is not until you dig further in, that you realize this may yet be something special. That magazine is an extended mag, which holds 31 rounds, they've included a special tool for dissasembly, that definitely is not required but is very handy to have, and then the thing that sells the look of this unique blaster: The compensator.
Before we take the pistol down, to rebuild it in the way it should have been all along, we decided to pull some statistics. Our specific model for review chronographed in between 300 feet per second and 307 feet per second, with an average of about 305 feet per second on Elite Force .20g BB's, the standard we use for every test. Accuracy was comparable with the Army Armament 1911 we tested a few weeks ago, which makes sense, considering they are the OEM for this pistol as well. We had no issues hitting man-sized targets at 50 feet, any farther than that with most handguns is beyond the ability of many shooters, but the accuracy of this pistol suggests it's definitely possible.
The compensator is actually incredibly easy to install, as long as you are comfortable field stripping the pistol as seen in the above photo. To install the pistol, after you have removed the barrel assembly, simply reinstall everything using the compensator as your barrel bushing, instead of the barrel bushing, and reassemble as normal.
This is a good opportunity to talk about internal components as well. It is nigh identical on the inside to the Army Armament 1911 we reviewed previously, so much so that we almost wanted to pass on this gun. They shoot almost identically, and differ primarily in the aesthetics and included extras. That being said, the gun is built well, just as the Army Armament model is, and everything feels tight and solid when assembled. There was no unnecessary wobble or flex, and it led to a very tight responsive shooting experience.
The biggest differences between this gun and the Army Armament 1911 it's based on is it's unique look and feel. This gun has a ton of laser etched text and graphics over the slide, and the inclusion of the behemoth compensator on the front end really makes this gun stand out. The lines on the compensator all line up with the curvatures of the slide and frame, and make the whole gun feel like one unified, well designed replica and not some happenstance bundle package you might have found several years ago.
The checkering on the grips provides a nice texture, and with the heatwave going around at Airsoft Rifle HQ right now, it gave me a good sweaty opportunity to test it, and even with a bunch of draw-and-fire drills from a holster, I didn't find myself losing my grip or slipping around during the draw, which was a nice touch.
Recoil is crisp and snappy, and while not overtly forceful, you definitely get the required tactile feedback when you pull the trigger. The reset is a bit understated for my taste, and isn't as prominent as you would find on something like a KLI Hi-Capa or an Elite Force GLOCK model, but it gets the job done, and the throw on the trigger is so short that it's really not necessary.
The flat face of the trigger took some adjustment, as a huge Glock shooter, I prefer a more pronounced curve, but it strikes a very specific visual chord and looks great, and wasn't necessarily a negative, so much as a point of preference for me to have a curved one instead.
In fact, I only really have one major grievance with the pistol, and that's the magazine release. While I appreciate the addition of the oversized magazine release button, it desperately needs to be accompanied by a stiffer release spring in the mechanism. The giant face of the button makes it way too easy to accidentally drop the magazine. In fact, laying the pistol down on the magazine release side will activate the button, and release the magazine, causing an issue. This is a unique phenomenon not present on any other gun I've tested to date for Airsoft Rifle, and it's the one thing that sours the experience at all. The worst moments in airsoft come from drawing your rifle or pistol, only to realize you dropped your magazine a hundred feet back and get shot. If a Wolfsbane version 2 ever gets made, this is the one thing I'd make a point to fix.
Is this gun worth the money? Should you add this to your collection? Well, in this case, the answers for these questions come with some qualifiers.
Is this gun worth the money? Yes. At $125 on Airsoft GI This gun shoots in a matter acceptable for it's price range, and includes some extras that make it worth more than the other models on the market that are similar. Overall, we were more than pleased with the gun's performance and features. Should you add this to your collection? That depends on if you really need another 1911. This gun is cool, sure, but at the end of the day it IS just another 1911. It's not an innovative game-breaking gun, it's not the most high performance pistol on the market. What it is, is a unique, stylish pistol that upholds the necessary standards of quality while staying at an affordable price. If you have the slightest inclination towards adding this gun into your arsenal, you should do it, but if it's not striking your fancy aesthetically, you won't be missing out. Overall, it's a worthwhile gun, and anyone who buys one isn't going to be making a bad choice. It looks cool, it shoots great, and overall we've been very happy with it. You can't expect every gun to be the next new innovative thing, but this gun definitely meets its marks for quality and performance, making it a worthy addition to your collection should you choose to add it. If you'd like to add one of these to your arsenal, click HERE