A tale of two pistols – WE F226 (P226) review

Unlike previous reviews, both myself and Jomarre, as the blog writers, both own a WE F226 (or better known as the P226), and have had two completely different experiences with the pistol, which I’ll go into later, but I’ll first cover the basic review points that are common to both our pistols.

IMG_2860

The pistol is packaged in a fairly plain affair, a simple cardboard box, with the usual polystyrene cut out to hold the gun. No fancy extras, just the pistol, one mag, and not much else. Interestingly both came with a ‘European QC Passed – Official European stock’ sticker on the outside of the box – which, as we get to the performance section of this review becomes a lot more relevant.

The QC sticker

Looks & Feel

The pistol itself is mostly an all metal affair – slide, frame and controls, with plastic grips. The pistol is a fairly heavy piece, coming in at 1.1kg, and whilst the metal is nothing outstanding, it seems to have stood up to being holstered a good few times without getting marked, so the finish appears decent.

The action out of the box felt fairly smooth. Initially there was some stiffness in racking the slide, but this has lessened quickly, and all the controls were working fine – in some older models it seems that using the decocker would result in the pistol firing, however I have not experienced this myself after testing.

In terms of holstering the pistol, both myself and Jomarre have found the pistol to be slightly oversized for real steal holsters. This was tested in a Blackhawk SERPA by myself (in which my TM P226 had fitted perfectly) and also a FOBUS holster by Jomarre.

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Performance 

The fun part. Jomarre has owned his P226 for some time longer than myself, and uses it with one of the WE Pzero extended mags, and has had no issues running this through most of the winter using some bog standard Zero One green gas, it is be used in some awful weather with temperatures probably hovering around 1-2 degrees at times. On a normal day, these pistols will put out around 280fps on a 0.2g BB, which is a typical figure of any pistol.

The performance of Jomarre’s 226 was one of the key factors into why I decided to switch from my TM to the WE (once I had decided I wanted to stick with the 226 design).

However, we now turn to my P226, which, as mentioned, was apparently quality checked. After 6/7 mags of firing, my P226 stopped chambering rounds, when manually racked or under its own steam during recoil, and was jamming BBs between the hop unit and the nozzle. After some investigation, it turns out that the piece of plastic that is under the nozzle, which picks up BBs, had snapped off (as seen below).

Broken on the left. Replacement on the right

Whilst the replacement part (including all internals) was only £10 posted, I was not expecting to need it, especially as my TM P226 had been running for a good number of years with few signs of wear on this part, let alone any sign of breaking.

With the part replaced, the pistol is back in a serviceable condition, however it has been tainted in my eyes in having the reliability that when I go to draw it, I know it’ll fire time and time again.

IMG_2864

No measured range tests have been performed, however for my purposes of use at distances at or less than 25 metres, the accuracy is acceptable. The hop is the same design as most and is accessed by removing the slide. I have found the adjustment wheel to be a little on the loose side, which has resulted in it needing to be readjusted from time to time as the recoil shakes the unit, which will impact upon the range and accuracy achieved, once set it is fine but I have kept an eye on this.

From my POV, whilst the pistol has decent enough externals, it’s performance has not lived up my expectations, and it has and will make me hesitant about stumping for a WE product again, and therefore I am only prepared to give this 6/10, however conversely, with Jomarre’s much better experience has gone for an 8/10 out of the box, or when paired with the P Virus mag, a solid 9/10.

So there we have it, two pistols that should be fairly similar to one another,  with the same ‘European QC’, but with two opposing experiences shaping our view points.

~ Adam Smith (SMIFFY)
~ Adam Smith (SMIFFY)
Sight picture, tradtional three dot.
Sight picture, tradtional three dot.
The only markings to be found on the slide.
The only markings to be found on the slide.
One of only three sets of 'trade marks' on the pistol.
One of only three sets of ‘trade marks’ on the pistol.
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