The Bare Facts
Naturally, we are dealing with a 6mm gas blowback replica of the Glock G17 Gen 5. It has a magazine capacity of 25 rounds and that will pump out plastic at a measured 300 fps or over on green gas, using 0.2g BBs (more on this later). It has an adjustable hop-up and a metal slide.
With the WE G17 Gen 5, you’ll be looking to paying around £110 to £120 for this pistol with spare magazines coming in at the usual price of £25 to £30 which let’s be honest may be a little expensive when you compare those prices to some leading competitors in the GBB market.
In the box, you get a generic all-in-one manual, two pistol back-straps for a tailored fit, some spare body pins, a gas magazine and of course the WE G17 Gen 5 itself – wrapped in a plastic bag like it’s just been used in a downtown LA drive-by.
I was actually surprised to find that there were no cheap testing BBs inside.
The manual includes an additional model-specific exploded diagram inserted into the pages. It’s all-in-all was pretty vague, however, I appreciated the sentiment none the less. For newer players or people who are not particularly Glock literate, it is a fairly useful little guide on the working parts of your airsoft Glock.
However surprisingly, it does not show you how to do two of the most important aspects of owning a gas pistol – maintenance and hop-up adjustment. For a beginner, these are pretty crucial bits of information that I feel should be included.
The included additional backstraps mean that the pistol should fit almost any hand type, although the addition of extra body pins is interesting – not something I’ve seen before.
I was truly rooting for the WE Glock 17 Gen 5 but it disappoints on first impression. The box is dull and you can tell straight away it would quickly find its way to the bottom of my recycling bin. The plain-black appearance and uninformative structure leave a lot to be desired. You may think I am being a little harsh here. Afterall, it’s just a box. But when the model and colour of the gun are put on the box with stickers, it speaks to the quality of the overall RIF.
The inside of the box is a cost-cutting exercise that resembles an egg box that you might find on your local supermarket shelf with that nasty chalkboard feel, it does, however, serve its purpose of keeping the gun secure and safe.
The box does not betray the fact that this is not a premium, top-of-the-line product.
Out of the box, there isn’t a scratch on this thing which is a good start. The pistol feels good in the hand with solid weight and tactile stippling on the grip which grabs your hand to create a secure hold.
The pistol itself is true to its real counterpart, with “working” trigger safety, mag release (duh) and ambidextrous slide release. If you are a stickler for detail then the lack of trades will grind your gears as there isn’t a realistic marking as far as the eye can see.
The frame’s plastic construction feels realistic and not like cheap plastics found on other affordable pistols. The metal slide is a nice addition, although its quite obviously manufactured from a cheaper metal. Having handed this replica over to a friend who’s fired real Glock 17s in the past, he commented on the realistic weight, dimensions and overall feel.
It feels good!Friend who’s fired a real Glock 17
Initial impressions of the pistol itself are good for such a budget piece, but there are a few quality problems off the bat. The slide is a little wobbly, but nowhere near as bad as some of WE’s older models. It makes it feel a little cheap and without a doubt, has an impact on accuracy.
The trigger safety is useless – rarely springing back to the “safe” position. The mag release, whilst perfectly functional, can get stuck inside the grip if depressed without a magazine in the pistol.
The metal parts at a glance have a better finish than expected and it feels well finished. The additional weight and durability of a metal slide is a welcome addition. However, after just 2 skirmishes some clear scratches and scuffs have become apparent. After more skirmishes, I have no doubt that this pistol will look battle-hardened. This doesn’t take away from the benefits of a metal slide but will harm the already limited resale value.
Let’s look a little more in-depth.
The Lower Receiver
Firstly lets talk about the pistol lower. The polymer used for the lower feels of good quality and it’s going to put up with a fair amount of torture. It’ll certainly cope with any lights, lasers and gubbins you may stick on it without big chunks being gouged out of it.
The grip itself has some fairly prominent stippling which grips your bare hands extremely well and I can imagine it would be useful on those wetter British days that we are all too familiar with. The stippling, however, is completely ruined by ugly WE trademarks on both sides of the grip. It will bother a lot of people – including me and Liam – because it takes the replicas authenticity and lays a huge steaming turd on it.
The trigger feels quite wooden – a common complaint in even real Glock. So, you could call it a realistic trigger?
As mentioned, the trigger safety, is less-than useless. More often than not, it’s fully engaged, even without a finger on the trigger, rendering it absolutely useless.
The slide is full-metal which is arguably a positive for realism, feel, weight and durability however, after our limited testing, it’s already beginning to show flaws.
First appearances were of a well-casted aluminium with an anodized finish but it’s quickly losing that original look. After just a few outings with the WE G17, it’s scratched and scuffed to high heaven. If you like your pistols looking clean, pristine and like-new, you had best not take this one out of the box.
The slide again lacks any Glock trademarks but has some WE markings on the plastic outer barrel. Again it would have been good to see Glock trademarks on the replica, however, Glock are notoriously picky about who they license to and is a natural cost-saving measure to bring this pistol in at such a low price.
The sights are basic Glock sights, nothing to write home about. They’re on the slide good-and-propper. No chance of them coming off in a hurry, which may be a pain if you want to swap them out for higher quality ones.
The magazine is, at a glance, good quality with no unwanted rattles or wobbles. It’s metal, heavy and has ABS follower and feed lips that you will find on pretty much every other gas blowback magazine.
The magazine base plate is made of fairly cheap plastic but so far there has been no issues with it. I will add that I
was pretty careless did some user-testing and dropped it onto some loose rock and we had no problems there.
There has been no unwanted leaks or feed issues yet but only time will tell. Our testing shows that the magazine’s gas reservoir holds enough gas for a little over two magazines worth of BBs. A vast improvement on some of WE’s older systems.
Unfortunately, after being so positive about the gun’s magazine I must now move onto the magazine release. Firstly I will say I love the shape on the Gen 5 magazine release as its a large rectangle which grabs your thumb, it is ergonomically fantastic. The workings of the release, however, leave something to be desired, the slightest knock and your magazine will be buried underneath the pine needles at your favourite site before you know it. The button is extremely easy to depress and the magazine doesn’t insert into the gun with much authority. That’s a bit of a pain in the arse…
The bang switch is adequate, it feels a little crunchy, clunky and disjointed. Its the trigger equivalent of a stale Dorito but it being a Glock I wasn’t expecting a lot.
It could use a good degrease and re-grease I think but for a Glock trigger, it certainly does the job. The reset is a little inconsistent and not overly positive. The biggest gripe I have about it is that the trigger safety does not reset correctly and it sticks fairly often, its certainly something WE should address especially as a safety concern.
So I touched on the shooting of the WE earlier on in this review but let’s get down to the serious stuff will the negatives be outweighed by this handguns performance?
Range & Accuracy
I said this pistol would shoot 40 metres earlier on in the review and it does. With the hop-up bedded in a little more, there’s no reason why this pistol isn’t going to reach out to 50-60m.
Its range is all well and good, but if it doesn’t get there accurately, it’s pointless.
On 0.25g BBs, the WE G17 Gen 5 was easily hitting human-sized targets out to 25m like a laser. Further out, the BBs do begin to deviate, and it’s going to take a few follow-up shots to bring those hits in.
The hop worked flawlessly and took my little white balls to their target. It has to be said that on this day it was easily 23 degrees Celsius with minimal wind so the weather helped me out a lot.
The metal slide of the pistol gives it a good kick and doesn’t seem to hinder the gas-consumption too much. However, the additional weight of the slide does mean it’s a little sluggish compared to other Glocks, making additional shots on target a little trickier.
Naturally, a metal slide is never going to be quite as snappy as the polymer slides offered by TM, but it’s certainly no slouch and feels good in the hand.
As mentioned, on an average summers day (20ish Science Degrees) we were easily getting two magazines worth of shots out of a single charge of Abbey Ultra Gas. There were even a few shots left in it after, but not a full mag’s worth. Enough to get you out of a pinch, perhaps.
Out of the box the WE G17 shoots on average at 0.85 joules, that’s 300fps using a 0.2g BBs. Perfect for pretty much all sites in the UK.
The FPS was not as consistent as I would have liked it to be, ranging from 298.9fps at its lowest and 317fps at its peak. However, the majority of the shots were 300fps with a 5fps deviation. Not bad at all, but the odd deviation could go some way to explaining the “average” accuracy.
Praise the Lord for he hath given TM compatibility!
Tokyo Marui magazines work in the WE Gen 5 Glock which is excellent news. Typically TM magazines are of higher quality, but this also means that parts, like gas routers, should be cross-compatible.
WE Glock parts are widely available, so fixing any issues down the line should be a breeze and even for the novice shouldn’t be too complicated.
The WE Glock fits in all the holsters we had on hand to try it in – such as the Blackhawk Serpa for G17, Crye gun clip and the Warrior Universal Holster. I think it’s safe to say most Glock 17 holsters will hold the WE Gen 5 Glock…
There are a few upgrade parts available for the WE Glock series so if you are into fettling with your GBB pistols then there are offerings from Maple Leaf, RA Tech and WE themselves who offer some custom slide and barrel kits to make your pistol look extra Gucci.
Most experienced airsofters, when asked the question “What’s the Best Airsoft Pistol?”, will invariably reply that you should buy a Tokio Marui brand pistol. That advice is solid, they’re tried, tested and well respected for a reason. This pistol does not break the rule.
If price were no object and you’re looking for the best G17 airsoft replica on the market, I don’t think you’re going to find it in the WE. Build quality, performance, durability and compatibility are not the best available on the market.
However, are the cost savings of the WE G17 Gen5 worth it compared to the other options?
If you’re on a strict budget, and can’t stretch to a Tokio Marui, this is one of the very few times, where getting a WE pistol may not let you down like it once did. Sure, there are concessions to be made in almost all areas, but for a beginner airsofter or a player on a tight budget, there are, without doubt, worse pistols you can buy.