Originally Posted by Emre1337
Not sure how reliable they are compared to metal slides but technically you could always buy an aftermarket metal slide for one I guess.
TM plastics are generally quite reliable - although it depends on the gun in question. If you want full metal, I'd recommend going KWA, as they're quite well built.
If you swap a plastic TM slide for a metal one, you may want to change some of the internals, too. TMs are built to cycle a lighter slide, and shoot at sub-300 FPS on duster. If you move to a heavier slide, you may want to get a stronger valve knocker (I think that's all you need? I've never had to do it), to release more gas per shot, to cycle the heavier slide.
Originally Posted by r.d.fretz
What the..... Son of a...!! I'm begining to hate pistols almost as much as I love them! Choices, options... These were invented by retailers! Those evil bastards... LOL
It's actually not too bad with airsoft. There's very few pistol models readily available in Canada, so the first thing you need to do is pick one that you like to wrap your hand around. Ask to feel what other people are running. If you've got friends with different pistols, ask if you can use their pistol for a round.
Once you figure out what you like the feel of, you can move on to researching what companies manufacture the gun - there will probably only be a few. Then research the differences between the two. Looking around online is a pain in the ass for that sort of thing, though. If you type is "is a WE hicappa crap", you'll get a lot of results saying that it is. If you search "is a WE hicappa an amazing gun", you'll get a lot of results saying how much people love it.
You can usually rely on the rule of thumb that a TM or KWA will outperform a KJW, which will outperform a WE, which will outperform most other brands. If you're looking at a rarer model (eg the SW40f), then you might need look into other companies (eg KWC), and build your own opinions.
Availability of mags and replacement parts for these less popular companies can be a big deciding factor (as Emre pointed out). Availability of accessories (basically just a holster) for a less popular model of gun is also important.
Finally, once you've made your decision, look around to see which retailers in Canada have the pistol...And hope that you find some in stock.
If you can't find some in stock, you can start asking retailers if they can import one for you, or when their next shipment from company X will be coming in.
Airsoft pistols basically boil down to the way they feel, and the way they perform (and I guess how cool they look as well). You don't have to worry about stopping power, how concealable it is, etc. Just that it feels good, and works well.