WE Hi-Capa 5.1 Silver Dragon Initial Review *UPDATE 02/21/06*
WE Hi-Capa 5.1 Silver Dragon Initial Review
Well, to be honest, Iím not expecting much for only $200. Personally Iím used to the quality and reliability that my Western Arms guns provide. So, in this review, Iím going to be using my WA guns as a baseline guide.
Opening the box:
When I first opened the box I noticed the lack of packaging. The gun just sits in the box and has a bit of foam beneath it. Not that it really matters but, itís something that I think is worth noting. The gun looked nice and undamaged (just the way that I like my guns.) Included in the package is the gun, a magazine, a hex key and an engrish manual.
I picked up the pistol and to my surprise, it had a decent weight to it. It was slightly lighter than my WA Infinity Excellerator but, the difference was really negligible. For the most part, the gun felt solid. There was only one loose part and that was the safety lever on the right side of the gun. (It seems like this problem effects all of the Dragons) Just use the safety on the left side of the gun and there are no problems. The rest of the gun was solid with no loose parts or rattling.
The gun looks excellent. The barrel has a nice mirror finish on it and the slide looks fabulous. For a $200 gun, I wasnít expecting the gun to look as good as it did. Having the metal slide is a nice feature but I must admit that it feels very cheap and toy like. (But again, what do you expect?) The slide action is fairly smooth in comparison with my WA guns and with a little bit of filing here and there, the WE gun could be just as smooth as itís higher priced counterpart.
Also worth a note is that the ďrailsĒ on these guns are indeed useless unless you want to do some heavy modifications. The rail is too wide to accept standard 20mm equipment. I was unable to mount my M3 or my laser onto this particular model.
Loading the gun:
Firstly, I have to note that I picked up a CO2 magazine as opposed to the regular propane type magazine that is normally included with the gun. I went with the CO2 because the magazine is internally regulated and Iíve always believed that CO2 would be more consistent in terms of total rounds that can be fired from a magazine.
The CO2 cartridge fits nicely into the bottom of the magazine and seals well once the cap has been screwed on. When trying to screw the cap on, it seems to be rather tough to do by hand. I had to dig out a wrench to snug it up tightly so that the CO2 wouldnít leak out. Itís not that big of a deal, but itís still annoying.
The CO2 magazine holds a total of 37 rounds, which is defiantly generous especially considering that a CO2 magazine only costs around $50. When loading the up the magazine another neat feature struck me. The BB feed pin actually locks at the bottom of the mag. To release the feed pin, there is a small spring loaded button. Press the button, the pin will release and youíre ready to go.
Firing the gun:
In my mind, this is where this gun failed miserably. The blowback is slow, un-crisp and very much comparable to a stock Glock 19 on duster gas. Itís not exciting to shoot in the slightest. Some may think, ďWhy not? Youíre using CO2!Ē Yes, it may be using CO2 but remember that the mag has a regulator in it. Initial pop can tests would indicate that the gun is firing around 320ish on the CO2. Exact chrono results will follow a bit later on.
Iíd heard the horror stories about how people couldnít seem to get through an entire magazine on one fill of gas with the rest of the WE series so, I figured Iíd see what happened with the Dragon. I loaded up a brand new CO2 cartridge and set out to fire. I shot off all 37 rounds as fast as I could and never once noticed a lack of power or kick from the gun. After the slide locked back and I realized that I still had gas left in the mag, I started to become more impressed. I decided to see exactly how many shots I could get off with this thing so, I loaded up some more BBís and started to do some more rapid firing. I got through another 9 shots before the gas ran out.
After going through a couple more mags the results were conclusive. I could get through 1 and a ľ mags on rapid fire. If I shot slowly and gave the CO2 a chance to warm up, I was able to get through 2 mags completely.
This is just the initial review so other things will be following as I test them out. Thereís some interesting things going on with the safety on the gun so I need to test out a few theories. Also, Iím checking into the compatibility of various TM parts. The TM mags work in these guns but they donít work very well. The issue seems to be with the follower on the mags. I canít get the slide on the dragon to lock back when using the TM mags. Pictures to follow once I take some.
I confirmed that the grip safety was not functional on the gun so I opened it up to see what was wrong. All you have to do (after removing the frame from the grip) is bend the middle of the three metal tabs back ever so slightly. After this has been done, re-insert the long black metal bar (WHILE the hammer is still in it's cocked position) back into the grip. It will be a little hard to do because of the resistance that the spring in the grip is placing on the bar but once you get it done, your grip safety will be working again. Well, mine was anyways. If anyone else has success with this method, please let me know so I can confirm. I will take pictures tomorrow to better show what Iím trying to describe.
Okay, it seems as if the CO2 mags have some critical problems. (Or else I just have really bad luck). Two of the four CO2 mags I own have malfunctioned. The two mags in question had only had 5 catridge changes on each before the seal froze up, deformed and prevented the mag from staying pressurized. I picked up some propane mags in addition so that I can see how that works.
Total rounds fired on CO2 = 1887
Total rounds fired on Propane = 60
- No signs of wear
Fun Factor: 3/5
Gas consumption: 2/5
Upgrades and options: ?/5
Bang for your buck: 5/5