Things I liked:Looks! Power! Value! This air pistol faithfully replicates the real steel Smith & Wesson M&P. Although the externals are strictly polymer, the internals are constructed from die-cast zinc, giving the weapon a very solid feel. The weight is just enough to convince you that you are not holding a toy, but still light enough for you to shoot comfortably all day. The external details, though non-functional, are convincing in their aesthetics (disassembly lever, slide catch, ejection port, extractor lever, etc). Additionally, the CO2 puncture screw is concealed within the grip of the pistol, adding to its realistic appearance. There is even an RIS feature under the slide for the attachment of laser aiming devices.
The 19-shot magazine drops free of the grip by depressing the release button just behind the trigger guard, just like the real steel. The follower locks back, which makes loading a breeze.
The mechanism is of the double-action, translating barrel variety. It is functionally identical to the action of the Crosman C11. Pulling the trigger slides the internal barrel forward against the mainspring, and then releases it into the valve, firing the weapon. This double-action "semi-automatic" ability allows you to empty the 19-round magazine in seconds. This mechanism, by design, uses CO2 very efficiently. I was able to put nearly 100 rounds downrange before noticing any drop in power.
The sights are molded quite well. The front sight has a white dot and the rear sight features a green fiber optic filament. Though both sights are fixed, the sight picture seems to line up very naturally with respect to the overall ergonomics of the gun.
I wasn't able to chrono the M&P, but from my airgun experience, I suspect that it operates very close to the advertised 480 fps. Things I would have changed:Make no mistake: this pistol gives you plenty of value for the money. Any and all negatives I list here are minor in nature and should not dissuade you from purchasing this pistol.
The trigger leaves some to be desired. Double-action trigger pulls are inherently long and stiff, and this pistol is no exception. Where it leaves the shooter wanting is in the smoothness (or lack thereof) in the trigger pull. The trigger pull is somewhat uneven and gritty. However, this is a new pistol, so I expect it to smooth out a bit after repeated use (which it is sure to get).
Accuracy is about average for a smoothbore BB gun. I was able to hit a soda can at 25 feet fairly reliably. Beyond about 50 feet, there is marked and erratic curvature of the BB flight path, making any kind of real accuracy impossible. Please note, however, that this phenomenon is common to ALL smoothbore BB pistols, and is not unique to this weapon. Also note that I tested it with standard Copperhead BBs. Using precision BBs with higher tolerances is likely to improve accuracy. Regardless, the M&P is about as accurate as any BB pistol that I've ever shot and is perfectly suited for backyard plinking.
Sliding the grip back to install the CO2 is a bit cumbersome. It's geometry makes manipulation of the puncture screw a bit of a chore, even for fingers as slender as mine. However, as efficiently as it uses gas, you won't be changing CO2 cartridges very often.
The magazine, designed to hold 19 rounds, will actually fit 20. However, that one extra round will prevent the follower from unlocking. This means that you have to watch as you load. Blindly dumping in BBs until it is full will require you to pop out #20 afterwards.
Finally, removal of a full or partially loaded magazine will cause a single BB to fall from the grip. Although there is no single-action option, the M&P permits you to two-stage the trigger, resulting in slightly more accurate shots.
Again, I must reiterate that these are all VERY minor complaints to only the most persnickety of shooters. I still wholeheartedly recommend the M&P. What others should know:This is an immensely fun pistol and great value for the money. Uses standard 19-round drop-free magazines that readily available here on PyramydAir (stock up, you'll go through them). If you're looking for a target gun, I recommend that you keep looking. But as far as semi-auto backyard plinkers go, look no further. This is your gun.
Things I liked:Overall, the Browning Hi-Power is a wonderful little springer, both in appearance and performance.
The design is a faithful replica of the real steel version. The open ejection port, full-size magazine, functional hammer, and functional safety give the pistol a nice sense of realism. The metal decal on the chamber is a nice touch and looks quite convincing. While the pistol is almost entirely plastic in construction, the build quality seems good. And there are no unsightly screws or molding lines on the slide or frame.
The Browning's accuracy was a pleasant surprise compared to many airsoft springers. The point of impact is right where you'd expect within the sight picture, and the hop-up produces a consistent trajectory. While it is far from a tack-driver, with .20g BBs it is easily capable of hitting a soda can reliably at 30 feet.
I also found the pistol's power to be rather impressive given its slender slide. Though I suspect the advertised 290 fps is a bit of an overestimate, the Browning has enough punch to make it quite serviceable as a backup sidearm in airsoft battles.
The trigger seems to be one of the few metal components on the pistol. The first stage is rather soft, however the release is crisp and consistent.
The safety is ambidextrous and engages securely. Things I would have changed:There are only few detractors to this little pistol, and in the grand scheme of things, I think they are rather minor.
My first criticism is that the Browning is unusually light, even for a plastic pistol. While many manufacturers use die-cast metal inserts in the grips or magazine to add weight, this particular pistol seems to lack them.
My second criticism is regarding the magazine. While it is capable of holding 14 rounds as advertised, the last BB in the stack will often slip through the loading port and prevent the magazine from feeding. Loading 13 rounds instead of 14 prevents this problem and allows the magazine to feed perfectly every time. But I suppose that's okay - after all, the real steel holds 13 anyway!
My final criticism (and this really is a minor one) is that the hammer, though functional, will not cock simply by thumbing it back. Rather, it will only cock when slide is racked so that the internal piston is cocked as well. This does not impair the functionality of the pistol in any way, it is merely a minor departure from realism. What others should know:All in all, the pistol looks great and performs quite well. It is perfectly suitable for backyard plinking and close-range airsoft skirmishes. And if you're a Hi-Power fan, this piece will certainly look great in your collection.