This next post is not a review per-se, but more of a ‘personal opinion’ of the GBB in questions. The WE P226 has been on the marker for a while now and it has been getting some really good reviews around the internet forums. The price is really good and it seems to be made of good quality materials. I have had mine for a little over a year now and I feel that I have enough experience with the weapon to be able to write something about it.
A good British airsoft set requires a P226, if going for a more modern setup, or a Browning. I like the looks of both of these pistols but since I was aiming for a more modern setup I wanted to get a P226. After reading and doing some research about the possible models out there, I went for the WE. To me, it was getting good reviews and the price range was within my budget at the time. I also ordered an extra magazine (should have got two of them buggers, but oh well…) for the weapon from ebairsoft.com (always had a good experience with them though some people seem to have not been so lucky with them) and it was shipped through customs. The price was good (I will not list it here as it was such a long time ago and they have changed) and I was happy with my purchase. Since the weapon uses Green Gas magazines, and it was winter in Finland (December 2012) I had to wait for warmer times to really put the weapon to test in the field.
Lets begin with the magazines. As noted before, the pistol runs with Green Gas or HFC134a Duster gas or Top / Green / Propane gas, whatever you want to call it. It is not CO2. For us living in colder climates this can cause a bit of a problem, since our summers are short as one night stands. We usually need to get sidearms that are CO2 compatible, but I did not in this case. WE has not rolled out any magazines of the CO2 variant for their P226 but rumors have it that there are some in the making. This rumor was heard through a local retailer when I asked after them a while back. I have one spare magazine which I orders when I got the gun and I have had zero leaking problems with it. I use silicone after every use on the gun and the weapons and I clean the weapon every other time I use it. This has serviced me well so far with this gun and the gas guns that I have had in the past. I also leave a little bit of gas inside the magazine after every use, which also helps preventing the magazines leaking. Some might advice against this, but for me it has worked very well. Naturally, the sealing will deteriorate after time and you might need to replace some air seal parts. These “tools” are utility articles and do not last forever even with the best use.
The performance of the gun in the field is acceptable, though I found the hop-up on mine to be a small disappointment. I can hit targets on the range that I usually use the weapon for but it could perform better. Currently I am on the lookout for a better and it seems that A+ make some new hop-up rubbers for this and I need to take a look at them and see if they work better than the old one. Nevertheless, it works. The hop “problems” that I have with it could also have to do with the fact that I use 0.28g BB’s on the gun. They are the same weight I use for me AEG’s and could be a bit on the heavy side for sidearms. Still, I find them to be good and it also means that I do not need to carry two weights of BB’s around.
The finish of the gun is excellent in my opinion. There are plenty of aftermarket parts available for the weapon if you wish to upgrade but I have not found the need for these so far. It performs well out of the box and replacements have not yet been needed. For those interested, I have used this for two or three longer events and many weekend games. The gun has cycled through about 2000 rounds so far and I have not had any problems with it, if you don’t count the hop-up issues I mentioned earlier. The paint wears off though, but mine has not lost all of its paint. The edges that rub on my Blackhawk SERPA have lost some and also some transportation damage is visible but nothing major. I have to note that if you use a SERPA, be prepared to either file the holster or do some major repetition in holstering and drawing the weapon. It is a bit tight but once it loosens/wears off, it works very well and will not fall off. I also use a Bianchi leg holster for it and it is also a bit tight on my black version but not as much on the green version. Go figure, but leaving it in the holster for a few days loosens the holster up and it works well. It is rock solid and drawing the weapon is easy when it comes down to it.