WE Hi Capa Dragon BB Metal Airsoft Gun
- Velocity: 315 FPS (0.2 g BB) / Range 70-90 feet
- Barrel Length: 5 inches / 12 cm
- Magazine Capacity: 25 Rounds
- Split Slide Design
- Full Metal
- Double Stack Magazine
- Accuracy Proven
- Airsoft Gun Review Available - Click More Info
- Made in Taiwan
WE Hi Capa 5.1 Ver4 Gas Pistol Manual
The WE Hi Capa Dragon is an exotic looking gun. It is based on the WE Hi Capa 5.1 with some extra features. Its split slide design allows only the rear portion of the slide to be cycled. This helps with reducing recoil and offers a minimal gain in gas efficiency.
WE PHX Hi Capa 5.1 Gas Blowback Airsoft Review - Click for more reviews
Saturday August 6th, was a day full of surprises for me. Upon returning home around noon, I found a box waiting for me. Greek Post Office usually does not work the weekends, so this was the first surprise of the day. Upon examining the labels, I saw that it was coming from our Sponsor AirSplat, from whom I was expecting a new, all metal pistol for testing. The Wei-ETech HiCapa 5.1. But since it had not arrived by Friday noon, I had given up hope for it, expecting it to be delivered on Monday.
Now remember, this was my first Airsoft pistol I was going to handle, so as you can imagine I was quite anxious to see it and play with it. So I opened the box and start taking out its contents. Here you can see them:
One large, flat box, which contained the pistol, a bag of BBs and an Airsplat sticker.
As I already said, this was the first time in my life that I handled an Airsoft pistol. So you can imagine my (second) surprise, when I picked up a quite heavy STI-alike pistol. A full metal pistol (meaning that the upper frame, barrel and slide are made of metal), weighting more or less the same as a high capacity 1911, loaded with rounds!
This particular pistol, looked very much like a standard STI pistol, the Eagle 5.0. There were some differences of course, but the first impression was "Oh, here is an STI". The pistol had the silly (but necessary for some countries) orange tip at the muzzle, adjustable sights and one standard capacity magazine.
The first thing I did, was to remove the magazine and rack the slide back. Oooops, the slide went back almost before I touched it. Of course this is not a .45 ACP pistol, so the recoil spring is very light. I let the slide forward, and decided to do something about the orange barrel tip, right then and there. Very soon the tip was in the garbage can, next to my desk.
With that minor annoyance out of the way, I started examining the pistol. Typical STI-look-alike frame, with a metallic upper frame and plastic grip, huge magwell, ambidextrous thumb safety, a light rail, and Bomar rear sight.
While I was removing the orange tip from the muzzle, I noticed the first thing which didn't impress me. The barrel/slide fit, leaves a lot to be desired. The barrel's outside diameter is quite small compared to the internal diameter of the slide. Even though the reverse recoil spring plug is a very nice unit, which supports the barrel the mismatched diameters of the slide and barrel make me skeptical, as to what accuracy one can expect from this pistol. We will see.
Here you can see the ... shooter's view. Wide (really wide) but perfectly shaped ambidextrous safety pads, a very nicely fitted beavertail, a false extractor and a dummy firing pin.
The thumb safety is one of the best I've laid my hands on, it's shaped with a slight downward angle to the side of the pistol, and the shape is perfect for quick manipulation. However, it suffers from what I am afraid every ambi-safety can suffer from. Mismatched movement of the right and left parts, due to a loose connection on its axle. This means that if you use the right side of the safety to make the gun fire, the left side does not exactly follow the movement, and the gun is still on safe. Not very encouraging, if this was a real gun.
I removed the safety and had a look inside. The left part is shapped in a triangular shape, which mates to a female triangular shape on the right side. A little crazy glue could fix this issue but then I won't be able to fully strip the gun. And since I never use the right side of the safety, I left it as it is.
The extractor is of course a dummy one, since there is nothing to extract, so it's just a half-circle shape engraved on the rear of the slide.
Finally, the firing pin is a dummy too, because the real firing pin (whose role is to let gas out of the magazine to propel the BB down the barrel) is actually in the frame, not in the slide.
I played with the controls a bit, and the plungers spring is very light also. This makes the safety snap on and off quite easily, more easily than I would have liked. I thought about changing the plungers spring with a normal one, but I am afraid that this might affect the last-shot lock back feature, so for the time being, I didn't touch it.
The hammer is also made of metal, but this one is a poor quality casting, with several imprefections. A new hammer might be required in the future, if this one snaps.
What is a clear winner though, is the rear sight. A very precise immitation of our well-known Bomar adjustable sight, with both elevation and sideways adjustements. The sight is burried almost perfectly on the slide (at least better than the sights Colt installs on some of their pistols). Also, the slide is serrated on the top.
The front sight is dovetailed on the slide, and it is a little strange, since it is thin at the front, and becomes thicker as we move towards the rear. It also has a circle on its face, as if the same sight is used on another model, with three-dots. On this particular model though, the sights are flat black, as they should be on a "target" pistol.
The frame is not checkered, but stippled, offering a nice, secure grip. The front of the grip is checkered, much like the STI's grips are and so is the mainspring housing.
Another touch I liked, the magazine release is checkered (not just serrated, which is the usual thing found on almost every 1911). I love checkered magazine releases, so I thought this was a very nice detail.
The pistol's dust cover incorporates a light rail, which is becoming a trend lately (so that holster makers have more work to do). I am not fond of these things, since they do not allow you to use your existing 1911 holsters, and also destroy the very harmonious lines of the pistol, but on this particular case, I didn't care much, I do not have an STI holster anyway, so I didn't care much for holstering it. As for its lines, the hi-cap pistols were never particularly attractive in my eyes.
Here is what the pistol looks like with the slide locked back. As you can see, it features a full-length guide rod. I then disassembled the pistol.
Just like in any ordinary 1911, make sure the pistol is empty and push the slide back until the slide stop aligns with the semi-circular cut of the slide. Push the slide stop out, from the right side of the frame. The slide stop pops out easily. Then push the slide forward and off the frame.
With the slide removed, you can see some of the internal features of this pistol. First of all, there is no barrel link, to cam the barrel down during recoil. Instead there is a hole, through which the slide stop pin passes. Right above that hole, there is a geared disk. This is used to adjust the HOP-UP feature of this pistol (check the Terminology thread, in the Introductory Forum).
To further disassemble the slide, you have to remove the recoil spring and guide rod. To do that, grab the reverse recoil spring plug with your nail and pull it back, until it is almost at the end of its travel. Hold it there, and remove the complete guide rod assembly from the pistol. Since the recoil spring plug is under the pressure of the recoil spring, make sure that it does not fly in the never-to-be-found-again land. Now you can remove the barrel from the front of the slide.
Here is a picture showing you the major components of the pistol. Of course, just like with any other 1911, you can go ahead and completely strip the pistol of all its parts, but this is not recommended at this moment. To reassemble the pistol, just reverse the procedure.
This gun is one of the first gas guns to also allow use of CO2 by use of an alternate or optional CO2 magazine. Some models come with the CO2 magazine while most come with the gas version and offer the CO2 Magazine separately. So, what's so unique about it?
Well, for once, it is a hi-capacity one, taking xxx BBs instead of yyy that the standard magazine can take. But what makes it really unique, is the fact that this magazine takes a standard CO2 cartridge, instead of Green Gas!
Pull the small button, at the bottom front of the magazine, and slide of the magazine pad, to reveal a shiny metal cap. Unscrew this cap and you find a long hole, in which you can insert a standard CO2 cartridge.
Now, this means two things (a) that you can take advantage of the higher pressure CO2 gives, and (b) you can have some small CO2 cartridges with you, instead of a large Green Gas (or propane) tank, to fill your gas pistol.
After playing with the gun and taking the pictures for this presentation, the time for shooting had come. Unfortunatelly, since the pistol didn't arrive on Friday, and I could never think that it would be delivered on Saturday, I hadn't gone shopping for any Green Gas or CO2, so it was impossible to test fire the pistol over the weekend.
So first thing Monday morning, I visited the local hunting supplies shop and came home with about 15 CO2 cartridges. Unfortunatelly, Airsoft is not wide-spread in Greece, so no Green Gas, unless I was willing to drive to down-town Athens, which I definitely was not.
So, for the first time in my life, I loaded the extended CO2 magazine with some pellets. Darn, what a boring job, you have to put the pellet in the small opening of the magazine, and push it in, while you are, in the same time, holding back on the magazine folder. This being a two-column mag, means that you have to make sure that the pellets (BBs) are inserted in a staggered fashion, if you want the to feed properly.
With the mag half-full, I inserted a CO2 cartridge in the appropriate opening and tighten up the cover. Gas started leaking, so a pliers was used to tighten up the cap (the Caspian Pocketsmith would be on my belt, whenever I shoot this thing from now on).
I inserted the mag in the pistol, racked the slide and fired my first few BBs out of it. At about 5 meters (~15 feet) the BBs hit the target a bit lower and to the left of my point of aim.
Here is the first target I destroyed.
Some adjustment of the Bomar-look-alike sight and the shots were now nicely centered.
The shots on that pink styrofoam piece, were three groups, one towards the top, one in the middle and one at the bottom. I still need to bring the point of impact a bit to the left.
I didn't try any longer shots, since I didn't feel confident with the accuracy of the pistol, and I didn't have a large enough target to use.
In the afternoon, I tried some more target practice within the apartment. Here are the targets.
This time, I got brave enough to fire from 10 m distance. The target you see is a standard A4 paper size sheet, with two targets created on it. The one on the right was shot, as the pistol was from the morning session, in other words adjusted for 5 m. The one on the right was shot with the pistol re-adjusted for 10 m, with some more elevation and adjustment for the left drift of the POI.
I believe that this pistol's accuracy is not yet fully exploited. I'll try to improve it a bit, by adding a copper ring around the front end of the barrel, so that it can better lock up with the slide, and I'll report back to you.
I also will come back to this report, as soon as I can get my hands on some Green Gas, to evaluate the pistol using that one, as well as CO2.
Shooting, some more
I got so impressed by this pistol, that I just had to see how it performs in some real, IPSC-style scenarios. First of all, I needed some targets, and these were made by downloading the IDPA target. Then I stick those targets on a similar-sized box, in which I also put a folded newspaper and voila! I created three of these targets and I arranged them in my yard, in the following pattern.
In the above image, red rectangles are the targets (T1, T2, T3) and green rectangles are the Firing Positions (FP1, FP2 and FP3), the distances between the targets and the firing positions being shown on the arrows.
The purpose of this setup was to evaluate how capable was the pistol, in training for IPSC-style shooting, in ranges which are usually found in such exercises.
After firing a few test shots at the maximum distance, and doing some adjustments in the elevation of the rear sight, I proceeded to shoot this course a few times. Two things need to be clarified. I have no chronograph, so no time was registered. Also, I have no holster for such a pistol, so starting was performed with the Hi-Capa in the rear pocket of my jeans, hardly an ideal way to start a string. The following scenario was shot:
From position FP1 I fired two shots at T1, T2 and T3. Then I moved to FP2, from where I fired two shots to T2 and T3 and then I moved to FP3, from where I fired two shots at T3.
I was amazed to see that even though I was shooting as fast as I could (which is not blindingly fast, mind you) the accuracy of this pistol was enough to keep all shots within the target boundaries. This means that it is quite possible to practice IPSC exercises, within your house or back yard. Even the longest shot, which was at 16m from my firing position, were very consistent.
I still want to play a bit with the Hop-Up adjustment of the Hi-Capa, because in order to make the 15-20m shots possible, the Bomar-look-alike had to be adjusted a little too high for my liking, but overall, I was quite impressed with the accuracy potential.
I also noticed that during these scenarios, the time between the shots was enough to let the gun warn up, from the previous shots, so the loss of power was not observed during this test, as it was when I fired continuous shots for a rest.
Poor Man's Chrono Test
This pistol proved to be the least powerful of all I've tested so far. The shot fired with the standard magazine, penetrated one side of the Coke can, and just dented the other side. I run out of Coke cans, so I haven't yet tested it with the CO2 magazine.
I would say very favorable. The cost of this pistol is US $125 and that of the CO2 magazine is US $45 , so with about $170 you get a nice set to play with, with the added convenience of CO2 cartridges. With the exception of the barrel/slide loose fitting, this pistol is a fine shooter.
Purchase Hi-Capa 5.1 at AirSplat
Review by John Caradimas
The M-1911 Pistols Organization
This airsoft gun is not to be misrepresented as a real firearm or gun that is manufactured by Colt and is merely an airsoft gun that fires 6mm pellets. The manufacturer of this airsoft gun is WE.
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