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Review

MAKING OF: RWC G17 3rd Gen CNC Metal Version
  • Manufacturer 
     RedWolf Custom Guns
  • Model 
     G17 3rd Gen CNC Metal Version
  • Capacity 
     25
  • Weight 
     760
  • Power 
     300
  • Power Source 
     Top Gas
  • Blowback 
     Yes
  • Hop-up 
     Adjustable
  • Shooting Mode 
     Semi
  • Construction 
     ABS, Aluminum

Pros

-High accuracy
-Crisp blowback
-Realistic details and feel
 

Cons

-Needs modifications to fit tight Kydex holsters
 

Verdict

The most realistic and skirmishable replica of the Glock 17 you can buy at the moment. A metal slide, accurate detailing, good power and high accuracy make this a piece for show as well as go!

 

INTRODUCTION

Even a good design can be improved. While the Tokyo Marui Glock 17 3rd Gen. offers decent power and astonishing accuracy out of the box, it could use a metal slide and perhaps a touch of power upgrades to push it over the 300 fps threshold. This article sheds some light on how to work on this pistol, and how and why certain parts were chosen. However, it is not meant to assist any individual fitting of the parts, and as usual, the best results are achieved when the parts are installed by a skilled airsmith. You can't aquire skills over the internet.

The selection of parts: PGC slide and Guarder springs.
The Guarder recoil spring set includes a hammer spring as well. It's rated to 150% and shown on the left compared to a standard one.

THE SLIDE

It's a common rule of thumb that you can get a decent slide for a low price, but it will be die cast and possibly lacking in detail. Slides CNC-machined from billet are commonly more expensive, and the cost of frames jump substantially higher, because of the more complex shapes. It is possible to combine these techniques by making a rough cast and finishing it with a CNC-machine. This provides a good fit and finish, while the ultimate durability is not achieved.

None of the internal surfaces on the PGC slide we chose for this pistol show any traces of a molding process, so it's most certainly machined from a single billet of aluminum without cutting costs. The markings are spot on, and the anodized finish is dull dark grey similar to the older surface finish used by Glock up to around the change of the millennium. The separate extractor is a very nice touch as well. It's a moving part on the real pistol, and most other slides make it look molded in or otherwise too monolithic with the slide.

As the PGC slide doesn't even break the bank, we couldn't think of a single reason not to use it. Side-note: Glock-users are lucky, because there is no need to invest into a metal frame in addition to the slide. The ABS-frame of the TM Glock 17 features a logo near the heel of the grip, as well as a lanyard hole. Because of these features, it can be regarded as the most realistic frame on the market today: You don't look under the frame or on the right side that often, so the sliding serial number plate which doubles as the safety doesn?t catch your eye when you handle the pistol. The finish is pretty much as close as you can get: The frame of a real Glock is surprisingly shiny and flexible!

The original pistol field-stripped. Dead easy so far.
The outer barrel retains the inner barrel assembly. It comes out thanks to a slight flex.
Removal of the blowback-mechanism and rear sight with just one screw.

THE SPRINGS

While the new slide is rather lightweight and would cycle even with a standard recoil spring, a snappier spring provides a more satisfying performance and makes the pistol feel more realistic. The weight difference is a mere 50 grams, but it is enough to shift the balance of the pistol noticeably closer to the real thing.

When it comes to hammer springs, they must be one of the most misunderstood upgrade parts. In Non-Blowback models and older Gas-Blowback operated models they have a rather direct effect on the muzzle velocity, but the advent of more refined floating valves alters this situation. In a Marui type GBB system the floating valve is self-regulating to some extent, and adding a hammer spring may not have the same effect it would on another model. In the worst case, it will not increase the muzzle velocity at all, but the negative effects (increased wear of the sear and slightly hindered slide movement) remain.

Shot of the loading nozzle. The areas marked with red may rub sometimes, which means a job for some sand paper.
The separate extractor is installed from the inside.
The extractor stays in with the slide tilted, and having the blowback chamber top side up helps to ensure the spring doesn't escape.

THE WORK

It is said that a very well thought plan equals half of the work, but putting the pieces together correctly is just as important as using the right parts. As Guarder sells the springs as a package, the total amount of separate items is three, including the base pistol.

First of course the pistol must be stripped to remove the old parts. In the case of the Tokyo Marui Glock 17, this is a similar operation to KSC. The only difference compared to the real one is that you don't need to pull the trigger. The inner barrel takes a bit of persuading to get out, but use of force is not necessary. The inner barrel & hop up chamber assembly slips in the new outer barrel just as easily.

Removing two phillips screws allows the sights to be pulled off, and the blowback mechanism lifts right out of the rear of the slide. The parts are then fitted on the new slide, and modified if necessary. A function check after everything is installed is mandatory to avoid surprises.

The removal of one screw and pin allows lifting the firing mechanism out of the rear of the frame. The hammer is then lowered and the pin knocked out to allow removal of the hammer and hammer spring. Reversal of this procedure might take some patience, especially with the stronger hammer spring.

Function check: The nozzle should come forward only with the spring fighting back, and snap to the back swiftly after releasing.
Lowering and polishing the front sight retaining screw retains the finish on the top of the outer barrel in tact.
A pin and screw removed to access the firing mechanism.

THE END

The result we have here is a truly fine blowback pistol of the latest breed. Thanks to the good fit of the metal slide kit, the pistol is every bit as accurate as it was out of the box - this doesn't always go without saying when installing aftermarket slides and outer barrels. The hammer spring provided over 300 fps of muzzle velocity with each shot when a 0.2 gram BB was used, the highest velocity clocking at 310 fps. While this isn't a particularly high muzzle velocity for a pistol, the secret to the excellent range of this pistol is the accuracy, thanks to the ingenious hop-up mechanism.

You now have a rough idea of how we made the RWC G17 3rd Gen CNC Metal Version happen, but naturally this doesn't cover everything behind the scenes. It is up to you whether you want to get the parts separately, or a ready made pistol built by a skilled professional.

"Honey, this isn't what it looks like." - Using another pin to aid in the insertion of the hammer pin.
Firing mechanism about to swing back into the frame.
A bit of lube on the rails and we are good to go. A few dozen racks of the slide breaks it in nicely.