Compact size and short barrel conversion makes this a very short gun.
Included silencer allows for long barrel to be installed.
Ambidextrous controls and ergonomic design.
Abundance of 20mm Rails for personalization.
Superb attention to detail and excellent, rock-solid build quality.
Similarities to armalites may putt some people off.
Battery solution is inelegant.
Another high quality replica with stunning attention to detail from VFC. This airsoft gun is both a collector's item due to it's unique look, and a skirmishable weapon from it's high performance.
This unique looking gun is something of a gem and a pleasant breath of fresh air from the masses of armalite replicas coming from manufacturers nowadays, although this gun has it's roots of origin deeply embedded in the armalite family tree.
Give the receiver a passing glance and you may mistake it for a customized M4A1 with a monolithic rail system. but that's where the similarities end, and this model shines in a unique light of it's own.
But first, a little history.
This weapon is the creation of the renowned Knights Armament Company (or KAC in short), famous for their line of high end military armalites and the Stoner LMG. Having produced the M4A1 and have it in service currently in Iraq and Afghanistan, Knight's Armament received reports, complaints and other feedback about the excellencies and shortcomings of the M4 in the modern combat environment from operators in service. Specifically, the need for higher bullet energy that the short barrel on the M4A1 cannot achieve with the current 5.56x45 NATO ammunition, and the need for a compact weapon in urban environments.
As a result of the feedback from forces in the middle east, Knight's Armament developed the KAC PDW to fulfill the role of a high-energy, compact and reliable weapon. This included switching the firing mechanism from gas tube operation to gas piston operation. This allowed the bolt carrier to be halved in length making a buffer tube unnecessary. The new mechanism was less prone to fouling via dust and residue and was easier to clean and maintain. The lack of buffer tube allowed a folding stock to be installed making for a compact design. And lastly, a new 6x35mm calibre was designed to better perform in a short barreled gun.
So has Vega Force Company (or VFC in short) faithfully replicated the KAC PDW down to the last detail?
VFC has a reputation for attention to detail, they have gone to lengths to replicate the gas pistons.
The upper receiver and fore grip are made from one piece of CNC machined aluminum and holds extremely elegant lines. The bolt carrier is uniquely shaped and a bolt catch holds it back when the rounded charging handle is pulled. The upper and lower rails of the foregrip are also one piece and blend seamlessly into the upper receiver. Pulling back the charging handle pulls back the dummy bolt carrier and allows adjustment of the hop up unit. It is held back with a functioning bolt catch. Though the cooling vents drilled into the foregrip you can see the dummy pistons. This kind of attention to the smallest little detail puts Vega Force Company as one of the leaders in replica quality.
One of the most distinguishing aspects of this gun is the dimpled barrel. On the real steel Knight's PDW the dimples serve to cool the barrel by increasing surface area, however on the airsoft replica they serve no purpose other than to look cool. A jet-black semi-gloss finish covers the barrel in stark contrast to the matte of the rest of the gun.
Directly behind the barrel lies the gas block and VFC has gone to lengths even to re-create that accurately. The two adjustment knobs can be turned by sliding the locking rod above them to the side.
The short pistol grip is very comfortable to hold.
The lower receiver is similar to the M4A1 on first inspection but you soon notice differences. The front of the magwell is tapered and the lines are ever so slightly exaggerated. The line between upper and lower receivers is staggered at one section giving the gun another nudge towards it's modern look. An additional lever is present on the left side of the gun that is the magazine release. Both the Magazine release and the fire mode selector on this iteration are now ambidextrous making this a great gun for southpaws.
A sleek, short pistol grip is installed on the lower and is comfortable for both large and small hands. Because of this the VFC KAC PDW uses a smaller motor than the M4A1 AEGs.
The stock folds to the right and catches on a knob protruding from the lower receiver.
The folding skeletal stock is thin and has a rubber grip pad on the back. It easily folds to the right by depressing a catch near the hinge. In it's shortest configuration the PDW measures only 45cm or 17inches long. The stock is sturdy to provide a good firing stance and the catch doesn't protrude preventing any chance of an accidental release. It locks onto the right via a knob that protrudes from the lower receiver, and catches into a hole on the stock. There are three quick detach sling swivel holes on the gun. One on the stock and two on the stock hinge located in the back of the lower receiver. A one point sling would be an excellent investment for this gun allowing you to instantly drop it and reach for your sidearm in the extremely unlikely event of a stoppage.
The magazine is made from a light grey plastic and feeds well.
The magazine of the PDW is also unique resembling the new 6x35mm caliber magazines. it is lightweight, plastic, and grips well due to raised ridges across the length of the mag.
The PDW comes with a slew of accessories. Included with the gun is a full set of rail covers (Knight's Armament type of course), a (Knight's Armament type) short vertical foregrip, a quick detach (Knight's Armament) silencer, a short inner and outer barrel for conversion into the short variant of the PDW, and a PEQ battery box to power the gun.
Unfortunately the design of the PDW does not lend itself to airsoft battery purposes, it's compact design make even internally storing a lithium polymer battery difficult. However with some modification a 7.4V Lithium Polymer battery can be made to fit under the barrel in the foregrip, or an 11.1V Lithium Polymer battery in place of the dummy pistons.
Performance wise, the Vega Force Company, Knight's Armament shoots 320fps right out of the box. We tested accuracy from 10 meters and the groupings were excellent. 6cm across from 10m range. The gearbox is a completely new design specially for this gun and as a result the dimensions are very close to the real thing. But the gearbox remains compatible with aftermarket gears. Firing the PDW is comfortable primarily due to the new short pistol grip and the special design trigger guard. reactive shooting without sights comes as instinct to this gun but it is highly recommend to attach a red dot or holosight to make target acquisition faster.
To sum it up, the combination of compact dimensions, ambidextrous ergonomics, excellent accuracy, and decent power makes the Knight's Armament PDW an excellent skirmish weapon. The Angular lines and modern design may not be for everyone, especially those who prefer organic lines or older, wooden furniture, but this is still a great looking gun.