B&T USW A1 CO2 Blowback By ASG
27 Feb 2021
The B&T USW or Universal Service Weapon was frost introduced in 2016 by the Swiss company Brügger & Thomet. The USW brings back the age old concept of a stocked pistol but made it better. They designed the pistol to be comfortable to use as a handgun and then added the accuracy by adding the quick deploy shoulder stock.
I first saw the ASG B&T USW Gas Blowback during the IWA Outdoors 2019. Back then, the sample on display was a non-working prototype. It grabbed a lot of interest both from the Airsoft Press and from other airsoft enthusiasts present. Since then we have been awaiting the release of the final working model.
The ASG B&T USW is the new kid on the block in terms of pistol carbines both in the real steel market and airsoft. ASG were very quick to release their B&T licensed replica of the USW but that certainly doesn’t mean it was rushed release with many flaws.
The ASG USW came in packaged in a bright red box with an illustration of the gun printed on the front of the box lid. It is simple yet effective, the top half being made of cardboard where the print is and the bottom is a chunk of polystyrene, cut out to allow for the USW to sit in nicely. Inside the package you will find the USW, a CO2 magazine, a box of ASG BBs, an Allen key for the CO2 mag, and a user’s manual. The whole is well packaged together within the cutout Styrofoam box. Your USW will be safe during its shipment and will surely reach you in one piece.
Once the USW is removed from the box, you really get to grasp the quality. It is extremely lightweight coming in at 0.69KG making it a perfect gun for CQB or even a great backup for snipers if they’re looking for the stability of a gun that you can shoulder but don’t want anything too lumpy like an SMG. I was expecting it to be heavier with the addition of the stock and the mounting bridge that connects it to the rear of the slide.
Moving past the weight, you start to notice the attention to detail showing that ASG have really put some thought into this! The laser engraved B&T logo is very prominent at first glance which is great for those who like trades and realism etc. on the other side you see USW A1 once again engraved with the unique serial number printed in 3 places. This to me is just enough branding to show that it is a licensed replica by B&T, but not too much that it looks cluttered.
The actual body itself is riddled with useful features to make this replica as ergonomic as possible. The serrations and slightly raised part on the front of the slide makes it much easier to chamber a BB and rack the slide. The magazine release is also slightly raised meaning you can click it with your thumb easier for speed reloads. It also features an ambidextrous safety which has a firm click but isn’t too tight that it’s impossible to flick down with a pair of gloves on. The rear of the gun has a small RIS rail section for mounting a compact optic like and RMR.
From the front, the USW features a threaded outer barrel which is handy for attaching suppressors and tracer units. The threads are exposed as the barrel doesn’t have a protective sleeve so there is a possibility of damaging the threads during use. Also, like most if not all airsoft GBB pistols, the outer barrel wobbles. That is not a problem with this as this is how it is supposed to be. The issue with this is that the user will need to choose a smaller or lighter suppressor to attach as a much heavier one will pull the outer barrel at a downward angle and will probably cause some firing issues.
The gun has a metal slide. There are serrations on both sides along the front part of the slide to provide grip when racking the gun. The rear of the slide is hidden as it is enclosed but the stock mount. On the real steal version, an Aimpoint sight has been added on top of the stock mount but ASG decided to put a rail instead. This gives the user an option to use whatever after market sights they would prefer.
The frame also has a rail for attaching torches or any pistol light system or even a front vertical grip for added stability. The ISW also features an ambidextrous safety lock. The trigger guard is big enough to accommodate a gloved finger easily. The trigger, when the gun is not cocked, gives you the feeling of a two staged trigger and the travel seems to be quite long. But once the slide is racked, this will also set the trigger back to a firing position making the travel shorter.
The pistol grip is very comfortable. The finger grooves at the front and the rubberised rear makes gripping the pistol comfortable and secured.
Finally, my favourite part, the folding stock! This stock is spring loaded so when you click the release button it pings out slightly allowing you to grab it and quickly flip it round so it sits in your shoulder. The release button is positioned perfectly so you can hit it with your index finger whilst you unholster the USW so it is instantly ready to be fired. To fold it, press the release button underneath the rear of the mounting bridge and then fold the stock until it locks back in place.
The stock is made of a polymer material. There is a bit of flex but it seems pretty durable.
The magazine included in the box is Co2 which is what really gives it the snappy response. Green gas magazines and spare Co2 ones are readily available though seeing as it’s compatible with the CZ Shadow series by ASG. Not only does the Co2 make the USW Extremely snappy, but it also increases efficiency and makes the gun much more consistent whilst keeping it under 350 fps which is a standard limit for UK sites. With the optional extended green gas magazine, you can shoot 50 rounds with it.
Due to our current lockdown situation here in the U.K., I am unable to try the USW to see how it shoots and performs. This I will do on a follow-up review once I am able to do so.
Holding the USW on a conventional pistol shooting position gives me the impression on how the gun might perform. The short trigger travel will surely allow for a quick and rapid follow-up shot. The magazine gives the gun some added weight and stability. Using it with the stock deployed gives you a much different shooting perspective. Apart from the added stability of the stock when shouldered, the shooter can go low when aiming giving the shooter a very compact stance which is perfect in indoor CQB scenarios. A micro red dot sight looks pretty cool when mounted on the USW and this seems to be the more popular choice. But if you do not wish to go too low on the stock, a high mounted red dot sight may be a good option. Using the standard rear and front sights is ok but with the stock in use, the shooter will need to go really low onto the stock to be able to align the sights.
DISASSEMBLY AND HOP-UP ADJUSTMENT
The user manual included in the box shows a detailed instruction on how to disassemble the USW. On either side of the slide and frame towards the rear of the gun, locate the two serrated lines. Align the lines by pushing the slide back. Once aligned, pull the takedown or lock pin out and the slide will simply slide off. Inside, you can get access to the internals as you would most GBB pistols.
The hop-up adjustment can be found on the underneath of the slide assembly. It resembles a screw and the hop can be adjusted by rotating it.
Apart from the numerous kids of torches and RDS’s that can be fitted on the USW there are two other accessories that I usually always look for when I get a new pistol, extra mags and a holster.
ASG have kindly also sent us a spare 50 round gas magazine which I think is the perfect magazine for the USW. A few of these mags and you will probably have the coolest looking CQB primary weapon. Once I am able to, I am planning to test the magazine and the gun with different types of gases that I normally use here in the U.K.
Now we get to the holster, I normally use a universal holster that fits most of the pistols I use but the USW has a completely different shape especially with the stock folded. So it’s either get a custom Kydex or get the Strike System Universal Holster also sent to us by ASG. The holster works by clipping a locking rail onto the holster. The additional rail clips or attaches onto the bottom rail of the USW. One drawback of this holster is that you somehow lose the ability to attach an under rail torch onto the gun. Although there would still be a rail, it just won’t look as good.
Comparing to other modern carbine kits available now, the USW has its positives and negatives. The gun itself does not actually make any difference to performance compared to a CZ Shadow seeing as internally, they are the same gun. But it does allow the user to shoulder it which arguably will increase accuracy and consistency because of the extra point of contact. This is similar to many other big name kits like the CAA Micro Roni or AW custom carbine kit for Glocks but without the added bonus of being able to easily disassemble without tools if it is required to remove the pistol on the field. Another negative, which to me did not make any difference, is the USW only has a semi or safe function, full auto is not an option at all. What with the high kick and Co2 magazines, I can see full auto being more of a negative seeing as it always tends to wear out pistol internals quickly especially at the high pressures Co2 gives off.
Massive thanks to our friends from ASG for sending us all these samples for us to try. Please keep an eye out to part 2 of this review when I will take the USW out for some gameplay action.
Thanks to Ethan of ROE for his help in doing this review.