The item (Stark Arms S17C OD) was supplied on behalf of Stark Arms from BO Manufacture in France. The company was fantastic leasing with Stark Arms. BO Manufacture has very good customer services. They also dealt with my enquiry in very good English for a French company. You can buy the item here!
The item was very well packaged, it was in a very sturdy box protecting the Triangular Pistol package, Usually most pistols come in square boxes but this box being a triangle sticks out well and it was a nice surprise which seemed to set the tone for the review and what to expect.
Postage was very quick, secure and tracked. I had nothing to complain about with the service that I had with the postage company. The parcel was sent at the start of the week and by mid morning on the Wednesday I had the parcel in my hands. FedEx did such a great job with the task in hand.
Upon opening up the main box the pistol was sent in you are greeted with a triangle shaped box which is unusual for how a pistol is packed in my eyes. I thought from this maybe the pistol is revolutionary too. I was not disappointed with opening up this box. The pistol was lightweight but still had a nice weight to it. I was slightly disappointed that there was a lack of markings on the pistol. Only the molded grip has anything saying Start Arms on it. The slide is missing the S17c in white which the packaging shows.
I had to at this point pull the slide back and see how the action was compared to my other Gas pistols. It was crisp but more on that later.
The pistol has a lovely construction to it, there are a few mould lines but apart from that I can say that I have yet to find a defect worth of a mention. I will mention again the lack of white S17 markings on the slide and other bits and pieces like this.
The pistol is made by VFC (Vega Force Company) for Stark Arms and they have not held back on quality. The action is lovely, the magazine slides in and out perfectly and they even give you a spare outer barrel with the pistol which is metal compared to the plastic one fitted. The plastic one seems to be very nice in the pistol. It does lack the 9×19 on the ejection port that the metal one carries. Also the metal one makes more of a rattle over the plastic one. The choice is there for you though to fit either one.
The pistol gives you a nice smooth action as you pull back the slide, If you don’t let it go properly and it moves forward with little motion it will stick but if you do as they are designed to be and pull the action back fully and just let it return with the recoil spring then you have no jamming issues. Upon firing there has been no jamming and it is running very nicely. It is on par with my kimbers made by Army for the action which is a compliment to Stark Arms due to the fact the slide on the S17 is made of a much lighter metal (either Alloy or aluminium) and the Kimbers are made of a much heavier metal. Usually the heavier metal slides in my eyes give you more feedback and recoil due to more weight being shifted.
I have never really had much luck with Gas pistols. My CO2 PT99 has had more problems than anything. My kimbers were cheap but semi reliable. Cleaning the mechanism, oiling it and then replacing seals have made them work better but that was extra work that was needed straight away.
The Stark Arms S17 though straight away needed no work, filled the pistol with a new propane canister, 5 seconds if that and the magazine was full. Fired and the pistol locked back with a nice “thud”. I then loaded the magazine full with ammo and continued to empty the magazine, I mainly double tapped the trigger but I ranged from 5 shots at once to 1 shot slowly aimed. The cool down was noticeable for the last 3 or so shots.
After a couple of test fires and a chorno of the pistol with 0.20g BB’s i carried on with attempting to set the hop unit for 0.28g BB’s which I have for my pistols, I don’t know the make they but they are nicely made and seem to be nice and accurate for pistols. I had originally got them with a sniper rifle but they were too inconsistent for the rifle. Unfortunately even with the hop full on it would not hop the round so had to go back to the lighter 0.25g BB’s which still give better accuracy at range.
The chrono came in around the power level of what the sticker on the slide said. It came in at 350FPS. On an average of 10 shots the pistol came in at 326.1FPS with the individual shots coming in as:
Shot 1: 350FPS
Shot 2: 351FPS
Shot 3: 336FPS
Shot 4: 332FPS
Shot 5: 322FPS
Shot 6: 319FPS
Shot 7: 316FPS
Shot 8: 310FPS
Shot 9: 315FPS
Shot 10: 310FPS
The lowest power reading on the last shot was 255FPS
In game thought this was not really noticed because I don’t empty and whole magazine within 30 seconds. I take my time with each shot, double tapping each target I need to do.
With the pistol coming in at a nice power level and that it will empty a whole magazine straight out of the box this is a very user friendly pistol. Compared to a few pistols I have had in the past straight out of the box needing cleaning, lubricating and seals replacing to make them work this pistol is a dream to operate.
The sound it makes is loud but crisp so this is the only thing that lets it down for being my sniper back up. If it was able to be silenced properly I would take this for sure with me everywhere I go in a game.
After many magazines there seems to be little no wear showing on the slide lock and slide where the slide lock engages, the rail between the slide and the frame and any of the moving parts within the slide.
I did notice that on strip down it seems really hard to get the slide to separate from the frame. I have since applied a couple of drops of silicone oil to see if this will improve it. If this doesn’t then I am looking into frog lube which seems to be making a huge impact on the market with its cleaning and lubricating properties.
The pistol does seem to fit into all holster types that I have, Blackhawk and fabric types (Viper, ACM and an unknown make one) takes the pistol with no complaint. The Serpa types of holsters take it but I just had to ask someone if I could test it in the holster as I don’t own one of these personally.
Reading this review you may think that I am saying this is the best pistol around and that everyone should own one of these. It’s Far from that. It has a few flaws but great reliability which will be tested over time. I am going to maintain the pistol on a regular basis to keep it working in an optimal condition but apart cleaning the slide contact points with a cloth and oiling it back up with silicon oil I will try to keep the rest in the condition it is now. Only if it’s dropped in mud and needs a clean out will I do any more maintenance on it.
The pistol has a good weight to it; it is crisp to fire and has a good power for any skirmish in any country that allows airsoft. Just on UK’s acceptable power limit it with the first few shots makes this a lovely back up. I have been and intend to carry on using pistols as a primary in some games with my low weight/sniping kit. I will definitely be taking this pistol along for the ride and put the accuracy of it to the real test more and more.
With it cost, name and being made by a very reputable company (Vega Force Company) I would make this one pistol to take into consideration when buying a Glock platform pistol. Just try and get one with the Stark markings on the slide for the best looks.
One down side with the magazine is that I could not find a speed loader to work with it so I have to fill the ammo 1 round at a time. If it came with a speed loader or adaptor then this would solve this issue.