Sarsilmaz is the largest Turkish manufacturer of small arms. It makes many different types of weapons, including 22 models of handguns. Among them there are one's with steel and polymer frames and one revolver. And each model has a few variants...
Even more numerous is the family of smoothbore rifles intended for the civilian market. Here we have automatic shotguns, classic pump-action designs, as well as hunting and sport models.
The M&LE offer is also quite extensive - the 9 mm submachine guns, several 5.56x45 mm, 7.62x39 mm and 7.62x51 mm assault rifles, as well as one support weapon model.
The Sarsilmaz licensed ICS SAR 9 pistol is a civilian equivalent of the SAR 9T, which differs from the SAR 9 by the lack of a double-sided thumb-operated safety. Of course, both guns have a safety feature in the trigger. The version for the M&LE market, also marked as SAR 9, does not have an additional safety.
The real SAR 9 (in all variants) is a similar to Glock pistols with a polymer frame, many of which have appeared on the market in the last 30 years. However, it does have a few features that are worth paying attention to. Most of them were faithfully reproduced in the replica.
ICS Sarsilmaz SAR 9
Basic technical parameters:
- overall length: 195 mm;
- inner barrel length: 104 mm;
- weight (with an empty magazine): 750 g;
- magazine capacity: 22 BBs;
- muzzle velocity: 300 fps.
Important features of the pistol from the point of view of a potential user are a fixed inner barrel, as in the Korth pistol replicas, and new Revo valves.
The frame is made of hard polymer. The manufacturer declares that the slide is made of aluminum and not an aluminum alloy. So it probably is not ZnAl. Visually, the gun looks great. We did not have the opportunity to compare it with a real firearm, but based on some experience in dealing with real guns, we can say that it looks very convinci.
Let's start with the frame... The rear part, just above the grip, is deeply undercut, which protects the hand against possible contact with the slide moving backwards. The grip is ergonomically shaped and covered with a non-slip texture, thanks to which the replica sits very firmly in the hand. The lower part is slightly extended, which is supposed to facilitate (speed up) magazine changing. The front ridge of the grip is shaped to support the individual fingers. In turn, the place where the trigger guard connects to the grip is additionally deeply undercut, so that the gun sits deeper in the hand, which noticeably handling of the gun.
The grip of the real SAR has a modular structure, so it can be easily adapted to the preferences and size of the shooter's hand. ICS has faithfully reproduced this solution. By taking out a single spring secured pin, one can replace the back panel with an enlarged one, which is included with the replica. Removing the back panel also allows the removal of both side panels. This solution was also applied by ICS, but neither in the replica's box nor in the manufacturer's catalog can any accessory side panels with a different profile be found.
On the right side of the pistol, at the contact of the trigger guard with the grip, there is a magazine release button. It is one-sided, but ICS has made it possible to move it to the other side to make life easier for left-handed shooters. The operation is not the easiest one as it requires a few trials and practice. In a nutshell: remove the needle spring that supports the magazine release from the inside of the grip, transfer the release to the other side and reinstall the spring. Good luck!
Another button is located directly above the magazine release button and it is used to release the slide when it stops in the rear position after the last BB has been fired. This slide stop is only on the left side of the replica and cannot be moved to the right. In Glocks it catches on a special notch in the side of the slide. The SAR has a notch inside the slide, there is no undercut visible. Slightly to the back one of the axles of the trigger mechanism was replicated (but its only a dummy). In some versions, a safety switch is placed here.
In front of the trigger, a double-sided U-shaped lever is placed in the frame that is used to take off the slide. Its operation is intuitive and typical. After taking out the magazine, move it down from both sides at the same time and first, slightly pull back the slide (about 1 cm is enough), and then push it forward, sliding it off the frame.
The lower part of the front part of the frame is formed into a short Picatinny rail with 3 slots. The "Sarsilmaz" marking has been placed directly above the rail on the left. On the other side, the "Made in Türkiye" marking has been placed. The front of the frame itself and the adjacent front part of the slide are slightly beveled, which is to facilitate holstering the weapon.
The slide itself, colored in semi-matte black, just like the frame, is also very well made. On both sides, in the front and rear sections, there are obliquely milled ribbing that facilitate charging the pistol. The left side of the slide is free from any markings, but on the right we have the name of the manufacturer and the model name. The caliber 9x19 is marked in the ejection port and even further is an individual serial number. There are no "airsoft", "ICS" or "made in Taiwan" markings on the pistol. Only inside the underbarrel rail is the “Cal. 6mm BB" marking. All of them are laser applied.
The sights consist of a classic fixed front sight and a horizontally adjustable rear sight. They have standard dots on them to facilitate aiming in conditions of limited visibility.
A note here... We didn't find it in any of the descriptions, but we wondered and decided to check... The dots on the sights glow in the dark. The photo below was taken with a hand-held phone in late evening (hence the lack of focus) in a room with the lights off.
The trigger mechanism used in the replica requires a separate mention. We have already written about the fact that it has a working safety built into the trigger. It is worth mentioning, however, that the replica, just like the real firearm, works in the single action (SA) mode. So until the trigger mechanism is reset by charging the pistol by pulling the slide (regardless of whether the magazine is inserted or not) the trigger is clearly moved back.
Only after resetting the trigger mechanism (via slide movement) the trigger moves forward to its firing position. Just like in the real firearm, red markers appear on both sides of the trigger, indicating that it is ready to fire. If we fire now, the trigger will stay rear position again until the charging the replica. If, however, we have a magazine with gas and BBs inserted, the trigger is reset after each shot, when the slide is moved back by the gas.
The trigger works very softly, incomparably softer than in a firearm. The reset is noticeable.
The 22 round magazine uses new valves from the Revo line, which are said to improve gas management. There is not way to lock the follower while loading it with BBs, but the lower section of the space where the BBs are placed is widened so that you can use the speedloader without a special adapter. In other words, we load the BBs directly there and not through the feed lips.
The outer barrel of the gun ends with an internal, CCW 11 mm thread for mounting a silencer.
The test copy was equipped with a steel adapter for an external 14 mm CCW thread, typical for most silencers.
The adapter is not mentioned in the user manual, nor is it in the SAR description at the ICS website. Therefore, we probably received a pre-production copy that will probably soon be offered by the manufacturer.
The Hop-Up system adjustment, as in the vast majority of pistol replicas, is only possible after removing the slide. For obvious reasons it is troublesome, because after each shot it has to be removed and some adjustments made until the optimal setting is achieved. Fortunately, the adjustment works predictably, smoothly, without any hoops, so it doesn't take too much time.
A few words still need to be said about the fixed inner barrel. The solution is that the Hop-Up chamber is shaped in such a way that it connects to the frame and not the outer barrel or the slide. During shooting, the chamber and the inner barrel do not change their position at all, which significantly affects the accuracy. The outer barrel acts as a rather loose floating cap, which imitates the re-shifting process taking place when another round is charged after the shot. Even though the movement is small, the outer barrel is so loose that it clatters loudly and distinctly when shaking the pistol. In our opinion, this is the biggest disadvantage of this replica. The next ones are almost as loud (loose) slide and the magazine. The slack in the magazine can still be dealt with somehow, but you just have to get used to the clattering of the barrel and the slide.
During the shooting tests, our earlier observations were confirmed. The pistol fits perfectly in one's hand and the ergonomics of the grip "and the surrounding area" are flawless. People with average-sized hands will probably not have to reach for the enlarged rear panel.
The total range of the pistol is close to 50 steps, but at this distance the BBs are flying so slowly that it is easy to dodge them. Despite a precisely adjusted Hop-Up we had a problem with obtaining a satisfactory flight trajectory of a 0.2 g BB. Switching to 0.25 g significantly shortened the total range, but managed to get an absolutely straight flight path.
Muzzle velocity measurements confirmed the values declared by the manufacturer.
Average: 306,8 fps. Spread: 4 fps.
We conducted the target shooting test in the open air. The ambient temperature was 16°C, the distance to the target was 10 meters. HopUp was pre-set. The wind was very weak.
When opening the box, we were impressed with the look of the replica as it really looks very good. Then these first impressions were confirmed during close inspection and shooting tests. The very high quality of individual parts, both in terms of accuracy and quality of finish, deserves recognition. More importantly, the replica really fits perfectly in one's hand. We did not notice the revolutionary operation of the Revo valves, but the fixed inner barrel does its job well. In fact, the only drawback of the pistol that we noticed was the clatter of the outer barrel, the magazine and the slide. And while the oversizing and slack of the outer barrel seem to be forced by the design of the Hop-Up chamber, in our opinion the slide and the magazine should be a bit quieter. But these are cosmetics. When using it during a game, the replica will certainly be perfect. And it looks almost like the HK VP9/VP40.