Tokyo Marui is one of the oldest companies in the airsoft business. They brought the electric rifle to the masses in the 90's and continued to innovate with every release. Their newest line of guns they have dubbed "Next Generation" but are they really the way of the future?
Let's take a deep dive into how this Next Generation Recoil shock rifle works, and see if it's worth your dollars.
Most people when they hear the name "Tokyo Marui" think plastic. Due to restrictions in their home company of Japan, several of their models have to be made almost entirely of high grade plastics and not metal. Many of the uninformed airsoft masses would assume this makes their guns cheap, but TM is legendary for their performance on the field, though just as notorious for not hitting as hard as we like here in the USA.
This gun is different. While it is made of a fair amount of plastic due to the model it replicates, many of the key structural components are metal. It feels great. I am absolutely one of those "metal gun" snobs that shies away from TM because their pistols can't handle green gas effectively without upgrade parts and not crack slides, but this is definitely a gun I would put to heavy use on the field.
The controls are crisp, and snap into place with a positive click. The trigger is buttery smooth, lacking the spongy feeling many AEG's have. It's no gas blowback trigger, but for an AEG it feels fantastic. The rifle is lightweight, but it feels sturdy and capable. As far as the outside of the gun goes, color me very impressed. It isn't because it does everything in some new high quality way, but from what I traditionally expect of this manufacturer this is made of material and a quality of construction that simply cannot be beat.
The inside of this airsoft rifle is where all the differences come to light. The "Next Generation" in the title refers to the recoil system built into this new gearbox. Electric recoil isn't a new thing, KWA has had guns that do this for a while as has Lonex, but TM goes about things in a different way.
Where KWA and Lonex use a modified V2, essentially altering the back half of the mechbox to accomdoate the recoil buffer, TM has totally redesigned the gun to the point that it takes new magazines, and different parts for the interior, instead of being another proprietary V2 style box.
Now, due to the way we acquired this gun for review, and not wanting to release the fairy dust TM is obviously sprinkling on their guns at the factory, we won't be dissecting the whole gearbox this week, however, in these pictures, you can clearly see what's different about the layout if you are knowledgeable about gearboxes. A truncated front end allows for the mechanism that controls your bolt lock to function. When this rifle runs dry, you will need to hit the bolt release to continue shooting.
Follow it backward, and you find the recoil system. Utilizing a series of springs and a buffer weight, this gun is able to simulate a sensation of recoil. Now, as an avid firearms shooter, this doesn't even compare, but it is a form of kinetic feedback that lets you know the gun is running. We'll refer back to our review of the Wolverine MTW, where a total lack of feedback was a huge detriment to our shooting experience. I feel like I could shoot this gun into the corner of the room at absolutely nothing and have a good time.
This gun shoots incredibly well, with a few caveats.
The first thing you have to accept is that it is a Japanese gun, which means low FPS. This gun chronographed at around 290 FPS. This is a factor of Japanese law, where guns that shoot harder than this are effectively illegal.
The second thing you have to get over is that this doesn't really matter. This gun had no problem hopping .28 gram BB's to the 200 foot mark we use as a quality standard for rifles. It is insanely accurate, and produced some of the best results of any AEG we have tested.
We normally test with an 11.1v battery, but it's worth pointing out that for this, we did have to acquire a 7.4v lipo, as this gun does not handle 11.1v rate of fire stock. Thankfully, there is a whole host of parts support for these guns, should you want to build it to be even better than it already is.
Let's break it down. This is a $500 gun on Airsoft GI.
It doesn't shoot at American standard for FPS, but shoots better than most stock guns.
It has unique realistic features in it's manual-of-arms replication and recoil.
Is it worth the $500 price tag? Absolutely yes.
Should you buy one? That's up to you. $500 is a hard pill to swallow, especially if you need more power than this gun provides. Fully upgraded NGRS system rifles can eclipse the $1000 mark when finished pretty fast.
One things for certain though: I'm going to have to buy one of these for myself.