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M4CQB

Tokyo Marui SR16
GB Tech M4-M47 quick-detach silencer and rails
GB Tech quick-detach sling swivel
GB Tech flip-up front sight
Tokyo Marui flip-up rear sight
Den Trinity C-Mag drum magazine
Tokyo Marui hi-cap magazines
G&P magazine cinches
PSA red dot reflex sight
Guarder 3-point tactical sling

 

I fell in love with this gun even before my first venture into airsoft, the Beretta M92, had actually arrived. It's an exact copy of the special edition designed by the renowned Mr Algin for HK retailer Airsoft Club, commissioned through tiny UK retailer Airsoft Kit and assembled from off-the-shelf components by an anonymous Pacific Rim airsoft wholesaler - at a noticeable saving over the cost of the original custom! If ever a gun was bought for it's cosmetics, this was it - a little reading was enough to show that the Tokyo Marui SR16 was an excellent replica to build on, but it was the look of the bad-ass drum magazine coupled with the monstrous suppressor and rail attachment system of the front end that really won me over.

The M4 tactical configuration is common among the US SOCOM special forces, and is designed for close-quarters combat in urban areas. All the usual lights, lasers, grenade launchers etc can be bolted onto the front rails, and the holographic reflex sight provides extremely rapid target acquisition - it projects a bright red dot onto the centre of the lens, and will be a joy to use if I ever manage to zero it in properly... I think I need a little packing under the body of the unit as, probably due to the unusually short range I'm firing at, even when adjusted all the way I'm still shooting six inches too high!

The standard components of the gun bear up Tokyo Marui's reputation for acceptable quality. The plastic parts are fairly rigid, the metal of the various catches and levers isn't too cheap and weedy, and everything fits together adequately well. Faint praise, perhaps, but somehow the AEGs just don't feel as solid as the gas guns, and although it's an extremely good replica, somehow something is lacking...

Unfortunately the third-party add-ons are far less consistent in quality and design. The GB-Tech components are good, made from a proper aluminium alloy and extremely solid and tactile, but the PSA sight is rather plasticy with visible mould lines, one of the Allen bolts used to attach it to the rail stripped it's head within seconds, and the adjustment dial wasn't properly secured. Some careful filing and fiddling has helped, though, and it's not a bad little unit given that it is at the budget end of the market. In future I'd spend a little more, though, to get something with a little more quality.

The Den Trinity C-Mag was a complete failure, initially, refusing to feed any of its 2500 BBs, and instead making horrible grinding sounds. I opened it up to investigate, and it looked to me as if it just hadn't been put together very well - a little gate intended to prevent BBs flowing backwards had been glued in out of position, and was jamming the flow both ways. Tree, the proprietor of supplier Airsoft Kit, spent ages carefully filing it down (it was in warranty, of course, so I thought I'd let someone else take the risk of screwing it up) and finally achieved acceptable results, but having used it a little I'm starting to question the whole idea. One has to co-ordinate squeezing the trigger and the magazine feed switch fairly well to avoid mis-feeding, and it's just not an elegant solution in comparison to the standard clockwork hi-caps. For acceptable ease-of-use, especially during skirmishing, I'd definitely want to wire the magazine feed into the trigger mechanism somehow. It's a bit plasticy, and rattles when not in use (although a thin lining of foam would help with that, at the cost of a reduction in capacity) and the mechanism still grinds and groans annoyingly while it's feeding... I wouldn't buy another one, definitely.

The camera exaggerates the slight difference in shades and colours between the various components - in real life, it just looks black, shiny in a dull sort of way, and very, very mean. This is a gun with a clear function, and that function is to destroy everything in it's vicinity with maximum prejudice - my American friend Dale, owner of a sizeable collection of real assault rifles, blanched at the sight of the M4CQB and called it "an aircraft cannon". He has a point...

The gun's internals are completely standard at this stage, but the full stock allows a monster 8.4V 3000mAh battery to be used and this would happily drive a significantly upgraded mechanism. I'm tempted by a metal body and replacement mechbox, but installation would requires an extensive transplant and would probably be a tense process for a first-timer. In the interim, though, the replacement of the suppressor and RIS has also left me with an unusually short inner barrel for an assault rifle, and this seems to provide rather less power than I would expect from a standard SR16. However, I have the gun's original components, and although the barrel is now rather longer than the gun's fore-end, I will try cutting it down to fit right through the middle of the suppressor - maximising gas pressure and, hopefully, therefore muzzle velocity. Watch this space...

 

Tokyo Marui SR-16 review at Planet Airsoft

The inspiration - Airsoft Club's M4CQB

Knight's Armament - manufacturer of the real thing