Tokyo Marui’s M93RPaul
Tokyo Marui’s M93R
Tokyo Marui’s M93R is based on the selective-fire 9x19mm Beretta M93R. The “R” stands for “Raffica” which means ‘burst’ in Italian. Designed in the 70s for police and military use, the offering of extra firepower in a small package made it ideal for concealed-carry purposes such as VIP protection, or for close quarters fighting such as room-to-room searches. The basic design of the Beretta 93R machine pistol is based on the famous Beretta 92 pistol, and the real world 93R is a single action only, with a non-ambidextrous frame mounted safety and an additional fire mode selector, outfitted with a folding foregrip, muzzle brake, an optional detachable shoulder stock to try and further improve the stability and accuracy, and a 20-round magazine. The selector switch allows the pistol to fire three-round bursts with each pull of the trigger for a potential cyclic rate of 1100 rounds per minute, and the three-round burst limitation was added to allow it to be more easily controlled compared to full automatic. The Beretta 93R is no longer listed in Beretta military & law enforcement catalogues, but it is used by some Italian police and anti-terrorist forces, such as Carabinieri’s GIS and NOCS, and by some other paramilitary forces. The burst fire mode is of dubious value for anybody but the most professional shooters, who need the improved effectiveness at very short to short ranges.
Let’s talk airsoft… technically we’re in the winter season right now, although you wouldn’t know it by the unseasonably mild temperatures we’ve been having recently. None the less, it’s the time of year our kit starts to evolve and adapt to the colder months, so that we can continue our typical weekend torts, without the almost inevitable temperature related failures. One example of a platform to get you through the winter is an AEP (or Airsoft Electric Pistol to those who are unfamiliar), where the gut-wrenching ‘gas-out’ at the critical moment is an experience you can put behind you, but does it come at a cost? Let’s take a look at Tokyo Marui’s all plastic offering, and some of the pros and cons of the AEP platform.
Before we get critical, let’s get a grip of the aesthetics. From the fake outer barrel to the fake extended magazine which houses the gearbox and motor, the pistol is a uniform black all over, apart from the metal components such as the folding fore-grip, take-down lever, slide release, safety, and fire selector, which have a matte powder coat type of finish to them. The slide retains the typical Beretta-style open-top design, while the fake plastic outer barrel extends about 1.5 inches past the front sight, and it’s ported like the original early production models, although on the real world variant this feature was designed out, not long after mass-production started. Down the length of the slide, you’ll find trademarks that somewhat relate to the original, although Umarex holds the licensing for Beretta so this is about as far as it goes. And at the rear of the slide is the hammer, which moves, but as far as I can tell doesn’t serve any sort of functional purpose. At first, I thought it may act like a forward assist mechanism, but throughout the review, I couldn’t determine whether it had a specific purpose as there were no lock-ups of which to speak of.
The pistol grip offers a fairly substantial amount of grip, with stippled-like surfaces on the sides, and vertical ridges front and rear. The grip itself is quite chunky and feels really comfortable, and it’s not too dissimilar from the real world variant. At the bottom of the pistol grip is a mount for lanyard retention, which although it’s made from ABS plastic, it’s nice and bulky, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about in terms of reliability. The trigger guard is massively extended to allow the thumb from your non-shooting hand to pass through it when grabbing the foregrip lever. What looks like more than ample room to use gloved hands when using the pistol, soon becomes a little snug when you use the front lever as intended; but let’s get real for a second, this is a plastic, non-blowback AEP, and I can see very little reason for wanting to use the foregrip lever (other than personal preference), so using the M93R with gloves shouldn’t really be an issue. The lever itself is really robust and springs firmly into place. The mechanism that supports and stops the lever is metal, so no worries about reliability there, although originally I did have a small concern about the plastic collar that supports the spring for the mechanism. On reflection, this bears no weight or resistance other than the torque of the small spring inside it, so the fact that its plastic shouldn’t cause any failures.
As mentioned previously, all the controls except for the magazine release button are metal, and the two most important controls, the safety and the fire select, are easily reachable when gripping the pistol. The takedown lever requires you to push the button on the right side of the frame, to then turn the takedown lever on the left side, thus releasing the frame. You’ll need to do this to gain access to the battery compartment and the hop up. A nice feature with this being an AEP is that you can leave the slide removed and continue to fire while adjusting the hop up, whereas, on a gas blowback, you would have to reassemble it each time in order to cycle the pistol and see if the hop needs further adjustment. The hop up is a classic Tokyo Marui with its typical sprinkling of voodoo magic, but we’ll cover that in a minute. Initially, the battery fits into a relatively tight space and I wondered if removing the battery would present an issue, but then I found the lever that when pressed, pushes the battery out of the cavity effortlessly. The slide reassembles as easily as it disassembles, by simply replacing the slide, and turning the takedown lever in the opposite direction. It’s worth mentioning at this point that the slide release control serves no function at all, it’s completely static and there only for show. Externally, it’s actually quite a nice piece of kit. Typically I have an aversion to plastic pistols, more so than plastic rifles. I’m not sure why that is, but an essence of realism is lost through a pistol made of plastic, whereas a plastic rifle can still give the overall impression, and thus realism, and doesn’t quite detract from the experience as much. Maybe it’s just me. That being said, the weight distribution is more than acceptable, with the bulk of the weight from the gearbox is in the pistol grip, and with the battery added its pretty evenly spread across the whole pistol. The weight is fairly minimal for obvious reasons, and all-in-all, it’s quite comfortable.
So what’s she like to shoot? Well, like I said at the beginning, with an AEP you get the reliability during the cold months, but it may come at a cost. A typical gas blowback gives you that immediate feedback that we all know and love, with that sharp and snappy recoil that lets everyone know you’re coming for them. An AEP, however, sounds more like an AEG with a dying battery. Let’s just say the trigger response is hardly mind-blowing. Judging it on what it is, rather than against a completely different system, the M93R is more than usable on the skirmish field, and although the shots feel laboured, it does send rounds to your target nice and flat, and I must say with good accuracy. Run up against someone with a gas blowback though, and you may find they have the upper hand, that is provided their shot isn’t met with a spurious stream of gas emitting from the chamber. I guess it’s ‘swings and roundabouts’, you have to sacrifice that edge you would ordinarily have with trigger response to meet the long-term demands of playing at colder temperatures.
There is a small amount of vibration from the gearbox cycling, but other than that and the noise it makes, there isn’t much going on to affect your accuracy, whereas you might find a gas blow back’s recoil can impede your follow-up shots. After a short while, I made my piece with the trigger response and concentrated on accuracy. With targets out at twenty meters, the trajectory of the BB sat nice and flat, and on an A4 sized target, I made contact 90% of the time on average. I didn’t have access to a bench rest or vice, so measuring exact groupings would be pointless because of the human factor. Regardless, I had no real issues hitting the targets at twenty meters, so aiming at a player at that distance would have given me no issues at all. I wanted to really stretch the M93R’s legs though, and see how far I could accurately and effectively send rounds down range. With a target at forty meters, I dialled in the hop and using 0.28 gram BB’s I tried my luck. I should interrupt by telling you at this point, that the feet per second measured a mere 217 on 0.20 gram BB’s, so I was not expecting anything miraculous. However, and much to my surprise, I was able to land 60% of my shots on target. Granted, at that range, I would be dubious as to whether the player at the other end would feel those shots, but none the less, I was impressed that this gutsy little thing managed it. Just for kicks, I flicked it to full-auto and gave it a blast. One or two hit the target, but to be fair, I wouldn’t count on the auto function to pick long range targets off, maybe more of a charge and pray sort of function.
Ok, so the magazine is long and thin to make room for the gearbox, and heaven knows how you would store them on your rigging. The trigger response is lacking, and it’s not quite enough to be used as an all year round addition to a snipers loadout. And lastly, the sights are quite difficult to draw up to your target quickly, although this again is probably just a personal thing. All that being said, Tokyo Marui’s M93R sends rounds down on a nice flat trajectory, it’s not going to let you down when winter gets rough, and it’s actually really comfortable and easy to use. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but I personally think the pros outweigh the cons, and if you’re looking for a winter addition, I’d say you can’t go too far wrong with the TM M93R.
Velocity Feet Per Second (FPS): 200
Rounds Per Minute (RPM): 600
Battery Type: NBT
Weight (with Magazine): 900g
Inner Barrel Length: 122mm
Available form Zero One Airsoft