Vip3r – known in one Polish region (wojewodztwo łódzkie, around Lodz city) as a bit crazy guy selling airsoft equipment – proposed that he could share his opinion about two replicas which he bought recently. He happens to be my brother, so we just sat one day in front of computers and together - pretending to be a perfect brother and sister - made this text. He was talking about his impressions; I was the one to ask questions…
Speaking in a very general and in a colloquial way, when someone is interested in any subject his mind starts to go slightly mad. Sooner or later – after several months, or years of being connected to one hobby – he tries to figure out what to change, what to add, what to improve, what to spoil or break... In this case I am not different... I would rather say, that I am a good example of this behaviour. I’ve been playing ASG for few years. One day an idea (which I believe is known to many players) came to my mind, that I’d seen everything: all eMs, AK, several Pe-eMs, Glocks, Berettas, Sigs, Colts... I started to search for anything that I hadn’t had before. I needed something rare, unusual... a revolver!Obviously a wise guy, who loves revolvers, would probably buy a Tokyo Marui replica, but here again I knew, I wanted something ‘special’ – 8 mm. And shells, of course. So the choice was obvious: MARUSHIN. Here I have to say, that after a short period of time I have even two of them – and that is why I will be even more enthusiastic to share my opinion with all those, who are bored with all ordinary ASG guns, and all those who wonder how it is to shoot with a pellet which is 2 mm bigger ;)
WHY 8 MM ?
After reading the above introduction someone can ask: ‘Why should we suddenly choose 8 mm?’ The answer is easy: first of all it was about typical maniacal way of thinking that 8 mm is closer to 9 mm. In this way – a bit twisted or even funny way – I wanted to get a bigger coherence with the original one. Secondly, due to bigger dimension, 8 mm pellets are easier to load with your fingers. And here comes the final argument: before I’ve bought it, I had thought that it’s more painful to be hit with 8 mm pellet. It is truth, but still they leave smaller bruises. So this purchase was preceded by a long fight with all of those, which we call ‘terminators’ in Poland. It was supposed to be my ‘specialité’, dedicated to enemies less sensitive for being hit. I will come back later to those aspects of my choice in a part of the text which concerns shooting.
MANY MODELS, HARD CHOICE
As we decide to buy a revolver, and limit our choice to Marushin – as only this Japanese producer makes 8 mm revolvers – we still come across few models to choose from. After a long period of thinking I’ve chosen Colt UNLIMITED HW and Smith&Wesson M60 Chief Special (Silver). It’s hard to find more extreme models - don’t you think so? The choice was made due to two types of feeling... The first model was to be a ‘power monster’, something dedicated to all those ‘terminators’ who are not ‘dying’ after one hit. The second one was to replace G26 (which I was using at that time) and was to be a handy toy. Unfortunately it was after testing that I’ve learned that G26 is much more useful. Apart of its compact dimensions, it gives nice results, whereas S&W is not shooting too well.
For this moment let’s put aside all the whims connected to the look of both guns... If you decide to buy a revolver, I would suggest putting attention on the muzzle velocity and the type of gas that powers it. If we consider all models presented by Marushin, the velocity can differ pretty much. That’s why when we are looking for something ‘more than a toy’, we should choose one of big models... all types of COLT, TAURUS, RUGGER, REDHAWK etc.
It is necessary to mention, that Colt Unlimited is powered with HFC134A or GreenGas, whereas S&W M60 Limited Wood grip – only with HFC134A (or other analogue which pressure is lower than Green Gas), The difference lays in gas pressure. If we use Green Gas in a replica powered with HFC134A – the seal will be damaged (it will break or come out) or the pistol will not even shoot. In this second case the hammer will not have the power to open the valve because the pressure in gas chamber will be too high.
Let’s say few words about the look... I’ll begin with Colt. From the very first look Colt makes a nice impression. It is huge, heavy, and suits our hand (though you need to have a big hand). The material with which it was made includes a metal dust so the replica is nicely cold in touch and pretends to be solid. What is a bit annoying in this good lookout, are the covers of the grip. Maybe the plastic itself is not so bad, but it contrasts too much with all the rest. It seems as the engineers from Marushin did not care too much about imitating wood. Well, I didn’t have a chance to compare it with the real gun, so I will try to explain the producer with words, that maybe the real gun would show us similar (ugly) grips...
S&W is another story... It is beautiful! It looks wonderful in this limited edition (if we believe in those limited versions) with wooden covers. The material with which S&W was made gives a good imitation of chrome steel, aesthetic and beautiful, but... (yes, there is always ‘but’, if not, than I’ll create one...)... But a part of the magic breaks when we take S&W in our hand – it is light. Extremely light! As we know, the original S&W is a pocket revolver used to self defence as a weapon hidden near ankle or inside pocket. The real one’s weight is 550g, replica – 355g, so the difference is not very big. However, when holding it, we DO expect something heavier.
USING THE GUN
Both replicas have a similar mechanism: we put one pellet (8 mm) to every shell casing, then put gas into the grip, shells into the cylinder, and it’s ready to shoot. It’s good to mention, that 6 shells go into Colt cylinder, but only 5 into the one of S&W. The BB is settled almost at the very bottom part of the shell casing, as in both models we have to help them with a little ‘pushing-thing’ (delivered with the gun, byt any other piece of stick will do ;) ) This move puts the pellet into the seal to prevent the BB coming out before shooting.
As for the casings, they are made of metal for both types of revolver. It gives a nice impression of being real. As the described revolvers belong to two different types, we cannot exchange cases between them. Just to mention, Marushin makes three different types of shell cases: for big revolvers (as described Colt), for S&W revolvers (M36 and M60 described here) and for revolvers from Police series. It’s useful to know while we order additional shells.
Obviously, we need to pull the trigger to take a shoot. In first, cocking phase, the hammer is pulled back and the cylinder turns – to the left in Colt; to the right in S&W. When we pull the trigger more, in second phase the hammer falls and that’s when the shoot is taken. The first phase of shooting can be made as well by pulling the hammer back with your thumb. In this case the trigger moves back and the revolver is ready to shoot.
Now it’s time to mention shooting impressions. In two words: Colt rules! As probably everyone knows, 8 mm pellets are made in different weights, just as 6 mm pellets. If we take 0,40g BBs, Colt will give us over 340fps. When we calculate the power of it, this result seams to be scary, but in practice it is not as bad as it seems. I’ve already mentioned before, that 8 mm BBs hits are more painful and harder to ignore, but still they do not leave big marks as 6 mm pellets, and they do not tend to penetrate skin. Marks left by 8 mm disappear quicker and the initial pain seems to go away quicker too.
S&W is a toy of another type. The velocity when using the 0,36 g pellets was much lower than 200fps. We can say, that the bullet is rather floating than being shot. The lack of hop-up is not helping either... to be honest, I do not really feel like taking S&W for a skirmish. But we have to say that it finds its role quite well as a toy laying on the desk. That is the role it plays in my home: even right now it is laying next to my keyboard and gives me some charming blinks ;)
As I’ve mentioned the topic of shooting, it would be good to answer this natural incoming question: how does it work in the battlefield? I will write shortly what would probably come to everyone’s mind: it is not a toy for all guys and surely not a toy for every Sunday’s skirmish. The owner of it has only 6 (or 5) shoots before reloading. That gives a big psychical pressure and much less possibilities than while using other handgun replica. Moreover, you can trust me that during the play, last thing you would want to do is reloading. Yes, the fun is great with it, the satisfaction of every hit – unforgettable. But let’s not fool ourselves: the results will be much better with Glock by KSC. For sure.
On the other hand, it would be nice to ask ourselves a question: what is the point of playing airsoft? As for me, it is a matter of special atmosphere and this is what we cannot deny for the revolvers. Searching for new sensation I took COLT for a skirmish as my main weapon and I have to say, that for the last few years I have not experienced so much thrill as during this one... in the middle of the night hiding inside the building from eyes of 4 enemies. I had only 6 pellets in a cylinder. Of course the attackers got me, but before that I’ve hit two of them with two single shoots. That was what gave me the biggest satisfaction since my first ASG battles and the atmosphere of the duel was remarkable It’s also about that characteristic ‘click’ noise that you hear at night when you pull the hammer back and the cylinder turns...
Evidently I do not believe that a revolver will be used often during a typical skirmish (if not counting few crazy maniacs), but let’s not forget that airsoft is something more than a ‘classic’ skirmish. Nowadays we use to play more often those LARP-kind of plays, during which participants shoot less, but put a big attention to play their roles and create a proper atmosphere. There – in a scenery of westerns or Mexican gangs – revolver would be 100% useful.
Before we come to summary, it’s necessary to mention one more thing – quite funny, but important thing. In case of Colt Unlimited, Marushin provided some fetishes for maniacs...
As we can see on the picture, revolver with RIS rail looks funnily. Please forgive me for not showing you photos with scope and laser, but believe me that for those of you not prepared for this wiew, reading this page would end badly without having a paper bag ;) Do we really need those kind of additional gadgets? It’s hard to say. But still it’s nice, that Marushin added all of it to the standard version, not asking to pay for them additionally. Anyway, if we buy other replicas – eg. Ruger Redhawk, or Taurus Raging Bull – we get similar gadgets gratis... for example rings for a scope.
I cannot hide, that together with XiE we wrote this texts thinking of all those airsoft maniacs being a bit bored with Ms, AKs and other popular models. From this point of view, a revolver seems to be unique. In practice, revolvers have both good and bad sides of course, but still it is hard to compare them to all typical replicas which we came across during a skirmish. It would be rather a toy for collector, somebody a bit crazy, a LARP-lover, or someone looking for extraordinary thrill.
However (there comes my ‘but’ or ‘however’ again) I have to tell you, that I do not recommend those revolvers :D To be honest: I hope, that after reading this article all players will not start to buy 8 mm guns, and still I will be able to feel unique.