A little background on how long I’ve been waiting for one of these, One of my very first Airsoft replicas was a spring powered USP… this was close to 20 years ago! Even against the feel of iconic pistols such as the Beretta 92FS and the Colt M1911, I knew that this would hold a place in my heart for a long, long time.
Hit fast forward to the mid 2000s and after a few years hiatus I returned to the Airsoft community, One of the very first replicas I set my sights on was a new USP… this model was made by KWA and unfortunately I happened to pick up a little bit of a lemon, It ate nozzles for a pastime and didn’t like the cold very much. After a short period of repeatedly ordering spares from the US and the far east I gave up on it and the pistol was virtually gifted to a friend, who still has it for the occasional plinking session in his garden.
So, when I saw the reveal a couple of years ago for a Tokyo Marui full size USP on Hyperdourakuit felt like a slap straight back to my 14 year old self… I wanted it, and I wanted it now! Unfortunately, Mr Marui wasn’t interested in my impatience, In fact there is an old Japanese proverb which says “With time, even raindrops can shatter a rock” and to a certain degree, it’s quite apt… If Mr Marui isn’t happy for me to have it yet, maybe I should let him work on it a little more.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the very first to get hold of a USP, although beaten by less than 24 hours by Bada Bing (Click here for his excellent video review of the USP) who managed to somehow avoid the small customs charge that is a common symptom of importing direct from Japan. After ordering from Impulse101 my order took less than 7 days to reach my door, with tracking that was accurate and very up to date, its always a worry buying something of value, so to have the assurance of knowing where it is can be very comforting.
The pistol happened to arrive on the very day I was setting off for a weekend event with Stirling Airsoft, I could have left it at home… to take it would have been virtually pointless as i had zero holstering options and I’d already elected to take my trusty M&P9. However, the heart won over and along it came for the ride.
So, first impressions… the box is a stylish black with a textured finish, opening the lid reveals a typically well packaged pistol, magazine and also a proprietary H&K to Picatinny Mil-Std-1913 rail adaptor. Inside the lid you’ll find your literature and under the cardboard fascia is the barrel plug, a small bag of ammo and the two magazine dry fire adaptors. The pistol also hides your barrel cleaning/unjamming rod.
The pistol itself has a look of quality from the start, its obelisk like square profile being rendered in a flat dark graphite colour for the slide and a slightly darker black for the frame and controls. Speaking of the controls, they are stiffer than you might be used to and the slide release in particular takes a fair amount of effort to activate, this is mostly due to the design which actually uses a double lock for the slide itself, this is designed to prevent the release from eating through the slide (A problem lots of pistols can have, certainly my old 226 suffered from this). Along the top you have metal sights front and rear with a traditional 3 dot pattern, the extractor is a separate part and although this has no bearing on performance its a nice touch that certainly enhances its looks.
The chequering on the front and back strap is aggressive, certainly an advantage in wet weather and the sides are patterned in a rough but not uncomfortable style. The slide is a nice easy pull with a rather springy feel at its most rearward, I’ll be honest and say I’ve not even taken the slide off this pistol yet (Demons from my USP past make this a personal nightmare…) but I’m sure that the reason for this is to reduce the stress on the slide when firing.
Now the fun part, Shooting! The whole waiting thing… lets just say it paid off! I’ve been lucky enough to use this replica at two games so far… the aforementioned MilSim where it ended up stuffed into a pocket and used in anger for literally 30 seconds and most recently at a local night CQB game, where I decided to run around with just this and 2 spare magazines. Range and accuracy is typical Marui, Hitting a 6″ steel plate consistently 10/10 at 25 metres. Max range in ideal conditions I’d put at 40/50 metres although at this range you’d be hitting people so softly that you’d be 100% relying on their honour to call it. As always I tested this on both .2 and .25 Madbull ammo with ASG Ultrair Green Gas. Chrono results were consistent too with an average reading of 295 FPS with .2 ammo.
The one thing everyone comments on once they’ve had a go is how much kick its got… its a serious beast and makes my snappy M&P feel like a dead horse in comparison. the trigger pull is great and with a very short reset for a double action pistol, the decocker/safety although not ambidextrous is pretty simple to use (even for a lefty) and drops the hammer just short of its full travel. The rate of fire you can crank up is astonishing and it will easily empty a full 24 round mag without hesitation, even in the cold where other pistols had been struggling. The bigger volume 15mm cylinder is obviously a massive help and I’d hope that Marui make this a norm for all future releases (Glock 19… cough, cough..)
Holster wise, I can confirm that its real steel compatible… I’ve invested in a left hand Blackhawk! Serpa lvl2 as its about the only option without going down the kydex route (I’m a massive fan of kydex, but I fancied a Serpa for this for a number of reasons) it clicks into the holster nicely and draws smoothly with a little friction but not enough to cause a problem drawing.
Also another point that is worth mentioning, the USP Compact is not compatible with the full size variant for magazines and it remains to be seen if any parts will be cross compatible (I’m sure Rich from Eagle 6 will be able to shed some light on this in the near future) I was lucky enough to be able to lend a Compact from a good friend for a few days and see just how much they had improved in just a few years from their Compact model, which although a good all round pistol does not have the finish of the new USP.
Overall I have to say that this is one of the best pistols on the market at the moment, It’s not for everyone though and if your looking for an impression to build around this pistol your going to be limited to very character driven loadouts… Vincent from Collateral for those “Mozambique moments” (although it was the slightly bigger .45 version used in the film) or Robert De Niro’s bank robber in the critically acclaimed Heat, both Michael Mann films and worth a watch for the gun play alone.
The big question is, Does the pistol justify the price tag? well, I paid £218 all in for the pistol and 2 spare mags, Thats including import and delivery direct from Japan. With the poor overall economy and brexit looming on the horizon I’d have to say its a fair price given the overall situation. My other recent purchase (The Tokyo Marui M45A1) came in at nearly £40 more overall for the same bundle, and although I’m in love with it, if it hadn’t been a pistol I’d been queuing up for, I’d probably have given it a miss. The USP however can wholeheartedly justify its price tag, you’ll really struggle to find a better replica (especially of the USP) and from a purely function over form point of view its flawless.
I’d give it a solid 9/10… Having said that, if Tokyo Marui listened to the voices and released a GBB Mk23 or USP .45 with the same level of detail and performance It’d get a 10/10.