When I walked away from Airsoft back in ’06 one of the reasons I did this was the VCRA… I was certain that the whole industry was shortly going down the drain, I’d seen first hand what can happen when laws abruptly change on the ownership of newly outlawed weapons and I mistakenly decided to cash out early and sold on my Marui M733 (Goddamn! Marui need to release this in GBB or recoil!)
So, after an extended absence from Airsoft (although I did still keep one eye on its progress) I ventured back into the world of Airsoft skirmishing. This in itself is a anecdotal story filled with tales of caution regarding wannabe site owners and people having team names tattooed permanently on their backs in 4″ high gothic print (Yup, true story)
One of my very first games back was at a CQB site where I happened to see this rather unassuming guy (Who happens to be a good friend now) with a small weapon I’d seen in various shooters such as SOCOM:Confrontation (A massively under-rated shooter) and the Battlefield franchise… The ubiquitous MP7, this one being built by Tokyo Marui.
I was curious and asked for a go with it, if the feel of pulling the trigger wasn’t enough then the tracers shooting off into the distance had me hooked. The tracer unit was rapidly purchased (ASG to start off with and after I got bored of repeatedly buying replacements for broken units I bought a TM tracer). If you play CQB I heartily recommend buying one as the hit taking can miraculously improve once you all see shots bouncing off plate carriers. In a game of honour you can feel at times that people unashamedly take the piss.
The MP7 however, was going to wait… I did buy a VFC MP7A2 several years ago which although an alright platform and scaled 1/1 with the real firearm didn’t exactly float my boat and was promptly sold on at a significant loss.
A few more years passed by and it just so happened that I was looking for a replica to meet a very specific set of needs, for a MilSim game I attended a couple of years ago. It had to be small, accurate, intimidating and over all else it had to work in the wet and cold. The Mk23 NBB pistol was a prime contender but it didn’t have the ability to be shouldered for longer shots and is lacking a little in the intimidation game due to its quiet nature.
I eventually decided to go back into the SMG market and bought a brand new MP7 and a few spare mags from the guys at Fire Support. I won’t bore you to death with details of how nice the box is, it’s the same as every other Tokyo Marui Replica… cardboard, polystyrene and a funny little booklet that tells you that shooting yourself in the face isn’t fun and that shooting random people from a moving car will land you in Prison.
Japanese prison sounds fun until you remember that you can buy soiled schoolgirl underwear and pixelated tentacle porn in the equivalent of a Waitrose over there, If that’s normal then imagine the people they want locked up away from society.
Upon opening the box I was reminded again at just how compact it really is, Roughly 20% smaller than the genuine article it fits my chunky hands well enough… with smaller hands probably being a perfect match. The controls are partially ambidextrous with Heckler And Koch’s trigger frame magazine release being recreated faithfully, thus allowing for left/right hand use. The cocking/charging handle acting similarly to that on an M16 at the rear of the weapon and the bolt release being just forward of the trigger on the left and right sides of the receiver. The safety/Fire selector is also fully amibdextrous although slightly smaller on the right hand side to make a right handed shooters grip a little better than a lefties (Its obvious bias you get across the world with almost everything that’s ambidextrous but you get used to it as a lefty 😂)
The controls all move with a positive click and the bolt slaps home with ample force and a slightly disappointing clunk, although in shooting it’s a far crisper feel.
The only control that isn’t left hand friendly is the stock release, it’s tucked away on the rear right hand side of the receiver, and with the addition of the sling plate I’ve acquired it’s a bit of a nightmare to deploy quickly. It’s a minor niggle though and once you’ve sorted out the stock it’s a solid feel.
The magazines are weighty, much the same as an extended Glock mag in weight and size although with a slight curve that isn’t quite as pronounced as that on the MP5. The real MP7 comes with either 20 or 40 round magazines, the Marui GBB only has the 40 round option with the mags holding bang on 40 shots with a little slack left in the spring. The mag construction is one of the only criticisms that many owners have, the bottom of the magazine is held in place by two pins which if they deform can lead to permanently leaky mags. This is something I’ve thankfully avoided despite having to open up each mag at least twice in the period I’ve owned them for maintenance. Gas efficiency isn’t something I’ve ever cared much about. I only ask for one mags worth of crisp clean and accurate shots from each fill, I always replenish gas when I fill with ammo. The MP7 doesn’t disappoint however and with green gas it’s able to put out a couple of mags worth in room temperature, with even full auto being a viable option (a gas replica owners wet dream)
Accuracy and range is outstanding. You’ll find the range and grouping at typical TM performance levels, I’m able to score hits on a medium SAPI plate sized target at 40m on a calm day… with the PDI 6.01 barrel and firefly hop rubber I’m able to get a solid 60/70m range using .3 ammo and green gas. The same friend whose MP7 I coveted for so long dared me to stick guarder power up in it, I did.. once. I agreed with the site marshals and other players to stay in semi only and act with a DMR minimum engagement distance of 30m, it was the most enjoyable experience of my life and felt like I was playing a first person shooter. Getting about 1.5 joules using Geoff’s .40 Sniper ammo (well within that sites DMR rules) and easily ranging all but the most exceptionally well set up bolties, I had to put it back down before I either destroyed my blowback/nozzle or someone else made the decision for me. In a game of fair play it’s sometimes best to know when you’ve got an unfair advantage and maybe take a step back.
Talking about having an unfair advantage might sound outlandish. What with me using a gas primary with 40 shots per mag and generally being limited to semi, Versus the horde of great unwashed with their 300 round high caps and their fire selector seemingly welded to rock and roll! But I shit you not, I had the upper hand that Sunday, And no… I’m certainly not endorsing the MP7s use in this way.
What I would recommend the MP7 for, and what it’s main strength happens to be is for fast paced CQB action where a short compact weapon combined with high accuracy and instantaneous trigger response is vital. Paired up with a decent optic and light you’ll struggle to find anything more ready to assault through The Gaols long huts and prison wings, Crawl through the breach holes and tunnels of Longmoor or simply have on your lap in a Vauxhall Corsa whilst chasing a Toyota Hilux full of nutters around Caerwent (True Story)
Without wanting to come across like a giant fanboy, it’s a cracking little weapon. I’ve yet to find a fault with it bar the magazine design not being as durable as other designs, the reduced overall size and apparently the nozzles being fragile (not something I’ve experienced personally) so yeah, it’s not a perfect replica but it’s a hell of a lot of fun, probably the most fun to shoot out of anything in my current armoury… Maybe not as much fun as the CQBR GBBR but half of that is probably that the CQBR is a recent addition and new guns = fun guns.
You’ll want decent mag carriage as well… I’ve trialled several designs and found the BlueForceGear MP7 chest rig to be excellent for general use (Works well for covert use as well) and the Ten-Speed pouches are great for mounting to a plate carrier. Don’t be put off of others though… Spiritus Systems, HSGI and Esstac all make exceptional gear and have suitable solutions for TM MP7 mags. (I’ve got my eye on a Spiritus Micro Fight rig to complement my Ferro Slickster but I’ll wait until my pay review next month before I take the plunge 😂)
As always, hope you’ve enjoyed the review… there’s a whole host of other places to look for information, one source I’ve always used is Khanseb… his channel has quietened down recently, but his heavy on the shooting, light on the talking approach gives you a great chance to see a replica in action without listening to some knobber harp on about how he “Once used his sub gun as a DMR” 😂