Around year or so ago, Tokyo Marui announced that they’d be adding a support weapon to their already impressive Next Gen Recoil Shock series of AEGs. The weapon they chose to replicate might not appear to be much of a surprise at first glance, that is until you take a slightly closer look at the specific weapon in question… The Mk46 Mod 0.
So what makes the Mk46 Mod 0 an interesting choice? Well, outside of a few key pieces of entertainment media, it’s actually a relatively rare weapon. I’m not even considering its short service life in the real world, where the Mod 1 has rapidly nudged this earlier model into the annals of history.
Even a search of IMFDB will yield only a single film shot before 2019 that actually sees this model in use, I hear you asking which hugely influential film this is? XXX 2: State Of The Union (gotta love that C-More and M300 light combo though…). Even since then, its only actually appeared in one other film… The love it or hate it Underground 6 starring Ryan Reynolds.
Surely not, surely theres another reason why this gun was chosen as the first Next Generation Recoil Shock Support Weapon? I’m genuinely struggling for reasons, but it could be the global phenomenon that is CBS’s series; SEAL Team. Although its rather unlikely as it is the Mk46 Mod 1, not Mod 0 used by A.J. Buckley’s Texan SAW gunner Sonny Quinn. Although it could have been a simple oversight, I’d give Tokyo Marui enough credit to say that’s highly unlikely.
It is far more likely however, that the decision to go with the Mk46 Mod 0 was due to the games that had featured this belt-fed beauty: Rainbow 6: Vegas (And it’s sequel), Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault (I’ll never understand anime and the bonkers names they’re given) and perhaps the single most likely reason this was chosen, the sheer reverence of one game developer… Mr Metal Gear Solid himself, Hideo Kojima.
The near godlike status that Hideo Kojima appears to command within Airsoft, in particular with the guys at Tokyo Marui has been noted many times in the past. Practically every radical new design that Marui have released throughout the years, has at least in part been inspired by the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Let’s count them off shall we?
MK23 SOCOM? Signature weapon of Solid Snake. This NBB pistol is still used by many Airsoft players and widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest Airsoft sniper’s sidearm of all time.
FAMAS? The most abundant rifle within the first Metal Gear Solid. The original AEG, where it all began and considered to be a massive turning point in the way Airsoft replicas have been designed ever since.
Heckler & Koch PSG-1? Used by Sniper Wolf in the same game. A classic semi-auto Airsoft AEG and one which attempted to make a usable, accurate DMR out of the AEG platform.
The Mk46 Mod 0 though, how does it actually fit into that theory? Well, its one of a series of weapons used in Metal Gear Solid 4: Sons Of The Patriots. Its a thin strand for sure, but its more tenable a connection than the absolute shit-void that is XXX:2.
Looking into the past tells us that Tokyo Marui have always been far more concerned with the guns used in video-games than in any other media, if we want that elusive Recoil Shock MP5, then we’ll just have to petition for it to be featured in the next Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid game!
With all this put aside for a minute, an M249 derivative was probably always going to be the obvious choice for a recoil support weapon. However its still surprising that they didn’t choose the more common Mk46 Mod 1, or a more vanilla M249 PIP for the first one in potentially a larger range. But one thing I’ve always admired is Tokyo Marui’s ability to constantly surprise its consumer base, there’s literally no way to determine a potential new release until they themselves announce it.
Back onto the subject of this review; The Tokyo Marui Mk46, what’s all the fuss actually about? Well, there’s a number of reasons its got its fans excited. Primarily because its the first support weapon to use Tokyo Marui’s Next Generation Recoil Shock engine, a now decade old system that’s gone from niche novelty for the select few to mainstream replica seen in the hands of many a player at almost every type of Airsoft event.
Its also a bold move to build a recoil shock Mk46 Mod 0, in a world where support weapons have been left behind in recent years. Whilst the AR15 family continues to benefit with innovative designs from Systema, GBLS and a number of other manufacturers, support weapons have been neglected and left with the same old power and control systems that have been around for years.
The only support gun of note I can think of that’s been released over the last couple of years is the Krytac LMG, itself an extremely rough recreation of the Ares Shrike (Hurricane made an excellent kit back in the day). But even this is merely a normal AEG with a few features you can find on any one of a number of AEGs on the market today, hardly groundbreaking.
The lack of innovation in this area of the replica market is mostly due to the numbers involved, these numbers being the high cost of building bigger replicas and relatively low demand for them. Support weapons are distinctly under-represented within the game, and that’s both a good and bad thing for everyone.
You don’t see many people commit to the role of support gunner for more than a few games, they’re heavy to carry around, temperamental and usually no more effective than an equivalent M4 with a box mag. Its good that they’re under represented because no one wants to see loads of belt-fed guns at an Airsoft game, its also a little disappointing, because support weapons can add a great dynamic to the game if set up and used correctly.
What Marui are doing is attempting to break the mould, by making a support weapon that complements their current range of “next generation” recoil shock rifles whilst pushing the boundaries of what it means to have an Airsoft “support weapon”.
So, did they manage this impossible feat? Well, the Mk46 Mod 0 certainly isn’t like any other replica on the market. It manages to be different from any other recoil shock replica, whilst also vastly different from any other Airsoft support weapon currently on the market.
The whole experience of owning a Tokyo Marui Mk46 LMG starts with the packaging, it’s crafted in such a way to make the owner feel a sense of excitement. All the major components are bagged within their own boxes, one for the bipod, another for the magazine, fake rounds, link and a final one for the manual and other small accessories.
This theatrical element continues with the literature designed to mimic an official US Military weapon manual, probably Marui’s best booklet yet! There’s all the usual warnings about shooting random people and making sure you don’t stick your eye down the barrel, along with a full guide on how to use the Mk46 Mod0 and a parts list with an exploded diagram of the replica itself.
The magazine is smaller than most other support gun magazines, both physically and in capacity. The real “nutsack” holds a modest 100 rounds and this translates on Tokyo Marui’s replica as 1000 rounds of Airsoft ammunition. A modest amount compared to its competitors, but certainly enough for the weapon. I’m sure that other businesses will produce bigger magazines but For me, the 1000 round nut stack is more than enough, plus I’ve got a spare just in case!
The magazine is covered in US Woodland material and looks almost identical to a real 100 fabric “nutsack” magazine aside from a few difficult to spot details. Even the marker showing which direction the ammunition should face is well re-created on the Tokyo Marui effort, although on the Airsoft version it is actually used to wind up and pre-tension the high capacity magazine.
A motor powered by four AAA cells winds up the magazine’s internal spring to allow around 300 rounds to be fed continuously from the magazine. This same magazine also feed directly through the dovetail bracket into the bottom of the receiver, a great idea that allows for a relatively simple hop unit construction.
The separate link and rounds are also packaged individually to be constructed by the end user, a proprietary part on one end keeping the belt captive in the magazine. An interesting idea and one that allows the link to be pushed back within the magazine itself for transportation and to add to the whole immersion of loading the Mk46 Mod 0.
The 11 round link is sold as a separate entity from the magazine itself, as such it is sold separately and for the same price as the actual magazine itself! Not cool Marui… Not cool at all. Luckily, some enterprising people have figured out that you can switch out the Tokyo Marui link for real (deactivated) or G&P link and add a 3D printed end plate to achieve much the same effect.
The carry bag, it’s by far the most useful thing I’ve ever seen a replica come bundled with. Two removable and adjustable baffle/brackets sit inside and are held captive by rows of loop Velcro along the bottom and sides.
A multitude of pockets allow for the stowage of magazines, the bipod (these pockets are perfect for ammo or gas bottles) and a pair of end pockets that will comfortably hold eyepro, tools or even an ELCAN Spectre DR! There’s also a pair of exterior mesh pockets that can be used to hold small essential items.
The bag uses YKK zippers throughout, high quality ITW hardware and is constructed from 1000 denier cordura. The manufacturer is J-Tech, a little known Taiwanese tactical nylon business that appears to make the majority of its gear for local Mil/LEO contracts.
It is actually far better than it needs to be and if you happen to see one for sale in good condition, grab it. I was looking to buy a massive foam lined PeliCase before the Mk46 Mod 0 arrived, but having seen the quality of construction first hand, I’ll be using this bag to carry the Mk46 Mod 0 for the foreseeable future.
Starting at the front of the replica and working rearwards, lets have a closer look at what Tokyo Marui you get for your money.
The muzzle is a close reproduction of the Knight’s Armament Co. M4QD Flash Hider, Initially it looks exactly the same as a number of other Tokyo Marui replicas such as the Next Gen and Gas CQBRs but it actually extends further back and tapers in towards the barrel which is rather unique and would only look right on this model.
Marui did also unveil a “Vortex” Flash Eliminator at a pre-launch event, but its not something that has so far come up for sale (a shame really). The supplied flash hider is compatible with some KAC NT4 QDSS type suppressors, the cheap D-Boys one definitely working on mine. Its mount red via the now standard 14mm CCW thread, meaning mounting aftermarket flash hiders, suppressors and tracer units is a viable option.
The barrel design is in my opinion, the biggest surprise as far as the construction of the Mk46 Mod 0 goes. A split piece inner barrel design with the front 90% being removable (to allow for battery replacement), with just a short section remaining attached to the hop unit. The design is reproduced from the fluted barrel design used within SOCOM, lacking the weight and bulk of a carry handle and designed to be simply dropped free and replaced in a sustained firefight.
The inner barrel design is unusual in one main respect, in that Tokyo Marui have decided to use what appears to be an Aluminium inner barrel and not the standard brass design we’re used to seeing within other Tokyo Marui replicas. I’ve discounted all other possible options, from stainless steel to Teflon coated brass and I’m pretty positive that what we’re being sold is basic aluminium barrel.
I’d be lying if I said I was happy with this, I’m struggling to think of a single reason why an aluminium barrel would be a better choice than brass or stainless, the only reason I can fathom is that its a cost saving measure… Certainly there’s no engineering reason why you’d choose it. Its only saving grace is that despite this seemingly poor choice of material, it hasn’t hurt its overall accuracy or range.
It won’t be long before people replace this section of the replica with aftermarket barrels, Camo Custom have already been experimenting with custom cut EdGI brass barrels. The barrel cut itself is proprietary to necessitate this split design, but it is a right bastard to take apart and according to Camo Custom, a blow torch helps massively… I will say this though, the supplied barrel performs well enough as it is, I’m sure someone somewhere will tell me I’m a poor for generally sticking with Tokyo Marui’s stock option but if it gives you the performance you want, surely that’s the most important thing, right?
The barrel itself fits into place with a satisfying click, a large indexing bracket surrounds the hop/breech end of the barrel to prevent any movement. Another rubber o-ring on the gas block provides a secure, rattle-free fit on the front half of the barrel assembly. To remove the barrel, simply depress the lever on the left side, at the rear of the barrel and it’ll come away with a slight jump forwards. This will allow you access to both clean the main section of barrel and also gain entry to the battery tray within the front, lower receiver.
The bipod is the only included accessory, mounting to the bottom of the mock gas block if required. The model included is based upon the round profiled “M249 Improved” model that’s seen on the Mk46 Mod 0 and onwards, something that many other Airsoft support weapons manufacturers seem to have neglected and still supply the older, standard M249 bipod with their replicas.
It does add a surprising amount of weight to the front, so a fair few owners might want to look at swapping out to a Grip Pod or similar. I’m incredibly happy with the build quality of the bipod so far, although its worth noting that it is a primarily aluminium construction with steel fittings so it’s not indestructible. In a world of sub-par Airsoft bipods, Tokyo Marui appear to have made this one with longevity in mind. I have actually bought a genuine Grip Pod for mine, after borrowing one from The Reptile House‘s Rich. The weight saving alone is incredible, even if the Grip Pod isn’t considered the height of cool accessories!
One thing to bear in mind though, is that the bracket used to mount to bipod does tend to loosen itself after a relatively short amount of time. I’d suggest taking out the small bolt, applying a liberal amount of threadlock compound and making sure you periodically check this area to prevent any damage or loss through unwanted movement.
There are a few other areas that’ll also need monitoring, such as the working parts within the feed tray. My advice would be to keep a pretty close eye on your Mk46 Mod 0 overall, it wouldn’t hurt to get familiar with those key areas that might work themselves loose. Those areas being anything that moves or shakes, so basically the whole damn thing.
The rail is a two part design, the upper half having picatinny rails on the 3, 9 and 12 o’clock positions. This upper half has been lightened considerably, with about 50% of the material being “Swiss cheesed” from the rail. The top rail is held to the lower section via 6 bolts, as with every bolt on this replica I’d keep a close eye on them regularly to prevent them becoming loose and lost.
The front end of the receiver, just forward of where the rail is mounted there are a pair of steel QD sling mounts. A great addition and since my QD epiphany a few months ago, a feature I’ve used almost exclusively to mount my sling.
The lower rail is a slimmer profile overall, a lot less weight removed and the addition of only a single rail on the bottom 6 o’clock position. The two plastic ribbed sections along each side are not mock rails as others have mistakenly assumed, but merely heat guards to prevent the user burning his hands in real life. This being an area that can become rather hot when firing off belts of 5.56mm. Its worth noting that these two plastic guards will scuff soon after even light use, especially if you insist on using the bipod that comes bundled with the Mk46 Mod 0.
The receiver/body is constructed primarily of cast aluminium alloy, not a big surprise but it’ll inevitably lead to some poor sod wrapping theirs around a tree and snapping it in half. It’s well made but its not indestructible, its also not immune to the wear and tear of use… something Tokyo Marui could have used Cerakote to improve, but neglected to do. The receiver is also home to the mechanical and electrical system that powers the Mk46 Mod 0, a redeveloped design based upon their Next Generation Recoil Shock engine.
The charging handle sits on the right hand side of the weapon, this is unique amongst Airsoft replicas in that it actually functions and is vital to the replicas operation… the replica wont fire more than a few shots unless the magazine is inserted and the handle racked back and released forward again. Its all part of an elaborate system that is designed to put the Tokyo Marui Mk46 Mod 0 in a league above all other Airsoft support weapons, whilst on its own its a novelty, it does add to the charm.
The receiver and its associated feed tray cover are well replicated from the original Mk46 Mod 0, the trademarks (along with Tokyo Marui’s own markings) are also seen in the right places and are well reproduced. There is video evidence to suggest the guys who designed the Mk46 Mod 0 actually played with and shot a real Mk46 whilst developing this replica, so again this might be a reason why they chose to build this particular version, using first hand knowledge to recreate an accurate replica instead of guessing as some other companies might.
The feed tray cover also has a 20mm picatinny rail fitted to its top, perfect for the attachment of optics. However, be aware that this part is lightly sprung and any additional weight will result in the feed tray not staying open of its own accord. The feed tray is released by pinching together a pair of buttons to the rear of the feed tray, allowing access to the hop dial, link retaining clip and recoil weight. To set this cover back in place, a firm slap or push will click it all back into alignment, ready for firing.
One part that anyone whose been following the Mk46 Mod 0’s post release closely will be aware of, the magazine dovetail. There’s a little more to the story that meets the eye, whilst it doesn’t excuse Tokyo Marui’s oversight, it should be noted that there were complex reasons for the following issue and that Marui developed this part specifically with the replicas overall longevity in mind.
The dovetail that came with the first shipment of Mk46 Mod 0’s is prone to breaking, very prone actually. I’ve always been relatively careful with my replicas as I’m fully aware of their limitations and weaknesses, mainly that they’re made from lower quality cast aluminium alloys. I’ve not had mine break (yet) and its likely because I’m aware that given enough force on a big toy like the Mk46 Mod 0 that something, somewhere is going to break. I don’t treat mine with kid gloves but equally, I don’t abuse it either.
Tokyo Marui themselves have actually stated that the original dovetail was designed as a mechanical “fuse”, designed to break before the far more expensive magazine or god forbid, the receiver is irreversibly damaged. I can definitely see the logic in this, but I cannot see the logic in making it so weak that it can apparently be broken by changing the magazine and applying the slightest amount of incorrect force.
Tokyo Marui are not yet offering the dovetail as a standalone retail part, so this whole “fuse” idea is worryingly irrelevant if you should happen to keep breaking yours. They have however made a slightly revamped design, the newer version incorporates a slightly thicker profile and should hopefully eliminate any issues with the original unit. I was fortunate enough to have ordered my Mk46 Mod 0 through Eagle 6, who quickly managed to source the new, improved dovetail kit for their previous Mk46 Mod 0 customers.
One other important thing I need to point out whilst were on the subject, is that a replacement dovetail should be sourced through your original retailer. They are being distributed via retailers who have previously bought Mk46 Mod 0s from Japan, so any shop that’s sold a Mk46 Mod 0 should be able to source the replacement part for you. Don’t ask other retailers who have them in stock, they’ll probably laugh at you for not buying a Mk46 Mod 0 directly from them or tear the arse out of the price due to their rarity… Certainly don’t ask me for mine, it’ll cost you 1400.
I would take an educated guess that the next batch of Mk46 Mod 0s will come refitted with this part installed, although you might want to check with your retailer first to see if you’re getting a new revision or the older one with (hopefully) a retrofitted dovetail.
The safety catch is a cross bolt design, the red band on the left side is exposed when its set to fire and hidden within the receiver when on safe. It is simple as peas in operation and everything you’d ask of a safety, there really isn’t anything else as far as controls go due to its real steel counterpart being light on controls as well.
The trigger is different to almost everything else I’ve owned in how it feels to use, another unusual design choice and one that’s rather unique in its feel amongst Airsoft replicas. the reason for this is to imitate the feel of a belt-fed, open bolt support weapon.
Firing a real open bolt belt-fed weapon is akin to letting a mad dog off the chain; Its natural state, the one it wishes to be in is at full chat, dumping rounds down range and generally causing mayhem. The basic feel of a support weapon trigger is due to its function as merely a sear (or latch), that once released allows the bolt to shoot forward. Therefore chambering a round and it’ll fire continuously until your finger is once again, off the trigger.
The Tokyo Marui Mk46 Mod 0 replicates this feeling of a heavy, open bolt sear relatively well. As with any electric Airsoft gun, it wont feel right in the hands of someone who’s shot a real belt-fed weapon before, but it’s not bad at all and it adds yet another little layer to that overall immersion.
The pistol grip contains the motor, a standard M249 type grip that’s alright but nothing to shout home about. The base of the grip does feature the same wire sprung cover as per a real Mk46 Mod 0, this allows the M3 motor height adjustment bolt to be effectively hidden within the replica. A big plus for those using this as a stand in, on their XXX:2 fan-fiction YouTube film.
The actual motor installed within remains a mystery, until someone braver than me is willing to open it up I’ll assume that its a relatively high torque design, possibly based upon their Samarium Cobalt motor, if not that exact same motor used within the Next Generation H&K 417.
So, the undeniably boring stock. Why did Marui choose a full stock version over the other, more interesting versions? God knows really, its a rather uninspiring choice. A Para or recoil dampening type stock would have been far more desirable, but it is what it is. I’d say that Tokyo Marui themselves might offer an upgrade part in the future, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. At time of writing, I’m also unable to confirm or deny whether a G&P or A&K stock (or even potentially a real one) would fit, but I do know that there are a number of businesses offering alternative stock brackets already.
However, I’ll happily wait for something that replicates a full “Mod 1” kit (with rail as well). I might be waiting for quite some time, I’m not even convinced it could be done without a new receiver.
The stock itself is a massive void, begging to be used or simply replaced. It contains only one single thing that’s of use to a Mk46 Mod 0 owner, the Anti-reversal latch detensioning pokey stick. This sits within the stock and when the stock pin is removed, allows this pokey stick to be inserted into the back of the Mk46 Mod 0’s gearbox and thereby reset the gearbox and ease the mainspring. An essential part of your daily routine but one that could have been avoided for the most part by an electronic control unit (ECU) with cycle completion.
So, what powers this beast? Well, you’ll have to find someone braver than me to rip it apart. I’ve been asking far braver and more interesting people than me to do it on my behalf, but with the rarity of this platform and the shops selling even their reserves to customers, I’m yet to see an internal analysis of the Tokyo Marui Mk46 Mod 0. When it happens, I’ll publish their findings (with credit as due) and link it to this article so that all can read it.
There are two main elements to the Mk46 Mod 0’s guts, the mechanical and the electrical. Starting with what I do know about the mechanical, the Mk46 Mod 0’s recoil weight is approximately 600 grams, that’s far heavier than anything else Tokyo Marui have made before.
This recoil system is also tied into the link clasp within the feed tray, which makes the gun appear as if its feeding and firing actual rounds. It’s something I’ve not seen on any other Airsoft support weapon, although again,this is an area of relatively high wear and tear, you’ll need to keep an eye on this in regards to preventative maintenance.
The rest of the mechanical side remains mostly the same as a conventional AEG but in a different shaped box. Parts compatibility wise were yet to have a definitive breakdown of what fits and what doesn’t, but as information comes to light I’m sure Laylax will produce anything that isn’t already on the market.
The electrical side of the system is a bit more interesting, this is one of the only Tokyo Marui replicas to come with an ECU controlled firing system. The other two being the AA12 and its slightly more compact brother, the SGR12 “Saiga” automatic shotgun.
This system does more than simply allow the transmission of electrical power in the replica though, it allows a number of features that greatly enhance the loading and shooting process to take place in a quasi-realistic manner.
The Mk46 Mod 0 does have a built in low voltage cut off, I’ve consistently had my LiPo cells cut out at 3.5v per cell. This is a fantastic addition, albeit one that Tokyo Marui doesn’t appear to have mentioned in any of its English literature. They have also included a brace of safety measures to prevent the weapon from firing unless fully assembled, another novel design feature that’s rarely seen.
There is also a test mode which is accessed by racking the bolt back three times in succession, this allows the replica to be fired and cleared whilst not having a magazine attached. The indicator light for this mode and the ECU is hidden under a flap below the ejection port on the right hand side.
The barrel and feed tray cover both have micro-switches that disable the replica until fully in place, this protects the replica from damage but also stops the occasional retard from sticking their fingers between a recoil unit and the receiver and mashing their hand up.
I’d have loved to see a little bit more features within the ECU, precocking would have been good, as would rate of fire control. With all that being said though, cycle completion is the one thing I feel is really lacking on a fundamental level.
The feel of the Mk46 Mod 0 screams of Tokyo Marui’s attention to detail, its simply a stunning replica overall. I’m not saying it’s perfect… Far from it, but it has a presence that I feel has kept up with the best of what Tokyo Marui has to offer, far above and beyond the majority of support weapons on the market (Aside perhaps the incredible G&P range of support weapons).
The real test is in how it performs, otherwise its just an incredibly expensive paperweight or wall hanger. After using this replica exclusively for several games and firing in the region of eleven to twelve thousand rounds, I can honestly feel justified in giving the following report.
Performance wise its on a par with the majority of Tokyo Marui’s I’ve owned out the box, you’ll verge on 50 metres range with the right conditions and ammo and hit a place carrier sized target 9/10 times at 30 metres. This might sound poor but I assure you, 50 metres is around the maximum you’ll get out of the majority of replicas on the market, certainly straight out the box.
I’ve tested the Mk46 Mod 0 on a purpose built range at Spartan Airsoft and it’ll just about hit out to the 60m mark, anything closer is obviously easier to hit but anything even a hair over this range and there’s not a chance in hell of hitting someone. Being a support weapon, it doesn’t require pinpoint accuracy but you’ll again find that despite its 2 part, aluminium barrel design, it’ll keep up with its M4 shaped brethren.
Reliability is good so far, the only issue I had was surprisingly with ASG Blaster Devils, with intermittent cut outs during my recent game at Black Ops: Cribbs. Although the reason for this is likely to be the initial Mk46 Mod 0’s lower feeding tube, Tokyo Marui having adjusted the length of this along with their revised dovetail in the replacement kit I received.
I haven’t noticed any issues whilst feeding my replicas usual diet of Green Devil bio BBs and I’ve held off on installing the revised dovetail and feed tube as its worked flawlessly bar that small feeding issue I had with the ASG ammo. (Edit, I’ve since fitted the dovetail and tube and its eliminated the recurring feeding issue with Blaster Devils).
The rate of fire feels rather slow for an M249 type weapon but it still hammers them out at a respectable 700 rounds per minute, certainly within its namesakes rate of fire. Muzzle velocity is also an acceptable 265FPS with a .25 Green Devil which translates as the Tokyo Marui standard 290fps on a .2 ball.
I’d suggest that from stock, this replica works best with either .25 or .28 ammo. Any lighter and you’ll suffer on range, any heavier (and although I’ve lifted .3 ammo) the travel time to target is increased too much to be of use past 30 metres. I’d love to push the FPS up by 30 or so to 300/310fps, but that Tokyo Marui fairy dust is still working its magic at 265. I’ll be putting another box or so through on .28 during its next outing to see if its worth making the jump, I’d happily trade that little bit of travel time for the added stability and punch of heavier ammo.
The other obvious thing to consider when buying this replica is your own stamina, whilst you might like the idea of a recoil support weapon, its not ideally suited to everyone. You’ll need to have a degree of strength to carry this brute around with you all day long, if you’re blessed with small and flat Airsoft sites then its an easy beast to move around. For those who play at generally bigger and sometimes more difficult to navigate sites such as The Trees, you might regret your choice after a 4 hour recce patrol up and down the 45 degree hills.
With all that in perspective, using this in the way that its actually intended is a massive amount of fun. I’ve been told by more than one person that being on the receiving end is rather intimidating. And at the end of the day, that’s exactly what it should be… intimidating. Support weapons can be a force multiplier and allow your team freedom of movement under the cover of a well placed gun, they can also effectively deny terrain which pushes the enemy where you want them to go.
So the big question, is it worth it and can I recommend it to a friend? Well I’d be a liar if I said that this was the perfect replica, it needs a couple of tweaks to make it what it should be. I’ll go back to the few things that have bugged me about this replica from the off and let you guys decide.
The link and magazine being a separate purchase is an out and out money grab, there’s no other explanation and its quite frankly a piss take. The dovetail issue is another obvious annoyance and I’m sure it’ll be one that Tokyo Marui finds hard to shake off with its detractors, although I commend Tokyo Marui in having a replacement part brought to market so quickly, before even the majority of potential owners actually get their hands on one.
The other main annoyance that I cant quite shake is that goddamn aluminium barrel, again it feels like a money grab and I still cant fathom the thinking behind choosing aluminium over stainless steel or brass. I’d love to be proven wrong, but all evidence points to cost saving… Not what I’d expect from a flagship model.
My overall opinion on this is unsurprisingly a good one but with an understanding nod to its naysayers, it isn’t going to give you anything in practical terms that an M4 with a box mag doesn’t already offer.
The cost is always going to be a consideration, a £1200 to £1400 replica isn’t affordable or justifiable to everyone’s financial situation, just make sure that you’re not putting yourself in a position where you need that £1400 six months down the line and end up paying back money you don’t have. Airsoft is an important part of my life but it doesn’t come above the need for a set of tyres, a new washing machine or paying those vet bills.
With the financial burden aside, there is only one thing in Airsoft that actually matters to the majority of us. That ever elusive “Suspension of Disbelief”. The Tokyo Marui Mk46 Mod 0 offers this in spades, it’s simply unlike any other Airsoft replica I’ve fired. To actually have such a well rounded and uniquely designed support weapon puts this in the running for a modern day classic, even if it never catches on it’ll be remembered by Airsoft enthusiasts well into the next decade. If there’s one reason above all the others to buy this, its this unique experience you only get in firing it.
I was asked a few times to compare this to another brand of support weapon, but in all seriousness it’d be like comparing a Systema PTW to a G&G Combat Machine. I’d seriously considered it but at their heart, they’re simply so different that it’s not a fair comparison to either. I will say this though; Yes, you can buy a Classic Army M249 for far less. Hell, you could get an Inokatsu M60 for a little less (if you can source one), but it won’t offer you the same immersive experience that you get whilst firing the Tokyo Marui Mk46 Mod 0.
On paper, an effectively upgraded Classic Army, G&P or even stock A&K will outmatch the Mk46 Mod 0 in a stand up fight. Hell, you might even find a stock one that’ll match its performance. But there will be a few old hands reading this that’ll remember we had this very same argument a decade ago, when the Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock SOCOM M4A1 was released (along with their own little quirks and teething issues)… But in that 10 year period the arguments against the Recoil Shock line have tapered off and they’ve become incredibly well represented, even an average Sunday walk on will now have a dozen or so Recoil Shock owners.
Tokyo Marui are well known for pushing the boundaries of innovation, whilst maintaining a market leading level of quality control in their products, this is no exception and despite its very few faults, this should be considered to be one of the finest examples of an Airsoft support weapon on the market today.