Replica Review: Tokyo Marui V10 Ultra Compact

Why Marui choose to make certain models and not others is a confusing question to answer. It’s a question that always comes up when I see their new releases.

Is it because they’re totally disconnected from reality? Is it because they’re confident enough that whatever they build will sell? Or is it because they’re only interested in innovation and genuinely not concerned with making the GBBR or NGRS MP5 that we’re all asking for?

I suspect it’s a little of all the above.

When I first saw the V10 Ultra Compact, I wasn’t actually that impressed. It was another quasi-realistic model that didn’t offer me anything I desired.

It closely resembles the Springfield V10 Ultra Compact .45, but for some reason, Marui have decided against using Springfield trades. An unusual step, after all, they’ve previously used their trademarks on the Springfield XD (a pistol I’ve almost bought several times to reenact the classic that is… 21 Jump Street).

Who will be the Jonah Hill to my Channing Tatum?

Whatever their reasons are for not replicating the Springfield trademarks, this pistol is so close to the real V10 Ultra Compact in overall looks that it makes little difference to me. I actually ended up buying this particular pistol because I was bored and it was one of the few Marui pistols I’d not actually seen in the flesh.

For those who want the real markings, both Nova and Detonator make metal slide/frame kits, the Nova in particular looking rather nice.

So without further ado, lets crack on with the review.

The box is a rather nice and stylish affair, mostly black with the silver pistol taking centre stage on the front.

The first impression I had when I saw the pistol was that of “Wow, it actually looks like stainless steel”.

And yeah, I’ve got to admit, it can fool quite a few people. Whilst the finish won’t be as durable as that on a real metal pistol, they’ve done a rather good job in producing a fully plastic frame and slide that looks convincingly metallic.

In the box, you get the usual assortment of Tokyo Marui goodies.

The weight is a surprisingly weighty 700 grams, giving this replica a reassuring heft in the hand. Most of this is concentrated in Marui’s age old smoke and mirrors trick of weighted grips, but due to the compact nature of the pistol, it doesn’t feel overly unbalanced.

Starting with the slide, the appearance is of a sand-blasted stainless steel slide, with the sides being a more polished look and feel. It’s rather special, part of me even suspects that Marui made this replica just to show off their ability at making uniquely textured plastic.

The slide is a short, “officer” length affair, with a pair of slots milled out of the top on each side of the front sight.

On the real V10, this would allow the ported barrel to release an excess of propellant gasses and keep the muzzle from snapping back violently… Not something that’s much of an issue in airsoft.

The markings on the left hand side are pretty close to the real pistol, “V10 ULTRA COMPACT, CAL .45” being set into the slide. There’s also a section of serrations cut into the rear to allow easier cocking, but aside from this, the slide is pretty bare of features.

A set of licenced Novak 1911 sights are set into the upper, exactly the same as used on the M45A1. I’d have liked to see some white dots on the irons, it’s pretty difficult to aim in low light conditions. There is an included bracket for Marui’s own Micro Pro Dot Sight, but I’d suggest that this isn’t really a combination most people will use due to the pistols compact nature.

Note the black inner barrel.

The recoil rod and spring are also unique to this design, a short slide requires the same amount of travel but with less room to build in a recoil system, this design lies the same full travel but without the bulk.

For something that’s only 3.5” long, the barrel is rather interesting. Due to the short nature of the pistol, it’s of a “bull barrelled” design, meaning that unlike a normal 1911, the V10’s barrel comes directly in contact with the slide without a bushing holding it in place. There are also twin rows of 5 exhaust ports running along the top of the barrel, hence the V10 moniker.

The V10 porting, note how the barrel tapers out towards the front.

The frame is the same sand-blasted/polished design, the sides being polished and the majority of other areas being the same rough texture as the top of the slide.

Being a relatively old design and sub-compact in its nature, there is no accessory rail on the bottom as per the real firearm.

A frame mounted non-ambidextrous safety sits on the left hand side, it’s of a extended type, larger than a GI pattern safety, but not as wide as some seen on full size competition 1911s.

Note the large Wilson Combat type beavertail, fully protecting the shooters hand from slide and hammer.

A “combat” type hammer sits in the rear of the slide, a good choice for a “pocket pistol” where catching it is an obvious concern.

A standard type slide lock/release again sits on the left hand slide, this doubles up as a disassembly lever and the pin running through the frame holds the barrel and slide in place.

A small, standard type 1911 type magazine release sits again on the left side, as with all the other controls it’s finished in the same stainless steel silver colour and made from die-cast zinc alloy.

Overall the controls feel solid, very solid actually. The safety clicks positively into both positions, and the slide release is stiffer than even the notoriously solid USP Full Size.

The trigger, probably the single greatest thing about 1911 pattern pistols, certainly Tokyo Marui replicas is the trigger.

Using a single action, non pivoting trigger, the V10 has an incredibly light and smooth trigger pull. The reset is incredibly short and much like other 1911 replicas, follow up shots can be made incredibly quickly.

On the rear of the grip there sits a full length beavertail safety, this acts as both protection from the slide biting your hand and also as an additional safety (the 1911 design incorporates a safety within the grip) It will not shoot unless the hammer is back, the grip is squeezed and the trigger is pulled.

The grip itself is a relatively close copy of the Hogue 1911 Officers Model Wraparound Rubber Grips. They do have a “TM” logo and not Hogue’s own, but they do have a slightly rubberised finish to them, although in time this is likely to wear off.

The grips are deceptively wide for a single stack pistol, I’d love to put slimmer grips on it to see how it feels, but with so many other projects on the go, I doubt I’ll ever invest more into this pistol.

The grips are held in place by a set of chrome flat blade bolts, a stylish finish and in keeping with the design.

The overall grip length is rather short, given the nature of sub-compact pistols this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I would suggest if choosing this as a first or primary sidearm, it might be wise to get hands on with one before buying, to ensure you actually get along with the grip size.

The magazine is a shorter version of the M45A1 design, a pinned bottom creates a larger overall magazine gas reservoir but does indicate that it might need maintenance further down the line.

Although I have to note that even after nearly 3 years, my M45A1 magazines do still hold gas without any maintenance needed. It holds an embarrassingly unrealistic 22 rounds, but its airsoft… So we let these things slide.

So, that’s the outside… but it’s what’s inside that sets Marui pistols apart from the competition. A bespoke type hop unit allows adjustment once the slide is removed. Different in design from both the 1911 and M45A1, but featuring a standard GBB/VSR type barrel and hop rubber combo.

The inner barrel is black, I’d suggest that this indicates an anodised aluminium barrel to keep it from showing at the muzzle end, being so short you’d assume that it’s not a very accurate pistol, and despite it not matching the extraordinary range of the FNX45, M45A1 or even the newer Glocks, it’s more than up to the job as a close range sidearm.

The cylinder design is the same 15mm diameter as that used on the M45A1, making the recoil deceptively powerful. Efficiency wise, I never measure how many shots I can get out a single fill, but you’ll easily empty the whole magazine on a single fill. Even in colder weather, this pistol doesn’t struggle quite as much as many of the older Marui designs die to its large cylinder and lightweight slide.

Power wise, the short barrel does leave it a little lacking, even when compared to other Marui pistols. Whereas the M45A1 pushes out a respectable 270fps with a .25 round, the V10 can only manage a tame 230fps on the same weight. a tight bore barrel and perhaps a different rubber would potentially add a little more power, but this pistol isn’t really designed for extreme performance.

The big question though is, can I recommend it? It’s a fun pistol to shoot, whilst I could never recommend it as a beginners pistol or as a primary sidearm, for a collector or for use within a Roleplay game as a covertly hidden weapon, I think it’d be worth adding to the collection.

If I had to choose one 1911 type pistol in pure performance alone, the M45A1 still comes out on top.

Does it really offer anything that the similarly sized Glock 19 doesn’t though? No. That’d remain my first choice for almost all scenarios. But it is fun, and with a black version on the way, I can see the more adventurous lunatics buying both and creating a pair of two tone pocket rockets.

This pistol was purchased from Fire-Support, but most major retailers in the U.K. will have this available to order.

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