Pistol Review: Tokyo Marui Sig P226 E2

I have somewhat of a chequered history with the Tokyo Marui P226 E2. I’ve owned two; the first one crashed and burned, the second? Well, it’s looking good so far…

So why did I sell the first one, and more importantly; why buy the exact same model again? The answer to the first question is easy enough to answer, the second one… A little harder to justify.

My first E2, part of a very loose SF type loadout for themed events.

The real Sig P226 E2 (Pronounced “E Squared”) is an Enhanced Ergonomics (E2) revamp of the long-standing P226 design. The E2 model wasn’t actually in production for long at all, with it only being made for a single year. However, the changes made for the most part have remained within the P226 design ever since.

Moving onto the replica in hand…

Starting with what you get in the box, it’s the same affair as with other Tokyo Marui models. A single magazine, pair of dry fire adaptors, a muzzle plug, an unjamming/cleaning rod are complemented by a small bag of ammo. A manual and parts breakdown along with other assorted bits of literature make up the rest of the accessories. The box itself is a nice looking silvery grey, with accents in black and red.

The pistol (as with all Marui pistols) is predominantly made from plastic, both the frame and slide are plastic with several cast metal (usually zinc alloy) components such as the trigger, controls and hammer. This often puts people off, the idea that a pistol made from mostly plastic is somehow inferior and that it’s the definitive sign of a poor replica does make me chuckle.

The E2’s slide is formed from a single injection moulded piece of plastic, slightly lighter in colour than the frame, giving the pistol a subtle two tone look. The extractor and other components are well formed, with only the sights themselves being separate entities. A metal frame is used internally for the blowback housing, but this does not extend to any other part of the slide or rails and therefore offers minimal strength benefit.

The sights are cast zinc alloy (as are the majority of metal parts) and feature a triple dot design for rapid target acquisition and aiming, there are various aftermarket options available should you decide you need tritium night sights or another sight design.

The hammer is a low profile “spur” design and due to the pistol being of a single and double action (SA/DA) design, the hammer will lock back when cocked and fall forwards when the pistol is fired.

The frame is also formed from plastic, slightly darker than the slide. Featuring an integrated Picatinny accessory rail and all of the pistols controls, whilst also playing host to a number of markings and details.

The pistol features the usual ASGK and Tokyo Marui markings alongside realistic trademarks such as the SIG Circle logo.

The rail is a godsend if you’re wanting to mount a pistol light, the Surefire X300 Ultra does also lend a nice bit of forward weight when mounted. There is a little “slop” in the rail when I mount the Surefire, this can be corrected with a small tape shim on the light, but with aftermarket clones this doesn’t seem to be an issue at all.

On the front left hand side of the frame is a takedown lever, it doesn’t have a button or detent to actuate, it simply needs to be pushed down to allow the slide to be pulled forward and off the frame.

Note the takedown lever in its downwards position, the slide jumping forwards once released from the rotating locking bar.

A decocker sits high above the grip, easy to use if right handed, but for left handed shooters it’s actually rather troublesome to use. I personally leave the pistol hammer back and ready to fire in it’s single action mode, because I’m an airsofter and the only safety requirement I have, is to remove the magazine once out of the game area/range.

From the front; takedown lever, trigger, decocker, trigger, slide release.

The grip replicates the wraparound design of the real E2, it’s also in a much further forward position than the older models of SIG pistol making the actual length of grip from blackstrap to trigger considerably shorter than the P226R. The E2 showcasing that it was specifically developed as a more user friendly, ergonomic pistol than the older SIG P226R design.

Note the Sig Sauer markings, subtly moulded within the grip.

The trigger isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad. Whilst the double action mechanism is never going to compete with the likes of a 1911/Hi-Cappa in competition shooting, it more than holds it’s own as a skirmishable sidearm. A firm yet easily controlled pull brings the hammer back with an easily predicted break. Once that hammer is back (after firing or manually cocking), the trigger pull becomes even shorter with a reset that allows for rapid follow up shots.

The magazine is comprised of a one piece body, the older Marui Sig magazines being a two piece design. This is one of the key improvements made with the Marui E2 and a solid reason to choose this over their older design. Sometimes your Loadout might require the P226R look though, but I’d wholly recommend replacing the magazine with an E2 as soon as possible.

The Marui holds more than its real counterpart, at 25 shots compared to the 15 rounds in a standard 226 magazine. As for efficiency, it’s not something I like to talk about in black or white terms as I tend to re-gas my mags when I reload them, but you shouldn’t have any difficulty in getting a full magazine downrange with the slide locked back on empty in all but the coldest of weather.

The E2 uses a standard GBB/VSR hop rubber and 97mm x 6.08mm brass barrel design. The hop is adjustable (with the slide removed) and will manage .28g ammo at just shy of it’s highest setting, although this era of Marui pistols do thrive on slightly lighter ammo, with .25 offering a balanced overall performance from stock.

The hop adjustment is only accessible once the slide has been removed from the frame.

In use, the Sig feels incredibly comfortable. I find this one of the most comfortable pistols to shoot within my collection, although it’s worth taking into account that comfort is such a personal metric that your personal experience will be dependant on your hand size/shape. My glove size is Large/XL, those with smaller hands should find this easier to hold than the older Sig P226R, but other pistols such as the M&P and Glock 17 Gen 4 do have noticeably smaller grips.

Accuracy is around what you’d expect for a Marui pistol, head sized targets at 25m price no trouble to hit, hitting torso sized targets out to just shy of 40m is also perfectly achievable. Power wise, on ASG Ultrair I’m getting a steady and predictable power curve from 280 down to 255 on the last shot using .20g ammo, this puts this pistol safely within the limits of any site I’m aware of, there’s also zero joule creep with heavier ammo, but you should check any ammo/gas combination yourself as this can throw up some odd results on certain ammo and/or gas types.

So, any downsides? Well, yes. This is an old design now, nearing a decade old. It shows in its design and the lack of features that would now be considered par for the course.

The lack of metal reinforcement on the slide where the slide release sits is an obvious concern, it’s also the point that wore out on my previous SIG’s slide and caused me to sell it after buying a replacement. As a result, I’m careful to not actually use the slide release on this one, I prefer to pull the slide back to release the catch to preemptively stop it from wearing down.

The long and short of it though, is that this model suffers mainly from being an older Marui design, it doesn’t have the larger bore cylinder of Marui’s more recent additions and it’s been superseded by the likes of Marui’s newer Glock 17, 19 and FN FNX45. There’s really nothing wrong with it as such, it’s just an average performer sitting within a range of very good pistols.

The Marui Glock 17 Gen 4, boring as fuck but it’s dependable.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Well, I might… But only if they had their heart set on a SIG. A good friend of mine recently bought the Marui SIG P226R, and that was despite me telling him to go for one of their more modern designs! He specifically wanted a P226 and although WE and KWA make perfectly adequate SIGs, I still don’t feel that either competitor offers the skirmishable performance of the Marui.

So why did I buy another P226? Well, I’m a fan of the SIG design and a fan of pistols in general. No collection can truly be considered worthy if it lacks a SIG, so I had to choose something SIG shaped to fill that gap, this being the best of an average bunch.

In a range of well performing pistols, the Marui SIG P226 E2 just feels a little dated. Will I take it to the occasional game? Sure. Will it become my main sidearm of choice? No… Not whilst there are better or more interesting options out there.

I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the SIG P230, although it’s never going to fit in with an older loadout, it will feature all the new design changes that have become the standard within the last 5 years and overall I’m confident that it’ll be a significantly better replica overall.

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