Guest Replica Review: Tokyo Marui Ruger LCP NBB

I’m rather protective of this blog, so it’s rather rare that you’ll see a guest review pop up. Rare, but not unheard of. A guest article has to meet a certain amount of criteria for me, and to even consider handing the reins across to someone else, they have to meet certain benchmarks:

  • The reviewer must be knowledgable in the area of that particular review or discussion piece, able to offer an insight that is backed up by attained knowledge.
  • The item must be of interest to my audience but also something I have no future plans to buy, or at least didn’t plan to buy before agreeing to the review.
  • I have to like and trust the person who’s appearing as a guest reviewer, and the reviewer has to trust me to accurately copy across their review onto my blog..

So before we get into the review itself, who have I entrusted this particular review to? It’s a man that many of you might know, at least a few of you will have met him and others have likely conducted business with him… the reviewer is, Mr Heroshark.

Well known in the U.K. airsoft community for his mesh goggles and masks, Heroshark also also happens to own one of the most expansive collections of Tokyo Marui replicas within the U.K. and is an active member of many groups, including the Tokyo Marui Pistol Owners Club (Which Mark helps me moderate).

The real Ruger LCP is a popular sub-compact pistol, designed primarily for concealed carry and used extensively in the US. Why it’s not been replicated before, I do not know. For certain games such as Roleplay events, I can see it being rather useful. I’ve considered buying one myself, but honestly… with so many other replicas coming out in the near future (the GBBR AKM, NGRS MP5A5 and SIG P320) I just can’t justify another item on the wish list.

So without further ado, onto the man himself for the review.


Heroshark:

Hey all, Heroshark here! I’ve been invited to share my thoughts on the new Tokyo marui Ruger LCP.

The moment I first saw the LCP, I decided I was going to have one and as soon as I noticed it on Impulse101, I left the page open eagerly waiting for the pre-orders to open and threw my money at them the first opportunity I had.

“Why? it’s just a stupid little NBB (non-blowback) pistol” you might ask. There’s a good answer to that question; I love stupid little guns. Springers, non-blowback, blowback, if it’s tiny I’ll have it. But is there more to it than pure novelty?

The parcel turned up in a little over a week from point of order. It cost me £78.90 with shipping and I escaped with no extra import charges, which I was very pleased with. I was greeted with the usual TM level of presentation and accoutrements. No un-jamming rod though, but I don’t suppose it really needs it. It also comes with what I assume are 0.2g ammo, it seems to like them as stock, with a little over hopping being seen when used.

The gun itself is a solid nicely weighted little lump (for the size), with the cast metal magazine providing about half the overall heft. The majority of the gun being made from the usual ABS plastic for the slide and frame.

After a quick Google image search, the trademarks may not be accurately represented, but they are cleanly done. There’s a nice little cheeky “TM” replacing Ruger’s phoenix motif on the grips and also on the bottom of the magazine.

The slide and frame have a difference in finish, to replicate the real gun, Marui have done this with a few of their models. Whether it’s close to the real thing I couldn’t tell you, but it’s a nice touch.

Ok, it’s no Colt Junior, but it beats the Colt on width at only 2cm at it’s widest point. That said, it doesn’t make for the most comfortable grip, but there’s always payoffs with small guns.

Controls wise, there isn’t much to it, but the few controls there are, such as magazine release, safety and trigger are all cast in metal.

The trigger is a long pull as you’d expect for a NBB and double action only. The pull has an initial click early in the travel where it will remain if you stop pulling, the rest of the pull carries on until a surprising and unannounced break. Once you get used to it, the trigger has nice and smooth action and a good feel to it.

The safety (in the position of the slide stop on the real Ruger LCP) has a good positive click, but the trigger still partially pulls to the first click and then just feels a little mushy. Not a biggie as I’ll probably never use it, but it could throw you if you forgot you had the safety engaged. The magazine release is small and sit in a recess, it’s not the easiest to use. That being said, it’s a common feature of tiny CCW pistols as you don’t want a whacking great mag release to hit accidentally whilst drawing the gun.

Once the magazine is out, the hammer will cycle once more when you pull the trigger. However, subsequent trigger pulls will not cycle the hammer until the magazine is replaced. Why they’ve included a magazine safety, I’m not entirely sure as it doesn’t add any substantial benefit, but it’s there.

The magazine is mainly metal, with a plastic base and feed lips. Easy to fill from the top or via the bottom hole in the feed tube while holding down the follower, as is common practice with many TM mags. Holding only 10 shots, you’re not going to take out an entire team, but you can’t really expect it to.

Filling up with green gas, it seems to be holding out so far. But caution should be used as these things are designed to run lower power gasses. Gas capacity wise it seems to run out after about 25-28 shots, which is fine with one fill for such a small reservoir.

Now one thing that drew me to this pistol, is that the gas nozzle is in the magazine itself and it chambers the BB within a fixed barrel. NBBs with moving barrels often tend to be less accurate, so I was hoping that this design might help it to be an accurate little replica.

Stripping the gun is very easy, accomplished by simply removing a small Allen screw in the front where the guide rod would be. The slide then pushes forward off the frame and the trigger transfer bar which is usually held in place by the slide will drop out.

The fixed hop is the usual mound type TM hop. The pressed steel hop tensioner clips on the barrel and is easily tweaked, but I’ll talk more on that in a bit.

I think a lot would like a suppressor but I think it’s asking for trouble and would not take much to bend or break if they made a threaded outer barrel piece, based on how it’s mounted to the frame.

Performance wise; from stock, it fires around 200fps on 0.2g BB. Over hopping 0.2g a little and slightly under hops 0.23g. I haven’t got the range at home, but looking at other reviewers, shots tend to drop at about 30m which is quite respectable for a wee gun.

After messing about with this gun for a while, I’ve come to the conclusion you are best within 15m with the accuracy & power levels available (a key reason being people may not feel a hit due to it only being around 200FPS). At 10m I could land 10bbs in quick succession on a 12″ target, which is perfectly fine given its sub-compact nature.

The sights are not great, but once again normal for guns like this as due to its use for CCW, you don’t want it snagging on garments during the draw.

At longer range it’s a lot harder to keep on target with the little sights and long trigger, if you have time to aim it’s OK, but snap-shooting even on a torso size target can be hit and miss. I also did some closer snap-shooting on small 3″ targets and it is very intuitive once you get your eye in.

After the initial use I decided I wanted to lift heavier ammo to see what it was capable of.

Shimming the end of the hop tensioner seemed by best approach, so I wrapped the end of the arm with a tiny strip of tape. I left it overnight as it was dark when I added the tape and I wanted daylight to see if it would actually lift heavier ammo.

The next day it lifted 0.4g ammo with a little drop. I took a little off to try reduce it and kept going until there was no tape left. It actually, ended up hopping the 0.4g ammo even better.

I think leaving it re-shaped the rubber a little, so time will tell if it holds or reverts back to original shape as time goes by. Anyway, it’s easy to fiddle with if you want to get more out of it, if not a little temperamental, so be sure to add it gradually.

Edit: A little update, the hop has since settled back to normal, I’ve tweaked it again and I was less heavy handed on the shimming, using a small square of a thick plastic bag folded over on the tensioner. Now I’m able to consistently hop .3 ammo.

So, is it just a daft little NBB? Not in my opinion. I have silly tiny guns up to the eyeballs, but none of them are as reliable or straight shooting as this. My WE CT25 is cool, but won’t work in the cold plus the CT25 stock hop is crap.

The Marui LCP is the most practical and usable gun in this size bracket I have, should I ever need a concealable gun. This probably won’t be very often, but it certainly will have it’s uses within certain game scenarios and It’s also something I don’t mind getting messy in the field. It may not be a priority purchase in terms of practical use, but for the price and what it gives in performance and reliability you really can’t grumble.


ATRG: thanks once again to Heroshark for sharing his thoughts, and should you want to keep yourself up to date with his adventures, please check out the following links

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