topbar for interface

M-4 A1

Review date: 4-19-2001
Model: M-4 A1
Type: Automatic Electric Gun
Manufacturer: Tokyo Marui

M-4 A1 by Tokyo Marui

Seems like everybody has an M-4. If you own one, you know why. If you don't, I'm going to tell you why you should.

Love at first sight

The first Air soft gun I ever saw was an M-4A1 by Marui with a Sun projects M-203 attached to it. The person who owned it brought it into my store. Luckily I work in a gun store so the police were not called. At first I thought I was looking at a real firearm. Then he handed it to me. "This isn't real, it's plastic....Damn it looks good!" I had never seen one fire until the one I ordered arrived from 747 Imports a few days later.

How it is put together

Before I tell you what is so good about the M-4, let me describe how it differs from the real gun. First, the receivers are plastic not metal. If you want metal you can upgrade to metal receivers. Several different types are available, but the plastic receivers are nice. Every mark, symbol, pin, and part is represented. The only problem I have with the plastic receivers is that the color is too light. I've seen gray colored receivers from Colt, but not quite this light a shade. Next is the spring tension for some parts. All springs for things like the hand guard ring (Delta ring) and forward bolt assist are much weaker than the real gun. This isn't so bad. There is no recoil the delta ring spring has to fight and the Forward bolt assist is only for looks. A part that has no spring tension but should is the Bolt catch. It just flops around, but this is another part that does nothing on the Air soft gun. You cannot stick a real magazine in the magazine well. (I just had to try, but it won't go.) Real hand guards won't fit either. If you must have real hand guards on your M-4, Den Trinity has an outer barrel that will accept real M-4 parts like delta rings, front sights, and flash suppressers. Finally, besides the fact that the Air soft M-4 fires plastic BBs and not 5.56 mm bullets, all metal parts are a shiny blued finish (black in color) and not a dull parkerized finish. Even with these differences, overall it is a fantastic looking rifle.

What makes this rifle so good?

So why should you own an M-4 A1? First off, it's accurate. At an indoor range I was able to fire groups of around 2 inches at 20 yards from a standing position. Not knowing what an Air soft gun could do, I wished only to hit the paper. The accuracy impressed me greatly. Even this could be improved with basic upgrades. Second is how versatile the M-4 is. The size of the M-4 makes it a great weapon for CQB or fighting out in the woods. Its four- position stock will adjust to fit people of most sizes, and it's flat top receiver lets you add any scope, Red dot scope, flip up sight, or night vision unit. Anything you can attach to a real M-4, you can attach to the Air soft version. When you consider all the accessories made for the air soft M-4 and all the accessories made for the real M-4, it's rather easy to find a combination that will fit your needs. The versatility of the M-4 is what makes it so popular with military and police around the world. This is one tough rifle.

So how does the M-4 hold up? With stock internals, very well. I own three now. The original one I ordered 6 months ago, the one with the M-203 from the start of this review, (yea, it's mine now), and one I got 2 months ago in a great deal. The M-203 equipped one is the oldest. None have had anything done to the internals. None have ever broken down. All of the guns are used by a different person in at least one full day event per month. All I do for maintenance is wipe off the sand and dirt when I get home. That's it. I have yet to see a stock M-4 go down. And remember, everybody has one. In one game I thought I saw one destroyed. The person carrying it fell. The gun landed on a big tree root, and he fell on the gun. The M-4 seemed to explode. Parts went everywhere. Part of the upper receiver was broken. But 2 minutes later he had it back together and was back in the fight.


The only problem I have had with my M-4, and it's happened with all three, is that the screw that attaches the rail on the top of the receiver has come loose. This has happened if I had the carry handle attached or a red dot scope and flip up sight attached. The fix was to remove the screw, add a drop of blue loc-tight, and tighten. I have not had to retighten it yet.


I've not yet felt the need to upgrade the inner workings of my M-4s. On the gun I use primarily, I've added a vertical grip, Pro point 5 red dot sight, GG&G flip up rear sight, and added a second mini battery back under the hand guards with a switch to switch between packs. With its EG 1000 motor, and metal barrel parts, the M-4 A1 is one of the best pieces of work Marui produces. If I ever do feel the need for upgrades I have lots to choose from. Barrels, springs, gears, batteries, metal bodies, the list goes on and on. If it can be done to an electric air soft gun, it can be done to an M-4 A1.


The M-4 A1 is an excellent weapon, or should I say weapon system? Not many other guns are as versatile as the M-4. Leave it stock or upgrade it. Add accessories or don't. This rifle will do what you need it to do. It's accurate, tough, and looks great. With that all said, you should go get an M-4 if you haven't already. Or at least try one out. At your next air soft game, just say out loud to no one in particular, "Can I shoot your M-4?" Either a bunch of people will say "Sure" or a bunch of guys with MP-5s will look at you funny.

Manufacturer: Tokyo Marui
Action: semi auto / full auto
Battery: Mini
Motor: EG1000
Length: 735/820 mm
Barrel Length: 344 mm
Weight: 2.15 kg
RPM: 700-800rpm
Velocity: 300 fps
Capacity: 68 bbs / 300 bbs
Metal Parts: Outer Barrel, Front and Rear Sights, Charging Handle, Trigger, Select Fire Switch, Magazine Release and Sling Swivels

Review by: Skully.


[Back to Top]
© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego