Tokyo Marui M9 GBB
The TM airsoft is based on the US military's current standard issue side arm, the 9mm Beretta M92F with the M9 as its military designation. The airsoft gun is a good replica, made mostly from plastic but in a realistic flat black finish. The TM M9 is a double action semi-automatic gas blowback (GBB) pistol, meaning each trigger pull fires a round, racks the slide, and rechambers the next round -- like a real semi-automatic pistol. The M9 includes a functioning slide lock mechanism that locks the slide back when all the BBs are used. BBs and the gas reservoir are located in the removable magazine. Each BB is loaded individually into the spring loaded magazine which holds a maximum of 26. Charging is accomplished via the fill port located at the magazine's bottom. Each fill yields approximately 84 shots (3.5 BB refills). An unadjustable hop-up is also included.
|TM M92F GBB||Beretta M92F|
|Ammo||6mm BB||9mm x 19|
The TM M9 is operationally just like a real steel double action semi. With an empty gun, slap a fesh magazine into the mag well. Rack the slide back and release. Notice the hammer is now in its firing position. The gun is now ready to fire. The ambidextrous safety is located at the slide rear. To engage the safety, click the lever downwards. Notice that the safety lever is not a decocker. Engaging the safety does not bring the hammer to its non-firing position. To do so, with the safety off, squeeze the trigger while maintaining control on the hammer to slowly lower it to its non-firing position. However, remember that being a double action, the M9 is only really safe with the safety engaged. Pulling the trigger with the safety off will either 1) release the hammer if in the firing position, firing the gun; or 2) cycle the hammer completely if in the non-firing position, also firing the gun.
Being an airsoft, the cool thing is you can 'force feed' an unchambered gun. With real steel, if there's nothing in the chamber, pulling the trigger won't do anything. With airsoft, you can pull the trigger, fire the gun unchambered (no BB), and because of the action, chamber the next round.
As with the real steel, shooting the last round locks back the slide, ready to accept a fresh magazine. Which brings me to another 'airsoft only' trick. Shooting the gun with gas only (no BBs) in semi-auto is possible by depressing the slide lock lever while shooting. Be warned! Continued use may weaken the locking mechanism: it may not reliably lock back the slide once the last BB is shot.
The M9 is not without its failings. The slide is a little too free in movement. It doesn't feel 'tight'. When I insert it in my holster, the slide tends to pull back slightly. This characteristic probably contributes to its gas efficiency: a lighter slide means less gas used to work the action. However, with three and a half BB loads per air fill, I wouldn't mind a stiffer slide spring even if it reduced gas consumption to only two or two and a half BB loads per air fill. I've also heard of the right side safety level coming loose but hasn't happened yet to mine.
As with most airsofts, maintenance is a simple matter of cleaning and applying silicone lubricant to important parts/components. Nothing different with the M9. The important parts to clean and lube would be the barrel, lower receiver, magazine, and hammer.
The M9 accepts most gases even the more powerful types but bear in mind that the gun's longevity is reduced with the use of such gases. Personally, I prefer to use PC duster gas (any PC duster gas with 1,1,1,2-tetrafloruoethane as its sole content) as it is readily available and quite affordable at $5 a can. Also remember that when using PC duster type gases that you'll have to lube your airsoft more often. HFC 134 airsoft propellants contain lubricants not found in PC duster. As always, use silicone based lubricants only -- stay away from petroleum based lubricants.
The Tokyo Marui M9 is probably talked about as the best deal in a gas blowback pistol. The gun performs admirably and would be well suited during CQB situations or as a side arm. Power-wise, I find that using PC-duster is sufficient, not to mention cheap and available. While the weight and feel leaves much to be desired, it IS a toy. At around $100 retail (USD), the Tokyo Marui M9 would be a great entry level gun for a first time airsofter. The magazine may hold only 24 rounds but extra magazines are available for around $30. Extra magazines are recommended if this is going to be your primary. Range-wise it lends itself more to CQB/close range situations, but still usable for outdoor use.