Manufacturer: Tokyo Marui
Model: Thompson M1A1 Submachine Gun
Gearbox type: Version 6
Motor: TM eg700
Compatability: All, except for Bushings
Barrel Length: 300mm(M733 length)
Battery: Large, stick, mini
Materials: Metal and ABS plastic
I got this gun around a year and a month ago(I can't recall exactaly). I ordered from airsofttroops.com and got a descent package deal from them. In the end, I probaly rushed that deal, and lost some money, as I could have probaly got a better deal elsewhere, maybe somewhere with domestic shipping rates. But anyways, I got the gun, plus one high cap, a battery, and charger. The charger was nice and is still working great today, the battery was a "G&P" and total stunk. More on that later.
Picking this thing up out of the box was a dream. Every gun is realy. I have never read a review where someone said they picked up their shiny new AEG and it crippled them or something. But this gun in particular, is special. It's a gun everyone knows. It was used in the Great War your grandparents fought in to vanquish the Nazis. When General Patton was claiming that the M1 garand was the finest battle impliment ever created by man, his soldiers were saying that if a Thompson was a Rolls Royce, a Garand was certainly a Ford. It's a gun that was romanticized by countless gangster movies for good reason. The earlier versions of the weapon were used extensively by organized crime in the 1930's when bootleggers needed fire superiority in a hurry, and the Thompon delivered. The U.S. senate once voted on a bill specificaly desinged to ban Thompson submachine guns, which lawmakers claimed were a menace to society and law enforcement. Needless to say, lifting this weapon brings a smile to one's face.
Weight is easily the first thing you will notice about this gun, that and the cold, smooth feel of metal. Couple that with a very sturdy stock and solidly attached handgrips this gun feels very steady in your hands. When I first got mine, there were two screws loose on the front barrel assembly, this caused the barrel to move slightly. A screwdriver fixed this, but you should now that those screws continualy work themselves loose, so watch out.
The build material is as follows;
Metal: Outer barrel, upper receiver, Trigger, Magazine, magazine latch, sight gaurds, sling hooks.
Plastic: Lower receiver, rear sight, faux wood furniture.
Not too bad. If the lower receiver were the same metal and thickness of the upper, and the wood were real, I have no doubt that this gun would weight the same as the real steel. As it is, the gun weighs in at about a kilo less than the real thing. With the battery and mag in, it's realy very substantial. Also, the sling hooks apprear to be made out of brass. The finish has come off after me having a sling on there for quite a while, and the color of the metal is decidedly brassish. Definately not the metal on the rest of the gun, which is, unfortunately, some sort of potmetal. It is vert thick cast though. The trademarks are inlaid quite deep into the body. Here's the right side of the gun
TOKYO MARUI CO., LTD. MADE IN JAPAN
TYPE M1A1 AUTOMATIC ELCTRIC GUN.
SUB MACHINE GUN MILITARY MOD.
CALIBER .45 M1A1
also, there are a few more that I don't recognize by the magwell
Also, the faux wood is realy quite nice to look at. More than a few people have thought it was real even after having picked it up themselves.
Anyways, back to the review.
The Thompson can take a large stlye battery(I have a 8.4v 3000mah), you can select from both the 20 and 30 round real steel mags. The 30 round mags come in both 420 round high-capacity and 60 round standards. The 20 round mag has a capacity of something like 160 rounds. The mag needs to be seated on a groove on the lower receiver, into which the spine of the mag is inserted. This can be, if done improperly, a pain. If you practice it a bit, you can do it quite quickly. I should mention that I am LEFT HANDED, and this way of shooting actualy makes it easyer for me to reload this gun for some reason.
There are two selector levers on the gun, one for Safe/Fire and one fore Semi/Full.
This setup may not be as ideal as, say, the ambidexterous lever on the G36 series. This is not to say that this setup is unskirmishable. I can easily reach and manipulate the saftey lever with my right hand(if I'm shooting righty) or with my left if I'm shooting lefty.
The sights are realy quite nice on the gun. They are set up to work just like M16/M4 style sights. You veiw your target through a fairly wide aperture(wider than an M16 sight if I'm not mistaken), which you line up with the front post. They rear sight is adjustable, for elevation and windage. Personaly, I have never been able to accurately adjust the gun for windage, due to the physical difficulty in doing so. To adjust the sight, you just grab on and move them where you want. Moving the sights up and down is easy and provides audible clicks and tactile feedback. Side to side, not so much. They tend to stick at either the center of the far left/right. Fine adjustment of the left/right of your sights won't be too easy. Dosen't realy matter though, it's not like I ever wanted to adjust my sights in the field for windage. I usualy just camber my gun into the wind and let the hop up take over.
The hop up can either be accessed through the magwell, or where the ejection port is on the real gun.
In my experince, the hop up has been consistent and has never come out of place during a game. With stock velocity, I can dial the gun in for .25g BBs and still have half the hop up left.
Out of the box, the rate of fire, and accuracy were both pretty much par. No more no less. The rate of fire wasn't realy as much as I'd hoped, but later I found that the battery I was using was simply sub par(one of the wires fell out one day) The gun chrono'd at 267, which was the first time I had gotten to a chrono in a few months after I bought the gun. For something that claimed to shoot 270, it wasn't half bad. Especialy considering the gun shot 267, 267, 267, over three shots. I later got the 8.4v 3000 MaH battery, which used a larger gauge wire and a large connector(instead of the small the other batt came with). After the my RoF went from slightly sub par to simply a waste of ammo. I had trouble shooting not shooting 3 or more rounds on full auto.
75 Ft. Full Auto. Supported position(sitting, leaning against a wall, arms supported) .25g Tokyo Marui BBs. Most of the stray BBs are because I didn't have the hop-up set before hand. Notice the tight group near the middle, that's after I got the hop up in the right place.
75 Ft. Full Auto. Same firing position. Airsoft Elite .25g BBs. Gun was upgraded with a Systema M100, chono'd at 345 FPS. Those groups measures about 10'' across, for reference.
Problems I've had
Barrel Wobble-First of all. There is no such thing as the barrel wobble. If your thompson barrel is wobbling, tighten all the screws that hold on the front barrel assembly, likely that wobble will stop. What does happen is the barrel crack problem. What happens is, the barrel is held onto the receiver by the barrel assembly, which is held on by two screws on the lower part of the gun, which is attached to a tab that's attached the actual barrel. Sadly, this is a design flaw by Tokyo Marui. It just is. Over time, stress will increase on the part of the assembly that holds the barrel and the tab together, rather than at the junction between the barrel and receiver. Eventualy, this will lead to a crack. It took about 9 months of hard use for this to happen on mine. Granted, I use a sling on my gun, I have dropped this from waist hight several times, I've banged it on my car when I didn't remember it was on my back, I've stepped on it, and tripped in the dark leading to a flat out dive into a pile of wood. It's definately had it's knocks. I'll also say, that I only reason I realised this problem had occured with this gun, was when I read about someone else having the same problem, and noticed it on my own gun after careful inspection. If the proper screws are tightened, there will be little, if any barrel wobble, even with the crack. Still. It might be a good idea to JB weld that.
This is where the crack occurs.
This is about as far as I could hold open this crack. It is easily fixed, I just added some superglue, and a few months later it's still there.
Also, this thing fell of my gun last game, about three weeks ago. It was simply glued on to the lower body, and after I knocked the gun pretty hard on I dunno what, it came off. I'll probaly glue it back on whenever I get around to it.
The four holes are where the peice attached to the gun. It served no purpose to the gun other than that it was on the real Thompson for some reason, so it was on this gun. I'd liken it to the bolt release falling off of an AR. For horror.....
Also, sometime after I upgraded this gun, the thing just stopped shooting period. Much to my dismay of coarse. Long story short, the contacts inside the trigger assembly had been bent out of shape, so that they weren't properly connected when I pulled the trigger. this caused my contacts to corrode and stop conducting. Longer story short, I sanded off the corrosion, reshaped the connectors, and now the gun works once again.
This gun has a V6 gearbox, which uses standard V2/V3 parts, with the exception of the bushings, which are V6 specific. A few months ago, I upgraded this gun with metal bushings and a Systema M100 spring. I have to say, I have worked on only 4 different guns, with both V2 and V3 gearboxes. I have to say I like the V6 better for the ease of working on it. This is mostly because of the fact that the trigger assembly is not contained inside the gearbox, and you don't have to take anything apart there to work on the gearbox. I have also heard good things about the reliability and general toughtness of the V6 shell.
The M100 spring went in pretty smooth, and even after the upgrade, my RoF was still pretty good, though I still can't check the exact rate. The chrono results brought up 345 w/.2g BBs. If anything goes wrong with this in the near future, I'll edit this post.
Overall, I simply love this gun. Solid, desent performer, great aethetics. But it does have it's quarks. No external upgrades for one. CAW makes an M1928 converion kit, and there are several wood kits available for it, but that's where you hit the wall. The most popular aftermarket addons won't work with this gun. No Reddot sights, no scilencers. Not only can you not fit this on the gun, but they'd look hideous in the process. On the good side, you get Tokyo Marui reliability and performance, with a metal body!!! So basicaly, if you like the looks of this gun, you will fall in love with it. On the other hand, if you have an RIS addiction, this isn't the way to go. Also, I should note, that finding appropriate gear to hold the magazines can be troublesome, if that's something you want to think about. Alternatives to WWII era webgear could be UMP mag pouches(though I am not sure the 30 rounders would fit), or possibly some Alice style AK mag pouches.
Once of the few WWII options
Large Battery space
Gearbox Shell is pretty resilient
No external upgrades
Not many gear choices
Won't fit into many milsim games that are set after Korea
Weight(if you think that's a negative)
Also, I've written this guide on taking down this gun, if you ever feel the need.
Possibly to come: Firing video, a short demonstration on reloading(since people seem to dislike the process soo much, I'd like to show just how quickly this can be accomplished if you practice)
I am always open to suggestions. If you want any other info, pictures or something, PM me and I'll add them to the review.
Edited by hsimoorb, 17 November 2006 - 01:33 PM.