Mauser M712 "Broomhandle" - Marushin
I've always really liked the look of this gun (I must've been the only one who said "Look, Han Solo's got a Mauser!" when Star Wars came out - Yes I'm THAT old...), so I was dead keen to get one. I'd had a few springers and my Colt .25, but this was (along with the UZI I bought at the same time), my first 'proper' airsoft gun.
This review is being written around 2 years after I bought the Mauser. The gun remains a favourite, but I can now review it in a more objective light.
In the Box
The box was a typical Marushin, with smart art work on the lid.
Inside was the gun, a small allen key to adjust the Hop-Up, a small bag of 6mm BBs and the usual collection of manuals, target and catalogue.
Frankly, when I bought this gun, I didn't care how powerful, accurate or good a replica the Mauser was, I wanted a Broomhandle, but it is powerful, quite accurate (and easy to shoot accurately) and nicely made.
The gun has correct proportions and, like all Marushins, has the balance of real steel to Marushin markings absolutely right, with the real steel taking prominence over the Marushin.
The grips are disappointingly plastic looking, but the adjustable rear sight is very good and the overall look of the gun is excellent.
I remember being especially impressed with the construction of the magazine when I first got the Mauser and it remains impressively solid, something which all Marushins I have seen share, although they also share the infamous Marushin mag wobble, whereby the magazine isn't a tight fit in the well.
External metal parts include adjustable rear sights, magazine, mag release, safety, hammer, trigger and (non functional) selector.
All the metal parts are very solid, but the frame and barrel are (very good looking, admittedly) ABS, and that is one of only two qualms I have about using it as a skirmish side-arm. I'm not 100% convinced that barrel would take kindly to much abuse. On the positive side, there's a hi-capacity magazine available (Standard takes 13 rounds) and it's more powerful than standard a AEG in stock form.
The fake wood, plastic grips are horrible, looking worse than kid's toy guns ones, but as they contain lead weights, it's not easy to replace them with the real steel ones and the number of grooves look wrong to me, but maybe there is not a hard and fast rule on that.
The nicely made magazine holds 12 rounds and sits ahead of the trigger (making this a long gun for its barrel length). Like all the Marushin automatics I have ever seen, the magazine doesn't sit firmly in the well and rattles around. It is also takes some care to load BBs as there's no 'claw' on the top of the magazine to hold BBs in and they will simply roll out if you do not angle the mag back slightly.
The markings, typically of Marushins, are good, with the Mauser one's prominent and the Marushin's smaller and less prominent. That said, there are not a lot of markings on the M712. On the right hand side, over the grip, the gun is marked "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER","OBERNDORF A.NECKAR","D.R.P.u.A.P." in three rows, below which is the ASGK mark.
On the left, at the same point, is the Mauser logo, with just the markings (N and R) on the selector otherwise. On the top of the gun, the barrel is marked "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER OBERNDORF A. N" just ahead of the chamber.
The rear sight is full metal and adjustable for elevation. It is marked between 50 and 1000 (metres, presumably) as per the real thing. Under the sight is the marking "Marushin Co Mfg Japan".
On nice touch of detail is that when the gun is cocked, the firing pin appears (see picture above) from the rear on the slide and this is struck by the hammer when the trigger is pulled.
The gun doesn't feel very heavy in the hand, with a distinctly butt heavy balance (200g of the gun's weight is in metal weights inside the grips). This is fairly typical, though, of NBBs, although the slender barrel tends to exaggerate the effect on the Mauser, even more.
Marushin make a variety of M712s, including a wood stocked, long barrel Carbine, which promises extremely good performance. There is also an extended box magazine (seemingly very hard to obtain) and a combined wooden stock/holster (which I have not seen on sale for some while, although there are replicas around for the real thing and non-firing replicas).
I have never found a way to strip down the M712, not that there's any great reason to want to being an NBB. If a BB should get stuck it will only be in the barrel and that is easily cleared by pushing something down the muzzle and letting it drop from the mag well.
I tested my M712 way back when I first instituted my tests, but decided to carry out fresh testing for this review.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I ran two tests. Firstly, I fired 6 shots, cocking the hammer, single action, between each shot.
These shots are marked as a circle and are all covered by a 1 1/8" (3 CM) radius - The best I have ever recorded for a NBB. All shots are a little above the aim point, probably due to overly aggressive hop setting.
Next, I fired 6 shots double action and these are marked on the target with a square. As you can see, these spread more widely. 3 are right in the centre, 5/8" or 1.5 CM across, but the remaining 3 have gone, low, left and right - This is entirely due to the stiffness of the trigger action pulling the gun off target when fired quickly and that would be my second qualm about using this as a skirmish sidearm.
The trigger pull is heavy compared with any GBB and, I have to say, quite heavy for an NBB.
Over 5 shots, the M712 averaged 325fps (using 134a gas) indoors (around 19C), which is plenty powerful enough for skirmishing.
The trigger pull weight test produced a figure of 2,060g (72.6 ounces), which is heavy by GBB standards, but, so far, my only test for a NBB.
Overall, the M712 is a nicely made NBB. It's powerful, accurate and well detailed.
The finish is good, if not the very best, although the terrible grips (and Marushin's trademark rattly magazine) are disappointing - Someone with basic wood carving skills, though, could fashion some replacements if really worried.
That gripe aside, this remains one of my favourite airsoft pistol. It's just plain weird (inherited from the Mauser design), but accurate and impressively powerful.
The only way it could be better would be if the selector switch worked to let you fire it full-auto!
The Mauser will remain in my collection unless someone brings out a quality GBB version - Anyone at Western Arms or KSC listening?
You can now get real wood grips for the Marushin M712 (as well as the full wood stock/holster, which I cannot afford - If you are a retailer and would like a plug, send me one to review!). These really improve the look of the gun, being very nicely made.
Sadly, you lose the weight in the grips, so weight drops down to just 520g, but they are so much better, that the loss of weight is worthwhile.
Weight : 650g/520g with wood grips (but worth the less in weight!).
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : *****
Accuracy : *****/*** on double action
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