Glock 18C AEP - Tokyo Marui
Electric guns dominate in the long arms realm of airsoft, but, so far, electric pistols, in the form of Electric Blow backs have proved disappointing.
TM's Glock 18C EBB is probably the best of that bad bunch, but the skirmish world became very excited when Tokyo Marui announced a non-blowback electric Glock 18C with a minaturised AEG gearbox.
It promised good performance with reduced problems in cold weather and lower running costs with a simple rechargable battery.
I picked one of these up in a swap, interested to see
a) if it offered good enough performance to work as a skirmish sidearm
b) what kind of shooting experience it offered the collector/plinker.
In the Box
The box is quite compact, with the G18C resting in a cutout in the polystyrene box base, which is fronted by a carboard insert.
As well as the gun, there is the small 7.2V battery and a barrel cleaning rod (lying under the gun). I'd imagine a new gun would also have some manuals and a small bag of BBs.
Finally you get a charger for the battery. This is, as standard from TM, for 110V only, so, if you live in Europe, you'll either need to find a transformer, a supplier who has adapted it to 220V or, as mine has, fit a battery connector to charge it from a standard AEG battery charger.
First impressions are actually very good. I must admit I was a little surprised.
The weight is impressive, even without the battery (which actually weighs very little) or magazine. Of course, there's a motor and gearbox in the grip, but the overall weight FEELS better than a stock KSC/KWA Glock 18C.
The finish, too, is impressive, with nice deep trademarks (typical of TM) and an impressively un-plasticky look to the slide. The frame, too, feels solid and well made.
The slide is totally fixed, no TM MK23 slide racking here, but the trigger (unlike the EBB's) is a working two part trigger and the selector on the slide works and is made of metal (externally, it appears to be the only part which is).
Pressing the mag release, you get just the very front part of a full sized magazine pop out from the bottom of the grip. If you are familiar with GBBs, imagine just the part in which the BBs fit - That is pretty much the AEP's magazine.
The magazine, despite being small, is very solid feeling, although (without a manual to reveal any hidden tricks) I found it slow and fiddly to fill by hand, much like TM's springers.
Pressing the backplate of the slide (there's a seam mark on the back of the slide, but otherwise the slide is very cleanly moulded), allows the slide to lift up and forward off the frame. This reveals the battery, slotting in under the barrel, and the simple rotary dial hop-up adjuster on the left side of the breech.
The slide release catch on the left side of the frame is simply moulded, but the right side one works as a trigger locking safety.
The battery is removed by pressing a flat plastic panel on the left side, which lifts it out from under the barrel. It is actually quite easy to eject it completely, so care in a skirmish should be exhibited.
The hop-up is adjusted simply by turning the rotary dial and the gun will fire, in semi-auto only, with the slide off, making it easy to setup.
The overall look of the AEP Glock is very good, with few seams (the ones on the grip can be forgiven) and deep and clearly moulded trademarks. Recent TM's have all featured genuine trademarks and the Glock follows this pattern.
The trigger replicates the patented Glock, two part unit, rather than being a one piece moulding, as on the EBB, although, as with other airsoft Glocks it doesn't work as safety.
The selector at the back actually works as you would expect, with semi auto in the up position and full auto in the down. Unlike KSC/KWA Glocks there is no safe/disassemble position in the middle.
On the left side of the slide is the Glock Logo and 18C AUSTRIA with 9x19 further back. The grip, too, bears a Glock logo on the left side.
On the right side of the slide is a small Glock logo and a Serial number under the ejection port, with both repeated on the chamber. The grip is marked "MADE IN JAPAN"/"TOKYO MARUI CO.,LTD" at the top, with "ELECTRIC POWERED SYSTEM"/"FIXED SLIDE PISTOL" towards the bottom. There is a trademark Glock serial number plate under the front of the frame, with the same serial number as on the slide and chamber.
The difference in colour between slide and frame which you can see in some of these pictures is only apparaent under flash lighting. Generally, it looks much better, I would say easily a match for the finish on KSC/KWA Glock 18Cs.
The actual experience of shooting an AEP is little to get excited about. The ROF is quite impressive (20 rounds in around 1.9 seconds, 10 in .9, with my imprecise stopwatch testing), but there is no kick, even to the extent that you feel the piston moving in an AEG.
The sound is less mechanical than an EBB or AEG, more like a NBB really. So, it offers little special for the plinker.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the AEP proved impressively accurate. All 6 rounds were in the bull and formed a group just 1.75 Inches (4.2CM) across. The best 5 grouping was 1.5 Inches (3.5CM).
Switching to full auto and firing off 10 rounds (the squares on the target) saw more of spread, but all 10 rounds fell comfortably on target.
Taking the Glock AEP to my 40m or so garden, I was able to consistently hit a 1ft x 1ft (30cm square) target with .2g BBs and the trajectory was dead flat, suggesting the gun was not at the limit of its range.
Power is a lot better than an EBB, but still disappointing compared with a GBB, let alone an NBB.
Over 10 shots, the Glock 18C AEP averaged 211 fps indoors with .2g BBs, this compares with 117.45 for the EBB or 300 or so for a GBB on Propane.
Trigger pull was 960g (33 Oz), which is a light to medium weight pull for an NBB (more than most Tanaka revolvers, less than a traditional NBB).
Overall, the Glock 18C AEP is worth consideration if all you want is something to throw BBs a decent distance.
For skirmishers, used to AEGs and liking the simplicity of rechargable batteries, or plinkers, concerned at gas costs or perceived complexities of GBBs, the AEPs weak power and lack of action can be offset by decent range and good accuracy, combined with reasonably low running costs (even though skirmishers will probably want an extra battery and a pocket full of magazines).
GBB fans will not, however, find much to excite them in the AEP concept, even though the TM Glock 18C is, undoubtedly, a well made airsoft pistol.
Weight : 700g
Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ***
Accuracy : *****
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