Ruger Mk1 - KJW

The KJW Mk1 is a very popular gas pistol, especially, it seems, in the USA, where its reputation as a low cost, high power sidearm is appreciated.

Distinctive Mk1 shape nicely reproduced.

The Ruger Mk1 is a .22 target pistol, but has achieved more widespread recognition as the weapon of choice amongst assassins, both in the movies and the real world military, especially in suppressed form.

Based upon the Marushin version, the KJW is cheaper by some margin, but at what cost?

In the Box

My Mk1 was used, but in mint condition. The box comprises a rather unusual, but attractive, matt finished photo-art lid and a polystyrene base in which the gun lays.

Smart box. ENGLISH Manual!

Inside is the gun, a manual (In English!) and a target. I presume the gun originally came with a bag of BBs, too.

The magazine will fit in the box, either in the gun or in a separte cutout, allowing for a spare to be stored in the box, which is a nice touch, I always think.

First Impressions

The gun looks pretty smart with a nice near matt black finish. It looks a bit like a sensibly sized AMT Automag and the similarities do not end with the simple overall appearance.

Rather disappointingly, there are no trademarks on the Ruger, at all, in contrast with the Marushin version, whilst the right side grip (only, oddly) bears the, rather naff, KJW monogram. This would have been better left plain like the other side.

The gun feels pretty solid, with the magazine in, and features an adjustable rear sight.

All the features of the Ruger Mk1 are seemingly apparent, with an operational safety and a disassembly latch in the rear of the grip.

Closer Look

The Ruger Mk1 is quite a distinctive gun. Some people, wrongly, assume it is related in some way to the Luger, due to the similarity of the name and the similar slope of the grip.

Quality better than USP Tactical overall.

The KJW Mk1 is a bull barrel Mk1, where the barrel remains the same diameter along its entire length.

Prominent blade sight, painted here.

There is a fairly high foresight blade and the rear unit is adjustable for elevation and windage by means of two small screws. As standard both units are unmarked, although the foresight on mine has been painted white, a sensible move for low light use.

Adjustable rear sight.

The general finish is good, much better than the finish of the KJW USP Tactical, although the complete lack of markings on the KJW Ruger Mk1 is a stark contrast to the Marushin it is based upon.

The Marushin version is much more realistic in terms of markings.

One feature which no-one who has mentioned in all the praise for the Mk1 is that the magazines suffer the same design defect that the original Marushin ones do. Looking very like scaled down AMT Automag magazines, they have no jaws to hold the BB in place, just a hoop. This design is fine with the magazine in the gun, but makes it very easy for all your BBs to fall out of spare magazines before you ever get to load! A bit of tape will solve this, but I am surprised it is not mentioned as a problem more often.

Magazine pure Marushin - BBs easily fall out!

The safety is to the rear of the frame, on the left side, in the form of a recessed knob which slides up and down in an arc. It is tricky to use with the right hand thumb and requires any lefties to put the gun in their right hand to operate. With a heavy trigger pull, safeties are not so important, but good practice would suggest you should have your airsoft pistols safed when not in use and this could be a problem if you need to unholster and fire quickly.

Safety tricky to use.

The looks are very plain, looking very like the cheap Daisy air pistol I owned many years ago, but, like the safety, that is not KJW's (or Marushins) fault, but Rugers.

Shooting Impressions

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test the Ruger Mk1 performed pretty well. Best 5 rounds fell within a 2 inch (5 CM) radius at 5M. With some practice, this could have been bettered, but the long, heavy trigger pull does tend to mitigate against excellent results.

Over 10 shots, the KJW Mk1 averaged 333 fps (using Winter gas) indoors (at a chilly 10C).

Shot      FPS
1 341.8
2 337.9
3 331.9
4 331.1
5 327.9
6 332.8
7 325.6
8 335.9
9 338.9
10 328.9

With no single action capability, the trigger pull was an appalling 3kg+. So heavy in fact that I couldn't measure it accurately. 3.8Kg was more than enough, but 3Kg not enough! This is a clear 500g heavier than anything else tested previously, but, as is often the case with NBBs, rapid shooting soon makes the weight feel manageable and the pull was smooth, making it feel less awful than the bare figures suggest.

Take Down

Unusually for an NBB the KJW Mk1 (as with the Marushin it is based on) offers the ability to field strip, like the real thing.

Disassembles like the real thing.

With the magazine out, lifting the take-down lever, in the rear of the grip allows the entire lock mechanism in the grip to be lifted up and then out of the grip.

Stripped down Mk1

With this removed, the bolt can be withdrawn from the receiver and the entire receiver/barrel unit can be lifted off of the frame.

There is little real value in being able to strip the Mk1 down like this, but it is a nice feature for collectors, although they will, surely, hunt out the more accurately replicated Marushin.


Overall, the KJW Ruger Mk1 is a good, solid, sensible NBB sidearm.

Rather plain styling - Like or loathe.

Featuring all the performance and functionality of the Marushin Ruger (but none of the aesthetic detailing, sadly), at a considerably cheaper price, it offers good year-round sidearm performance in a distinctive package.

Weight : 420g

Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : *****
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at Ruger

Review of Marushin at Arnie's Airsoft

Back to the Homepage