Fabrique National P90 TR - Tokyo Marui

I can well remember the first time I encountered the P90.

On my first visits to Den Trinity's website some years ago, I spotted the photo shown below and could not work out what I was looking at.

My first sight of a P90

I decided that "FN P90" must be a code number for some internal part to one of the many guns they sell. It clearly WASN'T an airsoft gun of any sort! It is hard, now, to imagine not being familiar with the P90's space age looks, but it was so radical back then that I just could not equate it to a gun of any sort.

The space age looks are well replicated by TM.

A year or so ago, I made a visit to Airsoft Armoury and had a look at, pretty much, the entire TM AEG range. The one which grabbed my attention was the P90. Some dislike its firing position and overall styling, but it was the one gun I came away wanting.

Recently, when a US Police Officer posted a comparison of the TM AEG to a real P90 on Arnie's, I bit the bullet and took advantage of one of Den Trinity's excellent AEG package deals and became the owner of a P90 Triple Rail, mainly due to the P90, with its in-built red-dot sight, being unavailable anywhere for months.

In the Box

This was my first (and so far, only) new AEG, so I was quite pleasantly surprised by the presentation.

Extensive and well presented set. Spare magazine was purchased separately.

The box contained the gun, with space for a spare magazine (I ordered mine with one), some .25g BBs (interestingly, as most people seem to recommend .2g BBs for AEGs), a manual (as with the FAMAS, in Japanese and English), a cleaning rod and a tube and rod loading tool.

The box itself is a sturdy cardboard construction, with artwork on the lid, depicting the FN P90 AEG replica inside. The gun lies in a polystyrene lower half, which was more than sturdy enough for transport from Hong Kong.

First Impressions

The P90TR has a dark grey body, as opposed to the P90's (with the red dot) black one. Lots of people seem to find this a problem, but I think the P90TR looks pretty good.

The look is distinctly space age (No surprise that they chose the P90 to appear in Stargate SG-1, which is where many people first encounter the design), but it fits nicely into left or right hand and is easy to use one handed.

The 'metal' parts of the gun are mainly plastic (only the rails are actually metal), but are a good colour and look like metal, even if they don't feel like it, in either weight or coolness.

Compact SMG styling obvious with flash hider fitted.

The TR comes with a SOCOM silencer. This (except for the thread) is the same as the one fitted to the TM Mk23 SOCOM, but is painted a better looking, matt black and has 5.7mm markings. There is also a flash-hider included, if you want the more usual P90 look.

TR model features rails and grey body - reflects real P90TR styling and features.

The magazine is probably the single most visually striking element (aside from the overall shape). It lies on top of the receiver, and features dummy rounds, visible through the transparent magazine (hicaps forego this feature, sadly). This is a reasonably common feature on modern guns, and TM also feature it on the G36 and SIG 552.

On the regular P90, there is an integrated Red-Dot sight (rather a poor one on the TM version, I understand), but the Triple Rail version (TR) features 3 20mm rails, one on top and one either side, permitting the fitment of a selection of sights and torches, lasers, etc. In this, TM have echoed the real P90 range.

Closer Look

The P90 is a love or loathe gun, but if you can get past the looks (which I like), it is a very capable and cleverly designed weapon, which transfers to the airsoft version, although that is not to say it is perfect (anymore than any other AEG).

Real P90Real P90

The P90 is very compact, at just 45CM x 18CM (excluding the silencer), which indicates FN's intention to create a combat capable weapon for personnel not usually involved in carrying a rifle, such as AFV crews, Artillerymen, etc. At a stretch, a reasonably strong person could even use a P90 as as backup weapon to a Sniper rifle.

P90TR designed for aftermarket optical sights.

However, some people find the P90 cramped and complain they cannot use the integrated sight with a full face mask. The latter problem is not relevant to the TR, where open reflex sights, scopes or standard Red dots (like the Tasco Pro-point I have) can be selected to suit the circumstances and/or user's preference.

The conventional way to hold a P90.

I am 5'9" (175CM) tall and I find the P90TR very comfortable to shoot, although I do find that I tend to grip the lower extension ahead of the trigger, rather than putting my 'spare' thumb in the front of the trigger guard (as shown in a TM promo shot, above). I also must admit to never having used one on a skirmish, so it may feel less comfortable after some hours of use.

The overall finish of the P90 is pretty good, albeit with a few seams (more forgivable on a gun with a plastic body, though), and good markings and detailing (such as it is).

Receiver is plastic, but looks good.

The magazine, especially, stands out as worthy of comment. The dummy shells inside look real through the transparent magazine shell (there have been reports of issues with guns with mags like this being opened by postal workers and calling firearms officers.) and are highly unusual, being both gravity AND spring fed, due to sitting atop the receiver. It is only fair, though, to say that the hicap versions do not have clear sides and have a reputation for unreliable feed. I do not have any hi-caps, so cannot comment on the validity of such reports.

Lovely transparent magazine with dummy rounds - Smaller than the BB's calibre!

Although designed for optical sights on the top rail, there is a crude iron sight built into this rail, which takes the form of a square post at the front, which is aligned with a notch caused by a slot cut through the centre of the rail. However, only someone encountering problems with their optical sight is ever likely to use them, which is just as well as they are slow to use and not very accurate, being short in height and having too wide a notch.

Crude iron sights fitted.

The grey body is solidly made and of good quality. There is a simple slot for a sling, near the back (my gun also has a front sling swivel which is an aftermarket accessory) and there is a plastic butt plate (unpadded), which slides off to reveal the mini-battery and gearbox.

Mini battery easily accessible, but short on life.

Cocking levers don't do anything, but are replicated both sides.

The receiver is matt black in colour and looks fairly convincingly metallic.

Limited markings nicely rendered.

Unlike GBBs, AEGs are a technicial mystery to me, but some people comment that the P90 is easy to work on because of the gearbox location, but I cannot help but feel that with a gun this size and shape, there should have been some way to fit a full size battery in there, as the minis seem to run out pretty quickly compared to the big battery in my FA-MAS.

Takedown lever and feed route from top mounted magazine.

The gearbox is a Ver. 6 should you need to repair or wish to upgrade it, and there are many options available to do so.

Silencer like Mk23's but matt black - Better for it.

The silencer is a 14mm anti-clockwise fit and does deaden the report slightly, although the vast majority of sound from the gun is from the gearbox, especially notable with it being so close to the shooter's ear. It is the same unit (with foam) as provided with the TM Mk23 SOCOM pistol, but it is painted with matt black paint and marked with a mixture of Tokyo Marui and pseudo-real-steel markings.
More than a few owners have taken the opportunity to fit a longer inner barrel and use the silencer to simply hide the longer barrel, although that obviously makes the silencer an integral part of the gun.

Safety/Selector on trigger. On A trigger will fire semi on short pull, full auto on longer.

The alternative flash hider also attaches by the same thread and makes the P90TR considerably more compact.
The barrel thread, though, is odd, being only half height, rather than a full circle and, on my example, it is quite easy to cross thread the silencer or flash hider, making quick changes impossible.

Like most military weapons, there are not a lot of markings on the gun. The body is marked "Model PROJECT 90 Cal 5.7x28 SS90" on the left side, just below the magazine.

The receiver has more markings with "P90 cal 5.7x28" on the left side just below the top rail, "FN013827" on the left at the front edge of the receiver. The right side is just marked with a small ASGK mark and "TOKYO MARUI CO., LTD. MADE IN JAPAN" just above the cocking lever.

Ejection port is replicated on underside, but serves no function.

The magazine is marked with round counter markings at 10, 25 and 50 rounds (although these are just for show and do not count 6mm BBs in anyway). The left side of the magazine is marked "MOD. P90 50 ROUND MAGAZINE - 2001 - RESTRICTED LAW ENFORCEMENT/GOVERNMENT USE ONLY".

Hop-Up concealed in lower body.

The Hop-Up is concealed under a small hatch in the underside of the body. To reach it, you need to turn the gun over and look up into the thumbhole section. You will see a small square with slight groove in it. Using your fingernail, you can slide the square back to reveal a simple rotary adjuster for the Hop-Up.

Hop-Up, once reached, is a simply rotary control.

The adjuster is fairly easy to work and it is not too sensitive to adjustment, making it quite easy to get the balance right. Although I have not experimented greatly with the Hop-Up, I was able to quite quickly set it for the .25g BBs I used for the accuracy test. Out of the box, even .2g BBs fell to the ground at around 30-40 feet.

Shooting Impressions

The P90 is an SMG, rather than a Bullpup rifle, so it is no surprise that the barrel length (263mm of the total 500mm on the real thing) of 247mm is somewhat less than that of the FA-MAS and you might expect this to result in inferior power and accuracy.

For this gun, I repeated the test I devised for the FAMAS.

I fired 20 shots (in semi auto) at a target set 18m (60 feet) away (the length of my garden).

I used a Tasco Red-Dot sight (as you can see in some of the pictures) to aim, but I did not spend long zeroing and I did not experiment for long with the hop-up, either. The group top right is with Excel .2g BBs and suggests the hop-up was set too strongly for this weight BB. Indeed when fired, you could see them curl rapidly upwards at about 50 ft. The majority of the shots are with .25g BBs.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

As you can see, the shots were all pretty much on target once I had adjusted the hop-up to cope with the .25g BBs. The fact they are all offset from to the right of the target is simply due to me not adjusting red-dot on my sight correctly, rather than any fault with the P90.

The grouping looks wider than the longer barrelled FA-MAS, but is under 5.5" (13 CM) top to bottom, plenty good enough for skirmishing. It's safe to say that, at this range, you would easily hit anything you aimed at.

Over 10 shots, the stock P90 averaged 282 fps using .2g Excel BBs.

Shot      FPS
1 278.0
2 280.0
3 279.1
4 282.8
5 284.1
6 283.7
7 286.7
8 287.2
9 283.8
10 277.6

Take Down

Take down on the P90 AEG is legendarily simple.

Simple takedown for maintenance.

With the magazine out, you can depress a take down button, which allows the whole upper receiver to be removed from the body, simply by pushing it forward.

This makes for very simple cleaning and regular maintenance.


Overall, the FN P90 TR, like the FA-MAS F1 is another AEG which divides opinion.

Love or loathe it - Styling is unique!

Some dislike its space age, compact (they would say cramped) styling and moan about jamming hi-cap magazines, but others rave about its compactness making it ideal for CQB or even use in tightly packed woodland/scrub. They will also point to the variable pressure trigger system as a plus and note that all AEGs perform pretty much the same.

Personally, I very much like the P90 and it performs, out of the box, well enough for the majority of uses, especially in the UK.

Weight : 2000g/2100g with silencer.

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

Arnie's Airsoft TM P90 review

Real Steel link at World Guns
Real Steel link at FN USA
Real Steel link at Remtek

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