Hi Capa 5.1 - Tokyo Marui
With the apparent success of the huge array of 1911 models produced by Western Arms, it was probably no great surprise to anyone when Tokyo Marui released a 1911.
Like KSC, they chose to produce a modified 1911 style gun The TM is in the style of, but not an exact replica of, a Strayer Voigt Infinity or STi 2011.
As with most TM releases, the Hi-Capa has received huge amounts of praise and I was interested to see how much was justified.
This gun came to me for review courtesy of Elite Airsoft, who stock it at their retail outlet as an alternative for people who find the Western Arms SVI range too expensive.
In the Box
TM guns are nicely presented. The box lid features smart artwork showing the Hi Capa and claiming Hi Kick, Hi Grouping (Which I took to mean lots of kick, tight groupings).
Inside, there is the gun, the magazine in a separate section (with space for the magazine fitted in gun, too, allowing two to be stored in the box), a barrel cleaning tool (no-one else bothers with this), manuals and a short section of metal rail (I didn't fit this as the gun is a loaner and it requires to thin sections of the frame to be punched out with a provided tool to fit it). There is also a small bag of .2g BBs (odd, I thought, as the TM springers I have bought recently have come with .25g BBs as did my P90TR).
Lying in the box, the gun looks pretty good. The markings on the slide, though totally fake, are (as you expect of TM) sharp, broad and clearly moulded. The gun is an unremitting black, except for the hammer (I will come back to the hammer).
Picking the gun up, I was immediately struck by how light it felt. Of course, it looks like an SVI, so I was making a sub-conscious association with those, but somehow the gun felt odd. Weighing it showed it was actually not far off the weight of a 5" SVI, so, at first, I was at a loss to explain the feeling.
The grip is plastic, but the lower frame (as on WA SVIs and KSC's STIs) is metal - Clearly this was somewhere where TM felt they could not compromise. Up against existing guns from KSC and WA, a plastic frame, obviously, would not have passed muster.
Other metal parts include the ambidextrous thumb and grip safety, hammer, magazine release, slide lock and the front and rear sights.
Dropping the magazine out, one mystery is solved. The magazine on the Hi-Capa weighs 375g, which is 40% of the total 950g. This compares to around 22% for an SVI mag as the proportion of the total weight. Basically, it seems like TM have weighted the Hi-Capa's mag to produce an overall heavier gun but this leaves the gun feeling light as a large amount of the weight is gripped in you fist, with little leveraging against it as you move it around.
Anyway, that gripe over, the general finish is good. The slide is sort of SVI Expert style with a multi faced slide in cross section, rather than the curved over style of earlier SVIs and standard 1911s.
The cone style outer barrel is plastic (unlike a WA SVI) and features a rather ugly and prominent seam. I have come in for some flak on the forums for criticising TM for visible seams, but I criticise all guns I find these on and KSC can avoid them at a price point consistent with Tokyo Marui, so why not them? To me, it is not just the fact that they are ugly and unrealistic, but an indication that corners are cut on quality control and that worries me about TM's gas guns. There is a full length recoil spring rod, also in metal.
The grip safety and thumb safeties are painted black and made of metal. These seem fine and work correctly, but the silver painted hammer is not so good. Firstly, it is too shiney, with cheap chrome paint, worthy of a market stall springer. Secondly, it is poorly finished with lots of pits and impurities - It looks like cheap metal with cheap paint on. Thirdly, it has an odd, and all to easy to engage, half cock position which doesn't seem to serve any purpose.
I didn't have any problems during my test, but others have reported the hammer can foul the blowback unit, hampering cycling.
Of course, this is not a replica of anything, so the trademarks are fake. However, they look pretty good and there are so many aftermarket slides for real 1911s, that few could positively prove that the markings are NOT present on some real steel 1911 variant, somewhere. On the left of the slide, the gun is marked "OPS-M.R.P CAL .45"/"NM 2010-03A1/5063SOPS-8740012" and the right side is marked "M.R.P .45".
The right side of the frame is marked "OPS"/"MRP" roughly where SV's logo is on an Infinity, at the top of the grip. Ahead of that, over the trigger the frame is marked "Tokyo Marui", "Made in Japan" and "ASGK".
Both grips are marked "OPS - M.R.P" and the chamber is marked "M.R.P .45ACP"
The rear sights are copies of the Bo-Mar style sights and adjustable for elevation and windage, but feature no dots. The front, dovetailed in post has a white dot. The rear sight is marked "OPS MRP" in a square on the top, R in a cirlce and MRP on the left and M.R.P ST on the right.
The metal frame is good, albeit a little light, with a smooth finish.
The grips are heavily chequered, like a traditional SVI grip, but unlike the latest Expert versions.
The trigger is plastic and features no adjustment. However, it is impressively light and without drag in stock form. One should be grateful that they resisted the urge to paint it to match the hammer.
Inside, the hop-up adjustment is a simple rotary operation, but it does require the gun to be stripped down, not a trivial task, to adjust it, something WA and KSC have moved away from entirely. Having said that, most reports suggest TM's hop-up is very good and likely to stay set once you have set it to suit.
"Hi Kick, Hi Grouping" the box claims and some of the claims for this gun have been outrageous. Most people claim it kicks nearly as, if not as, hard as the Desert Eagle Hardkick (Not yet reviewed, but I have fired one). I was slightly baffled to find that my example does not kick very hard at all. However, after some investigation, it seems obvious that it cannot kick that hard. The slide and barrel assembly weigh just 225g, about 30% less than a standard WA 1911. The weight is below that of the Wilson Hi-Cap which is designed with a 'lightweight' slide to reduce kick and speed up cycling. Only astonishingly high power could compensate for the lack of weight, to produce a HARD kick, and the Hi-Capa is good, but not outstanding in this respect (see below).
Perhaps, TM mean FAST kicking, for, like that WA Wilson, the TM is able to cycle its light slide very quickly making ROF impressively high. You would be hard pressed to shoot faster than the gun can cycle.
So, that is kick covered, what about grouping?
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the TM Hi-Capa proved a capable, if not excellent, performer.
The best 5 grouping was 1.5 inch (4.0 CM) across, which is good, but puts it in only in the top 40 of GBBs that I have tested.
Most reports, suggest, however, that the Hi-Capa really shines at range, something I am not able to confirm as I write this review. However, if you want a practical pistol piece, you will not attain WA quality accuracy with a stock Hi-Capa.
Over 10 shots, the TM Hi-Capa 5.1 averaged 282 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and Excel .2g BBs) indoors (at 21C).
This example was never able to better these figures. Claims of 300fps+ performance do not tally with this gun and the Metal Hi-Capa clone I tested performed almost identically, albeit with considerable cool down.
Trigger pull was an impressively low 600g (21 Oz), which is a light weight pull for a GBB.
Take down is just like an SV Infinity.
With the magazine removed, the slide is pushed back until the slide lock can be pushed through the frame. With that done, the slide, barrel and recoil rod & spring can be slid forward off the frame as unit.
With the recoil spring removed, by withdrawing the bushing from the front of the slide, the barrel unit, with it's fixed chamber, can be pushed forward out of the slide.
Overall, I found the TM Hi-Capa a disappointment, but maybe that was to be expected, such was the hype surrounding it.
It is a budget gun, with some rather cheap looking parts and power and accuracy are only good, at 5m anyway, rather than exceptional.
TM have cheated to give the gun a good overall weight, which lends the gun an unbalanced feeling making it feel unpleasant and unrealistic to handle.
The 'impressive kick' seems totally lacking, but it does, at least, offer a light trigger and very fast cycle action.
If you REALLY want a 2011 style gun at a budget price, with the promise of good range, you might want to consider a TM Hi-Capa and there are already many aftermarket accessories to improve the performance and (posssibly) the appearance of the Hi-Capa.
If I had come to this gun completely cold, I would have said it's a competent performer, but nothing to get excited about, so I guess that should be my conclusion.
Weight : 950g (400g magazine)
Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
Metal Hi-Capa clone sold under Armotech and WE brands.
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