SIG P226 (Silver) - Tokyo Marui
Technically, it is the same gun, so I expected similar performance, but I was interested to see if the silver finish was attractive and durable and there was always the chance that things had changed a little in the two years since I last held a TM SIG P226.
In the Box
The box provided the first surprise.
Whilst the original P226 had come in a rather dull box, redolent of the TM Hi-Capas, the Silver P226 is presented much like TM's excellent 1911A1.
The box lid is silver with no box art, but lots of technical detail relating to the real steel SIG P226R (for railed). There are one or two laugh out loud descriptive quotes too (as with Maruzen's boxes), such as "COOL OF BRIGHTNESS PROFESSIONALS PISTOL". Maybe this passes as acceptable English to the average Japanese airsoft buyer - They could write anything in Japanese and I would be none the wiser...
Inside, the gun sits on black cloth, covering a polystyrene bed which securely holds the gun and the highly chromed magazine separately. Helpfully, the gun will fit in the box with a magazine in the grip, so you can store the gun and a spare magazine in the original box.
There is also a small silver/grey box, marked as 9mm ammo (although not as convincingly as the 1911A1's), which holds some .2g BBs. There is also the usual collection of paperwork, targets and a TM catalogue.
Obviously, lest you get too excited, the "Chrome Stainless" element of this gun is just a finish over the standard ABS material.
That said, the gun looked impressive for a silver airsoft gun in its smart box - None of the rather half-hearted paint finish seen on some WA and KSC pistols here.
The finish is very like that on TM's Chromed Desert Eagle and appears to be plated rather than painted. Certainly there is no sign of any pooling or thinly applied finish anywhere and the markings remain crisp and clear.
The SIG P226 is a medium sized sidearm and the TM P226 feels hefty enough to not seem unrealistic in the hand.
One thing I noticed on taking the P226 from the box was it has a rather hard feel to the plastic. I read back over my review of the black TM P226 and I used the word 'brittle' there and it is precisely the word that had sprung to mind when I handled this gun.
I have never heard of the black P226 being particularly prone to breakage, but it does make the P226 feel less robust than, say, a KSC or WA pistol or even TM's own 1911A1 or Detonics.
The metal controls on the Chrome Stainless P226 are all plated (or painted) chrome, but some (notably the take down lever) look a little too bright against the frame, something which is easier to overlook in the magazine which shares the bright chrome finish. I suspect, though, that many will overlook this and some will completely disagree. Certainly the finish is even and well applied and has no impact upon the operation of the gun.
External metal parts include decocker, hammer, slide lock, trigger, front and rear sights and take-down lever.
We'll look at the finish first as I suspect buyers of this gun, over the black one, will be buying it particularly because of the finish.
As I've already observed, the finish looks plated, rather than painted. It really does a very passable impression of lightly polished stainless steel, even under close examination. It isn't quite reflective (as you'd expect of chrome), but it's certainly shiny.
All the markings are exactly the same as those on the black gun, but they remain sharp and clear despite the addition of the chrome stainless finish.
The left side of the slide is marked "SIG"/"SAUER"/"P226 STAINLESS"/"SIGARMS INC"/"EXETER-NH-USA" and both grips are marked with authentic looking trade "P226" on the left, "SIG SAUER" on the right.
The right hand side of the frame is marked with TM markings. Over the trigger is a serial number and ASGK mark and above the rail the gun is marked "-TOKYO MARUI CO., LTD-"/"MADE IN JAPAN". The right hand side of the chamber is marked "9mm Para" in italic font.
The magazines are marked "SIG SAUER 9mm" on the left side and "MADE IN JAPAN" on the right.
Atop the slide, the sights are dovetailed in, front (post) and rear (square notch) and feature big, bold white dots for fast acquisition. There is no adjustment for elevation.
The take-down lever and slide lock on the frame's left side are both chromed metal, as is the decocker and the trigger.
The hammer (somewhere where TM fall down on the Detonics and, notably, Hi-Capa) is equally well finished off, with no rough edges or casting marks visible.
The grips were a nice surprise. Unlike those I experienced on the black P226, these are distinctly rubberized and feel much better in the hand. They are fixed to the P226 with brightly chromed grip screws.
It is worth noting that real steel grips will not fit the TM P226 without some modification to the frame of the gun.
The frame features a rail for torches and lasers, but there are, as with the black gun, noticeable (if not prominent) seam marks along it (and the trigger guard) which, again, detract from the quality look and feel of the P226.
The outer barrel is finished in the same shiny finish as the frame and slide and doesn't detract in anyway from the overall finish of the gun.
One thing I noticed on the original SIG P226 was that the position of the controls is unusual. The slide lock is high and to the rear and the disassembly lever lies where the slide lock would be on a 1911 or a Beretta (for example). As a left hander I found the slide lock, especially, impossible to operate without using my spare hand, which doesn't bode well for left-handers in a pressure situation.
So, it looks good for a silver plastic airsoft gun, but have TM improved the P226 along the way?
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the P226 performed pretty much as I'd expected it to.
The gun has a snappy, sharp action, but little felt recoil. This should deliver good accuracy, but the TM SIG P226 is acceptable rather than outstanding in this respect.
The best 5 from 6 grouping, at 5 metres, that I achieved with this gun was 40mm. The black gun was quite a lot better, at 27mm, but that was tested at considerably warmer temperatures, delivering more power (and less scope for BBs to wander off track) and the reality is that we are talking around 1 CM grouping difference at 5 metres, too far in dingy garage light to see where the BBs hit whilst shooting.
That said, the shots all fell close to the centre of the target and this was backed up by a successful 'Pig Test' (where I shoot at the postcard sized Pig plaque on the shed at the end of my garden, around 70ft away - If the BBs repeatedly hit the pig, it's a success).
The two sets of shots shown on the target above were shot quickly (the 1st 6, shown as circles) and taking time to settle the sights between shots (shown as squares). The accuracy is a little better on the second set, with all the shots in the target centre.
This is perfectly usable skirmishing accuracy, 40mm is LESS than the short side of a credit card, but the P226 lacks the ability of some airsoft GBBs to place BBs pretty much in the same place shot after shot. No skirmisher, though, really needs that level of accuracy and the P226's stable hop-up (adjustment still requires strip down, though, via the wheel under the barrel) ensures decent accuracy at range.
Over 10 shots, the TM SIG P226 Chrome Stainless averaged 263 fps (using Propane gas) indoors (at a chilly 12C - The mag was probably colder than that).
As a bald figure this doesn't sound too impressive, but equates to about 300 fps at 20C and the relatively low cooldown (reduction in power from shot to shot) was impressive considering how cold it was.
Interestingly, the black TM P226 only gave me 273 fps on Propane at 20C, so either the gas system is more effective at cold temperatures than most or this gun is a little more powerful than the early TM SIG P226 I reviewed.
Trigger pull was 820g (29 Oz), which is a medium weight pull for a GBB and just 30g more than the black TM SIG P226 I tried; as good as no difference.
Field stripping is remarkably simple.
With the magazine out, the disassembly lever (where the slide lock is on a 1911) is pushed down (no need to align the notch on the slide, though, as with Tanaka's version).
The slide and barrel assembly can then be pushed forward off the frame.
The barrel assembly can than be removed down and back from the slide once the recoil spring is compressed and the rod pushed forward and down and back to remove it from the slide and chamber/hop-up unit.
Overall, the Chrome Stainless P226 is a good looking, if slightly ostentatious airsoft GBB.
Performance, as with the technically identical black gun, is good, but not exceptional.
If you like a bright gun or are looking to build a silver all-metal P226 (for which the silver controls are a big bonus), the Chrome Stainless delivers all the benefits and drawbacks of the black gun in one of the best silver airsoft finishes around, but I suspect most skirmishers will still favour the black gun.
It really is just down to which look you prefer.
Weight : 825g (300g Magazine)
Realism : ***
Quality : ***
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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