Tokyo Marui 1911 MEU: Unboxing and First Impressions

image_1After my KWA Mark II 1911 PTP decided that it wasn’t going to hop BBs anymore, I decided that it was time to finally invest in a proper (read: 100% reliable) sidearm. I loved the external feel of the KWA pistols, but their performance and internal reliability left something to be desired. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not very big on sidearms in general (and I’ve said as much on these pages), but I’ve always had a soft spot for the venerable Tokyo Marui 1911 platform, and have wanted one since my first days playing airsoft. When the chance came to pick one up, I jumped at it.

Pics of the unboxing and first impressions after the break.

If only I could read Japanese...

L to R: safety pamphlet, paper targets, instruction manual, and what I believe to be some sort of mail-in contest ballot. If only I could read Japanese…

The first thing you’ll see upon opening the box is a plastic baggie with the above documents: a safety pamphlet, five paper targets, a safety/instruction manual, and what I believe to be some sort of mail-in contest ballot… but my inability to read Japanese means I’m unsure of the latter.  I gave these a quick glance (and smiled at the cute cartoon telling you not to look down the barrel) and put them back in the bag.

L to R: barrel bushing wrench/tool, bag of sample BBs, barrel plug, spare magazine followers.

L to R: barrel bushing wrench/tool, bag of sample BBs, barrel plug, spare magazine followers.

In a box labelled for .45 rounds are small tools/items: a barrel bushing wrench/tool, a small bag of a hundred or so BBs, a bright red barrel plug, and a little baggie with three spare magazine followers. The magazine followers were a nice and unexpected bonus. I’ve personally never broken a follower in any magazine (GBB or otherwise), but it was nice that they were included in the package should follower breakage occur.

Her name is Christine.

Her name is Christine.

Finally, what we’ve been waiting for: the TM 1911 MEU itself. Included is a single 28 round magazine. You’ll notice that the styrofoam inside the box is covered with a desert MARPAT cloth, which I thought was pretty cool and elevated the presentation above other companies’ offerings that come in simple styrofoam cutouts. I’ll be using that cloth as a backdrop for future pics.

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The first thing I noticed upon picking up the MEU was how light it was. Obviously this is because it’s entirely plastic, as are all Tokyo Marui pistols, but after having handled full-metal sidearms for the majority of my airsoft career the light weight did take some getting used to; I found myself overshooting quite a bit when doing some practice draws. The licensed Novak sights also took some getting used to, as the black body of the MEU and the black sights meant that it was kind of hard to pick up the sights quickly; I may have to look into adding some white dots to the sights to make sight acquisition a little easier.

I was initially concerned that the plastic finish would look fake and, well, plastic-y, but boy was I wrong; the above pictures don’t quite do it justice. The finish has a matte, brushed metal kind of look that makes it look a lot like it’s full metal.

bottom L: Optix's MEU, top R: my new MEU

bottom L: Optix’s MEU, top R: my new MEU; apologies for the poor photo quality!

Another look: Optix's MEU is in the foreground.

Another look: Optix’s MEU is in the foreground.

I purchased the MEU through local retailer Optix, who noted that the finish on it is much different from the finish on his own, slightly older Tokyo Marui MEU. The above pictures don’t really capture the difference in the finish (apologies, I only had my iPhone 5 camera for use), but there is a slight, but noticeable difference between the finishes that can’t be attributed to wear – Optix attests that the finish on his MEU looks exactly the same as it did when he purchased it.

Whether this means that TM has refined/improved the finishing on their plastics to make them look better is unknown right now, but if true, it’s nice to see that TM isn’t slouching when it comes to constantly improving their products.

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I’m quite happy with this purchase; I’ve always wanted to add a TM 1911 to my collection and now I finally have one, along with the reputation for reliability and performance that comes along with the Tokyo Marui brand name. I will likely be keeping this mostly stock to preserve said reliability (the wonderful finish of the plastic slide has convinced me that a metal kit is unnecessary), though I may toss in a tight bore and/or new hop rubber down the road when time and funds allow. First up on the list is a ton of mags and the appropriate pouches for that awesome row of silver .45 mags that I see a lot in MARSOC reference pics. I may also pick up a couple of those long 40+ round mags that Juicy has for sheer cool factor.

I obviously haven’t had the chance to game this thing considering I just picked it up last night, but I’ll be sure to post an update with a review once I have the chance to do so. I’m slowly getting back into the airsoft gear purchasing game after a recent hiatus, so hopefully I’ll have more stuff to write about in the near future.

I guess this means my old KWA 1911 will be relegated to racking/reloading drills at home while sitting in front of the TV…

 

 

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