EDIT (June 16, 2014): See further comments in the comment section related to the slide mounted safety, and the fact that sending the slide forward has occasionally also turned the safety off unintentionally.
My general lack of interest when it comes to sidearms is well documented in these virtual pages, but for a very long time I’ve wanted to own a PX4. I’ve always been a fan of its sleek, sexy look; not to mention the fact that it was Leonardo DiCaprio’s sidearm in Inception, which is where I first became aware of its existence. I remember, upon watching that scene where he takes out dream-guards with a suppressed PX4 (and catches his own ejecting brass so they don’t give away his position), that I had to have that gun.
When a lightly used Tokyo Marui PX4 became available locally, I jumped at the chance. Review and video performance test after the break.
Externally the Tokyo Marui PX4 is a faithful representation of its real steel counter part, save for a few minor details. One of these is the fact that all the trades say “PX4 Custom” when the real steel version has “PX4 Storm” markings. There are a couple of other differences here and there (the “Fires without a magazine” warning is on the slide, when on the real steel version it’s on the lower receiver) but without having the real steel version nearby you won’t even notice these.
As with all Tokyo Marui GBBPs the receiver and slide are made of ABS plastic, which looks the part but definitely feels “plastic-y.” Several third party manufacturers have produced metal slides for the PX4, but I’ve found (and been told) that upgrading to a metal slide compromises the gas efficiency for which TM pistols are well known – more on that later.
The PX4’s ergonomics are excellent, fitting perfectly in my larger hands without any issues (and upon replacing the slim backstrap with the largest one that includes a beavertail). The sights sit lower than a 1911 or a Sig, which are more comfortable, for my eyes at least, than those platforms. The slide-mounted safety and the single/double action took some getting used to. The longer and heavier initial double action trigger pull took some getting used to on the range, but I found in a game situation that it doesn’t really matter – you’re pulling that trigger hard and fast for your first shot and longer/heavier pull won’t even register.
The rotating barrel mechanism present on the real steel PX4, in which the barrel rotates about 45 degrees counter-clockwise during the firing of the weapon, is replicated in the Tokyo Marui version. This is a nice touch, as TM probably could have gotten away without replicating it.
Field stripping the gun (which is done in a similar method to a Glock by depressing two detent levers on either side of the receiver) reveals just how the rotating barrel mechanism works – the outer barrel is contains a groove which follows a tab in a block (which doubles as the recoil spring housing). From what I’ve seen in videos of the real steel version on YouTube, the mechanism is exactly the same as the real steel mechanism. It’s neat that TM went through the trouble of replicating this feature, as like I said earlier, they could have gotten away with a traditional fixed outer barrel if they really wanted to.
I’ve become convinced that Tokyo Marui GBBP hop-ups are clearly made out of unicorn horns and fairy dust, because they perform extremely well even in their stock form. In the above video performance test, I was easily able to hit 12″ x 12″ plates at 20, 40, and 60 feet without any problem. I could then hit the 100 foot plate with 2 shots out of 3, and the 150 foot plate with 1 shot out of 3; and I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m hardly the best pistol marksman out there. Keep in mind that these are relatively small steel plates and you can expect an easy hit at these ranges on man-sized targets; besides, most engagements in which you’d draw your sidearm are at 60 feet or less. The PX4, as with most TM pistols out of the box, is accurate and consistent in its stock form.
The mags are also extremely gas-efficient – I went into a game with just a single mag and was forced into a CQB situation where the length of my SR-25k became an issue. I was able to score several solid kills at 40-60 foot ranges with the PX4 thanks to its accuracy and consistency. I was then able to reload a full mag (25-28 rounds) mid-game and reuse the mag without refilling the gas. In a controlled environment on the range, I was able to get two and a half mags out of a single gas charge in 20C degree weather.
It goes without saying that I’m a big fan of the PX4, and highly recommend it for someone looking for something other than the 1911s, Glocks, and Sigs that dominate the holsters of airsofters these days. It’s got clean, sexy curves and solid performance out of the box.
I also got 5 pistol kills with it. That never happens.