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Blast from the past! Maruzen KG9
Markings stamped on receiver
Pump action gives one shot on each cycle
The KG9 is a compact and versatile SMG
BBs are loaded into ejecting shells individually
Chamber opens to eject a shell on each pump action

Undeniably a compact and brute-force weapon of destruction, the KG9 is arguably less mainstream than most of the popular weapons on the market today. Sporting a relatively compact frame with dimensions just a tad less than your H&K MP5A5, the KG9 is both good-looking and functional.

If you are already fumbling for your credit card, then think again. Look closely on the shiny metal barrel and you will find the markings "NEW FOR 1985" clearly stamped. What you see in these photos is a remnant of my earlier airsoft days. Acquired into the RedWolf collection in 1985 - in its initial release year, the KG9 was considered one of the premium airsoft guns that money could buy. At a price of just over US$60, it was considered a rather expensive model compared to the many plastic guns available on the market at that time.

Shooting 6mm BB's, this KG9 by Maruzen functions identically to today's spring weapons, though admittedly the power found in today's Marui spring pistols would put this KG9 submachine gun to shame.

The Maruzen KG9 is a spring actuated weapon that compresses air through a piston, in turn propelling a BB through its aluminum inner barrel. The KG9 is constructed from many metal parts, including the entire barrel and "upper receiver" assembly, trigger, ejection port assembly (latch cover), steel magazine, magazine release, cocking lever and sling mount. The front and rear sights and outer barrel tip are, however, constructed of cheaper plastic. The lower receiver is, thankfully, constructed of high quality molded plastic. The cocking lever is constructed of steel and is therefore virtually indestructible. The entire body is very sturdy and feels quite solid. The fact that it has lasted this many years of play (16 years to be exact!) is tribute to its build quality.

The KG9 is well balanced with no squeaks or rattles. Cocking the gun can be accomplished in one of two ways; via the protruding cocking lever or by pulling back on the front grip, which is internally connected to the cocking lever. Using the front grip, in effect, makes the KG9 function much like a shotgun.
 
The spring within the KG9 is not very stiff and therefore, the cocking action is quite easy. Needless to say, the power is commensurately weak and BB's carry little punch as they leave the gun - often dipping after 10 feet of flight. Without Hop-Up technology (not invented yet in those days), I always found skirmishing with the KG9 to be quite frustrating!

Here in these photos you will, however, appreciate the realism that it brought to the game. Notice the detailed markings and the INTERDYNAMIC marking on the gun's lower receiver.

The best treat of all is the way in which BBs were loaded, and the shell ejecting nature of the KG9. BB's were preloaded into individual plastic shells as shown in the photo on the left, and individually inserted into the steel magazine in stacked formation. A little O-ring within each of the shells held the BB's in place (yes, the BB's that came with this gun were red). The magazine capacity is 30 and loading gets to be quite difficult near the 27th to 28th shell, when serious thumb pressure is needed to insert each incremental shell. Once the magazine is loaded, insert it into the gun like you would normally. Pulling back on the cocking lever allows you to chamber the first shell for firing. As you close the bolt, the air nozzle makes a tight seal with the back of the shell. On pulling the trigger, the compressed air is passed through into the shell and onto the BB, thereby ejecting it.

The cocking motion is quite fun and the KG9 emits a series of clicks and clacks to be convincingly realistic; you can distinctly hear the shell being chambered. Firing can be melodramatic though as it is accompanied by a "Twang".

The best part comes when you pull back on the cocking lever for a second shot. The cocking motion smoothly ejects the first shell, sending it flying out of the bolt chamber 4 feet sideways onto the ground. With practice, you can get consecutive shots off with ejecting shells at a rate of approximately 2 rounds per second. While functionally this was not impressive, the accompanying visual effect of flying shells made up for it!

Now comes the second gripe on skirmishing with this weapon: Having to back-track and recover the ejected shells proved too much of a pain and I found taping a cardboard "shell collection" box around the ejection port was the only way for worry-free skirmishing!

For jammed shells, a notch on the frame allows you to lock your lever and keep the bolt open as you work out the problem. As mentioned before, the sturdy steel cocking lever is indestructable and allowed slapping down on the lever for that "Let's Do It" pose without fear for snapping it right off from impact with the frame.

Even today, this masterpiece from Maruzen is still fun to work with; if not to shoot but merely to enjoy the flying shells and it's good looks. Unfortunately, this piece has been long extinct and finding a collectors model on the market would be much like searching for a needle in a haystack. KG9 lovers need not fret though, as Maruzen currently has a blowback version of the KG9 in production. Lacking the front foregrip, it instead has a vented barrel for a more tactical look. If you are interested, inquire with us.

So hold onto your present day collection and take good care of them. Sixteen years later, you too can take your favorite pieces of today out and describe them as "ancient design". Makes you wonder where airsoft will evolve to 16 years from now, doesn't it?

And for those of you eyeing that silver framed Colt MK-IV in the pictures above along with the KG9 - that is another working remnant from 1984! But we'll leave that one for discussion another day...

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