Tokyo Marui Tactical Master
+ Excellent ergonomics
+ Simple and reliable mechanism
+ High power
+ Ability to use HFC22 reliably out-of-the-box
- Less refined and lacking detail demanded by collectors
Excellent value for your money and designed for skirmishing in mind.
Not to be left behind in following the latest trend in variant pistols, Tokyo Marui's Tactical Master is another version of its own M9 Military released earlier this year. We discussed the merits of the Tokyo Marui M9 in our previous review but felt that the recent popularity of the Tactical Master warrants a closer look. One quick look and immediately you will notice that the new slide design and ergonomic grip give a whole new feel to what is essentially a Beretta 92 series pistol. Overall finish is top notch though as in Marui's own M9, the mould lines are still present where more expensive pistols from WA are refined further to eliminate these tell-tale signs of a replica. The slide and the lower frame are all made from high quality ABS plastic and the finishing is good enough that could be mistaken for metal. Metal parts are abundant, including the hammer, trigger, safety, slide catch, disassembly lever, front and rear sights, slide guide rod, and of course the magazine. Overall the gun is a little on the light side but the big comfortable grips make the Tactical Master feel heavier than it really is.
The lightened hammer also gives the pistol a tactical look. The most interesting part of the Tactical Master though is undoubtedly its slide design, with a crest designed right above the disassembly lever. Inscribed clearly are the initials "TM" and the words "Tactical Master Cal. 9mm" stamped below. Conveniently so, "TM" also stands for Tokyo Marui and if you flip the pistol over, you'll see "Tokyo Marui" stamped below the TM trademark. We found this to be quite witty of Tokyo Marui! The rubberized ergonomic grip actually gives the Tactical Master more of a presence than its standard 92F and M9 cousins. Marui cleverly altered the Beretta logo and inscribed something that is close (but not the genuine logo) on the grip. The TM also has windage-adjustable front sights which are not present on the standard 92FS. Rear sights are also windage-adjustable. Disassembly of the Tactical Master is extremely easy and simply requires the magazine to be ejected, the disassembly button pushed in from the right side of the frame, and the disassembly lever pulled downwards on the left side of the frame .. and pull the slide forward. Peering in to the guts of the Tactical Master revealed just how simple the design is. For those accustomed to looking at WA and KSC pistols, you will be caught by how few slits and grooves there are, as well as how few moving parts are visible. Tokyo Marui's design clearly makes a statement that "less is more"; and we mean more value and reliability. Fewer design parts means less thing to break and lower costs of manufacture!
While the TM is quite well built and authentic in its dimensions and finishing, seasoned airsoft pistol collectors will immediately detect the minor annoyances that make it much less refined than a similar pistol from WA; the Beretta Perfect Version. Apart from the mould seams that are clearly visible on various parts of the gun (including the trigger but thank goodness not on the barrel!), the de-cocking lever does not function authentically to de-cock the hammer when engaged - instead you simply cannot release the hammer by pulling the trigger but the hammer stays in cocked position. The magazine release button is also made of plastic, as is the leash hook on the bottom of the grip (the WA has a metal part for this). And a personal gripe of mine is that the inner barrel sticks out a little too far to be quite visible to casual observers. But by no means am I complaining too much since you probably won't notice all of these minor cost-cutting tricks that make this pistol extremely affordable. On the test range, the Tactical Master fared quite favorably with the more expensive WA Beretta Perfect Version, with WA beating the Tactical Master slightly in accuracy but not in power. The Tactical Master obtained +/- 1.5 inches of accuracy from 15 feet; not bad at all for a pistol in this price class. The Tactical Master also offers strong blowback, which actually seems to kick harder and faster than the WA.
The recoil spring on the Tactical Master is also quite strong, which makes the cycling action extremely crisp. One small complaint is that the sound (or "bang") made by the Tactical Master seems a little high-pitched compared to the WA Beretta (am I being a little too picky here?). In any event, the Tactical Master is actually quite a fun gun to shoot with a grip that is extremely comfortable that makes accurate shooting much easier. Based on the reliable design that has already been proven by many months of hard use, you can be sure that this pistol will make a great skirmish weapon for a long long time. Being able to use HFC22 right out of the box is a big plus for that extra power (stock at 0.6J). Simply changing the hammer spring boosts the power quite significantly; while we haven't chrono'ed the exact upgraded power, I can tell you the BB's blew through 2 sides of a soda can quite easily, which we estimate at around 0.9J. Not bad for such a simple upgrade. So our verdict still holds for Marui's latest release. If you're a collector and authenticity in terms of finishing, trademarks, and weight are important to you, get a WA. If you want an affordable weapon that's fun to shoot and reliable, then give the Tactical Master a try!
Buy one now!