Tanaka Glock 17
Glock 17 So there goes the saying "Keep your Glock cocked"; a term never before applicable to airsoft until now - we present you the Tanaka Rail Frame Glock 17. The long anticipated release of this pistol deemed "Just another Glock" has proven itself worthy in RedWolf's initial tests and may stand to be the best Glock 17 yet. The physical characteristics of this Glock are quite apparent; the new rail system, the moulded pistol grip, and the concealed valve stem on the bottom of the magazine. What really distinguishes this Glock apart from the others is its internal hammer system that can really be cocked as you pull the slide back. The advanced design also promises future upgradability.
Overall, the Glock feels very solid and heavy. The balance is quite good and there is a very solid feel to it that is not felt with the Omega Glock 17. Contributing to this is the heavy metal magazine and heavy weight slide. The gun even comes with metal inserts that you can install onto the front section of the slide; installation is a snap (literally) and you simply push the two metal plates into pre-cut slots.
This last step adds very good balance to the gun and actually increases the kick on the blowback action. The slide pull is quite stiff thanks to the stiff the return spring. Overall fit and finish is top notch thanks to the high quality textured plastic. We found the textured plastic frame and grip to be much more appealing than the relatively shiny slide, which in our opinion could stand some improvement. The goods news is that Mosquito moulds is expected to release a metal slide for the Tanaka Glock which should prove to be quite popular.
Metal parts are rather lacking on this gun and include the rear sight, magazine, magazine release button, slide lock, safety (yes!), slide rear insert, and a serial number plate on the underside of the rail assembly. Having said that, the real Glock is mostly polymer plastic as well.
Like the SIG P226, Tanaka has elected to install a safety on the gun; a non-existant feature on the real steel version. On the Glock, it comes in the form of a small lever located between the frame and the slide just above the trigger (see photo to the right). The saftey switch rocks back and forth, where the former position locks the trigger. We found this lever rather unobstrusive and welcome its addition.
Disassembly is identical to the real Glock and starts by first removing the magazine and then pulling down the the disassembly switch located forward of the trigger on the frame (see photo on right). Pulling the switch down allows the slide to be pushed forward and ultimately off the frame. Inspecting the slide reveals classic WA design, which is not surprising since Tanaka licensed the Magna Blowback system from WA and even utilized the latest R-type valve technology for this Glock.
Hop-up is adjusted using a hex wrench on a hop-up screw located on the underside of the barrel rearward of the slide return spring. One disappointing detail you'll notice during the disassembly process is that the slide spring guide is plastic, not metal as found in most other Tanaka guns. Reassembly of the gun is the simplest we've ever seen; simply push the slide back onto the frame, pushing it back all the way to the hammer cock position and the disassembly lever automatically snaps upward to secure the slide.
One difference from the Omega Glock is that the Tanaka's chamber cover actually recesses downward slightly as you pull the slide back from rest, just like the real steel.
The magazine is finely crafted and inscribed with the Glock insignia. It holds 24 rounds in stacked format though tapers into single file before feeding into the firing chamber. The R-type valve (as first introduced on WA's Beretta series) is also something you'll notice and it's addition allows the gun to be shot at all odd angles without malfunction. Charging the magazine is a little troublesome though thanks the the trap butt-plate which conceals the valve stem. To charge the magazine, you need to push down on a small button and slide away the butt plate to expose the valve stem (see photo to right). What you get for this trouble is increased realism; the gun looks very real holstered on your waist without the tell-tale valve stem.
We found the moulded grip to be quite comfortable and the thumb rest is a definite plus. Coupled with the Glock's good balance and the large white rimmed rear sight, leveling the gun is extremely easy and quick. Pulling the stiff slide back cocks the hammer and loads your first round with a satisfying "clack". The hammer cannot be uncocked - pulling the trigger is the only way out! In our tests, the Glock proved quite accurate and yielded 1 inch groupings at 20 feet; performing better than our Tanaka P226 and miles better than our Omega Glock 17. Power was chronographed at 0.6 joules with minimal magazine cool down. Ten rounds of successive shooting still yielded 0.57 joules of power on the eleventh shot, thanks to the R-type valve. That's the same level of power as our P226 shooting HFC22. The current limitation of the Tanaka Glock is its ability to shoot only HFC134a and in using most of its gas for propelling the BB forward at such high power (equivalent to a Marui MP5A5), it sacrifices the blowback experience which objectively speaking is not strong - but acceptable. One charge of the magazine is enough to shoot approximately 35 rounds.
Emptying the magazine locks the slide back. We initially found the slide lock lever rather small and cumbersome for large thumbs. Several practice releases soon allowed us to release the slide without effort.
The inevitable question is: how does it compare to the current Glock market offering from Omega? Aesthetically, the Tanaka wins hands down (see above photo). It's ability to take rail based accessories will no doubt make it a much more flexible solution. A series of lighting solutions are available for non-rail based guns as shown on our Omega Glock above but these are inferior to rail-based designs in our opinion for sturdiness and reliability. The Tanaka Glock is also much more refined in fit and finish. That's even apparent when you compare the two magazines (right: Tanaka, left: Omega). The mechanical design is also exceedingly advanced yielding much greater accuracy and reliable feeding of BBs.
The glitches that plagued the Omega such as occasional BB jams and "squeeze-and-pray" accuracy can't be found here. Both guns squeeze out 0.6joules of power but considering the Tanaka uses only HFC134a to do this, it still wins. Having said that, the Omega is, in our opinion, more fun to shoot if indoor plinking is what you'll be doing the most. The blowback action is strong and solid with HFC22 and gives a psychological sense of power. Cycling of the metal slide also sounds very satisfying. However, given its horrid accuracy (unless you grip the gun really tightly), the Tanaka wins hands-down as a skirmish weapon. When it's a matter of life and death and simply cannot afford jams and misses, you'll be glad you chose Tanaka.
Buy G17 here!!
Written by: NightOwl
June 15, 1999