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Tokyo Marui G17 Gen3 – Review and Helpful Illustrated Upgrade Guide

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Tokyo Marui (TM) – dominating the airsoft market since 1991 when they released the first AEG design the world has ever seen, the famous Famas F1. Although they have been producing gas blow back pistols since 1986; extra five years under their belt in the GBB market. So how does the quality of this veteran’s products still stand in 2019?! Is their Glock17 Gen3 an overrated pistol that is completely blown away by newer versions of their competitors? Does the TM magical hop up really exist? Is this pistol worth buying at all in this day and age? I am here to answer all of these questions and help you make a decision whether it’s worth investing your money in the TM Glock17 Gen3!

Out of the box

Pros

  • Incredibly Accurate
  • Great Hop-Up Unit – Fantastic range out of the box (45-50 metres)
  • Sturdy ABS plastic build
  • Enormous range of aftermarket parts
  • Easy disassembly

Cons

  • Plastic Slide
  • Duster Gas only (without upgrades)
  • Magazines require an o-ring to make gas loading more efficient

Accuracy, range and gas efficiency

Let’s start with the most important aspects of any GBB pistol – accuracy, range and gas efficiency. Simply, all three are superb! This particular pistol has fantastic grouping and is able to hit torso sized targets 50m down the field; all without any upgrades! The stock combination of inner barrel, hop-up bucking, hop-chamber and a nozzle that comes with an o-ring already in place are extremely well put together thus creating a tight air-seal and subsequently incredibly consistent results. I was pleasantly impressed when I first took it out for a game during a mildly warm game-day at around 16°C; TM Glock 17 proves to be a reliable and accurate pistol when used in the right conditions. Also, on most occasions I have been able to cycle through two and half magazines (around 62 shots – magazines take up to 25BBs) before filling up the mag with gas again.

Hop-up

So as I mentioned the great range and accuracy, you might be wondering how easy is it to adjust the hop-up on the go. It’s in fact very standard, you’ll probably need to take cover for a minute as the slide needs to be removed to access the hop-up adjustment. To remove the slide, follow these steps: release the magazine, cock the gun, press the two slide-buttons down on each side of the slide and then push the slide forward. You will then be presented with a small rotary wheel for hop-up adjustments on the inside of the slide; I personally run the hop up on max setting with 0.25BBs which gives me that little bit of extra accuracy.

Build

However, the main question that most people ask is – “how is the build since it’s an all plastic gun”? As you can imagine, it is very light when without the magazine. However, the finish quality is incredibly well done and feels great in one’s hand. The weapon is sturdy and I wouldn’t worry about any accidental knocks or bangs during game-play. So does it feel and look realistic?

Well a real Glock 17 has a metal slide and a plastic lower receiver and weights 626g without magazine and 915g with a loaded magazine. Whereas, TM Glock17 is fully plastic and weights 418g without magazine and 716g with a loaded magazine. Although the recoil isn’t enormous, it certainly is powerful enough to make the gun extremely fun to operate. Undeniably, TM G17 does not feel like a toy.

Safety System and Trigger Pull

Glock’s original three-part safety system is in place, thus the gun will not fire unless you intentionally pull the trigger. However TM also provides an extra safety switch which is activated via the serial tag under the front rail. A positive touch of authenticity with extra safety; well, some could argue it’s unnecessary or that they dislike Glock’s safety in general. At the end of the day, the TM Glock17 is as safe as it can be and is easy to operate. Furthermore, the gun has a decently short trigger pull and reset allowing for rapid shot successions; the pull itself is very smooth allowing for immense control of your shots.

Iron Sights

Finally, the stock iron sights are easily interchangeable and the TM Glock17 also comes with an alternative set of night sights as part of the package. You can change the iron sights by removing the slide and unscrewing a small screw that holds them in place, once that’s done, simply change them for the ones you like if need be.

Specs & Features

FPS (Feet Per Second)280fps – 290fps on Duster Gas
ROF (Rate of fire) N/A – Semi-Automatic
Effective Range 45-50m
Recommended BB Weight0.25g
Hop Up (Adjustability)Adjustable under the slide
Inner Barrel Length and Diameter97mm/ 6.05mm
Powered byGas
Recommended GasDuster Gas (134a/144a Gas)
(Green Gas if between 10-15 °C – at your own risk)
Fire ModesSafe/Semi-Automatic
ConstructionAll Polymer except Aluminium Spring Guide
Weight418g without mag/ 716g with mag
Rail SystemOne Picatinny slot under the barrel
Length
202mm
Price£130

Drawbacks

Clearly the first half of the review was filled with superlatives, so what are the actual negatives of owning this gun?

Plastic Slide

Simply, one of the major drawbacks is the plastic slide as it stops you from using more powerful gases such as Green, Red or Black. Consequently stopping you from playing in colder conditions below 10°C . You certainly, won’t be able to play in winter.

If such low temperatures are a constant or continue for many months in your environment, then I wouldn’t recommend this pistol unless you often play indoors. Instead, I’d recommend buying a CO2, NBB (Non Blow Back) or simply an Electric (AEG) Pistol for colder weather; remember that HPA is also an alternative, however HPA systems require full kit conversions thus are suited for more advanced players.

Mags Spilling Gas at the Valve when being filled 

Also I found the original TM mag, the one that came with the package, was spilling gas when being loaded. I thought it might be a one-off, however when I bought an extra TM mag the same issue occurred. This is not a huge problem but it can waste quite a bit of gas if not improved. It’s easily fixed by placing a rubber o-ring around the mag valve to stop the gas escaping when being loaded, see pictures below:

Not a Fully Licensed Imitation

Furthermore, for those who are looking for the most authentic Glock replica on the market, this might not be the pistol for you. Although most Glock trade marks are present and placed correctly on the pistol, there are still a few TM trademarks and Japanese symbols that could have been more subtle.

Finally, when browsing through internet, I’ve seen a few claims that the TM’s slide is slightly bigger than the real counterpart’s. Thus requiring a Glock21 sized holster or sanding down a standard Glock17 spec holster for adjustments. I’ve not had this issue myself, which leads me to believe that this might be an outdated problem and Tokyo Marui has made adjustments in the production of this particular product. Please, let us know your thoughts and experiences with this particular issue in the comment section at the end of this article.

Upgrades

Full Dissassembly Video by Rogue Studios

Improving Longevity, Smoother Cycles and Overall Sturdiness

First of all, I would recommend purchasing a Guarder Enhanced Recoil Spring Guide (£9.35) for faster cycles, Bomber Hammer Bearing Set (£5.35) or GunsModify Bearing Rotor Set (£5.80) for smoother cycles and Recoil Buffers (£2.73) to protect the slide and improve longevity. All of these upgrades will allow you to start using green gas without worrying about damaging the slide.

  1. Begin by assembling the new Recoil Spring Guide (If it comes already assembled, all you will have to do is unscrew the back end to put the Recoil Buffers on)

2. Before you screw the back end of the Spring Guide on, press the spring down and place a few recoil buffers on the end. Once they’re in place, screw the end back on to complete the Spring Guide assembly.

3. Remove the slide by following these steps: release the magazine, cock the gun, press the two slide-buttons down on each side of the slide and then push the slide forward.

4. Remove the original Spring Guide by pressing it towards the front of the pistol which should compress the spring and allow you to lift it up. Then insert the upgraded Spring Guide in its place. This can be a little bit fidgety, so try to be patient; I recommend watching the above disassembly video to make this process easier.

5. Check whether the slide goes back enough to cycle, but not far back enough to let the slide hit against the back of the receiver. This might take a couple of tries to adjust to your specific replica.

This is approximately where you want the slide to stop when you pull it back/cock the gun.

This is how it should not look at the end of this process.

6. Once you are happy with the slide cycle, it’s time to install the new Hammer Bearing Set to make the cycles even smoother, thus faster. This is a slightly complicated process that requires dexterity; again, be patient and follow the below video step-by-step.

Hammer Assembly by KnucklesGSM

The above upgrades are sufficient enough to ensure gun’s longevity and making it sturdy enough to actually use green gas. Once I’ve completed these upgrades myself I began to use green gas and I haven’t looked back since. It’s been more than 6/7 months now and I am yet to see any serious wear on the product. I would thoroughly recommend starting with these improvements to make the gun sturdier before you move onto further upgrades that deal with accuracy, range etc.

Accuracy and Range

However, once you do decide to improve the gun’s performance I recommend replacing the original barrel and bucking with a PDI 97mm length, 6.01mm Diameter Inner Barrel (£30) and Prometheus Purple Bucking (£12) or replacing the whole hop up and barrel set with Maple Leaf Hop Up Unit and Crazy Jet Barrel Set (£60). I personally wouldn’t recommend any cheaper alternatives as the stock weapon itself is quite spectacular and only the highest quality upgrades will be sufficient to actually make a significant difference.

Slides

Finally another major component that you might be interested in – a metal slide. These come in either aluminium or stainless steel; the prices vary between £60 – £200 depending on what’s included in the set and the material used for each component. I personally recommend using Prowin, Gunsmodify or Guarder products as they seem to have the best fit for TM Glock17s without further adjustments; click here to see aftermarket slides and other products.

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Maintenance

Finally, since it’s a GBB pistol, a certain amount of maintenance is required. First of all, invest in gun oil and grease in order to maintain smooth cycles and decrease wear and tear. I personally use four small drops of oil on the slide and a little bit of grease on the hammer section; before re-applying make sure to clean the internals of the weapon first and wipe off any remaining oil and grease from previous maintenance. I suggest doing this once a month for optimum performance.

Important – keep the mags filled with a little bit of gas between usage to make sure the gas valves are closed and working properly next time you shoot the gun. This also keeps the inside of the mag lubricated, thus increasing longevity.

Airsoft Ranch Verdict

To conclude, if you are looking for an amazing out of the box performance and reliability in warm environments then this is the pistol for you. I cannot stress enough the quality of the build and the immense accuracy and range of this product without any upgrades. Furthermore, if you do decide to upgrade down the line, the aftermarket is enormous thus allowing you to adapt your Glock17 exactly to your needs. I also recommend joining the TM G17 – Q&A Technical group on Facebook as there are almost 1,800 other users that will happily answer all of your questions and guide you during the upgrade process.

Alternatives: If you do live somewhere that’s regularly cold throughout the year, I don’t advise buying this pistol unless you regularly play indoor CQB. I wouldn’t really recommend anything other than a CO2, AEG or HPA systems as you will struggle to ever get a Green Gas Pistol to run properly in cold outdoor conditions. I’d personally recommend these two CO2 pistols: Tactical Force 1911 or ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow for good out of the box performance and reliability. Also if you do want complete authenticity and are looking for the perfect Glock imitation, then I’d simply recommend buying the fully licensed Umarex G17.

I hope you have found this article helpful, feel free to leave a comment below!

Written by Kamil Turecki

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3 Comments

  1. Jeremy Skarupa 27th June 2019

    Oh boy What would I express? Really… really loved the blogThank you so much!

    Reply
  2. JK 1st December 2019

    All TM gas mags “spill” gas, its a design feature to help expel air from the gas chamber thus being able to fill the mag with more gas. It’s one of the reasons TM mags are more efficient than the clones.

    Reply

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