Review - Tokyo Marui MK23 SOCOM
History of Tokyo Marui (株式会社東京マルイ)
Tokyo Marui (TM) is a Japanese company that in 1992 was the first to create the AEG (Airsoft Electric Gun). Over the past near 30 years the company has gone from strength to strength and
their brand is one of the best known in airsoft circles, not only for a high price but also for their quality and reliability.
For more info - visit the Tokyo Marui website.
For more background info - visit Tokyo Marui Wikipedia.
Why Tokyo Marui?
The H&K Mark 23 pistol in The Walking Dead comic books is the duty weapon of Sheriff Rick Grimes, leader of the survivors. Whilst only appearing twice in the TV show, it caught my eye, as did the suppressor. Once again scouring the internet and finding the TM MK23 in stock in the UK, I ordered it and waited patiently. The Osprey style suppressor as expected was not so easy to track down in the UK as at the time it was out of stock with no return date. Eventually after much digging I found one for sale on the other side of the world, so I purchased it and the waiting began.
The TM MK23 is a fantastic sidearm that is used everywhere by a whole range of Youtubers and players. The majority of users are snipers who rely on their trusty sidearm to a) be silent, b) accurate and c) gas efficient.
In real steel terms, the H&K Mark 23 is used across the globe designed as an offense pistol hence the larger size to absorb recoil and allow a strong grip by the operator. It was designed for and adopted by USSOCOM - United States Special Operations Command fulfilling several requirements at the time regarding adaptability, cartridges used and reliability. The Mark 23 fires the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge which is slightly larger than the standard 9mm cartridge. Further info can be found on the H&K website here and on Wikipedia here.
Herein lies the Tokyo Marui Mk23 product description from the website;
Product Brand: Tokyo Marui
Product Code: TM-MK23SET01
Weight: 1,000 g
Length: 427 mm
Capacity: 28 rds
Power: 330 fps
Power Source: Green Gas / Top Gas
Shooting Mode: Semi Auto
*The TM MK23 is NBB (Non Blow-Back), this means that gas is not used to force the slide of the pistol backwards after a shot. Whilst blowback does look realistic, it expends and reduces the amount of available gas in your magazine.
The TM comes in a hard polymer carry case with two securing snap latches and a miniature lock loop on the handle enabling the user to add a padlock to the case if required. The top of the case has 'SOCOM MK23 TOKYO MARUI CO.,LTD.' moulded onto it. The case is a great addition as you're paying for not only a quality TM pistol, but also something secure to keep it safe in during transit to site.
The interior is split in two, the lid section and the base section. The lid section houses removable soft foam. The base section is made from dense black polystyrene. Inside the case there are 5 sections;
A cut out section houses the pistol and allows the user to attach the LAM (Laser Aiming Module) and still fit into this section. Lifting the pistol, the shortened ram rod is located underneath. The pistol grip part of this section is large enough to allow the MK23 to be stored with a magazine loaded in the pistol.
Another cut out section into which the suppressor slots.
This section allows an extra magazine to be carried within the case.
This small section houses the bag of non-descript bbs and TM stickers.
The manual can be found by the plastic tag protruding from behind the lid foam which is removed to expose the manual within a clear plastic bag. The manual is totally in Japanese and therefore you'll need a translation app or similar. As with keeping of most manuals it reminds users to be safe, how to adjust the hop, loading and unloading the pistol etc. Additionally the manual contains two pages relating to a schematic of the MK23 and parts.
The pistol is nearly entirely made from polymer meaning that it's lightweight and there's less worry about rust forming after a particularly wet day. It is as described above, larger than a standard pistol so for those with smaller hands, it does take some getting used to.
The markings on the TM are not 100% accurate to the real steel version, however if you're after real steel markings, there are blank slides that you can purchase and laser cut. The images shown below are of the TM markings on the slide, frame and grip.
The images below are of a real steel HK Mk23 and its' markings for comparison.
The pistol grip is stippled on both the left and right hand sides. In addition to this, the front and back of the grip are also further moulded with triangular 'dragons teeth like' effect to add further purchase for the user. On the rear of the grip at the base is the pistol lanyard attachment point. To the front of the grip is the trigger and trigger guard as well as the magazine release catch which is ambidextrous, enabling left or right handed users to hit the catch.
The lower frame houses the safety button to the rear and again is ambidextrous enabling left or right handed shooters to flick the safety on or off. The frame further houses the top slide release catch and a front rail system to allow the attachment of the LAM. On the underside of the frame is the silver 'unique serial number'.
The safety can be activated one of two ways. Once cocked the weapons safety at the rear can be lifted (red circle = live, white circle = safe), or once cocked, the top slide release catch can be lifted upwards which prevents the slide from moving forwards or backwards.
The polymer slide is near identical to the real MK23 apart from the markings. The front and rear sights are moulded onto the slide and are non-removable. One of the few metal parts on the MK23 is the barrel and barrel thread.
Laser Aiming Module (LAM) Overview
The MK23 comes with the LAM (Laser Aiming Module) already fitted to the MK23. The LAM is made entirely of plastic and without batteries installed weighs next to nothing. The LAM features a white light and a red light (labelled as a 'laser'), however neither are of any use and should not be relied on for anything other than show. There are several manufacturers across the internet that sell replacement parts to allow the user to install a LED light and miniature red laser pointer. The LAM slides onto the MK23 rails and a turn screw is used to screw it into the MK23s' trigger guard securing it in place. At the rear of the LAM there is a paddle switch. Pushing the paddle all the way to the left until it clicks into place activates the lights and they remain permanently on until the paddle is moved to the right. Pushing the paddle all the way to the right and letting go temporarily activates the lights. The battery compartment can be accessed underneath by carefully squeezing the battery module together and pulling forwards. The LAM requires 3 AAA batteries. On the underside is also a small dial labelled 'ON OFF' with arrows. This is the LAM on/off switch.
TM MK23 Suppressor Overview
The MK23 suppressor is a TM reproduction of the KAC (Knights Armament Co.) suppressor. Whereas the KAC version has a matt anodized finish, the TM version is reflective. The TM suppressor is manufactured using an aluminium casing, with foam circlets inside for dampening. The original KAC measurements compared to the TM repro are near identical, the slight difference being that the KAC is 2oz (56.6g) heavier. TM repro details below;
Length 7.59" (19.3cm)
Weight 16 oz (453g)
Diameter 0.033" x 0.033" (3.3cm x 3.3cm)
The TM repro comes in two parts; suppressor and end cap. The writing moulded onto the suppressor states;
PART NO. 1S007/44220
MFR 1S020 SER. NO. 60189
TOKYO MARUI CO., LTD.
MADE IN JAPAN/AD.
MODEL: GHG CAL. .45ACP
As mentioned, the TM repro is near identical to the KAC suppressor. Of note is that H&K only endorses two manufacturers' suppressors to use with the MK23; KAC (Knights Armament Co.) and B&T (Brügger and Thomet).
Osprey Ace1Arms Suppressor Overview
The Osprey Ace1Arms (OA1A) suppressor is a licensed direct reproduction of the Osprey 9 (O9) suppressor and is available as a 6", 7" or 8" suppressor. It's manufactured using a combination of aluminium (anodized) and stainless steel (oxidized). The original O9 measurements compared to OA1A repro are near identical, the slight difference being that the OA1A is 2.2oz (62g) lighter, details of the OA1A are below;
Length 7.06" (17.93cm)
Weight 9.8 oz (277g)
Diameter 1.30" x 1.75" (3.3cm x 4.4cm)
The OA1A comes in two parts; suppressor and a locking tool. It's stamped with an identical logo used on the O9 and at a glance from the side, front and top is near identical. The main visible difference is from the rear of the O9 where the OA1A threads onto the suppressor adapter. The important fact is that the OA1A is already fitted with a 14mm CW thread. To fit the MK23, you will need to further purchase the 16mm adapter. The swap is simply achieved by removing the 14mm thread from the suppressor and replacing it with the 16mm.
Kydex Custom Holster Overview
TM MK23s are large. A standard holster won't fit them and unless you go down the velcro adjustable holsters or buy a specific Kydex MK23 holster you're limited. Having tried a couple of existing MK23 Kydex holsters, I found that with the TM suppressor fitted they worked well. The draw was long ie taking the pistol from holster to firing position. As I wanted to run the OA1A suppressor that required me having to order a custom Kydex holster and I did back in 2016 using Rebel Tactical Customs. Unfortunately they no longer exist. There are plenty of other holster manufacturers out there, look for recommendations and ensure that you have a discussion about your requirements before investing.
The pistol was taken to the range to provide an accurate review of the firing capabilities of the MK23 and what effect no suppressor and then each of the suppressors had on the results. The weather on the range;
Nuprol RZR bbs were used solely for all weights testing.
Nuprol 2.0 Green gas was used. After completing test firing for a weight, the magazines were refilled fully.
An XCortech X3200 MK3 chrono was used.
First table represents the results of the MK23 without a suppressor attached.
Second table represents the results of the MK23 with the TM MK23 suppressor attached.
Third table represents the results of the MK23 with the Osprey suppressor attached.
Comparison of results
Across the 3 sets of results I've highlighted the average FPS with / without suppressor attached. Further to this, I've colour coded the results regarding the FPS flux (variation in FPS).
Interpreting the above results it can be seen that;
The MK23 with no suppressor attached performed nearly consistently with little FPS flux.
The OA1A suppressor whilst increasing the FPS on all weights, did have the highest flux across shots.
The TM suppressor did reduce the average FPS compared to when no suppressor was attached and again did have some variations relating to the average flux.
Thoughts and opinion
Tokyo Marui produce quality airsoft rifles and pistols. Their products are renowned for reliability albeit at a higher price, though the recoil and gas efficiency across their product range are the envy of a lot of other manufacturers. The TM MK23 does cost as much as a budget AEG rifle. You're paying for quality, reliability and above all the brand name. Whilst not everyone's cup of tea due to it's large size and polymer feel, to those that do use them when sniping or when a quiet takedown is required when only metres away from an enemy that's about to step on you... the TM MK23 is the way to go. Gas efficiency, sound and consistent accuracy across heavier weights of bbs means that it is one of the go to pistols available. The addition of the hard case for transport and availability of spare parts or upgrade parts also means that if you want more than just the stock MK23, you can upgrade it easily. Having used the MK23 multiple times in both urban and temperate environments, in both high and low temperatures, it's accuracy and quietness has certainly helped me out of a number of tricky circumstances. I can certainly recommend this to anyone looking to invest in their first or next pistol as I've had this for over 3 years and I cannot as yet fault it.
I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.