Tanaka M29 .44 Magnum Review

Tanaka
S&W M29 .44Magnum 8-3/8inch Review
by
Ken
(aka 888)
Stock
Specifications
FPS

415fps (0.3gBB & hfc22)
Length:
13.5 inch
Weight:
770 g
Effective
range:
45-65
feet
Inner
barrel:
8
3/8 inch

Ammo
capacity:

14 Rounds


The
“Western Arms” of Revolvers…
The
Tanaka revolvers work on the PEGASUS system (Progress, Effective Gas Universal
System). Basically, this is just a catchy acronym to explain the unique mechanism
Tanaka has created. Instead of storing gas inside the handle, gas is stored
in the cylinder. (A)


The
hammer hits a strike pin which will depress the valve (B)
releasing gas to fire a bb.  Because the BB sits right in front of
the release, (and because it is a non-blowback) the Tanaka revolvers kick
out plenty of power. As a matter of fact, Tanaka revolvers will put out
more power than any GBB on the market with similar inner barrel length.

The
cylinder also holds 14 bb’s that are loaded from the front. Included
is a “speed-loader” (more like a slow-loader) that I dont particularly
find useful.

Its
kind of difficult to describe clearly the loading process, but
basically you first hand load 5 shots in each individual slot.
The empty slot remaining has to be aligned with an opening that
holds the remaining 9 shots.

You
can try use the loading tool, but it is quite awkward to line
up since its a bit thick to have perfectly vertical to the opening.
If you load at an angle, you will end up spilling bb’s all over
the floor. My suggestion is to either use a thinner loading tube
that will line up straight, or just hand load the remaining 9
shots. 

You
cannot charge the cylinder without an adaptor. As you can see, the
first picture shows the can sitting at an angle.

Try
it like this, half the gas will end up freezing your hand, not to
mention a good chance to damage the fill valve. Tanaka includes the
adaptor which will enable the can to align well with the cylinder.

However, I found the adaptor to be quite longer than really
neccessary.

Instead, I chose to use my Digicon Target gas adaptor. Not
only is it the perfect size, but the tip is hard plastic which means
no chance to damage the fill valve.

Since
the gas is stored in the cylinder, the grip is empty. This means you can
swap the factory grips to  real steel ones without having to do any
modifications. This is a really good thing because the original grips may
look OK, but they feel just like the ones found on a $5.00 cap gun revolver…
Ugh!  


A fitted Hogue ‘Monogrip’

Performance So how
is the performance? Tanaka revolvers tend to be inconsistent in accuracy.
I believed at first this had something to do with the PEGASUS cylinder not
being stable and off center to the bb. Not at all true. As a matter of fact,
the cylinder will hardly move at all. The whole gun is rock solid, nothing
will rattle no matter how hard you shake the gun.


I also
thought the problem had something to do with the hop-up notch being poorly
cut. Also not true. The hop-up notch is very thick, nicely trimmed and sits
very tightly in the barrel.  So what is it?

Its
the inner barrel, and how it is secured inside the outer barrel. The inner
barrel can twist, not very easily, but it can. What this means is if the
barrel twists to one side more than the other, so will the hop-up, hence,
“hooking” shots.

You
can remedy this in two ways:

First,
you can stuff a cleaning rod with a little bit extra cloth to grab the inner
barrel tightly. When in place, twist carefully in the direction you want
the hop-up to align. You can somewhat eyeball the hop-up alignment simply
by looking into the barrel from the front when the cylinder is open. 
If you prefer a more stable/permanent solution, simply remove the inner
barrel and either add a mild adhesive or wrap the inner barrel with a bit
of teflon tape.

After
doing this and a few guess and checks, my shot consisteny is dead on accurate.
No more hooking at all, the shots go right where I want them to. This simple
fix-it saved me from buying an aftermarket inner barrel that I probably
didnt need.

Miscellaneous
Compared to any revolver I have ever sampled, including
the real steel M29, the trigger and hammer movement is by far the smoothest
I have ever used. However, one problem I encounter with this revolver is
misfeeding if rapid fired. I havent found a remedy for this other than to
manually cock the hammer every time I shoot. This doesnt really bother me
at all because I actually prefer to do so since the function is so crisp.
Besides, I only have 14 shots so I might as well take my time…

Most
of the weight comes from the cylinder, which gives the gun a very nice center
balance. Aiming and shooting the .44 magnum is very comfortable, more so
since I put on a Houge mono-grip.

Being
a NBB, I prefer to use green gas & .30g bb’s. Anything lighter will
cause the shots to arc straight up into the sky. If you want to use .25g
bb’s, then I recommended to stick with 134a gas. 415 FPS with green gas
& .30g bb’s  is no joke. I used both a laser and light chronometer
to get these results on may different occasions.  Gas consumption is
aproximately 45-50 shots.

Final
thought:

The
combination of high power, good consistency, excellent  durability,
and comfort has quickly made this gun my personal favorite. As a matter
of fact, I even use it as my PRIMARY weapon from time to time. Since quite
a few players have no idea of this guns capability, it makes for a very
interesting game ^_^

Appearance

3/5
(Due
to the cheap grip & sticky cylinder function)

Build
Quality

5/5
(minimal
moving parts ensures a solid piece, and simple design enable easy
full maintenance)

Performance

2.5/5
(accuracy
was very poor at first, and is limited to heavyweight bb’s)

Value
for Money

4/5

Overall
Potential

5/5
(with
a bit of tinkering, and you’ll have the bottom result)

After a bit of simple
work:

Appearance

5/5
(Non-flute
cylinder and a houge grip makes this a unique & comfortable piece.
The cylinder now can easily be spun when half cocked to about 8-12
rotations on its own w/o any effort)

Build
Quality

5/5
(still
good)

Performance

5/5
(after
fine tuning the inner barrel, adjusting the plunger springs, cranking
up the leaf spring tension, and a few other bits and pieces, I got
an extraordinary 415 FPS w/ .30g bb’s with dead accurate shooting)

Value
for Money

5/5
(springs
for valve & plunger cost about $1.00, Houge grip costs about $20
and non flute cylinder was just a swap from the NATO green. I have
yet to experience any problems so far)
Overall potential: 5 (enough said ^_^ )

Overall
Potential

5/5

by Ken/888

External
Links:
http://www.smith-wesson.com/
http://www.impactguns.com/store/smith_m629.html
888’s
review page
– full of Tanaka goodness, including fine
tuning and some useful power-up tweaks!

RedWolf’s
Magnum 44 8inch review
– As ever it’s a wonderful review from
RedWolf, putting the true Dirty Harry spin on it!

 

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last modified:
Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft




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