Hudson M3A1 Grease Gun

Hudson
M3A1 Grease Gun

by
Yosuke Moteki
and
Darren-Jon
Ashmore
Stock
Specifications
FPS
74m/s
(HFC134a/0.2gBB)
Length: 757mm
Weight: 2520g

Ammo
capacity:

55 rounds

RRP 15,800
Yen


Nauty’s
Patent Pocket Reviews

Hudson  M3A1 “Greasegun”
Price 15,800 Yen
Full auto only
RRP M3A1: 15,800 Yen (~£90)
Magazine: 5200 Yen (~30)

The first thing
that everyone should remember here is that our comments below have
to be balanced against the cheaper than chips nature of this gun (even
cheaper if you buy from First,
Mugen, Echigoya or one of the other discount shops around).

Real-steel
History
Right then. This is Hudson’s GBB reworking
of that old Pacific War movie standbye, the M3A1 “Greasegun”; one
of the cheapest, infamous and widely used SMGs of the 1940s and 50s
(though I am also informed that retooled units were in service with
the US till the early 90s and the gun can still be seen in service
with what, for want of a better term, we shall call the Laotian Army).

Famed for being
made on a 10 dollar budget from a huge number of cheap stamped metal
parts as possible the Greasegun looks/feels very much like something
the cat dragged in via a hedge (through which the direction of travel
was backwards) and a Cess Pit.
 
The
Airsoft replica:
The Hudson GBB model in that regard
is VERY like the original. Almost entirely plastic (mind you
we were expecting that) the gun has been put together with one simple
goal in mind: make it as cheaply as possible. The body is formed out
of maybe 4 pieces of ABS, with only the trigger guard, stock, mag
release, mag and a few screws/switches even getting the metal treatment.
Moreover, the bugger squeaks and creaks like the worst Marui gun and
feels way too light in the hand without the magazine in place.

 Body
problems:

  1. The
    body is very inconsistent, with special areas of trouble being the magwell
    (no metal frame inside it to support the fierce 700 Gram plus weight of
    the magazine), Stock retaining lugs (the body is often so malformed that
    the catch regularly fails to engage when the stock is pulled out resulting
    in an instant car aerial in the user’s hands) and the safety catch (so
    much so that on 3 of the guns taken by the shop the safety could not be
    moved as the body was stuck on the thing).

  2. Magazine
    fitting
    . On all the guns Sanko
    took in the magazine was/is an absolute bugger to get into place as the
    fit was that tight. A spot of oil did not help all that much either and
    it still required a few good taps against the mag to get them into place.
    However, getting the mags out was several times worse as we were afraid
    of putting too much stress on the cemented mag and splitting it at its
    seam. Looking inside the magwell we saw the culprit easily enough however:
    lash lines and a swelling in the ABS itself were interfering with the
    travel of the magazine and after we had treated one of the guns with a
    bit of fine wet and dry and some oil things started to look up.

  3. Stock.
    This thing does not lock in the closed position and if you are unfortunate
    enough to get a gun with a temperamental stock switch it might not lock
    in full extension either. The latter problem can be attended to by removing
    plastic from around the locking pin area till it travels freely, but the
    former problem will require your own ingenuity to handle.

  4. Safety.
    A simple push button job that is prone to jamming on some guns (again
    solved by trimming the body carefully).

The
insides:
So, not a few problems of one sort or another
in the body alone, what about the insides? Well this is where things
take a turn for the better. The build quality of the GBB guts is a
street or two ahead of the quality of the frame and begs the question
of whether Maruzen actually make the innards or just license them
to Hudson
either way, they are as good as the Maruzen
K
’s and there is little that can be said other than that.

Actually though
there is – if only in the method of cocking. Just like the Real Steel
M3A1, you are required to lift up the Bolt cover, insert a finger
and drag the whole assemble back to lock it open. After that it is
just spray and pray.
 
Rate of fire is good for a few rounds but then another snag hits in
that these mags cool down a heck of a lot faster than the Maruzen
K
jobs and if not fired in controlled bursts will soon be
reduced to coughing like an inveterate smoker[1].

And on another
point we have a very minor issue with the magazine itself. Aesthetically,
not exactly the world’s finest it must be said. Very crude metal outer
(though that fits with the real version) and, on all the guns we have,
bent at quite a noticeable angle[2]
where the upper and lower parts of the outer case are joined. Still
not all that much of an issue and fundamentally if it does the job
I don’t see that how it looks makes much of a difference really.

Firing:
We have not had a chance to test the guns on the 10
meter range as it is outside, but on the 5 meter indoor job (basically
the length of the shop into a BB target trap) it slightly out performed
the Maruzen K
(possibly due to the longer inner barrel?) and gave us no feed problems
in over 30 magazine loads.

Well that is not
quite true: as we mentioned above, we had a problem with the gun’s
magwell and sometimes we simply could not get a magazine far enough
up the well to allow BBS to be lifted out by the bolt – though that
problem was relatively easily addressed, again as mentioned above.
But then we get to the thing that makes all the flaws pale into insignificance:
recoil.

This little darling
bounces about like Scottish sailor on Burns Night. It feels just right
in the hands, and the sound too, clacks and rattles and bangs so you
think it will fall apart any second. Great stuff!
 
And that is as far as we go on this first glance, but I will pad out
this sometime in the summer as we see what she is like in the field
of battle.(You can find example target grouping from Hudson
themselves here
– Arnie)

Conclusion
Fundamentally, this gun looks like a pile of something smelly, handles
like a Lada, requires more finishing, out of the box, than Eliza Doolittle
and could loosen fillings through recoil vibration. As such it is
an almost perfect representation of the original M3A1. A good deal
of speculation already surrounds this gun, considering the rather
iffy reputation of the parent company[3] when it comes to gas guns, however I don’t think
that it quite lives down some of the slating that the locals here
have been doling out in fearful anticipation.

She might not
be the finest gun ever produced, but fundamentally neither is it,
IOHO, the worst. Another rock solid GBB SMG for considerably less
than 100 quid, bargain (and I am certain all the satisfied U-type
Mini Uzi owners out there will nod sagely at that comment)! You can’t
go around expecting miracles at this end of the market. Even the Maruzen
K
has its flaws but, just like the K, the M3A1 possess just
enough positive points to make it a very worthy purchase for the WWII
Airsoft fan (and, we have far too little WWII hardware out there in
the general sale community).
 
Though having to accept that, at first glance, the gun seems to possess
a fair few superfiscial flaws, which purchasers must be aware of,
we, personally, love the thing and can happily live with all these
minor niggles in the first lot of guns (though, hopefully these are
either not consistent throughout the run, or can be addressed by Hudson
as time goes by) and, indeed, only a full season of use (rather than
3 days of testing) is going to reveal this gun in its full glory.


[1]
Considering the weather we took the precaution of leaving the mags to adjust
to room temperature overnight in the stable environment of the shop before
testing them as we were not likely to get anywhere at 2 degrees celcius.
[2]
OK not that noticeable. Probably not even important, but Fred is a picky
bugger.
[3]
I shall be on the lookout for mag leaks especially.

External
Links:
Hudson’s
own website
– the birthplace of this replica

Site
links:

TBA

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last modified:
Sunday, January 13, 2002 4:28 PM
Copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft




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