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(V)atrix

TM Vz61 initial impressions

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Well, the man in brown paid me a visit the other day, carrying a package from Power Edge USA - inside was a Vz61 AEP and a Vz61 370(?) round hi-cap magazine.

vz61-5.JPG

vz61-9.JPG

 

First impressions were that the gun was nice, but a bit rough around the edges... Literally! The ergonomics looked horrible, and there are numerous sharp corners - I immediately began wondering how much filing and sanding I'd have to do to make it fit comfortably in my hand.

 

First impressions can be oh so deceiving! Despite the awkward looking ergonomics and numerous sharp corners the Vz61 is actually very comfortable to handle. No filing or sanding was needed at all, and the rough apperance suits the weapon very well - after all it is a Comm Bloc weapon, right? The grip angle does make me drop the muzzle a bit, but that's easily remidied with time and practice.

 

Oddly, despite the ambidextrious appearance of the pistol grip, charging handle and ejection port, all the Vz61's controls (mag release, selector switch, and stock release) are mounted on the left-hand side of the weapon. So, while it appears lefty-friendly, it may be a bit awkward for southpaws to actually use.

 

Controls are a bit rough - especially the selector, which feels like it's resisting moving into the firing positions. But once sufficient force is applied it does 'click' firmly into place at all selector settings. (Edit: with use the selector has loosened up a bit, requiring much less force to move it, but still remains firmly in position). The magazine release is smooth on release but a bit rough when inserting mags. The spring in the mag release is strong enough that it shouldn't release by accident - even with the palm of your support hand pressed against the left side of the weapon. The charging handle opens up the ejection port at the top of the AEP, which gives you access to the Hop-up dial. (Photo below.) Because of the position of the charging handle tabs, the Hop-up is much easier to adjust than the Hop-up on the MP7.

 

vz61-7.JPG

 

When the charging handle is pulled to the rear and released, it snaps forward with a very loud and satisfying 'CLACK!' Truthfully, one of the most realistic 'actions' I've heard on an AEG/AEP. The sights are horrible, and awkward to use - but that's more the fault of the original weapon's design than the TM reproduction.

 

The stock doesn't 'click' into position like most folding stocks, but when opened it does have a locking mechanism that positively locks up until released. The locking mechanism only holds the stock in the 'open' position - the only thing holding the stock in the 'folded' position is friction from the front sight guard. As with any wire stock the Vz61's isn't incredibly stable, but it it's not bad. It stays open, provides a way to shoulder the AEP, and doesn't wobble or rattle like some folding stocks. Unfortunately, the stock is a bit short, so not everyone will find it comfortable to use, and those who do use it will probably find it takes some getting used to. Additionally, the shoulder piece of the stock is relatively high - making it difficult to keep a proper shoulder weld and get a proper sight picture at the same time... But, again, that's a flaw of the real weapon as well.

 

The battery, and fuse, fit into a small battery compartment in the base of the pistol grip. (Photo below.) The Marui 500mAh 7.2v "EX" battery is a snug fit, and takes a bit of effort to get out, but should still allow for relatively quick battery changes in the field. The Well 450mAk 7.2v MP7 battery also fits, but is short enough that it might become diconnected while in the field (either vibration from full-auto fire or just jostled while running/moving). While the battery cover does take a good twist to open and seems to lock into place firmly, I'm a tiny bit worried about losing it in the field - especially as it loosens up with use. I may run a lanyard to it just to be safe. I do wish TM had stuck with the more traditional bakelite colored grip, as that'd look more accurate for most impressions, but even with the solid black this little gun will fill a variety of roles.

 

vz61-10.JPG

 

The only external parts that are plastic are the upper receiver shell, the pistol grip, and the (detachable) RIS mount. The plastic RIS mount is very disappointing and is one of the only weaknesses of this otherwise very nicely built airsoft gun. Not only is the mount plastic, but it's hollow - providing no real strength or support for anything you attach to it. (Photo below.)

 

vz61-6.JPG

 

All other external components are either steel or cast pot-metal. I've little doubt an after-market metal upper receiver shell will be available before too long, allowing for a full-metal Vz61 AEP. In addition to an all metal lower receiver, the hinge area and barrel mount of the upper receiver is cast metal as well. This makes the entire gun very solid and strengthens some of the weaknesses of the MP7. (On the MP7 the outer barrel attachment point is sandwiched in plastic supports - I've already cracked these plastic supports on my MP7 as a result of having to use some heavy torque to get a stuck suppressor off. The portion of the Vz61 that the outer barrel attaches to is solid metal and is firmly mounted to the metal lower receiver by the metal hinge pin.)

 

Speaking of the MP7, the Vz61 is quite a bit smaller than this other TM AEP offering. I had forgotten just how tiny the Vz61 really was. With the stocks extended the MP7 is about 2 inches longer than the Vz61 (longer still if using the normal Vz61 barrel, which is about .5" shorter than the included silencer adaptor which is featured in the pictures). And with the stocks collapsed the Vz61 is at least 4-5 inches shorter than the H&K AEP. The small size does have it's disadvantages, as the Vz61's inner barrel is about 70mm shorter than that of the MP7. Despite this reduced barrel length, people have been reporting the Vz61 to chrono at around 250 FPS w/ .20g BBs - which is roughly 10 FPS higher than my stock MP7 chronos at. (I haven't yet had a change to personally confirm the claimed Vz61 FPS, or test its effective range.)

 

Comparison of MP7 and Vz61:

vz61-3.JPG

vz61-1.JPG

 

Despite the small size of the Vz61, it may prove somewhat awkward to carry as a secondary. The size is too big for most holsters, and the forward mounted magazine will make the search for a sutiable holster even more difficult. (While an internet search will undoubtedly turn up numerous hits for "Vz61 holster", those holsters are actually designed for the Pm63 machine pistol, and will not fit a Vz61 [w/ magazine] without a decent bit of modification.) The lack of a sling point makes carrying it as a secondary even harder. However, I did find that if I looped a piece of 550 cord around the crossbar in the stock's locking mechanism, I could attach a single-point sling there using an HK-style hook. The sling interfers a bit with opening or closing the stock while attached, but allows you to carry the Vz61 comfortably with the stock in either the 'open' or 'closed' position. The 550 cord alone (without the sling attached) has no effect on the operation of the stock. (This modification was done after I'd taken photos, and is not pictured - sorry.)

 

The stock magazine is mostly metal, and has a nice, solid feel to it. It also works well as an improvised foreward grip, providing a more comfortable grip for two-handed use (such as when shouldered). Another nice feature is that the stock magazine has an extended follower to insure feeding every last BB. (Photo below.)

 

vz61-11.JPG

 

Like the Vz61 itself, the hi-cap/drum magazine was a lot smaller than I expected - measuring only about 4"w X 5"h X 1"d. The winding mechanism deviates from the tradional TM design of a wheel in the bottom of the mag, and instead uses the winding loading mechanism that is located on the front of the drum. While that makes the mag seem more realistic, it also seems like it may be a bit slower to re-wind after reloads. On the plus side, the hi-cap/drum has a large, easy to use fill port. (Photo below.)

 

vz61-13.JPG

 

Unlike the stock magazine the hi-cap/drum is mostly plastic, and lacks the heft or solidity of the stock magazine. In fact, the only external metal parts on the hi-cap/drum are the winding lever and the screws connecting the front and back halves. Another complaint about the hi-cap/drum mag is that it is very difficult to find a comfortable way to hold the gun with your support hand when the drum is attached. I attempted to mount a vertical foregrip to the rail mount, to provide a comfortable forward grip, but the hollow plastic rail didn't offer enough strength to do this. One final complaint about the hi-cap/drum, and now I'm really nitpicking, is that there is no real-steel counterpart to this magazine - [to the best of my knowledge] a drum mag was never produced for the Vz61. However, it looks damned cool and airsoft is 90% looks (haha).

 

Despite my complaints about the hi-cap/drum - with stock mags still being relatively hard to find, and a bit pricey - it provides a decent amount of fire power for the Vz61, and makes it usable, until such a time as affordable mid-caps or standards become available.

 

In conclusion, this looks to be a very nice option for those looking for a pistol/SMG sized weapon that fits a VC/insurgent/Warsaw Pact impression. While not packing the punch of a full-sized AEG, this is still an effective and reliable electric gun for those who want/need a Comm Block weapon but are looking for something different from an AK. Additionally, the small size and relatively low weight (just over 1kg) means it'll also make a good back-up weapon for those filling sniper or heavy weapons roles.

 

vz61-4.JPG

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Nice review bud! I've been leaning more and more towards these AEP's. Think i might have to invest in one in the near future.

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god i wish these had metal uppers or at least aftermarket metal uppers.

 

Believe me, the lack of a metal upper is not a huge thing - the gun is rock solid with no flex or creaking, and a very respectable heft.

 

And it's only been out for about half a year - I'm sure there will be metal uppers available for it at some point.

 

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As an update, I like this little gun so much that I've since added a second one to the arsenal...

 

skorpions.JPG

 

My next project is to upgrade one and see just what kind of performance I can squeeze out of it.

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For those interested in just what those little AEPs are capable of, I finally got some upgraded parts for one of my Skorpions. Below are the results of 4 different conbinations of parts... Stock mechbox with stock barrel, Stock mechbox with tightbore, upgrades with stock barrel, and upgrades with tightbore.

 

All testing done using .25g AE BBs, and all calculations rounded to nearest 1/10 of a FPS...

 

Stock BBL/Stock Mechbox

198.8

198.0

194.0

193.4

194.4

195.7 - Avg.

(196.1) - Median

 

Prometheus 6.03mm BBL/Stock Mechbox

210.4

209.2

205.4

206.1

207.4

207.7 - Avg.

(207.9) - Median

+12 - Avg. FPS increase

 

Stock BBL/Upgraded Mechbox*

218.0

223.4

222.9

224.0

224.9

222.6 - Avg.

(221.5) - Median

+26.9 - Avg. FPS increase

 

Prometheus 6.03mm BBL/Upgraded Mechbox*

237.3

236.0

239.2

236.5

237.6

237.3 - Avg.

(237.6) - Median

+41.6 - Avg. FPS increase

 

(To put these numbers into perspective... A stock TM AEG typically will shoot around 245 FPS w/ .25g AE BBs. So this tiny Skorpion is now on par with a stock TM AEG.)

 

*Upgrades consisted of the following:

Nine-Ball Bearing Bushings, Nine-Ball Cylinder, Nine-Ball Damper Cylinder Head, Nine-Ball Damper Piston Head, Nine-Ball Reinforced Piston, Nine-Ball Spring Guide.

 

Note - the upgrades do not include the Nine-Ball Power-up Spring. This part should further increase FPS, but at a significant cost in battery life and motor stress. I installed this part originally, but removed it before testing FPS as I wasn't at all happy with the power drain and sound of the motor struggling to crank that 130% power spring. This decision was further solidified by the fact that most people putting the Power-up Spring in MP7s were reporting a meager 15-20 FPS increase despite the significant additional strain it puts on those tiny motors. The current upgrade parts list increases FPS without any additional stress on the parts or battery... In fact, the current upgrade should actually increase the already respectable battery life (I was getting almost 2000 rounds per battery pre-upgrade) while reducing stress and wear on the internals.

 

I have a MP7 tightbore arriving tomorrow... The MP7 barrel will increase the inner BBL length from 5.02" (127.5mm) to 7.17" (185mm) - almost a 50% increase in overall BBL length. I imagine that with this upgrade the little Skorpion will be putting out .25g BBs at around 250 FPS.

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+40 fps using the stock spring? Sounds to me like the stock piston/cylinder parts have rather poor compression? Very interesting.

 

I also wonder if the new Well Vz61 would benefit from the mechbox upgrades at all, since it's already pushing pretty high fps out of the box, according to gunner.

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:(

 

I am becomeing Attracked by this little gun... Witch is a bad thing..

 

I just got all of those upgrades listed about Includeing the Nineball spring.. I was hoping to put them into a TM Mp7, But..

 

Haha, I hate how WELL now has a clone.. If its nice, I may get 2..

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+40 fps using the stock spring? Sounds to me like the stock piston/cylinder parts have rather poor compression?

 

The addition of the 6.03mm tightbore barrel and improved cylinder probably account for most of the increase.

 

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I have a MP7 tightbore arriving tomorrow... The MP7 barrel will increase the inner BBL length from 5.02" (127.5mm) to 7.17" (185mm) - almost a 50% increase in overall BBL length. I imagine that with this upgrade the little Skorpion will be putting out .25g BBs at around 250 FPS.

Say, ever tried some 0.23 BB's in that scorpion? As being the inbetween of 0.20 and 0.25, allaround BB, you might even get best of both worlds with small gun like that. Added stability from heavier weight and higher fps from little lighter ammo than 0.25. Potential monster in your hands if they work as i think they'd do.

 

Could certainly be worth a try dont ya think?

 

[Edit:]

Another point of interest here would be regarding the JG vz61, if in marui the fps is improved that much without touching the spring, how would it be in JG. Is the Jing Gong scorpions reported better stock output numbers based on possibly better mechbox interiors in airsealing and general performance, or just the spring. Could prove out to be pretty great gun if it is just the spring, just simply swap other parts and youre pretty good to go.

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Ughghg personally i hate the look of the Bz61 especially with a drum mag, ...

 

You and me, both. The first drum-mag was bought just so the gun would be usable in games until I built a sufficient supply of lo-caps (ran the gun with 8 lo-caps at LC7). The second one came with the gun (bought used).

 

Never really liked the look of the Vz61, and never thought I'd buy one... This purchase was purely based on practicality. At the time, I was mostly in command and/or game staff roles - so I spent a lot more time reading maps and talking on the radio than I did pulling the trigger. My prefered PDW (TM MP7) was too high-speed for Comm Bloc/VC/insurgent impressions, so I bought this ugly thing to still have a light-weight, compact, effective, and reliable (non-gas!) defensive weapon that would fit those impressions, but still be small enough not to get in the way while trying to juggle 3 radios, a map, a game manual, NVGs/binos, and a GPS unit :P

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