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Marushin Mateba M2007

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The Italian firearms manufacturer Mateba was mostly made famous for their 6 (pronounced 'sei') Unica Autorevolver, a most intriguing hybrid design between an automatic and a revolver which also shoots from the 6 o'clock position. This isn't it. The M2007 takes us back to 1995 when the anime movie Ghost in the Shell was shown. Togusa, one of the main characters used this particular revolver which is in fact closer in design to Matebas M2006 model. The actual M2007, which does actually exist mind you, is an 8 cylinder version of the M2006 and in .38spl chambering. Later on, as the title gained popularity, an animated series was made with Togusa replacing his M2007 with an M2006, which isn't really an M2006 but more of a 6 Unica Autorevolver. Confusing? Yes please.


Out of the Box:

Thanks to my buddies' little prank of switching the contents of the box with a Bell 1911, my "wow" moment was strange at best. Anyhow, you are greeted with this:



The cover looks like its selling the series more than the gun. You'd find all sorts of logos up front like that of Studio IG which was involved in making the movie, the title of the first Ghost in the Shell movie along with its tag-line, and of course the not so pretty mug of our character, Togusa. The packaging is sleek though not as pompous as the new Marui GBBs lined with velvet, but protected in a laminate of corrugate cardboard with a silhouette cut-out of the gun. Also included is the manual, one single target sheet <_< , a loading tool, a hop adjustment Allen wrench, some 50 odd 8mm BBs, a limited edition dummy GPS tracer round (mobile phone accessory), and a 2008 catalog of Marushin guns most of which have long been out of stock in any online store. I especially like how they laid out the manual with Togusa doing most of the instructional poses like "don't shoot yourself in the eye".



Initial impressions:

I loved the gun back when it was only in the film and I'd love it now even if it came out of a dogs *albatross*. Instead I'll put in my fathers first reaction upon seeing it, which was "WTFHOMG!?:)". He especially liked how it looks like a hybrid between an auto-loader and a wheel gun. Add to that the fact that this is the most ergonomically designed grip he's ever put in his hand, as have I. I can't tell for sure just what parts are metal or plastic because the finish on the gun is amazing. Its a semi rough satin finish resembling something like K-Kote or similar alloy-metal finishes on real steel weapons. For now I can say that the muzzle, trigger, cylinder arm, cylinder release, cylinder back plate, extractor, extractor push rod, hammer, sights are made of metal. There's also a large metal weight inside the outer barrel, above the inner barrel.


Size comparison with a KSC 1911



Drift adjustable rear, elevation adjustable front iron sights. The controls only feature the cylinder release and no manual safety whatsoever.



Dummy rifling on muzzle, which screws out for barrel take-down just like the real thing.



What I'm a little bothered about is the size of the ejecting shell casings. They look like half of what a .357 magnum or even a .38spl casing would look like. And the cases are also rimless: very, very un-revolver like. The cylinder arm also opens in a unique manner: upwards.


Then I chance upon the markings on the gun: on the left side of the frame "MA-TE-BA Pavia Italy", on the right side of the frame "CAT.5577 001083 Marushin STGA S/K-B-M", and finally on the top strap "CAL. 9mm PARABELLUM". All is explained. ;) Further research reveals that the Mateba in the film did actually use 9mm. If those nines really sat in moon clips in what would conventionally be a .357 magnum revolver, I don't know. All I know is that you CAN fit nines in a .357 chamber with the proper moon clips.


Gas loaded from under the grip. The grip itself is a one-piece design with a screw underneath keeping it in place. I'll be making real wood grips for this later on as the imitation wood Marushin makes is downright horrible.



Shooting impression:

Funny thing, I loaded one shell up all over enthusiastically, put it into the cylinder, close and fire. Surprisingly the gun had some gas in it but that's all it spit out. Then my mate tells me I aligned the cylinder at the top most chamber. :P

To be honest, the double action firing feels flimsy. I'm sure Marushin wouldn't skimp on materials being the stickler on quality that they are and that its been a long ways since they've started making revolvers but that's just how it feels. The initial squeeze is soft but gets very stiff 1/5 the length down, I'm guessing well over 15lbs. Then the cylinder starts rotating with the same amount of pressure, which is good until 3/4 the way, but the trigger travels still a bit further until the hammer is finally released. I doubt anything will break anytime soon, but I've just gotten so used to the action Tanaka puts into their wheel guns; firm and crisp.

Single action firing went a lot better. Though it sounds flimsy mostly because of the cylinder stop snapping against the plastic cylinder. The sear engagement also resounds 'meh' with a *clunk* sound rather than a ratchety sound one would hear from a Tanaka. Single action firing is passable however at roughly 6lbs and with a 4mm take-up. I'm sure some decent grease will fix that. Some shots I fired hooked extremely to the left. Again, I can't tell for sure if its a design flaw with the cylinder being slightly shaky or if I just need to clean it out and fire it some more.

I'm not sure as to what gas was pre-loaded in the gun and I had no chrono at hand not to mention the shortage of 8mims to carry out the tests. But I'm guessing the gun was loaded with 134a from when it was bought in Japan for testing (I had it bought straight from Japan to lower cost a bit; comes to me at Hong Kong price WITH shipping already included) but even then it looked like it was doing 210~230fps. Redwolf lists the Mateba doing 290fps on green gas which translates to 400fps if it were chucking out .20g 6mm bbs instead. Will test further when my bag of 8mims arrives.


Partial Conclusion: will put in ratings later

I'm overall impressed with the fit and finish of the gun despite some minor inconveniences. I'm sure they'll only bother you if you're an avid shooter of Tanaka revolvers or real ones at that. Power wise is way up but will still have to see if that power can be used efficiently for range. Extra shells run at $27 for a pack of six but I'll need at least 18 more shells to make this properly skirmishable as a primary as I often quite do with revolvers, though its quite perfect the way it is as a backup handgun. The only real downside to my acquisition story is that on the way home from picking up the gun, I get into a car accident with damages leaving me to pay a lot more than what savings I made in purchasing the gun from Japan. Sucks to be driving in a car all excited about a new toy.


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Some really nasty updates

After having this gun for about a week, skirmishing with it and taking it apart, I've come across a list of problems.


First, taking off the outer barrel revealed this:



If in case you're viewing this from your mobile, have bad eyes or a slow connection, the picture above shows my inner barrel with a very obvious and quite offensive hump. Its only mildly sloping and there are no tool marks suggesting it was damaged during assembly. Its just simply there for who knows what reason. Now, I've contacted Marushin but I've sent them an e-mail in English since my Japanese isn't very intelligible and their reply, if there is one, may take some time. I've actually seen similar barrels before, but on paintball guns which acts similar to a hop-up since paintball guns are greatly in danger of rupturing. But the Mateba already has a hop up unit and an adjustable one at that so I only have Marushins SSB (super sonic barrel) system to hope for if in case this would be it as I haven't met anyone who could explain to me just what exactly the SSB is. Another problem with my inner barrel is that its kinked in some areas that pinch the BBs inside in case a particular BBs dimensions are perfectly spherical. I tried using a couple dozen 8mm BBs supplied with the Chinese Mossberg M500 clones and they jam 80% of the time. Regular Marushin BBs still do jam but only about 5% of the time. Either ways, I've already started the process of rectifying these pinched areas, a very ugly and laborious process too involving hammer forging and repolishing.


Skirmish performance

A couple of dozen shots more showed the revolver to do a lot of light strikes. Firing in single action drives a large amount of gas out the barrel, but there's a kink in the double action design. When pulling the trigger slowly (DA) the sear catches to the hammer providing enough resistance on the hammer to lessen impact. I found that pulling the trigger vigorously just about clears this problem... but opens up a totally new one: cylinder timing. The cylinder and cylinder stop has about 0.7mm of slack which lines up just about fine when firing in single action. But pulling the trigger quickly in DA makes the cylinder rattle about so there's a high chance the cylinder isn't aligned to the barrel and will impart a spin on the BB as it hits the forcing cone (chamber for you auto-loaders). Misfiring about 60% of the time on DA, I had to use SA mode for any real chance of hitting something I'm actually aiming at. I've been running it on green gas and .34g BBs and the single action shots are quite impressive in power. No real data yet but my guestimates say about 300~320fps which is pretty hot if you convert that to 6mm .20g BBs. Also, the groupings weren't so bad in spite the fact that my inner barrel is defective. Realistically speaking, I still have about 3" worth of "good" barrel and I could land bbs in a 12" circle at 20ft. But having crappy DA groupings with half the effective range is a real let down. Will update again should my efforts to fix the gun succeed.

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Thanks. Its not so terrible when compared to a Bell M10 though. :P

Anyway, it seems putting in 15 hours into this revolver paid off. It now shoots (DA) roughly 7" at 5m which is still bad compared to anything else that chucks BBs in its price range. And then there's the how:


First thing was to find out just what part(s) in the revolver needed tuning. I marked each loaded BB with a felt pen and remembered its position when loaded into the gun. 6 shots later (almost all curved) into a soft trap, I was able to examine what imparts the spin on the BB other than the hop. I have pictures, but too fuzzy to see the damage. The BBs that did curve showed a half crescent scar on its surface on the left side. This meant that the cylinder (rotating ccw) is late in aligning with the barrel and the bb hits the forcing cone which gives it the spin. I needed to do two things: 1, increase the engagement of the arm so that the cylinder aligns in time, and 2, stabilize whatever rattle there is in the forcing cone, the cylinder stop, and the arm itself.


Removing the grips will show the screws needed to be removed to open the side plate and get the arm. The screws themselves are threaded into the frame which is plastic so you have to be careful in removing/putting them back.



The contact point between the arm and the ratchet behind the cylinder was built up with a thin sheet of metal and super glue. Building up material on top will increase engagement time and the material on its side will increase lockup. What took up most of the time was filing, grinding, fitting, refitting the part again and again until the best fit was achieved which was roughly 0.3mm on top and 0.2mm at the side.





Reassembling the whole gun again and test firing showed that the BBs now only hook half of the time. So out goes the barrel. Again, the screws are threaded into plastic so be careful.



Forcing cone assembly with hop and barrel



Forcing cone filleted, which means tapering and slightly widening the inside surface (opposite of chamfer) of the cone. I also polished the edge to make it rounded. Before reassembly I put about 2 loops of cellophane tape on the outer barrel where the cone sits to reduce wobble as there was lots of it.



Cleaned it up, reassembled and 6 shots more gave me the grouping shown below. Its not really all that bad after all the work but its usefulness is still limited. Its still ok for pistol ranges and as a backup weapon for my Zastaba M22 (another Ghost in the Shell weapon) when its done.


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One thought: in each cylinder bore, there's a sort of "interface" barrel between the tip of the short 9mm shells and the barrel chamber, right? If there's an imperfection between shell and "interface" barrel, this would have negative effect on accuracy too.

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Correct. There's actually some play with the shells in the chambers but not enough for the bbs to snag against the edge of the "interface" barrels. I'm wishing it used full sized shells like other Marushin revolvers which would no doubt add to accuracy even if it detracted from the original design of the gun because the shell dimensions aren't even 9mm but closer to .40S&W.

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  • 1 year later...

That Hump, I have seen it in the new versions of the marushin M1/M2 GBB carbines. I replaced the GBB barrel with their older NBB barrels and I noticed an FPS increase as well as accuracy increase.


I believe, though without much evidence, is that the hump serves to lower the FPS of the BB below the Legal Japanese Energy Limit.

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cow and i talked about that before, he came to the conclusion that the hump is actually there as a second sort of hop up. the upward curve of the barrel would cause the BB to ride the top of the barrel and exit with more spin. it doesn't work well at all, but marushin kept on with it just cause. the effect you just mentioned probably has something to do with it as well, but the gun shoots under 1j with or without it.

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Hmm strange...


On the M1 carbine GBB there are 2 hop rubbers, one at the breech and one at the muzzle. I removed the HD2 hop and the "humped" barrel, kept the original hop, and the hop worked just fine for 0.45g BBs though 0.34g would have weird flyers (though I was using vanaras 0.34g 8mm and they were in no way precision).


That hump, from my experience with the M1, does not seem to be a hop up.


If only there are 8mm tightbore barrels, then we can conclusively determine this.

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i know that marushins usually have the 2 hops, but a good amount of them have the curved barrel as well. i still bet though that its another form of hop rather than a joule limiter.


nineball made a few precision 8.03 barrels for some marushin revolvers. i still think you can pick them up for the older version of the raging bull at WGC iirc.


not that there are any for the rifles. though, TK made his rifled barrels for the rifles that i also think are still available. if you want to give those a go.



Edited by Horsem4n
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I'm just waiting for a Mateba specific tight barrel myself. I've measured up whats available and modifying them is too much work. For one thing I'd need the 8" barrels because it needs some chopping down as the hop window doesn't meet. Then have the front end threaded, which as it is, gets easily damaged having so little wall thickness. Either that or I convert the front barrel nut to attach to the inner barrel by grub screws on the side. Never got about what the hump does exactly. Hammering it straight did increase fps a bit but it could also have been from fixing the kinks which would have undoubtedly slowed down the bb as well. I've come across a few Mateba owners and their barrels too had a hump except for one guy who had two versions (plastic and wood grip) and says one of them has a straight barrel.


edit: Spelling. Man these MMO's are affecting my engrish!

Edited by renegadecow
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you could make a sleeve for a normal 6mm barrel that has the same threading and other external features of the 8mm barrel and then use that real shell conversion thing sombody figured out to make 6mm shells.


if i had a mateba, i would use the LRB out of my WA.


wait... i should do that...


think i should give that a go? wonder if i can still find a wood version.

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Thought about sleeving 6mm in, but I like the looks on people faces when I pull out my bag of 8mims. BTW, I'm the same guy who concocted them converted real shells :P

They'd likely release an X-cartridge version (maybe in 6mm too, who knows), you might be more interested in those. And the only ones left I see available are the wood ones.

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actually, the only ones i found that were still available were plastic versions. doesnt matter though, the wood version is just too far out of my price range while the plastic one is in just the right area. and besides, if i want the wood grip in the future, i have also found a source for that.


if you can PM me a few links to the wood versions or just the wood grip, that would be swell. i dont like only having one source for the wood grip.


i doubt that marushin is going to re-release this one. its a collectors piece, and marusin has never revisited a collectors piece as far as i know.


well, a collectors piece for a marushin gun...


in other words, i still think im going to try it. i like masamune too much.

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i knew WGC had them, but they arent selling anything right now, and i simply forgot.


however, i flipped a coin on weather to toil away at this Mateba or get myself a tanaka R8. the R8 won the toss, so im going to drop my thoughts on this project.


would have been a nice project, if i was able to get everything working. but, i may have ruined it. if i was going to get a marushin, i would have converted it to external air, and i probably wouldnt have been able to stop myself.

but with a tanaka, i simply cant do that. not that im getting anything particularly beautiful. my eye still wanders towards that M629 PC den still has though. but the R8 will do me better.

Edited by Horsem4n
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  • 2 weeks later...

fyi...the Marushin FN FiveseveN in 8mm has a more drastic hump in the inner barrel


The Mateba is pretty interesting looking gun...if you just flip the grip/gas reservoir to the top..the you basically have a std revolver (cylinder opening downward and barrel on top)..it must be what the creators (of the gun) did. Nice review and follow up.

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  • 2 years later...

Redwolf has Mateba shells in stock, though I never bought spare shells myself. I find the rubber packing that holds the bb too loose and could dislodge a loaded bb just from jumping up and down while the gun is holstered. Instead I've made my own shells from .40S&W PMC brass and plastic tubing:




It would be worth knowing that the Mateba is the only revolver left in Marushins catalog that hasn't been re-released in the X-Cartridge line. Might be worth waiting to see if they do make an X-Cart of it soon as it would likely shoot better and presumably would have had its other problems ironed out.

Edited by renegadecow
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