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(V)atrix

TM FN Five-seveN GBB

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Tokyo Marui FN Five-seveN GBB

tm57-23.JPG

 

A brief history of the real “steel” (or polymer, as the case may be):

Originally introduced in 2000, the FN Five-seveN (5-7) was designed to be a companion to the FN P-90 submachine gun. Using the same 5.7x28mm caliber round as used in the P-90, the 5-7 was intended to provide police and military with a sidearm capable of defeating lightly armored targets. (Though, real-world shooting data has shown the 5.7x28mm round to be less effective than hoped – or hyped).

 

Including the limited production IOM (Individual Officer’s Model) prototypes, there have been five models of 5-7 pistol over the years, with the most recent being the USG (United States Government) model which is currently available to both law enforcement and civilian purchasers. The USG model differs from earlier models with a few minor cosmetic changes and the implementation of a standard 1913 rail for mounting lights or lasers (replacing the FN-specific rail used on 5-7s before the introduction of regular production IOM models). It’s this model, the USG, that Tokyo Marui have based their replica on.

 

 

In the box:

 

tm57.JPG

 

The packaging of the 5-7 is actually a pretty significant shift from TM’s usual GBB offerings. Gone are the colorful box-top photo, or the pseudo-military stenciled green boxes common to most TM GBBs… Instead is a fairly plain black and grey box with blue details that’s more evocative of TM’s springer line, or some of the packaging from their older AEGs.

 

One interesting thing to note is that the box clearly states “Black Model” – hinting that other colors may be likely to follow shortly.

 

In the box is the 5-7 pistol, a single magazine, manual, cleaning/jam rod, a small bag of .20g BBs, and a couple of practice targets. All this is packed into simple, no-frills, black styrofoam. In all honesty, not a very impressive package – and compared to some of TM’s recent offerings (like the 1911A1 and MEU) it’s downright disappointing. Then again, with a price tag of about $20 USD less than those guns, I suppose I can forgive TM cutting a few corners on the box.

 

tm57-2.JPG

 

 

Externals and appearance:

 

tm57-8.JPG

 

With the exception of a few small details, the TM 5-7 is a nice replica that looks fairly close to the real thing. One pet peeve of mine is always seam lines, and this replica has numerous highly visible seams. However, so do some real 5-7s I’ve seen (due to the polymer exterior) - so while the seams irritate me, personally, they do not detract from the realism.

 

The finish is decent, but there’s something about it that’s just not quite 100% right. Can’t really put my finger on it, and it’s been a while since I last shot a real 5-7, but I seem to recall the finish of the real 5-7 (especially the slide) looking a bit more glossy. The frame looks pretty good, but it looks like they used a different plastic and/or finish for the slide.

 

Like the real 5-7, there is very little externally that is metal. As best as I can tell, the trigger, sights, and outer barrel are the only external parts made of metal – (though, to be fair, that’s actually more metal than is found externally on a real 5-7).

 

Another unusual change for TM is the lack of real trademarks. “Fabrique Nationale de Herstal” isn’t found anywhere on the pistol, and the familiar, ornate “FN” logo found on the grips has actually been changed to a very similar looking “TM”. With that said, the trademarks are tastefully done, and close enough to the real thing that only the most discerning observer will notice the distinction. (And, despite the altered trades, it still looks loads more realistic than the crappy blue trademarks used on the Marushin replica).

 

tm57-25.JPG

 

The metal outer barrel is two-tone with a blackened zinc alloy around the chamber area and a nickel-plated metal (most likely zinc or aluminum) barrel. Unfortunately, the muzzle of the outer barrel lacks any faux rifling. But the inner barrel is well recessed, and barely visible from the muzzle-end.

 

tm57-31.JPG

 

The weight of this replica is very light, with the majority of the weight being in the metal magazine. With that said, TM’s listed weight of 740g is still about 150g heavier the real pistol’s unloaded weight.

 

All external controls are faithful to the real pistol in both appearance and function. The ambi-safety moves easily but doesn’t seem like it will shift on or off without an intentional effort. The 1913 rail fits both replica and real-steel accessories within acceptable tolerances.

 

tm57-33.JPG

 

 

Internals and performance:

 

Mechanically this pistol is very similar the TM Glock line… Single-action semi-auto, with an internal hammer. There is some metal reinforcement in the slide to add both strength and additional weight.

 

tm57-29.JPG

 

(I don’t have a chrono handy, but the stock velocity will be below .98J [325 FPS w/.20g BBs] due to Japanese law).

 

Accuracy is decent, but not exceptional. This group was shot rapid fire from a distance of about 9-10m.

 

tm57-39.JPG

 

The guns seems to shoot a bit low even with the hop-up cranked all the way on. I’m hoping this is mostly the result the gun being new and needing a little break-in. If it doesn’t resolve itself soon, I may replace the hop-up and/or barrel to see if that helps.

 

I was slightly disappointed to notice some strong cool-down effects when rapid firing the pistol for long periods. However, (at 25* C) the pistol was able to dump a full magazine as fast as I could pull the trigger before the cool-down started to have any noticeable effect.

 

Another small disappointment was the recoil. While the recoil on the TM replica isn’t necessarily weak – per se – and the real 5-7 is a very lightly recoiling weapon (comparable to a .22mag), it would have been nice to see TM put their excellent Hard Kick system into this pistol giving it a realistic (or even greater than realistic) recoil. Sadly, they elected not to do so, leaving this pistol with an untapped potential.

 

 

Final conclusion:

 

The TM 5-7 has been long anticipated (being originally announced several years ago) and perhaps that has unfairly raised our expectations for the gun. Especially in light of several excellent TM GBB releases in the past couple years (especially in their 1911 lines). On the plus side, the 5-7 is a reasonable price and decent performer. Also, being TM, it’s bound to have far greater after-market support than some other companies.

 

But let’s face it, the 5-7 is a love it or hate it weapon. It’s definitely not for everyone.

 

So the bottom line is this… If you want a 5-7 GBB – whether it's because you fell in love with it in some video game, you need it to complete your BSG costume, or you’re just a FaN-boy – you have very few options. Being both cheaper and (in my opinion) nicer than the Marushin offerings, the TM 5-7 is the only real choice.

Edited by (V)atrix

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keep, in mind, matrix uses 134a.

 

the gun works much better with green according to other reviews. it should also kick harder than the 1911/hicapa line because of the larger blowback chamber.

 

the review was nice though.

Edited by Horsem4n

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I am actually disappointed to hear that they have used two barrels for it... a 1 piece barrel would have made more sense easily!

 

Any shots of the manual/exploded diagram (for my own pervy interest ... :) )

 

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I can see part of the blowback housing under the frame...but is there an internal metal framework that the composite slide encompasses?

 

The RS FN FiveseveN's slide= steel internal frame wrapped in polymer

 

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keep, in mind, matrix uses 134a.

 

the gun works much better with green according to other reviews. it should also kick harder than the 1911/hicapa line because of the larger blowback chamber.

 

the review was nice though.

 

Using the same 134a gas in both guns, my TM MEU 1911 still kicks harder than the 5-7 (in my opinion, at least). But yes, you're absolutely right that with green gas the recoil should be more respectable.

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Any shots of the manual/exploded diagram (for my own pervy interest ... :) )

give me a day or two to figure out the new scanner I just bought and I'll upload a scan.

 

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Does the plastic seem more durable than average? Is it like every other TM GBB or have they used something a little more durable seeing as no metal slides will ever come out for it being that it would be unrealistic.

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Any shots of the manual/exploded diagram (for my own pervy interest ... :) )

Here you go...

tm57diag.jpg

 

I can see part of the blowback housing under the frame...but is there an internal metal framework that the composite slide encompasses?
Not really. The blow-back mech takes up most of the rear half of the slide. The front half has a dummy internal frame, but it's made of plastic. However, the entire slide is fairly sturdy and between the barrel and blow-back mech it's pretty close to real weight. An internal metal frame would have likely slowed down the cycling speed and increased gas consumption significantly.

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Does the plastic seem more durable than average? Is it like every other TM GBB or have they used something a little more durable seeing as no metal slides will ever come out for it being that it would be unrealistic.

 

It's the same ABS plastic that TM usually uses... Though, in all honesty, I really haven't seen many durability issues with other TM GBBs. The main reason most people install metal body kits is just for increased realism.

 

How many rounds does the magazine hold?

Techincally, 26... But the last couple are a real pain in the *albartroth* to cram in there, so I usually leave it at 24.

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Hmm. Arigato Matrix-san.

That looks like one of the more complex ones from Marui.. if not the most complex design from them.

 

Looking at that recoil system.. that is almost a blow-back design rather than a Browning.. I wonder if this thing should be more accurate than a 5.1 or their Glock 17.

I don't think it can be as accurate as their DE (new).. owing to the fixed barrel.

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Indeed a good review, well detailed covering all aspects :) Thanks!

I wouldn't mind one of these but I just bought a TM TacMaster so I won't be buying anymore GBB pistols.

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Definetely gonna get one of these: I bought the Marushin one ( as the 5-7 is my favourite pistol, evar) when it came out and was brutally disappointed. Only thing is, finding a holster that ISN'T a crappy nylon one, and can take a light!

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Well, we don't shoot with the box, do we? :) I have the 1911A1 and the MEU by TM, and yes, nice box, but after taking the GBB out and having one look the boxes rested in a dark storage box, never seen eversince. So if the less creativity and textile wrapping has a positive effect on the actual price, I'm completely with it for myself ;)

 

Review, very nice with interesting details. There's one youtube clip showing the performance of the 5-7. And this, compared to Marushin one I allready shot twice looked pretty decent and more well performing than the Marushin version. Well, compared to a WA the Mauris don't kick the hell out it it eighter, but they have their certain quality. I hope the 5-7 has this Marui quality … that would make it a very nice scirmish backup.

 

I like it very much, because the design is completely different from all the Berettas, tons of 1911s, Glocks, Sigs and HKs.

 

@ Shriven: Have a look at the Blackhawk line. I guess they have or soon come out with a light version of their CQC-5-7-holster. I one myself, but the normal nonlight version for USG. So there should be something available. Maybe ask them directly.

Edited by SamJacksonFan

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How's the trigger pull compared to the 1911/HiCapa?

 

Also, from what you can tell, which parts have the most wear on them so far?

Edited by r.ocelot

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As equally disappointed as I am on reading about the lackluster recoil, I'm still inclined to believe otherwise. Because it has a larger piston displacement, it should in theory offer more kick than anything with less (1911 etc). But its cycle length is also considerably longer emulating the real thing so a lot of the recoiling forces may be dampened by this especially when used with weaker 134a. I've been mulling over a slow mo vid of the TM Five-seveN firing and it appears to tip much higher than a stock 1911 could, but despite this its "snappiness" is weaker so its perceived to have less recoil.

*slow mo is in the middle

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How's the trigger pull compared to the 1911/HiCapa?

 

Also, from what you can tell, which parts have the most wear on them so far?

Trigger pull weight is about the same at the 1911 (@3~4lbs), but not nearly as crisp. Though, in fairness, the real 5-7s I've shot had pretty mushy triggers too. foe comparison, I'd say the trigger pull on the TM 5-7 is actually very comparable to the trigger pull on TM's Glocks.

 

Haven't yet noticed any trouble spots for wear or durability - it seems quite well built in that regard - but I will update the review if any issues/weaknesses present themselves.

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Picked up one of these last week.

 

I can indeed confirm that it has a harder kick than my TM HiCapa's :)

 

I've used nothing but green gas in it and must have fired around 1000 shots through it already :D

 

Accuracy is very good, with 10 shots, I was consistently hitting a 2" circle at 10m using a 1 hand grip with around 1 sec between shots.

 

Tom.

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