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Marushin Colt S.A.A. .45

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"This is the greatest handgun ever made. The Colt Single Action Army."

-Revolver Ocelot


I've intentionally left out the cheesy half of that quote, but I have to admit that Metal Gear Solid is what taught me the name of that famous gun. Just labeling it as a western revolver with what little I knew prior, it took something from my generation that I can relate to in appreciating a great thing which still lives on for well over a hundred years now. When I got into the hobby of airsoft some eight years ago, the SAA has always been in my "short list" of guns I should have though I never really got one until now. In comes Marushin and their SAA.



The Colt SAA sold by Marushin early last year wasn't really it's first release but an improvement of a much older one. The main difference with the new "X Cartridge" model was that the removable shells feature a realistic slug improving on both appearance and performance of the system. Only short reviews came out early on about the new model, however, unlike the successful and simultaneously released S&W M629 Classic, many of the reviews rated the SAA poorly citing incorrectly assembled units to down right lemons. Not much to expect for a "classy" gun under $100. The original ABS plastic units eventually stopped restocking at HK retailers for a number of months until the "heavyweight" model came out. Until now, the only real review I've seen on the net about it came from physphdude at AirsoftForum to which I decided to get one for myself. It took a couple months of waiting as what stocks that popped up were depleted immediately when I sent the word to my local supplier (makes you wonder why none of the other buyers ever write reviews about it). I could say it was well worth the wait. The package includes a short manual, product catalog, target sheet, historical pamphlet, complimentary bb's and an unjamming rod. The styrene cutout has a relief for a carton of extra shells which I've also purchased and curiously, has an allowance up front for the two other barrel lengths of the real SAA (7 1/2" and 5 1/2"). No news of the other two models' release is made to date.




La Pistola

I've been a big fan of Marushins heavyweight ABS since I got my Mateba some two years ago. Though still plastic, it has metal powder mixed in to give the cold feel of metal as well as its looks. It also adds to the overall weight of the unit plus it ages differently from regular ABS in that it gains a metallic shine on parts that get rubbed or held a lot.




A bit shallow but still visible patent and Colt trades (licensed) are present on the left side of the gun while the Marushin mark is on the right. I spotted one flaw however on the line reading "SEPT.19.1874" where it should read as "1871" as the first patent date of the SAA.





The hammer has three positions, hammer down, half cock, and full cocked. The hammer can be made to go fully forward and resemble what the real hammer down position should look like, but this will depress the gas valve and can only really be used if the gun is empty e.g. for display. Half cock, as a safety, locks the trigger in place and cannot be pulled unless light tension is put back on the hammer much like on a cars handbreak. It is also necessary to keep the hammer in half cock to disengage the cylinder stop for free rotation and reloading of the cylinder. While the ejector works, an empty shell won't have much to hold on to for the rod to push out. The shells fall out freely on their own anyway as they aren't a snug fit in the cylinder.





Hammer fully forward. I'd prefer a deeper checkering on the spur though.



A lot of the pistols parts are made of metal, and their positions play a lot in balancing the overall weight of the gun. All screws and pins are steel with the following parts in zinc die cast: hammer, trigger, hand, cylinder stop, cylinder ratchet, ejector tab, ejector housing, loading gate. The gas reservoir looked to me like cast aluminum. The shells are machined from brass while the slugs out of aluminum. A great amount of weight comes from the shells as six of them weigh 100g. Though the loaded gun only weighs 590g, it still feels very solid in the hand and just as perfectly balanced as the ones Tanaka makes. One big aesthetic flaw, however inescapable is the obvious seam along the frame. The frame itself is made in two parts, the right part being cast along with the barrel. Why this is needed is because the gas is routed through one side of the frame and molding this as a one-piece design would have been costly.


All the SAA models except the Deluxe sport ivory grips. They are creamier in color than the white that they appear in photos and actually look great however synthetic, much like Ajax grips for real SAA's. Why Marushin didn't go for the iconic black plastic grips is beyond me.




I've mentioned the great balance and handling of the pistol thanks mostly to the distribution of metal parts. Out of the box, I proceeded to work the hammer and found it very stiff at different intervals with a little grit on the trigger pull. Physphdude in his review mentioned the rough surface of the forcing cone which moves in and out of every chamber every time the cylinder rotates a notch and how smoothness of the action is greatly improved by simply polishing the part. I immediately took the advice so as not to over stress the internals and polishing it to a mirror sheen did indeed make a world of difference. When I opened the gun to address the grit on trigger pull, I found only little lubrication on the internal parts and sorted it out by liberal application of heavy silicone oil.



For shooting impressions, the SAA surprisingly does at least 300fps visually compared to my TM 5-7 which does 320fps with 0.20g ammo and green gas. One big problem though is the lack of a hop-up. Most stores list it as having a fixed hop, but in truth has no hop-up device to speak of, not even the horrible Marushin LD2 hop. But there is plenty space between the inner and outer barrel to bodge some kind of hop-up should one need it. Truthfully, the crude sights on the gun as it's intended design in real steel limits it for close up work. The gas reservoir holds enough for a good 25 shots spaced a couple seconds each shot and a 15 second break between reloading of 6-shot strings. The 26'th to 28'th shot quickly go underpowered until completely empty of gas. Using 134a gas should provide a higher usable shot count, but with lower power.


Try as I might, I went through a couple dozen shots to familiarize myself with the sights of the SAA. I had the following groups, scanned from the actual target paper with details written on the sheet. I expect the groupings to improve after some more practice, when I'm used to shooting from the hip and won't be relying on the craptastic irons.


*marked out the holes with "My Melody" stamps :wub:



While the replica looks and feels superb considering the price point (heavyweight models average $130 with the deluxe at $150) it fails in performance compared to most anything that chucks bbs that use a hop-up. Range is a very important aspect of a guns usefulness, though arguably, range isn't exactly the use meant for this type of gun nor is accuracy. No doubt, the Tanaka SAA still remains as the most skirmishable SAA there is. I'd be a loon expecting "skirmishable" and "shell ejecting" in one sentence. I may not hit the bad guy twenty meters away. I may not even hit him fifteen meters away. But with what six shells only in my gun, I will shoot away and reload the merrier.




"There's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long silver bullet into a well greased chamber..."

-Revolver Ocelot



Okay, that last quote's a bit weird. :mellow:

Edited by renegadecow
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My M629 is a huge lemon.


The hop-up screw turned sideways and pushed the rubber all the way into the barrel when I went to adjust it. The performance is horrible, like 60 feet and it usually curves off.


Now it's leaky and barely holds gas.


Only cool thing is the realistic shells, the perfect beauty of the paint and trades, and the awesomeness of having a pistol with a longer barrel then it's primary.

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Where can i buy this?


Every shop says "out of stock"...

DenTrinity still has em. I suspect the other retailers will eventually restock because Marushins aren't limited run like Tanaka.


I wonder where they went wrong?

It has no hop-up. Well, not just because "it has no hop-up", but I think it's more to do with the shells. Each shell holds the bb with an o-ring. I suspect the o-rings impart a slight hop effect to the exiting bb, but because they are not held in a fixed orientation, some will hop to different directions giving a wider spread at greater distances. There's no scarring on the shot bb's that I've collected so there's no issue with cylinder timing or lockup. I'm still looking at making a hop compatible inner barrel to see if this can be useful for longer ranges. As it is, it's doing ok for CQB purposes; chest-sized groups at 10m and man-sized groups at 20m doing 300fps.

Edited by renegadecow
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The gun doesn't shoot as bad as I had originally observed, even despite having no hop. At the time I first tested it on paper, it was night time, outdoors and mildly windy, plus I've only shot it a couple dozen times which was not much practice at all in getting used to the rudimentary sights. I've shot maybe 200 rounds now since then and have grown more accustomed to the gun. I wanted to test it again and limiting as much inconsistencies as I could like wind and shooter error. I also tried heavier ammo. I did both targets benched using ICS 0.25g bbs and green gas. Grouping on the 5m test showed a little less than 3" which is the diameter of the circle. Shots were slightly to the right though, possibly because of flinch as the heavy hammer would slightly jolt the gun when fired using a loose grip. The 10m test went better as a firmer grip was used, but you could still see a pattern of the shots forming to go right. I had actually fired 18 rounds at the 10m target, but 4 had missed the paper and hit the wooden frame holding it and one hit at the edge of the paper which I forgot to mark with a stamp. I'd like to add though that the 4 rounds missed happened after freshly gassing up the gun (I gassed up every 6 rounds). I've noticed that the first couple shots of full load have the bb's exit much faster and with a large plume of gas which could have probably messed with accuracy.


With the new results, the original group sizes were roughly halved. I could land shots in a 3" circle at 5m, hit A4 paper at 10m and hit man sized targets up to 20m. The groups are more vertically spread out as I've noticed probably since it's easy to misjudge your sighting plane with the simple sights. Because of that I'm eying on making a removable stock for this ala Lee Van Cleef from For a Few Dollars More as I'm thinking I could stretch out the effective range maybe up to 30m if I put on Creedmore sights.

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DenTrinity still has em. I suspect the other retailers will eventually restock because Marushins aren't limited run like Tanaka.


Maybe not quite so limited as Tanaka (with some special finishes), but Marushin do tend to release in very widely spaced batches - It might be years before another batch of a specific Marushin model gets released.


Tanaka tend to do the same thing, although often with different surface finishes.


Of the Japanese makers, only TM (and KSC to a degree) seem to have a continuous production of their range.



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Thought I'd update this review as I've picked up a chrome silver version with Marushin's 2nd run of the model. A bit of warning though coming to me as a surprise that while Marushin does not make the regular ABS version anymore, the chrome silver version is not built on the heavyweight model. Under the vacuum aluminized parts is regular ABS plastic and only weighs 480g making it feel very flimsy against the 590g HW model. Though it's easy enough to cram spaces inside with lead weights as I've already done on mine. I also received my new SAA completely dry from any lubricant including the o-ring seals which is more of an assembly issue but would be something to look into if your'e getting one.



Added weights circled red: around the inner barrel, lining the grips and above the gas system.



Another important update is a solution to the valve sticking and purging all gas. Didn't happen t me very often, but rooted it out just the same. The problem was a weak valve spring which can get the valve go in too deep and get stuck. To fix it, I just stretched it out about 30% longer then retempered it in the toaster oven (15min 350F, slow cool).


Also, to put pictures to physphdude's (from Airsoft Forum) gas capacity mod:


Remove the fill valve and the gas tank base. By sawing off the excess material on the base (circled red), you get to squeeze out an extra 6-8 shots depending on temperature. Valve spring mentioned earlier circled blue already in stretched length.

Edited by renegadecow
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