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Army's R29 Colt Gold Cup VS. TM Based HurricanE Kimber TEII


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Afternoon. Firstly, I'd like to begin this review with a meme. I like memes, and Sean Bean is a legend in many respects. When I used to work in Barratt's shoes in Bluewater, I sold him a pair of caterpillar boots, and he was a thoroughly nice chap. You may also wish to consider making a cup of tea, going for a ciggie or making a sandwich. This is going to be a long winded thing.

 

Braceclones.jpg

 

I've chosen the above meme to kick this article off, for the simple fact that I can imagine what this thread is going to cause, because I'm going to make a really controversial claim right about here, and I'm expecting it to be argued quite a lot and suchlike.

 

THIS £70 CHINESE CLONE IS AS GOOD AS OR IN SOME CASES EVEN BETTER THAN A £500 KITTED TM.

 

Like I said, controversial. However; I've been airsofting for 9 years or more now, and that isn't a claim I make at all lightly. Read on, fellow toy gun junkies, and I will do my very best to save you some money. Frankly, I know a fair few of you are going to laugh at this thread, ignore it, hate on it and everything else. Do I care? Not even slightly. My gat is the A-lister's tits, to be entirely honest, and if you can't accept that, that's your problem, not mine. I'll be too busy bustin' foo's with a .3 at a crazy distance. However, I genuinely believe that if you read this comparison review and take the time to read the facts I state here, you'll end up with a heftier wallet and a damn fine sidearm as a result.

 

Firstly, I'd like to state some history of my time in the game, and hopefully put some of the nay-sayers at ease; I have owned no less than 15 TM Pistols, and likely a fair few more than that if I could be bothered to make an accurate count. I've had the Desert Eagle, the PX4 (Twice), 3 Glock 17's, 3 Beretta 92's and a couple of SIG's. However, much like these forums' resident sex-pest (

;)), I'm a 1911 guy. The grip angle, the control placements, the looks, the options, and my own personal muscle memory dictate that I will always go back to John Browning's classic .45 platform. I'll happily state a Glock 17 is a better designed gun - But I know I'm quicker on the draw and more accurate with the gun I'm used to, hence why my choice of sidearm is never going to change. I've owned many TM based 1911 series pistols - 2 or 3 Hicapa's, and around 5 1911's.One of those Hicapa's was a full custom Mike Cripps (A UK based 1911 guru), and as was one of those 1911's, which is the pistol I'll be using to compare this £70 clone to.

 

I love TM Pistols; I really do. They're fantastically well designed pieces, and in my opinion the most skirmishable pistols available. A TM GBB Pistol will often match or exceed the range of an AEG due to the fantastic hop system; A TM with an ABS slide will carry on slinging rounds out in the winter, long after the full metal guns have frozen your thumb to the frame. As a practical, reliable, dependable, accurate and effective sidearm, it's hard to beat a Tokyo Marui PX4, in my eyes the best of their stock models. However, I don't really like the PX4 as much as I like the 1911. I also don't like plastic slides; I know metal is less efficient, and I'm happy to load my magazines with fewer BB's for the realistic clacks and clunks of a nice metal kit. So, if you're here to claim a stock TM ABS pistol is more reliable and performs better in the winter, there really is no need - I know. But I'm a sucker for looks and feel, and for me, only a nicely metal kitted 1911 will fill the hole in my holster/heart/firing grip. That being the case, consider this review as an effort to state why a metal Chinese manufactured clone can be equally as good, in fact in my case slightly better, than an expensive professionally installed kitted Japanese made 1911.

 

 

So, first of all, let's look at the externals of both the pistols - I'll also state now, I've since sold on my Kimber; Not out of choice unfortunately, but due to me being somewhat of an idiot in my young life. Either way, I owned it for a good few months, and I both plink and skirmish my guns an awful lot over short spaces of time. I'm more than capable of making a detailed comparison between the 2 pistols in all aspects of their performance and quality. First up, here's what a HurricanE Kimber TEII looks like (In a high definition photograph, in excellent natural light, straight out of the box);

 

P1010697.jpg

 

Pretty as a pretty thing, right? Yep. It sure is a nice looking piece. HurricanE have done an excellent job of replicating Kimber's Tactical Entry II, a highly modernized combat orientated 1911. The sights are steel, and glow in the dark when charged with light. The Slide stop is the correct Kimber profile, steel again, and the grips are a fantastic attempt at fake wood and are exceptionally convincing. The magazine well is steel and a perfect fit, the finish is tough as nails and smoothly applied. It is, without a doubt, an exceptionally nicely finished and presented pistol, and all credit to HurricanE for making a very high quality kit. However; I paid around £180 for the kit when bought with the donor, and there's a few things missing. Firstly, the HurricanE kit doesn't come with the correct Kimber Ambi-Safety, nor the Kimber profiled beavertail grip safety. It also doesn't include the correct full length recoil guide rod, nor does it include the correct barrel bushing or hammer, and the firing pin, due to the TM design, is an allen head screw. Essentially, it can be made perfect with the purchase of some pricey Nova parts, but out of the box, some of the details aren't quite there. I had mine built by Mike Cripps of Elite Shooting Centre, at a cost of £458; That was with the correct recoil guide rod and hammer, but I simply couldn't afford the £65 grip safety or the other parts. To get it as a bang on perfect replica, you're looking at a terrifying price tag, especially if like me you're a lowly office peon who shifts boxes and orders pens for a living.

 

Now. Let's take a look at Army's Colt National Match/Gold Cup (On an Iphone 4S camera, with an Instagram filter, so not quite a fair comparison due to quality of photography, but the best I can do at the moment).

 

Nationalmatch.jpg

 

It looks shi... Oh, wait. No, sorry. It doesn't, does it? It's actually equally pretty. Well there's a shocker. The finish is exceptionally smooth, and scratches about as easily as the finish on the HurricanE kit. Whilst there may be one or two imperfections in the finish, the HurricanE kit came with surface rust on the sights and slide stop. So really, I'd say quality of finish wise, there's extremely little to separate them. Both pistols have one or two minor flaws, as is the way in Airsoft, and not one of them is a dealbreaker. Now, let's look at the details. For a start, Army have made a very big effort to get this extremely accurate to the real steel weapon it replicates; From what I can tell from Wikipedia and other internet research, the trademarks are extremely accurate, if not nigh-on perfect bar perhaps font sizes or other barely noticeable details. I'll go into more details on the trademarks later. The really interesting thing here is thus; Army have fitted the correct profile hammer. They've fitted the correct single hole match trigger. They've fitted the right grips, the right sights, the right safety and they've even gone to the effort of not just bunging an A1 slide with different markings on, but in actual fact, they've got the correct taller slide, with the spine running along the top and the cut out for the trademarked Elliason match sights. Ya know what that is? That's innovation and attention to detail, not straight up cloning, and that means they've put in the effort to make a new mould or tooling to produce the proper slide design. More proof it's externally fantastic? How's about the accurately replicated, spring-loaded firing pin in place of the allen bolt, often a pricey upgrade for the detail fans on a TM. Army could have just stuck with the bog standard design, but have they? No, they've gone one better and added a detail that some of the highest end manufacturers don't think to bother with. Why? In my opinion, it's because they really are making the effort to produce a high quality replica. (Note, that's oil on it, not anything up with the finish);

 

Firingpin.jpg

 

So. There's the uncomfortable fact; Army's National Match is, factually on a par with HurricanE's Tactical Entry II kit, and with a greater attention to external details out of the box. Don't like that sentence? Tough, it's true and I have no difficulty in saying so what-so-titty-frikkin'-ever. And remember, I've owned the HurricanE kitted gun, held it in my own hands, seen it with my own eyes and loved it. Don't think I didn't love my TEII, it was a beautiful piece. I loved the hell out of it, I really honestly did. So does Chris, a friend of mine who's the current owner, and rightly so - It's a sweet as a nut gun. But, like I say - The Army is finished as well, and they've put more effort into the minor details. No £140's worth of Nova bits required to fill in the gaps.

 

 

As I said, I'd go on about the trademarks a little more; They're sharp and deeply engraved, crisp, in what I'm fairly certain are the correct fonts and with the correct wording. Not to say that wasn't true of the HurricanE, but I'd like to stress it's equally true in the Army piece. Here's some detail views (Note, as a matter of personal preference I've installed a TM 1911A1 trigger for the shorter pull and personal ergonomics);

 

Slide, Left hand side:

 

photo22.jpg

 

Slide, Right hand side/Chamber:

 

photo23.jpg

 

Frame, Right hand side:

 

photo24.jpg

 

Rear sight:

 

photo25.jpg

 

 

Nice, ain't they? Yes, yes they are nice. I love trademarks to the point it's a deciding factor in the purchases I make, like a lot of Airsofters in the UK, this is the closest I can get to owning a 1911. These trademarks satisfy me and then some, and I imagine you'll like them 'n all.

 

So, just to re-iterate; It's externally on a par with the HurricanE in terms of quality of finish, and in fact better in terms of attention to detail. I'd also like to again re-iterate, I've owned the HurricanE and I'm not just carping on about my new favourite toy.

 

 

Now. Let's look at the internals; Here's a view of the inside of the slide, and the piece field-stripped;

 

Slide internals;

 

photo27.jpg

 

Stripped;

 

photo28.jpg

 

So; Looks like the inside of a TM pistol, right? That's because, it's very much the same as the inside of a TM pistol. I'll talk about the Blowback unit first. On my HurricanE Kimber, the blowback unit would occasionally stick a little, despite lubrication. This didn't cause a huge issue, but now and again it'd cause a failure to fire. Not at all helpful in a skirmishing situation, as you can imagine. I never did figure out the precise cause of this minor issue, but the point is - It was a £458 gun. Despite that massive price-tag, the gun came out of the box with a minor issue relating to the blowback unit. Personally, I suspect it's down to the fact that the HurricanE kit, while exceptionally high quality, is just that; a kit. It requires fitting, fiddling, and very fine tuning to run as smoothly as a stock gun. I'd assumed this would be done for me out of the box. It was not. What I'm describing here, is of course nothing more than a minor annoyance at best. It wasn't at all a deal-breaker, but I'd have expected a flawless sidearm for the price I paid.

 

The Army piece, on the other hand, has a blowback unit that immediately snaps back into place the second it breaks the seal from the hop unit. I've put probably 7-800 rounds through this gun now (Like I said, I plink a lot, and I've emptied a 470 round speedloader and 2/3rds of the next fill of it using this pistol alone, as my M4 is currently awaiting a new rail). Not once have I had a jam or a sticking issue with the blowback unit; I've heard Army's loading nozzles have a habit of losing the BB loading tab on the bottom of them; If this turns out to be the case, I've got a spare included in the box to replace it with, at no extra cost. And frankly, going on the level of flex in the plastic, I'm not expecting the loading nozzle to break without my assistance when slapping a mag in a little too hard or similar. I can't see the tab snapping from normal use without extreme cold conditions or something along those lines. Not only does the loading nozzle return exceptionally quickly and smoothly, it also makes a very good seal with the piston inside the cylinder. You can feel the very slight friction of the seal, but it's not enough to cause any real resistance to the return of the nozzle.

 

So, when it comes to the blowback unit and nozzle; The Army performs better out of the box than the TM unit installed into the HurricanE kit. My Kimber got around 20-22 shots out of a warm mag before the slide began to slow down, when firing paced single shots with around a second or two between trigger pulls. Applying the same test to the Army, I'm getting around 25-26 full powered rounds from a warm magazine. So; Out of the box, the Army is slightly more gas efficient. Bit nuts, right?

 

Onto the rest of the slide components. The chromed outer barrel is indistinguishable from the Kimber's. It has .45 ACP stamped on the chamber, it's shiny and chrome, and fits into the mechanism perfectly. Still, it's not hard to get an outer barrel right, so onto the rest.

 

The inner barrel; Here's a picture of the crown, and the hop window on the inner barrel;

 

photo30.jpg

 

photo31.jpg

 

Firstly, I can tell you barrel crowning isn't important on an airsoft gun, unless perhaps you're trying to squeeze every millimetre's worth of accuracy out of a highly tuned sniper's rifle. Even then, I'm yet to be convinced it makes a huge difference. I've cut down MANY inner barrels, in AEG's, and in my current M4 GBBR. The method I use is a hacksaw to cut the barrel to length, and the pointy end of my Ka-Bar Tanto knife to scrape out the burrs. Not once has this method of crowning a barrel caused an accuracy issue in any of my weapons; I'm known at my local site for having annoyingly long ranged guns, because the Hopup system is the first thing I ever tweak in a weapon. Besides the point, really; The Army gun's barrel is crowned absolutely fine, perhaps not quite as deep as a TM inner barrel, but absolutely fit for purpose.

 

The hop window, you'll notice, is slightly narrower and not quite as sharply machined as a TM inner barrel. However, when it comes to out of the box range and accuracy, the Army pistol was INDISTINGUISHABLE from a stock TM. By that, of course I mean the hop doesn't have quite enough lift to sling a .3, but it'll happily send a .2 or a .25 to around 45 metres in a straight line. I use .3's, so as per every pistol I ever buy, TM or otherwise, the first thing I'll do out of the box is to bend the leaf spring to apply more force to the hop rubber, and ideally replace the inner barrel and hop rubber if finances allow. Usually with a 9 Ball purple rubber, and a 9 Ball or other 6.03 tightbore. Once I've done that, I'll get around 50 metres of man-sized accuracy, wind allowing, with a .3 BB.

 

In the Army, I've replaced the stock hop rubber with an AIP grey rubber, and a stock Tokyo Marui barrel I had laying around; It's performing exactly as I require it to, and slings a .3 at a man-size target to around 50 metres. The wider hop window of the TM inner barrel is likely to aid the accuracy and allow a little more adjustment on the hop mechanism. So, the TM inner barrel is a slightly better quality part than the Army. However, comparing the Army's stock combination to that of Tokyo Marui, I very much doubt I'd be able to tell them apart when it comes to range and accuracy.

 

Then there's the recoil rod. On the HurricanE, the full length guide rod was an added extra I had to pay for. It's included in the Army, and whilst it's not a part that hugely affects performance, the rear half of Army's guide rod is skeletonised, helping to save weight in the upper of the gun. It also looks kinda cool.

 

So - Everything in the upper is on a par with stock TM or HurricanE parts. TM have got Army beat when it comes to the hop window, and TM provide a slightly better hop rubber. However, if you're a user of a full metal 1911, you're more than likely going to add a tightbore and a better hop rubber as standard practice, especially if you sling heavier rounds or want the most out of the FPS available from the system. The difference in performance between TM's hop and barrel and Army's hop and barrel is almost non-existent, if there's any real measurable difference at all.

 

Now, a quick look at the lower;

 

photo33.jpg

 

Again, much the same as the TM. It's the same design, it takes the same parts (When fitting the A1 trigger, I tested a TM Valve knocker and A1 hammer for fit, and both parts fit and moved as expected without issue). On receiving my Kimber, I was frankly appalled to discover it had the predictable Tokyo Marui 'Double trigger' issue, a common issue in their 1911's. Whilst it's an easy fix, it's an annoyance. I'd also expected this to have been fixed prior to receiving my gun, but instead I had to tune the leaf spring myself to fix this issue. The Army, on the other hand, hasn't shown a hint of the issue. I'm sure some of them will do, much like some TM's don't come with the double triggering problem.

 

Generally, when it comes to the lower, both guns are again indistinguishable. The Army's parts are all absolutely up to scratch, as were the TM parts in my Kimber once I'd fiddled the leaf spring.

 

So - Performance wise, fitment of parts, quality of materials and everything else - The two guns are once again basically indistinguishable. Sorry, TM fans; but Army have built a 1911 that performs just as well, is built just as well, looks just as nice and shoots just as excellently as a TM 1911 wrapped in a high quality metal kit.

 

 

Then, to top that all off, there's this; The bag of spare parts;

 

photo34.jpg

 

Not only have Army built a fantastic 1911, they also go to the lengths of including a spare loading nozzle, a full suite of O-rings for every valve in the gun, and a spare Hop rubber. I can't see myself needing these parts, frankly, but the fact they're included is a very professional touch. In my eyes, it's Army trying to tell us that 'Hey, we copied the gun, added a few bits, and just in case we have an off day on QC or you get a leaky mag, here's the parts to solve any issues if they arise'.

 

Oh, and lastly, the magazines. Both the included A1 mag, and the additional Wilson Combat/MEU style magazine, of which I purchased two;

 

photo20.jpg

 

 

They are almost completely faultless. All 3 of my magazines are fully gas tight; I've tested TM mags in my gun, and Army mags in a friend's gun. There is no difference in performance. I will say that the paint on the Army mags is a little thick, and until around 25-30 insertions/extractions, they won't drop free quite as easily as the TM mags. However, they're totally gas tight, they fit and feed in both Army and TM pistols, and they also include a silent fill-valve O-ring to prevent any gas waste. That, and all 3 have now worn in and drop free from the gun absolutely fine.

 

 

So, in the end, it comes down to this main point;

 

The Army 1911 I own is BETTER than the HurricanE Kitted Tokyo Marui 1911 I previously owned. Until I have to replace £380's worth of parts, that's an indisputable fact, frankly. Based on price, performance, fit, finish, quality, attention to detail, efficiency, accuracy and everything else, Army have nailed it. Thoroughly, utterly nailed it.

 

 

Also...

 

 

Is there a greater chance of an Army 1911 being an out of the box lemon?

Probably, yes. You can buy 6 for the price of one HurricanE'd TM, however. And even if 3 are lemons, you've got 3 sweet as tits sidearms that match the kitted gun.

 

My PGC'd/Nova'd/HurricanE'd 1911 has no faults whatsoever at all.

I wouldn't deny that for a moment; It's thoroughly possible to install a metal kit from a high end manufacturer onto a TM 1911 and have it running smoother than either my Kimber did or my National Match does. However, that requires an exceptional level of skill and tuning, and is very difficult to achieve without the prior experience and knowledge. The UK's finest 1911 guru couldn't get my Kimber perfect, and I very much doubt I could.

 

Army don't make a Tactical Entry II.

And it's a huge shame; Because I'd buy one over a HurricanE'd TM every single time.

 

 

I'd also like to state that I'm not trying to slate anybody's kitted 1911 at all. A TM wrapped in a metal kit is a thing of beauty, and some people will always prefer to buy one, despite the hefty cost. What I'm saying is - So is the Army. And when it comes down to it; The Army is £70. The kitted TM is £458. Essentially, the point I'm really trying to make here, is that you don't need to buy a Tokyo Marui 1911 and wrap it in a kit for a nice metal 1911. Army have already done it for you; I just really feel that Army, and in my eyes a few other ACM manufacturers, have made a real effort to throw off the stereotype of the poorly built cheap replica. The Army National Match is not only a fantastic piece, it's a fine example of the fact that Army are really trying not just to imitate, but also to innovate and improve. I'm their new biggest fan, and I'm thoroughly glad I slung down the money and took the risk.

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Interesting review of the national match.

 

Right off the bat I can tell you what was wrong with the BBU of your hurricane, the screw of the sight was screwed too much and made a little contact with the nozzle, thus making it stick. This is a problem with the gunsmith or user, or you can blame the design of the sight/kit, whichever pleases you most.

 

The level of quality of a kit is hard to decide once it's been installed because it represents the skill of the person who fitted it, so your perception of quality on that issue is limited. The hurricane kit is (as it comes) tight and nicely built (even if the steel parts have serious rust issues).

 

About the efficiency of the thing, it's hard to determine, the number of shots can be affected by the weight of the slide and the stuff in it (having so much steel on the slide on the hurricane cripples gas efficiency, for example), also by the alloy of the slide itself .

If you want, we can test that if you can determine the weight of the slide minus the barrel, recoil guide and inner barrel+ hopup, I'll try to post the weight of mine with those out see which one is heavier (that might explain the gas efficiency issue).

Another thing is the magazine, without testing the same magazines it's hard to get consistent data on gas efficiency, specially with the clones using different valves and making minor modifications to the design.

 

Now onto the army national match, in the first picture looks like the BBU bit is recessed, any ideas about what happened there?

Firingpin.jpg

 

Anyways, the detail they've put into replicating the model is very nice, I have serious doubts about the durability of the chinese clones but I'm open to being proven wrong any day.

All the correct trademarks and externals are indeed very nice.

 

Also VERY nice is army filling up the goddamn left slide rail which is cut out on the marui (noteworthy is that hurricane also provides a part that fills it, nice of them):

photo33.jpg

 

Anyways, looking forward to follow-ups on this piece, do have fun.

 

Also, I have my TEII with me so if you want any pictures to compare or complement the article, just ask.

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Regarding long term reliability - I have a gold ARMY MEU which I've owned for three years. I've used it mainly for CQB, so lots of rapid mag dumps and such - it's lasted very well.

 

The only issues I had with it:

 

1) Stock recoil spring was very weak - the slide took nearly 1 second to return to battery! Swapped in a 150% ELEMENT recoil spring and it worked fine. (ARMY have now fixed this issue, like I said, mine was an oooooold model)

2) The stock hop-up rubber on mine didn't let me hop a 0.28g bb adequately. Replaced with a soft FALCON H rubber.

3) The stock barrel was fine, but not as accurate as I'd have liked - though it was on a par with a stock TM (Though the crown on the TM is a lot deeper, and the finishing around the hop cut was cleaner). Replaced with a PDI .01 Raven tightbore.

4) The grips were 100% clones of the TM "Pachmeyers". IE: hard plastic and *suitcasey*. Replaced with a set of Hogue Monogrips.

5) The slide to frame fit is quite loose - ARMY have tightened this up a LOT on their newer models, but it's still not as tight as a TM. This is more an annoyance than a problem, but it is still a bit meh.

6) The ARMY mag that came with the gun sat a little low in the magwell, leading to less gas efficiency. TM mags worked fine, as did KJW mags, and oddly enough BELL/TERCEL mags. Again, this is something that ARMY has apparently fixed.

 

The newer ARMY GBBs are much improved over my particular one, and after all those upgrades my ARMY blingpistol is a monster in CQB - a tackdriver with excellent range and trigger response. The only issue that I really have with it is that it's far too pretty and shiny to use in woodland. :D

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Interesting review of the national match.

 

Right off the bat I can tell you what was wrong with the BBU of your hurricane, the screw of the sight was screwed too much and made a little contact with the nozzle, thus making it stick. This is a problem with the gunsmith or user, or you can blame the design of the sight/kit, whichever pleases you most.

 

See that's what I suspected was the issue; Annoyingly though, tightening the screw led to BBU jams and obviously not tightening it led to a wobbly rear sight. Loctiting the sight down did remedy the problem, but still a minor nuisance.

 

The level of quality of a kit is hard to decide once it's been installed because it represents the skill of the person who fitted it, so your perception of quality on that issue is limited. The hurricane kit is (as it comes) tight and nicely built (even if the steel parts have serious rust issues).

 

That's an entirely fair point; Still, my kit was installed by someone most people regard as the UK's best option for having a 1911 built; Personally, I feel installing a kit really requires a level of love and care only the end user of the gun is likely to provide, which is why I suspect my kit wasn't flawlessly installed. Still, I guess I should have been a tad more complimentary of the HurricanE kit; It IS a lovely piece of work, but at the same time I can't help but feel it wasn't miles ahead of the army piece in terms of fit and finish; The Army has the odd slight paint flaw, whereas as you say the HurricanE has rust issues on the steel bits. My particular kit also had a minor paint defect (barely detectable) just above the right hand side of the trigger guard, but again, not enough to be considered a problem or an issue.

 

About the efficiency of the thing, it's hard to determine, the number of shots can be affected by the weight of the slide and the stuff in it (having so much steel on the slide on the hurricane cripples gas efficiency, for example), also by the alloy of the slide itself .

If you want, we can test that if you can determine the weight of the slide minus the barrel, recoil guide and inner barrel+ hopup, I'll try to post the weight of mine with those out see which one is heavier (that might explain the gas efficiency issue).

Another thing is the magazine, without testing the same magazines it's hard to get consistent data on gas efficiency, specially with the clones using different valves and making minor modifications to the design.

 

I can certainly get a relatively accurate (within say 5-10 grammes) measurement of the weight of the slide; I'll check that out this evening when I get home and post up the results here.

 

As for gas efficiency, testing in a friend's plastic framed MEU with a guarder TRP slide in comparison to the Army led to around an extra 2-3 full powered shots from both the Army magazine and the TM magazine in the Army gun; However, I suspect my buddy's 1911 could use a clean, so I'm not sure I can call that a fair test. However, as you said, the steel parts on the Kimber's slide are definitely going to affect the efficiency; Still, considering the usually lower quality of chinese slides/alloys, I was pretty surprised at the feel of the slide, it doesn't feel at all heavier than your average decent quality metal kit. I'm hoping to see the owner of my original TEII at the next game I attend, so with some luck I'll be able to test both Army mags and TM mags in both guns in the same conditions if he doesn't mind; I'll update the thread with the results of course.

 

 

Now onto the army national match, in the first picture looks like the BBU bit is recessed, any ideas about what happened there.

 

Personally I imagine it's likely to be either a result of the shape of the slide (With the rear sight cut out) or perhaps something to do with the replicated firing pin system. I can't confirm this of course, but the BBU housing is perfectly mated to the slide and the loading nozzle is in the correct position, so it doesn't look like an accidental error; Obviously that's me speculating entirely, but I may even attempt to contact Army and see if they can fill us in on the cause... Where's Frontiers when ya need him? :P

 

Anyways, the detail they've put into replicating the model is very nice, I have serious doubts about the durability of the chinese clones but I'm open to being proven wrong any day.

 

That'll be the real serious test of course; However, looking at the apparent quality of the parts, and going on DarkLite's MEU, I don't see reliability being a huge issue; Obviously I'll keep this thread updated with an approximate round count to try and keep the durability data as scientific as I can!

 

All the correct trademarks and externals are indeed very nice.

 

Also VERY nice is army filling up the goddamn left slide rail which is cut out on the marui (noteworthy is that hurricane also provides a part that fills it, nice of them):

 

 

Anyways, looking forward to follow-ups on this piece, do have fun.

 

Also, I have my TEII with me so if you want any pictures to compare or complement the article, just ask.

 

 

 

Regarding long term reliability - I have a gold ARMY MEU which I've owned for three years. I've used it mainly for CQB, so lots of rapid mag dumps and such - it's lasted very well.

 

Dagnabit, I want the gold one! :P

 

The only issues I had with it:

 

1) Stock recoil spring was very weak - the slide took nearly 1 second to return to battery! Swapped in a 150% ELEMENT recoil spring and it worked fine. (ARMY have now fixed this issue, like I said, mine was an oooooold model.

 

Definitely seems to be fixed on mine - I'd estimate the strength as about 130% that of a TM, which seems perfectly matched to the Army slide.

 

2) The stock hop-up rubber on mine didn't let me hop a 0.28g bb adequately. Replaced with a soft FALCON H rubber.

 

Same on mine, hence the leaf spring bend/AIP rubber; However, I find a stock TM won't sling any heavier than a .25 with the desired level of hop either..

 

3) The stock barrel was fine, but not as accurate as I'd have liked - though it was on a par with a stock TM (Though the crown on the TM is a lot deeper, and the finishing around the hop cut was cleaner). Replaced with a PDI .01 Raven tightbore.

 

Definitely in full agreement there; When finances allow I'll be picking up a tightbore (Probably a raven, as I've heard very good things).

 

4) The grips were 100% clones of the TM "Pachmeyers". IE: hard plastic and *suitcasey*. Replaced with a set of Hogue Monogrips.

 

See, my grips are flimsy plastic, but they've got re-inforcing ribs on the inside and when fitted to the gun they feel absolutely fine. Still, this definitely needs some nice wood, or maybe faux ivory...

 

5) The slide to frame fit is quite loose - ARMY have tightened this up a LOT on their newer models, but it's still not as tight as a TM. This is more an annoyance than a problem, but it is still a bit meh.

 

Same on mine; Saying that, I wouldn't want it too much tighter as I've found a slightly lower tolerance on the slide fit tends to be beneficial in airsoft rather than a hindrance, although the Army is only maybe 10% looser fit than the HurricanE slide.

 

6) The ARMY mag that came with the gun sat a little low in the magwell, leading to less gas efficiency. TM mags worked fine, as did KJW mags, and oddly enough BELL/TERCEL mags. Again, this is something that ARMY has apparently fixed.

 

I'd say it's likely they have - No issues whatsoever with my mags, other than the thick paint, which has worn down shortly.

 

The newer ARMY GBBs are much improved over my particular one, and after all those upgrades my ARMY blingpistol is a monster in CQB - a tackdriver with excellent range and trigger response. The only issue that I really have with it is that it's far too pretty and shiny to use in woodland. :D

 

Psssh, everyone knows gold is tactical ;)

 

Nice! After seeing various posts from you in the status area I'd kinda been hoping you'd do a review of this, as it certainly piqued my interest. This may just be the motivation I need to sell off my WE MEU, buy a propane adapter, and pick up one of these.

 

Definitely a good idea dude; Whilst WE guns aren't quite as bad as some suggest, they tend to have a reasonably limited lifespan of a year or two, and gas consumption is pretty appalling, as well as availability of spares. Definitely a better option to pick up the Army, there really is no 2 ways about it - I've owned about 6 WE's 'n all, and this thing just craps all over them! :P

 

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much like these forums' resident sex-pest ( ;)),

 

A-thanking-you ;)

 

But anyway, i am open to ARMY model comparisons as they are good little shooters. My plastic Detonics from them was a fast little thing. The hop needed a fiddle but other than that it was golden.

 

Just too bad i am not keen on importing (the R28 Kimber looks do-able) and at the moment i am more focused on our potential Arnie revival in The Mall.

 

'FireKnife'

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Even with customs charging and shipping, I paid around £70 for the gun from RSOV; They also followed my request and placed an entire A4 sheet with

 

"RICHARD HORGAN

UKARA NUMBER ACA#######

REGISTERED/INSURED SKIRMISH SITE: ACE COMBAT"

 

Customs didn't even open the package, just looked at the invoice and vat-slapped me! Still, Customs seem to like UKARA numbers a lot more than other defences..

 

Still, like I said, this thing has thoroughly blown me away - I'm eyeing up the Chrome MEU, seeing as I can't have the gold one :P

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Thanks for the review.. I'm also a big fan of the TM and I'm considering to buy an Army model just to see how good they are.

I'm also a big fan of the 1911 I own 3 full metal (2 Nova and 1 Detonator)1911 as well as 7 WA (5 of the Prime kitted and 1 Creation) 1911.

I also a trademark junkie !!

 

 

Wolf

Edited by wolfgeorge
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Thanks for the review.. I'm also a big fan of the TM and I'm considering to buy an Army model just to see how good they are.

I'm also a big fan of the 1911 I own 3 full metal (2 Nova and 1 Detonator)1911 as well as 7 WA (5 of the Prime kitted and 1 Creation) 1911.

I also a trademark junkie !!

 

 

Wolf

 

No problemo! It really is well worth the price and then some; Frankly I wouldn't feel at all hard done by if I'd paid £250 for the thing! Of course with Nova and Detonator parts (Who are obviously the very top of the line manufacturers), I imagine it's not going to be quite up to the same standard - But in comparison to Guarder and some of the mid-range kits, is well and truly up there with them!

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I can vouch for what Hwagan says about his 1911. I saw it in action (oo er) on Saturday and it is a beast. Comparing it to my WE XDM, both pistols seemed to be on par with each other, the XDM only really had the added bonuses of a larger magazine capacity (both gas and BB's) and a more up to date design on the blowback chamber. The 1911 had the advantage of adjustable sights so overall Hwagan was more accurate with his shots.

 

Once I get some spare cash it's going on an Army Kimber!

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Damnit, now I cant choose between this and an XDM.

 

To be honest, I'd say they're both good choices; The 1911 is without a doubt the prettier and more customisable gun, whilst the WE XDM is a very, very practical skirmishing piece. Considering it was running like it was on green on 134a, I'd say even with the metal slide the sheer volume of the cylinder will keep it running in winter.

 

Good Lord that's quite the review.

 

Should a larger variety of models come out I can certainly see myself purchasing one in the future.

 

Cheers :) There's currently 5 I believe; MEU in Chrome/Black, Warrior in Black/Tan (Tan includes magwell), and the Gold Cup. Army's catalogue also shows a two-toned silver sided slide Kimber, which certainly looked quite pretty. Awfully tempted by the chrome MEU myself as it goes...

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Now that would be absolutely awesome; I'm loving this thing to the point I wouldn't lump Army in as an "ACM company" anymore; I'd say they really have earned the right to be pulled out of that whole "It might work, it might not, it'll be lower quality" group!

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Regarding long term reliability - I have a gold ARMY MEU which I've owned for three years. I've used it mainly for CQB, so lots of rapid mag dumps and such - it's lasted very well.

My silver Army MEU is still good. At first, the hop-up arm was bent too much, causing the BBs to curve right a lot, but I rectified that. I competed against KWA Glocks in an IPSC event and ended 15th out of 35 participants, more due to me than the gun.

Customizations were pretty much only aesthetic - Hogue monogrips, new trigger, guide rod and barrel bushing, KA blue springs that made the action a little snappier. Maybe I'll get myself a new hammer if funds allow.

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Maybe I'll get myself a new hammer if funds allow.

 

DO NOT BUY A 5KU ONE. DO NOT. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

Seriously, I got one of their chrome MEU hammers thinking it'd look nice; The hole for the strut pin was full of so much steel flash I couldn't fit it at all, and it was blocking the blowback unit by no less than 4mm. Fair enough it was $11, but without a machine shop it would have NEVER been compatible with a TM based 1911.

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DO NOT BUY A 5KU ONE. DO NOT. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

Seriously, I got one of their chrome MEU hammers thinking it'd look nice; The hole for the strut pin was full of so much steel flash I couldn't fit it at all, and it was blocking the blowback unit by no less than 4mm. Fair enough it was $11, but without a machine shop it would have NEVER been compatible with a TM based 1911.

Thanks for the warning. I had problems fitting my 5KU hammer, the mounting pin hole was much too small and I didn't have proper tools back then (had to use a round file). I'm eyeing the Davidson hammers from RSOV, they're $40 a pop, but I think they're made well enough to warrant this kind of price (Davidson also makes loads of other custom 1911/HiCapa parts).

Also, I have a dremel now.

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Just to add to the awesome of this gun; I originally thought the rear sight was fixed for windage and only elevation adjustable; I've just proved myself wrong. Bit of a laborious process, but the windage is indeed adjustable on the rear sight, and I'm nailing cigarette butts consistently at 5 metres.

 

For anyone interested;

 

Remove the screw retaining the rear sight plate entirely, and remove the rear sight plate.

Centre the rear sight by eye (Or a more accurate method if you've got one).

Hold the rear sight firmly in place, replace the screw.

 

Done.

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Hm, so the screw supposedly for windage adjustment is fake and just serves the purpose of retaining the rear sight plate? oh well..a little tedious indeed.

 

After about 1000-2000 rounds you should completely disassemble it (specially the frame and hammer mech) and post pictures of the internals, see how they're doing.

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And just like that, someone is going to be buying a new 1911.....

 

 

But first, Hwagan, can you test it on Duster gas (134a) for me?

Thanks.

 

 

Helpfully, I already have done! Unfortunately, like most metal slided 1911's, it doesn't run particularly well on 134a; At the weekend here it was particularly hot and the gun cycled a good 25-30 rounds from a charge of 134a, but the pressure of the gas doesn't quite have the strength to fight the recoil spring; Whilst it'll load and chamber rounds and sling them to a perfectly acceptable distance, it doesn't tend to lock the slide on empty. I'd say perhaps if you've got access to it, Abbey Predator or a mid-level gas between 134a and Green/Propane. Saying that however, if you're worried about FPS resulting from green gas, perhaps a 4.3 length inner barrel would keep it cycling nicely and bring the FPS down to legal levels?

 

 

Hm, so the screw supposedly for windage adjustment is fake and just serves the purpose of retaining the rear sight plate? oh well..a little tedious indeed.

 

After about 1000-2000 rounds you should completely disassemble it (specially the frame and hammer mech) and post pictures of the internals, see how they're doing.

 

Well, considering the windage is adjustable using the screw, I'd say it serves the purpose of adjusting the windage; Perhaps just not in the traditional manner.

 

As for the disassembly; I'm currently on 900 - 1,000 rounds or so, and it's still performing as expected. I'll disassemble it if it does go wrong, However I've got no real reason to do so without a part breaking, which to be honest I'm not at all expecting. When I installed the trigger I really should have taken photos, but it looks exactly as it should internally, and every part is properly cast and moves smoothly as it should in the mechanism.

Edited by hwagan
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