and review by Arnie
The M203 is a 40 mm under-rifle grenade launcher that was designed for
use by the US Military with the M-16 rifle. This new grenade launcher
was designed to replace the M79 grenade launcher of the Vietnam Era. The
Grenade Launcher is manufactured by (to name a few) Bushmaster, Colt,
and Knight Manufacturing in the US.
is the ‘Product-Improved‘ version of the original M203 that is
designed to be rapidly mounted or removed from a rifle. Previously the
M203 could only be fitted to a limited range of weapons. Now with the
production of interbars for any type of rifle, the M203PI launcher can
be mounted on every assault rifle in use today. For situations where only
the launcher itself is needed, the M203PI can be quickly attached to a
pistol grip with a folding stock. Both of these versions are in service
with a number of countries, and the M203PI has been adopted by some US
law enforcement agencies.
Tactical Launcher is modelled after the M203PI, which was originally
designed by RM-Equipment.
The TL is (externally)
a replica of the stand alone M203PI unit. Although the real-steel M203
is designed to utilise 40mm grenades (explosive/signal/flare), the TM
version is actually closer to a shotgun, both in design and function.
The reason for this is that Marui have based the TL on their M203 unit
for their own Armalite range.
is where a few inaccuracies lie.
expel BB’s the TL must be loaded with a TM shotgun cartridge, and the
the black grip on the M203 must be pumped towards the handle to prime
the mechanism. At this point the trigger may be pulled to ‘fire’ the rounds
The TL features three RIS rails, one along it’s top and two on either side.
In the ‘real world only a complete moron would mount either a laser sight,
or a reddot scope on a grenade launcher, as precision deployment of a 40mm
grenade isn’t that necessary. :o)
may be a problem for some folks as the design isn’t 100% true to the original,
but to me it’s not an issue, the TM shotty mechanism is tried and tested,
and both it’s flaws and advantages are well known. Anyway, let’s face
it 500 round magazines with winding ‘knobs’ on them aren’t exactly 100%
true to the real-steel items anyway are they?
mind, Airsoft is meant to be fun more than anything, and the TL certainly
proves to be fun, so I consider it a worthy Airsoft accessory. The TL
has been designed by TM as their entry level shotgun product, being markedly
cheaper than both the SPAS and M3Super90 range. If you’re on a budget,
or just looking to get into Airsoft cheaply then this could be your answer.
have TM done? Well like all financially adept companies they’re good at
reworking their current ideas and designs into new products. In this case,
all TM have actually done is designed a new grip and mount (with rails
on it), and then bolted their current M203-shotgun mech to it.
familiar with the TM’s shotgun mechanism you can skip this next part,
if you really want to, but if you’re curious about my insights into TM’s
shotty mech, you may want to read on.
how does it work? Well the theory is an easy one, but in
practice, it’s not that simple. Imagine three spring pistols in one mechanism,
all fed off the same magazine, and all cocked by the pull of one slide,
and that’s basically it. The complexities arise around the feed mechanism
for these three barrels.
The trigger has a well designed safety mechanism (admittedly the same
as the real steel), simply pull the front lever back towards the trigger
to lock the rifle as ‘safe’.
Now that you
Now with the
If you wish
Well now you’ve
To prime everything
A word of warning
big problem with the TL is that it just doesn’t seem to know if it’s a
grenade launcher, or a shotgun. The sights are practical, but not easy
to use, the stock is handy but not long enough, and the shell storage
is cunning, yet not sensible.
isn’t great, with the short barrels (half that of the M3) the effective
range is about 3/4 of that of the M3 shorty/full-stock.
we’ve said with the TL’s poor range, and combined with the awkward way
you have to use the replica CQB is its only viable use. Now the TL isn’t
all bad, so forgive me if I seem a bit critical about it. I don’t want
to miss a few of it’s good points.
light: We’re not all Rambo, so the fact that the TL is very light
will be good news to a lot of people out there that hate rattling like
a box of cornflakes when they flop across the skirmish field under the
weight of kit they are carrying.
short: The TL is literally half the length of the M3’Shorty’,
so is much more viable as a close quarters piece of equipment – in fact
it’s so short you could almost fit it in a leg holster (but that’s
With the wondrous
– You mean
you don’t read Dilbert?? [back]
Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft