GBBs are bloody magic. It’s an undisputable airsoft fact. In terms
of enjoyment, it’s very hard to beat the pop-pop- half-arsed kick
of a good blowback pistol. The following review, perhaps homage is a better
word, is dedicated to the memory of arguably an exceptional airsoft GBB.
Gone before but not lost; the Marushin GBB shell ejecting Colt Government1.
Very solid. This thing has more metal content than a pimp’s teeth.
The rear part of the frame, where the tank and hammer are housed is made
of metal, and is high-quality ABS from the trigger-guard forwards. The slide
is made of thick, high-density ABS with some metal parts. Housed inside
the front of the slide, where the recoil spring would sit on a real 1911
is the GBB mechanism. This is made of machined brass and cast metal. Hammer,
slide release trigger, gas-tank are all metal. The only bad point is that
the grip safety is non-functional and moulded into the metal part of the
magazines are steel with a plastic insert and the shells are made from chromed
brass. The piece feels substantial and much more robust than most modern
GBB pistols. In fact, although lighter, the build quality makes the WA government
look positively shabby.
Frame and slide are
stamped with authentic Colt markings and also the manufacturers name and
Two-stage trigger pull shell ejecting GBB
Gas is injected in the
usual GBB fashion into the internal tank housed in the grip of the pistol.
Once each shell has been loaded (by pushing a bb into the nose2) eight shells
are loaded into the single column magazine. Magazine is pushed into the
grip. Racking the slide back exposes the breach and ejection mechanism,
releasing the slide allows it to move forward and chamber the first round.
In this respect operation is exactly the same as that of a real colt 1911
(although without the BBs, naturally3)
trigger is a two-stage affair4. The first part of the travel drops the hammer,
firing the bb. The second part of the travel engages the blowback mechanism,
via a small lever which, at the end of it’s travel, engages a secondary
valve on the tank. Because the firing/blowback processes remain distinct
the cycling of the action does not affect the flight path of the bb. When
the blowback mechanism engages, gas is introduced to the cylinder below
the barrel forcing the slide back and ejecting the shell. At the extreme
of piston travel the gas is vented, allowing the slide to return, chambering
the next round. . After the last round has been fired the slide lock engages
cleanly and rigidly, and operating the slide release closed the breach with
a satisfying clunk.
The authenticity of operation
is impressive; a crisp pull on the trigger results in a fluid cycling of
the model at an impressive speed: double tapping feels very real and the
ejecting shells add great atmosphere to the piece. After the last round
has been fired the slide lock engages cleanly and rigidly
Given the piece is clearly no use for skirmishing, it has only been tested
indoors. Power is sufficient for 5m plinking and the fixed barrel and lack
of hop make it quite an accurate piece. The fixed sights are bang on at
around 4-5m. Unfortunately, in winter conditions the piece is all but useless.
Testing at 4 degrees (indoors) led to venting of the whole tank on the first
shot5. Subsequent heating of the pistol produced impressive results, with
power about equal to that of a small GBB. Recoil is fairly light, allowing
accurate grouping with rapid fire, although cooldown affects reliability
substantially after the first 6 shots.
The internal tank contains
sufficient gas for three magazines (24rounds) ,although this is in abnormally
The piece is primarily for the collector, and certainly in it’s stock
state it would be a very brave/patient7 skirmisher who dragged it into the
field. It could be fitted with a hop-barrel sourced from another 1911 variant,
but otherwise because of the outdated internals upgrades are not an option.
The piece can be fitted
with an external feed, which would greatly improve gas feed consistency
and potentially improve power depending on the feed-gas employed, but the
realism appeal of the model would be seriously compromised8. Examination
of the gas valves suggest that simply lightening the spring on the “firing”
valve would increase flow and therefore power, but it would be foolhardy
to make permanent alterations to a pistol when there are no longer spare-parts
A wonderful example of what airsoft can be, that is sadly bugger-all use
to the modern airsofter in terms of it’s concept, execution and practicality.
I’ve seen literally nothing that comes close to this piece in terms
of the feel and finish of it, but that’s sadly not likely to inspire
Marushin to re-release a true gbb version.
Performance: 3/5 No Power, 100%
Value For Money: N/A Very hard to find outside of Japan, very hard to find
inside of Japan
Upgrade potential: 2/5 Without messing with the guts, nothing doing….
Build Quality: 5/5 They really don’t make them like they use to
Overall Potential: N/A if this is what you want, this is what you get10
1 There is a prize for anyone who can say this through a mouthful of Guiness.
2 No! Wait! Not your nose! Oh christ, someone call an ambulance.
3 Or the huge bang, recoil and massive hole in the target.
4 Which is not ideal: the firing pull is very light and the cycling pull
is surprisingly heavy.
5 Gas pressure was insufficent to keep the valve closed. This made me swear
more than a little bit, as I had to wait three days before I could get some
gas to continue testing.
6 When I say abnormally cold, I mean there is ice forming in my bathtub
7 I am neither of these things.
8 Imagine a porn-star with a transparent upper-torso; it’s the same
kind of thing.
9 So given a week or two, I’ll get around to it.
10 Sorry. I’m a recovering PIL fan…
about this review in the forums
Sunday, July 21, 2002 4:24 PM
Copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft