Airsoft really wasn’t something I’d experimented with much in the past, as a boy I had 2 airsoft pistols that I loved though. My trusty replica of John McClains Beretta 92 and a lovely Colt Government 1911, they weren’t fancy by any means, no blowback or metal – just plastic and you needed to cock it to shoot but I loved them.
This was of course pre VCRA act 2006 so Britain as a country wasn’t completely hysterical about replicas, toys and models of firearms yet so they were realisitic looking…… Well for cheap plastic airsoft pistols anyway.
But I can’t honestly say I’d given the purchase of another after the VCRA cancer took hold a real consideration as I couldn’t stand the idea of stupid 2 tone or going to skirmishes as I live with a very painful illness and really just like target shooting in the garden with them. A simple pleasure yes but one I love nonetheless.
Alas however my last pre VCRA pistol finally gave up last week after decades of service and I was left with a problem – I now didn’t own a working one and couldn’t partake in that harmless past time.
This got me looking into what the airsoft world had to offer after my long absence and I have to say, it had evolved considerably.
Yes the same impotent and utterly devoid of logic legislation regarding airsort in the UK was still in place with regards to garish 2 tone and jumping through hoops but I realised as a journalist wanting to review an item this was a valid reason to aquire one, so I decided to find one that I really did want to review, and it may as well be my favourite firearm – The Tommy gun.
I contacted a local guy to me about if he had any Tommy Guns in stock and he told me about a Cyma M1A1 he had. It featured an all metal body with a plastic imitation wood stock, switchable between single shot and full auto, electric operation, high capacity mag and looks that really are worthy of going on a wall.
So within days it arrived…….. And my goodness I was smitten.
My initial thought as I removed it from the polystyrene was how weighty it was and how solid the upper felt in my hands, this shocked me as it felt quite close to the real thing, I’d held an M1A1 before that had been deactivated many years ago and this was definitely close. The plastic stock looks good in fact better than I thought it would however I would much prefer real wood, although this is after all a budget entry to full auto electric smgs and I hear you can buy a wood stock for it.
The switches feel crisp with a satisfying click, the mag release is solid and of substance which incidently matches the high capacity magazine which slots firmly into place with a rail system.
One feature I’d of loved would have been if there was no bright white trademarks on the rear upper giving away that it was airsoft but again this could be remodied if legal in your area to do so.
A nice touch I felt was that a dummy bolt was operational and spring loaded so for reenactment I feel this may be a valid foundation for first time purchase if you were willing to do it up with wood parts etc. Just get a matching 1911 in ww2 spec and you’re laughing.
A hopup feature is included to try to dial in that accuracy although spoils the realism a little in looks.
TO THE RANGE
Now for a COVID-19 lockdown compliant test in my back yard.
The CYMA feels solid as I take aim, I focus down the barrel and squeeze the trigger slowly. The trigger feels tight and responsive and the mechanicals whir and a BB is shot forward a little low and to the right.
I adjust and shoot again and find that this Tommy is putting them where I want them, OK all’s good so now to full auto.
A nice click from the switch and I take aim once more, I pause for just the right moment with anticipation building and then squeeze.
300 rounds didn’t last that long and it absolutely made mincemeat of my target. This was a level of fun I didn’t know existed with airsoft and I liked it.
Now for the cons, the motor is quite loud, it could have a greater rate of fire than it does, the plastic stock spoils the feel a little, the white writing on the upper spoils the look.
Now the pros, it looks great even with a plastic stock and the white writing. If you are wanting a realistic Tommy in full metal as a basis to do it up yourself this is perfect. I’d like an upgrade to the battery, motor and gearbox for this one as well as the wood stock but it’s honestly fine out of the box. I’m just picky.
For reenactment I’d also recommend as a foundation that you would be willing to put some time into. The weight is good but could become a pain if doing manoeuvres on site etc.
At around £150 this really was a no brainer for me, I’ve wanted a Tommy for a long time, I loved the M1A1 varient and am considering reenactment myself so this was a good purchase for me. I’d recommend one as I said as a good entry level Tommy but it’s a lot of fun stock.
Looks – 7/10
Feel – 7/10
Realism – 8/10
Value – 8/10
Fun – 9/10