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Review: Tokyo Marui RECCE Rifle
#1
The RECCE Rifle is one of the newest guns from venerable airsoft manufacturer Tokyo Marui, part of the Recoil Shock line. It is the 10th gun in that line, and the 4th M4 variant to come out following the SOPMOD, SOCOM and CQB-R. Like all Recoil Shock guns, it is an AEG that features electronic blow back (EBB) and a bolt lock system that allows for greater realism on the field. It also carries the highest price tag of any Marui gun (excluding the limited edition Gologo 13 Scoped M16). At around 7000 to 10,000 yen more than the other models, a lot of people are going to wonder what makes this gun worth the bump in price. Hopefully this review will cover that and help potential buyers who are in the market for a new AEG rifle.

Initial Impressions:

Upon first opening the box you'll see pretty much everything you'll get. The gun is nicely packed in with a Velcro strap, and the magazine and charging adapter are easily accessible. Aside from that, you also get a cleaning rod, loading tube and a small bag of BB's. It would have been nice to get a battery, considering it uses the propriety crane stock style battery designed by TM, but that's not the most annoying omission. The most annoy thing is that the gun comes with no aiming device whatsoever. Now this makes some sense considering that all the advertising and literature has been showing the gun as a sniper type weapon, and TM wants to sell you their shiny new upcoming scope and mount set. But considering the price tag, I would have hoped for at least a cheap set of iron sights so I could use it out of the box. Even the Golgo 13 M16 came with a scope and irons, and it had a cool ass carrying case! Anyhow, after pulling it out of the box, things defiantly started to move in a positive direction.

Build Quality/ Parts Analysis:

This is a really solid gun, which is not surprising since it carries the TM name. It's mostly metal which gives it a good weight and feel. The only non-metal external parts were the stock and pistol grip. I don't like the standard M4 style grip, it's too slim and on a weapon that is meant for a sniper role, I'm surprised TM didn't opt for a different grip. Anyone one who has owned one of the M4 EBB rifles will probably feel the similarity as soon as they pick up the RECCE, and like those previous models, the differences are really in the forward part of the weapon. The RECCE is equipped with a 10inch rail and has a low-profile gas block style free-float barrel installed. This is probably the biggest change from the other M4 EBBs, as all those guns have used 6-7inch hand guards, and the standard M4 tower front sight. The rail system is also unique in that it is fully licensed, a first for a TM product as far as I know. Through a deal with Madbull, TM was able to license the Daniel Defense 10inch Lite Rail. The rail offers a number of advantages, the biggest of which is the amount of real estate you now have to mount grips, optics and other devices. Additionally, the Lite Rail offers a pretty much uninterrupted top rail, all the way from the receiver to the end of the rail system. This is due to the unique bolting system that removes the standard M4 Delta ring style hand guard connector and replaces it with a 6 bolt barrel nut system. The connection feels very tight, and I felt no twisting from the rail. This probably also thanks to TM's usual quality, but the 6 bolt design just looks heavy duty. Another interesting design in this rail system is the spacing of each rail. Usually all four rails are equally spaced, but the Lite Rail has the top and bottom rails extended out a bit further, leading to a cross shaped design. I don't know what practical reason this design has and as far as feel goes, it didn't seem much different. I just thought it was something worth noting.

The other trick the RECCE has up it's sleeve is the extendable barrel, which can change the barrel length from 12inches to 16inches. This is done through a pretty simple system using a 4inch barrel extender that can be removed to make the gun shorter. The barrel extender is probably nothing to write home about, as it is simply a 4inch outer barrel section threaded to connect to the lower barrel and attach a flash hider. It's a neat addition that does change the look of the gun in a meaningful way. Still, for a gun that is meant as a sniper rifle, a longer inner barrel would have been nice. I figure the inner barrel on this is similar to that on the CQB-R, somewhere in the 11-12inch range. The flash hider is nice, a tri-pronged design that has a more aggressive look than the previous birdcage style flash hiders on the other M4s. Another small change is the use of rubber washers at the bottom of the barrel threading. While most guns I've used from TM had a circular metal cap and spring, the rubber washer offers an equally tight seal, while making it easy to remove.

As stated before, everything else on the weapon is pretty much the TM SOPMOD EBB. It has the full metal body with Colt and Tokyo Marui stamping on it. The fire selector is good, giving a nice smooth click when switching positions. The hop adjustment is easy to access and easy to adjust, just pull back the charging handle and spin the wheel inside the ejection port. The tried and true crane stock is great, offering a comfortable cheek rest, and still housing the smoothest battery installation system anywhere. Again, anyone with an M4 EBB will already know this, but putting in a SOPMOD battery is probably the easiest process amongst all AEGs. Simply remove the rubber pad on the end of the stock, take out the plastic space holder, and slide in the battery. Done, no need to struggle with any wires or anything. There is even easy access to the fuse if you need to replace it. While most other battery installs are probably only slightly more difficult, this is probably the only one I would consider doing in the middle of a game in the field. The 6 position stock also offers options for different game situations, and does not seem to effect battery connection at all.

I said it before and I'll say it again, this is a great solidly built gun that lives up to the standard of quality most have come to expect from Tokyo Marui.

Functionality:

Using the RECCE, and any M4 EBB, is a very interesting experience, especially if you have never tried one before. The first thing you'll notice is the kick you get when you fire the gun. Unlike a standard AEG, the EBB rifle gives you a bit of recoil with each shot, adding some realism to the action. This is done with a weight system built into the stock of the rifle that is attached to the piston in the gearbox. Every time you shoot, the weight shifts back giving you the sense of recoil. While nowhere near as strong as a GBB rifle (maybe close to a GBB pistol) the recoil is still a nice feature, and I found it hard to go back to my old gun after using this one. The sound is also nice too, giving you a sharp clacking noise, as opposed to the pure “sowing machine” motor noise of other AEGs. From a visual stand point, you also get the bolt cover moving in time with your shots, making for a very cool look in action. The other big EBB feature is the special magazine / bolt lock system in each gun. Using a combination of special full size mags and a magnetic switch, it creates the illusion of the bolt locking after the last round is fired. While this adds a lot of realism, it also has the practical use of letting the user know for sure when they are out of ammo. Most standard AEGs will keep dry firing (just shooting air, no BBs) when you run out of ammo, and while you usually can learn to tell when this happens, sometimes on a loud field with so much going on you might not notice right away. With the bolt lock system you know right away, because you pull the trigger and get nothing, no recoil, no sound, nada. At that point, you just eject your mag, pop in a fresh one, tap the fake bolt lock and start firing again. The only draw back to this system is that you need the special TM EBB magazines, or the function doesn't work. The mags are mid caps, that hold 82 or 30 rounds (you can choose between the two settings easily, just have to remove the cover and flick a switch on the inside of the mag). The good thing about these mags is you don't get lost BBs like you do with normal mags. Usually when you fire through a normal AEG magazine you will probably get 2-3 BBs left in the tube that just fall out. With the EBB mags, you can fire all the way through and know you probably used up every BB. There is a hi-cap mag available and a third party magazine adapter for standard AEG mags, but both choices unfortunately remove the bolt lock function.

Field Report \ Testing:

I fielded this gun recently in a well forested field in cool weather. It worked perfectly and tests on metal targets 20 and 30 meters away showed great accuracy. The weight was noticeably heaver than my old plastic M4, but not uncomfortably so, and by the end of the day I adjusted. The gun ran off a single charge of 8.4v SOPMOD battery, and shot about 1000 or more BBs that day. Running and gunning took some getting used to thanks to the addition of recoil to the shooting equation, but it did make for a more fun playing experience and I enjoyed the recoil sensation. By the end of the day I knew this gun was my new primary.

I did a little test firing at home to, so I could get a better sense of the accuracy. The limited apartment space means I only had about 25-30feet to play with, so keep that in mind when looking at my results. At about 20feet, I fired at a simple paper target (A4 paper) from a seated position using 0.2 BBs. Got a nice group without any support. After adjusting my iron sights, I fired again at the same target, taking a little more time and got even better results. Then I went to the far end of the my apartment and fired at about 28feet at a Marui paper target, again pretty solid results. Then I switched to full auto and let off a burst in a crouched position. Got about three fliers, 2 on the edge and one outside the circle. Finally I decided to use the gun as it was advertised and I mounted a scope on it sighted in at 4X. Took 3 shots to adjust my scope, and after that I just kept shooting till I was out of ammo. Overall the accuracy on this gun is great, as is the case usually with TM guns out of the box. I'm sure if I fiddled with the HOP more I'd get some better results. I do not own a chronograph, so I could not personally speed test the gun, but according to other users and ARMS Magazine, the gun shoots just above 91Ms (298FPS) on average.

Conclusions:

The Tokyo Marui RECCE Rifle is a quality gun that would serve anyone who is looking for a primary airsoft rifle, but does not own one of the other M4 EBB variants (SOPMOD, SOCOM, CQB-R). Does it justify it's high price? After using it and doing a little research, I'd say yes. While it is about 7000-10,000 yen more than the other models, the installed Daniel Defense Lite-Rail does balance out that price, considering a licensed Madbull DD rail goes for about that price online, not including shipping and the possible cost of getting it installed. The lack of any sights does take a bit out of that price, but that is probably something most users would have changed anyways (I use Magpul MBUS sights).

Quick Review Bullet Points:

Pros:
+Great build quality
+Solid accuracy and FPS
+Fully licensed CNC Daniel Defense rail system
+EBB functions (Recoil and Bolt Lock)
+Easy to use battery system

Cons:
-High price
-You don't really need it if you have an M4 EBB
-Lack of sights out of the box
-Extra expenses on proprietary parts (battery and more magazines)
-Recoil system and battery wiring placement limit some mod options (ex: stocks, sling adapters)
-I don't like the basic M4 grip (personal thing)

Bottom Line:
The amount of mounting options, quality of the build, EBB features and ease of use make this a great gun. But be ready to pay even more for some needed extras, as it is not something you can use out of the box. Also, SOPMOD, SOCOM and CQB-R users need not apply, unless you have money to burn, and even then I'd probably recommend spending it elsewhere, or just investing in a similar rail for your current gun.

Here are some pics that go with my review, might try to integrate them later, but for now this is easier: http://s934.photobucket.com/albums/ad188...e%20Rifle/

Hope you enjoyed the review, please feel free ask any questions. I might update this later with more info and impressions in the coming months.
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#2
thanks Drifter, nice review Smile
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#3
nice review, and your review is forcing me to have early santa me T_T...

one question; can you mount either M9 or M7 bayonet?
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#4
drifter, do you have an m4 sopmod? how does it compare to it?
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#5
Drifter,
Great review man! Another convert Smile
The EBB is an awesome platform!

ace5kills
LOL
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#6
Yep... I'm the bayonet guy Big Grin

Seems like rubber bayonet is the only stuff that can fulfill my "bloodlust" Big Grin

FIX BAYONET!!!!....... CHARGEEEE!!!
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#7
i dont think you can put a bayonet on it... can you? it doesn't have the front tower site which has the bayonet mount on it (right?)

you can always use duct tape though Smile
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#8
(13-12-2010, 08:36 PM)ace5kills Wrote: nice review, and your review is forcing me to have early santa me T_T...

one question; can you mount either M9 or M7 bayonet?

Lol, sorry ace, unless you're knife has a Picatinny rail interface, I don't think you'll be able to slap a bayonet on. If you are in the market for an M4, this is one to consider, just be wary of the hidden expenses like I said (batteries, mags, etc...)

(13-12-2010, 08:39 PM)Zero Wrote: drifter, do you have an m4 sopmod? how does it compare to it?

I don't own a SOPMOD, but I've had enough hands on time with them at games to know that this is that gun. Anyone who owns a SOPMOD will recognize the feel of this gun the second they pick it up. The only difference might be in how you fire it, as you can get more forward on the gun. I try and use a lot of Magpul style firing techniques, which go for a high forward grip on the gun (hence the AFG in most of my pictures, all the way to the front). With the AFG about 2 to 3 inches more forward than on my old gun, my body mechanics for firing have changed a bit, with my supporting arm sometimes almost straight out. Weight distribution might shift a bit to, depending how much you mount on the gun and where you do it.
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#9
Nicely written, Drifter.
"Lets just all hug and shoot something!"
-WiskieTango
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