Tokyo Marui’s Next Generation Recoil Series (NGRS) of blasters has really gained a foothold in the UK and it’s not difficult to see why. Once the preserve of the PTW, Marui’s bolt lock feature (which prevents the gun firing after the last BB has left the mag) is a highly attractive feature to mid cap users.
There is also the small matter of the recoil shock engine itself. This delivers palpable feedback for each and every shot fired and will not fail to bring a smile to your face (it does mine and I’m a hardened PTW user).
The most important feature for me, however, is the hop. It offers the best out of the box (OOTB) performance in the business, bar none. And, speaking of OOTB performance, the guns are pretty much optimised as they are. You don’t really need to do anything to them for UK limits, even though they fire at around 300 FPS without mods (it’s all in that hop).
Also, the platform is scalable. You can buy the gun without mags and simply use a mag adaptor for your existing old gen Marui style mags – although you do lose the bolt stop feature. This makes the Marui more affordable, even though the price of the base gun itself is a little higher than that of old gen AEGs. Lastly, if you have fun using high caps (I’m not joking, some people do), you can use those too. Either with the aforementioned adaptor, or with NGRS-specific ones.
Although I’m rarely expert in anything, I do know experts. I spoke to Ben Webb, editor of AI Magazine, and he very kindly offered to write a blog to illuminate the NGRS world to the uninitiated, such as myself.
This is his NGRS primer.
Ben wrote the following article specifically for The Reptile House Blog and I’m extremely grateful for Ben’s time and his expert analysis. It’s also a great read, as you’d expect.
The Left Hand Path – Tokyo Marui’s Next Generation Recoil Series, by Ben Webb
Marketing usually takes time to gain a foothold with its intended audience and clearly it takes even longer when the company doing the marketing is attempting to gain traction in a foreign market. Tokyo Marui launched their “Next Generation” line some years ago now, around 2008 if memory serves correctly, and whilst it enjoyed something of a “cult” following, it’s only just now started to attract buyers in serious numbers. Indeed, Marui’s flagship line is perceivably prying some market share away from Systema’s PTW. What’s changed recently?
Marui’s recoil line is called “Next Generation” because it is an evolution of the AEG technology they pioneered decades ago. With the range of weapons they addressed some issues with regular AEG gearboxes and produced a comprehensive product. Other manufacturers worked in the mean time to cobble things like electric blowback and recoil simulation into their Version 2 and Version 3 products, but until Marui unleashed their Next Generation, all of these added features were merely tacked on to the outside. Other companies perhaps pioneered improvements to the Version 2 ‘box, ICS for example, but with such a heritage as they have, Marui would surely be able to do something special.
Often called a “Recoil”, Marui’s guns have more than just recoil simulation going for them and as a complete package are far more advanced than standard AEGs. Sure, the recoil simulation is a big plus, it’s not the kick or impact of a real weapon or even on par with a GBBR, but it’s there and it adds noise and a tactile element to firing the guns. One of the other bonuses is the working bolt catch mechanism. What Systema achieve with an electronic cut-out system, Marui did mechanically with a clever linkage system that interfaces with both the magazine and the tappet plate to disengage the switch components and prevent the gun from firing. This allows the bolt catch release paddle to play a real part in the drills required to operate the gun, as if it isn’t depressed, the trigger will be dead.
The other plus point that the recoil system has is the magazines it uses. They are different to the standard AEG type magazine and are longer and more realistically sized. The standard mid-cap has a capacity of 82, but it also has a switchable limiter to lock it down to just 30 rounds, personally my preference.
Now Marui Next Generation guns are not without their negatives. Just like the AEGs the succeed, they are slightly off of real dimensions. The receivers are wider and the pistol grips are slightly fatter. They also clock in at around 300fps out of the box and unlike a PTW, they are not quite hot-swappable. Upgrading to around 345fps can be a simple matter of swapping out the spring though. Much like the PTW, the Next Gen. M4s are restricted in battery storage in their stock guise. Since the buffer tube is filled with weights and springs, there’s no chance of battery storage, thusly, the stock or a front hand guard must be used to house the power source. The transition from AEG to Recoil is also likely to be an expensive one for the first-timer, although the cost can be lessened with magazine pipe adaptors that allow the Next Generation AEG to accept regular AEG magazines, although this will be at a cost of around £15 and the bolt stop functionality.
“If you dream it, we can build it…”
That’s apparently what it says above the US Navy SEAL’s armoury and it’s a principle you have to apply to the Marui Next Generation platform. Although the range has grown and includes SCARs, AKs and G36s in addition to the M4 based variants and the more recent 416 replicas, they are often not quite on the money for many users and customising them has its challenges. As mentioned, the battery storage space can be an issue, but generally, thanks to LiPo technology, almost any external build can be achieved, some with more work than others. I’ve tucked L119A1 builds under my belt along with Mk18s and even a full stocked SPR-A recently, none of them hugely challenging or massively expensive. Many users might be off-put by a perceived lack of compatibility in parts and it’s true, many AEG components don’t fit onto the Next Gen. platform without a little modification but trust me, they can be made to fit. Where there is a will, there is a way!
My most recent foray is the Mark Owen-inspired 416. We thanked Marui for the basic 416 gun, but even the DEVGRU variant of this weapon is well off of the trail for this build and whilst I’ve not completed the project yet, I’ve overcome the biggest hurdle and that’s getting rid of the monstrous HK club stock and relocating the batteries in the RIS system. Tracing the wiring through was a challenging and frustrating job but once it’s done, it’s done.
Of course many users will be wondering how these guns fire, and despite lacking a little in the sheer power stakes, they can compete with the best of them. Yes, even the PTW. I have to admit, I find them less fussy with ammo and simply more consistent than the Systema, but that’s a different argument that I won’t open up here.
Next Generation guns are tunable and whilst the parts inside them are specific, there are high quality spares and upgrades available. With the right combination of main spring and motor (choose from any long shaft AEG motor), you can enjoy extremely rapid trigger response and also a realistic rate of fire from them, all whilst pushing the 345fps limit of most sites.
So why are more people seemingly picking up a Next Gen. gun in preference at the moment? Maybe the financial situation has forced them to compromise on a cheaper option, but in my eyes, it’s more likely that word is simply proliferating through the market. People are getting used to seeing the guns in use, online, on blogs and forums and in magazines. The scope of what can be done with the guns is finally being realised and the range is growing, so the choice has become even greater.