Tokyo Marui Glock 18c AEP
There has been something of a revolution recently in the Airsoft pistol market, with Marui releasing a product we would have never thought possible a few years ago, the Micro AEG or AEP as they’re calling it. In essence these nifty tiny automatic weapons utilise the same firing principle as their larger brothers, but in a package small enough to squeeze into your average pistol frame. What does this mean? An extremely practical and capable side-arm packed with features… read on.
The Glock 18C AEP was the first of its kind introduced to the market by Marui. People met it with mixed reactions as it would be hard to believe the claims Marui were making about their latest offering. If you cast your memory back to their Electric Blowback range, powered by 4 x AA batteries, these guns were vastly under-powered, were slow to cycle the next round and appeared to be just a novelty item.
Now the AEP range is something completely different. Powered by a 200mah 7.2v custom battery pack, which drives a tiny motor and gearbox, the Glock 18C spits out quite a respectful 235fps with a 0.2g BB, and the range is something that has to be seen to be believed. After having first hand experience with one at my local skirmish site, I just knew I had to have one. So I sold my side-arm at the time, the Marui P226, and bought one of these. I was converted, but will you be?
Everyone who has ever fired a gas blowback pistol knows the sound they make, and the hard kicking recoil action is what makes them so enjoyable. They are the most realistic type of Airsoft replica you can get, but sometimes, they are not that practical for skirmishing purposes. Firstly, the power source they use, liquid gas has an enemy, and that is called Winter. The change from liquid into a gas is hampered by the cold weather as this process requires the ambient temperature to be above that of inside the magazine, as the outside temperature drops, so does the ability for the gun to function efficiently. Side-effects of this will be a drop in fps, or flumes of unexpanded liquid gas exiting the barrel, something that isn’t good for an Airsoft skirmisher. The second problem is, where do you store that can of gas whilst playing? There have been a couple of gas canisters bought out on the market which look like stun grenades, which you charge with gas, then in turn charge the magazine of your pistol. These look great, but add extra bulk and weight to your load out.
This is where the AEP excels by far. The internal 7.2v, 200mah battery pack will give you enough juice for about 300+ shots, and in the case of the Glock 18C AEP that is 10 entire magazines, perhaps more. Another bonus is that spare batteries cost around £12, making them affordable enough to have a second one charged up as a back-up, and the magazines are just as cheap. I’ve found the battery capacity enough to only need one, but I do have a spare magazine. For me this pistol serves as a side-arm to my MC51 or M14, so hopefully I’ll rarely need it, but when I do, I can trust I’ve got a very functional gun which will work every time I pull the trigger. So lets look at some of features of this pistol…
Marui have done an excellent job on this replica. I looks just like any other Glock 18C copy until you pick it up, then the differences become apparent. The first and most noticeable is that the slide does not move. This reason for this is simple, underneath the slide are most of workings, the piston unit, hop-up and battery. This is what puts most people off straight away, with the slide not moving they suddenly feel the realism is missing, this is true, but the benefits far outweigh this. The second noticeable feature is at the base of the hand-grip where the full size magazine would normally go. Marui have moulded in a fake magazine base plate, and towards the front of this is where the 30 round stick type magazine ejects. All the other features of the gun such as the magazine ejection button, and fire selector switch remain and operate the same, as does the classic Glock trigger safety, and a manual safety which Marui have built into what would be the slide take-down lever.
The pistol is manufactured out of tough ABS plastic with very few external metal parts. When I say it is tough, it IS tough. I’ve dropped my pistol a few times in a skirmish and it still works perfectly well, with just a minor scuff on the front of the frame. In fact, this pistol is so tough, it will even fire with the top slide removed! (albeit single shot only). The moulding quality is very good. There are Glock trade marks in several places, including the top slide and the grip, with serial numbers appearing on the reverse side and on the ejection port. Because the top slide is a one piece construction that does not move, the ejection port cover is also fixed, but the moulding marks mean it is quite deeply cut into the frame, making it look quite realistic.
The slide is removed by pressing the button at the rear of it, then lifting it off upwards. This will expose the battery and the hop-up unit. The battery is removed by pulling down a tab on the left hand side of the pistol, resulting in the battery to be ejected from the right hand side of the gun, a very nice feature which makes it quick to change a battery in the field if needed. The battery can also only be inserted one way, so again, under pressure it’s easy to do without making a mistake. The hop-up unit is similar to that found on most new Marui pistols these days, the good old wheel design. I’ve never adjusted mine since taking it out of the box, I found the setting to be perfect, and as said earlier, the range is awesome.
Other aesthetic features are the top vented barrel, and the nice chunky front and rear sights, which are non-adjustable, but marked white for quick target acquisition. The Glock 18C AEP is also a rail-frame model, which means underneath the barrel is situated a rail mounting system that will take your standard 20mm pistol accessories such as an M3 style tactical light. You can even purchase a tactical light manufactured by Marui which is powered by a 7.2v 1100mah battery, this light has an adapter cable which lets you power the gun off it’s internal rechargeable pack… increasing the amount of shots before a recharge to about 5000 odd… Nice!
Whilst on the subject of batteries, Marui made one mistake when manufacturing this pistol, and that is with respect to the charging unit. The 7.2v 200mah battery pack slots into a charging adapter supplied with the pistol. Unfortunately the mains adapter for this pistol is a 110v US type, meaning modification is needed to the charging adapter before you can use it. Now on the positive side, most UK Airsoft retailers will change the connector on the charging adapter for a mini type, so you can plug it into your existing charger, and Marui also sell modified charging adapters as an aftermarket part, if you’re not handy with a soldering iron. My Glock 18C AEP was purchased from fire-support, and they modify all of their charging adapters for the customer free of charge before shipping. Care needs to be exercised when using your existing charger to make sure the output current is not so much it will damage the battery, or at worse cause a fire/explosion. I charge mine at 200mah, which means the gun is ready to use in one hour, but this is the maximum I would recommend. And KEEP checking on the battery whilst charging to make sure it does not overheat. But please don’t let all that put you off this excellent pistol, it’s quite straight forward really (if you have any questions about this, please mail me).
As mentioned earlier, the magazine is a stick type, but not anything like seen on the cheap spring pistols out there. This magazine is of metal construction, and holds 30 rounds. It has a clever little clip system on the top that stops the rounds falling out, and it works very well. I’ve never had it spill BB’s whilst stored in my tactical vest, and the magazine itself is also very easy to load. You can either thumb the rounds in one by one, without the need to pull down the BB follower button, or you can load it with in several clicks of a speed loader. At only £12 each, it’s worth getting a spare or two, because in full auto mode, the Glock 18C can empty a magazine in two seconds.
So with a fully charged battery, and a loaded magazine, it’s time to fire the pistol and see what it can do.
The safety on this gun has been incorporated into what would have been the slide take down lever on the real steel, or indeed other Glock replica pistols. This blocks the trigger from being pulled, but is a feature I rarely use as the Glock incorporates it’s famous trigger safety, which means the gun is unlikely to be fired unless held correctly. Once the battery has been installed, a process which takes less that 20 seconds, and a magazine inserted you can then select your mode of fire. Single shot is selected by turning the selector lever, located to the rear of the gun above the thumb, upwards. Because the gun only uses a 7.2v battery, I find the single shot can be slightly sluggish if trying to rapid fire the pistol, or double tap the trigger. So I keep mine in full-auto mode (selector lever downwards) and with careful trigger control fire short 2-3 round bursts. This I find to be the most effective way to use the gun, and the most fun!
When you first fire one of these, it’s easy to be disappointed. No loud boom, no recoil action… just the whirring of a motor and gearbox much like on an AEG, except a lot quieter. Now have a look at where your BB just went, and you will be amazed. The range on this model is crazy for such a small pistol. It will easily match most short barrelled AEG’s, such as the MP5K, the UZI, MP7 etc.. so that is at least 45 – 50 yards. I would recommend only using 0.2g BB’s in the Glock 18C or any of the AEP range, as with the low fps, it will struggle with anything heavier. As mentioned previously, my Glock 18C chrono’d at about 235fps at the highest, the average being around 230. Not very much you may think, when you compare some gas blowback pistols reach 310fps and beyond, but believe me, fps is not everything as the range of this pistol proves.
I highly recommend that if you get the chance to try one, do so. You will be very impressed by the performance. If the realism factor is what governs your Airsoft purchases, then you won’t be happy with this, as it does not function anything like the real steel. But if like me, practicality and reliability are big factors, then you really should consider purchasing yourself one of these, you will NOT be disappointed in the slightest.