Tokyo Marui – M16 VN Review
The Colt M16 rifle was first introduced in the Vietnam War as a more compact and modern battle-effective replacement for the M14 rifle. It started out as the XM16E1; which was the prototype designation (hence the “X”). The first M16 lacked a forward assist and had a slightly different receiver. The next change in the M16 was the added forward assist with a more familiar receiver and after that, the “tulip” flash hider was then replaced with the more effective “birdcage” flash hider. More additional features were added until we have the modern M16’s which our military used today.
The gun, the TM M16VN, I will be reviewing for you is based off of the early XM16E1 with a forward assist and tulip flash hider; keep in mind that later XM16e1’s had birdcage flash hiders. Also keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “M16VN” in real gun terms. M16VN is name Tokyo made to designate their “M16 Vietnam Version” AEG.
Getting the gun: I got the gun from PoweredgeUSA for $300 with battery and charger 3 years ago; price has dropped since then. That is why I can say some things in this review which others can’t (like how long it can last/reliability).
First Impressions :
Since it was my first AEG, I was immensely amazed by it. It looked so real and the details were unbelievable compared to my Softair Spring M16a1. I have always been an ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) fan and the M16a1 appeals to me more than our current reproduction. For some reason I really like the A1 fore grips more than the A2…and the fact that it actually had a ‘full-auto’ firing mode made this more realistic than the TM M16a2.
It comes in a rather brilliantly designed box (shown below). Unfortunately, the box is ruined by the removal of trades on it; the word “colt’ is the one being removed:
Inspecting the gun:
One thing you will rarely read about the M16Vn is the colour tone of the receiver. For some odd reason, the tone is not the same as the TM M16a2 or their most of their grey receiver M4’s. It has more of an OD colour to it. Its hard to recognize it in the photos but in life, when you put them side by side, there is definitely a tone difference. Its all for the better actually, the tone on the M16Vn makes it look more realistic and it just looks more real after time have played a part with it. As the reviewer at ASR said, “it is like fine wine”; better with time…
The photo below shows the colour brilliance of the M16vn’s receiver next to the dull dark black of my Springer
Notice the selector on the M16Vn is on ‘semi’. I did not do this on purpose. With time, the selector will become loose and swing out of place on its own
It is against customs to have trades on Tokyo Marui airsoft guns because they are not officially licensed. Laws in Japan are different than the laws here so they have no problems with it.
Notice it says “M16a1”. This is indeed a replica of the M16a1. It is not a mistake TM made.
They are literally drilled off which leaves a very unrealistic look but unless you are a collector, it is expected and no one pays notice to them in games.
Underneath the fore grip are metal weights on each side; whether they are lead or not, I cannot confirm. But they are pretty heavy; more than I expected.
The fore grips are unbelievably well made. They are a ton more solid than the fore grips on the TM M16a2. Not only that, they have a very “high-quality” shine to them; I’m not talking about “cheap plastic” shine, I mean a professionally glossy shine as seen below next to my Softair Springer:
The Tokyo Marui is the on the top.
Needless to say, this gun is very reliable. It has withstood the test of time and still performs as good as new. There isn’t even barrel wobble. Now there is a reason it has no barrel wobble and that is because the top receiver’s front (part that connects to the fore grip) is extended and because there is an extra barrel covering the outer barrel; sort of a “2nd outer barrel”. The M16a1 does not have that and therefore is considerably more prone to barrel-wobble. Perhaps its better if I compare it with a pic from a TM M16a2 review at AirsoftCore.
You can see the 1st outer barrel thru 2 big holes on each side of the bigger tube (which is metal)
Differences from modern M16 AEGs: Other than the different receiver colour, the colour of the part under the dust cover is silver instead of black. I like this but many of you might not. Although there is a setback to it and that is it does not go back like other M4/M16 AEGs do; and neither does the dust cover. The dust cover needs to be opened and kept opened by hand as it closes by a spring. The charging handle also does nothing at all.
The way it is put together is also different which makes disassembling it different too. It does not flip open like the hood of a car but instead requires the “pull method” which Classic Army M4/M16’s require. If you ignore this and try to flip the top receiver up, you will break the tabs.
Another drawback to the different receiver is its incompatibility with most metal receivers. If you compare it with another AEG (like the M16a2 and M16Vn barrel pics above), you will see the front of the top receiver is different. So consider this before buying a metal receiver for it. Also note that the Hurricane M16a1 receiver is meant for the M16a2 and other M4/M16 AEGs, not the M16VN.
The sights on the M16a1 are pretty basic. They are not self-adjustable as the A2’s are. You’d need a tool to adjust it and it only goes horizontally. Its not a big issue and its the way things are supposed to be on a real M16a1.
This is one of the few guns Tokyo Marui make that come stock with a Hi-capacity (hi-cap) magazine. The mag is a short “VN”-type and stated to hold 190 bbs. If you’re not familiar with how a hi-cap works, all you have to do is open the top door, fully load it with bbs, close the door, load it in the gun, hold it the gun upright (not upside down) and wind for about 30 times or until you start hearing clicks. It should last you till 3/4 of the mag (about about 50 rounds) until you’d need to wind again…
Inserting the battery:
The butt plate is covered with rubber which gives it a more comfy shouldering. The is on really tight so there is no way for it to fall off of the plate. There is no door like on the M16a2. Instead you’d need to press it down like one would with a TM AK47.
The metal parts are: outer barrel, flash hider, sights, magazine release, trigger, trigger guard, magazine, charging handle, dust cover, “2nd outer barrel” O-ring, and the mock gas return tube.
Not much to say here, it is performs on par with the TM M16a2. I could hit coconuts on coconut trees about 40-60 feet up every time. Range would be around 150 feet and FPS would be the most 280; nothing more.
Quality : 10/10
Durability: 9/10 (hey, its plastic)
Looks: 10/10 (the same gun Neo is holding on the 1st Matrix wallpaper)
Metal Content: 7/10
Phew! That took most of my day. The only problems I have are the loose selector switch and the plastic creaking sound; but it actually has the least creaks out of all the TM’s I’ve handled. Also, details are superb. The texture on the pistol grip is amazing. I’ll leave you with some eye-candy….