Marui MC51 – Review.
The Heckler and Koch MC51 is certainly a very menacing looking fire-arm. I don’t whether its the aggressive looking flash eliminator, or the very capable looking 500 rnd box magazine – but this gun gleams with features to put fear into the enemy. Its like an MP5 but meaner… A true multi-purpose weapon that would be at home in CQB or Jungle warfare.
Styled on the popular and proven MP5 configuration, this gun has all of the usual refinements found in Airsoft’s favourite sub-machine gun. Yet almost Frankenstein in weaponry, it borrows some special elements from the Heckler and Koch G3 – and merges them into a picture perfect weapon.
I’m surprised that the MC51 is not as popular as I’d expect. I’ve never actually seen anybody at a Skirmish site brandishing one (maybe in 2001… but now, it’s quite popular), yet this gun is so functional – it’s hard to see why. The basic MP5 configuration works well because it’s compact size works well in CQB environment, yet it has adequate range for effective woodland warfare. This is made easier by the extending stock, which locks into place giving you a steadier aim for those well placed shots under pressure, or is easily retracted when working in confined spaces. The barrel length is well thought out to provide you with plenty of range and accuracy for either task, and backed up nicely with a 200 round magazine.
The MC51 has adopted all of these tried and tested features, but included some of its own. The most attractive for the Airsoft Skirmisher must be the use of the G3’s 500 round magazine, which offers plenty of fire-support in the heat of battle. Also, unlike the 1st generation MP5 of which so many exist (I own one myself…) the MC51 utilises the EG700 offering you a fast and reliable rate of fire, with efficient battery consumption. The folding stock on this model is far sturdier, and shoulders nicely – its solid steel construction adding more weight to this nicely balanced model.
The general construction quality is very good. I can certainly see that this gun makes an ideal candidate for skirmishers, as it’s very robust in all areas. The magazine doesn’t suffer the MP5’s “wobble”, and as its also shorter, makes it easier to fire from the shoulder when lying down.
There are a lot of metal parts on this gun, making the weight a very comfortable 2.5kg, not heavy enough to wear you down after a day’s skirmishing, although you’d be well advised to fit a sling to this. As it’s a nice compact little weapon, the ability to strap it to your back becomes quite useful, especially when completing a difficult manoeuvre, or navigating rough terrain. This gun is able to accept the majority of the H&K range of accessories, including the scope mount, front fore grip, laser sights and torches. I’m not sure on the availability of a magazine clamp for the G3 mag, this may be a useful addition. The usual upgrades are available, such as the introduction of a M90/100 spring, Alloy piston head etc… Anything that you’d normally add to increase the performance of an already excellent weapon.
There is only one disappointing feature on this gun which I don’t agree with, and prefer the MP5 for. And that is the fire selector switch. On the MC51, they have chosen to take a right-handed only approach, making this gun slightly difficult to use for “lefties”. Although the grip is far better, and now incorporates finger groves as found on the G3, I still feel a double-sided selector switch should have been used. However, this is not Marui’s fault – after all, they are replicating the “real steel”, and that’s how you’d find it – should you ever get the chance to handle a G3. Those of you who are technically minded, who really objected to this configuration may be able to swap the selector switch for an MP5 one, as on the right hand side, it looks like one could be installed with ease. Anybody who’s ever tried such a thing, let us know if it’s possible and how easy it was.
Unlike the G3 and the G3/SG1, the MC51 uses a mini, 8.4v 600mah pack, exactly like the MP5. There is of course the option to fit the custom “Navy” handgrip, which enables you to use a larger battery pack, plus having the tactical light installed. From first glance, it appears that its not possible to fit the “Navy” A4 stock to the MC51, which is also a custom part for the MP5. Pity, as this would accommodate a large battery in the stock, however it would be a shame to remove the very functional and sturdy folding stock which Marui have included. (edit, there is now a solid stock attachment for this gun which allows use of a larger battery, my MC51 is fitted with one)
Possibly the best feature on this weapon, which is very well thought out, and included on the G3, is the hop-up facility. Instead of having to remove parts, or fiddle with a pathetically small lever, you simply pull the cocking handle back, and this opens up the ejection port. Not only does this look very realistic, but inside the ejection port is a small thumbwheel which adjusts the hop-up with ease. Excellent work there Marui! It makes fine-tuning, and minute adjustments very easy, as you can lock back the cocking handle, giving you easy instant access to the hop-up wheel. I found that out of the box, the gun required just a slight amount of hop up adding, possibly due to the BB’s I was using, which weren’t Marui, yet Excel – which I think are an excellent substitute, if not better – and certainly cheaper! (with the added bonus they are biodegradable, with about a 5yr life cycle).
The MC51 incorporates a slightly longer barrel than the MP5, so this increases its range and accuracy. That all important second figure is also achieved by the excellent “peep” sights installed. At setting 1, which I believe is for 10m, there is a notch in the top, then for the further 3 settings the peep hole method is used. These sights are fully adjustable and of metal construction. I found the G3 to be very consistent in terms of accuracy and power, and once the hop-up has been adjusted as desired it stays there with no tendency to drift. Another function of the MC51, which has been noted unreliable on the MP5 range of guns, is the select fire assembly. The MP5 often faults when selecting semi from automatic fire, the G3 didn’t show any signs of this, but I believe this problem to be down to carbon deposits inside the gun, from the motor’s brushes. Maybe as the MC51 is worn in, a similar problem will develop – only time will tell.
I really must invest in a Chronograph at some stage to fully test these gun’s capabilities. But from the initial tests it seems the gun is slightly more powerful than the MP5. Obviously the rate of fire is noticeable, as my 1st edition MP5 carries the EG560 motor, as opposed to the MC’s 700. The range however is equal to any other AEG that I have handled, so the smaller barrel (than lets say, an M16) does not pose any problems.
My conclusion is as follows. Having an MP5 to closely examine against, and compare those all important figures. I think that Skirmishers who play in all environments would be better off purchasing the MC51. It has the capabilities for long range battle in the woodland scenarios, yet the compact features to perform well in an Urban/CQB situation. The compact size of the G3 500 round magazine allows you to lay down easily and take accurate shots, which is a very useful element during a Skirmish. Whereas the standard 200rnd magazine on the MP5 makes it slightly more difficult. The accuracy and range between the two? – the differences are marginal. The only differences are that of personal preference and aesthetic value, however the beefy 500rnd magazine is certainly put to good use. And the stock is definitely more secure on the MC. There are more accessories available for the MP5, due to is popularity among the Airsofting community, and upgrade parts such as tighter barrels etc, are easier to get hold of. But the MC51 out of the box, is a very capable weapon in anybody’s hands.
A good buy, and well worth a look at if you’re considering getting an SMG for your primary weapon.