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Old December 10th, 2008, 04:10   #1
Donster
 
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Typical Noob Questions: Which is better?

While there are many reviews on specific guns made by each company, and a lot of information located on this site, as a former noob, many of my specific questions were not answered and i figured this would be a way to help out the noobs. For other users, if this post does become worthy of ASC, perhaps we can answer more questions that noobs have, so lets keep this down to noob questions and experienced answers.


What is better, Classic Army (CA) or Tokyo Marui (TM)?

This is an excellent question and one i hope to answer in this post. To begin, lets first start off with a brief history of the two companies. For starters, Tokyo Marui is made in Japan (obviously) and were the first creators of the AEG (Automatic Electric Gun). From their first design (Version 1 mechbox with the FAMAS) started the basis for all other airsoft gun designs. But with the myriad of choices currently out there ranging from Full metal (Classic Army) to ABS (Tokyo Marui) many noobs have stopped to wonder which they should get. For me, when i first started, i was told to go with Marui. They are renowned for reliability out of the box. However, the Classic Army guns lure new folk with the promise of full metal bodies. So what do the two offer? Lets begin in detail shall we?

Tokyo Marui
These guns offer incredible reliability out of the box and the chances of receiving a lemon from them are slim to none. While they are made of ABS plastic (most of the time) and have a moderate fire speed, they can take a beating and keep on kicking. Here is why that is in brief. In Japan, they have rules and laws regarding airsoft speed. Thus the guns are made to be bought and used without upgrading or any maintenance whatsoever! This means that as a noob, you dont have to worry about your gun crapping out on you. Keep in mind that you will always find the occasional person who had a bad experience, but generally, TM guns are made to last. I know countless people who kept stock internals (in one instance for 4 year!) without so much as a problem. However, i have also heard a handful who bought guns that failed in under 10,000 shots. Never-the-less, they are generally known for having excellent quality control (being made in Japan) and because of that, are known to be received in working order and made to run in their stock performance flawlessly for an almost indefinite amount of time.

Overview of TM

Pros

Out of the box reliability (Excellent Quality Control)
Easily upgradeable
History of success (designed the first AEG; all other airsoft guns are based off their design)
Solid Performer (can take a beating and keep on kicking)
Little to no chance of purchasing a lemon

Cons

Medium Rate of fire
Low FPS out of the box; Averages 280-315 (315 for M14 only)
Expensive to upgrade; Needs both external upgrades (if you wish to make it full metal) and internal upgrades (if you wish to increase power and increase reliability) --> upgrades such as a piston, piston head, and air nozzle are a must for CA guns. I have also been informed that it is a good idea to replace the hop-up rubber.

Classic Army
These guns are quite superb and are recommended by many people. But despite that, they might not be the best choice for noobs. Lets find out why. Classic Army is a Taiwanese based company. That being said, they are known, especially in the past, for having shoddy internals that would either fail in a short amount of time, or in some cases (and i have witnessed this firsthand) have failed out of the box. However, it should be noted they have stepped up on their QC notably. However, it is still not equal to that of TM. It is for this reason that most people purchase these guns and upgrade them before they are fielded. Of course, there is the hadful of instances where people have opened them out of the box and have had them run flawlessly, but the general consensus is that you have a higher risk of buying a lemon from this company than from say TM. That being said, their exterior quality is excellent for what you pay for and you will receive a beautiful looking gun that is as solid as a brick. However, what use is a gun if you cant use it? This is why as a noob, with no knowledge of upgrading guns, one should stick with something that has the lowest possibility of breaking down. Hence TM.

Overview of CA

Pros

Come with Full Metal Upgrade (FMU)
High ROF out of the box
Higher FPS out of the box than TM (averages 315-330 for most of the guns)
Cheaper to upgrade (just internal upgrades to make it reliable and shoot harder)

Cons

High possibility of buying a lemon (Lower Quality Control)
Best bet is to purchase internal upgrades with your gun have have them installed just so your gun is gameable and wont crap out on you
In brief, higher startup cost if you want headache free gaming.

Conclusion
While both guns offer their own pros and cons, for a total noob to the sport, it is important to get a gun and start playing. It is for that reason why i recommend a TM gun, which has a track record of performing flawlessly out of the box for an incredibly long amount of time. That being said, it is important to note, that in the long run, it would be cheaper to purchase a Classic Army rifle as the exterior is already upgraded whereas the TM isn't. In both instances, as you progress in the sport, you will most likely upgrade your internals for both power and (in the case of TM) increased reliability (in Classic Army's case, just reliability to start with).

Example comparing a TM M4A1 vs CA M15A4

Internal upgrades:
Both use a Version 2 mechbox, so both would have the same basic upgrades such as:
Spring guide
Air Nozzel
Piston Head
Spring

Cost is the same

However, the difference would come from the exterior where TMs would cost more as they would have to pay for a metal body on top of the internal upgrades to become equal to the Classic Army in every way. However, the internal upgrades mentioned are almost an upfront necessity with CA guns just to get them up and running reliably.

With regards to your purchases of airsoft. If you want reliability, but like the idea of a full metal gun stock, i recommend the following products by TM as they have metal where metal should be on the real deal. All of them are rock solid performers and are an excellent choice for ANYONE starting airsoft:

TM M14:
Full metal upper with synthetic stock (real wood stocks can be purchased). Shoots amazingly well for a stock gun. Can be upgraded to near sniper levels. Plenty of parts available for the mechbox (V.7), which is known to be reliable and solid. Overall, the TM M14 is a better choice than the G&G or CA M14 (both have the same mechbox and aftermarket parts). While said guns have a superior synthetic stock when compared to the TM, there are virtually no aftermarket parts available for them when compared to the TM M14. All of the aforementioned guns have metal uppers and out barrels.

TM M4 SOCOM:
A full metal M4 with RIS made by TM. A new V.9 gearbox that enables the gun to have a recoil effect. Aftermarket parts are already available by notable companies such as Prometheus. Takes special mags and has a working mag-catch feature that prevents the gun from continued firing once the last BB has left the mag. This is a great choice for those who want the blow back feel without splurging on a gas gun that can only work during the summer months. This is a good choice for those who want something unique to the airsoft world.

TM P90
Metal rails and polymer body. Just like the real deal. Can't go wrong with this gun for both indoor or outdoor. Mags can be difficult to find, but with the advent of Echo-1's P90, compatible mags are no longer an issue. Tactical Tailor makes p90 mag pouches in a variety of colours

TM Type 89
Manufactured for the Japanese Army as a training weapon (that's right, made by TM for their army), this gun is full metal with a V.8 gearbox that has a mechanically controlled 3 round burt feature as well as the Safe, Semi and Auto. Takes both Type 89 mags and M16 mags. Many aftermarket internal parts available. a great choice for those who want a unique rifle that is durable and has TM's legendary reliability.

Despite the evidence i have just presented, i still hold fast to my belief in obtaining a gun that has a notable track record of running flawlessly out of the box for new players. This way, you can play with it and get the feel for airsoft and upgrade it over time both internally and externally. Without the headache of not being able to play.

Good luck with your airsoft endeavors!

Donster 125

P.S: To the vets, if i missed something (as i am fully aware that my knowledge isn't complete), either PM me or post it up and i will add it
To noobs, there is some gun specific problems listed below, such as TM specific Armalite problems etc. Read on to gain more valuable knowledge regarding airosft!

EDIT (for those who dont want to read the rest of the thread): 13/01/09

My thanks to LUTNIT, who posted the original version of this list. I have kept everything identical to what he wrote (including his final thoughts), except for the small addition of JG to the mid-level category as well.

Quote:
Low Grade
Aftermath (non-standard hopup units, rubbers, and barrels but easy swap)
CYMA (have been getting better, full metal usually now, I'd almost put them in Mid Grade)
Cybergun (they are an importer, not a manufacturer, Cybergun branded guns are usually Well)
Well (not sure I would even rank them this high, they are bottom of the Low Grade barrel at the very least)
JG (known to be solid performers but chance of getting a lemon and all plastic)*
Echo1 (rebranded JG's, sometimes with cheap potmetal bodies added)
AGM (at least their M14's, other than hopup/barrel its a TM clone)

Mid Grade
G&G (full metal but known for shoddy internals)
STAR (known for motor problems and pistons stripping)
TM (DONSTER'S EDIT: can be put into high grade as well. depends on users point of view)
KWA (verdict is still out for long term reliability, might be high grade)
King Arms (again, verdict still out)
ICS (come stock with mechbox busting aluminum pistons, slightly non-standard gears but can be replaced with standard ones if you swap the bushings)
JG (known to be solid performers but chance of getting a lemon and all plastic)*

High Grade
CA (full metal full goodness)
G&P (godly)

My opinions. I wouldn't put TM in high grade; I mean they are top quality for reliability and lasting forever out of the box (have heard stories of stock TM guns going 200K+ rnds without a problem) but they just need so much work to get them to a serious level. It does kinda pain me to put ICS in Mid Grade because I swear by them and love them, but out of the box performance could be better. With a little work ICS guns can be amazing though, definitely top end.

*Some would say this is a low brand, but the general consensus is that it is a mid level brand. That being said, companies like ICS, TM and STAR are a much better bet in terms of quality of parts and reliability. It is for this reason why i have placed it in both categories. However it should be noted that all parts on a JG can be swapped out for TM compatible ones. The logic is, is that if you are going to buy a gun and replace all the problem parts, why not just buy quality first. For more information on JG guns and their internals, i suggest reading this.
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Last edited by Donster; September 20th, 2009 at 11:50..
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Old December 10th, 2008, 04:17   #2
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I will post it later this week, but if someone wants to do it for me, a comparative view on GBB from TM, KSC (explain the difference between that and KWA), and WE would be great!
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Old December 10th, 2008, 04:40   #3
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For SMG's and pistols, as long as you don't mind the abs, TM is much better but you forgot to mention the infamous barrel wobble of the TM long guns, especially their Armalites. That's a big con in my mind. I don't mean to turn this into a debate of CA vs TM but I thought that deserved mentioning.

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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:43   #4
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Just to add a note tm also suffers well their armlight's from tabs that break on their recivers do to their being plastic.
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Last edited by jesster202; December 10th, 2008 at 08:49..
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:18   #5
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Not to knock your effort or anything, but this review does little for noobs. You didn't say anything about FPS, rate of fire, accessories that are compatible with it, etc, etc. All this "guide" seems to talk about is reliability when there's a lot more to look at and take into account when choosing an AEG.

The rate of fire is why I stayed away from TM guns. I've never been impressed with them. Out of the box, their ROF is nothing compared to a CA or an ICS.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt491 View Post
Not to knock your effort or anything, but this review does little for noobs. You didn't say anything about FPS, rate of fire, accessories that are compatible with it, etc, etc. All this "guide" seems to talk about is reliability when there's a lot more to look at and take into account when choosing an AEG.

The rate of fire is why I stayed away from TM guns. I've never been impressed with them. Out of the box, their ROF is nothing compared to a CA or an ICS.
Well if I was new into the sport I would like something reliable. Not something that would break every 5min. I've seen some V2 gearboxes that have had these issues. Most of the time its pistons. Which is a common CA problem. That being said yes more comes into play than reliablity.

This might include things like;
-Which has better externals?
-Which parts are upgraded in a G&G or an ICS, or CA?
-How does it relate to real steel? ICS, G&G, PTW's have a lot that is sized similiar to real real steel or are the same size as real steel in the PTW's case.
-How does it hold up in adverse weather?
-What are common problems with said brand? Too much lube, not enough. Bad piston, gears, bad metal, etc.
Cost?

Also keep in mind there is a CA sportline which like a TM has a plastic body.
They are also priced similarily. So it boils down to the V2 gearbox you like better.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:51   #7
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Jing Gong would be my choice for a starter gun, cheaper & upgradable!
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:09   #8
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I always thought CA was out of HK...

Anyways, maybe you should add a few more companies; Aftermath, ICS, G&G, Well, JG, CYMA.

For the Aftermath mini review make it known it's an "upgrade gun".

Sorry I can't do a reliable review cause I've don't have experience with these companies so yeah....
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Old December 10th, 2008, 12:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt491 View Post
Not to knock your effort or anything, but this review does little for noobs. You didn't say anything about FPS, rate of fire, accessories that are compatible with it, etc, etc. All this "guide" seems to talk about is reliability when there's a lot more to look at and take into account when choosing an AEG.

The rate of fire is why I stayed away from TM guns. I've never been impressed with them. Out of the box, their ROF is nothing compared to a CA or an ICS.
very true. i will go back later today (if i get the time) and add said details such as ROF, FPS etc etc. I simply wanted to answer a basic question that i had when i first started and if someone pointed me to this when i first got into the sport, i wouldn't have had to ask so many questions about the difference between CA and TM.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 14:34   #10
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I disagree with you greatly.

Most people give CA a bad name but base that on their old versions. I will openly and honestly say that the new CA guns are much better than marui guns in every way.

TM's M4's are horribly flawed, they have a stupid 5 piece barrel system, awful plastic tabs on the receiver, If you've ever tried upgrading one it's a huge pain in the ass, there's almost twice as much that you need to disassemble compared to a CA.

I personally will only ever own a TM M14, TM VSR10 and TM Pistols. Classic army is the way to go for everything else.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 14:49   #11
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Jg (jing gong) is a great starter brand gun cheep and simple now I know their ak vs's are great and from understanding they don't suffer a lot of problmes due to their v3 mechbox and well the way airosft aks go to gether and well are reltivly easy to up grade. But on the not of their armlight brand I have owned personaly the hk 416, m16, m4a1 and pretty much all of them sufferd from some sort of wobble. The m4a1, m16 uses' the tm flawed barrel desing but that alone is a reltivly cheep fix with a d boys(30 shipped to your door via ehobbyasia.com) or going up to a higer brand name one piece metal barrel but I found the d boys did the job. As for the 416 the ras I found came loose and well needed reajustment fairly often but it wasn't a huge problem but due to the nature after market metal bodys were basicly a no go due to the price. As for their mp5 series I haven't owned one but they as a whole on reviews have gotten hands down approval.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 16:17   #12
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the best way to start airsoft is to buy a baseball bat, duct tape and a hammer.

these accessories can be used to be thrown or as melee weapons in airsoft.

they are much more relialbe than CA or TM guns, and the rate of fire is cant be compared cause there is none.

IMO
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Old December 10th, 2008, 16:31   #13
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Let's try to make sure a post is at least equal part humour to useful input.

IMO
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Old December 10th, 2008, 16:44   #14
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Originally Posted by Amos View Post
Most people give CA a bad name but base that on their old versions. I will openly and honestly say that the new CA guns are much better than marui guns in every way.
+1

I have been dealing with CA guns for the past 2 years, both mine and others, and both used and new, and have not found a lemon yet. I have also not heard of any lemons here on ASC popping up. They do have fairly brittle pistons compared to TM yet I have never seen one strip with stock parts. The only stripped CA pistons I have seen are from people putting in 400+ fps springs and using the stock piston body.

CA's new motors that are speed and torque specific are great, sure they aren't anywhere near a SystemA turbo or magnum but they turn over stronger springs with less voltage and give higher rates of fire with less voltage than TM motors.

Even the plastic parts on CA guns are far better than TM. My CA AUG has fiberglass reinforced plastic where a TM is all solid ABS. CA guns have a nice texture (the G36 series is the best example) where a lot of TM guns are smooth and almost shiny. CA also uses steel where they should, the foregrip pin in my CA AUG is steel where its potmetal in a TM and is known to snap off.

Like Amos said, the only TM guns I would buy are the M14 (best there is, period) and GBB's (can't speak for the VSR-10 since I have never owned one.)

I haven't heard of it in a while here on ASC but CA guns are also now as far as I know all standard part compatible. Where in the past they had funky dimensions on some things like mechbox shells and buffer tubes so you had to use CA parts, now they are all standard and work find with all the major aftermarket companies parts.

Last edited by LUTNIT; December 10th, 2008 at 16:46..
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Old December 10th, 2008, 17:37   #15
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after seeing all the information going against what i have said. i think i will have a mod remove my post. what i posted was just an accumulation of knowledge from several sources as well as my empirical evidence. However, it seems i was greatly misinformed. my apologies to you, ASC.
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