Hi-Capa 4.3 - Tokyo Marui
Anyone who has read my review of the Tokyo Marui 5.1 Hi-Capa wil probably have noticed that it's not one of my favourite airsoft pistols.
I seem to be in a minority, but I don't like its super-fast, but weak kick and am not generally that excited about some of the detail quality or the balance of the 5.1", being overly biased to the grip due to TM's trick of weighting the magazines to give the gun some heft.
Airsoft Direct kindly provided a 4.3" Hi-Capa Tactical Custom for review (they sell it for £89.99, if you want one) and I was interested to see if it was more to my taste than the 5.1".
In the Box
The box is very much like the original 5.1" Hi-Capa with rather gloomy (I imagine TM see it as moody) box art on the lid (and the bold claim of 'Hi-Kick, Hi-Grouping') featuring the 4.3" Tactical Custom.
Inside, the 4.3" sits in a familiar dark grey polystyrene bed (none of the cloth inlay seen on a couple of recent TM releases here). The magazine is stored separately (as is usually the case the gun will fit with the magazine in, so you can store the gun and a spare mag in the original box - Something I like). There's a barrel cleaning rod, a small bag of BBs (under the cardboard insert on the left of the box) and the usual collection of manuals, forms and a TM catalogue.
The 4.3" Hi-Capa Tactical Custom is obviously aiming for a more 'combat carry' kind of look than the full size Hi-Capa and, to my eyes, is the better for it.
The grip is the same length as the full size gun (and the magazine identical, except for a smaller bumper on the base), but the slide and outer barrel are cut flush with the frame.
The frame features a rail and there are forward cocking serrations on the slide. The hammer is black in finish and the sights are non-adjustable Novak style sights.
Frame, slide and outer barrel are all finished in black.
External metal parts include the frame (the grip, of course, is a separate plastic unit), hammer, magazine release, sights, slide lock, grip and thumb safety.
The 4.3" Tactical Custom is a smart and purposeful looking gun and, whilst not really a military sidearm, would not look out of place in a military loadout.
The look is very much of a concealed carry handgun than a target race gun, with a slide that ends flush with the frame.
That frame features a built in rail for torches and bears a logo on the right side which reads OPS TAC .45, as opposed to OPS MRP (Marui Race Pistol) on the 5.1.
Like the 5.1, the frame is metal, but the plastic of the slide and barrel feels higher quality than some other Tokyo Marui GBBs (notably the SIG P226 and earlier guns, like their Beretta).
Without the magazine, the 4.3 weighs 525g, whereas the bigger 5.1 weighs only 25g more and this helps the balance, too.
The slide is angular in cross section, looking modern and features broad cocking serrations front and rear and the sights are non-adjustable with a Novak style rear and a clear white dot on the foresight post, making the 4.3 a much easier gun to quickly bring onto target than the 5.1. Grooves along the top of the slide reduce reflections.
The slide is marked Tactical .45 on the right side, under the ejection port and on the left side, OPS-Tactical .45. The 5.1 is marked MRP in similar places.
The barrel is a cone unit (there is no 1911 style barrel bushing) in a single unit with the chamber, which is marked ".45 ACP" and finished in black, like the rest of the gun (although TM also make a partly chromed model of the 4.3, the ‘Dual Stainless’) and the skeletonized hammer has a nicely blued finish, making it look purposeful and much higher quality than that on the 5.1. The trigger is slightly different in design to the 5.1, too.
The grip is shared between the two Hi-Capas (although the 4.3’s has a lanyard fitting), with a chequering on the front face and, plastic, mainspring housing. There is a small lip on the front lower edge of the grip for anyone who wishes to fit an extended mag well, just one of the huge array of upgrades available for TM's Hi-Capa range, which have taken over from WA's SVIs as the default base for race guns.
The grip safety has a much less pronounced Beavertail to it than the 5.1, but a right side thumb safety is absent on the 4.3.
The single thumb safety (on the left side) has a short lever on the forward edge, to ensure it doesn’t foul on holsters.
The magazines on the 4.3 and 5.1 are the same length, but those made for the 4.3 feature a much smaller bumper on the base, and can only hold 28, rather than 31, BBs.
The hop-up is adjusted by means of TM's familiar wheel under the barrel, which does require field stripping to set, although this is hardly a major chore.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the 4.3 Hi-Capa delivered a highly impressive 20mm best 5 grouping, which is very good by any standards, although all the shots fell slightly right of the aim point.
The target above shows two sets of shots, the initial 6 being fired very rapidly, but still impressively on target and, in the main, closely grouped.
Equally, the 4.3 Tactical Custom exhibited a very flat trajectory out to around 70ft and had no trouble consistently hitting a postcard sized target at that range.
Over 10 shots, the Hi-Capa 4.3 Tactical Custom averaged 260 fps (using Propane gas) indoors (at just 12C - The magazine was probably colder, having been stored in an unheated room overnight).
Roughly speaking this would equate to around 300 fps at 20C, which is pretty decent for a GBB and compares very favourably with the TM Hi-Capa 5.1 I reviewed, which struggled to better 280 fps at 21C.
This may be indicative of a gas system which is more effective at lower temperatures, though, and it may be that the 4.3 would not be able to achieve the 300 fps my usual rule of thumb calculations suggest.
The gun doesn't kick much, but equally it doesn't feel as limp wristed as the 5.1 and it retains that gun's speed of cycle, which some like. Personally, I would always trade a few 1/100ths of a second cycle speed for more felt kick, but a metal slide upgrade will deliver this on the 4.3" Hi-Capa.
Trigger pull was 650g (23 Oz), which is a fairly light weight pull for a GBB, as you expect of TM's Hi-Capas.
Take down will be familiar to anyone used to cone barrelled 1911/2011 style guns.
With the magazine removed, the slide is pushed back until the slide lock can be pushed through the frame. With that done, the slide, barrel and recoil rod & spring can be slid forward off the frame as unit.
With the recoil spring removed, by withdrawing the bushing from the front of the slide, the barrel unit, with it's fixed chamber, can be pushed forward out of the slide.
Overall, I found the 4.3" Tactical Custom much more to my liking than the 5.1" TM Hi-Capa.
The look of the gun is better to my eye and nothing detracts from the quality look as some detail on the 5.1" does. To me, the balance feels more comfortable too.
Performance and accuracy are both good and, if you're in the market for a SVI/STi style gun, this is a good place to start, especially if you are planning to upgrade it.
Western Arms (and even KSC) guns look better out of the box, but there's no arguing with the huge variety of aftermarket parts for the TM Hi-Capas.
Weight : 870g ( 345g Magazine)
Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : *****
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