P226 Shootout - The KJW P226 vs The TM P226 -
I got the idea for this review/article when a mate handed me three sigs to fix/service. One was a KJW, one was a TM and the third I wasn’t sure about, although it seemed pretty identical to the KJW.
I have stripped, serviced, fixed and got these pistols back up to speed, and so I have decided to write an article from a viewpoint that most reviews are not written from.
I have no idea how old these pistols are. When I stripped them for servicing the TM one had a broken sear, and they were both absolutely packed with muck, grit, mud and grass. I have never seen pistols in such a vile condition (and I’ve cleaned out a few foul pistols before).
Even when I got one of the mags to hold a little bit of gas, the pistols got off four or five weak and powerless shots.
Once I replaced the o-rings in the mags with some new ones (if you need to do the same then the o-rings you need are 15mm inner diameter x 2.5 cross section) gas efficiency increased, but the guns still dumped propane everywhere, it was still a struggle to empty a whole mag before the gun ran out of gas.
Feeling slightly disappointed that “the cream of airsoft pistols” (as claimed by some) and a respectable clone could not empty a whole mag, with lots of propane blasting out of the sides on each shot, I did some tweaking.
The tweaking consisted of making a few gas routers out of .5mm plasticard, and the results were phenomenal. The pistols kick incredibly hard, and both happily empty a mag and a half from a single fill.
I think it’s important at this point to reiterate that these pistols are over a year old. Claims of brand new pistols getting 60 or more shots out of one magazine are common, however it’s rare to see most pistols still doing this after a year or two of heavy use (and sometimes very poor maintenance).
I’ve uploaded a video which gives you an idea of how well these guns now perform on propane at approximately 20C. (And it can be found here.)
The tokyo marui feels incredibly crisp to shoot, one solid kick to the hand each time the trigger is pulled. It’s so fast that I can’t actually differentiate between the shock of the slide moving fully back, and the shock of it returning to battery. Recoil is firm but (as for any airsoft pistol) very manageable.
The KJW on the other hand is slightly more sluggish, but has a noticeably harder kick. The kick comes in two noticeable stages, first of the metal slide slamming into the stops, and secondly the slide returning to battery. Personally I prefer how the KJW feels, but of course the plastic slided & bodied TM is quite a bit more efficient due to the lower masses involved.
Internally they are broadly similar, with the TM including a safety as required by Japanese law (push the takedown lever slightly to the left through the gun), meaning that whilst the TM slide can be easily mounted on the KJW, the reverse is not possible. Where the KJW is let down is that the cylinder head in the blowback unit does not seal with the loading nozzle, which is a big source of gas inneficiency. Upgrades are available to replace this, as are magazine gas routers, another essential upgrade.
The hop units are functionally identical, and due to time constraints I was unable to carry out an accuracy test – however you could easily buy a TM hop and a decent aftermarket barrel to get your KJW sig operating to the same level.
Hopefully the article – while not strictly a review as such, has conveyed my thoughts on the original versus the clone. In my current frame of mind I’d probably go for the TM, simply because I need a decent winter pistol and it feels solid, looks solid and shoots well. Then again CO2 mags are available, so I could be tempted to go for the KJW and run it off CO2.
In conclusion, neither of these pistols is better than the other. They both shoot well, feel great to hold and look wicked, with the TM having the edge on looks and efficiency, as well as not needing any parts replacing to make it a solid performer. The KJW would need as a minimum the gas routers on the magazines replacing, however it makes this back with the heftier weight, lack of non-realistic features (safety) and heavier kick.
Below are a few more photos to help you make up your mind on the looks!