OK, so it has been a long time since I posted the last review here. Actually, it has been an astoundingly long time. The reasons are many, including an extended (three year plus) stay in Rangoon in Burma – a wonderful city, as you ask, but there are no replicas at all in Burma, not Airsoft, not anything. Now I’m back in Europe and rediscovering my liking for replicas and I see that a few of you still visit this site. Although it was off-line for a while (not through choice) it’s now back and pretty much operational though I see that some pages still aren’t working. My email has also changed since the site was last updated and I no longer have access to the old email adress (I have now updated the “Contact” page to show my current email), so, sorry if you have sent an email and I haven’t replied. I’ll see if I can find the time to fix the issues but in the meantime, finally, here is another review, this time of the Tokyo Marui Glock 26.
Hands-up if you find the Glock model numbering system confusing? Me too. Hands-up if you don’t understand the licensing (or otherwise) of replicas, especially those of Glock pistols? That’ll be just about everyone then. Yeah, I know, Umarex now produce the only “official” Glock replicas. However, many other manufacturers produce replicas that look an awful lot like a certain Austrian pistol, but they call them all sorts of names, mainly using the letter “G,” but certainly not “Glock”. No way! Because that would be illegal and the lawyers of that Austrian company are known to be very, very litigious.
Which is why I was more than a little puzzled to come across this TM replica which is sold as a Glock 26 and appears to carry full Glock markings. How does that work? Is the law different in Japan? I’m afraid I don’t know, but TM replicas have a great reputation so I thought I’d share my thoughts about this cracking little replica.
Real steel background
The Glock model numbering system started out simple and then got kind of complicated. The very first Glock pistol produced from 1982 was the Glock 17, so-named because, according to Gaston Glock, it was the seventeenth thing he had invented (but the first firearm). Given that the magazine also held seventeen 9mm rounds, that seemed like a pretty good name. Then there was a select-fire version, the Glock 18 and then a smaller version, the Glock 19. All in 9mm and nice and easy to understand. Then, it got messy.
A selection of 9mm Glocks – from the left, subcompact 26, compact 19, full size 17 and target pistol 34.
A version of the Glock 17 was produced chambered for the 10mm Auto round, and that was given the next available number to become the Glock 20. Then the 21, in .45 ACP. Then the 22, in .40 S&W. Glock gave each new version the next available number so that, by the time they got round to producing a subcompact pistol for concealed carry in 9mm in 1994, the next number was 26. So, the Glock 26 is a subcompact version of the basic Glock pistol design chambered for the 9mm round.
Then, there are the “generations.” The first Glock pistols, produced from 1982 – 1988 lacked an accessory rail and had a fairly smooth texture on the grip. A new version, the Gen2, was introduced in 1988 and that included different texture on the grip as well as chequering on the front and back strap. In 1998 the Gen3 models were introduced and these included for the first time an under-barrel accessory rail as well as thumb rest and finger grooves on the grip. In 2010 the Gen4 series was introduced and in 2017 the Gen5. Both featured improved ergonomics and reliability upgrades.
A Glock 26, Gen 2.
This replica appears to be of an early Glock 26, Gen2 manufactured between 1994 – 1998. Like all Glock 26 models, this lacks an accessory rail (the under-barrel area is just too small to reliably mount accessories) and as with all Glock pistols this features a steel slide and a polymer grip frame. The Glock 26 has a 3.43inch barrel and a magazine holding ten 9mm rounds. This tiny pistol weighs just over six hundred grams and is often used with a magazine base extension to provide a more ergonomic grip.
The Tokyo Marui Glock 26
The Glock 26 is one of a number of Glock replicas produced by this Japanese manufacturer; they also provide replicas of the Glock 17, 18 and 19 and, for all I know, many others. TM replicas have an enviable reputation for quality and durability though virtually all their replicas feature plastic slides and all are designed for use with Duster Gas, HFC 134a, rather than the more usual Green Gas. This generally runs at lower pressures than Green Gas and it provides less performance but it also places less strain on internal parts.
Some people claim that you can safely use Green Gas in TM replicas while others suggest that this will result in rapid wear to barrels and slides. To be safe, I use only HFC 134a and the replica functions perfectly well with this gas. My guess is that in lower temperatures, using Green Gas would probably be safe but at anything over 15˚C, I would only use HFC 134a.
The TM Glock 26 has a plastic slide but despite that, it isn’t too far from the weight of the original, 575 grams for this replica compared to 610 grams for the (unloaded) original although half that weight comes from the metal magazine. It comes with two alternative baseplates for the magazine – one flat and one with an extended “pinky-rest.” The box also contains the usual instructions, a plastic barrel cleaning rod, a small bag of BBs and a couple of plastic blanks that can be fitted to the magazine to allow you to fire with an empty mag without the slide locking back.
Magazine capacity: 14 BBs
Propellant: HFC 134a
Barrel length: 75mm (2.95″)
Weight: 575g (1.27lbs)
Overall length: 163mm (6.4″)
Sights: Notch and post, non-adjustable, three white dots.
Visual accuracy 9/10
This is a very good visual replica of the Glock 26 Gen 2 – the main visual difference between the Gen 2 and 3 are extra serrations moulded into the front of the grip frame between the finger grooves on the Gen 3.
The size, proportions and placement of just about everything looks right and every pin visible on the frame and trigger of the original is replicated here. The plastic slide isn’t obviously plastic and it is actually a fairly good representation of the Tenifer-finished slide on the original. The sights include the same large white dots as the original.
It’s a plastic slide, but at least it doesn’t particularly look like a plastic slide…
All the markings on the slide, barrel, magazine and frame on the original are replicated here. The only differences in markings are on the right side of the frame where on the original it would say “Made in Austria…” this one says “Made in Japan, Tokyo Marui Co. Ltd.” A (non-unique) serial number is on the slide, barrel and on a metal plate under the front part of the frame.
Overall, this is a very good visual replica of the Glock 26.
Functional accuracy 14/15
The slide and magazine releases and the trigger safety work here as they do on the original and the slide locks back when the last BB is fired.
Disassembly is done as on the original – drop the magazine, pull down the two takedown latches on the front of the frame, move the slide back slightly and then release it forward and it can be removed from the frame.
Once the slide is off, the captive guide-rod/spring assembly (which also looks a lot like the dual spring setup on the original) can be compressed to remove it after which the inner/outer barrel assembly can be removed from the slide.
The only thing which doesn’t work on this replica is the extractor, which projects slightly when a round is in the chamber on the original.
Before I shot the TM Glock 26, I had to address a minor problem. On mine, the trigger safety was not working correctly, tending to catch on the frame even when the centre leaf of the trigger was fully depressed. Fixing this was simply a matter of trimming a tiny sliver of plastic off the inner bottom corner of the safety. I did this by removing the slide, pulling the trigger fully back and then using a sharp craft knife to trim off a tiny amount of plastic off the top edge of the safety from inside the frame. The trigger safety still works as it should, but it no longer snags on the frame as the trigger is pulled.
The arrowed area above is where I removed a tiny amount of plastic from the rear lower part of the trigger safety blade. Obviously, you should be very cautious about tampering with any safety device on a replica, but on my example of this replica, it was pretty much un-shootable out of the box and carefully removing less than 1mm of plastic has made the trigger work smoothly while the trigger safety still functions correctly.
The magazine is filled with HFC 134a gas in the usual way and it fills without leaks or dama. The follower must be held down while BBs are loaded one at a time from the top of the magazine. Although the box (and most other reviews) states that the magazine holds 15 BBs, I could only squeeze in 14.
Follower all the way down and magazine fully loaded with 14, not 15, BBs.
When inserted in to the grip, the magazine locks positively and cleanly. With the magazine in place and the slide racked, you’re good to shoot. Hop-up can be adjusted by removing the slide to access the knurled wheel beneath the outer barrel assembly. The sights are a simple notch and post design and the three large white dots allow a clear sight picture against any background. No adjustment of the sights is possible.
Unlike the original, this replica does have a manual safety – it’s the metal serial number under the front of the frame. Sliding this to the rear applies the manual safety and the pistol won’t shoot.
With the “pinky-rest” base on the magazine, I found the pistol comfortable to grip in my average-sized hands. With the flat base installed, the grip is notably shorter and I found it much less easy to get a comfortable grip like this.
The magazine release and slide release are on the left side only, so this isn’t a lefty-friendly replica. The slide operates through a full range of movement but being fairly light plastic it doesn’t return to battery with particular authority or with a satisfying “clank” though it always cycles correctly.
Once I had dealt with the issue of the snagging trigger safety, the trigger pull is short, light, creep-free and smooth with a predictable break. Blowback is snappy but, due to the light plastic slide, not particularly strong. This is a fairly quiet replica compared to, for example, others that use Green Gas, but it does fire with a subdued “crack.”
Hop-up adjustment wheel
I wasn’t expecting much in the way of accuracy from this replica – with a barrel less than three inches long it should not generate much in the way of accuracy. How wrong I was… From the very first time I shot this replica, it proved to be astoundingly accurate at my usual range of 6m. The target below shows ten shots at 6m, freestanding. As you can see, all the shots are in or touching the black centre of the target, which is 1 inch in diameter. The group itself measures 20mm x 20mm. In my experience, this kind of grouping is very good indeed for any airsoft replica, and for one with such a short barrel, it is little short of amazing. This is a fair representation of the results I get when shooting this replica – I don’t always manage such tight groups, but I think that’s down to me rather than any weakness in this replica.
I tried several weights of BB and found that using 0.25g BBs with the hop-up on a mid-setting, this little replica shoots precisely to the point of aim at 6m. The BBs are hitting the target hard and with no appreciable gap between the sound of the shot and the BB hitting the target, which made me think that power was pretty good. Then I ran six shots over the chrono using HFC 134a and 0.2g BBs and got the following results:
Shot 1; 211fps
Shot 2; 206fps
Shot 3; 205fps
Shot 4; 212fps
Shot 5; 211fps
Shot 6; 211fps
Stop laughing at the back there! Anyone used to shooting 4.5mm steel BBs or pellets or even most other gas-powered airsoft replicas will probably be horrified at how low these figures are. Most reviews I have seen claim something in the region of 250 or even 300fps for this replica, but as you can see, I didn’t even get close to that on a warm (around 28˚C) afternoon. I will admit that I was surprised – when shooting, this doesn’t feel any less powerful than most other replicas I own, but it’s averaging not much over 200fps. Does this matter? Not to me – I only use my replicas for target shooting, generally at 6m, and at that range this has adequate power. However, if you are looking to hit targets at longer ranges or to use this in an airsoft game, it might be a problem.
What is notable in the chrono results is their amazing consistency – the power just doesn’t vary much between shots and I suspect that this contributes to overall accuracy. For the type of shooting I do, I’m prepared to trade overall power for accuracy and consistency, so I’m very happy with the way the TM Glock 26 shoots. Although the magazine is small, I get around 60 full-power shots (more than four magazines-full of BBs) from a single fill of HFC 134a. That is pretty good, and it is probably linked to efficient gas usage and the fairly low power.
I like replicas of compact and subcompact guns, but they often aren’t great shooters simply because they have very short barrels. For example, I really like the 6mm Cybergun Smith & Wesson M&P 9c as a replica, but it just doesn’t shoot nearly as well as this one (you’ll find a link to a review of the M&P 9c at the end of this review).
Overall I really enjoy shooting this little replica. In fact, it has become my go-to pistol when I want some quick shooting relaxation. It fits my hand well, the sights are clear and easy to read, it appears to be completely reliable, it is not so loud that it bugs my wife or neighbours or startles the cat and it is easily accurate enough to be challenging and satisfying to shoot. As a 6m target shooter, this little TM Glock 26 is about as good as it gets in terms of airsoft pistols.
Quality and reliability 13/15
Other than the minor issue with the trigger safety snagging the frame out-of-the-box, I haven’t experienced any issues at all with this replica. Once you have the BB weight and hop-up set to hit the point of aim at your chosen range, you just fill it with gas and BBs and squeeze the trigger until it’s empty, then rinse and repeat.
If you want fuss and hassle-free BB shooting, this does the job. I don’t see anything that suggests that this should be less reliable than any other TM replica (provided you stick to HFC 134a – if you use Green Gas, you may possibly run into wear problems). So far, mine is showing no undue signs of wear or distress. In fact, it still looks precisely as it did when I first took it out of the box.
Overall Impression 9/10
There is no way round it, I just don’t especially care for plastic slides on my replicas and I know that for many people a plastic slide is a deal-killer. That said, I have to admit that I tend to forget all about the plastic slide when I’m shooting this replica and I would not care to upgrade to a metal slide if that meant sacrificing reliability, consistency or accuracy.
One of the reasons I generally don’t like plastic slides is that they can make replica pistols feel way too light, something that can make them seem very toy-like. However, even with the plastic slide this replica is within 6% of the weight of the (unloaded) original and it certainly doesn’t feel jarringly light when you pick it up.
With the “pinky-rest” magazine base in place, this fits my hand really well. It’s fairly quiet and the recoil effect is minimal, but it’s never less than great fun to shoot. And I guess that is what matters most to me. I like shooting my replicas and I like them to shoot accurately enough to be a challenge. On paper, especially given its relatively high cost, low power and mainly plastic construction, this replica might not seem especially appealing. When facing a paper target 6m away, all that is forgotten in the pleasure of using a well-made replica that shoots very nicely indeed.
As you can probably tell, I really like the TM Glock 26. Given its diminutive size, I didn’t expect it to be much of a shooter and in that respect, it exceeded my expectations by a comfortable margin. Initially, I didn’t care for the plastic slide but I soon forgot about that when I got into shooting it. I don’t know quite how TM managed it, but they have created a decent airsoft replica of a subcompact pistol that is still an excellent shooter. And of course having a plastic slide does at least mean that you don’t have to worry about the finish chipping off!
It may cost a bit more than comparable replicas by some other manufacturers but If you like baby Glocks, you’ll enjoy this one. If you like target shooting, you may find that, like me, you really love it.
Total score: 90/100
Pros and cons
Seems well-made and finished
Reliable, consistent, fun and very accurate shooter
Good visual replica
More expensive than some comparable airsoft replicas