Review: Marushin MP40/I Gas blowback matt black type

11.18.07

Marushin MP40/I Gas blowback Modern Matt Black type
ERMA production type ayf 40

Real MP-40 background
Enough have been written about the real MP-40 machine pistol that it needs little introduction. MP-40s earlier variant MP-38 was introduced to service in German armed forces just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Subsequent combat experience and need to drive the production costs down led to the simplified MP-40 model that also came with safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharges that plaqued the earlier MP-38. One of the most distinctive features of the MP-40 were, at the time of its introduction, its stamped parts and production-efficiency focused design. In comparison to MP-38/40 the MP-18 machine pistol and American Thompson M1A1 submachine gun were painstakingly slow and expensive to manufacture. For common soldier MP-40 was also easy to handle thanks to its light recoil, sleek design and folding stock that was first ever in machine pistol/submachine gun designs. MP-40 did have its design drawbacks such as front-heavy weight balance, lack of proper place for supporting hand and somewhat unreliable single-feed magazines but these were at the end minor nuisances that German soldiers soon learned to overcome.

MP-40 machine pistols were issued to paratroops, non-comissioned officers, officers, machine gun crews, vehicle crews and late in the war, to special assault platoons. Panzergrenadier (mechanized infantry), paratroop and assault units usually had more MP-40s than regular infantry units.

Real MP-40 mechanism
Both MP38 and MP40 submachine guns are open bolt blowback operated automatic arms. Full-automatic fire was the only setting, but the relatively low rate of fire allowed for single shots with controlled trigger pulls. The bolt features a telescoped return spring guide which serves as a pneumatic recoil buffer. The cocking handle was permanently attached to the bolt on early MP38s but on late production MP38s and MP40s bolt handle was made as a separate part. It also served as a safety by pushing the head of handle into a separate notches above the main opening which locked the bolt either in the cocked or forward position.


The external details of Marushin MP40 gas blowback are impeccable but while the plastic parts will satisfy airsoft gamers they won't satisfy serious collectors and living historians.
Marushin MP40 gas blowback background
TOP's electric MP40 was at its release time a groundbreaking airsoft gun model that allowed many WWII-enthusiasts to play German side without sacrificing any in firepower as the bolt-action Mauser Kar 98k rifles were often outgunned in close combat by Tokyo Marui Thompson M1A1 AEG equipped players. As it is electric airsoft guns have great firepower advantage in airsoft gaming and Tokyo Marui Thompson M1A1 AEG has been so far as popular as any other WWII-related airsoft gun. However the acquiring cost for TOP MP40 AEG is double than the Tokyo Marui Thompson M1A1's and TOP MP40 AEG does require some tinkering to bring it to same accuracy and range levels as Marui's Thompson M1A1. What TOP MP40 AEG has in looks (it is full metal with really nice stamped metal parts as in real MP40) it lacks in firing performance and feel. Marushin MP40 gas blowback steps into this gap as it offers reliable and cool gas blowback firing action at half-price of TOP MP40 electric gun.

Can't have it all

It been years since firing airsoft gun has brought a smile to my face. Yes, this MP40 packs surprise but before we go there let's talk about what kind of first impression we had in terms of feel and looks.


Folding stock is made of zinc and works identical to real MP40 folding stock. It appears to be the same folding stock as in Marushin MP40 cap firing model gun kit.
As usual for maker like Marushin their newest MP40 has been solidly and neatly finished but it is obvious that Marushin has gone for affordability and lightweight (more about the lightweight cylinder cover and buffer housing later) when it comes to parts and their general feel. In other words we are talking about the “does it look like toy or like real gun?” department. The receiver and barrel are plastic as is the lower receiver and grips (as in real MP40) whereas the folding stock is metal and looks to be the same stock as in Marushin MP40 cap firing model gun kit. My first impression was somewhat negative as I used the previously mentioned all-metal TOP MP40 AEG as comparison point. The plastic parts are neatly finished but at least in “Modern” finish variant they are frankly somewhat toyish. The 32-round magazine is metal made and looks quite real although it is obviously airsoft gun magazine and loses a bit in realism factor when compared to model gun MP40 magazines. Only closer inspection reveals gas valve under the magazine. Loading of 8mm BBs is done by inserting them one-by-one through magazine lips (in principle same action as when loading real MP-40 magazine). The remaining BBs are visible from front side as it has been left open to faciliate operation of magazine spring which must be pulled down before BBs are inserted inside. On positive side this allows visual check of ammo.


Barrel nut is metal made where as the barrel is plastic. Note the resting bar which is unique for MP-40. It was designed to be used as steadier when the gun is fired over cover such as for example half-track sidearmor.
The color pattern of foreend (lower receiver hand guard) is indeed "modernish" than real MP40 like dark and glossy black that can be seen in Marushin MP40 Full Metal Classic model gun. The other parts colors range from toyish plastic (barrel) to realistic metal (barrel nut). These observations of parts is something that only experienced viewer will notice and might be marginal for airsoft gamer that looks practical performance. However these observations are important for anyone considering Marushin MP40 gas blowback to fulfill display and living history requirements for which this model does not fit. Those persons are better off with Marushin MP40 Full Metal Classic (display) and MP40 cap firing model gun full sets (living history).

The Marushin MP40 gas blowback matt black modern type overall feel and looks leaves me in two minds. It is definetely satisfactory, or even well detailed, for airsoft gun but leaves lot to be desired for someone who looks for real-gun like feel. Usually the real-gun like feel does come with price so Marushin MP40 gas blowback edges to well detailed and finished category considering its low retail price.


Barrel nut is metal made where as the barrel is plastic. Note the resting bar which is unique for MP-40. It was designed to be used as steadier when the gun is fired over cover such as for example half-track sidearmor.
Production markings "ayf40" in receiver indicate this is MP40/I model manufactured by ERMA but additional manufactured by Marushin stamps confirm the real toy gun status of this model. Magazine has no markings of caliber and there are no authorization stamps of Nazi Germany which are downer for atmosphere but at least will allow easy importation to countries where the Nazi symbols are prohibited by law.

Finally coming to the overview of magazine, it has been designed to hold internal gas tank and as mentioned earlier it does not break magazines external appearance in anyway except for small gas valve under the magazine. It is to be noted that the gas loading and projecting control seems to perfect with this model. Absolutely smooth going. The real MP40 holds 32 rounds in magazine and the Marushin MP40 magazines hold exactly the same amount of 0.34g 8mm BBs. Cool.

Wide smiles

To be honest after initial external examination of the gun I was the usual unimpressed myself. Being around too many replica guns causes this sort of thing but little did I know that I was about to be surprised. Magazine gas tank full – check, 32 rounds loaded – check, camera ready – check! Action! Thirty two rounds later I had wide smile on my face and already going full speed to reload the magazine for another round of the same.

Marushin MP40 gas blowback airsoft gun firing video:

This airsoft gun kicks well! The blowback effect is on same level than with Escort blowback airsoft guns and at least indoors the Marushin MP40 has mighty firing sound for airsoft gun. The lightweight chamber cover and buffer housing must be contributing to the recoil impact as well as the original design of MP40 in which the heavy bolt slammed into the stops with considerable force as it reached the limits of its traveling space. In Marushin MP40 this is evident and you just got to love the way the cylinder bolt and cocking handle keeps rocking the cylinder cover sending shocks all across the gun. Especially with unaimed firing (i.e. from the hip or quick bursts from shoulder height) you get in the feel of full auto suppressive fire that was often employed in assault situations by the Germans. With this gun I would not be able to wait for the game to begin! As this Marushin MP40 is so fun to shoot twin MP40 magazine pouches and six spare magazines to go cannot be more recommended than this time!

The cocking action is delightfully real, as the firer has to first retract the cocking handle and lock it into the safety notch with the left hand. Then with the right hand still on the pistol grip the magazine is inserted with left hand. The authentic WWII German style to execute this action is to sling the MP40 across your neck and gripping the extended stock between the wais and elbow.

Image gallery:

Purchase Marushin MP-40 Normal Matt Black GBB [Airsoft Gas Blowback]