Thursday, May 15, 2008

TM P-90 RDS Review

Tokyo Marui P-90 RDS Review
By Airsoftguy

Table of Contents

Why I purchased this AEG

Real Steel History

Purchasing this AEG

First Impressions


Sights: RDS and Iron

Battery Compartment

Selector Switch and Trigger

Hop Up

Break Down



Battle Field Test


I have thought P-90s were cool ever since I first saw them in my favorite TV show, STARGATE SG-1. When I got the chance to handle a TM P-90 at my walk-in store, I found that it was very compact and easy for me to handle. I knew I had to have it. Then I looked at the price tag.
So I went home, forced to do my best with my UTG shotgun, and I eventually got my Echo 1. But once I could afford the $300, I wasn't going to miss the chance to buy the Marui.

Real Steel History

The P-90 was developed in the 1990s by FN. Firing the 5.7 x 28 mm armor piercing round (which is exclusive to the P-90), it is used by over 20 military and law enforcement agencies around the world including the US Secret Service. Unlike other automatic weapons, the P-90 allows its empty casings to fall straight down instead of ejecting them out the side. This is an advantage, because the casings will not hit other people. The 50-round horizontal loading magazine makes the P-90 one of the most compact weapons available, but also makes it difficult to change mags under fire. Another downside of the magazine, is that it will not fit in a pouch designed for MP5 or M4 magazines.

FN P-90:

History of the Tokyo Marui P-90

Tokyo Marui is a Japanese company that invented the first Automatic Electric gun, the TM FA-MAS. Since then, there have been countless AEGs manufactured by many companies.

The P-90 was released to celebrate the ten year anniversary of TM's release of the first AEG, and as a new addition to there BulPup series. Tokyo Marui produced two versions of the P-90; the RDS (Red Dot Site) and the TR (Tri Rail). In an effort to differentiate it from the Red Dot Site version, TM made the TR a dark gray color, instead of the realistic black. While not selling as well as other AEGs in general, the Tokyo Marui P-90 has become extremely popular among Stargate fans.


I called my walk-in store only to find out that my P-90 was no longer being stocked, and that I would have to special order it. Though it meant putting off my next game of airsoft for another week, it was faster than ordering on line, so I went down and prepaid. When it arrived at my store, I went down to get my new AEG along with 2 batteries and a sling. When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised that they had installed an upgrade spring free of charge! Reminded of the reasons I do business with my walk-in store instead of internet retailers, I went home to test my new AEG.


I now know why TMs are so expensive: the box! I have never seen a gun that came in a box as nice as this. The foam is covered with fabric, making it look very professional. The box contains a P-90, 68 round magazine, a box of BBs, a very long speed loader, a cleaning rod, some small paper targets, and a users manual written completely in Japanese. (Ok, there was one sentence written in English)

The fit and finish is very good, there are no squeaks or wobbles at all. The gun has trade marks, which I find interesting, if not very useful. Somehow, I got one that did not have any of the trade marks removed. I like having the realism of the "trades", and its also nice that it doesn't have any of those melted spots where they did a poor job of removing them.


I was very impressed with the realism of the standard magazine. The 46 fake bullets (Yes, I counted) look very real. The magazine holds the advertised 68 BBs, but you can get 70 by placing 2 in the magazine well. My favorite thing about this magazine is that, unlike most other mags, it fires every single BB! It is possible to remove the magazine and, by turning it upside down, see how many BBs remain unfired. If you purchase the P-90, I highly recommend getting yourself a few extra mid caps. Overall, the P90 magazine gets one of my highest ratings.

The High Cap, on the other hand, disappointed me. It does NOT fire all 300 BBs with one winding as advertised, and must be taken out of the gun to be wound very often. It is more unrealistic that the mid cap, but one nice thing about it is that you can see how many BBs are left because the mag is transparent. Also, the BBs do not rattle around because of a spring pushing them toward the winding gear. It's not terrible, however I would invest in some standard cap mags instead.

TM P90 High Cap Magazine

The magazine release is adequate, if a bit difficult to use at first. I suppose that it's only a little harder to release the mag than on the MP5, but you have to pull down two buttons on opposite sides of the gun. It is a little bit difficult to insert the the mag back in the gun, but it becomes much easier with some practice, and you will eventually have no trouble at all.


I was relieved when I found I was getting an RDS version, because there was a chance it would prove impossible to get anything but the TR. The red dot sight is very nice. It has three settings; off, 1, and 2. I usually use it on one, because it works well enough and uses less power, but it is sometimes nice to have the brighter dot. It's really your preference. It runs off of 2 AAA batteries. I always carry a few extra AAAs in my tactical vest. To install the batteries, push down the button at the front of the RDS that says "Push down", and insert batteries.

The gun does have iron sights; one on the right, and one on the left of the red dot. I am almost certain they were meant as nothing more than a back up, and I would always use the RDS when possible. The sites are a simple "blade" style site similar to what you would find on a pistol. There is no way to adjust them at all, because they are built into the RDS mount, and are not very accurate because they are not centered.


When I saw the size of the battery I was being forced to use by the limited compartment space of the P-90, I started feeling a little depressed. However, there was a very simple solution. I purchased two batteries. If one saw the need, he could get the j shaped battery, however I do not see how you would manage cramp it in, because all the space that is not being used by the battery, is taken up my the wiring.
If you have a charger designed for a large battery, you will need to purchase an adapter. They are fairly cheap, around $10-$15, and without it, you will be unable to charge you're battery.

The butt plate is very secure, and will not come off accidentally during a battle. To remove, press down the button at the bottom of the butt plate, and simply slide it off the rest of the stock. Putting it back on is a little more tricky, as you must place it at the right angle and then slide it one. It is not to difficult, but when you are trying to hold down the wiring and attach the but plate, it can be a bit frustrating.

My only real complaint is that the battery can sometimes be heard rattling when the gun is moved quickly. If that aggravates you, it can easily be fixed by placing some sort of foam around the battery.


I had heard negative comments about the selector switch, but I don't really see anything wrong with it. I find that it works much better than the one on my MP5, even though it's a little stiff. The reason for the stiffness however, I believe is simply the way it works. Where the MP5 switch worked by making different connections with the selector plate, the P-90 appears to allow the trigger be pulled back to different points. On safe, the trigger is prevented from moving, on semi, it can be pulled about half way back, and on full auto, it is pulled all back the way.
Therefore, like the real steel, it is capable of firing on semi, when set to full auto by having the trigger pulled only half way. When firing short bursts, it is easy to under pull the trigger, causing only one BB to fire.

The selector switch's three setting are designated by a white "S", a red "1', and a red "A". I had heard that the paint came off very easily, but so far that does not seem to be the case. It might come off if you were to scratch at it, but under normal use I see no need to worry.

The trigger itself is very nice, and is fairly easy to pull, however it may take some getting used to for those used to a more traditional trigger of an M4, MP5 or G36.


I am quite happy with this hop up: It is easy to adjust, it is very precise, and it is hard to see by a casual observer. To access the hop up adjustment wheel, turn the gun upside down, and slide back the "door". The wheel is very nice, and, unlike many other hop ups, tells you which way is hop. This is not very important, but it could make it easier for a beginner who doesn't know a hop up from a mag release. The BBs, when the hop up is adjusted correctly, fly very straight and accurately. Overall, one of the nicest hop ups I have seen. Now I know why the Marui hop up is famous.


The TM P-90 has a very nice-field stripping feature. Simply remove the magazine, locate the button about two inches from the magazine well, press it down, and slide the upper receiver, barrel, hop up, and rails off the rest of the gun. This is very useful, because it enables you to unjam BBs, upgrade the stock barrel to a tight-bore barrel, fix the hop up, or just adjust the hop up more easily. Also, it is realistic, since the real steel P-90 also does this.


The P-90 is probably the easiest gun in the world to disassemble. To get to the gearbox, you must first field strip the gun. After removing the upper receiver, locate the two metal rods which connect to the trigger. You will be able to lift it out of place. Now, remove the butt plate and take out the two small screws. Lift out the plastic plate, and the mechbox should just slide out.


The performance of the P-90 impressed me a lot. The accuracy is excellent, and is still in a tight grouping at long ranges. This is probably thanks to the Marui hop up. The rate of fire is also very good, probably around 850-900 RPM, even with the upgraded spring. With the upgraded spring, the FPS is around 350. If you purchase, but do not upgrade your P-90, accuracy should be about the same (I know because I left the spring compressed for about 2 weeks and the FPS went down to below 300, but accuracy and range were almost completely unchanged), ROF will be a little better and FPS will be around 280.

Tokyo Marui P-90 BB grouping at 70 ft. with a 7 X 7 3/4 inch target. Actual diameter of target is 4 inches.


Since the point of purchasing an airsoft gun is (usually) to play airsoft, I was very excited when I arrived at the field to use my P-90 for the first time in a game. The compact size and shape of the P-90 makes it perfect for CQB, but it has accuracy and range as good as most M16s making it just as good for woodland, which is what I use it for. I prefer it to longer M4s and even the G36 because the BulPup design allows you to fire at a target without exposing as much of yourself. My kill to BB ratio has gone way up compared to my MP5. I find I can get the same number of kills (sometimes more) while using a third of the BBs.
The only downside is that the red dot site can be very difficult to use with a full face mask. If you use goggles, you will have no trouble, but I finally modified my mask to make aiming easier.


I would recommend the Tokyo Marui P-90 RDS to anyone looking for a compact, easy to handle AEG with good performance and externals as good as you are going to find with a plastic bodied AEG. I did have the spring guide break, which could be because I upgraded the spring and nothing else, so if you upgrade your P-90 I recommend getting a metal spring guide too. If you are just getting into airsoft and do not want to spend much, this may not be the gun for you. But if you have $250 + to spend on a gun, the Tokyo Marui P-90 will meet all your airsofting needs.

Review by AirsoftGuy

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