UTG Navy Seal MK 23 spring airsoft pistol - Part 2
by B.B. Pelletier
Today I'll test the velocity of this inexpensive, yet surprisingly well-acclaimed UTG Navy Seal pistol. Before I do, I have to remark on the comments I received. This pistol strikes a chord with many of you who are looking for a high-quality, low-priced airsoft gun.
One reader advised me to consider the SIG Sauer SP2022 HPA from Cybergun. I looked at it online and, to my surprise, it has a perfect 5-star rating. There are only 4 reviews, though, while the gun I'm looking at now has 25. The Mk 23 has more perfect reviews than the SIG has reviews in total, so I don't want to start discrediting this gun just yet.
I was asked to check both velocity and accuracy with and without the fake silencer attached. That's what I'm doing.
One comment I must make is that the Mk 23 is especially hard to cock. I don't know the reason, but it seems to take more effort than other spring-piston airsoft guns in the same power range. Once you get used to it, it isn't a problem, but I thought I should mention it, because a new shooter might think his gun is broken when it's just difficult to cock.
0.20-gram Air Venturi CQBBs
0.20-gram Air Venturi CQBBs were the first to be tested. They averaged 221 f.p.s. with the fake silencer off. The spread went from 218 f.p.s. to 224 f.p.s.
With the fake silencer on the average speed was 218 f.p.s., which is pretty close, but the overall spread went from 213 f.p.s. to 226 f.p.s. Having that can mounted is disturbing the BB in flight. It's not an extension of the barrel. It's just a hollow tube about a half-inch in diameter.
0.20-gram Tokyo Marui black BBs
The next round I tested was the Tokyo Marui black BB that Pyramyd Air discontinued some time ago. With the can off, they averaged 214 f.p.s. with a spread from 210 to 218 f.p.s. When the silencer was on, they averaged 211 f.p.s. with a spread from 209 to 213. They were more uniform across the board and less disturbed by the silencer than the Air Venturi CQBBs, but also somewhat slower.
0.12-gram generic BBs
Since the gun is also listed with 0.12-gram BBs, even though there are many warnings not to use them because they curve, I tested them for velocity. I have several thousand generic blue BBs laying around, so that's what I used. They averaged 297 f.p.s. and ranged from 274 f.p.s. to 305 f.p.s. without the silencer. With the silencer, they averaged 293 f.p.s. and ranged from 277 f.p.s. to 299 f.p.s.
Where does that leave us?
The advertised velocity with 0.20-gram BBs is 220 to 240 f.p.s. The gun I'm testing averages 221 f.p.s. with the fastest 0.20-gram BB I shot. That's right on the money! The advertised velocity with 0.12-gram BBs is 310 to 320 f.p.s. The only 0.12-gram BB I shot in this gun averaged 297 f.p.s. So, it's close enough to say that it meets spec. If I had shot other 0.12-gram BBs, who knows if they would have been any faster.
I can also say that there's no velocity benefit to adding the fake silencer. If anything, there's a slight detriment, but it's too close to call. It will be very interesting to test the gun for accuracy with the silencer on. I'm guessing it'll be noticeably less accurate because the turbulent muzzle blast is allowed to associate with the BB in flight for roughly four inches before it exits the silencer. That's a long time to be buffeted by turbulent air.
This gun doesn't need a silencer to be quiet. I own a real firearm silencer and this airsoft pistol is much quieter than any of my silenced firearms. I've also heard the finest airgun silencers, and this pistol sounds roughly equivalent to all of them. That's with the silencer off or on--it makes no difference. The silencer is just for looks.