UTG Navy SEAL MK23 spring airsoft pistol – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

I like to give good reports about a guns, but today that’s not going to happen. Up to this point, I’d been really enthusiastic about the UTG Navy SEAL MK23 airsoft pistol, but today was the accuracy test and the gun did not do well. Since I’ve tested numerous other airsoft guns in the same price range, I do have the basis for comparison to say that.

I know I’m contradicting the opinions of a great many satisfied customers, but allow me to explain how the test went and you be the judge. Since I’d tested the Crosman M1 Carbine BB gun on Monday, I thought it would be interesting to use the exact same range to test this pistol. With other inexpensive airsoft pistols like this that I’ve tested, the accuracy has been good enough to beat the Crosman M1, and I thought that might be convincing to anyone who thinks an airsoft gun isn’t worthwhile. So that’s what I did.

But the gun didn’t cooperate. It had everything going for it–a great trigger, good power, crisp sights. I thought it would be a walk in the park. It turned out to be a low-crawl through the confidence course on a rainy day with the machine guns shooting low!

Before I continue, let’s all remember that airsoft pistols are not meant for target practice. They’re minute-of-bad-guy guns to be used in skirmishing. With that understood, however, a number of inexpensive spring airsoft pistols are more accurate than this one turned out to be.

Air Venturi 0.20-gram BBs
The Air Venturi 0.20-gram BBs¬†were first. I figured that if I could group well with them, I would fulfill a long-standing promise made to Air Venturi to test their BBs under field conditions. But at 20 feet, shooting with the gun held in two hands off a rest, I couldn’t even hit the target PAPER! The target was a 3-inch stick-on Shoot-N-C bullseye that I figured to be more than large enough for a 20-foot shot. I could hit the same target at 15 yards offhand with a 1911 shooting .45 ACP. But this time I shot a 5-inch group of five on the target box that was used to hold the target paper. The gun was hitting to the left of the aim point by three inches at 20 feet.

So I pasted a second bullseye to the right of the first one, figuring to walk the shots in with Kentucky windage. But they still missed the 5 by 8 target paper, not to mention both bulls! Okay, clearly Air Venturi BBs were not the ticket in this gun.

Black Tokyo Marui 0.20-gram BBs
Pyramyd Air used to carry this BB, and I had found them to work very well in several spring pistols I tested in the past. But, once again, I could not hit the target paper at 20 feet from a rested two-hand hold.

Frustration caused me to drag the shooting table to 15 feet, which is BB-gun range. But BOTH BBs still missed the target more than 75 percent of the time. Clearly it was time to try something drastic. So I tried some TSD 0.25-gram BBs from 15 feet, and I saw what the problem was. They were curving wildly! Back to the 0.20-gram BBs and, yes, they were also curving. That was just the reverse of what the customer comments had said.

So I brought out the blue cheapies–a pile of generic 0.12-gram BBs that have no right shooting well in any airsoft gun this powerful. I bet you can guess what happened next.

The blue cheapies
They worked–but only in comparison to the others. At 15 feet, they wanted to group within the big bullseye. Finally!


Three hits out of five shots from 15 feet, rested. I could do this well offhand at 15 yards with a 1911 and .45 ACP ammo.


The first shot sailed through the 10-ring on this bull. I was encouraged that the gun was finally shooting where it should, but, alas, the next four shots only produced one more hit.


The only target with five hits was this one. I was holding the pistol off the bag, which seemed to settle the group a bit. The lowest hole actually passed two BBs.

What about the silencer?
I did try the gun with the fake silencer attached, but the first two rounds went 12 inches wide of the target box, a miss of about two feet at 15 feet, rested. That finished the test for me. Clearly the BB was hitting the inside of the silencer before exiting.

Magazines seemed to make no difference.
Since the gun comes with two magazines, I tried both of them. Neither seemed to offer any advantage, as far as accuracy is concerned.

Now adjustments for accuracy
If the Mk23 had adjustable Hop-Up, I would have fiddled with it to try to get the gun to group. That’s not a complaint, because guns at this price rarely have that feature, but I just mention it because there was nothing left to try.

48 thoughts on “UTG Navy SEAL MK23 spring airsoft pistol – Part 3

  1. BB, now what do you do? The customer ratings give this thing very high marks, so it stands to reason that you might have gotten a dud. And if you did, do you base your conclusions on a defective example or do you take a crack at another one?


  2. Vince,

    No, I leave this test exactly where it is. I’m not H.P. White Labs, and the purpose of the blog isn’t to convince everyone that all airguns are wonderful in all ways.

    I’m here to do honest tests and let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes I see a greater potential in a gun than the test shows, so I might do an extra test. But I try to limit that to special cases. This one isn’t special enough.

    B.B.


  3. Morning B.B.,

    My son had one of these guns a couple 3 years ago and I was surprised at how well it shot .12 g bb’s. If we did our part, the targets w/o silencer looked like your last one. I remember thinking that this is good enough to teach basics of shooting a pistol. Go figure. QA at its price point cann’t be to much though.


  4. BB, did you try scrubbing the bore with JB paste and a brass bore brush? :)

    That just might take the aluminum barrel out to .30 caliber…


  5. B.B.,

    Unfortunate about the accuracy test for the UTG MK23 you were given for testing. The first two parts in this series was encouraging.

    This is way, way off topic and I’m sorry to bother you with this. I’ve spent the last few late nights re-reading all your articles about pumps, compressors, scuba tanks, carbon fiber tanks, etc.(does everyone know how big this portion of B.B.’s library is? Enormous amount of info on this site) since I am about to graduate from a pump to a tank. More accurately I intend to handpump to about 2,200 psi and then top off with a carbon fiber tank to extend the periods between refilling the carbon fiber tank.

    I recently read something that has stopped me dead in my tracks on my journey to a carbon fiber tank purchase. Could you please read this and comment on what the fallacy. Lack of moisture filter maybe? Here it is:

    http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread/1236147560/Cut+your+pumping+strokes+to+1-10+on+PCP+guns

    kevin


  6. Kevin,

    This smacks of “too good to be true.”

    I have asked AirForce to comment. I would be afraid of blowing the seals in the pump through overload, but I haven’t yet figured out why that would happen.

    B.B.


  7. Kevin,

    If I understand the link, he’s running a line from a regular type, low pressure, air compressor into his 3 stage pump and using that to reduce the amount of work needed to fill his gun.

    However, the 70 psi input doesn’t seem like enough pressure to make much of a difference in the effort required to fill the gun with the hand pump. I don’t see how an imput of 70psi would reduce the number of pump strokes in any significant manner.

    I wonder if there is a formula someplace that we could use to examine the results of varying the imput pressure and its affects in the 3rd stage of the pump.:)


  8. B.B.,

    Thanks for calling AirForce. Had no intention of putting through that but it’s greatly appreciated.

    It certainly smacks of too good to be true.

    kevin



  9. Mr B.,

    Your first impression was mine. Low compressor might aid a little in pumping effort but he states that it eliminated 90% of his pump strokes with a little more effort at the end.

    Wouldn’t be the first “exaggeration” I’ve read but I can’t discount it completely yet. Unfortunately, my pump doesn’t have a second “port” or I might be tempted to connect my small compressor and try it myself.

    kevin


  10. Sorry guys I just could not resist!

    RE: Formula

    Well yes, P*V = amount of air where P is pressure and V is volume. Temperature in this case is a constant.

    So 1 cubic inch of air at 70 psi (70 psi above room pressure of 14 psi) has the same amount of air as 6 cubic inches at 14 psi (room pressure). So by having an inlet pressure of 70 psi the number of stokes would be cut to 1/6 of the number usually required. The higher inlet pressure essentially added another stage to the pump.

    Two issues:
    (1) Safety – 70 psi doesn’t seem like it should create a problem. But there is always some idiot who decides to do one better. Using a depleted scuba tank with 1500 psi on the inlet could lead to real trouble. Did someone say pipe bomb?

    (2) reliability – the hand pump wasn’t designed to work this way. Having a higher pressure on the inlet might significantly reduce the life of the seals in the hand pump.

    Herb


  11. This report is so similar to my experience with the Marksman 1010 I purchased at Christmas for my 8 year old.
    For $29 (CDN) the quality seemed pretty good. But as with the Navy Seal at 15′ we have to aim about 6″ down and 4″ to the right to have a hope of getting on target.
    It was good for a two month safety session with the 8 year old and the 5 year old will inherit it on his 6th birthday for the same purpose.
    Meanwhile the 8 year old has inherited my PPK/S, when I’m not using it ;-)
    As much fun as the PPK/s is. my CP99 is just so much more accurate that I don’t use the PPK that much.


  12. Kevin & all,

    Keep in mind that most compressors don't have good enough or any water filters… You could be adding water to your system and then the air rifle…
    Again folks, I have used nothing but air from scuba tanks, filled from air compressors with clean, dry air for people to breath.. by this time, well over 20,000 shots on my AAs410, I would have water in my guns air tank, if the air was not clean and dry.. and I feel/hear no water slossing around inside… no water vapors in the firing I can notice..
    I've heard that water is in some guns from pumping or low quality air compressors made for filling air guns.. and you can actually hear it slossing around..
    I have no proof, without looking inside my guns air tank.. which maybe I should have someone do anyway…

    Seems like something to consider and check out for sure.. That would be a very long term test, but should be done!! IMHO..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  13. In the referenced post the author mentions a “sintered inlet filter.” Isn’t that just for particulates?

    I remember reading before about releasing pressure inside pump and blowing water out. Does a hand pump have a water filter? Can you buy one as an add-on?

    It really does seem that Wayne makes a good case for scuba tank refills. Dry and no particulate air to ruin inside of air guns pressure reservoir.

    Herb


  14. B.B.,

    I received my David Slade modified Brad Troyer P1, and I am EXTREMELY impressed.

    I am so happy to have purchased this particular P1 as I suspect that the stock trigger cannot be nearly this good. But I really don’t know.

    I do know that already I am hitting objects with stock sights that until now I needed a 2X scope when using the Beretta. I think the trigger, the aiming, and handling of the P1 contribute to this accuracy. I look forward to scoping it, which leads to…

    …..the question of what scope rings/mounts do you suggest and whether you could suggest either the Simmons 2-6 X 32 or the BSA 2-7 X 32 pistol scopes. My eyes really require more than 2X at 10 meters with the accuracy that this P1 is capable of, and certainly more than 2X for the shots at 15 or 20 yards that I believe this gun is also capable of.

    Thank you very much, and I am sorry if you answered this somewhere (obviously I looked already, but you must know that you have a rather large library to peruse, and I am between patients).

    - Dr. G.


  15. BB,
    That is about the accuracy I would have expected…of course for me, an accurate pistol would be one that would hit the target 4 of 5 times:).

    Herb,
    As soon as you said temperature is constant, I quit believing you:).


  16. Herb,

    Most pumps do have a water filter, but I question if they do the job completely.. because some of the forums talk about water in their guns after use.. but I don’t know what is true or not..

    I just didn’t want to take a chance.. and I’m lazy… and it’s too easy to use the scuba store next to the place I pick up supplies for the company anyway…

    But others need to make an educated guess as to which way to go.. pump or tanks..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  17. B.B.,

    Bless you for championing airsoft, even if this particular gun was a dud.

    Speaking of crawling through mud and low-aimed machine guns (I actually enjoyed that course at Benning, although the machine gun settings were more reasonable), have you tried Cybergun’s Thompson M1A1 that PA sells? Mine is quite accurate (for airsoft), and reasonably priced compared with TM’s version.

    You also mention your 1911; have you tried the airsoft 1911s/1911A1s? My WE is an absolute joy to shoot. I’ve owned a lot of real pistols but always meant to buy a real 1911. Then Carter turned most of the WW-era 1911s into scrap and afterwards the prices seemed to go through the roof.

    Again, thanks for championing airsoft in the face of people saying they’re boring compared to ‘real’ airguns. I find them to be quite enjoyable, from the battery operated cheapies to the more expensive GBBs and AEGs. Just wish we got to use them without the orange tips, like England does.


  18. Everyone,

    Using a compressor to boost the hand pump sounds like a bad idea if for just one reason. I know my home compressor smells like oil when I use it (30W non-detergent) and I’m sure some of that oil gets into the compressed air. The oil is combustible. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen …

    .22 multi-shot


  19. Dr. G.,

    The scope rings you need should be low or medium height and two-piece. Since the P1 recoils opposite what a normal spring gun does, the rings walk forward on the dovetail. The front sight becomes the scope stop and it will be dented in time.

    Leapers Accu Mounts are fine, as are most quality mounts. For this use perhaps you want to use 2-screw cap rings instead of 4-screw cap rings.

    I have no experience with either of those scopes so pick the one you like. I have only shot a scoped air pistol a few times and even then it was just a red dot–not a scope.

    B.B.


  20. Joe,

    I will continue to report on airsoft, despite the negative remarks. I know there are guys like you who want to hear about them, plus I have tested quite a few that surprised me. The Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 was one of the best, though I do hear lots of good things about the WE 1911 you mentioned. Maybe I’ll get one of them next.

    I have four American-made AEG M4 derivatives on hand and I’m struggling to find a way to test them all for you. Got any ideas?

    B.B.


  21. B.B.

    The bad tests are just as entertaining as the good ones. I’ve gotten away from airsoft since I couldn’t handle the frustration of putting together a good shot and not have the bb strike to point of aim. I guess airsoft is not the way to develop pinpoint accuracy. But it’s great for fun and to teach safe gun handling. And there were some memorable sessions where my sniper rifle was grouping like my pellet guns, so maybe I’ll revisit airsoft at some point.

    Matt61


  22. BB- I’m looking for a mil-dot, variable power (atleast 9x) scope that is cheap but not cheap… Think you can help me?
    John



  23. Kevin, Herb, and 22 multi-shot,

    You know guys we might be in the making of a Darwin Award Winner–a Harry Home Owner air compressor, HPA pump,an air tank and oil.

    B.B., are you looking for some folks to test some AMG 14 derivatives?

    Mr B.



  24. Some days, you guys don’t cut me any slack..

    “The Marauder is about as much like the Infinity as a Porsche resembles a Ford F-150. They both have four wheel and an engine, and the similarity ends there”

    Come on, from a hunting perspective, (ie, fit for purpose), they are so much alike we’d be hard pressed to tell them apart.

    This is what we know, (from published documents), so far.
    The Infinity is accurate for hunting purposes. The Marauder may be more or less, but only slightly, and, for hunting, not diferentiated.
    The Infinity is powerful. The Crossman less so but still close.
    B.B. suggests 30 shots out of the Infinity, Chapman suggested 20 out of the Crossman.
    They use identical sound suppression technology, and we have no idea which, if any, is measurably better for noise.
    Both have multi-shot clips, wood stocks, fixed air-chamber under barrel, and use 3000psi. Both load through the clip into the muzzle, and release through non-regulated spring-pressure valves, etc.

    The rest of the stuff, trigger pull, bolt vs lever, etc. is all important to the enthusiast, but of minor operational nature, and more a matter of preference.

    So, as a hunter, owning both, when would I reach for one over the other – probably could toss a coin.
    No reason to own both, (albeit, if I were after larger vermin, the Infinity IS the choice). I can certainly dial the power down on the more powerful rifle, use a lower air charge, and replicate light-pellet performance with the Infinity.

    When I looked at the Logun S-16, I saw something that:
    1. Loaded 16 pellets – better for birding
    2. Was written-up to be “as quiet as the click of the hammer dropping” – again – birding rifle
    3. Stainless and aluminum construction. – durability in the field.
    4. Take-down – for portability
    5. Large air tank – lots of shots for lots of birds, here we’re reading as many as 50+ shots per fill, all faster than Chapman’s test results on the Maurauder.
    6. Interchangeable air tanks – I can change tanks in the field, no carrying pumps or SCUBA..

    Compared to the “conventional” design, this is a radically different instrument. I would gladly own one. I like the Air Force offering, but it is single-shot and thence, not fit for purpose.

    So, I ask again, does anyone have any ideas if the L-16 EVO will be available in the US, and, if not, is there anything “substantially different” out there, (FX Revo / Monsoon qualify but far too pricey), that would make a good addtion for this very practical varmint hunter?

    Best regards,

    Jane Hansen


  25. MrB.,
    Its fun to be on the living side of history:). That technique is fraught with questions, but I wonder if it couldn’t form the basis for a relatively efficient and cheap home powered setup, e.g., a safe 125+psi main compressor (oiless, of course) with a smaller high pressure one piggy-backed. Having pressurized air going into the high-pressure pump, as Herb calculated, couldn’t help but reduce wear on it (assuming proper design), and it could possibly be reduced to two or even one stage. I’m excited by any improvement in PCP filling technology, because I get plenty of exercise already and don’t want any more when I’m supposed to be having fun.



  26. B.B.,
    Would you have a chance to write a review on the new Hammerli Pneuma PCP Air Rifle? It looks quite interesting.

    Alan



  27. “is there anything “substantially different” out there, that would make a good addtion for this very practical varmint hunter?”

    Dear Jane,

    I’d have to go with the Ford F150: lots of power, totally usable for field hunting. Bags birds, squirrels, rabbits and coyotes with ease and, with the right bumper, capable of taking down small deer for the larder as well.

    :-)


  28. How does the Walther P99 Airsoft Special Operations by Walther perform?

    AJ,

    When it performs, it performs well. Both of mine (one from PA and the other acquired locally) quit working fairly soon after I bought them. They seemed to develop a problem with the slide; it refused to cycle and one I just opened the box it was in and found the slide frozen in a half-way position (it was fine before that). Quite odd.

    Also, don’t go with the Crosman Pulse P70, also battery-powered. Mine from PA arrived not working (they replaced it with the Walther–alas!) but I would have returned it anyway. Unlike the Pulse P50, which the P70 replaced, only the very top section blows back, not the entire slide. Disappointing.

    I’ve thought about getting another Walther and removing the batteries when not actually shooting it (it’s that much fun) but I’m not certain if that would preserve its life or not.



  29. I have four American-made AEG M4 derivatives on hand and I’m struggling to find a way to test them all for you. Got any ideas?

    B.B.,

    If you need help, I’d be happy to test one or all for you. I imagine I could enlist the help of some airsoft enthusiast friends for the job.

    Joe B.



  30. Jane,

    You make a good point.. the Logan is very much different..
    I haven’t tried one, but the reviews are pretty good..
    On the yellow you can sometimes get some good deals on the Air Arms adjustable power S410 side lever (I get 90 plus shots on med. or 750fps with my .177) or the lower power FX Whisper.. $500 to $700.. Those are the only others I can think of to consider..

    Try the Logan 16 and Report to us about it..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  31. B.B.

    Did you get the Browning Auto 5 12ga shotgun for Edith?

    I was in the pawnshop today picking up the Browning Citori sporting clay special 12ga over/under I got on Gunbroker, and the Browning A-5 light twelve Clyde had in the shop.
    Well… while waiting, I spied something long with an octagonal barrel and under lever in with the 30/30 marlins and wins..

    Turned out to be a Marlin 1893 or a model 93 made in 1903 in .32-40 cal.. with the 30" barrel! the stock is cracked in three or four spots, but with the metal butt cap and heavy steel stock support, it's not falling apart, and the splits really add to the character of the gun.. the action is still pretty tight.. and the rest of the metal seems very good for it's 100 plus years.. Wow, the character of the gun is yelling at you.. the stories it must know..
    This one will look great next to the Savage 99F .308

    Well I got it for $700 as part of the package deal.. The "gun traders guide" book says: good $1309, ex $1932, and NIB $2344…. made from 1893 to 1936, so my 1903 version is pretty early..

    What does the Blue book say?

    The .32-40 cal is the "John Wayne" cartridge isn't it? That will be pricey & or hard to find, I'll bet.. sounds like reloading time is getting closer and closer..

    Back to the shotguns..

    It was raining/snowing, but I had to at least break a few clays with the new guns..

    So off to the range.. set up the thrower in the rocks, filled my pockets with shells and stepped into the pull string..
    My light twelve auto-5 says 2-3/4" shells, so I loaded up 3 of the 1-1/8 oz 7-1/2 shot..
    I pulled the string with my foot and the gun came to shoulder so nice, lead the clay, boom, missed.. quick second shot less leading… boom got it.. quick get the scrap.. boom.. missed..
    three quick smooth shots.. as I shot the shells in my pocket, I found I could aim right on the clay almost..

    The over/under Browning Citori is just too beautiful.. but I put her together anyway, filled my pockets and went back into the rain snow mix.. Wow, is all I can say.. again almost no leading.. only two shots, but very fast.. and it makes it easy to hit the clays..

    It was too wet to stay.. but they both work great and are fun to shoot..
    Next time I'll bring the pattern boards Kevin.. I promise!!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  32. Congratulations on the Citori, Wayne. It IS a beautiful gun. Made in Japan as I remember.

    Remember not to over oil it. I did mine starting from when I was a teenager and the foregrip got all spongey and split a few years ago…very sad.


  33. Josh,

    I don’t want to shake your faith in this gun. Obviously a lot of other buyers agree with you. But I will not get another one. The test demonstrated what one gun was capable of, under the conditions I shot it. For those who don’t own one, my test becomes another data point in their research.

    Once again, this isn’t H.P. White Labs and I’m not here to test all airguns until they pass. I’m just a guy like you, sampling the guns as fast as I can.

    B.B.


  34. Wayne,

    A .32/40 is a target cartridge with roughly the power of a .30/30, so in a lever action it’s a deer rifle.

    The Blue Book listing is a huge formula that requires the rifle for examination. And the Blue Book is a lot more particular about condition. They don’t use subjectives like “excellent.” They use percentages of finish remaining.

    If the metal seems very good for 100 years of use it’s probably in the 20-40 percent range. The base value there is $375-450. Then add 1-20 percent for the caliber and subtract 50-60 percent if it’s a B model with a blued receiver (which is for black powder loads, only).

    The 30-inch barrel indicates that it is a musket model. Does the forearm look like a military model? If so, you can double those numbers above.

    The cracks in the stock don’t help the value, but if they are small and seem stable they may not take away much.

    You probably did okay.

    If it is a blackpowder model you must shoot it with black powder or replica black powders like Pyrodex and Triple Seven. The receiver cannot take the strain of smokeless powders.

    B.B.


  35. B.B.

    It says “Smokeless” on it, so Clyde thinks it was one of the first smokeless versions.. It doesn’t look like the Musket version in the book I have.. and that book says that the 1893 could have a 26″, 28″ 30″ or a 32″ barrel..
    Although, the lever and octagonal barrel are different than the picture in the book too.. but the butt stock with the metal end protector looks the same.. So I need to research more, to find out exactly what I’ve got..

    But, I know it makes me smile to shoulder it!!! and that’s worth a lot!!

    Wayne,


  36. I use KSC .20 highly polished BB a lot & have very good success with them in most of my guns.

    I also have some .18 & .25 BBs that I'll try in my UTG Navy Seal MK23 because I remember it being a little more accurate. This gun just might have one favorite BB that it DOES perform well with?

    I'll try what I have & report back.

    In fact the wind only 5-10mph right now so I think I'll do it now.

    "I'll be back!" lol

    - The BBA -



  37. Sorry you got one that won’t shoot. At 15 feet my MK 23 will cut a ragged hole centered in the target but low. Those groups are shot with Cybergun .2 gram bbs.

    If you get the desire to test additional airsoft guns, would you consider the Echo 1 Advanced Tactical shotgun? I’ve read a number of good reports on the internet about it and would like a pro’s report.


  38. B.B.,

    I have to agree with the above post by airsofter.

    I just went outside & emptied a whole clip of KSC .20 high polished BBs two handed resting from 15 feet, & shot the bull out with only about 5 fliers that were still inside a 2" group with the rest shooting less than 1 1/2" with the silencer off.

    At 15' EVERY BB hit within 2"

    I think you just got a bad one.

    - The BBA -




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