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.